Cindy Sheehan and Friends Kick Off Registration Drive
Last Updated on Thursday, 14 March 2013 15:59
Posted on March 13, 2013 by the Registration, Organizing and Fundraising Committee.
Cindy Sheehan, internationally-known activist for peace and justice, is the lead signer of a letter that kicks off the Peace and Freedom Party voter registration drive in California. The Peace and Freedom Party had over 62,000 voter members last October. Under current state law, after the adoption of Top Two elections, the party needs to raise its membership to around 105,000 by the end of 2014 to retain its ballot status.
"We have already registered about 3,000 more voters since October," says State Chair Kevin Akin, "but we need to step up the pace considerably. With the help of Cindy Sheehan and the other signers of our mobilization letter, we expect to double our registration rate and reach or exceed our goal." The working-class alternative party was founded in 1967, and has run hundreds of candidates for large and small offices, pushing for peace, human rights, and social justice.
Signers of the letter with Cindy Sheehan include Akin, union leaders Mike Roskey and Gloria La Riva, physician Alice Stek, history professor and writer Gerald Horne, attorney Kathleen Williams, satirist Paul Krasner, Veterans for Peace chapter presidents John Reiger of Sacramento and Scott Camil of Gainesville, and television host John Fugelsang. In addition to mailings, the letter will be distributed widely through electronic media. As well as asking for voters to register in the party (a link for doing so is provided in the electronic copies), the letter asks for donations to the registration drive, whose cost is estimated at $85,000.
Click here to read this important message from Cindy Sheehan and friends.
Joint Statement on Top Two Elections
Posted on May 24, 2013 by the Legislative Committee
This joint statement from the Green, Libertarian and Peace and Freedom parties was distributed to members of the State Legislature on May 23, 2013. This document is available as a PDF here.
Top Two Elections and their Effects on the Smaller Parties
A joint statement from the Green Party, Libertarian Party and Peace and Freedom Party
May 23, 2013
- Top Two makes it much harder and more expensive for candidates of small parties to qualify for the primary election ballot, thereby reducing their number to a record low.
In 2012, the number candidates from the smaller parties running for Congress declined 68% from 2008 (the last presidential year before Top Two) and for state legislature the number declined 72%, resulting in the fewest number of candidates on the primary election ballot from any alternative party since 1966, when only the established Democratic and Republican parties were on the ballot.
Why? Under Top Two, the number of signatures in lieu of filing fees for candidates of the smaller alternative parties have increased drastically (for statewide office, from 150 to 10,000.) Smaller parties do not have the infrastructure to gather large numbers of signatures or pay the filing fees for multiple offices. As a result, the candidates either have to pay expensive filing fees or not run at all, where previously they could gather enough signatures to avoid paying any filing fee. Under Top Two, running for office itself becomes more expensive, because now everyone has to reach the entire electorate in the primary. As a result, the proportionate increase in cost and difficulty is several times greater for candidates of the smaller parties, and the need for such funding and organization comes much earlier -- all of this making it extremely difficult for these candidates to run. There is also a major disincentive to go through such effort (or pay such fees), when the result is that candidates are only on the ballot for less than three months.
Peace and Freedom Candidate Supports Strike Debt Bay Area and the Second Debtors' Assembly
By Eugene Ruyle
Posted on May 15, 2013 by the Communications Committee
As we gear up for our 2014 electoral campaigns, it is crucial that we support those we want to support us. I can't think of an organization more worthy of our support than Strike Debt. Growing out of Occupy Wall Street, debt resistance strikes at the heart of the capitalist system as they work toward the creation of "a new world based on the common good, not Wall Street profits." "Strike Debt supports the creation of just and sustainable economies, based on mutual aid, common goods, and public affluence. We owe the financial institutions nothing. It is to our friends, families and community that we owe everything." Strike Debt's vision here is quite compatible with Peace and Freedom's socialist platform call for "Social ownership and democratic control of industry, financial institutions, and natural resources."
Strike Debt Bay Area Announces
Bay Area's Second Debtors' Assembly
Saturday, May 18 ~ 2:00 - 5:00 pm
Unite Here, Local 2, near Civic Center BART
209 Golden Gate Ave., San Francisco (MAP)
On Saturday, May 18th, Strike Debt Bay Area will host the Bay Area's Second Debtors' Assembly. (The beautiful poster for it created by SDBA organizer Sandy Sanders is shown below.)
San Francisco Veterans Call For Resignation of SF Pride President
Posted on May 9, 2013 by the Communications Committee
Peace and Freedom has long supported Bradley Manning and all other whistleblowers and political prisoners. They's why we were pleased to learn of of the SF Pride Electoral College's selection of Army Private First Class Bradley Manning be a grand marshal of the 2013 San Francisco Pride Celebration. But San Francisco Pride’s President (and Democratic Party politico) Lisa L. Williams intervened to withdraw and reject Bradley Manning's selection, leading to a storm of protest from Veterans groups and the LGBT community. We print one example below. For another statement, the latest news, and to sign the petition in support of Bradley Manning, go to the Free Bradley Manning website.
