(or maybe the title of this post should be “Election 06: When Good Things Happen to Good People”)
(from BoingBoing by reader Brian Topping)
Can I get a woot woot!
Random thoughts from political land…..
Yes, on a local level, we lost some truly good races with good people – but the the thing I MOST wanted to happen in San Francisco happened. Chris Daly has been reelected as Supervisor (well, as of this writing he hasn’t technically won – but that will change). For everyone out there who still doesn’t understand why I think this is so great, I’ll say this: Last night at his victory party, every activist I knew who did something important locally – whether it was homeless issues, or housing and tenants rights issues, or gay stuff, or environmental stuff – the people who I KNOW are actively trying to make San Francisco a better place, were there & many of them said the same thing: “When I realized Chris was in a close one, I came in to help out.” Another telling sign is how much money downtown interests spent getting Chris buried. They spent something obscene like $700, 000. Chris spent a fraction of that & won on grass roots support. That should tell you something too. Rock On Chris!
Yes, on the state level, we lost some really important things that would have made a real difference: public financing would have been the best thing to happen to CA in a long time & oil taxes are “hella good” as the kids say. But I can’t help but feel relief: the defeat of 90 was the thing I most wanted to happen & was most scared about. Just a few weeks ago, 90 looked like it was going to win & it had the real potential to be the worst thing that has happened to CA in a long long time.
Then on a national level, the two things that I most wanted to happen have happened – Richard Pombo, perhaps the worst threat to the planet in the House of Representatives, was defeated soundly by Jerry McNerney in neighboring Pleasanton. I spent a few days working over there & damn does that feel good. The other thing I wanted most was control of at least one house of Congress & to get the House & a virtual tie in the Senate (at least) is damn fine. The national election’s large Democratic sweep means at the very least there will be some check and some balance in our “checks an balances” system of government. I’m not sure how much I should hope for (leaving Iraq seems perhaps more disastrous than staying) and the Congress may not be able to get serious about global warming… but nonetheless – today is a very very happy one.
Finally on a personal note – yesterday I started thinking about everything I had done politically this cycle to figure out why I was so burnt out:
- coordinating putting out 25000 SF League of Conservation Voters endorsement slate cards in 3 districts here in San Francisco – a major amount of work (big props to everyone at SFLCV who helped)
- hours and hours of candidate interviews with the SF League of Conservation Voters (thanks Michelle Jesperson for getting all this going this year)
- chairing the SF Bike Coalition‘s endorsement committee & all the work that entailed (thank god for Leah Shahum who did so much more!)
- some last minute canvassing for Jerry McNerney with the Defenders of Wildlife (big props to Liz Pallatto for forcing my ass out to Pleasanton)
- a little tiny bit of canvassing for Chris Daly (and learning a little about the reality of supportive housing in SF)
- a little work with Alix Rosenthal (who ran for Supervisor, but lost – I’m keepin’ the faith Alix!)
- writing the ‘Deep Slate – my own personal recommendations which I email out to hundreds of friends & local acquaintances (thanks to everyone who asked me for my opinions)
- giving money to McNerney, Daly, Rosenthal, Jane Kim (for School Board – congrats Jane!), and Emily Drennan (for BART Board – sorry Em!)
All the while working my ass off at work & coming up with a major Halloween costume. This is why I’m soooo spent. And why I’m sooo glad that it is finally November. I get to hang with my peeps. And watch basketball. And eat turkey.
Can I get a Hell Yes!
Adrian sent me this awesome quote from Thomas Jefferson today – sums it up nicely:
“A little patience, and we shall see the reign of witches pass over, their
spells dissolve, and the people, recovering their true sight, restore their
government to its true principles. It is true that in the meantime we are
suffering deeply in spirit, and incurring the horrors of a war and long
oppressions of enormous public debt. If the game runs sometimes against us
at home we must have patience till luck turns, and then we shall have an
opportunity of winning back the principles we have lost, for this is a game
where principles are at stake.”
* From a letter of 1798, after the passage of the Alien and Sedition Acts.