Tag Archives: PDA

United Auto Workers endorses Tracy Emblem in North San Diego County Democratic primary race

ESCONDIDO, May 20, 2010 – The International Union, United Automobile, Aerospace and Agricultural Implement Workers of America (UAW) Region 5 has endorsed Tracy Emblem for U.S. Congress in California’s 50th as the Democratic Candidate to vote for in the June 8th primary.

UAW Region Five consists of active and retired members in 17 states in the Western and Southwestern United States and represents individuals such as manufacturing and aerospace employees, agricultural implement workers and academic student employees, readers and tutors at the nine teaching campuses in California.

"Putting Americans back to work should be the number one priority right now in Congress. If America is to have a future, now is the time to revitalize our manufacturing base with high tech green manufacturing jobs that benefit Americans. It starts immediately with policies that return our jobs to America and by retooling for a new economy together with a multi-industry strategy approach through partnership with private, public and labor segments."

The UAW is one of the largest and most diverse unions in North America, with members in virtually every sector of the economy. UAW-represented workplaces range from multinational corporations, small manufacturers and state and local governments to colleges and universities, hospitals and private non-profit organizations. The UAW has more than 390,000 active members and more than 600,000 retired members in the United States, Canada and Puerto Rico.

It has been actively involved in every civil rights legislative battle since the 1950s, including the campaigns to pass the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Voting Rights Act of 1965, the Fair Housing Act, the Civil Rights Restoration Act of 1988 and legislation to prohibit discrimination against women, the elderly and people with disabilities.

The UAW also has played a vital role in passing such landmark legislation as Medicare and Medicaid, the Occupational Safety and Health Act, the Employee Retirement Act and the Family and Medical Leave Act. In Washington and state capitols, the UAW is fighting for better schools for kids, secure health care and pensions for retirees, clean air and water, tougher workplace health and safety standards, stronger worker’s compensation and unemployment insurance laws and fairer taxes.

This endorsement brings the total labor support of Tracy’s campaign to about 20 unions. Tracy is also the candidate endorsed by the Progressive Democrats of America.

Tracy Emblem is running for U.S. Congress in San Diego’s 50th District against Francine Busby, a Cardiff School Board trustee with only one endorsement by labor (California Teachers Association), to unseat the incumbent Republican Brian Bilbray who has no endorsements by labor.

American Federation of Government Employees (AFGE) endorses Tracy Emblem for US Congress (CA50)

ESCONDIDO, May 12, 2010 – The American Federation of Government Employees (AFGE) has endorsed Tracy Emblem for U.S. Congress in California’s 50th Democratic primary race in North San Diego County.

AFGE represents a diverse workforce of government workers who are the vital threads of the fabric of American life. Government employees inspect the food we eat and the places we work, protect citizens from the illicit flow of drugs, maintain the safety of our nation’s borders, care for our nation’s veterans and keep the national defense systems prepared for any danger 

"With the 50th District geographically between two military bases and San Diego County home to the second largest Veteran population in the nation, I am proud to have the support and endorsement of AFGE whose members work to care for, empower and assist our returning Veterans and protect and keep America strong," said Tracy Emblem on Wednesday.

AFGE is the largest federal employee union representing 600,000 federal and D.C. government workers nationwide and overseas. Workers in virtually all functions of government at every federal agency depend upon AFGE for legal representation, legislative advocacy, technical expertise and informational services.

AFGE believes that all unions should belong to the house of labor and has been nationally affiliated with the The American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations (AFL-CIO) since AFGE was founded in 1932. The AFL-CIO is a voluntary federation of 56 national and international labor unions. The AFL-CIO was created in 1955 by the merger of the AFL and the CIO.

This endorsement brings the total labor support of Tracy’s campaign to about 20 unions. Tracy is also the candidate endorsed by the Progressive Democrats of America.

