Category Archives: Politics

Are you ready for the November 2012 Election?

By now, you have probably heard enough information about the November 2012 election to turn you blue in the face. I’ve heard some say they wish this election season was over and it’s only August!

However, this election season is crucial. Not only are we (re) electing the President of the United States, but there are important issues to decide upon locally as well.

What’s at stake?

In California, we have 10 new propositions including a re-evaluation of the 3 – strikes Law, getting rid of the Death Penalty, and deciding if we want to tax the wealthiest in order to help support education. We also need to elect new state legislators.. and decide whether or not a governing body can re-draw county boarders. This is not only important to Californian’s but the rest of the country, because what we do here is often modeled in other states.

In Alameda County, we need to vote for 2 Council members, an auditor and a treasurer.

In Oakland, we get to elect practically a whole new City Council – something that local policy nerds and a large portion of residents are really looking forward to. Districts 1 (North Oakland, Temescal, Rockridge), District 3 (West Oakland, Downtown Oakland and Adam’s Point), District 5 ( East Oakland like Fruitvale), District 7 ( Deeper East Oakland near San Leandro) and Oakland At-Large are up for grabs.  We also need to vote for a new City Attorney and School Board Directors for Districts 1, 3, 5, 7.

Phew!  A lot to decide about.

However you can’t decide on any of it unless you are registered to vote.

Why is it important to vote?

Some people feel that voting isn’t important and in the end your votes don’t count. It’s easy to feel that way, because often when you do take the time to vote, you may or may not get what you wish, causing you to walk away feeling that it was pointless. I would like to propose some reasons why voting is really important.

1. If you care about history and have any kind of reverence for your ancestors at all: you should vote. I’m not going to give you a history lesson behind voting and the trials and tribulations that people who have came before us (that includes males, females, races and ethnic groups of all kinds) to secure you the right to have a voice in how our society is run. Just know that people fought and died for your rights. Respect that.

2. If you care about social issues in your present life.. You should vote.  Do you care if your child gets an adequate education? Do you care if people can be sent to prison for life for being caught with marijuana 3 times? Do you care if your district is mainly Democratic or Republican? Are you concerned with the level of crime in the city of Oakland and whether or not you should be taxed yet again in order to supply the city with police protection? Want to make sure your vegetables are truly organic and come from local farms? If so, you should vote.

3. If you like to complain about things and want people to listen and take you seriously instead of rolling their eyes and telling you to be quiet, you should vote. Voting is the most official, and productive way to complain there is. REAL complainers vote..and if you have any pride in your complain game you should vote in every election there is.

Being a voter is great and the responsible thing to do. However, sometimes voting isn’t enough to create real change. Some cynical Sues and Sams out there already know this and remind folks about it every election season, so here is something else you might want to think about.

Why it is important to be an informed and informing voter, despite sketchy results..

Here is the thing. We live in a society where quite frankly, the majority rules. You might think that it’s money that rules and  money does have great potential to shape things, but imagine what a little bit of research and responsible decision making by the majority can accomplish? A lot.

Wealthy position holders can plaster tv and radio with ads sharing their opinions all day, but word of mouth can be just as powerful. A broad game of “Telephone” can sway an election like no other.

Some folks aren’t willing or have the time to do analysis of issues. That’s fine. But maybe you are. Maybe you will read your registrar packet. Maybe you will Google a measure that is confusing. Maybe you will do more than just listen to commercials you see or hear, but pay attention to who is paying for those commercials and what their agenda is. When you do so, tell a friend who can’t do that kind of research. Talk about it over coffee, while playing on your Wii, or jogging around the Lake.  Share what you have learned, be informed and be an informer. The more you talk about it, the more likely the listener is going to vote. Whether they agree with you or not! If everyone talks with just one other person about the issues..can you imagine how powerful that would be?

The more knowledgeable about your vote you are..the more democratic and fair the process is. Even if your vote doesn’t produce the results you are looking for, you will feel good about your decisions and you won’t be as frustrated about the process.  Also, if you do your part to educate your neighbor, you will know that decisions were made responsibly and not because an individual voter didn’t know which option to pick. People actually vote that way, and that’s a little scary if you think about it.

Plus, when you complain, folks will listen!

Who can vote?

