Vote for CHANGE – Peskin for Democratic Party Chair

Written by Chris Daly. Posted in News, Opinion, Politics

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Published on July 21, 2008 with 10 Comments


District 6 Supervisor Chris Daly
Photos by Luke Thomas

By Chris Daly

July 21, 2008

I’ve written on several occasions about the importance of the local Democratic Party and the heavy hitting going on behind the scenes for its top leadership post. Well, it all gets decided this Wednesday night, and you are invited!

The next leader of San Francisco’s Democratic Party will not only set the course for our local Party over the next two years, they will have significant influence over the Democratic Party program this Fall, when 7 Supervisor seats get filled.

Since the progressive sweep of the Board of Supervisors in 2000, there’s been no bigger make or break election for progressives in San Francisco. And with Obama momentum pushing San Franciscans to the polls to vote for the Democrat, there’s no bigger endorsement this Fall than the Democratic Party. The Chair will drive fundraising and control the Party’s committee structure, including the all-important committee that produces and distributes the Official Democratic Party Slate Card. This card will feature Barack Obama along with candidates for Supervisor endorsed by the Party. It may be the single most important piece of literature this election cycle.

In other words, this is important.

Aaron Peskin is the candidate for CHANGE and will lead the Democratic Party with a progressive vision. At the Board of Supervisors Peskin has taken on tough fights promoting progressive taxation and reforming government. He’s successfully reformed MUNI, curbed Ellis Act evictions, and defended the bay from infill.  While his voting record is not flawless, Peskin has been an effective caretaker of progressive politics both inside and outside of City Hall.


Board of Supervisors President Aaron Peskin

And its becoming increasingly clear that the well-being of progressive politics in San Francisco is going to be determined by how well we do outside of City Hall.  In most American cities and towns, if you want to find the locus of progressive politics, you look up the Democratic Party. That’s not how it’s been in San Francisco, but a reform-minded Democratic County Central Committee can make that a reality.

Downtown is not satisfied with having one of their people in the Mayor’s Office. They want the Board of Supervisors seats and the Chair of the Democratic Party. Don’t let them take it.

Make your voice heard.   It is time for CHANGE and for progressive leadership.

Wednesday, July 23, 7pm

State Building, 455 Golden Gate Avenue, Milton Marks Auditorium

Chris Daly

Chris Daly

Chris Daly is the Political Director for SEIU Local 1021, a union of over 50,000 public sector and non-profit workers. He served on the San Francisco Board of Supervisors from 2001-2011 and owns and operates The Buck, a bar and grill on Market Street.

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10 Comments

Comments for Vote for CHANGE – Peskin for Democratic Party Chair are now closed.

  1. Paul,

    Ultimately, the Democratic Party is where true progressive reform goes to die. They are the modern-day Whigs. But since you are a believer that wants to draft other Democrats, I suggest that you appeal to the “Decline to State Party” which, pretty soon, will be the biggest political faction in the country. You are going on a wild goose chase by pursuing the Greens. The Greens are a puny group and, considering their lack of discipline, vision and their eagerness to be co-opted by the Democrats (e.g. many of them are voting for Obama anyway), I don’t expect them to be around within 20 years.

  2. Charles Kalish wrote: “I wish I were a Democrat, I’d go down there on Wednesday to help out.”

    You can be a Democrat … all you have to do is change your party registration. It doesn’t mean you have to “sell out” to Nancy Pelosi, Dianne Feinstein and the rest. It just means you are a relevant player when it comes down to stuff like this.

    If progressives are going to take back the Democratic Party and elect party chairs like Aaron Peskin, Greens and other progressives need to re-register. We lose so many good people who refuse to become Democrats.

  3. If it’s between Mr. Wiener and Mr. Peskin (which it appears to be), I think we should give Peskin a try.

    Here’s one reason:
    Under the party’s current leadership, I keep receiving “Official San Francisco Democratic Party Endorsement” cards in the mail that contain many endorsements I don’t agree with. For the November 2007 election, for example, I disagreed with 7 of the 11 recommendations for how to vote on local propositions. For the June 2008 election, I disagreed with 4 of the 8 recommendations for the same. (Yes on G?? Pulease.)

