author – activist – faculty – mom
During the presidential election, we heard ad nauseum about each candidate. What they ate for breakfast, what they muttered to their dog in the evening. But now, there are several critical behind the scenes elections/selections taking place for the leadership of the Democratic Party, and it’s very difficult to get any information about when they take place, who is running, and what they stand for.
In , joined Bernie Sanders and many others in endorsing Keith Ellison for DNC Chair. Apparently, Tom Perez, Secretary of Labor, a Latino civil rights attorney, is also running as a progressive. Last night, I spoke with a woman who has been active in labor unions for decades, and she spoke very highly of Perez. Also, Perez entered the race much later, so some of the folks who endorsed Ellison might have endorsed him.
So how do I decide whom to support? Based on my readings of Steve Phillips’ Brown is the New White, I want the candidate that is going to put in place a 24/7 community organizing strategy and abandon the democrats’ failed courtship of the white swing voter. Which one is more aligned with my vision. Which one is positioned to get the job done? Since none of us regular folks get to vote, I won’t have to make that final decision. This selection will happen maybe in March? I only have rumors to go on. Perhaps this is the good news: we actually have two progressive men of color running to lead the DNC. It’s as if Obama was running against Jimmy Smits who played the Latino president in West Wing. Maybe DNC should have both. A Perez/Ellison dream team.
A more challenging race is for Assembly District Delegates, where I will be voting on January 7th. Apparently, there are two progressive slates out of my Berkeley/Contra Costa Assembly district who are running. Last week, I signal boosted one, this week I’ll signal boost another, the Democrats Rising slate.
Are there dangers of them splitting the progressive vote and a more conservative slate winning? How do we decide which progressive slate more closely reflects our values? Do we pick and choose among the slates (which I will probably do). There are no debates and very little public information. Anyone can say they’ve worked for racial justice, but did you do multicultural pot lucks at your church or confront the police about shooting people of color?
Above all, I wish our progressives were more united. Can we hash out our differences and then unite behind the candidate(s) that we decide to run? This is really the question that will decide whether or not we can win in future…
PLEASE share your thoughts in the comments!