• Channing Martinez

Channing Martinez for L.A. City Council: An Experiment in Black, Latinx, Anti-Intervention, and Clim

Channing Martinez for L.A. City Council: An Experiment in Black, Latinx, Anti-Intervention, and Climate Justice Electoral Insurgency By Eric Mann

On Super Tuesday, including the California Primary where Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren, and the others will top the ballot, further down the ballot is an important race for the Los Angeles City Council’s 10th City Council District. The candidates include L.A. Supervisor Mark Ridley Thomas, Attorney Grace Yoo, Department of Water and Power commissioner Aura Vasquez, and Channing Martinez. Martinez self-identifies a “Black, Garifuna, queer, revolutionary civil rights and climate justice organizer.” He is running on a radical platform that pushes the bounds of thinkable thought (as Noam Chomsky formulates it) based on a counter-hegemonic set of demands (as we formulate it) to raise the consciousness and aspirations of the oppressed.

  • Cut the LAPD budget by 50%

  • Affirmative Action for Black Jobs—50% of all new public and private sector jobs must go to Black applicants

  • Free Public Transportation for All, No Cars in L.A., Stop MTA Attacks on Black Passengers

  • Open Borders for all Immigrants, Kick ICE out of L.A.

  • Free, Safe, and Legal Abortion for all women

  • 50% of all public housing for very low-income families way below market rates

  • U.S. out of Venezuela, Bolivia, Iran, Iraq, Afghanistan, stop the war with Russia and China, No U.S. intervention in the internal affairs of other

A central theme in the campaign is to protect and expand L.A.’s Black population from a genocidal gentrification that has already driven Blacks out of the job market (thus 50% new jobs for Black applicants) imposed mass imprisonment and occupation (thus cut LAPD by 50%) and driven low-income people out of the district and L.A. (thus Free Public Transportation and 50% or more investment very low-income housing). The Campaign is also calling for structural challenges to global warming in the region through Free Public Transportation, No Cars in L.A. through auto free zones, auto free days, and bus only lanes. We want an end to the criminalization of the Black and the poor on LA buses and trains by the MTA policy of arrests and tickets for the grotesque infraction of “fare evasion.”

In that we are campaigning in a district that still has a Black representative— but is now only 25% Black from its high of 75% and a city that was once 25% Black and now is only 9% Black— we repeat that gentrification is genocide. We are asking Black, Latinx, Korean, and white voters to prioritize the protection and expansion of L.A.’s Black population to repay the Black movement for all it has done for society and to stop The System’s plan for Black occupation, imprisonment, and dispersal.

This campaign is led by Channing Martinez, 32, a lead organizer with the Labor/Community Strategy Center, manager of the Strategy and Soul Movement center, and producer of Voices from the Frontlines the radio show that I host. He is doing a very impressive job in the 10 candidate night debates in the city.  In that the other 3 candidates are formidable he is competing in the big time of L.A. politics.

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