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March 3, 2020 — Primary Election
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California State AssemblyCandidate for District 14

Photo of Cassandra Devereaux

Cassandra Devereaux

Journalist/Illustrator/Cartoonist
10,107 votes (8.2%)
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My Top 3 Priorities

  • Police accountability: jail killer cops, community accountability for police forces, place Vallejo P.D. in state administrative recievership to hold them accountable
  • Protect migrants:No camps, no deportations,no family seperations, no children in cages. Complete and thoroughgoing noncompliance with ICE, and active shielding of our migrant neighbors.
  • Housing is a human rightLemergency turnover of unoccupied, including market rate, homes to house the houseless. Concord Naval Weapons Station allotted for low income houseing.

Experience

Experience

Profession:Journalist, graphic artist, cartoonist
Graphic artist, Freelance/contract work (2001–current)

Education

Alfred University BFA, Art/Education (1993)

Community Activities

Founding member, Peoples' Alliance (2019–current)

Who supports this candidate?

Questions & Answers

Questions from League of Women Voters of California (4)

Describe what proposal(s) you would support to alleviate the shortage of affordable housing for all income groups in California?
Answer from Cassandra Devereaux:

Emergency turnover of unoccupiesd housing for the use of the houseless, including market rate housing. A cap on rents is needed, and vacancy control.... ending the spiking of rents during periods between tenants... needs to be established to keep housing affordable. Housing speculation, and keeping houses unoccupied to drive up rents and game the market, needs to be abolished.projects for the common good.

What programs or legislation would you support to meet the water needs of all Californians?
Answer from Cassandra Devereaux:

We have to recognize that our water crisis is grounded in climate change, so curbing carbon emissions to slow down the snowballing problem of water access. Further, we've found that nations in the the most arid regions have had success by investing in desalinization plants, to turn salty sea water into fresh, potable water. California will be needing solutions such as these more and more as climate change accellerates, and we must work on building these capacties to get fresh water to poor and working class communities. As we do this, oit is important that these be community owned and controlled by the people, not privatized.

To reach a goal of carbon neutrality by 2045, as set forth in a 2018 executive order what, if any, proposals, plans or legislation would you support?  Please be specific.
Answer from Cassandra Devereaux:

First, PG&E and other monopolies need to be broken up. These goals will never be met while profit is the main concern. utilities must belong to the people, be controlled by the people, and be accountable to the people. Then we need a transiotion to renewable sources of energy... wind and solar have proven greatly successful. We need to fund further research into efficent renewable energy sources.  We must also heavily invest in and develop world-class public transit, to take more cars off the road and curb that carbon production. Further, electric vehicles must become the standard. Other factors, such as the role of cattle farming in greenhouse gas production, are  beginning to see possibilities such as lob-grown "cultured meat". Projects such as these need to be prioritized and funded.

Private industry saps too much scientific and engineering talent, wasting tremendous talent on creating the newest smartphone feature or, worse, weapons technology. . We need to prioritize funding projects for the common good to channel this talent into the service of the common good.

According to the California Legislative Analyst’s Office, we spend over $81,000 per individual who is incarcerated.  Other than incarceration, what ways can the State address safety and justice?
Answer from Cassandra Devereaux:

We need to look at the root causes of most crimes that people are incarcerated for, most notably poverty. Rather than focussing entirely on punitive justice, we need to work on racial and economic justice. This means ending income inequality. It means uplifting oppressed peoples and nationalities so they're not shunted into the lower strata of society. This means a right to work a meaningful job must be deemed a human right. At the same time, we need to recognize that the most devistating crime is done in the halls of power. Corporate criminals devistate the poor and working class through corruption and collusion, and they must be held to account. A street level criminal might affect a handful of people for their daily bread; corporate criminal devistate nations for another yacht, another mansion. War criminals, most especially those under the U.S. flag, commit crimes against humanity for the selfish gain of themselves and their cronies. We need to start at the top when it comes to prosecuting criminals, and focus on transformative justice for those on the street.