The simplest answer is registered citizens. Things are rarely as simple as that, and there are currently real efforts to make sure some voters don’t make it to the polls. #sigh

In California, we don’t have such concentrated efforts,  YET, there are people who can register to vote but haven’t done so for some reason or another. Who are those people?

  • High School Seniors (aged 18)
  • College Freshman (aged 18)
  • People who have moved recently.
  • Recently married and changed your name? Re-register please!
  • Newly recognized citizens.
  • Released felons and parolees.. (say what? Served your time and parole is done? Peep this!)
  • Complainers who haven’t made it official. (shaking my head)

If you know someone who is in this situation, tap them on the shoulder and say “Hey? Have you registered to vote yet?” Get to it!

Send them to these websites. They don’t have computer access? You do..you are reading this blog right? Share it with them!

State Registrar: You can find information about state propositions, who is running for office and local rules and regulations about voting.

Voter Registration – Elections & Voter Information – California Secretary of State.

Alameda County Registrar: You can learn qualifications of voting, where your poling place is..and actually register online!

http://www.acgov.org/rov/registration.htm

Rock the Vote: help register young people and educate them about the importance of being heard this election cycle!

http://www.rockthevote.com/

GottaVote.org: Register to vote, get information on what you need to bring and sign up for important reminders.. (this is paid for by the Obama/Biden campaign btw).

http://gottavote.org/en/CA/

REGISTER TODAY: You have to have your registration post-marked by Oct. 22, 2012 to be eligible to vote in November!!

Check back here!

I am going to try to attend local candidate forums and write about the 10 CA propositions. So check back here for more details and share them with a friend! Let’s all do our part to make sure everyone is an informed voter this election season!

What’s your opinion? Why do you feel it’s important to vote? Any issues you are excited about? Got a crazy story? Share!

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Filed under Advocacy, City Council, Election 2012, Oakland, Politics

East Bay Democracy for America chooses an AD18 candidate!

Remember Howard Dean?

YEAH!!

Well he may not have been able to become President, but his progressive energy lives on in Democracy for America, a “grassroots powerhouse working to change our country!”

The East Bay DFA Meet-Up Group, had a gathering this past Tuesday in order to discuss current events (WHY are Republicans attacking contraception?) learn about progressive initiatives ( Move to Amend: corporations are NOT people!) and to hold a forum in order to choose a candidate for the hotly contested California Assembly District 18 seat!

The candidates for #AD18 (Oakland, Alameda and San Leandro) are Rob Bonta, Vice Mayor of Alameda City Council; Abel Guillien, Peralta Community College Trustee and Joel Young, AC Transit Director-At-Large.

Your friendly neighborhood blogger was able to crash this event in order to obtain some free $5 donation pizza, witness a contentious and heated debate and to participate in a straw poll! (I’ve never done one .. and it’s on my bucket list. I mean who really wants to go sky diving? Pfft!!)

To my utter disappointment, a contentious and heated debate was not to be had. None of the candidates showed up! Bonta had to attend an Alameda City Council Meeting, Guillen was sick with the flu ..and Young, unfortunately, just wasn’t present.

Rob Bonta and Abel Guillen did send some representatives on their behalf. So instead being on hand to witness a fist cat fight, I was able to obtain some information to share with you all.

Jim Oddie and Jessica Reynolds for Rob Bonta.

Rob Bonta sent Jessica Reynolds and Jim Oddie. I don’t really know either of them and I wasn’t able to catch what role they play in Bonta’s campaign. However they seemed very knowledgeable about their candidate and what’s happening in Sacramento. …. and I give Jessica points for the awesome red hair that matched her outfit.

Winnie Anderson, for Abel Guillen

Abel Guillen sent his campaign manager Winnie Anderson from Inkwell World Tattoo, my best friend er..the lady I met while visiting the studio a couple of blog posts ago. Not only is she associated with an awesome local business, but she is a very dynamic and engaging speaker!

Each representative gave general introductions on their candidate, of which you can read more details on their website. Essentially..

  • Rob Bonta is all about education, economic development and public safety (http://www.robbonta.com)
  • Abel Guillen wants to increase revenue by taxing big corporations and improving education (http://abelforassembly.com)
  • From submitted summary.. Joel Young is about bringing in new jobs into the community, in particular those involving green (clean energy) and informational technology. (http://youngforassembly.com)

Afterwards, the audience asked some probing questions, the answers of which I will summarize for you below.

