Voter's Edge California Voter Guide
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Tuesday June 7, 2022 — California Primary Election
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State of CaliforniaCandidate for Controller

Photo of Laura Wells

Laura Wells

Financial Analyst
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My Top 3 Priorities

  • Implement public banking at state and local levels; save money on interest, which can be 40% of the cost of projects. Apply savings toward schools and services. Partner with local banks and credit unions to invest in California, not Wall Street.
  • Tax the super-rich the way they used to be taxed, to fund services and to stop billionaires from buying the media and politicians. If they win, California doesn’t. Stop fracking and implement an oil-severance tax like all other oil-producing states.
  • Implement an improved Medicare for All healthcare system like other wealthy industrialized nation-states, to save both money and lives, especially after a pandemic when loss of jobs meant loss of health insurance. Let people choose their doctors.

Experience

Biography

Laura Wells’ political activism kicked into high gear in 1992 in an unexpected way. A friend told her, “I had a dream you were in politics. You should check out the brand new Green Party.”

Laura found a political home in the Green Party. She appreciated the party's recognition that the problems facing everyone were interrelated: peace and non-violence, the environment, wealth and poverty, and social justice. She saw that real justice was up against all the “isms” of society. She liked the fact that Greens put principles into practice by never accepting corporate money, or developer money either, since developers bought government at the level of cities.

Having worked for years as a problem-solving systems analyst, the recognition that not just problems but also solutions are interrelated appealed to Laura. It was like a principle of permaculture: no single problem or solution stands on its own. Laura wanted to be a part of bringing in solutions, to positively affect the future of all beings, definitely including her then 8-year-old daughter Natalia.

In 1992, Laura voted according to her usual habit and within a year felt betrayed when NAFTA (North American Free Trade Agreement) passed, a terrible act for people and the planet. The major candidates all took billionaire money and gave the billionaires a great return on their investment with trade agreements and other sweetheart deals.

Also in 1992 the country’s glorification of Columbus’ “discovering” America fizzled because of the consciousness-raising “500 Years is Enough” movement. Within a few years she organized with “50 Years is Enough” to point out that the World Bank was not at all successful in its stated goal of “reduction of poverty.”

Since registering Green, Laura has served in a number of leadership positions at the county and state levels of the Green Party of California. She was a founding member of the Green Party County Council in Alameda County, a co-founder and managing editor of the state’s Green Party newspaper Green Focus, and is currently a member of the Green Party’s state coordinating committee.

In 2014, Laura ran for California State Controller on a platform of "keeping the good and correcting the bad" of Proposition 13, which directed the majority of “tax relief” to giant corporations and not individuals. She also focused on tax reforms that implement fair and progressive taxation policies. After the global economic meltdown, Laura ran for Governor in 2010, on a platform of creating a State Bank of California, that invests in the residents of our state not Wall Street.

She was arrested upon attempting to enter the building to watch the 2010 Gubernatorial debate, which excluded all third-party candidates. Significantly, given the entrenched two-party system, the charge was “trespassing at a private party," which should have been a public party.

Laura also ran for State Controller in 2002 and 2006, receiving over 400,000 votes in 2002. She served on the executive committee of the Instant Runoff Voting for Oakland’s 2006 campaign while also running for State Controller, helping secure support for IRV from local representatives of most political parties in Oakland, including Greens, Peace and Freedom, Libertarians, Republicans, and Democrats.

Laura has said, “I have realized that the most progressive elected politicians serve to set the upper limit of what people can even expect from government. We need to raise our expectations and use our power to challenge a system that refuses to provide the very basics — like affordable and accessible healthcare, housing, and education — in this, the richest country on earth. There’s no excuse for it, but there is a reason: the billionaires and their corporations have bought out both parties and are running our country. We do have power, including our votes, voter registrations, wallet power, and street power. We need candidates with solid Green New Deal values, who never take corporate money.”

Laura was born and raised in Michigan. As a scholarship student, she earned her BA in foreign languages from Wayne State University in Detroit in 1969, and was elected to the Phi Beta Kappa society. Laura went on to earn a Masters of Education at Antioch University, and lived in Boston, Massachusetts for ten years working in finance, computer programming, and systems analysis. In 1992 Laura switched to working with nonprofits such as Pesticide Action Network and Women’s Economic Agenda Project, and other sectors such as schools, labor unions and county government. For the past 40+ years Laura has lived in California, and has been an Oakland resident since 2000.

Who supports this candidate?

Who gave money to this candidate?

Contributions

Total money raised: $16,036

Top contributors that gave money to support the candidate, by organization:

1
Green Party of California
$600
2
Employees of Kaiser Permanente
$500
3
Employees of California State University, Northridge
$250
4
Employees of CLEAR BELIEFS INSTITUTE
$100
4
Employees of CSU/PERS
$100
4
GREEN PARTY OF TULARE COUNTY
$100
4
Employees of KRDP 90.7 FM
$100
4
Employees of United States Environmental Protection Agency
$100

More information about contributions

By State:

California 98.62%
Arizona 0.69%
Oregon 0.69%
98.62%

By Size:

Large contributions (90.16%)
Small contributions (9.84%)
90.16%9.84%

By Type:

From organizations (4.84%)
From individuals (95.16%)
95.16%
Source: MapLight analysis of data from the California Secretary of State.

Political Beliefs

Political Philosophy

The following is the 90-word candidate statement that will be in the Voter Information Guide that will be sent to every voting household in California.

Tax the super-rich; stop billionaires from buying the media and politicians. Implement public banking to invest in California not Wall Street. Use water wisely, never for fracking. Spend money on necessary, meaningful jobs that don’t destroy the planet, and less money imprisoning people in an unjust system. To save money and lives, there ARE solutions to problems of healthcare, economy, education, and environment, but politicians financed by billionaires and corporations won’t implement them. If they win, you don’t. We have alternatives to the two-party system: vote LeftUnitySlate.org.

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