Lost the Battle, Won the War?
Here's what happened. The election to select twelve delegates from our assembly district to the California Democratic Party was held on Saturday afternoon. It was spectacularly well-attended. Though there were a number of candidates running independently, there were two main competing slates. Mine, a self-organized, grassroots, progressive group, included all of the incumbents who had decided to run again plus others who are involved in local groups like Wellstone Democratic Renewal Club, East Bay for Democracy/DFA, and local campaigns. Theirs was a group that had joined a pledge of allegiance to State Senator John Burton in his juggernaut-bid for position as chair to the California Democratic Party. Presumably because of Burton's union ties, this slate brought out a huge number of union folks to come and vote. To be honest, I figured that our folks didn't stand a chance to this "political machine" — exactly the kind of politics that my cohorts and I have been trying to fight.
Amazingly, we as a group prevailed. Seven out of our nine candidates were elected, plus two others who were on neither slate. We shut down the power structure. It felt really, really good.
The personal downside for me was that I ended up tied for sixth in the vote count, and there were six slots available for men. So it came down to a coin toss. Which I lost. But I had just met the guy I lost to, Jakada Imani, earlier that day, and I really think he'll be a wonderful delegate.
I tried to thank everybody I knew who came out to support me and my progressive cohorts, but in case I missed you, please consider yourself thanked profusely for taking the time out of your day to participate in this always-under-publicized event.
I will still stay involved, especially in offering to help out the new delegates be effective in their new positions. Stay tuned!