Tracy Emblem is running for U.S. Congress in San Diego’s 50th District against Francine Busby, a Cardiff School Board trustee with only one endorsement by labor (California Teachers Association), to unseat the incumbent Republican Brian Bilbray who has no endorsements by labor.

Emblem challenge to Busby Spices Up Tight 50th Congressional District Democratic Primary

Logan Jenkins, a San Diego Union-Tribune columnist based in North San Diego County, covered the tight Democratic Congressional primary in California’s 50th District today. He profiled the two Democratic candidates in the race competing for a chance to unseat the Republican incumbent, Brian Bilbray: 1) Francine Busby, “the Harold Stassen of the 50th district, a three-time loser in head-to-head races against Republicans,” and 2) Tracy Emblem, the fresh new upstart with extensive blue collar support from about 20 labor unions. He posited that the 50th District might change color from red to blue this year. Read more:


Citizens for Global Solutions Endorse Tracy Emblem for U.S. Congress (CA50)

WASHINGTON D.C., May 07, 2010 – National peacekeeping group, Citizens for Global Solutions (CGS) gave progressive democrat, Tracy Emblem the thumbs up in her race for United States Congress in North San Diego County’s 50th district with their official endorsement for her candidacy in the June 8th Democratic Primary.

CGS is a membership based ‘big idea’ group working to promote the International Criminal Court (ICC), reform the United Nations and encourage the United States to adopt a multinational foreign policy, which includes working together with other nations to abolish war, protect our rights and freedoms, and solve the problems facing humanity that no one nation can solve alone.

“I am proud to have the support and endorsement of the Citizens for Global Solutions and to work together to promote the end of genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity. We all have a responsibility to be part of the solution,” said Tracy Emblem upon receiving the news.

CGS remains one of the leading U.S. based organizations focused on the ICC. Through the work of members, they have been able to roll back the anti-ICC policies adopted by Congress and the Bush administration. They are currently meeting with members of the Obama administration to build a truly positive U.S. relationship with the Court.

As a founding member of the Partnership for Effective Peacekeeping, CGS successfully lobbied Congress to appropriate an additional $524 million to help address critical shortfalls to funding U.N. peacekeeping missions. Overall, they were able to help reduce, by more than 20%, U.S. debt to the U.N. They will continue work to bring this to zero and to put blue helmets back onto U.S. troops.

Close to 90% of the 183 candidates endorsed by Global Solutions PAC in the 2008 election cycle won, including 5 new senators and 5 new representatives.

Tracy is running for U.S. Congress in San Diego’s 50th District against Francine Busby, a Cardiff School Board trustee, to unseat the incumbent Republican Brian Bilbray.

National Phone Bank Days for PDA-Endorsed Candidate Tracy Emblem

With the June primaries fast approaching, we have three candidates facing challengers for the party’s nominations. As we pursue our goal of a governing progressive majority, you’ll be hearing from each of them. Our hope is that you will find an hour or two to help elect true progressive candidates like Tracy Emblem in California’s 50th congressional district. -Tim Carpenter

Republican Brian Bilbray has stood as a living roadblock to every meaningful piece of legislation. He voted NO to Regulate Predatory Lending Practices while people are losing their homes due to foreclosure. He voted NO to Health Care Reform, even after his friends in Congress stripped the Public Option back to nothing less than another private insurance bailout. He voted NO to Ending the War and to bring our troops home. In fact, the only consistent YES vote he has cast is to participate in the Obstruction of Progress.

The RNC considers the 50th a vulnerable district. In 2008, President Obama won with over 14,000 votes. The district is 97.8 percent urban and is ready for change and progressive leadership in Congress.

I am running in a contested Democratic Primary against the party “blue dog” candidate who has already run and lost three times. I have the support of California’s working families, the California Labor Federation, the California Nurses Association, National Air Traffic Controllers and almost 20 individual unions in the AFL-CIO. Labor supports me because they know it will take a progressive leader to deliver a victory. Your support will help to level the playing field against the party machine.

