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Video Ad Highlights Progressive Caucus Chair’s Family Tradition of Fighting for Justice, Beginning with his Uncle, Jefferson Thomas, a Member of the Little Rock Nine

Kicking off his re-election effort for California State Assembly District 59, today California Progressive Caucus Chair Reggie Jones-Sawyer announced his 2018 campaign with the release of a new digital video ad, titled “Justice.”

As we try to make sense of the latest mass shooting, and try to reason why and how they keep happening, for most of us, we draw a blank because it defies all logic. We simply cannot understand what makes an individual/s commit such heinous acts or what motivates hate, and how do we stop these senseless killings?

As a way of understanding, we often link cases of mass shootings to mental illness because it is easy for us to say, “well the shooter/s were mentally ill and should not have had access to guns;” but what happens when their act is motivated by hate, such as in the case of Dylann Roof, who in 2015, shot and killed nine parishioners at a historically black church in Charleston, South Carolina, simply because they were black and he hated black people. Could we have prevented this if his extreme racism and hatred for black people could have been recognized as a form of mental illness and his access to guns would have been limited?

Meet the progressives, an outgrowth of California’s Democratic political landscape.

As Democrats began their dominance in California over 20 years, they saw their electoral success expand out of urban centers into wealthier suburban enclaves, such as Pasadena, Calabasas, and Walnut Creek.

With this change came the New Democrats, a name brought to fame by former President Bill Clinton. These were Democrats who supported workers, and social and civil rights, but who were attuned to business interests, businesses that provided jobs and commerce for communities. These policies often clash with labor, environmental, and consumer interests, but allowed for expansion of Democratic elected officials in the suburbs.