From Custodian to City Council: An Interview with DSA-Backed Labor Activist Bertha Perez

By C.R. Mills Bertha Perez spent years as a University of California Merced custodian fighting for better conditions for her co-workers as a member of her union. Her reward?  Earlier this year, U.C. Merced fired her. 

Yet rather than stop fighting, Perez decided to run for City Council instead. This November, she faced off against a self-described multi-million dollar real estate agent to represent Merced’s Downtown, an area experiencing enormous development pressure as U.C. Merced expands. 

A first-time Latina candidate in California’s conservative Central Valley, she faced stiff odds. But through hard work, the backing of local labor unions and the Democratic Socialists of America, and a platform that centered on delivering for the working class, she won. 

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Oil Companies, Not Citizens, Must Fund State’s Battle Against Climate Change

By C.R. Mills The state recently announced a $74 million dollar project to move a stretch of highway along the Sonoma County coast inland to avoid sea level rise caused by climate change. Meanwhile, Governor Gavin Newsom increased issuing permits to drill for oil and gas in California by 190% earlier this year, offering up more than 1,500 permits to fossil fuel companies in 2020 alone. We live in a place where working-class taxpayers fund multimillion-dollar infrastructure projects to address climate change caused by fossil fuel companies our government continues to coddle. Until we confront the fossil fuel industry head-on, we will continue to our current practice of bailing out a leaking ship while refusing to plug the holes.

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State Shutdown Must Come With Help For Workers

By C.R. Mills We’ve been given a false choice in California – we either achieve public health and let people lose their homes, or let people die and keep the economy running. Yet the state could provide both economic security and a path towards ending the spread of the virus with a few simple acts.

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The Fight for Prop. 15 Isn’t Over. It’s Just Begun.

Proposition 15 poster, DSA-LA.

By C.R. Mills Prop. 15 ended up a couple percentage points away from significantly taxing the rich and permanently returning large amounts of money to the public. That’s a victory to be proud of – one to build on and fight for again.

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Preston Win In S.F. Strengthens Housing Movement

By C.R. Mills Dean Preston’s victory represents an important one in the fight to transform housing into a basic human right in California. An advocate for both tenant protections and social housing, the work Preston accomplished alongside hundreds of organizers provides a template for winning local victories on housing issues and using an electoral campaign to build a housing movement.

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A Green New Deal for Rural and Suburban California

Poster credit: Tandem

By C.R. Mills Our goal should be to pursue strategies that both address climate change and do not place the burden of this fight on the backs of working people – strategies that address both poverty and the planet.

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