Apr 192016
 

vote-for-me

Plus: Who Else to Vote for in AD 15 and AD 18

Once again, I’m running for re-election to the Alameda County Democratic Central Committee.  I’m running for one of the ten seats in AD 18.

I am an unapologetic bleeding heart liberal, committed to pushing the Democratic party towards adopting an agenda that includes the respect and promotion of all human rights: civil, political, economic, social and cultural.  I am fully committed to cleaning up the Democratic party from the corrupting influences of money and cronyism.

Currently, the Alameda County Democratic Central Committee is suffering from a numbers of ills.  One of the main jobs of the  Committee is to give the Democratic endorsement to candidates for non-partisan local races.  Unfortunately, several Committee members are either paid campaign consultants themselves or have close relationships with such people – and they take advantage of their position in the Committee to lobby to get their clients the Democratic endorsement.  This has resulted in the Democratic endorsement being given to candidates who do not have particularly progressive ideas.  Indeed, the Committee has endorsed candidates that support the militarization of police,  the widening of the school-to-prison pipeline, mass surveillance and impunity for police brutality.   While as one of the few liberals in the Committee, my effect over the last four years has been limited, I have been able to stop the Democratic endorsement from going to at least some of the worst candidate – including one that wanted to raise the Chinese flag over San Leandro City Hall paying homage to a government that has imprisoned and disappeared countless critics, members of religious minorities and human rights defenders, while brutality occupying Tibet and other lands.

My other main reason to run for re-election is that I believe that if Bernie Sanders manages to win the nomination and then the presidency, he will need supporters working at all levels with the Democratic party in order to push his agenda forward.  If he doesn’t win, and instead decides to lead a revolution from the Senate, then the support of Democratic grass root activists is even more important.  But let me be clear: as a liberal Democrat I cannot support Hillary Clinton and her neo-liberal/neo-con agenda which imperils America and the world.

Over the last four years, I’ve written from time to time about my experiences as a Committee members, please read further if you want to know more about me and my candidacy.  Please feel free to e-mail me with any questions or comments.

In addition to me, I encourage you to vote for the non-incumbents in the race.  The Committee needs new blood and new energy.

Other candidates I support running for ACDCC in AD 18 (Oakland flats, Alameda & San Leandro):

Pamela Price, a civil rights attorney

Mike Katz-Lacabe, my husband and a privacy rights advocate.

Guillermo Elenes, a housing rights organizer and staunch liberal

In AD 15 (Oakland Hills & North Oakland, Emeryville, Berkeley and Albany) I recommend you vote for the following candidates. There are nine seats available.

Michael Barnett: Michael is an old-timer in the Committee. He is a solid progressive, very intelligent and thoughtful. He’s there for the right reasons.

Vincent Casalaina: Vincent is very progressive grassroots activist, he is with PDA and was an early Bernie supporter.

Andy Kelley: Andy sometimes plays politics to his own detriment, but his heart is in the right place and he is also committed to a progressive agenda.

Len Raphael: Len is intelligent, thoughtful and has an insurgent streak. I think he would bring a much needed non-establishment perspective to the Committee.

Ces Rosales: Ces is a very progressive LGBT and feminist activist in Berkeley.  We don’t always back the same candidates, but I respect Ces’ independent streak.

Relevant articles:

(Edited to add list of people I’m supporting and to add my stand on Hillary Clinton).

Feb 082016
 

Bernie-Sanders-3In recent weeks, I’ve been hearing from quite a few Democrats that they like Bernie Sanders and what he stands for but they’re not sure that he’s really a Democrat.  After all, Sanders is the longest serving independent in the US Congress.  It’s true that Sanders has always caucused with Democrats and serves in Senate committees accordingly, but is he truly a Democrat at heart?

A good person to ask that question might be John Burton, the fiery chairman of the California Democratic Party.  Back in 2011, Burton invited Bernie Sanders to be the keynote speaker at the California Democratic Convention.  He personally introduced him, to the tune of  “I won’t back down” by Tom Petty And The Heartbreakers, telling Democratic delegates that Bernie “is our kind of Senator and we are his kind of Democrats.”   Sanders electrified the audience of grassroots Democratic activists.  He still does.

When Bernie Sanders started speaking about the possibility of running for President back in 2013, he was uncertain as to whether he’d run as an independent or as a Democrat.  “I want to hear what progressives have to say about it” he told The Nation in March, 2014. “The bolder, more radical approach is obviously running outside of the two-party system. Do people believe at this particular point that there is the capability of starting a third-party movement? Or is that an idea that is simply not realistic at this particular moment in history? On the other hand, do people believe that operating in framework of the Democratic Party, getting involved in primaries state-by-state, building organization capability, rallying people, that for the moment at least that this is the better approach? Those are the options that I think progressives around the country are going to have to wrestle with. And that’s certainly something that I will be listening to.”

Bernie asked and progressive Democrats responded asking him to run as a Democrat.  Progressive Democrats of America immediately put together a petition asking Sanders to step forward and be “a champion of ‘the Democratic wing of the Democratic Party'”.  Over 20,000 Democrats signed the petition, committing ourselves to “knock on doors, donate, make phone calls, use social media, and do everything we can to elect Bernie Sanders the next President of the United States.”   Democratic activists followed up by hosting house parties across the country, organizing rallies and phone banking to try to build the basis for a Sanders run and thus convince him that he had a real shot at winning the Democratic primaries.  This efforts paid off when Bernie announced he would run in the Democratic primary.

Bernie Sanders’ run is already helping to transform the party. After years of declining Democratic registration, we are finally to see an uplift.  John Burton is right, Bernie Sanders is our kind of Senator and he will be our kind of President, a Democratic one.

 

 

 

Jan 272016
 
Busting the Myths on Rent Control

This article has been contributed by Guillermo Elenes. With more and more cities in California grappling with displacement and rising rents, and with 45% of residents renting, it’s time to implement serious policy solutions to stabilize communities. The myths abound on rent control policy and prevent cities from pursuing what is really a moderate and reasonable regulation of the largely unregulated private rental market. Unless you think landlords should be able to raise rents however much they want, whenever they want, you believe in rent control and should consider adopting it in your community. Rent control is not a ceiling [Continue Reading]

Jan 272016
 
Want to Help Change the Democratic Party? Run for County Central Committee!

It’s no secret that the Democratic Party is in crisis.  Nationally, the pro-Wall Street policies of the establishment are being challenged by the insurgent campaign of Bernie Sanders.  In California, voters have expressed their displeasure to the growing corporatism of the Party by increasingly registering as “declined to state”.  And in Alameda County, voters have shown their lack of respect for the Party by increasingly dismissing Party endorsements. While making systemic changes to the state and party structures is challenging, a good place to start is with county Democratic central committees.  Most candidates for national office start their political careers [Continue Reading]

Jan 242016
 
California Democratic Party to Automatically Endorse Incumbents

The California Democratic Party has just become a little bit more undemocratic.  New rules quietly enacted by the Party give Democratic incumbents for state and federal office the automatic endorsement of the Party.   While in the past an incumbent would get the Party’s endorsement if he received just 70% of the votes at a pre-convention endorsement caucus or 50%+1 of the votes at the convention, incumbents will now be automatically endorsed unless 20% of all delegates from the district to file an objection.  This is harder than it sounds.  While delegates may punish a bad incumbent by voting for someone [Continue Reading]