Who gave money to this candidate?

Contributions

More information about contributions

Source: MapLight analysis of data from the California Secretary of State.

Political Beliefs

Political Philosophy

I stand for socialism. All banks, factories, warehouses, stores, offices, utilities, schools, media, national resources and the healthcare and transportation systems must be put under the ownership and control of the people. We will run them in a planned and rational manner to meet human need, not corporate greed. We who do the work of the world, are not only entitled to the full fruits of our labor but should have control over the course of our society and world.

 

The only way to achieve a just society free of exploitation, oppression, crisis and war is through socialism. Modern technology can provide everyone on Earth with a home, education, a secure and healthy life—but only if freed the profit system. As Huey P. Newton of the Black Panther Party said, “The people have the right to the best that technology can give.” This requires that working and oppressed people end the rule of the billionaire bankers and capitalists, and create poor, oppressed, and working class rule in its stead.

 

I am unconditional in defense of oppressed nations to self-determination—especially those under the boot of US imperialism. This includes oppressed nations within the US: African Americans, Indigenous nations, the Xicano nation and all Latinx peoples, and colonized Puerto Rico, Caribbean and Asian/Pacific islands. I stand with all those fighting racism, white supremacy and national oppression, defending full rights for all migrants including undocumented workers and all those fighting anti-Arab and anti-Asian bigotry.

 

I fully oppose sexism and gender and LGBTQ+ oppression. I am for the rights of women to full equality and reproductive justice, including free, legal and accessible contraception, abortion on demand and the means with which to raise healthy, well-housed, and educated children. I am for the unconditional defense of all transgender and gender-nonconforming people in the struggle for full liberation and equality, and against all transphobic ideology. Patriarchy will be smashed when capitalism is no more.

 

I stand for a world that is fully accessible to every person regardless of ability or skill. I see disability as an issue of accommodation and believe that everyone is capable of valuable contributions when properly accommodated. I am for equal opportunity and freedom from discrimination in work, education and culture sans a normative outcome. This is to say that I fight for all resources and opportunities to be allocated equitably and without discrimination and also embrace all of the contributions that people may offer whether or not they fit within the defined success parameters of a myopic and ablist status quo.

 

Capitalism has created the climate crisis that is destroying Earth’s capacity to support life. I recognize that only socialism can save humanity and the planet, and that the multinational working class is the only agent of change that can defeat capitalism to achieve this. Only this ongoing struggle can do away with the old and build a new world rooted in unity, solidarity, cooperation and planning to meet human and environmental needs.

 

Unity and solidarity are built through struggle. It is important to fight daily around demands that not only aim to challenge the very nature of this rotten system, but to build the working class and oppressed peoples’ unity and community power necessary to end capitalism, imperialism, white supremacy, gender oppression, and all oppressive structures.

I believe that now is the time for working people to come together and organize for justice, liberation and the end of all oppression and exploitation.

 

Workers and Oppressed Peoples of the World, Unite!

Position Papers

Campaign announcement

Summary

A brief annoncement of the campaign and some central issues such as police accountability, sanctuary from ICE, PG&E, etc.

Announcement of Candidacy

My name is Cassandra Devereaux and I would like to announce my candidacy for the office of California State Assembly for District 14 under the Peace and Freedom Party ticket.

I am a journalist, graphic artist, and long-time transgender activist and advocate living in this lovely Bay Area district. A founding member of People’s Alliance, I am honored to be a member of the Peace and Freedom Party and to run under their banner. The Peace and Freedom Party is a socialist party founded in the heat of the struggle against U.S. imperialism in Vietnam. It stands for poor and working class power, and has always fought to advance socialism, democracy, ecology, feminism and racial equality. People’s Alliance is a socialist formation. We believe that the multinational working class and oppressed peoples of the world are not only entitled to the full fruits of our labor but should have control over the course of our society and world.

