Stewart A. Alexander, His Biography
Today, Stewart A. Alexander is seeking the nomination as the presidential candidate for the Peace and Freedom Party and Socialist Party USA; to give Americans an opportunity to have a voice in government and to determine the future course of America and our position in world politics. This is his autobiography.
Stewart A. Alexander, His Biography
Stewart A. Alexander for President
Peace and Freedom Party
Socialist Party USA
Born October 1, 1951, Stewart Alexis Alexander was born in Newport News, Virginia; the son of a brick mason and minister, Stewart Alexander and Ann E. McClenney, a nurse and housewife. Stewart was one of eight children, three boys and five girls and today all are still living with the exception of his father Stewart Alexander, who died at the age of 58, and his second oldest sister, Jimmie Alexander; she died at the age of 32 from health issues occurring near the time of her birth.
Stewart A. Alexander was born in Mary Immaculate Hospital which was located on the banks of the James River, near the Newport News Ship Building and Dry Dock Company. The area is located in the southeast section of Virginia.
In 1951, Mary Immaculate Hospital was a segregated hospital so immediately after Ann Alexander gave birth to Stewart, she along with her newborn son, were re-assigned to a room in the basement of the hospital next to the hospital morgue. At the time all public areas were identified for Whites and Coloreds.
His father, Stewart Alexander, was highly skilled as a brick mason in Newport News and never experienced any work shortages; however working hard as an African-American did not always provide a pass to move out of the projects. Stewart and Ann, along with their five children, lived in one of the largest projects in Newport News, Newsome Park.
In 1953, Stewart and Ann moved to a small suburban community on the west side of Detroit, Michigan, New Boston; the family moved towing a small mobile home. Several trailer parks declined to rent trailer space to Stewart and Ann because the trailer parks in the area were for Whites only. Therefore Stewart and Ann purchased several acres of vacant land and parked their mobile home on the property.
Within a year the Detroit County officials contacted Stewart and Ann to inform them that the property was not zoned for mobile home use and they were ordered to comply with the county ordinance.
During the next few months, Stewart Alexander rushed to build a house for his family; using all of his saving, he bought the materials, he laid and poured a foundation, framed the walls and roof, bricked the sides and moved his family into their new home. The house was far from being complete and did not have running water, gas or heat. The floors had no floor covering and the house remained unfinished.
Twice a week, Ann Alexander would travel five miles to a local park and would transport water to the house for drinking and bathing. There was an old out-house on the property that was used as a toilet. At night, the family would use a bucket with two boards on top and the waste would be dumped in the out-house during the morning hours.
Stewart Alexander often took his son Stewart, to his construction job sites. At the age of five he was teaching his son the brick and masonry trade. Later, Stewart Alexander would have his five year old son teaching grown men the trade while he was still teaching his son.
In 1959, Stewart and Ann moved to California and they discovered quickly that Blacks were not allowed to live in certain Southern California neighborhoods. The family of eight, now six children, moved into the community of Watts, a District of Los Angeles, on 92nd Street and Central Avenue. The family lived in a two bedroom apartment.
Stewart and Ann experienced difficult times in Los Angeles because there was not the abundance of brick-laying jobs as there were in Michigan and Virginia. Times were very hard for the family and Ann found it necessary to seek part-time employment.
The family remained very close even though sometimes there was little or no food on the table. At times there was no food other than milk and bread. Stewart can remember one time when the family went several days having to live on milk, bread, jelly and ketchup.
One day, his father came home with 40 pounds of mixed beans that had been cleaned off the shelves at the downtown markets before opening. Stewart Alexander blessed the food and the entire family was happy to have food, once again, on the table.
Stewart was always visiting churches with his father and on one occasion Stewart attended a meeting with his father in Los Angeles and met Malcolm-X. Malcolm-X was in the Los Angeles area doing some organizing for the Nation of Islam. Later his father told him that Malcolm-X was doing some good things that would help the neighborhood and Colored people.
During the summer of 1961, Stewart moved back to Newport News Virginia to live with his grandparents, Norman and Rosa Lee. Stewart wanted to live in the country and his grandparents lived on three acres that were surrounded by a thick forest and pine trees; there was also a running streams behind the property.
The years that Stewart lived in Newport News were some of his best years and worst years as an adolescent. Stewart loved living in the natural environment; the James River was within two miles of where he lived and the small community was a major change from the concrete and asphalt of the big city.
Shortly after moving to Newport News, at the age of 10, Stewart attended an all Black elementary school, George Washington Carver Elementary. When the schools became integrated, he was one of the first Blacks, one of five, to attend Ferguson High School.
Stewart attended church on a regular basis with his grandparents; Monday through Friday and all day Sunday, 8 to 10 hours. The church still exits today, the Church of God (The Gospel Spreading Association). The church held on to the belief that all those outside of the organization would go to hell.
