Peace activist Jerry Rubin, 64, has officially announced his candidacy for Santa Monica City Council in this November’s election, where he will run for one of the four open seats on the seven-member body.
His platform? “Pro-peace, pro-trees and pro-accountability,” he says.
This will not be Rubin’s first time to run for City Council. The activist ran in 2000, and while he didn’t get a seat, “I still got over 5,000 votes and was very honored,” Rubin said.
Rubin was prohibited from using “peace activist” on the ballot as his occupation, a role he says he takes very seriously and one that he indeed considers his vocation.
He took the city to court over the issue, and what followed was a three-year legal fight that was ultimately rejected by the U.S. Supreme Court.
Rubin says he wants to see the California Election Code changed to allow “activist” to be permitted as an occupation.
Rubin ran for City Council again in 2002, but dropped out shortly before the election for health and political reasons.
“This time, I’m running and I’m staying in,” Rubin says. And he notes that he will do things similarly to the way he ran his campaign in 2000.
“I’m not asking for donations,” Rubin says. “I’m not soliciting any endorsements or any volunteer help. I’m trying to make this a people’s campaign.”
Rubin, a Philadelphia native who has lived in California since 1967, has been involved in activism since 1979, when he joined Alliance For Survival.
“I’ve been involved every day since,” he says. “It’s such an honor to be involved in the peace and environmental movement.”
He married wife Marissa, a retired art therapist, in 1983. The couple recently celebrated their 25th anniversary.
“I definitely support whatever he’s inclined to do,” said Marissa Rubin. “We very strongly support one another in our individual endeavors. He’s a very creative person. He’s a very ethical person. He’s really concerned about the community. He will be the one I’ll be voting for.”
In 2003, Rubin legally added “Peace Activist” as his middle name — a birthday present to himself that cost about $300. And he wants to see his name officially on the election ballot in November as Jerry Peace Activist Rubin.
“That’s my name,” he says. “I’m proud of my name. I wanted my name to be a reminder of the ongoing responsibility I have to actively promote peace. It’s meaningful.”
Rubin founded the Activist Support Circle, a support group for activists, in 2005.
He also founded Santa Monica Treesavers last year, after the City Council approved a streetscape improvement project that called for the removal of a number of mature ficus trees along Second and Fourth Streets.
Currently, he’s heading efforts with Treesavers to try to get a tree commission in Santa Monica.
And he says he’s running for a seat on the City Council for many reasons.
“I love Santa Monica,” said Rubin, who notes that he’s against term limits. “I’m concerned about a number of issues — of course the trees at the forefront.”
He also said he’d like to see a better relationship between the council and the community.
Of his running for City Council, Rubin says, “I’m very certain that the City of Santa Monica will continue functioning regardless of whether Jerry Rubin is on the City Council or not. I feel, though, that I care deeply about Santa Monica and the issues that I’d like to see them support.”
Rubin vows to run a clean campaign without resorting to personal attacks.
If elected, he says, “I’ll do my honest best to be a good councilmember.”
He encourages anyone wanting to talk to him or offer suggestions to call him at (310) 399-1000.