Apr 21, 2018 • 1HR 2M

Beating City Hall/What’s Really Going On in Syria

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Appears in this episode

Ralph Nader
Ralph Nader talks about what’s happening in America, what’s happening around the world, and most importantly what’s happening underneath it all.
Episode details

Ralph welcomes independent candidate for California Lieutenant Governor, Gayle McLaughlin, who talks about how she and small group of progressive reformers turned around the city of Richmond, California. And one of the foremost experts on the Middle East, Professor Joshua Landis, clues us in to what exactly is going on in Syria, and what we should do about it.

Gayle McLaughlin is a former two-term Mayor of Richmond, California, who is running for Lieutenant Governor of California as a progressive Independent. Ms. McLaughlin was a Richmond City Council member for two terms and served as Mayor from 2007-2014. While she was Mayor of Richmond, the city passed the first rent control law in California in 30 years, increased the minimum wage, reduced homicides 75% in 8 years, forced Chevron to pay on average an additional $7.5 million in taxes per year and sued Chevron for damage to the city’s populationHer book about this time is entitled Winning Richmond: How a Progressive Alliance Won City Hall.

“They (Chevron) spent millions trying to defeat us. And we were able to overcome their millions. In 2014, they spent 3.5 million in a mid-size city like Richmond, (which) was unprecedented.  And all the progressives won.  And all the Chevron candidates lost.” 

Former mayor Gayle McLaughlin, author of “Winning Richmond: How a Progressive Alliance Won City Hall.”

Joshua Landis is Director of the Center for Middle East Studies and Professor at the University of Oklahoma’s College of International Studies. He writes “Syria Comment” a daily newsletter on Syrian politics that attracts over 100,000 readers a month. Dr. Landis travels frequently to Washington DC to consult with government agencies and speak at think tanks. He has lived over 14 years in the Middle East and speaks Arabic and French fluently. He has lived four years in Syria, and spent most summers in Damascus until the revolution began.

“Syria has got to rebuild. America is not going to rebuild it. Russia and Iran are going to have a very difficult time trying to rebuild Syria.  I don’t believe it’s in America’s interest to linger in Syria more than a year or two.”  

Joshua Landis Director of the Center for Middle East Studies and Professor at the University of Oklahoma’s College of International Studies