Stewart's first three months in Virginia was like three months of Christmas. Stewart moved to Virginia wearing clothes that had been purchased in a Los Angeles thrift store and the one pair of shoes that he had would flop as he walked. His grandparents bought him a complete wardrobe of new clothes including two new suits and several new pairs of shoes.
Rosa Lee taught Stewart many things; the use of good grammar, proper etiquettes, and how to clean house. His grandmother was the only housecleaner for a corporate executive and his wife, Robert and Helen Beaner, for over 40 years; and Rosa maintained the same high standards in her own home. Years later, Stewart applied those housecleaning skills when he and his wife, Vicki Alexander, opened a housecleaning business in Temecula, California.
Stewart got his lessons about hard work living in Newport News. Year after year he plowed the small field, cut grass, trimmed bushes, cut trees for the fireplace and cleaned the house twice a week.
Stewart's experience in Virginia was not always good; his grandfather, Norman Lee, brutally beat him for years. Very often the dinner table became the ideal time for Norman to question Stewart about his day at school, his home work, his work around the house and his attitude; any question that was not answered satisfactorily resulted in a quick blow to Stewart's head or a beating.
On one occasion, his grandfather struck him on the side of the head with such force that Stewart had a partial loss of hearing for weeks and he frequently had migraine headaches until he turned 17 years old. At the age of 13 his grandfather chased him from the house with a 12 gauge shotgun and followed him into the forest. The forest was so dark that his grandfather did not know that he came within 15 feet of the location of where Stewart was hiding.
In 1966, Stewart moved back to California and lived in the community of Inglewood. His father was then working full-time as a janitor for White Glove Maintenance in Los Angeles and his mother was a full time nurse. At the time Ann was attending Los Angeles Trade Technical College and eventually received her license as a registered nurse.
At the age of 16 years old, Stewart would work at nights, at the Los Angeles International Airport, cleaning the airport terminals with his father. His mother worked nights as a charge nurse for Los Angeles County, Rancho Los Amigos Hospital, in Downey, California.
In the late sixties, Stewart attended George Washington High in Los Angeles County and at the time of his graduation in 1970 the school had less than 50 White students; a phenomenon that is known as "White Flight."
During that period, there was an abundance of drugs in the school and on the streets; however Stewart occupied most of his time working with his father and going to church. He also visited many churches in the Los Angeles area where his father would preach as a visiting minister.
Stewart was still in the 11th grade when he attempted to join the Air Force Reserve. Two of his uncles were in the Air Force, Landon Alexander and Harold Alexander, and they were encouraging Stewart to join. One day Stewart asked his mother to drive him to March Air Force Base, in Riverside California; and the Air Force Major told Stewart to wait until he was 18 and to finish high school.
Before graduating, Stewart made another trip to the base to enlist and in December of 1970 he went to basic training at Lackland AFB in San Antonio Texas. Stewart had hopes of becoming an Air Force fighter pilot; however he trained to be a transportation and cargo specialist.
While in the Air Force Reserves, Stewart worked full-time as a retail clerk for Safeway Stores and later began attending college full-time at California State University at Dominguez Hills. During this same time he entered into marriage with Freda Alexander and the two of them had one son.
Stewart discontinued his college classes after one college professor asked him if he was stupid; she also asked him to discontinue her course. He began to work more hours, working 40 plus hours a week as a stocking clerk.
Stewart ended his term in the military reserves October, 1976 receiving an Honorable Discharge. In 1976 he married for the second time. He continued to work as a retail clerk for Safeway Stores until 1978. For a brief period he worked as a licensed general contractor in California and in 1980 he went to work for Lockheed Aircraft in Burbank, California.
Stewart left Lockheed Aircraft in 1981 to pursue a career in sales and during that year he decided to take a trip to Israel to strengthen his connection to his Christian past.
His flight took him to New York, Rome, Greece and ended in Israel. Minutes after his flight arrived in Israel, Stewart was interrogated and then arrested. He was told that he should have been traveling with a group. After spending the night in jail, he was transported back to the Tel Aviv Airport, was ordered to strip naked to be searched before being placed on the TWA flight back to the USA. He was told by the person in charge of the airport security that he was not welcome to return to Israel at any future time.
Stewart came back to Los Angeles and began working more with civic groups and organizations including the NAACP. While working with the NAACP, Stewart was denied an opportunity to obtain a job in warehousing; a position that he was well qualified to perform with his military experience in transportation.
Stewart applied for a position as a warehouseman and forklift driver for Inter-American Public Distribution Corporation, in Commerce, California. The warehouse manager, Michael Wright, refused to interview Stewart for a position. Stewart attempted to resolve the matter with the company; however it became necessary to take the matter to the EEOC and the California Fair Employment and Housing.
