If the name doesn’t ring a bell, we’re talking about the third-party political activist who described himself as “a watermelon – red on the inside, green on the outside.” Peter Camejo helped found the California Green Party in 1991 and ran three times for governor of California.
He also ran as Ralph Nader’s vice presidential running mate in the 2004 presidential election and for president in 1976 as the Socialist Workers Party candidate. Camejo said that he never expected to win, but wanted to help elevate the Green Party to the mainstream political stage.
Camejo fought for universal health care, election reform, farmworker rights, living wage laws and against the death penalty and abortion restrictions. He started an investment firm in Oakland and created the first environmentally screened fund – the Eco-Logical Trust – for a major Wall Street firm. He also founded the Council for Responsible Public Investments and wrote the book, “The SRI Advantage: Why Socially Responsible Investing Has Outperformed Financially.” But, perhaps most impressively, he graduated from high school with a perfect Math score on his SAT.
A memorial was held in his honor yesterday at Berkeley’s International House. Ironically, Camejo was expelled from Berkeley in the late 1960s for his involvement in the Free Speech Movement and in protests against the Vietnam War, eventually landing on then-Governor Ronald Reagan’s list of the 10 most dangerous people in California. As Ralph Nader, who attended the ceremony, put it: “Peter was expelled from Berkeley for unauthorized use of a bullhorn.”
Tags:Free Speech Movement, Green Party, I-House, Peter Camejo, Ralph Nader, Richard Nixon, Social Workers Party
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