A Progressive Alamedan

Various writings from a resident of Alameda regarding the political scene. The local perspective of local, state and national politics and a few other odds and ends of local concern. May not be particularly interesting to people outside of the Alameda area.

Sunday, January 14, 2007

Grassroots Victory in the 16th Assembly District

Today we had our elections for delegates to represent the 16th Assembly District (Alameda, Piedmont, and most of Oakland) for the Democratic Party. We had something like 270 votes cast (Sorry, I didn't write down the exact number), which was phenomenal turnout.

The winners:

Women: Michelle Gabriel, Suzy Goldmacher, Linda Joseph, Tara Marchant, Rachel Richman, Veronica J. Williams

Men: Mark Briggs, Arnold G. Fong, Jason Gohlke, Wayne Nishioka, Anand Singh, Dan Wood.

Mark Briggs was elected as the Executive Board representative.

It was a clean sweep for the candidates who had organized together as a progressive slate. I think this was due to some intense outreach on our part to our friends and neighbors, and the fact that we had the backing of East Bay For Democracy and the Wellstone Democratic Renewal Club, who apparently contacted all of their members with our information. It also didn't hurt that 2/3rds of our slate was endorsed by Sandré Swanson and 100% of it was endorsed by Wilma Chan. We worked really hard to put together a group of people that is active, passionate, and diverse in many ways, and I think our district will be well-represented.

I was very pleased to win and see the fine folks I was running with all win. Actually it was kind of surreal that we all won, because there were many other great, progressive candidates running as well, and I wished that somehow there was some way for them to win as well! We are all on the same side here, regardless of slight differences in approaches to things. Choosing among candidates who are so like-minded is difficult. Fortunately - I hope - those who didn't make it as delegates will continue their great work. Actually, there are possibilities for some of them to become delegates in spite of the election results; elected officials like Sandré Swanson can appoint up to five delegates themselves. He has a great selection to choose from.

The election process was a bit strange, though I guess it went smoothly as could be expected. I had heard about a few logistical problems that had happened around the state in yesterday's elections, and I made a point to warn our convener and the many volunteers about them, just to be on the safe side. Most ballots were cast by people showing up, filling out their ballot, and then leaving, so when it came time for the candidates to give their one-minute speeches, it wasn't in front of a particularly big audience. I think that next time, it would be better to have a particular scheduled time for the event to start, then a time for the speeches to start, and then after the speeches are over, a period of time for the ballots to be cast. That way, people could do a quick drop-off of their ballots if needed during certain time period, but at least the candidates would be likely to have a more substantial audience. Keeping the ballot boxes open for a bit of time after the speeches would allow for latecomers, allow candidates and citizens to talk and discuss after the speeches but before the votes, and possibly give people a chance to pick and choose candidates better, based on what they heard.

In any case, I'm jazzed for this April's convention in San Diego. I really appreciate everybody who took time out of their busy day to come out in the cold for this.


Blogger John Knox White said...

Congrats Dan!

I know you worked really hard for this victory and we're really lucky to have you representing us in the Democratic party.

9:12 AM  

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