With only days until the primary, I need your help now more than ever to win this fight. Please volunteer to make calls to help us reach voters in this critical Southern California district. Together, we can work for true progress to make America stronger.

Yours truly,

Tracy Emblem

P.S. Your campaign contribution of $10, $25, $50 or whatever you can afford will help us reach voters in this critical time. Please visit www.TracyEmblemforCongress.com.

P.P.S. Join Tracy this Thursday on the “Inside the Party” call. Register here.

California School Employees Association Endorses Tracy Emblem for U.S. Congress (CA50)

ESCONDIDO, CA April 23, 2010 – The California School Employees Association (CSEA) joins the California Federation of Teachers (CFT), the California Labor Federation (CLF) and nearly twenty diverse labor unions from building trades to health care specialists and service employees in their official endorsement of Tracy Emblem for United States Congress in California’s 50th district.

CSEA represents nearly 230,000 classified employees in California public schools and community colleges.

These school support staff, known in California as “classified school employees,” perform a wide range of essential work, including security, food services, office and clerical work, school maintenance and operations, transportation, academic assistance and paraeducator services, library and media assistance, computer services and more.

“I am proud to have the support and endorsement of the working men and women who keep our schools and colleges open and running. California’s Classified Employees work hard every day to ensure that our learning environments are safe, clean and ready for our students, young and old. It is essential that we have a quality, skilled workforce which is why I support rights for employees to organize, pool their resources and collectively bargain for benefits. Investing in our local communities will have lasting results for generations to come,” said the jubilant Tracy Emblem.

These endorsement’s bring the total labor support of Tracy’s campaign to almost 20 unions. Tracy is also the candidate endorsed by the Progressive Democrats of America.

Tracy is running for U.S. Congress in San Diego’s 50th District against Francine Busby, a Cardiff School Board trustee with only one endorsement by labor (California Teachers Association), to unseat the incumbent Republican Brian Bilbray who has no endorsements by labor.

Vote to Endorse Tracy Emblem

Vote Now for Tracy Emblem the True Progressive Candidate

We all know in our hearts who the real progressive candidate is — Tracy Emblem. The other 50th District candidate has lost the general election three times, and is now attempting to gain the DFA endorsement as a “progressive” candidate. She is not a Progressive Democrat who DFA should endorse. In fact, the DFA does not want Blue Dog or Corporate candidates to represent the party as stated in a recent email from DFA.

To our fellow democrats who are Busby supporters we say that your friendship and loyalty to her is admirable, but we all know friends don’t win elections. It is the best qualified candidate who should move on to defeat Brian Bilbray. Let’s all make it happen, and as our opponet says – “Let’s rally the troops.”

Why support Tracy Emblem as the Progressive Candidate?  Progressive Democrats of America and Progressive Push – both national progressive organizations have endorsed Tracy.

Tracy has the support/endorsements of 16 labor unions who represent hundreds of working families in the 50th District.

This district can only be won by a strong opponent — Tracy has been a civil rights attorney protecting and fighting for people’s constitutional rights!

Please Click on the Link Below & Vote for Tracy Emblem


CA-50 latest San Diego democratic club endorsement tally: Busby 4, Emblem 3, no endorsement 4

The Progressive Democrats of America (PDA) Metro San Diego Chapter voted Monday evening to endorse Tracy Emblem for the 50th Congressional District race.

In a very transparent voting process where the member’s ballots were collected, counted and verified in front of all present, the final tally was 19 votes for Emblem, 7 votes for Busby and 2 voters chose to abstain. This brings Emblem’s local Democratic club endorsement tally up to three, which has her closing in on Francine Busby, her competitor for incumbent Republican Brian Bilbray‘s seat. The other local clubs endorsing Emblem include: North County Women’s Democratic Club and Latino American Democratic Club.

