Keith Carson

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Keith Carson


Keith Carson is a Bay Area politician.

Rainbow

In 1988 Keith Carson, Legislative Aide to Rep. Ron Dellums, Oakland was state chair of the Rainbow Coalition's GOTV effort.[1]

Conference on Perspectives for Democracy and Socialism in the 90s

The Conference on Perspectives for Democracy and Socialism in the 90s was the Committees of Correspondence's first national conference held in Berkeley, California July 17-19, 1992.[2]

Workshops that were held at the conference on Saturday, July 18 included:[3]

Electoral What should be the place of electoral activity on the left's agenda? What would be an effective strategy for this year, the 90s and beyond?

People's Weekly World Banquet 1996

Sponsors of the 1996 Bay area People's Weekly World banquet, at His Lordships, Berkeley Marina, included Oakland City Council members Ignacio de la Fuente, Sheila Jordan and John Russo, Berkeley City Council members Maudelle Shirek, Linda Maio and Dona Spring, San Francisco Supervisors Tom Ammiano and Sue Bierman, Alameda County Supervisor Keith Carson, and California State Assemblyman John L. Burton.

Honored were 5 labor leaders - Walter Johnson, Owen Marron, Shirley Ware of SEIU, Abba Ramos of the ILWU and Francisco Martin del Campo of the San Francisco labor Council for Latin American Advancement.[4]

People's Weekly World Banquet 1997

Elected officials attending the the 1997 Bay area People's Weekly World banquet, at His Lordships, Berkeley Marina, included State Senator Barbara Lee Assemblywoman Liz Figueroa, Alemada County Board of Supervisors president Keith Carson and Berkeley vice mayor and City Council member Maudelle Shirek..

Honored were Brian McWilliams, Santa Cruz County Central Labor Council, Amy Dean, South Bay Labor Council, Wilson Riles, Jr. regional director AFSC and Art Rodriguez of the National Labor Community Coalition for Public Works Jobs.[5]

Endorsed Communist Party fund raiser

Peoples Weekly World, September 11, 1999

In September 1999, Keith Carson, Alameda County Supervisor, co-sponsored a Communist Party USA fund raising event in Berkeley. Rep. Barbara Lee co-sponsored the same event. [6]

KPFA protest

According to Tahnee Stair of the Workers World Party, Fifteen thousand people marched through the streets of Berkeley, Calif., July 31, 1999 chanting: "Whose station? Our station!" The protesters were demonstrating in support of KPFA community radio and the locked-out workers at the station.

Buses came from many Northern California cities, bringing people to participate in the show of unity. Marchers demanded that the Pacifica Foundation, which owns KPFA, stop the drive to privatize the 50-year-old, listener-sponsored, progressive radio station.

Days before the march, Pacifica management had announced to the media that they would end the three-week worker lockout, lift an ongoing gag rule around the struggle, and turn control of programming over to the Communications Workers union. Despite this announcement, huge crowds came out to support the struggle for "free speech radio."

Although mediation was under way, Pacifica Foundation managers simply made an announcement of their terms to the media--not to the workers or community/ union steering committee. The foundation also gave no assurances about future ownership of the station.

The announcement was clearly aimed at defusing the growing mobilization for the mass march. It failed.

Since April, resistance to Pacific's policy of transforming KPFA into a National-Public-Radio-type mouthpiece for ruling-class interests has sharply increased. Listeners don't want to make the station more acceptable to major corporations--for donations--and to conservative audiences.

Popular KPFA staffers were fired. The Pacifica board insisted no one at its stations--which include WBAI in New York--report on the internal struggle.

When talk-show host Dennis Bernstein refused to accept this gag rule in early July, management hired goons from IPSA Security to drag him from the station.

News that the Pacifica board of directors was discussing selling the station was leaked to the media. A fight-back movement immediately began to grow throughout the Bay Area. It culminated in the mass march.

Rally speakers and performers included: spoken word and rap artist Michael Franti from Spearhead; the All Nations Drum; Barbara Lubin of Friends of Free Speech Radio and the Middle East Children's Alliance; Underground Railroad; Rachel Jackson of STORM (Standing Together to Organize a Revolutionary Movement); Andrea Buffa of Media Alliance; KPFA interns Akilah Monifa, Waymon, J. Imani and others; well-known Hip Hop DJ Davey D; San Francisco Mayor Willie Brown and Berkeley Mayor Shirley Dean; and KPFA programmers Miguel Molina, Chuy Varela, Dennis Bernstein, Larry Bensky and Susan Stone.

San Francisco Board of Supervisors President Tom Ammiano led the lesbian/gay/bi/trans contingent.

Fired station manager Nicole Sawaya was greeted with a standing ovation and thunderous applause when she addressed the crowd.

Labor participation was very strong. Farm Workers Vice President Dolores Huerta and California Federation of Labor President Tom Rankin led the union presence. Leaders of the International Longshore and Warehouse Union, Service Employees Local 250 hospital workers, California Nurses Association, Communication Workers Local 9415 representing KPFA workers, and both the Alameda and San Francisco Central Labor Councils expressed solidarity with the struggle to save KPFA.

Rosa Peñate and Richard Becker spoke for the International Action Center. Peñate explained that the real aim of the Pacifica board and the forces behind them is "the destruction of progressive media which can mobilize the people for action. We are not fooled and we are not going away. The International Action Center joins with the many other organizations and individuals in the Bay Area and beyond in defending KPFA."

