On March 3, 2020, Peace & Freedom Party voters will not only be casting ballots for candidates running for statewide offices or state assembly; they’ll also be voting to head up the PFP ticket in November as the party’s nominee for U.S. President.

Lifelong activist Gloria La Riva seeks the Peace & Freedom nomination for president. Her introductory statement runs below. For more on PFP campaigns, candidates and endorsees in the 2020 elections, click here.

I am from a Chicano working-class family in New Mexico. In my first year as an activist at Brandeis University, 1972, I decided I needed to become a socialist.

At the age of 24, I organized a union drive with my co-workers — all women — at a local newspaper in Fairport, New York. After months of struggle we won the union election. The next day, I was fired. That drive was a life lesson in exactly why we workers need the real right to a union. The Employee Free Choice Act (EFCA) to protect workers seeking to unionize was defeated by the Democratic Party-controlled Congress and White House in 2009. I would make passage of EFCA a top priority.

I am proud to have Leonard Peltier as my running mate, a Native leader still cruelly locked up in U.S. federal prison more than 43 years, railroaded by the U.S. government and FBI. Leonard was Peace and Freedom’s presidential candidate in 2004.

I am a founding member of the Party for Socialism and Liberation in 2004, and have been in Peace and Freedom Party for more than 35 years. I was PFP gubernatorial candidate in 1994, 1998 and 2018, and presidential candidate in 2016 for PFP and PSL, receiving the most votes of any socialist candidate since 1976.

On March 3, Californians will be voting in the 2020 Primary Elections which includes the chance for party voters to select their favored presidential candidate, but also features a number of sate- and local-level positions for which to vote.

Two Peace and Freedom Party candidates to date have filed to run for office in the February 2020 California Primary, and another two have announced their candidacy for the PFP presidential nomination. Our current slate of candidates is as follows.

Howie Hawkins
Peace and Freedom Party presidential nominee candidate
As part of the stated effort to “unite the independent left”, Howie Hawkins is seeking the Peace and Freedom Party nomination for President of the United States.

Howie is a socialist who believes self-organization, independent political action, and international solidarity by the working class and oppressed people for full political and economic democracy is the way to build a society of freedom, equality, solidarity, peace, and ecological sustainability. As a member of Solidarity, he believes in the promotion of “socialism from below” and international solidarity because the fight for freedom against all dictators and imperialisms is worldwide and indivisible.

He has been an organizer in movements for peace, justice, labor, the environment, and independent working-class politics since 1967 when he got active in “The Movement” as a teenager in the San Francisco Bay Area. He has been a member of the Socialist Party USA since 1973 and was a co-founder of the Green Party US in 1984.

Gloria La Riva
Peace and Freedom Party presidential nominee candidate
Lifelong labor/community/anti-war activist Gloria La Riva has stood as a socialist candidate on several occasions since her first turn with the Workers World Party in 1984, and most recently as the PSL/PFP presidential nominee in 2016 and as a gubernatorial candidate in 2018.

Gloria has been a key organizer of many mass demonstrations and other actions for three decades, and has traveled extensively to meet with workers and leaders alike. Most recently, she documented the Venezulean people’s resistance to the US economic blockade, and in late 2018 covered the Migrant Caravan in Latin America for alternative media.

The message of Gloria’s campaign along with vice presidential candidate Leonard Peltier is to the point: The world is facing unprecedented crises, none of which can be solved within the existing capitalist system. We are in a race against time. The need for the radical reorganization of society on a socialist basis has never been greater or more urgent.”

José CortésPeace and Freedom Party candidate,
U.S. Congress (CA District 50)
José Cortés was raised in the 50th Congressional District and has been a political organizer since 2016 when the rising violence of the Trump campaign and an unjust police shooting in his hometown compelled him to take to the streets and organize. He has participated in campaigns all over San Diego fighting for rent control, the closure of the for-profit concentration camps, and an end to the criminalization of the homeless and poor.

José is a proud Chicano socialist committed to ending the destructive US wars abroad and shuttering the military bases in occupied countries. He has helped organize for national liberation in Barrio Logan alongside Chicano Park defenders, stood in solidarity with the struggle for socialism in Venezuela and Cuba, and supports the right of self-determination for the people of Hawaii, Puerto Rico and all former and current US colonies. He is running in the PFP because only a socialist restructuring of society can bring about the end of the rule of political dynasties, career politicians and corporate lobbyists.

Cassie DevereauxPeace and Freedom Party candidate,
14th CA Assembly District
Cassie Devereaux supports police oversight and an end to Vallejo’s reign of police terror; comprehensive rent control to keep people in their homes and communities; access to medical care and mental health services for the low-income and houseless; universal housing and an end to houselessness altogether; student-loan forgiveness and access to postsecondary education for all; and an end to all of ICE’s practices.

Says Cassie: “We can imagine a better world. To make things better we need deep, systemic change. Join a movement devoted to using the fruits of the la¬bor of people who do the work of the world to feed, clothe, and care for us and for our families, not to buy billionaires yet another yacht for their Pacific fleet. The ballot box can help build this movement. The people, united, can usher in this new world. Please join us in exercising our dem¬ocratic rights to uplift our demands for a better, more just world – and let’s get to work building it!”

Two candidates for the Peace & Freedom Party nomination for President of the United States have declared their campaigns open and both enter election season with the backing of fellow socialist parties.

Gloria La Riva, PFP POTUS candidate in 2016 and California gubernatorial candidate in 2018, has been endorsed by the Party for Socialism and Liberation (PSL). A PSL-backed ticket also includes Leonard Peltier, PFP’s 1976 nominee for POTUS.

Howie Hawkins has earned the endorsement of the Socialist Party USA (SPUSA) and has twice run as the Green Party nominee for governor of New York; he is seeking several local endorsements nationwide as well as the nomination of the national Green Party. Howie’s main theme for his 2020 campaign is unification of America’s independent left.

On accepting the nomination of our comrades in the Party for Socialism and Liberation (PSL), the Gloria La Riva/Leonard Peltier 2020 campaign released the following. As Gloria and Leonard have announced their intention to seek the Peace and Freedom Party nomination for President of the United States, we reprint the campaign’s press release on the launch below.

“The world is facing unprecedented crises, none of which can be solved within the existing capitalist system. We are in a race against time. The need for the radical reorganization of society on a socialist basis has never been greater or more urgent,” said Gloria La Riva in announcing her 2020 presidential candidacy as the nominee of the Party for Socialism and Liberation.

La Riva’s vice-presidential running mate is the renowned Native leader and political prisoner Leonard Peltier, who has been unjustly incarcerated for more than 43 years. He was railroaded into prison by the FBI and federal prosecutors in 1976, despite his innocence. A worldwide movement demands his freedom.

In a letter from the Federal Corrections Unit in Coleman Florida accepting the nomination, Leonard Peltier wrote: “I am not only a Native traditionalist, but also a socialist who is against any abuse and exploitation of the working and poor class!

“Plus, as you are well aware, we Natives are the true environmentalists. These are just reminders. Nothing has changed for me! So, I’m more than honored to accept your offer to run on your VP ticket.”

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