Four local clubs have endorsed Busby thus far: Chicano Democratic Association, San Diego Democratic Club, San Diego County Young Democrats, and Rancho Santa Fe Democratic Club.

PDA is the second progressive organization to endorse Emblem this week. The Progressive Push PAC endorsed Emblem on Saturday. Luis A. Cuevas, the National Director, stated on Emblem’s Facebook page that he was proud to endorse “the real progressive in California’s 50th Congressional District race”.

Additionally, Emblem has the formal endorsement of four local labor unions, while Busby has the endorsement of a national women’s political caucus.

However, four San Diego Democratic clubs have withheld endorsements for this seat: Mesa Democratic Club, Lake San Marcos Democratic Club, Black Mountain Democratic Club, and the Democratic Club of Oceanside/Carlsbad. These clubs are withholding a formal endorsement until after the June 8, 2010 primary so that voters in their communities can decide upon the most viable candidate. After the primary, these clubs will endorse the winner.

LACDP Summit Lunch Liveblog: Coalition Building

Following is the liveblog of the LACDP Summit Lunch Panel on Coalition Building with:

  • Assemblymember De La Torre
  • Peggy Moore of OFA
  • Henry Vandermeir of the CDC
  • Arisha Michelle Hatch of the Courage Campaign
  • Dorothy Reik of PDA
  • Gary Vaughn of SEIU 721

This very interesting panel was moderated by Assemblymember John Perez.  

John Perez:  Great to be here, we’ve got a great panel of people who have been involved in coalition politics.  People use the term “coalition” in many different ways, some not so good, such as Bush’s “coalition of the willing”, some good such as when progressive groups come together.  Coalitions are a coming together of different groups for a shared interest.  They’ve identified that interest in themselves, and someone else.

First and foremost, you have to frame the issue around which people will coalesce.  Second, you need to have trust between the partners.  Third, there has to be a mechanism to mitigate when coalition partners have a dispute.  Last, there have to be ways to measure success, and ways to build on that success to move forward.

One example of a coalition coming together on a specific approach will be presented by Assemblymember Hector De La Torre.

Assemblymember De La Torre: AB1060 is a bill that requires that all alcohol sales at grocery stores be done where there is a human checkout person who will check all the codes.  Currently you can go to an automated stand with only one person monitoring 4 or 6 machines.  One person can’t monitor all of this, and it’s not just about minors.  It’s also illegal to sell alcohol to someone who is already drunk.  If you aren’t next to the person and able to check, you can’t tell.  Also, teenagers have figured out how to bypass the the freeze mechanism to get around the alcohol sales barrier.  No one is saying that the alcohol has to be locked away like cigarettes, just that a human has to be at the checkout.

Labor is with us on the bill, but it couldn’t be UFCW versus the grocery stores.  So we need to build a coalition.  Young people, parents’ groups, PTA, MADD, etc.  And it was hard, because there were other issues including Mike Feuer’s lock device bill.  It took a while but we were able to convince them that this was in their interest and necessary.  And in the end, UFCW never appeared publicly as the supporter of the bill, but rather PTAs and MADD and those other groups.  You have to figure out who the best spokesperson and the best face for the issue is.  It’s nice to be right, but winning is important.  You have to have the right face on it.  And AB1060 is still on the Senate Floor, so please sign in favor of it.

Question: These machines are anti-employee!  We need to boycott any stores that have them.

De la Torre: I get askede a lot about whether it’s a labor bill.  It’s not: it’s about how we conduct business in this state.  We the people get to decide how business is conducted in the state.

Perez: That was a great example of how to build a coalition.  In terms of format, we’re going to take 20-25 minutes to go through the panel.  Each panelist will take about 4-5 minutes to give their presentation, then I will moderate the Q&A.  First presenter is Peggy Moore.  Peggy is Political Director of OFA, has organized various campaigns for social justice in Oakland.

