From Our Revolution North County

Progressive activist Gayle McLaughlin, running for Lieutenant Governor of California as an independent, will be speaking in San Diego on Thursday, July 20 at the IBEW 569 Hall.

As a two-term mayor of Richmond, California, McLaughlin and her allies were responsible for the passage of progressive legislation, including:

  • an increased minimum wage, currently at $12.30 per hour
  • California’s first new rent control law in 30 years
  • creation of a municipal ID as a way to defend immigrant families
  • increasing the powers of the Citizens Police Review commission to ensure accountability

The Richmond, CA story (Population 107,000) should serve as a primer for progressives nationwide on what is possible with coalition building and grassroots organizing. McLaughlin was a founder of the Richmond Progressive Alliance (RPA), a nonpartisan progressive group in western Contra Costa County, composed of members of the Green Party, Democratic Party, and the Peace and Freedom Party, as well as independent voters.

During McLaughlin’s term, voters defeated initiatives sponsored by Chevron, which has a refinery in the city, to the tune of millions of dollars aimed at undermining her leadership. After a fire at the refinery sent 15,000 residents to the hospital, the city sued the company for damages.

The city’s  murder rate fell by 75%, and she made headlines nationwide for promoting the threat of eminent domain to force banks to modify bad mortgages, keeping people in their homes in the wake of the last recession.

The McLaughlin administration’s rise and legacy is chronicled in ‘Refinery Town: Big Oil, Big Money, and the Remaking of an American City,’ published earlier this year with a foreword written by U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders.

Last year McLaughlin changed her political party registration from Green Party to NPP (“No Party Preference”) so she could vote for Bernie Sanders in the California presidential primary.

Now she is running as an independent candidate for Lieutenant Governor. Following her two terms as mayor and time as a Richmond city council member, McLaughlin tells supporters she realized there were problems facing Richmond and other California cities that were too big to solve at the city level.

She says her campaign goals continue to reflect her alignment with progressive ideals and aim to expand on her successes in Richmond.  As a corporate-free candidate, she McLaughlin wants to get close to every voter “who has soured on the antics of our increasingly corporate-led political parties”, regardless of that voter’s party affiliation.

Her campaign is focusing on issues such as single-payer healthcare, the underfunding of schools due to Prop 13, repealing Costa-Hawkins to allow rent control expansion, and continuing to ignite the progressive movement within 100 California cities.

Our Revolution North County San Diego Meeting 
With Speaker Gayle McLaughlin