Gayle McLaughlin

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Gayle McLaughlin

Gayle a Northern California politician. She was born 1952 in Chicago, Illinois. She is a member of the Green Party USA and, since 2006, the mayor of Richmond, California. McLaughlin was elected on November 7, 2006 by a 242-vote margin over incumbent mayor Irma A. Anderson.Richmond is, as of 2009, the largest city in the country with a Green Party mayor.

McLaughlin is a social activist who has participated in the peace, social justice, civil rights, and environmental movements. She holds a Bachelor of Science degree in psychology, with graduate study in psychology and education.

She was first elected to the City Council in 2004, winning one of five open seats, with 11,191 votes or 10% in 2004. She has lived in Richmond since 2001.[1]

Gayle McLaughlin is a Democratic Socialists of America member and one of the founders of the Richmond Progressive Alliance (RPA), an independent political organization based in Richmond, California that unites left activists across party lines. She served as a Richmond city council member from 2005-2007, mayor from 2007-2015, and again as a city council member from 2015-2017. During this time, the RPA has distinguished itself as one of the most important political organizations in the country. Through electoral activity and community organizing it has challenged the power of Chevron, the oil company that dominated Richmond for decades, and implemented a wide array of local reforms including rent control and a $15 minimum wage. She is currently working to expand the RPA model to towns and cities across California and connect corporate-free organizations through a new statewide formation called the California Progressive Alliance (CPA).[2]

She is married to Paul Kilkenny.

Boston Socialist Day School 2019

Boston Socialist Day School 2019 September 28, 2019. Northeastern Law School.

Join us for a one-day school on some of the key issues facing the left today.

Panels include:

Socialists and Local Politics Gayle McLaughlin (Richmond Progressive Alliance, former mayor of Richmond), Matt Miller (Boston Democratic Socialists of America), Robin Peterson (Chicago socialist city council campaigns).

2018 Peace and Freedom Party slate/California

Vote the Peace and Freedom Party Slate: ☻ Gloria La Riva for Governor ☻Nathalie Hrizi for Insurance Commissioner ☻ Jordan P. Mills for Congress 49th District ☻ Gayle McLaughlin for Lieutenant Governor ☻ John Parker for U.S. Senator ☻ C.T. Weber for Secretary of State ☻ Kevin Akin for State Treasurer ☻ Mary Lou Finley for State Controller.


McLaughlin was born into a working class union family. She is the middle child of five daughters born to a unionized carpenter and a housewife. During the 1980s, McLaughlin was an activist with the Central American solidarity movement and a steering committee member of CISPES (Committee In Solidarity with the People of El Salvador). She also played an active role in the North Star Network, a national networking effort to unite progressives, and in coalition-building efforts with Rainbow/PUSH.

McLaughlin graduated summa cum laude from Bridgewater State College in Massachusetts. She continued her education with two years of graduate study in psychology at Rhode Island College, with additional graduate study in education at U.C. Berkeley Extension.

McLaughlin has worked as a postal clerk, teacher, caregiver for the elderly, and tutor/clinician for children with learning disabilities. She has also worked in the capacity of support staff for various not-for-profit health and educational organizations.[3]

Committees of Correspondence Connection

In 1994 Gayle McLaughlin, Chicago was listed on a "Membership, Subscription and Mailing List" for the Chicago Committees of Correspondence, an offshoot of the Communist Party USA.[4]

CCDS dinner

Gayle McLaughlin, the Green Mayor of Richmond, Ca, was the keynote speaker at Committees of Correspondence for Democracy and Socialism--Northern California banquet on Sunday, March 30, 2014. The banquet will be held at Redwood Gardens in Berkeley, and will be catered by Jordon Alexander.[5]

Richmond Progressive Alliance

On November 2, 2004, McLaughlin was elected to the city council of Richmond, California, in a non partisan race. She is a founder of the Richmond Progressive Alliance, a non-partisan progressive group in western Contra Costa County, composed of members of the Green Party USA, Democratic Party, Peace and Freedom Party and Independents.