What can you do about the foreclosures happening in our community?

Team Bonta: One of the most horrible aspects of the foreclosure crisis is the dissolution of the social service network. Due to our state budget crisis, may social service programs have been cut. If someone is in jeopardy of losing their home, where can they go for advice or services? Who can they run to? He may not be able to affect what is going on nationally, but Bonta wants to create a better social services network in California by bringing in more revenue and reduce cuts to important programs.

Guillen Manager: Banks are not dedicated towards re-investing into our community. Re-investing means caring about it’s customers enough to work with them and help them keep their homes. Winnie Anderson spoke to the audience about a family member who was in danger of losing their home, so she knows what it is like. Guillen is determined to get banks to reinvest to the community. He has experience in working with banks for the benefit of the community. Did you know that he was instrumental in the Peralta College divesting a large amount of money (140 million) from big banks and reinvesting into community banks and credit unions? He is interested in getting banks to work with us, and not against us.

Jessica Reynolds also let us know that there is legislation in California to fight dual tracking. Dual tracking is when the banks starts working with you to renegotiate your loan, but at the same they start the foreclosure process. (SHADY!!) There is also some federal legislation in the works.

Can you share with us 2 or 3 of your most important endorsements?

Team Bonta: Rob Bonta has more labor support than any other candidate. Professional Firefighters, Bay Area Police officers, and the United Farm Workers. He is most proud of this endorsement because his parents were active members of the United Farm Workers. That is where he got his life mission to fight for social economic justice. (Check out more endorsements here)

Guillen Manager: Guillen has the endorsement of the National Democracy for America. The most important endorsement is the support of the community. Guillen’s camp is proud to say that the majority of their donations comes from residents who have given $100 or less. California Nurses Association, California Teachers Association and the American Federation of Teachers. (Check out more endorsements here)

Incidentally, Joel Young has the endorsement of the Bay Area Business Roundtable, the American Nurses Association and the California Black Congressional Caucus. (Check out more endorsements here)

What are the candidates positions on Single Payer?

[ What? According to our friend WIKI, single payer health care is medicare funded by a single insurance pool run by the state. Apparently California legislature has passed a single payer bill twice. Governor Schwarzenegger then vetoed both bills. (swell!..not really) There is currently another bill being introduced.]

Team Bonta: in favor.. Served on the Alameda Health Care District Board as Director and helped keep the hospital open. The hospital serves a lot of senior and Medicare patients. It’s a critical resource for health care in the East Bay. He helped put together a Wound Care Center that is going to open this summer.

Guillen Manager: in favor..and of universal health care for all. He established a Peralta Wellness Center at the college. For those that don’t have insurance or qualify for Medicare can have access to health care.

It’s hard to get things done in Sacramento. Share a story that will demonstrate your ability to be successful?

Team Bonta: Rob Bonta has the ability to get people to work together in order to get things done. When he was in private practice he worked on a class action suit against Cal Highway Patrol to end racial profiling. Donated a lot of pro-bono time to get that accomplished. Just another example of his work in social justice… [this is one story of many..but I’m already typing too much]

Guillen Manager: Abel Guillen has a reputation of being respected. He established himself as someone they can go to. He did his research and proved his credibility. When he became a trustee he was able to build consensus through communication. He’s not afraid to have difficult conversations. Communication is very important in order to get things done. He has a relationship and the respect of a lot of legislature (including Republicans) already through his work as a trustee.

Straw Poll with no straws?? That’s just crazy.

After the debate portion ended a straw poll was cast and who won?

ABEL GUILLEN.

Good job, guy.. or rather good job Winnie Anderson!

However, I would like to hear from the candidates themselves before I make my final decision. How about you?

Would you like to see a debate with all three candidates? Do you know of when they are going to get together? What are YOUR opinions on the AD18 candidates?

Share! Inquiring minds wanna know.. (okay..I just wanna know.)

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Filed under Election 2012, Oakland, Politics

Similarities between Occupy Oakland and Stand for Oakland

Zenophan Abraham‘s Zenni62.com youtube channel posted a video of Boots Riley confronting  supporters of Stand for Oakland.

Boots Riley has a point. I think Stand for Oakland needs to come to a General Assembly and bring a proposal in support of non-violent action at future protests/demonstrations.

