California's socialist and feminist political party urges you to:
The role of the police is to maintain order. Their tools are the billy club, the gun, and other means of brute force. When you call 911 because of any crisis, including mental health emergencies, the police are the first responders. The consequences are often fatal, especially when the subject of the call is a person of color or gender non-conforming.
The Peace and Freedom Party State Central Committee voted at its June 14, 2020, meeting to support AB 2054, the CRISES Act, which would create pilot programs so that community agencies could replace the police as first responders in certain situations. The bill passed the California State Assembly on June 18 and has been sent to the State Senate Rules Committee.
The portion of the bill explains its rationale:
The complexities of emergency issues surrounding crises in mental health, intimate partner violence, community violence, substance abuse, and natural disasters can, at times, be addressed more safely, with greater impact, and more cost-effectively and efficiently with community organizations, which often have deeper knowledge and understanding of the issues, trusted relationships with the people and communities involved, and specific knowledge and relationships surrounding the emergency.
Furthermore, young people of color, people with disabilities, people who are gender nonconforming, people who are formerly incarcerated, people with immigration status issues, and people who are unhoused or homeless, face significant barriers to engaging with law enforcement and other first responder personnel….Community organizations that specialize in working with these populations, understanding their issues, and maintaining deep relationships in their communities have a more successful track record of engaging and supporting them.
This bill would establish a commission to select up to 12 community agencies in California to receive grant funding to carry out the mission of the act. It does not specify where the funding will come from, and if the money is not raised, the programs will not be funded.
Recently White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow said, “We’re paying people not to work.” And now congressional Republicans want to end the extra $600 unemployment benefits that have been helping so many people manage to survive during this unprecedented time of job loss and economic collapse. They are concerned that the extra money is just encouraging people to stay unemployed.
And you know what? They may be right. Why go back to a crummy job – if you can even find one – that doesn’t pay enough to keep you out of poverty, that doesn’t provide decent job benefits, that doesn’t have good workplace protections?
Kudlow and the Republicans are looking at this issue through the wrong end of the telescope. If they, and the rest of us, want to get folks back to work, then providing jobs with decent pay, good benefits, and safe working conditions is what is really needed.
Double the minimum wage, enact universal healthcare (not universal health insurance), strengthen worker safely requirements, shift to a 30-hour work week for the same pay, create meaningful jobs that deal with critical social and environmental issues and watch workers flood back to real work.
The Peace and Freedom Party stands with the slogan "Tax the rich and their corporations." As socialists we want society as a whole to cooperatively own and manage industry, resources, and financial institutions. But as we point out in our article "Why Socialists Say 'Tax the Rich...'", we support efforts to increase taxes on the corporations and the wealthy to provide the services that people need now.
The California Budget and Policy Center has a new article on how the State of California has given corporations increasing tax breaks over the last few years entitled “Corporations Pay Far Less of Their California Income in State Taxes Than a Generation Ago – Even Amid COVID-19”, which is reprinted below.
Do you want to become an active member of the Peace and Freedom Party? Did you miss the chance to run for PFP Central Committee in the March 3, 2020 primary? You can still join or start an affiliated organization in your area.
We have active central committees in about 15 counties, including the major metropolitan centers and a few rural counties. In each of these counties, the local central committees welcome people who want to work to promote the issues and candidates of our party.
Anyone who is legally permitted to vote must be registered in the Peace and Freedom Party to become a central committee member. We can also appoint people to central committees who are unable to vote due to age, citizenship, or parole status.
Please get in touch with us. Let us know if you want to work with us to promote socialist solutions to problems at the local, state, and national level!
In 1998, Rodney Reed was wrongly convicted of murder and since then has been on Death Row in Texas. Five days before his scheduled execution on November 20, 2019, Rodney received a 120-day commutation of execution as attempts to gain a retrial continue.
Peace and Freedom Party recently passed the following resolution regarding Rodney Reed’s sentence and incarceration; PFP encourages everyone to sign The Action Network’s online petition on the matter. Full text of the resolution runs directly below.
Whereas there is strong evidence that Rodney Reed is innocent of the crime of which he was convicted in Texas, we support Rodney Reed speedily being given a new trial where his defense lawyers will have an opportunity to present evidence on his behalf that the lawyers at his trial did not present. The Fifth Amendment to the US Constitution guarantees Americans due process, and the Sixth Amendment guarantees a speedy and fair trial.
Our election systems give a guise of democracy but bipartisan election laws, huge amounts of private money, and the corporate media deny representation for a great many of us. The President is not elected by the people of this country. Instead, the president is selected by a majority of an Electoral College which is tilted to favor states which have much smaller numbers of people where each elector represents fewer people.
Former members of Students for a Democratic Society (SDS), the leading Vietnam War era peace organization in the US, recently circulated an open letter warning today’s young activists to – as the adage goes – do as I say and not as I did. Back in the 1960s and 70s, these former leaders led the way in opposing the ravages of US imperialism and exposing what they called the “death culture.” Today, they are admonishing the new generation not to follow in their footsteps, but to go all out for what they call the “capitalist democrat” Joe Biden.
The big chill
When I was first becoming politically aware, these SDS folks were my heroes and mentors. They helped me break from the illusion that the USA was fighting for democracy and freedom, rather than imposing an empire where the U.S. controls 50% of the world’s wealth for only 6.3% of its population.
They were the ones – chanting “Hey, hey, LBJ, how many kids did you kill today?” – who pulled no punches, criticizing Democratic President Johnson and Republican President Nixon alike for genocidal injustices. And they especially warned about “selling out to the establishment.” That was then.
Today, they are variously tenured professors, attorneys, or working at comfortable NGOs. Who would have known that they would become fundraisers for multi-billion dollar Democratic Party PACs? While I don’t for a moment begrudge them financial or social achievement, the shift from independent direct action to boosterism within the Democratic Party is unfortunate.
The Peace and Freedom Party has taken positions for or against 19 bills and one proposed constitutional amendment in the 2019-2020 session of the California legislature; the party also has watched/is watching the progression of 14 other bills. Below run the PFP’s positions on this legislation. For the full text and more information on a bill, click on the given bill’s title. For the final status of the PFP-supported or -opposed bills during the 2019-2020 session, click here.
Additionally, the PFP Legislative Committee sent several letters to state senators and assemblypersons detailing the party's support of or opposition to each bill. Each position letter may be accessed individually via the links marked [Position letter] below or click here for a list of all PFP position letters. Last update: April 2, 2020.
Spread the word about the Peace and Freedom Party. Encourage your friends to register Peace and Freedom, join the supporting membership program, and get involved.
Here are some introductory handouts you can download and print for distribution. For a more extensive archive of our literature, click here.