Stewart was contacted by the president of the company in an effort to resolve the complaint. The same day Stewart was interviewed by Michael Wright and was hired by the company. Stewart was promoted by the Inglewood South Bay Branch, N.A.A.C.P. to the position of Labor and Industry Chairman.
Two years later, Michael Wright informed Stewart that it was his policy not to hire any Blacks unless they were twice as good as a White. Eventually, Stewart asked Michael Wright, why was he hired, Michael simply stated, "You were twice as good." Stewart was one of two Blacks in an organization of more than 200 employees.
The three years that Stewart worked for the company proved to be very challenging. One assignment was more difficult than all others; for several months Stewart was required to unload rail cars, unloading 50 and 100 pound bags onto pallets. Michael Wright had Stewart along with one temporary worker unload rail cars of 2,000 bags at 50 pounds each, or 1,000 bags at 100 pounds each; that six months would affect his back for years.
In 1985 Stewart's father died after battling leukemia; he was 58 years old. His father believed his sickness was the result of his potential exposure to lethal radiation while serving in the Pacific at the end of World War II.
Shortly after his father died Stewart traveled to Tampa, Florida and for a short period worked as a grocery clerk. It was at this time that Stewart took a position as a political activist working with the Florida Consumer Action Network (F-CAN).
For the first time Stewart was able to work full time pursuing a career as a public servant. Stewart was earning one third of his previous income as a warehouse foreman, however he enjoyed the new challenges and opportunities.
The position required door-to-door canvassing, telemarketing, fundraising, and lobbying for consumer and environmental protection. Eventually Stewart traveled throughout the State of Florida and lobbied in the State Capital, Tallahassee.
In 1986, Ralph Nader was the guest speaker at the State Convention of F-CAN and Stewart had the opportunity to spend some quality time with the consumer and political activist. Ralph Nader stressed the importance of the group's work and he shared good information that Stewart has valued and shared with others for more than two decades.
While working with F-CAN, Stewart briefly worked with an affiliate organization, the Long Island Citizens Campaign, located on Long Island in New York. Like F-CAN, both organizations were established to protect the environment and consumer rights.
In 1986, Stewart moved back to Los Angeles and immediately got involved with local groups and organizations. For more than three years he hosted a weekly radio talk show on KTYM Radio, in Inglewood, and dealt with crime issues, gangs, drugs and redevelopment issues. On a weekly basis Stewart would interview city, state and federal officials, and would interview community leaders throughout the State of California. One of his program guests was United States Congresswoman Diane Watson.
It was more for than two decades that Stewart had witnessed drugs and gang violence consuming the streets of Los Angeles and what was happening in Los Angeles was happening across the nation. There were many times that Stewart would see gang members taking control of entire blocks and neighborhood and the authorities simply turned their heads.
For several years, Stewart worked the streets of Los Angeles with Dolores Daniels, a community activist, attempting to inform the people of Southern California about the programs that were available that could offer help to individuals and the community. Dolores Daniels worked with Stewart on the radio broadcast, with the N.A.A.C.P. and on the streets of Los Angeles for several years.
In 1987, Stewart met a community activist in Los Angeles, Norton Halper; it was Mr. Halper that convinced Stewart to run as a candidate for Mayor of Los Angeles. Norton Halper was a community activist that was working with the Hollywood Homeowners Association; the group wanted limitations on redevelopment in Downtown Los Angeles and in Hollywood, California.
Local communities were losing billions of tax increment dollars that were needed for vital community services; redevelopment tax revenues were being used to increase the wealth of the capitalists to build Downtown Los Angeles.
The following year, in 1988, Stewart moderated a hearing in Los Angeles that gave over 200 community activists and organizations the opportunity to meet with Los Angeles County Supervisor, Edmund Edleman and Los Angeles City Councilman, Ernani Bernardi to address redevelopment issues in Los Angeles County and Los Angeles City.
It was during this same period that Stewart launched his campaign to become mayor of Los Angeles. To secure his spot on the ballot, Stewart personally went to over 14,000 doors to get the 1,000 minimum signatures needed to qualify on the citywide ballot.
Stewart's campaign dealt with redevelopment, creating jobs for minority communities and reducing crime and gang activities throughout Los Angeles. The social conditions throughout the city and the minority communities eventually culminated in the eruption of the Los Angeles Riots on April 29, 1992.
Contrary to the local media predictions that Tom Bradley would win the election by a landslide,
Bradley won the election by a slim margin in April 1989. Stewart notes that his father had supported Tom Bradley in Los Angeles politics for more than 15 years and worked with Bradley in his bid to become a city councilman and mayor.