The 14th district encompasses land taken by force and coercion from the people of the indigenous Olhone, Patwin, Bay Miwok, Yokuts, Karkin and Chochenyo nations (per https://native-land.ca/). It falls in modern day Contra Costa and Solano counties, including Vallejo, Pleasant Hill, Martinez, Clayton, Concord, Benecia, and parts of Pittsburg and Walnut Creek.. The working class and oppressed peoples of this district face institutional challenges that demand redress. In the face of a ruthless gentrification that is displacing the poorest, we need comprehensive and thoroughgoing rent and vacancy control. When one family is forced out of their home by ever hiking rent, landlords increase the rent for their vacated home drastically. This renders the entire neighborhood unaffordable for poor and working class people who built the very community landlords are forcing them out of. This increases our unhoused population, which gentrifiers try to sweep out of sight by hook or crook. We need to keep residents in their homes, and make vacant homes available to all. It is a moral imperative to house all our residents, and this can be done when we put people before greed.

Our struggle includes ensuring medical and mental health care access for all. When someone cannot access the mental health services and medicine they need, this can leave them unable to work. Uplifting these services uplifts the community. Accessibility for people with disabilities helps us thrive, allowing them to bring their best to the benefit of all. A community is also made more vibrant and accessible for the poor and working class people by forgiving student debt and providing free postsecondary education for all. And, of course, all impediments to labor organizing must be removed. Unions are the most reliable tool for workers to secure their economic empowerment through collective bargaining, and every worker deserves a union. Collective bargaining enables poor and working class people to thrive in our own communities rather than fall victim to gentrification-driven displacement. Our fourteenth district will never thrive by shutting out those who a

lready live here and replacing them with outside wealth. We will prosper when we “lift from below,” and allow our current population to provide for ourselves and our loved ones.

The fabric of our community is woven with the presence of migrants from around the world, including those from Mexico, Central America, and South America who came for sanctuary from nations destabilized by U.S. imperialism. From the Banana Wars to the many CIA backed coups of yesterday and today, we have ravaged the global south, and sheltering the victims of our imperialist greed is the least of our responsibilities to these neighbors. As such, we must allow absolutely no compliance with ICE and actively shield our residents. We must actively resist ICE, allow no roundups, no family separations, no camps, no imprisonment, no deportations, no children in cages. The  persecution of migrants by this government is an evil happening right under our noses.. As such, we will unite and say “ICE is not welcome; not here, not anywhere”.

We must support the BDS (boycott, divestment, sanctions) movement. The BDS movement is frequently smeared by being called antisemitic, and is particularly weaponized against our Muslim neighbors. Recognizing the crimes of  apartheid Israel and opposing the genocide of the Palestinian people is not an aggression against the peoples of the Jewish diaspora. We must stand with Palestine, for the right to return, and against Islamophobia, antisemitism, and religious bigotry in all its manifestations, from mass shootings to travel bans.

There is a legal and cultural offensive against those whose gender identities and/or sexual orientations are not straight or cisgender, and we stand against it. The violence against these communities, most especially transwomen of color, have got to be countered by all means available and we recognize the importance of self-defense for those most vulnerable among us. Additionally, we must ensure the right to travel for all. The federal REAL ID act of 2005 is about to deny the ability to travel by air for those transgender/gender nonconforming people of California who cannot afford the nearly $500 filing fee for court ordered name changes. It is its own form of a travel ban, and this fee must be eliminated.