Peggy Moore: OFA serves as the President’s field team.  The election last year was exciting and folks got involved who had never been involved in a campaign before.  It was an historic movement, but getting into office was just the beginning of making the change.  OFA was created so that we can support the President on the ground.  Staff of 9 in California, but we’re in 48 states.  We have a phenomenal group of volunteers, and we were phonebanking our hearts out from one congressperson to another, depending on who we needed to give our love to.  Right now it’s all about supporting the healthcare agenda.  But pretty soon it’ll be energy, and immigration and other issues.  So we’re working with HCAN, labor, done press conferences, actions, phonebank, etc.  And when we move to education, we’ll be expanding our coalition building.

We are a part of the DNC.  OFA is a project of the DNC.  Our structure works where we have community organizers who create neighborhood teams.  We want to have people ready and waiting on the ground in an instant when we need to support the president.  We have 150 to 175 organizers ready on the ground.  We’re training people to be ready for action.  The issue is transferrable, doesn’t matter what it is.  We’re just trained to be on the ground and help people organize.  We’ve also been working with Learn to Win.

Perez: Thank you Peggy. Next up is Henry Vandermeir, serving in second term as Chairman of the CDC, and Political Director of the Orange County Democratic Party.

Henry Vandermeir: Obviously, one of the things from the party’s point of view from the coalition point of view is to get our own party working together.  With over 400 clubs across the state, getting them to cooperate is important.  Or if there is a speaker coming and you don’t have enough people in your club, invite people from other clubs to come.  Work together on it and help activate people and get a candidate elected.

It’s important to reach out to PDA, Wellstone and all the other groups out there.  We’re all working toward the same goals.  Not a single one of all these organizations has the resources to do what needs to be done in California all by themselves.  So we need to make them realize that in order to make things happen in this state, we need to cooperate.  Leave our egos at the door when you walk in, work together, quit worrying about “these are our people, these are our precint leaders”.  That’s what gets us into trouble.

There have been issues getting cooperation between clubs and OFA.  We need to reach out to them and make sure that we’re all working together.  It’s not rocket science, it’s all common sense.  That’s what we need to do at the club level.  We cannot reinvent the wheel, we don’t have the resources individually, we need to work together on all of this.

Perez: Next is Arisha Michelle Hatch, the Southern California field manager of the Courage Campaign.  She’s responsible for organizing volunteers on a county by county basis.

Hatch: We’re like MoveOn.org but for California.  We like to call ourselves the greenhouse for the grassroots, in that we have a lot of different members with a lot of different interests.  I work for the Equality Program, which was established after the passage of Prop 8.  We sent out a viral video ad called Don’t Divorce Us, which got a lot of new members.  While many of those are interested in marriage equality, most are interested in healthcare, and secondarily education.  I joined Courage because they were trying to emulate what Obama did during the election.  The Equality Program was founded because every 4 years, California does a great job exporting labor and talent to the battleground states to the detriment of California, so we’re out here to build a permanent progressive infrastructure in California.  In terms of Equality, it’s not just about marriage: it’s about making sure the playing field is level in all areas such as education and healthcare.

Perez: Next is Dorothy Reik, Vice Chair of Progressive Democrats of Los Angeles, delegate to the CDP from the 41st assembly.  Led a series of forums on single payer healthcare, Gaza, food safety, etc.  She comes to us through the peace movement, and her club has close ties to the Topanga Peace movement.

Reik: PDA was started by Tim Carpenter after the 2004 DNC convention.  The idea was to further our progressive agenda by working inside and outside the party.  That means working with groups that don’t traditionally work with the party.  We have six issues: healthcare for all.  We don’t support hte public option, and stick to that.  We’re upset about the removal of the Kucinich Amendment.  We want out of Afghanistan and Pakistan, and want to end all wars.  We want economic and social justice, everyone should be treated equally.  And as far as right to marriage, we want everyone to be able to marry.  Clean and fair elections, which we don’t have in this country: we can’t have voting machines at the front end or the back end either.  Stop global warming, environmental issues we’re on the front lines working against the corporations who want to keep overheating our globe and world until our children don’t have a world to work in.  If you think oil wars are bad, wait until we get water wars.  And accountability, because Obama’s Attorney General won’t prosecute for torture.  We want Obama to address our issues, not Obama’s issues.  We want OFA to work with us, and take directions from us, because we believe Obama has been taking directions from the corporations.

