San Diego, February 23-25
Brigid O’Farrell, SMCDCC Delegate, District 3
San Mateo County’s delegates joined over 2,800 fellow Democrats in San Diego to discuss issues, listen to candidates, approve the platform, plan to flip red Congressional Districts blue, and endorse candidates–or not. Endorsements were the heart of convention activities with some surprises. Democratic ideals, experience, inclusion, and winning were all under discussion. The SMCDCC lunch was also great fun! Coastsiders included Brigid O’Farrell, TJ Glauthier, Brent Turner, and Sabrina Brennan.
While no candidate was endorsed for Governor Gavin Newsom was top vote getter (39%), followed by John Chiang (30%) and Delaine Easton (20%). The surprise was Antonio Villaraigosa, former mayor of Los Angeles who is only slightly behind Newsom in the latest state-wide poll, received only 9% of the delegate vote.
In the race for US Senate, not only did long-term incumbent Diane Feinstein not receive the endorsement, but President Pro-Tem of the State Senate Kevin de Leon received more votes, 54% to 37%. In state-wide polls, however, Feinstein leads de Leon by 30% and has far more campaign contributions. Both candidates were actively seeking votes at caucuses and in the hallways.
For Lt. Governor again no endorsement. State Senator Ed Hernandez received 42% of the vote while Ambassador Eleni Kounalakis made a strong challenge with 41%. Ambassador Jeff Bleich had just 9%. For a complete list of endorsements see:
The over-all theme of the convention honored African American political leaders in Cal
ifornia at the general sessions and in the caucuses, where I learn the most. The Labor Caucus honored the 50th anniversary of the sanitation workers’ strike in Memphis where the Reverend Martin Luther King was assassinated. We heard more about the Janus v. AFSCME case which was argued before the US Supreme Court the following Monday. A “right-to-work” ruling for public sector unions across the country will further weaken unions in our democracy. On Saturday, many on the convention floor were encouraged to follow Delores Huerta, iconic labor leader from the United Farm Workers, to the Working People’s Day of Action held just outside the convention.
The Women’s Caucus had a slide presentation of African American women political leaders and both Congresswomen Maxine Waters and Barbara Lee spoke to the convention. There were updates on the NARAL Pro-Choice CA activities and the “We Said Enough” campaign against sexual harassment in Sacramento: https://www.wesaidenough.com/home.
The convention was live-streamed and Chair Eric Bauman and his team are continuing to make changes to have the convention and CA Democrats working more effectively in the 21st century.