Greetings of a rainy Monday, all!
I have tendered my resignation as Vice Chair, North Area for the San Diego County Democratic Party. I will remain a member of the San Diego County Democratic Central Committee and a delegate therefrom to the California Democratic Party.
I have done this because I cannot stay neutral during the coming Primary races, which being an Area Vice Chair requires. Many of you know that I have been very active in the local Occupy Wall Street movement, Occupy San Diego, since its very first public planning meeting in September. My participation in the Occupy movement has been a logical extension of my progressive, grassroots political organizing since 2003, when I helped to coordinate the local Dean for America presidential campaign.
Howard Dean inspired me to re-register as a Democrat, after several years as a registered Green, to help reform the Democratic Party from the inside. He has continued to inspire me since, with his successful 50-state strategy as DNC Chair which won back the House in 2006 and helped fuel the incredible, populist voter turnout in 2008. Since doing so, I have been inspired by so many other progressive Democrats, working in common cause with me. I was proud when the San Diego County Democratic Central Committee unanimously passed a resolution in support of the Occupy Movement and of our first amendment rights, and then once more when the Executive Board of the California Democratic Party did so last month. It is now time to put those words (see them at the end of this letter) into ACTION.
I am working with others in the Occupy San Diego movement to “Occupy Public Meetings” and “Occupy the Ballot” as we move into the next phase of the Occupy Movement to advocate to get money out of elections, to end corporate personhood, to prevent further foreclosures, to reinvest taxpayer funds into local credit unions and community banks and support our local economy, to shelter the houseless, and for living wages and working conditions. I will keep you posted, and hope you will support our efforts.
My public announcement today is aptly timed — today was the West Coast Port Shutdown organized by Occupy Movements from Anchorage to San Diego. Occupy San Diego is calling for free and fair elections to select the Board of Commissioners at the San Diego Port; the $600 million generated every year by the Port of San Diego should be controlled by the people and used to benefit the 99% rather than the whims of the 1%. We stand with the Longshoremen resisting the union busting of the multinational conglomerate EGT which made $2.5 billion in profits and operates a new international grain terminal in Washington State; we stand with the Teamsters and independent truck drivers at SSA Marine, a multinational partly owned by Goldman Sachs in Los Angeles.
As I heard reports of arrests of peaceful Occupy San Diego protestors at the entrances to Port of San Diego terminals, I had to wonder about the sincerity of Port Board Chairman, Scott Peter’s recent statements in CityBeat that he supports the Occupy Movement. TODAY was an opportunity for him to put ACTION behind his words, and he has failed the test.
And this is one big reason why I am resigning as a Vice Chair of the San Diego County Democratic Party, because this is NOT who we need to send to Congress to represent the new 52nd Congressional District — yet another wealthy, privileged man who pays us lip service but goes along to get along.
It has been my honor and privilege to work with many of you as Vice Chair, North Area. I look forward to continue to work with you as SD County Democratic Central Committee member and delegate to the CA Democratic Party.
Support of Occupy / 99% Movement Resolution 11-11.06B
WHEREAS, the overwhelming influence of corporate interests on public policy and institutions – exacerbated by greed, mismanagement, and corruption – has caused catastrophic levels of income inequality, financial distress, environmental harm, climate crisis denial, and other injustices felt by the overwhelming majority of Americans, the 99%, and
WHEREAS, the wealthiest 1% of Americans, and their corporate interests have acquired a concentration of wealth and power that is unparalleled in the history of our nation, and this concentration of wealth and power in the hands of the few has resulted in tremendous economic and social instability that has most recently manifested in the “Occupy Wall Street” and “Occupy City” protests, and
WHEREAS, the Occupy protestors, particularly those who have advocated their cause using non-violent means, have served to focus attention on the inadequate regulation of the financial industry, the damage inflicted by the absurd and misguided obsession with deficit reduction and the pressing need to reverse three decades of accelerated income inequality, all goals that we fight for in the electoral arena; and
THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that the California Democratic Party stands with those protestors peacefully exercising their First Amendment rights to advance an agenda that results in adequate regulation of the financial industry and Wall Street speculators, reverses the catastrophic slide of income inequality and halts the implementation of austerity-driven economic policies that negatively impact the 99% and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the California Democratic Party supports the protesters’ constitutional rights to free speech and peaceable assembly, and calls on public agencies to protect their rights fully and encourages California Democrats to support local occupy protests throughout the state as well as the movement encouraging individuals to transfer their funds to community banks and local credit unions.
Resolution Committee Substitute – Additional sponsors: State Party Controller Hilary Crosby, San Diego County Party, Jess Durfee, Michael Thaller, Sonoma County Democratic Party, Stephen Gale, Los Angeles County Party, Kess Kessler, Damian Carroll, DPSFV, Dr Michael McQuary.
Adopted by the California Democratic Party
At its November 2011 Executive Board Meeting
Crowne Plaza Hotel, Burlingame
November 20, 2011