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Rocky picks activist-author as his VP running mate

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Associated Press file photo Former Salt Lake City Mayor Rocky Anderson speaks in May 2007 in Salt Lake City. Anderson said Tuesday that Luis J. Rodriguez — an author, activist, former gang member and community organizer — will join him on the ticket of the Justice Party.

By Robert Gehrke

The Salt Lake Tribune

First published Jul 17 2012 05:16PM
Updated Oct 30, 2012 11:32PM

Rocky Anderson has selected a running mate in his quest for the White House.

The former Salt Lake City mayor turned presidential candidate said Tuesday that Luis J. Rodriguez — an author, activist, former gang member and community organizer — will join him on the ticket of the Justice Party, a progressive, anti-war party Anderson launched last year.

Rodriguez has run gang-intervention programs in several cities and is best known as the author of Always Running — La Vida Loca: Gang Days in L.A., a memoir of his time with the city’s street gangs.

"He’s been out there doing this really because of a personal commitment and an amazing heart," said Anderson, the Justice Party’s presidential nominee.

Rodriguez was born in Texas along the U.S.-Mexico border. His parents moved to south-central Los Angeles when he was a boy. The youngster soon became tangled in gangs and drugs. He was also active in the Chicano and anti-war movements in the 1960s and ’70s.

After serving time in jail, Rodriguez became a community activist in and around Los Angeles. He began writing for area newspapers and eventually became editor of a revolutionary publication. He wrote poetry and, in the early 1990s, Always Running was published.

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