Like all other government institutions Occupy Oakland is organized democratically..

There are some in #OO who believe in non-violent protest but they are out voted. If there is enough people to support a non-violent proposal, enough people to speak up in support and refute those against, a proposal would pass and the organization would have to follow. Right?

There are other ironic similarities between both movements.

Can’t escape violence

The man in the video can’t seem to separate the violence that occurs at Occupy protests from Occupy Oakland movement in general. However, the anti #OO movement isn’t immune to the problems inherent to Occupy Oakland either. During the Oakland City Council Meeting last night, someone testified that Occupy Oakland was being threatened with violence by some who are against #oo, and showed a flyer that said “Kill the Occupiers”. Can we attribute violent behavior of a few anti #OO individuals to the Stand for Oakland group as a whole? I would hope not.

Conflict is newsworthy

Stand for Oakland took the time out of their day to protest in front of City Hall, disrupt the peace of Frank Ogawa plaza to protest Occupy Oakland’s protest. They had news coverage.. the irony is that the only coverage worth mentioning was when there was conflict. When I turned on MSM ( main stream media ..Channel 5 news specifically) about the Stand for Oakland event, it wasn’t all positive.  It was “Shouting match at Frank Ogawa plaza” ..etc. Was that what Stand for Oakland was looking for in the coverage of the protest?  If the MSM can so easily turn something that was supposed to be positive into a negative about Stand for Oakland..imagine what they can turn an Occupy Oakland event into?

Everyone uses free speech

It seems both groups are using the same tactics to influence law makers:  protesting in downtown Oakland to attract media, in order to influence the city government to take action.

  • Stand for Oakland and the Business community doesn’t thing the City is doing enough to protect residents from #Occupy Oakland.
  • #Occupy Oakland doesn’t think the city is doing enough to protect residents from big Business and OPD and helping those that need help.

Neither one of the groups seem to want to cooperate within each others system to make change. Stand for Oakland says they agree with Occupy Oakland’s movement in general. GREAT: then go to General Assembly and participate. Make your complaints there and work on solutions there!

Occupy Oakland ..I have to hand it to you, you went to City Council last night to protest the proposal to protect the Port of Oakland by increasing police enforcement of laws against blocking streets and assembling without a permit. The proposal did not pass. But it wasn’t a win for Occupy Oakland (IMO).  It was a win for freedom of speech and the right to assemble.  The shouting match that went on between #OO and some Council members was horrible (IMO). The counsel listened to you quietly as you gave your speeches.. but when it was their turn some of you would not let them speak.

It not only bugs me (personally because I am a quiet person and I don’t like yelling)..but it gives MSM and those against #OO credibility in their arguments against you. What if a bunch of roudy Stand for Oakland folks went to General Assembly and shouted YOU down? Would you like that?

There is something to be said about catching more bees with honey.

My point in all of this is that it seems that both organizations are working to have a better Oakland. I think everyone needs to take to the time to listen to each other, respectfully, and figure out a way to work together to make it happen.  Do your research. Don’t just listen to the inflammatory language of MSM, or the Police, the Mayor, Occupy Oakland (either side essentially) and let it mislead you.  Don’t let the violent actions of a few distract people from the point of your protest.

Further comments I would like to make and rant about:

To Anti Occupy Oakland:

  •  Occupy Oakland isn’t made up of only young white out of towners!
  •  Occupy Oakland didn’t bum rush YMCA.
  •  Occupy Oakland isn’t all violent.
  •  City of Oakland: Street protest and broken windows and graffiti isn’t violence. Murders and robbery is. I wish the city and OPD would redirect their priorities on their own. People are dying in the streets and you CHOOSE to focus your efforts on Occupy? REALLY?

To Occupy Oakland

  •       PLEASE .. choose sustainable winnable actions. Taking over the Kaiser building was not one of them. Make a clear distinction between symbolic actions and real change.
  •       Random acts of vandalism may express anger but it is pointless. You love Oakland..you hate the blight that is found in other areas of the city..contributing to it does not help. I liked it when after the Nov. 2 protests groups of people cleaned up after the vandalism. Continue doing that. That would bring goodwill and will help separate yourself from the ‘violence’
  •       Be thorough in your research –  the City Council does not control OUSD  or give them funding. The State of California gives funding to the school districts. Go to Sacramento and protest there.  (THAT would be FUN!)

