Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Peter Camejo's Legacy

Peter Camejo, pictured here with Donna Warren, who also furthered California's Green Party by campaigning for a state office. I met these two remarkable people in Santa Cruz CA, at Louden Nelson Center.

by Linda Lemaster
September 15, 2009

Last Chance Road, CA -- I'm surprised to realize it's been a year already since Peter Camejo passed on. I was fortunate to attend his Memorial in Berkeley, after getting to know him through collaborations within California's Green Party. He was -- and is -- a tremendous inspiration and influence, not just on my 'political' persona and social self: his example and his counsel informs my whole being.

Peter was born in Venezuela. He was a renown leader and excellent organizer for Socialists in his 20's, including the Berkeley free speech student struggles, and came to the Green Party where his integrity and influence helped grow that Party. I understand Camajo was a founding member of California's Greens?

I am one of the many California Greens who got to know the man through our shared work and visions of a vital, real, democratic people. By this I mean, effectively, "One {wo}man, one vote." And taking responsibility for one's own adequate education. Later, he ran for Vice President with Ralph Nader. I saw such a noble potential in that ticket.

Despite the jaded indifference of commercial (aka "mass") media, which seemed to me to exclude all political partisans except registered Democrats and registered Republicans from getting any glimpse of honest press, Nader-Camejo garnered many first-time voters and provoked discourse about electoral anomalies across the nation.

Camejo helped me better understand the political wrangling I found all around me when I was lost. He was humble, genuine, enthusiastic, and an excellent communicator, with such a significant impact as leader and as political servant. He is the first (and so far only) political candidate who assured me he never ran an electoral campaign "in the red," and his book on progressive financing, The SRI Advantage: Why Socially Responsible Investing Has Outperformed Financially gives us all a blueprint about executing such an 'impossible' campaign ourselves.

Peter Camejo shared his experience widely and inspired us. I can never forget what he has given us, including his modeling for greater equity and inclusion, an agenda for demanding corporate accountability, an adamant plea for diversity as the way to greater social and community building, and his insistence that democracy is a real and achievable goal for people everywhere.

Peter Camejo, I miss you. I offer my deepest compassion and sympathy to Peter's family and friends.

1 comment:

  1. I heard Peter Camejo speak a couple of times. He was brilliant, passionate, and compelling. Thank-you for this essay on Peter's legacy. I hope a more serious biography is in the works somewhere.


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