message from Peter Camejo

benj benj at connexus.net.au
Sun Sep 8 18:04:47 MDT 2002


The following was posted on the Marxist list at yahoogroups. I
thought it might be interesting following discussions a couple of
months ago.
Ben Courtice

*******
 CAMEJO FOR GOVERNOR: A message from Peter

To all campaign supporters:

A special message from

Peter Miguel Camejo


I would like to share a few of my thoughts on the campaign, and report
on some very important recent developments.

MEMORIAL MEETING

On Friday September 6th in Berkeley, the Green Party, along with many
other organizations, will hold a memorial meeting for Antonio Araujo
Castaneda,brother of Miguel Araujo, both leaders of Centro Azteca de
Informacion. This event takes place at St. Joseph the Worker Church,
2125 Jefferson Ave. inBerkeley, at 7:30 p.m.

Many of you met Miguel Araujo on July 28th when he chaired the rally
of Mexican workers in Santa Rosa that was backed by the Green Party.
The tragedy of Antonio Araujo's assassination is symbolic of the price
too many have paid in the struggle against corruption and for
democracy.  Antonio had worked in California for years building Centro
Azteca.

The Green Party's commitment to social justice, against racial
discrimination, and for equality has begun to find a strong response
in the Latino community, especially among the most oppressed workers
in California. This memorial meeting will be one more historic step in
the recognition of our Party's role and obligation as the Party of all
the people who fight for democracy and social justice. If you can,
please attend this event, and let all the supporters of the Centro
Azteca known of our commitment to their struggle.

OUR GROWING LATINO SUPPORT

On Friday August 30th I went to speak (in Spanish) for almost an hour
on a talk show with Radio Unica in San Francisco. I was quite amazed
to listen to caller after caller explain how they are going to vote
for the Green Party and thanking us for our existence. Some actually
referred to how many members they had in their families and all were
now going to vote Green. I do not think people yet understand the
anger felt in the Latino community because of Governor Gray Davis'
betrayal on the Farm Workers binding arbitration bill and the driver's
license bill.

Dolores Huerta from the UFW called into to the talk show to explain
why she thought the "Mediation" compromise was still of important
value. I expressed the Green Party's admiration and support for
Dolores and Arturo Rodriguez (President of the UFW) for their years of
struggle to improve the conditions of the farm workers but that as
Greens we of course speak out strongly as the best way to support the
UFW.

One of the hosts of the program asked Dolores why she doesn't denounce
Davis and call for a vote for the Green Party. Dolores responded the
UFW is not breaking with the Democrats. In my comments I explained
that many Democrats have strongly supported the UFW and are supporting
it today and we Greens recognize that, we welcome their support and
respect them for it. All the more we find unconscionable Gray Davis'
betrayal of the UFW. Before she got off the call Dolores thanked the
Green Party for its support and our campaign for its efforts to defend
the UFW. This is all a process. We are becoming a factor that is
committed to social justice and more and more Latinos are beginning to
understand.

We are now getting requests from Latinos to help the campaign.
Special programs to do door to door work in some Latino communities
are being planned. Stay tuned so all of us can work together in this
effort.

THE POLLS AND OUR VOTE

A recent poll came out with some contradictory figures about our
campaign. The poll showed our statewide strength at 4%. Previous polls
had us at 4 to 5%. I consider these very large figures. In terms of
the potential voting population these figures translate to about 1
million people. While the interest in our campaign is growing
dramatically, especially in the amount of media attention we getting,
this does not easily translate into large numbers of people switching
to our party. In the Bay Area where the media has especially begun to
cover us a bit this poll put us at 7%.

There were several contradictory figures in this poll. I find it next
to impossible for all of them to be correct. The poll showed more
Democrats considering voting for the Libertarians than the
Greens. That is quite unlikely. For those not registered Democratic or
Republican the poll revealed rather amazing figures. The poll said 31%
favored Davis, 19% Simon, 18% Camejo and 5% Copeland
(Libertarian). This sounds too high for us especially if we are only
at 4% Statewide. If the 18% figure were correct this would reflect the
beginning of a major shift among people refusing to register in the
two major parties (about 20.3% of all voters, 3,131506 people out of
15,359,340 to be exact) towards the Greens. Our Green Party registered
supporters in this category, (146,251), reflects just 4.6% of these
voters. (My figures are based on the September 1, 2002 issue of Ballot
News). Just a shift of 7% of the voters in this category from Democrat
to Green would make us the strongest party in the category of non
Democratic/Republican voters, the fastest growing sector of voters in
California.

Without IRV, televised debates, same day voting and our running
candidates that have name recognition, it is difficult to break above
5% in the Statewide vote. But each election paves the way for any and
all of these to occur. Today we are winning and can win at the local
level where our grass roots campaigning can reach voters regardless of
televised debates and TV ads.


WINNING IRV

Without mentioning names, let me tell all of you that we are gaining
important interest in IRV from members of the Democratic Party in
Sacramento. It is my hope that after this election we will be able to
have a bill for IRV presented with strong backing to finally end the
madness of spoilership and the obviously anti-democratic impact a
winner take all election has on the electoral system and the
disrespect it shows to the electorate.

CAN WE WIN THIS RACE?

Of course! If just a few rather unlikely things happened, like three
televised three-way debates. But in the historic sense we have already
won this election. Only our Party has gained in recognition, respect,
registered voters and activist as a bi-product of this statewide
campaign. The only question is how much will we win. People are
responding by increasing contributions and commitment and this is all
possible by the hard work of a few key staff people holding our
campaign together, including our full time staff of five: Kenny, Greg,
Tyler, Cheryl and Michael! We expect to add one more in Los Angeles,
Dan, this week.

Thank you for all of your support,

Peter


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