TO EVERYONE: I hate cigarettes..QUIT SMOKING!!! <— wait..am I yelling here? 😉

 

EDIT: Davey D just posted a an article about Black Bloc and ‘diversity of tactics’ Check it out:

Are Black Bloc and diversity of tactics hurting or helping the Occupy Movement?

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Filed under Advocacy, City Council, Oakland

Emerge California celebrates women at Make Westing!

Another great night in Oakland that I can’t wait to share.

Emerge California East Bay hosted a fundraiser celebration last night at Make Westing and I was very fortunate to be able to attend.  I had a ball! I want to share the good times with you..so here we go!

Make Westing is packed with Emerge California celebrants

Emerge California is part of a national movement that trains women to run for Democratic elected office at the local, state and federal level. So far, Emerge has trained over 600 women across the United States, and at least 40% go on to run for office.  Half of those were successful. As SNL’s Miley Cyrus would stay: “That’s pretty cool!”

Last night, Emerge California wanted to celebrate graduates who were running for elected office in 2012, as well as raise a little money for their campaigns. These awesome women are running for offices in the City Council, School Board..all the way up to State and Federal government.

Alumni and the current Emerge California classmates were on-hand to have some drinks and network with the likes of  Oakland City Councilmembers Libby Schaaf and Pat Kernighan, Mayor Jean Quan and City Attorney Barbara Parker.  However, the party wasn’t just for women. There plenty of men on hand, some of whom were running for local office as well, like Mario Juarez running for Oakland City Council District 4 and Joel Young  and Abel Guillen both of whom are running for State Assembly in the 18th District.

Emerge California Executive Director Kimberly Ellis was ecstatic as she applauded all the candidates for 2012. She said Emerge California is about leveling the playing field and addressing the lack of diversity in elected positions. She also appreciated the men who were present for their support and recognizing the value of having more women represented in government.

Ellis also thanked Make Westing, for being such gracious hosts!

Make Westing is a local bar found in the Uptown District of Oakland (17th and Telegraph) that serves cocktails, beer, wine, gourmet snacks..AND delicious (plus nutritious!) cucumber water. The venue is spacious, the bartenders are nice and the owners Bay Area natives. Yes, sports fans, there is a flat-screen TV to watch the latest game while having a beer with friends.

I’m not a huge drinker or sports fan.. so the most compelling feature of the bar is the Bocce Ball Court.

Bocce Ball..what the heck is that?

It’s an Italian ball game, that consists of throwing balls in a dirt lane with the hope that they land closest to the game ball

Make Westing's Bocce Court

(or the Pallino). Does that make sense to you? It didn’t to me either (read more about Bocce here ). Yet, when challenged to a friendly “girls vs boys” competition between random strangers, I was down for a little ball throwing action.

Three games later, my teammate (the girlfriend of one of the bartenders) and I emerged as the undisputed winners! I left the bar in good spirits, with lots of contacts, new friends and a promise to play Bocce again.

What a night!

Take home message? Women make up only 17% of elected officials in the United States. That’s really sad considering that the rest of the world is much more enlightened (we rank 84 in women representation, behind Mexico and Pakistan!). We need to support women running for office and demonstrate that America is the liberated country that we say we are!

Besides women are natural born winners.. (my Bocce ball experience is a prime example).

Support local business.  Oakland, Make Westing is an awesome place to be. I am sure you will have as great a time there as I did. Go have a drink there some time. Play a little Bocce. Watch some football. Drink the water. It’s tasty!

Have a great weekend!

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Filed under Election 2012, Oakland, Politics

Sean is for Oakland, small business and local artists.

Inkwell Tatoo, Piercing and Gallery

It’s 2012, THE most important election year since the last election!

Tonight I was fortunate to be able to attend an event hosted by one of the many people running for office in Oakland.

Sean Sullivan (@seanforoakland) is hoping to be a member of the Oakland City Council, representing District 3 which includes West Oakland, Downtown, Adam’s Point and Lake Merritt.  In an effort to get to know potential voters, he had an informational session at Inkwell, while showcasing local artists and helping to support an upcoming event for black nurses.

