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Newsom urges Iowa Democrats
return to liberal roots

Mayor Gavin Newsom echoes similar message to Iowa Democrats,
first delivered to Young Democrats of America in San Francisco, 8/4/05
Photo(s) by Luke Thomas

By Pat Murphy

November 15, 2005

Mayor Gavin Newsom yesterday urged Iowa progressive activists to bolster reclamation of Democratic Party liberal values.

San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom discusses urban revitalization at a round table with locals and elected officials at Roosevelt High School in Des Moines, Iowa. At left is U.S. Congressman Leonard Boswell; at right is State Senator Jack Hatch.
Photos courtesy Erica Shorkey

Iowa State Senator Jack Hatch introduces at roundtable discussion on urban revitalization among Des Moines residents and elected officials Monday. At right is Des Moines Mayor Frank Cownie. Hatch hosted San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom during his visit to Iowa.

San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom talks with high school students in Des Moines, Iowa, about the need for entertainment opportunities for young people in cities.

Nothing less than a return to Democratic base core issues will capture American electorate imagination, Newsom said.

It was the San Francisco mayor's second major address in recent months asking party reformation. Last April, Newsom told the National Convention of Young Democrats that party leaders should stand on convictions or get out of the way.

Newsom carried the message to a Sunday campaign rally for Iowa State Senator Jack Hatch (D-Des Moines).

The Iowa senate is evenly split between Republicans and Democrats, in a state where moderate Democratic Governor Tom Vilsack doesn't share vision for the party advocated by Hatch and Newsom.

"I want a liberal message that we don't have to be afraid of our core issues," stated Hatch, according to the Association Press (AP).

Newsom cited practical value of clearly defined party stance.

"We're running a 90-yard dash right now and not crossing the finish line," Newsom said. "We're not saying publicly what we say privately on many issues.

"If you can't stand on your convictions, you've got a weak foundation," Newsom said. "I would argue we've got to get our foundation in order before we embark on a journey to recapture the imagination of a majority of people," the AP reported.

Newsom first threw down party gauntlet, April 4, before young Democrats gathered in San Francisco.

On bedrock Democratic issues such as health care and poverty, "There's nothing that we're hearing from our leadership that's real and tangible," Newsom charged.

"Ideals and principles transcend tenure, and I really think that if this party is going to be the party that brought us women's rights, equal rights, brought us civil rights, brought us human rights, worker's rights, and, yes, brought us Gay Lesbian Bisexual and Transgender rights, then we as a party have to get our act together.

"If you cannot stand on your convictions, get out of the way.

"If you cannot stand on principle, get out of the way."




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