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Rocky picks activist-author as his VP running mate

Published July 18, 2012 10:46 am

This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2012, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

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.