In Richmond, McLaughlin's activism has found her in many local struggles in support of both social and environmental justice. She opposed the Patriot Act, the criminalization of the homeless, and Chevron's Richmond Refinery tax perks. She has also been involved in an ongoing effort to stop development on the North Richmond shoreline and supports the battle against job or salary cutbacks against Service Employees International Union.[6]

Future of the Left/Independent Electoral Action

The Future of the Left/Independent Electoral Action Conference was held May 2-3 Teamster City (300 S. Ashland) Chicago IL 60607.

Recent campaigns and electoral models

DSA endorsement


Gayle McLaughlin stood for California Lieutenant Governor in 2018.


She was endorsed by San Francisco Democratic Socialists of America.[8]

DSA SF is proud to endorse Gayle McLaughlin for California Lieutenant Governor. Gayle is the former two-term Mayor of Richmond, a co-founder of the Richmond Progressive Alliance, and a socialist who believes in the collective democratic control of the institutions of our society.

As Mayor and a co-founder of the RPA, Gayle led the city to pass the first rent control law in California in 30 years, increase the minimum wage, reduce homicides 75% in 8 years, sue Chevron for hurting the population and force it to pay an additional $7.5 million (averaged) in taxes per year, and promoted Community Choice Aggregation resulting in 85% of homeowners and businesses receiving greener, cheaper energy.
Gayle is running as an independent (“No Party Preference”) candidate, and faces a top-two primary against several corporate-funded Democrats on June 5, 2018.[9]

Saturday, Dec. 16, Los Angeles Democratic Socialists of America held their last meeting for the year featuring a Q&A with leftist candidate for Lt. Governor, Gayle McLaughlin.

Endorsed by DSA San Francisco, DSA East Bay and DSA Peninsula, Gayle is now in consideration for endorsement from our own chapter. Come hear her speak, ask questions and learn more about her vision for California before we head to a chapter wide vote![10]

LADSA explained their support;

In 2004, Gayle McLaughlin and a group of local organizers decided to start the Richmond Progressive Alliance—a coalition of community groups, unions, Green Party members, environmentalists, and socialists—to take back their city.
Focused on grassroots organizing and building authentic relationships within the community, RPA pushed forward a political insurgency on a corporate-free, working-class, anti-racist, environmentally just agenda. They not only built support during elections (which they often won), but activated the people of Richmond year-round through regular mass public meetings on pressing local issues, engaged municipal employees and unions, and built power through appointments to the city’s vast array of committees, boards and commissions.

On the strength of this organizing model, Gayle McLaughlin was elected to two terms as mayor and two terms as city councilor, and was endorsed by Bernie Sanders for her final city council run. While in office, McLaughlin and her allies in the RPA passed the first Fair Rent Control law in California in 30 years, increased local minimum wage to $15, opposed the construction of local jails, ended local criminalization of the homeless, reduced homicides by 75% in eight years, reformed policing, forced Chevron to pay $7.5 million in additional taxes to the city per year, opposed privatizing public education and charter schools, and brought greener and cheaper energy to 85% of homeowners and businesses in the city.
Today, the RPA has a supermajority on the Richmond city council. And in 2018, McLaughlin is taking her socialist politics and the RPA model statewide.[11]

2018 Sacramento DSA endorsements


Sacramento Democratic Socialists of America, May 4 at 5:47pm

DSA Sacramento is pleased to announce our endorsements for the 2018 election cycle:

It's truly an honor to endorse such a strong slate of Socialist candidates for public office and we're thrilled by what this election cycle has in store. Special thanks to all who participated in our April 29th candidate forum.

DSA national endorsements, 2018/DSA member


Democratic Socialists of America April 26 at 9:51am .

DSA is proud to announce national endorsements for nine candidates who are running for local, state, and federal office!

Austin Binns, April 26 2018.

Congratulations to the following comrades that have received the first round of endorsements from national DSA!! All of the candidates that have received national endorsements are DSA members and share our organization's values and ideas.

Progressive Alliance Voter Guide

Sacramento Progressive Alliance, Saturday, May 26, 2018 Progressive Alliance Voter Guide - Updated.


With East Bay DSA


Gayle McLaughlin with East Bay Democratic Socialists of America - Luke Thibault, Jack McShane, Sandy Barnard.