Marianne Williamson, who is seeking to represent Southern California's wealthiest congressional district, took her campaign to Marina del Rey today, pushing a platform that takes aim at money's influence on politics.
To her, there's no contradiction, saying she has found attentive ears across the 33rd Congressional District, which spans from Malibu to the Palos Verdes peninsula to Beverly Hills.
"I was told at the beginning of my campaign, don't even think about talking about child poverty in Bel Air or mass incarceration in Beverly Hills," Williamson told Video News West at the campaign event, "but I'm glad to report that I feel there is a deep listening to the message of this campaign."
She said she is speaking out against the fact that America's child poverty rate is the second highest among advanced nations in the world, and other issues.
"I don't care who you are or what neighborhood you live in, the American heart is disturbed by this," Williamson said. "I'm not talking to rich people, or poor people, or white people or black people or gay people or straight people. I'm talking to Americans."
Williamson -- who has authored 13 books, six of which have been New York Times bestsellers -- has raised $1 million for her campaign and has garnered support from celebrities such as Kim and Kourtney Kardashian, Nicole Richie and Katy Perry.
The 61-year-old is running as an independent in a race against 17 declared candidates, including heavyweight Democrats state Sen. Ted Lieu and former Los Angeles City Controller and mayoral candidate Wendy Greuel.
In his campaign, Lieu is touting his record of taking on special interests in California through his work as a Torrance City Council member and in the State Assembly.
"It's easy to say you are for X, or against X, without having to listen to arguments from powerful interests or having to stand up to powerful interests," Lieu told Businessweek.com.
Greuel's campaign is more focused on local issues. Her website lists her platform as protecting open space, working toward transportation and traffic relief and combating climate change.
The candidates are seeking to replace Democrat Rep. Henry Waxman, who announced his retirement earlier this year.
"I am a lifelong Democrat," Williamson said. "... I feel the two-party duopoly is unhealthy for our democracy at this point. It is sucking all the oxygen out of our public discourse."
At the heart of her work as a spiritual teacher has been her social justice causes. She co-founded The Peace Alliance, which promotes legislation to establish a United States Department of Peace. She also serves on the board of directors of the RESULTS organization, working to end hunger and poverty throughout the world, according to her campaign.
Williamson said at the Marina del Rey event that the power of money on politics is hurting America.
"It's like a cancer that is eating our Democracy -- this issue of the undue influence of money on our politics," Williamson said.
She said she also supports a constitutional amendment to regulate campaign financing.
The two candidates with the most votes, regardless of party affiliation, in the June 3 primary election will move on to the general election in November.
--City News Service