This candidate profile was originally published in Partisan issue no. 25, printed May 2008.
Ralph Nader is a nationally renowned consumer rights activist whose efforts have helped create important regulatory agencies and the passage of several major laws including the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the Consumer Product Safety Commission, Safe Drinking Water Act and the Freedom of Information Act of 1974. This legislative record would be the envy of any U.S. Senator. Needless to say these laws have saved countless lives.
Nader is famous for his work challenging corporations and his principled campaigns to win the U.S. presidency. Abandoned by many of former liberal Democratic Party allies, he has nevertheless continued his unrelenting assault on the two-party system that is crippling effective decision-making in our society. He has built an effective national network of citizen groups that have had a major impact in areas ranging from tax reform to nuclear energy to health and safety programs.
Although an undeclared candidate at the time, Ralph Nader received strong support in the Peace and Freedom Party’s presidential primary garnering 40% of the vote – almost double that of his closest competitors. Given that strong showing of support, Nader/Gonzalez ‘08 would like to represent the P & F Party in this crucial election year. Ralph Nader and Matt Gonzalez agree with the fundamentals of the P & F platform and bring a strong combination of experience, credibility, and legislative accomplishment.
For more than forty years, Nader has been fighting for the interests of workers, consumers and the environment, with an ability to get his message out to millions of people.
Nader and Gonzalez are committed to building a progressive coalition that can work together beyond just this election year. They want Peace and Freedom to be a part of this national effort and are committed to including P & F materials at all California appearances and to allow party members time to advocate on behalf of the party at their campaign events. Like P & F, Nader/Gonzalez ’08 strongly support economic democracy and will fight for the democratization of worker institutions.
Nader is a life long opponent of discrimination based on gender, race, sexual preference and class and he reiterates that now. He supports peace movements in the Middle East, is not a blind supporter of the Israeli government as so many of our elected politicians are, and has been a vocal supporter of the Palestinian cause. He would cut the bloated military budget and use the savings to establish a single-payer health care system, provide free education through university, and support renewable energy sources like solar, wind, geothermal, and tidal. He would end “corporate personhood” and corporate participation in elections, establish a Wall Street securities speculation tax, and say no to nuclear energy. Also, he would call for labor law reform by repealing the notorious Taft-Hartley Act that keeps workers – who are now more defenseless than ever against corporate globalization – from organizing to defend their interests.
We must be united in this year’s struggle.
Matt Gonzalez is the former San Francisco Board of Supervisors’ president who was narrowly defeated for mayor by a Democratic Party corporatist candidate in 2003 after being outspent 10-1. In office he distinguished himself as a champion of the poor and for taking principled positions.
He enacted the nations highest minimum wage with an automatic cost-of-living adjustment; instituted instant runoff voting for city elections; a tidal energy pilot program; and, he stopped the selling of corporate naming rights to Candlestick Park. He advocated for a municipal bank, in favor of gay marriage, and he always stood up against police abuses.
He led unsuccessful efforts to enact public power and noncitizen voting in local elections. In 2004, Gonzalez was awarded the California Mexican American Political Association’s highest honor, named after renowned radical Bert Corona (a prize usually reserved for organizations).