Pro-Tip: Start at the Bottom of Your Ballot
By Jim Miller
While most of the attention is on the Presidential race this primary season, there are still some important things progressive voters can weigh in on down-ballot here in San Diego on June 7th that will do some good.
Here is a short list:
Vote Yes on Proposition I: Sure, $15 an hour is coming soon in California, but voting yes on Proposition I in San Diego will immediately lift the local minimum wage to $10.50 an hour (and eventually $11.50), giving a well-deserved raise and providing five much-needed sick days to over 170,000 hard working San Diegans. It will also right the wrong that was done by Mayor Faulconer and the Chamber of Commerce crew when they screwed local workers out of this necessary hand up.
Vote for Lori Saldana or Ed Harris for Mayor: Despite their late starts and huge funding disadvantages, one recent poll suggested that Faulconer’s challengers may be able to force a run-off in November with the Sanders surge bringing in a wave of new voters. Let’s not waste that opportunity to make the guy who vetoed the minimum wage stand before an even larger electorate in the fall.
Vote for Gregg Robinson in D1, Guadalupe Gonzalez in D2, Mark Anderson in D4, and Rick Shea in D5 for County Board of Education: Defeat the efforts of the Charter School Association to buy the election with big money coming in from out of state, like the $200,000 donation from Walmart heir Alice Walton. A vote for this progressive slate is a vote for quality public schools and accountability for private interests seeking to gorge themselves at the public trough.
Vote for Barbara Bry in D1: Save the Democratic majority on the City Council.
Vote for Sarah Saez in D9 and Chris Ward in D3: Send a message to Democrats taking money from the Lincoln Club, the Chamber of Commerce, and other nefarious interests. As Doug Porter reported here at the SD Free Press, the local Democratic Party has been afflicted with an epidemic of craven sell-outs to the right with two notable City Council candidates, Anthony Bernal and Ricardo Flores, taking money from all the wrong sources without batting an eye. Shame on Bernal and Flores. Let them know how you feel about this kind of behavior with your vote.
Vote for Caridad Sanchez, Marco Briones, Michelle Krug, Sandy Naranjo, Alberto Velasquez, and Roberto Alcantar and AGAINST David Alvarez’s slate for the Democratic Central Committee in the 80th Assembly District: The most disappointing name on the list of these compromised local Democrats taking money from the Lincoln Club is current City Councilman David Alvarez. During the last race for mayor, Alvarez was the beneficiary of over a million dollars of labor money coming from the dues of thousands of workers who stood by him while he was relentlessly attacked by the Club.
As someone who was a strong supporter of Mr. Alvarez both here in this column and in my role in the local labor movement, I find his decision to fund his Democratic Central Committee slate campaign efforts with Lincoln Club money beyond inexplicable.
For those readers who may not be familiar with what the Lincoln Club is, I offer this refresher from a past column:
Another key player in the effort to preserve the hegemony of San Diego’s shadow government that deserves attention is the Lincoln Club, a stealthy nexus of economic and political power. In essence, the Lincoln Club is a political entity bent on maintaining San Diego’s de facto private government led by the local power elite in perpetuity by any means necessary . . .
The ultimate aim here is the same old story: for the interests that support and benefit from the activities of the Lincoln Club, anything that impinges on corporate power or profits for the public good is a “jobs killer” while siphoning taxpayer money from the public trough for private gain is unquestionably sound policy.
Thus the kind of San Diego the Lincoln Club envisions is a city where the downtown interests have the gold and the rest of us get the shaft. The individual players may come and go . . . but the economic and ideological agenda remains the same year after year.
When we see things like this unholy alliance happen is it any wonder that people have become so cynical about politics and suspicious that the Democrats don’t represent anything other than the superficially liberal wing of the business party?