We are happy to announce that we have confirmed the Date, Location and Tentative Agenda for our first post-campaign face-to-face statewide meeting.
We will be gathering on Saturday, August 9, 2014 at 3:00 pm at the Spanish American Baptist Church, 447 Williams Road, Salinas, California, 93905.
3:00 - 4:30 pm: Informal "meet and greet"
5:00 - 6:00 pm: Dinner, Showing of Rodriguez Campaign Video
6:00 - 6:15: Opening remarks, Luis J. Rodriguez (Luis will summarize significance of the Rodriguez for Governor Campaign, briefly outline proposal and reasons for forming California Network for Revolutionary Change.)
6:15 - 7:00 Participant self-introductions (Each attendee will introduce themselves and give a brief description of the major struggles/issues in their area.)
7:00 - 8:00 The Network: Why It is Needed; Purpose, Points of Unity, Structure and Immediate Tasks (Group discussion.)
8:00 - 8:15: Break
8:15 - 8:45: Plans for Fall Convention, Outreach and Organization (Group discussion.)
8:45 - 9:00: Election of Interim Network officers, Summary of Discussions,Decisions, Adjournment
If you have not already done so, we urge you to read and widely disseminate the most recent statement of our "Network for Revolutionary Change (In Formation)", which I've pasted below and also attached hereto as a PDF document. It will give you a rough idea of the purpose of the meeting.
Please RSVP and let us know if you are planning to attend and, if so, how many will be coming to Salinas with you, so that our volunteers will be able to plan for food, etc. You may reply email and/or call 510-301-1472 to RSVP or obtain additional information.
Most important, we urge all participants to bring and submit in advance your ideas, assessments of particular struggles in which you are engaged and your vision of a New California and what it's going to take to achieve it. We are meeting for a serious purpose at a time of great social upheaval; we look forward to seeing you in Salinas.
IMPORTANT NOTICE: For those of you who can come to Salinas early, our hosts are organizing a community forum/press conference for Friday evening, August 8, on the continuing struggle against police killings in that city and throughout the state. We would like to have diverse representation from throughout California at this event, exact location and time to be announced. Please let us know if you can come in early for this event.
For social justice and unity,
Luis J. Rodriguez,
Draft Statement of the California Network for Revolutionary Change (In Formation)
To: Activists and social justice fighters across California:
In recent weeks we have witnessed a dramatic intensification of repressive violence against the poorest, most vulnerable segments of our population.
From the exoneration of Sonoma County Sheriff’s Deputy Erick Gelhaus in the shooting death of 13-year old Andy Lopez to the videotaped beating in broad daylight of a barefoot and homeless African American woman in Los Angeles by the California Highway Patrol. From the “Minuteman”-type terror against Central American refugees in California border towns to Salinas, where 40-year old Frank Alvarado became the fourth victim of police deadly force so far this year.
The violence and repression is rooted in the deepening economic distress of some 8.7 million impoverished Californians barely subsisting on “safety net” programs capped at no more than 37% of the federal poverty rate. As billions of dollars - and hundreds of thousands of our children - flow through the “school to prison” pipeline and every available dollar goes to the police rather than genuine community building it becomes clear that a system that cannot feed, clothe and house the people is turning to force.
Literally hundreds of battles are underway every day against police abuse, mass incarceration, privatization, poverty, racism and environmental degradation –all rooted in the inequities of a capitalist system that grows more exploitative and repressive with each job-eliminating technological advance.
Yet, despite the best efforts of grassroots leaders across the state, we find ourselves continuously on the defensive, marching, protesting yet continuously being pushed back. Our struggles remain isolated, disconnected and disunited, even divided.
The time has come to weld together these scattered fronts of struggle.
The time has come to create a practical network of leaders fighting for basic, systemic change. The time has come to construct a broad, unified, collaborative and focused movement against injustice and for a new California.
With the groundbreaking campaign of Luis J. Rodriguez for Governor Campaign, a voice emerged advocating for the creation of New California and a UNIFIED “network for revolutionary change.” Rodriguez finished first among all candidates who ran either as independents or representatives of third parties. His message resonated with over 67,000 voters who share his vision of a California of shared, equitably distributed resources; a California without poverty; a California where a mass movement of the people can ultimately prevail. Most important, the campaign served to connect practical leaders on diverse fronts of struggle across the state.
Now, Luis J. Rodriguez and the core of grassroots leaders who supported his bid for governor have taken the next step with two bold initiatives:
* Continue the Rodriguez campaign as a voice of the people and organizing center to insure the issues are not ignored in the General Election and;
* Call for a Statewide Conference this fall to form a network of practical leaders for basic, systemic change. This will not be a new coalition, alliance or support committee, but a collaborative, strategic body made up of already existing leaders, organizations and groups. In this regard we can learn much from our corporate adversaries: they have their think tanks, their policy-making bodies, their Legislative Exchange Councils, their Chambers of Commerce and Business Roundtables. Despite their internal differences, they understand the importance of closing ranks to defend their common class interests. If we are going to move from the defensive to a planned, broad and powerful transformative movement of workers the unemployed, the oppressed and impoverished, then we can do no less. This is what we have in mind.
We call upon those who are on the front lines of the diverse battlefields for social and economic justice to join us at a Network planning committee meeting on Saturday, August 9, 2014 in Salinas, California, time and location to be announced.
We also urge you to join us in our weekly planning Teleconference Calls, every Tuesday from 7 - 8 pm. To participate, just call the Free Conference Call Number, 605-477-2100 and, when prompted, enter access code 1024910.
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