LGBTQ leaders uphold selection of Bradley Manning as SF Pride grand marshal
At an emergency meeting (April 28, 2013) called by Commander John Caldera to address the controversy surrounding the decision of San Francisco Pride’s President Lisa L. Williams to withdraw and reject the SF Pride Electoral College’s selection of Army Private First Class Bradley Manning as their choice as a 2013 Parade Grand Marshal, the members of the Bob Basker Post 315 of the American Legion have voted to call for the resignation of Ms. Williams as SF Pride Board of Directors.
Sign petition! Lynne Stewart: Warden RECOMMENDS Compassionate Release
By Lynne Stewart and Jeff Mackler, with an introduction by Eugene Ruyle
Posted on May 1, 2012 by the Communications Committee
The Peace and Freedom Party calls for "Freedom for all political prisoners," and we have supported political prisoner Lynne Stewart from the beginning. On April 12, 2010, the State Central Committee passed the resolution: That the Peace and Freedom Party protests and condemns Lynne Stewart’s unjust imprisonment and unprecedented re-sentencing, and that the Peace and Freedom Party endorses the campaign to free her, and calls for her release, and that the Peace and Freedom Party endorses the campaign to free her and the repeal of all laws that take away the democratic and civil rights of people in the United States.
We were pleased, therefore, to receive the following from
Lynne Stewart Defense Committee. We urge all our members and supporters to sign the petition at Justice for Lynne Stewart.
From left to right: Ralph Poynter, Cindy Sheehan, Lynne Stewart. Photograph by Tom Lacey, July 2009
WARDEN RECOMMENDS COMPASSIONATE RELEASE FOR LYNNE STEWART BUT THE BATTLE IS FAR FROM WON
Dear Friends of Lynne and Mumia,
Below we include Lynne's brief letter confirming that the warden at FMC Carswell has recommended that Lynne Stewart be granted compassionate release for the treatment of her metastasized breast caner, now spread to her lungs and back. Thus, the first step in what was thought impossible before is now on the record. The warden's recommendation will now go through the bureaucratic apparatus of the state power beginning with the national Bureau of Prisons and thence to the original sentencing Judge John Koeltl and/or perhaps elsewhere in the government tangle of institutions. Compassionate release could be granted in months or days or not at all. We simply don't know.
Socialism: Word of the Year for 2012
By Eugene Ruyle
Posted on May 8, 2013 by the Communications Committee
Socialism: Word of the Year for 2012
Two words, socialism and capitalism, shared the top spot for lookups in 2012, shedding light on “topics and ideas that sparked the nation's interest,” according to a recent report from Merriam-Webster, Inc. The dictionary publisher cited the healthcare debates and presidential race as contributing factors, but interest in socialism and capitalism is bound to increase as Americans feel the continuing pain of economic crisis.
Unfortunately, Merriam-Webster does not provide a reliable guide to the meaning of these important political concepts. A better place to look for guidance is the Platform of our nation’s oldest and largest ballot qualified socialist party, the Peace and Freedom Party of California. Here, you’ll find the following:
The Peace and Freedom Party, founded in 1967, is committed to socialism, democracy, ecology, feminism and racial equality. We represent the working class, those without capital in a capitalist society. We organize toward a world where cooperation replaces competition, a world where all people are well fed, clothed and housed; where all women and men have equal status; where all individuals may freely endeavor to fulfill their own talents and desires; a world of freedom and peace where every community retains its cultural integrity and lives with all others in harmony. We offer this summary of our immediate and long-range goals:
Mohammad Arif for 16th State Senate District
By Kevin Akin
Posted on April 8, 2013 by the Kern County Central Committee
Mohammad Arif is the Peace and Freedom Party candidate in the State Senate special election on May 21, 2013 in the old 16th State Senate District. Despite all the State Senate boundaries having been redrawn for the 2012 election, the old boundaries will be used to replace disgraced former State Senator Michael Rubio, who resigned in February shortly before newspapers learned of his financial entanglements with the Chevron Corporation and one of its executives. (Rubio now works directly for Chevron.) The "old 16th SD" includes all of Kings County, about half of Fresno County, the western portion of Tulare County, and a western portion of Kern County including part of Bakersfield.
