All posts by Jon Storm

Crash The Gate In San Luis Obispo & Santa Maria: Day 2

Yesterday on Daily Kos, I explained how my candidacy for Assembly District Delegate in AD-33 was a classic example of “crashing the gate.” Younger volunteers from the Obama campaign are continuing to serve in their communities across the country.

In some communities, there is more than just a tiny bit of friction between us and the old timers and their clubs. I don’t begrudge these long term volunteers their positions. But I do begrudge them their monopoly on local party positions.

If San Luis Obispo is famous for anything, it’s probably the farmer’s market. 20+ years before I moved to the area, I remember my family talking about visiting SLO to go to the Farmer’s Market. Tonight, I went there and leafleted for my campaign.


Here I am on the new Court Street handing out leaflets tonight. This is something I never would have done before I attended a community organizer training with Central Coast United For Change in early December, where I was inspired by Walter Heath and Hilda Zacarias to get more involved in my community.

On that day, we were broken up into groups, and had three hours to pick a project. My group’s project involved raising public awareness for a local non-profit called Transitional Food & Shelter that helps disabled homeless people, who fall through the large cracks in our safety net. We handed out leaflets downtown and wrote a letter to the editor. My belief in this need forced me to overcome my awkward feelings about leafleting. I found most people either kindly decline or kindly accept. Just like my first canvassing experience in Nevada, it was not weird, in fact, it was rewarding.

The happy ending is that our small, little quick action resulted in a surge in donations. I later volunteered to do pro bono legal work for that organization, and started this diary after writing a letter on behalf of one of their clients.

So, tonight, learning what I learned from a group of Obama volunteers, my lovely wife (the cameraperson here) and I hit the pavement.

If that’s too grassrootsy for you, I also bought air time on the local Air America station, KYNS 1340. I got an e-mail from a fellow volunteer today saying, “Heard your radio spot today–didn’t know I was working with a soon-to-be celebrity!!” I sure hope so!

And if that’s too “old media” for you, I also have a very Web 1.0 website helping people sign up for the caucus at I was distraught to see that pre-registration is closed. I don’t remember that on the organizing conference call. I hope people who show up a bit late don’t get the Ken Blackwell Ohio 2004 treatment from our local Democrats!

I’m also planning on sending out some e-mails! I’m so 2002!

I’m a lawyer. It must mean I’m adopted. My mom is a teacher. My dad was a teacher. My wife is a teacher. My mother-in-law is even a teacher! Growing up with a widowed teacher for a mom in California’s High Desert taught me to appreciate the sacrifices teachers make. Some of my wife’s friends from school have been kind enough to support me, I believe, for that reason.

I will always stick up for teachers-that’s my mama you’re talkin’ about!

If any of you are in the Central Coast/San Luis Obispo/Santa Maria area and can come out to our party caucus, please do, regardless of whom you vote for. We made a big leap in the federal elections last year, but California is in desperate straits, and we need the energy people brought to last year’s election to carry over to bring California back.

Hope to see you Sunday!