Sean Sullivan and Leslie Silket at Inkwell

Sean has been an activist in Oakland for over 10 years.  He is a member of the Community Block Grant Board,  a board member of Khadafy Washington Foundation for non-violence, and Oakland’s Community Action Partnership an organization dedicated towards reducing poverty. He also worked as an environmental health activist, advocating for such things as getting rid of BPA in sippy cups. He is all about supporting small business, which he demonstrates by having tonight’s meet and greet at Inkwell.

Inkwell Studio is a local tattoo, piercing and art gallery, located on the corner of 24th and Broadway in Downtown Oakland. Not only do they offer custom tattoos and with exceptional customer service, they display art by local artists.

Tonight they showcased a father and son team: Buggsy  and Wade Malone.  Buggsy is a Marine veteran who served in Iraq and Afghanistan. On display were some beautiful wood work of  musical artists such as Tupac and Micheal Jackson. There even was a piece of work depicting Frida Khalo.

Tupac, by Buggsy Malone

His son Wade is a student at the Oakland School of the Arts. I didn’t see any wood art from him, but his drawings show great promise. I’m definitely thinking about buying the flowers, if someone else doesn’t snatch them up. (We need to support the kids, ya’ll!)

Also on hand was a bay area nurse named Leslie Silket, RN, BSN. She was there to share information about the 2nd Annual Black Nurses Event. This is a special occasion to celebrate ‘unsung heroes’. Nurses, for little pay and sometimes no benefits, dedicate their lives towards taking care of patients. It’s not an easy job, and it’s sadly unappreciated. Silket says that this is a opportunity for local African-American nurses to get together and share their stories,  celebrate triumphs and get a good meal!

The Black Nurses event will be Z Cafe Feb. 16 at 5 pm. Tickets are $40, but if you are a student nurse you can get in for free. Email Leslie Silket, nuselove67@aol.com for more information.

Flower Art by Wade Malone

Sean Sullivan says that it is important to support local businesses because they provide employment to Oakland residents, and bring revenues back to the city. He is a huge supporter of risk takers and dream makers, and feels that small businesses like Inkwell and artists like Buggsy and Wade Malone are “hella cool!”.

I agree.

Visit Inkwell Studio all this month to see more work from Buggsy Malone and his son Wade.

Support small business, local artists ..and don’t forget to vote!

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Filed under Advocacy, City Council, Election 2012, Healthcare, Oakland

When “*hit people say..” is more than just funny.

This “*hit …. say” meme has been growing like crazy! People have been saying a lot for a long time, but apparently now is the time to air it all out for public commentary.

Black girls say

Black guys say..

White guys say to ..black guys

Asian girls say..

Asian guys, drunk girls, baby mama’s, gay guys, southern gay guys.. You name it, they have all been sayin’!

However, it is ‘ish White girls say to Black girls that’s getting a lot of talk recently, and generating plenty of blog commentary. Franchesca Ramsey’s list of things white girls say to black girls is funny and all too familiar to plenty of Black women that have White girlfriends.

At the same time it has hit a nerve that we have previously ignored for the sake of friendship and the need to be PC. In the past we have tried to be more accepting of each other and in that effort, maybe we let some comments or questions slide in order to maintain a shaky peace.

Yet, 2011 and beyond seems to be the era of honesty! We have now come to a place where it’s possible to call folks out for their questionable behavior and laugh at it.

But are we really that comfortable?

I don’t know..”*hit Black girls ..say to White women” hasn’t come out yet.    ….    …..

I applaud the effort of everyone airing out dirty laundry so that we can discuss, come to some sort of understanding, hold hands and become friends. Yay!

However, I’m more interested in what some other people are saying in public that isn’t getting talked about as much as it needs to.

Newt Gingrich Says He Would Urge Blacks To Demand Paychecks, Not Food Stamps In Front Of NAACP.

Gingrich told a town hall meeting at a senior center in Plymouth, N.H., that if the NAACP invites him to its annual convention this year, he’d go there and talk about “why the African-American community should demand paychecks and not be satisfied with food stamps.”

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/01/06/newt-gingrich-naacp-food-stamps_n_1189005.html?ir=Black%20Voices

-__-

According to the USDA SNAP Household Characteristic Report for 2010, African American’s make up 22% of those in the food stamp program. That’s not even the majority…*cough*Caucasians make up 35%*cough*. What is he going to tell the rest of them?

