Lake County Record-Bee: Nils Palsson runs for 5th District seat

From the Lake County Record-Bee, by Staff Reports, originally posted on March 27, 2018

Nils Palsson Runs for 5th District seat

 Nils Palsson announced he will run for US Congress (CA-5) in the 2018 elections. contributed photo

Nils Palsson announced he will run for US Congress (CA-5) in the 2018 elections. contributed photo

SANTA ROSA >> Teacher, nonprofit communications director, and former Lake County resident Nils Palsson has filed as a candidate for the U.S. House of Representatives in the Fifth Congressional District in the upcoming 2018 Midterm Election. The district includes all of Napa County and parts of Lake, Sonoma, Solano and Contra Costa Counties.

Running as an independent “no party preference” candidate, Palsson, 32, says he represents a platform of social, racial, environmental and economic justice for all, with an emphasis on getting money out of politics and restoring democracy. He was also a candidate for this Congressional seat in 2016 when he placed third in the June Primary with 12.5 percent of the total vote and over 24,000 votes.

Palsson is challenging ten-term Democratic incumbent Mike Thompson. Palsson said he accepts no lobbyist or Super-PAC contributions, building his campaign entirely on small individual donations and grassroots community action.

“Big money has taken over politics,” Palsson wrote in his official candidate statement, which will be mailed home to voters in April. “I am running for this office because we, the people, deserve a voice in government. My clear allegiance is to our people and planet: to Main Street, not Wall Street.”

Palsson has pledged to lead the movement in Congress to impeach President Trump, resist his policies, and support legislation for Medicare for All, affordable housing and education, a living wage, immigration reform, and a strong response to climate change. He accepts no political contributions from corporate lobbyists and is committed to representing the families and communities in this district, not the wealthiest one-tenth of 1 percent.

A self-described “Berniecrat” (a progressive political candidate aligned with the presidential campaign of Bernie Sanders), Palsson was elected to be a Delegate for Sanders in 2016.

Palsson, who resided in Lake County from 2010-2016, currently lives in Santa Rosa, where he serves as Communications Director for the sustainability and community resilience nonprofit Transition US, the national hub of the global “Transition Towns” movement to respond to climate change and economic instability by creating strong local communities and economies. Palsson also works as a science teacher, and formerly taught the US and World History at Kelseyville High School.

Before working toward his teaching credential, Palsson also substitute-taught in many grade levels and districts all around Lake County. Achieving tuition-free public college and universal pre-K for all children, and ending the student debt crisis for the millions of Americans crippled by student loans, are among Palsson’s legislative priorities.

“Nils is a talented and effective community organizer who knows what it takes to create change. He will take his skills to Washington, and teach Congress a lesson,” wrote Carol Cole-Lewis of Lake County.

Running in a four-way primary on June 5, in which the top two candidates advance to the November election regardless of party, Palsson hopes to be the one to challenge the long-time incumbent. The race also includes one Green Party candidate, Jason Kishineff, as well as an additional No Party Preference candidate, Anthony Mills.

Born in San Francisco and educated at New York University, Palsson moved to Lake County in 2010. He has served as a high school history teacher, host of KPFZ Lake County Community Radio’s weekly “Wake Up and Thrive,” and a local community organizer for resilience and social justice, co-founding the local resilience-building organization Transition Lake County, organizing the annual Hands Around Clear Lake ceremony to honor that “Water is Life,” and leading other grassroots efforts to build a stronger local community.

“I am just like the rest of the people in my district,” Palsson wrote in a statement. “I’m dealing directly with challenges like student debt and the housing crisis. I know how it feels to be a working-class parent — and I am ready to represent the working-class people of this district in Congress.”

More information about his campaign is available at www.NilsforCongress.com.

The primary election will be held June 5. The deadline to register to vote is May 21.