Other speakers and co-chairs included Dorsey Nunn of Legal Services for Prisoners with Children, Jeff Mackler of Socialist Action, Alameda County Supervisor Keith Carson, Medea Benjamin of Global Exchange, CBeyond, a high school students' organization, and Vic Bedoian, executive director of KFCF radio in Fresno.[7]

Supporting Sandre Swanson

In 2006, Keith Carson, Alameda County Board of Supervisors , was one of many prominent Northern California leftists to serve on State Assembly hopeful Sandre Swanson's Honorary Campaign Committee.[8]

“What do you have to lose?"

Hundreds of U.S. Representative Barbara Lee’s constituents gathered in East Oakland Aug. 2017, for a town hall meeting she hosted with the theme, “What do you have to lose? The Impacts of Trump on African Americans.”

Panelists included Marc Morial, president of the National Urban League; state Assemblymember Tony Thurmond and Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) Director Lateefah Simon. Angela Glover Blackwell of PolicyLink moderated the discussion.

“You remember that during the campaign, Donald Trump said to the black community, ‘What do you have to lose?’ Well, we have to look at what we are losing,” Lee said.

She cited the Congressional Black Caucus’ response – “In no way are you going to take us back. We’re going to fight, resist, and move forward.”

Picking up on that theme, Morial – a former mayor of New Orleans – highlighted risk areas the Trump administration’s policies pose for African Americans, all people of color, and “all people who love justice in 21st century America.” Citing the Urban League’s annual report, The State of Black America, Morial called attention to profound inequities in health, housing, education and social justice.

Voter suppression is the number one risk posed by the Trump administration, said Morial, followed by efforts to strip health care away from millions of people, and the assault on the federal budget.

“The battle we are in today is not a political battle; it is a moral battle,” he said. “We must ‘stay woke,’ we must act.”

The “War on Drugs” has had profoundly destructive consequences over the last four decades, BART Director Simon said. “One trillion has gone to over 20 million arrests and convictions since 1977, within the drug paradigm.”

Simon warned of the great danger posed by Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ declaration that he will double down on the war against drugs. Millions of dollars are being spent on “caging people and nothing on healing them,” she told the audience,” adding, “We do have power; we have to continue to be the moral conscience of that power.”

“Our state is spending $5 billion per year to incarcerate people in private prisons, run by people who are profiting from the suffering of our families and our loved ones,” California Assemblymember Tony Thurmond, D-Richmond told the crowd. “We need to get to a place of prevention and re-entry. Let’s educate, not incarcerate.” Thurmond introduced Assembly Bill 43 earlier this year. AB 43 would tax private prisons and spend the resulting revenue on programs shown to prevent incarceration, including universal preschool and after-school programs.

While African Americans experience the disproportionately high rates of incarceration, Thurmond said, AB 43 will benefit everyone. “Trump is out to hurt not only African Americans, he’s out to hurt everybody. We have to stay connected and fight for everyone.”

Other area elected officials participating included Alameda County Supervisor Keith Carson and Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf.[9]

"A Townhall Conversation on Race"

Vanessa Moses April 27 at 4:11 PM:

This afternoon, I had the great honor of representing Causa Justa/Just Cause on the panel for "A Townhall Conversation on Race," hosted by Congresswoman Barbara Lee and Congressman Mark DeSaulnier at the Black Repertory Group Theater.

Among many gems, some of my favorite moments were:

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  • Congresswoman Lee (rep for CA 13th District) name the link between the inequities and disparities we see today to the history of chattel slavery and the need for #Reparations.
  • Chinyere Oparah, Dean of the Faculty, Mills College remind us that we're not only on the land that "used to be" Ohlone, but that the fights by Ohlone people continue today (e.g. in defense of sacred land).
  • Congressman Mark DeSaulnier (rep for CA 11th District) talking about the importance of taking the lead from impacted communities and the costs when decision makers fail to do so.

According to Barbara Lee:

There was incredible turn out at yesterday’s town hall in Berkeley on race in America. Thank you to everyone who came out to this crucial discussion. A special thank you also to our amazing panelists – Professor John A. Powell, Dr. Chinyere Oparah, and Vanessa Moses – to Rep. Mark DeSaulnier for co-sponsoring the event, and to Berkeley mayor Jesse Arreguin for joining us as well.
Yesterday we tackled important questions about issues like gentrification, mass incarceration, and immigration. Even in a community as progressive as the East Bay, we recognize that we’ve still got work to do to achieve racial equity and fairness for everyone. I left yesterday’s town hall even more committed to continuing the fight for racial justice in the East Bay and around the country. [10]

Alameda County Supervisor Keith Carson, moderated the discussion.

References

  1. Frontline May 23, 1988]
  2. Conference program
  3. Proceedings of the Committees of Correspondence Conference: Perspectives for Democracy and Socialism in the '90s booklet, printed by CoC in NY, Sept. 1992 (Price: $4)
  4. PWW, Sep. 21 1996 page 2
  5. PWW, Dec.6 1997 page 2
  6. Peoples Weekly World, September 11, 1999
  7. Workers World, 15,000 defend peoples' radio at KPFA By Tahnee Stair Berkeley, Calif.
  8. Sandre Swanson website, Endorsements, accessed July 28, 2011
  9. PW Rep. Barbara Lee hosts meeting on Trump’s impacts on African Americans August 9, 2017 11:06 AM CDT BY MARILYN BECHTEL
  10. [1]