We have conference calls where you can talk to Tim Carpenter.  I get jealous listening to OFA talking about paid staff.  Outside of Tim Carpenter who gets a stipend, almost all of our people are volunteers.

Perez: Final panelist is Jerry Vaughn.  Public Relations Director of SEIU 721, the largest public employee union in CA since 2005.  721 represents more than 80,000 public works from Santa Barbara to Orange County to the border.

Gary Vaughn: With such a large region like that, we have a diverse region that we represent.  Social workers, sanitation workers, RNs, attorneys.  We’ve worked with OFA on various issues and a number of other orgs.  Oftentimes, unfortunately, we are good at making use of other organizations, but we have a difficult time reciprocating.  We don’t have a permanent structure in the community, but rather come in to help win an election.  That’s where we can make improvements to build coalitions.  And we can work better with people on the other side of the ideological divide.

Question from Deana Igelsrud: I’m the e-board rep from the 47th district and co-chair of CA Majority Rule.  A lot of your volunteers were new to the process and excited about the election.  Many of the more seasoned veterans are more interested in the issues.  How do you build coalitions with new people and keep them engaged when it comes to issues?

Perez: Part of the difference is between building an electoral coaliton and a governing coalition.

Peggy: We all supported Barack, but many of us have issues with how he’s handling healthcare.  So we’ve had camps and trainings to invite people to participate.  We are organizing people around healthcare.  We’re online, calling structures we have in place.  And then when it comes to education and energy, those issues pop in too.  People will show up based on their passion.  Our job and focus is to teach people to organize effectively in their communities.

Perez: It seems like every election cycle, you see a peak of activism, but then some people drop off, and some stay involved.  So people who were involved in 2004 now see themselves as old hands.  How has that experience been, Peggy?

Reik: PDA truly is a movement.  We reach out not only to Democratic clubs to work with us, but we also reach out to other groups in the city and the state to groups like One Care Now, and the group standing against the Three Strikes Law.  So we try to reach people and bring them into the Party and into the progressive movement who may not have been politically involved before.  If someone came to me interested in food safety legislation, we did a forum for that to help teach people about that.

Thom O’Shaughnessy: How do we follow and deal with these three tenets: 1) learning how to agree to disagree, 2) how to marry orthodoxy with pragmatism, and 3) how to trade horses in a soft IOU for working on each other’s issues?

Gary Vaughn: We don’t have an answer to those dynamics.  When we have 30 asks of the legislature, given what we can accomplish, can we make 30 asks effectively?  Maybe we need to bullet down to 3 or 4.  Others would say no, we have to push all our issues.  But in other circumstances, we need to know what we have to walk away from the table having gotten.  Our first rule is, do no harm, especially since we have so many budget cuts.  And let’s look at who is doing the work.  And certainly, having wealthier Americans and Californians paying more is worth looking at.

Perez: There’s been a significant debate about gay marriage, given CA and ME.  One complaint is that the LGBT movement hasn’t been involved in coalition politics, that they ask for help but don’t necessarily provide it.  Arisha, what are the challenges in bringing people out of their comfort zone?

Arisha: Courage is well-situated to work on this issue.  Courage is multi-issue unlike some of the other organizations.  One of the things we’re trying to stress in our organizing work is trying to get people to show up, and stress the importance of showing up for community organizing work.  One of the things we’ve been trying to do is stress the importance of not being a one-issue movement.  Bringing people along in their feelings about marriage equality is important, but has to be paired with helping with the issues that matter to them.