    I’m not expecting the Democratic Party slate cards to exactly match every one of my political opinions, but I think there’s something wrong when I’m so disappointed so often. I know many of you would recommend re-registering to take care of this problem, but I’m not ready to give up on the local Dems yet. I’d like to see what Aaron Peskin can do as DCCC chair to make the party more reflective of my values and those of many other San Franciscans I know.

  4. I haven’t been doing a whole lot in the activist arena lately, but there is one thing I know I can do with little effort. That is to respond to the call when elected officials whom I value ask for help (which they all too rarely do – but that’s another story).

    Chris knows what he needs to be effective with our progressive agenda far better than I do. And he’s taken the time to ask us to support Aaron as part of that process. I admit that I was surprised; but not after reading what he wrote.

    We are not compromising our progressive values by supporting Aaron.

    I wish I were a Democrat, I’d go down there on Wednesday to help out.

  5. Chris Daly

    There are very real differences between Aaron Peskin and Scott Wiener when it comes to San Francisco politics.

    Peskin has always been a staunch defender of renters, while Scott has supported anti-tenant HOT proposal. Scott was an early supporter of Newsom. He was Yes on G and No on F (Peskin was not). Scott doesn’t support the Affordable Housing Charter Amendment (Peskin does) and will likely back the Mayor’s candidates for Supervisor (Peskin backs the progressives).

  6. I don’t know if it’s possible, but it would be good if Aaron and other members of the CHANGE slate pushed for a system based on more than two districts, fewer DCCC members, and no proxy system. There should also be strict campaign finance laws for people who run for DCCC.

  7. Wait..”He’s successfully reformed MUNI” ?????? Exactly whed did that happen? I know he managed to proposition passed lasy year but that is a long way from ‘successfully reforming muni’. Would you like to ask the riders if he has successfully reformed muni?

    Hard to take the rest of the article seriously after reading that laugher; from my experience Peskin has proven to be a somewhat infantile defender of anything that affects his view from Telegraph Hill and to basically show contempt for anything not in his narrow personal agenda. He is an embarassment and anyone who votes for him (other than the people of Telegraph Hill) just isn’t paying attention.

  8. I completely agree with Robert B. Livingston. The most “momentous thing anyone can do for this Fall’s election is to quit the Democratic Party” and vote for the Green Party’s brilliant Cynthia McKinny and Rosa Clemente, for Ralph Nader and Matt Gonzalez, and for Independent Cindy Sheehan.

    Aaron Peskin voted for the disgraceful Lennar Corporation every single time they came up for a vote at the Board of Supervisors, including the time Chris Daly tried to stop them—and Chris, please correct me if I am wrong—and he wasted huge amounts of my time before refusing to sign as one of four Supervisors to cancel San Francisco’s annual invitation to the Blue Angels all forces military recruitment drive.

    Democrats, excepting Chris Daly, whom I do respect, are for the most part Republicans in disguise in San Francisco.

  9. The two times I’ve written to BoS President Peskin about issues that affect the quality of life in my neighborhood — most recently, the proposed elimination of Muni’s 39-Coit line up a steep stretch of Union to Montgomery — I have never received so much as a form letter acknowledgment in reply. Is that progressive? Is that CHANGE? I hope not.

  10. The most momentous thing anyone can do for this Fall’s election is to quit the Democratic Party and vote for third parties or independents.

    But for those of you who will insist on believing that Barack Obama is the answer (in spite of the mountain of evidence that he is a part of the problem)– let me remind you that helping out Cindy Sheehan in her bid against Nancy Pelosi should be “a no-brainer”.

    Imagine having a real representative in Washington to make certain the next president will listen to us.

    http://tinyurl.com/5plqhc