Aug 222014
 
Dan Siegel

Dan Siegel

Teachers, Nurses Endorse Siegel

I want to congratulate the Oakland Education Association and the California Nurses Association for endorsing Dan Siegel for Mayor of Oakland.

I have heard now from many people that they love what Dan Siegel stands for, but he can’t win. That, however, can be a self-fulfilling prophesy. If we don’t support the candidates who hold our values we will never see real change. By catering to our perception of what voters want to hear, we promote demagogy instead of real democracy. We do not give ourselves a chance.

I thank the teachers and the nurses for leaving fears aside and supporting someone who can give us hope.

And Dan can. He has been fighting against government abuse and for the rights of the disenfranchised his whole life. He is intelligent, committed, and has a clear vision. And he is humble.

When I asked Dan Siegel to meet with Mike and I so I could hear more about his campaign for Mayor, I was expecting him to have airs of superiority. After all, he has had a brilliant law career, an outstanding record as an activist and was now vying to become Mayor. Lawyers, politicians and activists can be a rather arrogant bunch (me included).

Dan has no arrogance, no sense of superiority; he is not in love with himself. He is running because he is committed to turn Oakland around, to do the best for the City and all its citizens. He doesn’t seek power, he wants opportunity for others. As a human rights activist, I’ve been privileged to meet other people like him, but even in my field they are rare.

I want Dan to win because he is unapologetically a liberal, because his views and values are clear and he stands by them.  Unlike other politicians, he won’t tell you what he thinks you want to hear.

And I want him to win because things in America are getting worse.  Wealth and power continue to accumulate in the hands of the very few, America is no longer a democracy.  The middle class is disappearing and most of us have an uncertain future.   Young people graduate from college, after indebting  themselves for life, to find no jobs awaiting them.  Racism is growing in our society, and African-Americans are being stereotyped as criminals and the source of society’s problems, much like Jews were in Nazi Germany.  Black men are regularly killed by police with impunity.   Meanwhile, the government is readying for the social upheaval that this racial and economic repression is likely to lead to, by instituting methods of mass surveillance and militarizing the police.

Dan Siegel has stood against these things.  He was the only serious candidate for Oakland Mayor to loudly and clearly speak against the Domain Awareness Center anddemand accountability for police abuses.  Oakland only started talking about raising the minimum wage, after Dan Siegel made it part of his platform.

I want Dan Siegel to win so that he can help turn Oakland around, but also so that he can be an example for others.  Candidates who have strong convictions often don’t run because they believe they’ll have to sell out their principles to cater to voters’ fears.  I want Oaklanders to prove them wrong.

So go Dan Siegel!

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