After the election, Stewart became a full time automobile sales consultant. Stewart now began looking at other political groups outside of the main stream politics of the Democratic and Republican Parties. Briefly Stewart was inspired by the campaign of Ross Perot; and in 1991, Stewart attended an event in Orange County, California where Ross Perot spoke to a crowd of about 5,000. It was obvious to Stewart that people everywhere were interested in more than America's two party system.
After Ross Perot ended his campaign, Stewart had very limited involvement in political activities for several years. In 1998, Stewart met Kevin Akin with Peace and Freedom Party. During their first meeting, Kevin Akin presented Stewart with information about the PFP and the party's platform. Stewart realized then that it was socialism that could offer the social solutions for America's working class people.
In December 2003, an event happened to Stewart that was a reality check for himself as a Black man in America and as a minority U.S. citizen. Stewart was accused by his 19 year old step-daughter of indecent exposure in his own home and was arrested.
As Stewart has explained, he had discovered that his step-daughter had been using marijuana in his house. Stewart had very clear guidelines for his step-daughter; no visitors during the late hours, she was not allowed to drink liquor, and the use of drugs was prohibited in his home.
When Stewart confronted his step-daughter regarding her use of marijuana in the house, she immediately charged him with indecent exposure to his wife and a short while later to the police. Stewart immediately denied the charge; however both officers chose to take the word of one White woman over one Black man. One of the police officers at the scene said he found it strange that Stewart would walk around his home, during the night, in a bath robe.
Stewart was arrested and jailed; he was released the following day. His attorney, Eugene Matthews, said it would be a difficult case because Stewart was a Black man and his step-daughter was "White, young and pretty."
Four months later, in April 2004, the Riverside County Prosecutor, Denise Hippic, presented Eugene Matthews with a plea bargain; the plea bargain was for Stewart to accept three months in county jail and three years on probation. Stewart refused the DA's offer and chose a trial by jury.
After refusing the plea bargain, Stewart was falsely arrested for a "Failure to Appear" on a court date that had been changed by the hearing judge. After the arrest, Stewart requested to speak with his attorney; however, after refusing to be interrogated without his attorney present, Stewart once again was incarcerated on a $25,000 bond.
Bail was posted and as one deputy said, "It is not often we lock up someone with so many bail agents in their family." After working as a nurse for more than 35 years, Stewart's 80 year old mother, Ann Alexander, was now a licensed bail agent. The matter of the "Failure to Appear" was later dropped by the hearing judge and the trial judge.
The case lasted for more than one year with a trial that lasted for more than one week; costing Riverside County $100,000's. Denise Hippic finally asked the court to convict Stewart saying, "He was too strict on his step-daughter because "she was only one minute late pass her curfew;" that was a reference to his step-daughter having a friend over after hours. At the conclusion of the trial all the charges were dismissed.
It was at this same time, in 2004, that Stewart began to consider a campaign to become California's lieutenant governor. By now Stewart could speak first hand about America's criminal justice system and how millions of Americans are losing their freedom and their lives in a corrupt capitalist system.
Stewart contacted Kevin Akin, the Peace and Freedom Party State Chair, regarding his interest to seek public office as a candidate for California lieutenant governor; Kevin was very supportive of the idea. Kevin expressed the party's willingness to support his campaign and said the party encourages all members to participate in the political process and to seek public office.
Stewart began his campaign as a candidate for California lieutenant governor in 2005. He quickly realized the best means to reach voters throughout the State of California was by use of the Internet. The message of his campaign was about controlling wasteful state spending and giving working class people a stronger voice in government.
Shortly after the election, Stewart was elected to the State Executive Committee (SEC) of Peace and Freedom Party and is serving as the membership and fundraising coordinator for the party. There are approximately 60,000 people registered with PFP.
Most recently Stewart has become a candidate for president of the United States. Stewart firmly believes that voters and working class people have been left out of the political process from coast to coast.
Stewart is strongly opposed to Congress continuing their support of the Iraq occupation and expanding American imperialism. Stewart has charged the President Bush has led American military forces into a war, against two nations, to protect the interest of the US and European capitalist.
Still on a local level, Stewart has joined the struggle, with local community groups, to stop a multi-billion corporation from opening a granite quarry next to several Southern California communities.
Granite Construction, one of the nation's largest construction companies, is presently seeking permits to open a 155-acre quarry. This 75-year project, Liberty Quarry, will be located next to several communities with a combined population of more than 250 thousand. Stewart, along with other groups, realize that opening this quarry will be harmful to local residents and will damage a fragile natural environment for thousands of years.
Stewart is thankful that Peace and Freedom Party, Social Party USA, and the Independent Media Services that has given him the opportunity to take the message of socialism and true democracy to millions of Americans.
Today, Stewart A. Alexander is seeking the nomination as the presidential candidate for the Peace and Freedom Party and Socialist Party USA; to give Americans an opportunity to have a voice in government and to determine the future course of America and our position in world politics.
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