Luis Rodriguez, a leading Chicano writer, speaker, gang expert and interventionist, and activist for justice in urban peace, the arts, labor, and human rights, has joined Rocky Anderson’s 2012 presidential campaign as Anderson’s vice presidential running mate. “The search for a highly competent, dignified, principled running mate has been arduous,” Rocky stated. “Luis exceeds any expectations I had. He will inform, uplift, and motivate in this campaign, just as he does every day in his inspirational work.”
He is a co-founder of the Network for Revolutionary Change, trying to fill the gap of strategic and unified leadership among the poor, the pushed-out, the dismissed, and forgotten. He’s also co-founder of the nonprofit Tia Chucha’s Centro Cultural & Bookstore and its publishing wing, Tia Chucha Press, in the San Fernando Valley section of Los Angeles. He has fifteen published books in poetry, fiction, non-fiction, and children’s literature, including the bestselling 1993 memoir Always Running, La Vida Loca, Gang Days in L.A. and its 2011 sequel, It Calls You Back: An Odyssey Through Love, Addiction, Revolutions, and Healing. His writings have appeared in the New York Times, Los Angeles Times, Chicano Tribune, The Progressive, Philadelphia Inquirer magazine, The Nation, L.A. Weekly, U.S. News & World Report, Fox News Latino, and the Huffington Post, among others. He has lived and worked in Los Angeles, the San Francisco Bay Area, San Bernardino, and fifteen years in Chicago. He’s now a resident of San Fernando, CA.
For over thirty years Luis conducted workshops, readings, and talks in prisons, juvenile facilities, homeless shelters, migrant camps, universities, public and private schools, conferences, churches, Native American reservations, and men’s conferences.
Luis has received the Inner City Struggle of East L.A.’s “Spirit of Struggle”/Ruben Salazar Award; the “Local Hero of Community” Award from KCET-TV of L.A. and Union Bank of California; “Hero of Nonviolence” Award from Rev. Michael Beckwith and the Agape Christian Center in Culver City, CA; and an “Unsung Heroes of Compassion” Award, presented by His Holiness the Dalai Lama.
According to Rocky Anderson, who practiced law (including civil rights and constitutional law), served as Mayor of Salt Lake City for eight years, and founded and served as Executive Director of High Road for Human Rights, “Unlike most candidates for high public office, Luis brings with him a wealth of knowledge and real-life experience, inspirational personal growth, and proven commitment to social, economic, and environmental justice. Such justice is an essential element of a nation committed to equal opportunity, peace, and genuine freedom for all.”
Rodriguez stated, “I’m honored to be on this ticket with Rocky Anderson. It’s important to find a politically independent means to voice the real issues of justice in this country. The Justice Party comes at a crucial time, when the truth about who holds power and wealth in this country is daily more evident and the failures of the two-party system become increasingly irreparable. This is a vision for a new America, new ideas, new forms of struggle–of true justice in our time and for generations to come.”
According to Rodriguez, “The Justice Party is part of a growing movement in the United States for true peace, justice, equity, and dignity. People are understanding more and more that to have a healthy and full development for each person we need to have the healthy and full development of all.”
“My aim in being part of this ticket with Rocky Anderson in the Justice Party is to help spread the conversation in this country about how we need to incorporate more voices, stories, ideas, and people into how we govern and take care of everyone. Two directions for true justice are to have meaningful, respectful and healthy relations with the environment, the earth, and its bountiful resources. And to have meaningful, respectful, and healthy relations with each other.”