Kevin Akin of Riverside is a retired hospital maintenance worker who has been an activist in the Peace and Freedom Party and for peace and social justice since he was a teenager. He was the Peace and Freedom Party nominee for State Treasurer in 1982 and is running again in 2018.
Kevin advocates forming a California State Bank to keep tax money out of the hands of the profiteers and serve the needs of the people; revising the tax code to lift the burden from workers and the poor and make those who benefit the most from this economy pay for social needs; and breaking up the disproportionate influence of the billionaires and their corporations on state financial decisions.
Kevin Akin was one of seven children born in Riverside, California to Glen W. Akin and Virginia Harvey Akin. He was raised on Riverside’s east side, definitely not the prosperous side of town. By the age of 14, he was active against the Vietnam War, joined the local chapter of the Congress of Racial Equality, and picketed local stores that would not hire African-American workers in a successful campaign to open up employment opportunities. He participated in the successful one-day boycott of Riverside city schools that forced the integration of the then-segregated school district.
Kevin participated in founding the Peace and Freedom Party and helped get voters registered in the new party until it won ballot status in early 1968. Appointed to the Riverside County Central Committee of the party at the age of 17, he attended the first two California conventions of the party as a delegate. He spent two months in New York and Illinois as a Peace and Freedom Party organizer in the summer of 1968. During this period, he was in Chicago during the 1968 Democratic Convention, where he was beaten and arrested. Returning to Riverside, he started working in mobile home plants at 18, and quickly became involved in a campaign to organize the workers into the Carpenters Union. Still active against the Vietnam War, he helped organize the massive Riverside demonstration against the invasion of Cambodia in 1970.
Kevin worked at Kaiser Steel in Fontana from 1973 until the plant was closed in 1983, and was active in the Steelworkers Union the whole time. In 1982 he ran for State Treasurer as the Peace and Freedom Party nominee against incumbent Jesse Unruh. He says, “Unruh refused to debate me, or even recognize my existence in public, but he kept running radio commercials in which he lifted bits of my campaign platform! I emphasized the need for state funds to be invested in California to create jobs, then definitely not the practice. Unruh promised to do this, and in fact carried out that promise to some degree. I realized that my campaign as the candidate of a smaller party had actually influenced state policy for the better.”
After the steel mill shut down, Kevin ran for Congress in 1984, getting 15% of the vote, then a record (though it was soon broken). From early 1985, he worked in the boilerroom at
Riverside’s county hospital until his retirement at the end of 2005. He was an activist and officer in two unions, the Public Employees of Riverside County, and Service Employees International Union. During this period, in addition to serving as a state officer of the Peace and Freedom Party, he ran for Congress two more times and was active in many community organizations. He also wrote two books on local history that were published during this time.
Always a coin collector, Kevin became a serious student of numismatics, and a recognized expert in some fields of monetary history. He recently co-authored the book Numismatic Archaeology of North America with his archaeologist wife Margie Akin and Oregon archaeologist Jim Bard that explores the history of all forms of money. Well-reviewed in scholarly journals, the book is used by archaeologists and historians across North America.
Kevin and his wife Margie Akin have four adult children and five grandchildren. They are both active in a number of community organizations and members of the Peace and Freedom Party State Central Committee.
Contributions to the Kevin Akin for State Treasurer campaign may be made through GoFundMe. Please click here to donate.