District 14 has been subject to the iron grip of PG&E. This reprehensible monopoly over our vital public power utilities went to court in relation to their culpability in a gas explosion and has declared bankruptcy. The judge chided them for their lack of upkeep, threatening to restrict their ability to pay dividends if they continued to fail in such things as removing plant growth around their power lines. In defiance, this arrogant corporation has continued to pay dividends while ignoring the upkeep. Much of Northern California has experienced multiple, extended power shutoffs. As the first was about to be put in effect, the executives partied at an exclusive gala at a Napa winery. Their irresponsibility and greed is antithetical to the public good, and their self-indulgence is reminiscent of the apocryphal tale of Nero fiddling while Rome burned. PG&E must be broken up, the electric and gas infrastructures placed in the hands of the communities. The people must control our own utilities.

Moreover, we recognize that PG&E’s negligence is only one part of the puzzle that is the yearly California wildfires choking us with their thick smoke. PG&E is refusing to remove the kindling from the fire, but aridity, hot winds, and all environmental contributors to this crisis are driven by human-created climate change driven by capitalist greed. Climate change will continue to destabilize ecosystems, lead to disease outbreaks, and will drive a massive escalation of “climate refugees”. For this reason, we must stand against greedy corporations and investors and the polluting Pentagon who are destroying our planet for their pleasure and move to green energy.. We are in the early stages of Earth’s sixth largest mass extinction., proving that capitalism is an extinction level event. For our safety we must stop contributing to this crisis to ensure a future worth living in.

District 14 is currently represented by incumbent Tim Grayson, a former police chaplain for the Concord, California police department. Under his watch in Assembly, the city of Vallejo, another city in his district, has  been besieged by a bloodthirsty police department. Vallejo P.D. has lethal indifference to the lives of people of color making it the city with the highest per capita rate of police killings in Northern California.. Their greatest notoriety comes from the killing of rapper Willie McCoy who was shot 55 times in the head and chest by 6 officers while asleep in his car earlier this year. Other victims include Angel Ramos, Ronell Foster, and Mario Romero. Most recently Eric Reason was shot in the back by an off duty officer from nearby Richmond. Reason was a respected member of his community, a loving father of six children. This reprobate of an officer was caught on video taking “trophy pics” of the man as his fallen body bled out onto the pavement. Vallejo P.D. failed to arrest the killer, instead treating the murder as a shooting happening in the course of an on-duty officer’s duties.

Meanwhile, people are being found dead in  their jails, most recently a woman named Maria Barraza in the Martinez Detention Facility. It was ruled a suicide, but…  Grayson came into office “representing” the terrorized people of Vallejo as well as other municipalities in Solano and Contra Costa Counties. His response has been to appear at a “town hall” meeting, standing side by side with the chief of the Vallejo Police Department. These police, instead, enjoyed a sizeable raise and loosened rules around drug testing killer cops. Rather than serving us, he has wounded our terrorized communities with his indifference in failing to hold the badge-holding murderers to account. The grieving families heroically stood firm in the face of merciless power, rallying a community in resistance and struggle. Because Black lives matter, theirs is the lead that demands to be followed. Bringing peace and justice to the people must begin with the community and those most directly affected. Stunts performed shoulder to shoulder with the head of the oppressive beast don’t cut it, and a crony of said beast will not be the one to usher in peace and justice.

Society needs deep, systemic change. Capitalism is an exploitative, destructive force and as long as poor and oppressed people remain in its thrall our liberation and the planet’s future is in jeopardy. Meanwhile, this district needs and deserves new leadership to help ourselves and our futures thrive in the here and now. We must defend our neighbors of all nationalities, all religious affiliations, all gender identities and sexual orientations. We must push back against reactionary and far-right politics from the street to the statehouse. We must thrive in the moment and build a future for youth worth inheriting. This is what I stand for. Please come with your passion and determination to build a winning movement.

I ask for your vote in 2020.

Thank you.

Cassandra Devereaux

Videos (1)

Press conference at Vallejo P.D. — January 24, 2020 Cassandra Devereaux for Assembly 2020

Press conference at the Vallejo P.D. announcing campaign, demand to place the department into state recievership to beging to hold it accountable for killings. Standing with members of the Brown Beret National Organization.

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