Template:TOCnestleft Susan Castagnettodirects the Intercollegiate Feminist Center for Teaching, Research and Engagement at The Claremont Colleges, teaching feminist philosophy courses and developing programs on feminism and social justice. For many years, she has focused on prison issues, in both her campus and community work. She is deeply commited to transformative justice.
Working with community organizations has shaped Susan's views on legislation and policy as tools for making progressive social change. As a volunteer organizer with the Foundation for Taxpayer and Consumer Rights (Consumer Watchdog), she worked on signature gathering, letter-writing campaigns and lobbying for state legislation on energy, healthcare, and money in politics. With FTCR, she served as the proponent and campaigned for Claremont's Taxpayer Protection Amendment of 2001, an initiative to prevent conflicts of interest in city government. Working to get the initiative on the ballot and pass it, she saw the power of ordinary citizens to make change. In 2007-8, she was a fellow in the Women's Foundation of California's Women's Policy Institute, which trains social justice leaders on developing policy to address gender, racial, and economic justice. With others in the WPI's criminal justice cohort, she helped develop and lobby for AB 2070 (Bass), a bill to alleviate barriers incarcerated parents face to reunification with children in foster care, signed into law in 2008.
Locally, she has worked with Crossroads, Inc., a transitional residence for women on parole and served on the board. With Crossroads, she organized a symposium at the California Institution for Women (CIW) on aging in prison, to which incarcerated women, community leaders and legislators were invited. She also co-facilitated the Women & Criminal Justice Network, organizing conversations at CIW for incarcerated women and community members to strategize together on making change. Currently, she serves on the board of House of Ruth, Inc., which provides services for domestic violence survivors, and she works with Pilgrim Place, a senior community committed to justice, peace, and care of the earth, on intergenerational education and mentoring programs.
Infiltrating the Dems
Every two years, California Democrats elect delegates from across the state, who then convene along with appointed party officials at the party’s Assembly District Election Meeting (ADEMS). ADEMS determines what the party stands for, making this a significant opportunity for socialists to push the California Democratic Party to the left and away from the interests of union busters, the landlord lobby, fossil fuel polluters, the corporate hospital and pharmaceutical lobby, the prison industrial complex, the corporate donor class, and others that stand against our values.
Our members are running for ADEMS delegate seats so that we’re in the room when the Democratic Party sets its agenda and makes decisions on endorsing candidates for public office. We’re fighting for issues that matter to the working class in California, like Medicare for All, Green New Deal, and Defunding the Police.
The DSA members listed below (in alphabetical order by first name) are running for ADEMS delegate seats on slates across LA County and have pledged to fight for our democratically-decided socialist values.
Assembly District 41 - Elizabeth Trejo, Ellen Dalbey Finkelpearl, John Doyle, Jordan Vannini, Joshua Ulises Marmol, Marguerite Renner, Mindy Pfeiffer, Patricia Hernandez, Robert M. Nelson, Ryan Bell, Savanna Salter, Stephanie Schoen, Steven Gibson, Susan Castagnetto.