The Republican candidates are saying a lot of *hit about minorities and low income people. Gingrich and Santorium (the “I don’t want to make Black people’s lives better by giving them somebody else’s money.” guy) both have made some sketchy comments about Black people and welfare. Ron Paul defends denounces racist newsletters he has written in the past. And let’s not forget about their opinions on immigration, the Occupy Wall Street movement, women’s reproductive rights etc.

These candidates are airing dirty laundry all over the place.

A significant and really harmful difference is that these people have the power to effect us in more damaging ways than getting us to laugh or have deep conversations at the water cooler.

One of these people can potentially become the President of the United States.

The potential candidate could help elect a congress that would have the power to make some significant changes. They could cut social benefits, appoint a radical supreme court member, go to war with Iran for no reason, kick out ALL illegal immigrants.. We thought the Bush era was bad? At the time no one thought Bush would get elected.. and now  Santorium is a front runner!

We need to talk about that.

Do you care that these candidates saying some crazy ‘ish? Are we really at a place where we can say anything about each other and get away with it? How would YOU react to “*hit Black girls say to White Girls?”

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Filed under Advocacy, humor, Politics

It’s official. Sandre Swanson will run for State Senate, for District 9

Assemblyman Sandre Swanson confirmed Tuesday that he’ll challenge incumbent Loni Hancock for her newly drawn state Senate seat next year, setting up a term-limit-fueled, Democrat-on-Democrat grudge match that’s sure to divide many East Bay allies.

Sandre Swanson will challenge Loni Hancock for State Senate http://www.mercurynews.com/breaking-news/ci_19540356

Yay!!??

I don’t know. I don’t know enough about him or the incumbent.

A friend suggested that I get to know Swanson and chronicle my learnings on this here blog. I signed up on Facebook, put myself on the Swanson email list and learned that he was co- sponsoring a food drive at Everett and Jones that was held last week. Food drive, free bbq..I was soo down!

BBQ and Elbow rubs.

Swanson/Lee/Carson Christmas Party, 2011 <— View Photos here

I couldn't get there at 5 when it started, but when I did arrive (at 6) E&J was already packed full of people I did not know. Luckily I brought a friend, and my handy dandy camera to take pictures and pretend like I had a purpose.

I didn't learn very much though. The speeches I heard contained a lot of "Thank You for.." and "Look who's here!.." and "Great job everyone!" and "Remember when..?" none of which I took notes on because I was too busy partaking of bbq beef and cornbread muffins while trying to look pretty. I did make note that Sandre Swanson was there, along with Keith Carson (co-sponsor), Desley Brooks and a rep for Rebecca Kaplan. Barbara Lee (another co-sponsor) was not present because she still had some voting to do down in DC. Something to do with payroll taxes. 😉

Thanks to Pamela Drake for chatting with me as well. So, I knew two people. 🙂

All in all, the event was a great mixer for those that have worked with Carson, Swanson and Lee for a long time. It also helped collect food for the local food bank. Several bins were filled with food. I brought beans, peas and corn. Keepin' it healthy!

Were you there? Was there other stuff to learn? Share!

Some Learning..

District 9 ( download District 9 Map.pdf) includes parts of Contra Costa County (Hercules, Richmond, El Cerrito) and Alameda County (Berkeley, Oakland, Alameda and San Leandro).

Loni Hancock has served as the representative since 2008. I remember voting for her..I don’t remember why. (bad Tonya, bad!) Her website says that she is a strong advocate for criminal justice, government reform, education and environment. She recently stood by the California Faculty Association during the strike at CSU East Bay and was (is she still?) a supporter of the Occupy movement and supported the General Strike on Nov. 2nd.

Sandre’ Swanson has been the State Assembly District 16 (Emeryville, Oakland, Peidmont and Alameda) Rep since 2006. Serving the public for the past 30 years, Swanson’s legislative work is pretty transparent. His website, Facebook and newsletter lists legislative wins through the year for 2011, and also for 2006 and 2007. Those include: new child labor laws, strengthening laws human trafficking, small business tax credits, and justice for low wage workers in 2011. His bio says he also has a deep commitment towards access to health care. What happened in 2008-2010? Dunno. Not on the website. Get on it Swanson Communications team!!

So who should we vote for in June? We shall see. As I learn I will share.

What do you know? Got an inside scoop that should be public? Share!

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Filed under Advocacy, Election 2012, Oakland, Politics