Carolyn Fowler: These are not, or shouldn’t be competing organizations.  What is the best way for organizations to reach out to the clubs?

Henry Vandermeir: One of the things you need to do is find out who you’re actually going to talk to.  Know what your resources are.  Common sense would tell you we have all the contact information for all the clubs.  If we want OFA to contact them, well, why not just go to the source?  Make it easy.  It’s a two way situation though.  We don’t just need to contact the presidents.  They also need to contact us.

Peggy: We work closely with the CDP, and getting a list of all the clubs.  We’re going to be at the eboard meeting coming up next weekend.  Coming up and saying, this is who we are and how we work together.

Dorothy Reik: We do it the old-fashioned way, pick up the telephone and call up the club leaders in our area, see if they’ll cosponsor, or join our food safety or other forum.  We have organizing calls, ways to reach out to club presidents and other people, and would love to work with OFA and other groups.

Question: Republicans by and large stand together and are united in their ranks.  We have as Democrats got not to do that among ourselves.  If you don’t like something Obama is doing or whatever, that’s fine and do it in private.  But in a public forum, I find it very offensive to be attacking Obama and what he’s trying to accomplish.

Perez: I’ll take that as a comment.

Question: We have a challenge of people not voting for candidates or working for candidates, and focusing instead on issues.  They need to work for candidates as well.

Gary Vaughn: We do trade with candidates: we work on your campaign, and we’d like you to work with us on these issues.

Question: I’m very disappointed in Organizing for America.  And I love PDA.  You’ve had time to organize your people, and i’ve been to several OFA house parties.  But they don’t teach people how to organize.  They don’t have to join a Democratic club, but they are afraid to even visit a club.  You are spending money giving orders, call this person and say that, not teaching them how to think.  I would like to see Obama people not be afraid of us.

Perez: People take various tones, some more positive and some more critical.  I would ask us to be as productive and respectful in our discourse as possible.  Sometimes it’s hard not to feel the passion we feel about these issues.  There is concern with the difference between a bottom-up approach and a top-down approach, so speak to those issues.

Peggy Moore: I’m proud to work for OFA.  And I’m a president of an East Bay Democratic club.  I understand some of those frustrations that people might have.  But there is a focus we have.  We decided that the issue was healthcare, and this is how we’re going to organize around healthcare.  And there are some groups that think we should be approaching it in a certain way.  I’m not going to be on the street with Organizing for America, challenging the President.  That’s not going to roll.  Other organizations can do that, and they have every right to.  By pushing Single Payer, we may have gotten a public option, which wasn’t on the table before.  But we have a job and responsibility, and we have other issues to deal with as well.  We listen to people about how to do our job better.  We are training people to do the job, and we’ve been around less than a year.  And a lot of the people who voted for Obama and who need healthcare are not Democrats.  So it’s important that we continue to have these conversations.  I will come to a Democratic club and have a conversation with you, I’ll give you my card.  We may not always agree, and I’m OK with that.

Perez: It is a very difficult transition to go from being an activist to running an electoral campaign, and then move to how to govern.  Understanding that as a legislator, understanding that I had to choose often between a number of undesirable options, it’s very difficult.  But it is incredibly valid for us to be frustrated and to express that frustration, because we too came to the campaign with expectations and we want to see many of those expectations met.  So thank you for your openness and commitment to working with all the clubs, and you hear the frustration expressed, and after all these years in the wilderness we want to get as much as we can as quickly as we can.

Question: The point was to encourage Obama activists to get involved in the clubs.

Peggy Moore: We do encourage people to participate.  We have several members from the Obama campaign, that once the campaign was over, were looking for a place to go.  And some of the members have participated in the Democratic clubs.  And some of the clubs are better than others.  And when you get them in the door, we need to keep them in the door.

Eric Bauman: We need to be careful about putting fingers in people’s eyes.  There are Obama activists who don’t like the Party or our movement.  Just as there were Dean activists with the same perspective.  We need to be figuring out how to do this together.  The other side is together and working together.  We need to work together and stop poking fingers in each other’s eyes.

