CA-36 congressional candidate Marcy Winograd’s March 14, 2010 open letter to delegates follows:
Delegates, Floor Fight? You Bet!
Winograd vs. Harman: Choose Our Street over Wall Street
Delegates, I need your support to block the endorsement of Blue Dog Jane Harman on the floor of the California Democratic Party convention this weekend. Harman is a formidable opponent, particularly with her campaign consultant Harvey Englander, the man who engineered the passage of Howard Jarvis’ Prop 13.
You will hear Harman’s appointees argue that we should not usurp the local caucus’s power to endorse. Delegates are aware that incumbents enjoy institutional support and as such, many are unwilling to expend political capital or perceived accessibility to incumbents even though those incumbents may vote against core Democratic values. Our Party’s bylaws however, provide for exactly this type of challenge because when a candidate is endorsed, that endorsement reflects the will of the entire statewide Party, not just local delegates. Moreover, when a corporate Democrat, funded by military contractors and personally invested in those same contractors, takes us to war without exercising her oversight responsibility, all of us pay the price.
You may hear that we must respect what Party activists in the 36th congressional district want. Please know that I am proud to be endorsed by the majority of grassroots Democratic clubs in my district, including the San Pedro Democratic Club; Torrance Democratic Club; Progressive Democratic Club (Harbor); Gardena Valley Democratic Club; Progressive Democrats of America-36th District.
Our efforts begin on Friday night when many progressive delegates convene with national radio broadcaster Jim Hightower at the Palm Restaurant, 1100 Flower Street, across from the Marriott Hotel, where the convention will be held. All are welcome. At that time, I will ask you to commit yourself to gathering signatures for my petition to overturn Harman’s endorsement in the local caucus Saturday evening.
That local caucus, comprised of many elected officials and their appointed delegates, will undoubtedly endorse Harman, the candidate who once introduced herself to convention delegates as “the best Republican in the Democratic Party.”
Following her local caucus endorsement, we need to collect 300 delegate signatures within a few hours on Saturday night to overturn the endorsement and push this fight to the floor on Sunday morning. Dozens of Winograd for Congress supporters will circulate with clipboards, fanning out to collect the required petition signatures.
To block Harman’s endorsement on the floor, I will need 50% plus 1 delegate to reject her candidacy.
Winograd vs. Harman: What’s the Difference?
I am a proud progressive, a public school teacher on leave from Crenshaw HS in South Los Angeles, and an organizer of the Progressive Caucus of the California Democratic Party.
This is not a contest between two corporate Democrats.
It’s between Our Street vs. Wall Street.
Homes vs. Banks.
Jobs vs. Wars.
At stake are the values and soul of the Democratic Party.
Who are we? What do we stand for?
As a co-founder of Progressive Democrats of America’s Los Angeles chapter, I helped write, along with author Norman Solomon and Progressive Caucus Chair Karen Bernal, the resolutions putting our Party on record calling for an end to the US air and ground wars in Afghanistan. I also put our party on record calling for a cap on usurious bank interest rates, parole and sentencing reform, and an end to unfair trade agreements.
As a leader in the anti-war movement, I organized a 1,000-strong town hall with Congresswoman Maxine Waters, and then led a delegation to Washington to introduce
our representatives to wounded veterans with Iraq Veterans Against the War. On the election protection front, I worked hard to elect SOS Deborah Bowen and to make sure she stayed in office to enforce her ban on most touch screen machines. In the labor movement, I organized with Cesar Chavez and became active in my own union: United Teachers of Los Angeles.
I support clean money, both in word and in deed. I am not taking a dime of corporate
contributions because I am the People’s Candidate for the People’s House.
My opponent is smart and tough. Unfortunately, she has used her strengths in the service of:
* big banks and military contractors
* supporting a bankruptcy bill that makes it easier for banks to hike your credit card rates
* punish you for medical bankruptcy
* foreclose on your home
* voting to deny you affordable generic medications for breast and brain cancer, HIV, and Parkinson’s disease
* defying a majority of House Democrats to take us to war in Iraq, then escalate in Afghanistan
* working to re-elect George Bush by pressuring the New York Times to suppress the story of Bush’s massive illegal wiretapping program
* finally, becoming the subject of an FBI investigation after being caught in an NSA wiretap allegedly offering to use her influence on the House Intelligence Committee to get spying charges dropped against AIPAC analysts – this in return for their reported promise to defund House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and the Democratic Party if Pelosi refused to make Harman Chair of the House Intelligence Committee.
I am not in the pocket of any lobby group – and am deeply committed to the pursuit of peace with justice in the Middle East.
It’s time for a change – and a commitment at home to transforming our war economy into a new Green economy. We need a Green New Deal along the lines of the Works Progress Administration. Together, we can put Americans back to work repairing our infrastructure, strengthening our public school system, developing new energy, and building mass transit.
Enough of perpetual wars and occupations that create greater instability and rob our treasury of trillions needed for health care, education, and housing.
The ILWU Southern California District Council, University of California AFT, Mexican American Bar Association, Progressive Democrats of American, and the Armenian National Committee are among my endorsers.
I ask all delegates to the California Democratic Party to help me challenge Jane Harman to a floor fight at the California Democratic Party convention. Thus far, my opponent has refused to debate me, but rumor has it she will make a rare appearance at the annual convention.
I look forward to the challenge — and to the moment on the floor when delegates will have an opportunity to stand tall.
36th Congressional District Candidate