- Alvarez ran a dynamic campaign for mayor of Los Angeles in 2009 as an openly socialist candidate. He participated in over 20 town hall meetings and debates, where he fought against racism and in favor of the rights of workers. At each of his appearances he identified as a member of Peace and Freedom and PSL. Alvarez also appeared on KTLA's Good Day LA program, NBC and CBS news, NPR, and in the LA Times on a weekly basis. He received a higher percentage of votes than any socialist candidate for mayor since 1957.
- Alvarez's central campaign demand was "People over profits: jobs, education, housing, health care for all!" His campaign called for full employment--decent jobs for all, including job training for youth and the unemployed; the immediate end to all foreclosures and evictions in L.A.; making empty homes and apartments available for the homeless; free, preventive, emergency and long term health care services to all; free, high-quality education; expanded and free mass transit throughout the city; and a livable, sustainable environment.
- Alvarez also campaigned to stop the racism and bigotry that emanates from city government and institutions. His campaign called for community control over the police, an end to police brutality and impunity, and full rights for all people, including undocumented immigrants. Alvarez has long been an advocate of full equality for all.
Alvarez is an anti-war activist and leader of the ANSWER Coalition (Act Now to Stop War and End Racism). He has helped bring tens of thousands of people to the streets to stop the Iraq war, to fight California's anti-same-sex marriage Proposition 8, and to demand an end to the "U.S.-backed Israeli massacre of the Palestinian people. Alvarez, the son of hard-working immigrants from El Salvador, is a life-long resident of Los Angeles. He grew up in South L.A., is fluent in Spanish, and has long been recognized as an organizer in his community."
In January 2009, Alvarez led a protest of 10,000 people to demand an end to the U.S.-backed Israeli massacre of Palestinians in Gaza. Just two months later, Alvarez organized a march of 4,000 people against the Iraq war. As a principal leader of the immigrant rights movement, Alvarez mobilized support for the largest pro-immigrant protests in L.A. history and organized resistance against the racist, anti-immigrant Minuteman Project and mobilized support for the May 1, 2006 boycott demanding immigrant rights. In April 2009, he spoke to a crowd of 15,000 immi- grant workers at a mass march and rally in Los Angeles, as a member of the Full Rights for Immigrants Coalition. Alvarez, who is openly gay, is also a leading figure in the LGBT movement for marriage equality and equal rights. In November 2008, just four days after the passage of bigoted Prop. 8, Alvarez led the largest pro-LGBT march in Los Angeles history, with 20,000 people attending in the Silver Lake neighborhood. In June 2009, after months of organ- izing with a huge coalition of LGBT activists, Alvarez led major actions in East Los Angeles and West Hollywood, along with the Latino Equality Alliance and other LGBT groups.
National Conference on Socialism
The Opening Plenary introduced conference participants to the Party for Socialism and Liberation, highlighting recent struggles and campaigns.
The Opening Plenary was chaired by Peta Lindsay, PSL- Los Angeles.
Speaking on the plenary were;
- Muna Coobtee, PSL- Los Angeles, Executive Board Member of Palestinian American Women’s Association
- Crystal Kim, PSL Candidate for Council of the District of Columbia
- Carlos Alvarez, Candidate for Mayor of Los Angeles
- Jinnette Caceres, PSL- New York City and United Federation of Teachers member
- Mike Prysner, Iraq war veteran and PSL Candidate for Congress, 22nd District (Florida)
- Stevie Merino, PSL-Los Angeles and student, Cal. State Long Beach.