Question: I’m from the John Muir Democratic Club.  How do we raise consciousness of a particular Get Out of Afghanistan bill?

Henry Vandermeir: As far as getting resources, you need to figure out which organizations are going to be more receptive to what you’re working on.  As mentioned previously, some organizations are particularly focused on certain issues, so it has to be a targeted campaign.  Same thing goes for organizations, you have to figure out which organizations are going to be helpful and cooperative, and which will not.

Perez: Just take a last minute from each of you to talk about any takeaway messages in terms of investing in coalition politics.

Dorothy Reik: We need to work together, but we need to give our message to the powers that be to tell them what we think are the best policies.  We need to elect Democrats, but not just any Democrats.  We need to elect the Democrats who are in favor of what we believe in.   We have one of those, Marcy Winograd, running against Jane Harman.

Gary Vaughn: When we talk about coalitions, we have to try to make connections outside of our norm, including with moderates and conservatives.  Break through the partisanship.

Peggy Moore: Thank you for giving me the opportunity.  I need all of you, your mentorship, need you to keep us on track.  We’re working for a better America.  I want to personally invite you over to the opening of our new office at Centinela and Jefferson in Culver City on Thursday.

Arisha Michelle Hatch: I’m personally a baby of the Obama movement.  I challenge you as leaders and organizers to plug into the energy of the movement, and challenge you to question whether you’re creating an environment conducive to plugging in.

Henry Vandermier: Tolerance is a virtue.  If people agree with you 50%-75%, then consider yourself lucky.  Remember that when you go to work on coalitions.

Perez: I want to thank the panel, and bring back Eric Bauman.

Eric Bauman: Thanks to our moderator Assemblymember Perez.

Multiple Union and Democratic Club Endorsements for Pat Meagher for Congress in the 41st

Pat Meagher, Progressive Democratic Candidate for the 41st Congressional District, has received endorsements from multiple Union and Democratic Clubs.  A Forest Falls resident and Principle of Fontana Adult School he has gathered the support of the Mojave Desert Democratic Club, East Valley Democratic Club, Stonewall Democratic Club,

Greater Rialto Dual Endorsement, Desert Hot Springs Democratic Club and The Democratic Club of Big Bear Valley. His Union endorsements include IBEW Local 440, UAW Region 5 Western United States CAP Council, California Labor Federation’s Committee on Political Education (COPE), San Bernardino/Riverside Central Labor Council, AFL-CIO, San Bernardino/Riverside Building and Trades Council, and International Union of Operating Engineers Local 12.

This father of nine, seven of whom are adopted, has also gotten the attention of Progressive Democrats of America Dr. Bill Honigman, So CA State Organizer, who was the Keynote speaker at Pat Meagher’s fundraising event held at University of Redlands. Ahjamu Makalani evoked Meagher’s name and sloganas an inspiration to a standing room only crowd at the State Democratic Convention PDA Caucus.  Meagher embraces the entire PDA platform including their current campaign for Healthcare Not Warfare.

The war is real for the Meagher family.  Their newly married son will be returning to Iraq this summer for a second tour, as well as a daughter whose first tour was in Afghanistan.  To thunderous applause at Arlington West Santa Monica following Col. Ann Wright (Ret), Meagher declared “Don’t tell me I don’t support the troops.  Those are my kids. It is time to bring our glorious and victorious troops home!”

Col. Ann Wright, 29 year Army Veteran, 13 year United States Diplomat, was so impressed after meeting with Meagher that she adjusted her schedule in order to share the podium with him when he announced his candidacy to a crowd of community leaders and peace and justice activists from the Inland Empire at the Carriage House in Redlands.

Pat Meagher is proud that his campaign is funded through grassroots supporters who believe he is the best man to represent their concerns in Washington DC.