The special election is expected to be a very interesting one. It features Kern County supervisor Leticia Perez, whose mentor is the corrupt ex-senator Rubio, and who is married to Fernando Jara, a self-described former violent "thug" and self-styled former CIA operative whose conversion to Islam appears to have been phony from the start. Despite or because of these connections, Perez immediately received the backing of the official Democratic Party organizations in the area. Two other Democrats are on the ballot, Frank Ramirez and Paulina Miranda, but little has been heard from them. There is a single Republican, Andy Videk. And Mohammad Arif, the Peace and Freedom Party candidate, is listed on the ballot as "businessman" because his preferred occupational title of immigration rights organizer was rejected by the Secretary of State.
Drones Are Coming to Someplace Near You
By Maureen Smith
Posted on April 13, 2013 by the Communications Committee
As Californians, we may not have to worry about the the immediate threats to life and limb nor the psychological problems of existing under Obama's drones that those living in the U.S. invaded Middle East experience, but we do need to be prepared for drones coming to California.
Since the passage of the FAA Modernization and Reform Act of 2012, Public Law 112-95, at least four bills have been introduced in our state legislature; SB 15, AB 1326. AB 1327, and AB 737. The first of these bills to go to a committee hearing is AB1326 which will be heard in the Assembly Revenue and Taxation Committee on April 22nd.
AB 1326 is a simple bill to allow drone manufacturers and their companion contractors to be exempt from taxation in California. The revenues lost to local jurisdictions such as cities and counties will not be reimbursed by the state. Those of us who don't want the drones here in the first place see this bill as adding insult to injury.
A Call for Debt Cancellation
By Eugene Ruyle
Posted on April 18, 2013 by the Communications Committee
Debt is a tie that binds the 99%. As individuals, families, and communities, many of us are drowning in debt to Wall Street for the basics of life, food, housing, education, and health care. Even those of us who do not have personal debt are affected by predatory lending through our friends and families. Our essential public services are cut because our cities and towns are held hostage by the same big banks that have been bailed out by our government in recent years. Entire nations are suffering because of crushing debt to the World Bank and IMF, creating new forms of international slavery.
Debt keeps us isolated, ashamed, and afraid—of becoming homeless, of going hungry, of being crippled or killed by treatable illness, or of being trapped in poverty-level jobs. Those facing foreclosure, medical debt, student debt, or credit card debt feel alone, hounded by debt collectors, and forced into unrewarding work to keep up with payments.
Sequestration: Austerity by Another Name
Posted on April 17, 2013 by the Communications Committee
Starting last month, Americans from all walks of life began gradually feeling the effects of budget sequestration. But some will feel it more than others.
Congress passed the Budget Control Act of 2011 to resolve one of many debt-ceiling crises. This bill created a committee to propose a debt reduction plan. If no agreement was reached, a hard cap on government spending across the board, or “sequestration”, would be invoked, to take effect on January 1, 2013.
President Obama and his Democratic Party allies claimed that this time they were serious about ending the Bush tax cuts for the wealthy. This would have been possible when Obama took office in 2008 with Democratic Party majorities in both houses of Congress. After having lost their majority in the House of Representatives, all they could manage was an increase in taxes on incomes over $400,000 ($450,000 for joint filers) and some changes to capital gains and estate taxes. Taxes on capital gains and dividends are raised for only those in the top bracket. That increase from 15% to 20% is only about half the marginal tax rate on earned income. A new top tax rate of 40% on very high inheritances is accompanied by a permanent end to taxes on estates under $5 million left by individuals or $10 million by couples, indexed to inflation.
Cancel Student Debts
Statement by Kevin Akin, State Chair, Peace and Freedom Party, on behalf of the State Central Committee
Posted on April 17, 2013 by the Communications Committee
Until some 40 years ago, California provided free public college and university education to all California students who qualified for admission. As taxes were restructured to benefit the rich, student fees were jacked up to put a larger and larger share of the cost of education on each student. This process accelerated under both Republican and Democratic governors, until we find ourselves today with an educational system that costs more than working-class families can afford. Typically, students who complete a university education leave school with tens of thousands of dollars in debt that even bankruptcy cannot cancel. Millions of would-be students are being excluded from productive careers, and many more are forced to carry crushing debt burdens into their working lives.
Cindy Sheehan for Governor in 2014
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
PLEASE DISTRIBUTE WIDELY
March 12, 2013
Contact: Marsha Feinland, 510-845-7251
Peace and Freedom Party Endorses Cindy Sheehan for California Governor in 2014.
The State Central Committee of the California Peace and Freedom Party has endorsed anti-war activist Cindy Sheehan for Governor of California in the 2014 election.
The vote on the endorsement motion, taken at the committee's March 9-10 meeting in Riverside, was unanimous.
Sheehan said she wants to run "primarily because I believe that California should be leading the nation in peace, education, health care, sustainable/renewable energy and democracy. I was born and raised in California and have lived my entire life here. I love my state and know it can be doing far better than it is now. I have lived in a California that was in the vanguard of education and job creation. However, with the disastrous advent of corporate supremacy, those days are passed for the vast majority of Californians."