This Wednesday night, we made history at the United Democrats of Southern Solano County.
After hearing from a candidate who is truly for the people, this brave group broke its long tradition of endorsing the 9-term incumbent. Members were split evenly and failed to reach the 50%+1 needed to make an endorsement.
A number of community members and elders suggested this was a great victory for our movement. Our opponent has lost the support of the United Democrats of Solano County. That is significant. It shows that voters are ready for change!
The next night, I returned to Vallejo for a second endorsement meeting with a second Democratic Club, the Stonewall Democratic Club of Solano County. I had been told that an endorsement was a real possibility, as this group tended to be potentially even more bold and progressive.
Only this time, it wouldn't be so easy.
Apparently emails were exchanged and calls were made. Word on the street was that Rep. Thompson wasn't happy about losing an endorsement. Supporters were dispatched to the meeting to remind us of the incumbent's service record as a combat veteran -- and to hound me about my past party affiliation and laugh at my ambition to get money out of politics.
The house was pretty packed. Without further ado, here is what went down:
Thompson got his endorsement.
But I am told the vote was close.
I left that room with some real supporters -- people ready to throw up yard signs, flyer events, and spread the word about the authentic alternative to the status quo -- so I still may be willing to chock this one up as a People's Victory.
But I need to share this concern, as well:
As honored as I was to speak with this group, I was frankly shocked that folks would still vote to endorse the 9-term incumbent after all I had to say... especially vis-a-vis Thompson's record of taking political contributions from companies like Wal-Mart and Tesoro that are poisoning our communities. I wasn't making that stuff up. I brought the spreadsheets with me.
Aren't Democrats supposed to represent the struggle of the People, not big banks and corporations?
I stood there with passion and grit and solidarity with all oppressed people -- and folks choose to criticize me for having been registered Green in the past?
I sure was -- and it was only because, in the words of rapper Talib Kweli,
"The muhf***in Democrats is actin' like Republicans."
Times are urgent, people. Global Warming. Wealth Inequality.
Your Representative takes money from the fossil fuel industry and too-big-to-fail banks.
What more is there to discuss?
I think *identity* was an important factor (was THE factor) in last night's decision.
Until we get out the truth about where Thompson's allegiance really lies, people are going to keep 'identifying' their egos with the person they've voted for in the past. Voters need to know that they have a real Democrat on the ballot challenging an establishment plutocrat.
I stand for the people and take no money from lobbyists or corporations.
Here's the list of my opponent's corporate PAC contributions from this election. It is astonishing:
I trust that, as the truth becomes known, it will become more and more evident to all voters in this district that the time has come for change.