On March 5th, 2024 we will have a chance to use the full weight of the electoral process to determine who will represent us in the State Senate for what may be the next 12 years.
There are 543,010 registered voters in the 7th Senate District with approximately 27% of the district’s registered voters residing in West County. Sending a simple postcard to every household with a registered voter (301,392) can cost more than $100,000!
In an effort to help level the playing field, Radio Free Richmond has extended an offer to all six known candidates for the Senate to post their own words to let you, the voters, know their positions on what they believe to be the important issues.
THIS IS FREE PUBLICITY.
The candidates have also been invited to post guest editorials on the issues of importance.
RFR will post a new candidate statement every couple of days.
RADIO FREE RICHMOND DOES NOT ENDORSE CANDIDATES--THEY OFFER A PLATFORM FOR COMMUNITY MEMBERS TO EXPRESS IDEAS ON ISSUES OF VALUE TO THE COMMUNITY
Jovanka Beckles: The Best Choice for California State Senate
California's East Bay region is a diverse and dynamic community, deserving of a dedicated advocate who understands the unique challenges and aspirations of its people. Jovanka Beckles is undoubtedly the best candidate to represent this vibrant district 7 in the California State Senate, and here's why.
- Diverse Background and Representation: Jovanka Beckles brings a rich tapestry of experiences to the table. As a Black Latina Queer immigrant from Panama, she has lived at the intersection of marginalized communities, making her uniquely qualified to understand and address the issues faced by a diverse constituency. Representation matters, and for nearly 30 years, the East Bay has lacked a Black woman or any person of color representing them in the Senate. It's time for a change.
- Proven Policy Leadership: Jovanka’s track record as a former Richmond City Councilmember, Vice Mayor and current AC Transit Director reflects her proven policy leadership. She has crafted and championed life changing policies that have received national acclaim for their boldness and positive impact on the community. Notable achievements include banning the box for Returning Citizens (Formerly Incarcerated Individuals), passing California's first successful new rent control policy in 30 years, raising the minimum wage for Richmond workers, restoring critical bus lines, getting hazard pay for transit workers during the pandemic and standing up to corporate giants like Chevron- helping secure $100 million for the affected communities. Her policies are grounded in her extensive lived and work experience.
- Commitment to Grassroots organizing and Justice: Jovanka is unwavering in her dedication to the people she serves. She takes no money from corporations, and never has, ensuring that her loyalty lies solely with her constituents. She's a working-class individual who truly represents the community's interests, and her approach is rooted in love—for young people, the community, the planet, and justice.
- Healthcare for All: Jovanka is a staunch advocate for accessible quality health care in the form of a publicly administered, equitably distributed, universal healthcare system for all Californians. She recognizes the urgent need to address gaps in the healthcare system, particularly for underserved communities. Her support for single-payer healthcare demonstrates her commitment to protecting the health of communities, reducing costs, and boosting the economy.
- Progressive Policies for Equity: Jovanka’s platform includes a progressive and equitable comprehensive agenda aimed at increasing health equity, income equality, and environmental protections - A Green New Deal. She's committed to affordable housing, removing barriers to unions, free healthcare, childcare, reparations, seamless, integrated, low fare public transportation, and more. Her focus on taxing corporations and wealthy individuals to fund these initiatives is a step towards a fairer and more just society.
- Environmental Advocacy: As a corporate-money-free candidate, Jovanka is free to advocate for policies that protect the environment. Her experience in successfully taking on Big Oil and Chevron in Richmond demonstrates her commitment to battling polluters and promoting a clean, sustainable future.
- Proven Leadership and Results: Jovanka’s impressive list of accomplishments during her time in office speaks to her effectiveness as a public servant. From progressive Public Safety policies that have reduced crime in Richmond significantly to infrastructure improvements, she has consistently delivered results for her community.
- Grassroots Support: Jovanka has cultivated a network of grassroots activists and individual donors who believe in her vision and dedication. These are the kind of supporters who actively show up and support her causes. To date, she is the only candidate reaching voters at their doors.
- Broad Appeal: Jovanka’s background as a Black-Latinx gay woman, Mother, Grandmother, Panamanian immigrant and mental health service provider over decades, enables her to connect with a wide range of California voters who have traditionally stayed out of politics. She represents the diversity of the community she seeks to serve. It is this broad appeal that makes her the most viable candidate in the Senate District 7 race. Additionally, she is the only candidate who has won a region-wide race within the last five years, securing over 90,000 votes in her prior assembly run, by far the highest number of votes accrued by any candidate in prior races. The AC Transit district she represents closely resembles Senate District 7 and as such, she has the most name recognition.
- Endorsements and Trust: Jovanka's endorsements from community members, community organizations, elected officials, unions and rank-and-file union members highlight the trust and support she has garnered from those who know her best.
As briefly mentioned, Jovanka Beckles's extensive qualifications and experience also include her role as a mental health professional for 34 years. For 23 of those years, she has been dedicated to providing wraparound services for Contra Costa County children and families, demonstrating her unwavering commitment to the well-being of the community. She has the support of Our Revolution, East Bay DSA, The Richmond Progressive Alliance, The Berkeley Tenants Union, Teamsters Joint Council 7, ATU Local 192, and Mayors or City Council Members in every major town in Contra Costa County. These reflect her support from the activist organizations which are both most committed in their support, and who demand the highest level of proof of a candidate’s authenticity, commitment, and ethics.
When it comes to labor, Jovanka has a long history of consistently standing with workers. She is a proud member of (and endorsee of) Teamsters Local 856, highlighting her affiliation with a respected labor union. This affiliation underscores her understanding of the labor movement's importance and her support for worker-friendly policies that benefit the working people of California. These include a 32 hour work week and unemployment benefits after being on strike. Jovanka's multifaceted background and dedication make her an even more compelling candidate for California State Senate in District 7.
Jovanka Beckles is more than a candidate; she is a dedicated public servant with a proven track record of fighting for her community. Her commitment to equity, justice, and progressive policies makes her the best choice for California State Senate in District 7. It's time for West County to have a representative in the State Senate. The East Bay deserves a Senator who truly understands and champions the needs of the community. Jovanka is ready to go to work on day one in Sacramento to represent and fight for her constituents boldly and unequivocally.
When spider webs unite, they can tie up a lion:
With teamwork and cooperation, small people can solve huge problems. When we stand together, we can become bigger than ourselves. Amharic Proverb