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This year’s primary contest to replace Tony Thurmond as Assembly District 15 representative in Sacramento produced what one local political observer called “the strongest field in California legislative history.” The “all-star” cast of talented public servants included six serving members of East Bay city councils or elected boards. Most of those who did not succeed in their primary campaigns have since rallied around one of their own, Richmond City Council member Jovanka Beckles, a leader of the Richmond Progressive Alliance.
The story of how the Richmond Progressive Alliance took power – as of November 2016 with 5 of 7 seats on a weak-mayor city council – is eloquently and lucidly described by veteran trade unionist and labor journalist Steve Early. Early moved to Richmond late in life, but has now produced a compelling work that describes the halting process of holding Chevron and the real estate lobby accountable for its frequent misdeeds by building a dynamic multiracial coalition that eschews traditional party politics.
Two-term Richmond City Councilperson Jovanka is a leading contender for the open California State Assembly District 15 seat being contested by a dozen candidates. Jovanka wants “power to change the laws, to change oppressive, corrupt and racist policies … Politics impacts everything … We have to put ourselves at the table. If you’re not at the table, you’re probably on the menu.” She wants your vote and your support June 5 (and again in November) so she can take your causes to Sacramento.