Statement in support of Nestor Castillo, Elisha Crader, and Lacei Amodei for Hayward City Council
This Sunday, our chapter faces a critical vote: Will East Bay DSA endorse three class struggle candidates running for City Council in Hayward, a predominantly working class city and the second largest in the East Bay? The answer to this question should be a resounding yes.
Nestor, Lacei, and Elisha have each spoken of their campaigns as opportunities to organize the working class. As homegrown organizers, these Hayward City Council candidates are running clear class struggle campaigns: each candidate has organized and agitated in Hayward for housing justice and health equity before ever thinking of running for office. Each candidate understands the limits of electoral politics and ties their campaigns to organization-building and community mobilization. It is this grounding in agitational campaigns that is informing each of their runs for City Council.
Nestor, an East Bay DSA member running openly as a democratic socialist, has spoken of his race as being a movement campaign along the lines of the Richmond Progressive Alliance candidates. He helped to build the Eden Community Land Trust from scratch as a tool to decommodify housing. Lacei and Elisha have been organizers alongside DSA as members of the Hayward Collective and helped pass a critical rent control measure. All three have stated their opposition to capitalism and support for Bernie Sanders and the fight for Medicare for All. All three candidates have also developed the upstart Hayward Community Coalition as a long-term vehicle for organizers in Hayward that will continue the fight against police brutality in the wake of the George Floyd uprisings. East Bay DSA should be rooted in Hayward’s movement for change and demand ever larger and more substantial gains for the working class.
The best evidence of the movement’s strength is in the continued street presence in Hayward as protests nationwide fizzle out. On July 27th, the Hayward Community Coalition led a car caravan to Mayor Barbara Halliday’s home to amplify demands made to defund Hayward police and take officers out of local schools. Upwards of 80 community members attended the event, which included the family of Augie Gonsalez who was killed by Hayward police in 2018. Elisha, Lacei and Nestor helped to plan the event and recruit those who turned out.
While we call ourselves “East Bay” DSA, members have long raised concerns that the chapter neglects its territory outside of activist-dense North Oakland/South Berkeley. Our chapter has made a concerted effort in recent years through the Bernie campaign to widen our presence and influence. It is critical for our chapter to continue building a strong foundation for mass working class movements throughout the entire East Bay. The race for Hayward City Council is the perfect opportunity for us to advance the organizing done through the Bernie campaign in Hayward. Endorsing these candidates shows that we prioritize developing the organization's membership and activities in more heavily working-class regions of the East Bay like Hayward.
We support East Bay DSA’s endorsement of Nestor, Lacei, and Elisha’s campaigns for City Council in Hayward.