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Thursday, May 19, 2022

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Home News + Politics The Agenda, Jan 2-9, 2018: Reforming the Democratic Party, organizing against Trump …

The Agenda, Jan 2-9, 2018: Reforming the Democratic Party, organizing against Trump …

... and will we have a special election in 2017? We talk about the week(s) ahead

Let me guess: You probably don’t know who represents you in the California Democratic Party. I’m not talking about our state Assembly or Senate members; they represent us in the Legislature. But every two years, we also elect a slate of delegates who go to the party convention.

It’s a far more low-profile election than the local Democratic County Central Committee; it’s not on a regular ballot. You choose these folks – seven men and seven women for each Assembly district – by showing up this Sunday, getting in line, and voting. You have to be a registered Democrat (although you can register on the spot).


The voting typically involves a few thousand people, not the tens of thousands who vote for DCCC. The candidates aren’t raising large amounts of money or doing sophisticated campaigns.

But there are a lot of people who think it’s time to rebuild the Democratic Party from the bottom up, and this is one of the ways that could start. The delegates elected Sunday/8 will go to the state convention and elect the next state chair.

There’s a slate of Reform Democrats running in D 17 and another in D 19. You can read their platform here.

We don’t endorse candidates at 48hills; if there were another organized slate I would be happy to link to it too, but as far as I can tell, there isn’t. You can read bios of all the candidates here.

If you want to influence the future of the party, you need to show up on a Sunday and vote. There are typically long lines, so plan on being patient. (But if you’re active in local politics, you’ll probably see all your friends there. It’s quite festive, if you are into this sort of thing.) AD 17 meets at the Laborer’s Hall, 3271 18th St., starting at 10am. AD 19 meets at the Doelger Café, 101 Lake Merced Blvd, starting at 1pm.


San Francisco District Attorney George Gascon still hasn’t decided whether to file charges against the officers who killed Amilcar Lopez, but he made the right call at year’s end by deciding not to retry Michel Smith, the young African American man who was beaten by BART Police in connection with an alleged crime that apparently never happened.

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Gascon announced that he won’t pursue this case any further, sparing everyone the expense of what would be a pointless trial that the prosecution would almost certainly lose.

Next question: What will happen to the cops – and what about the person who called the police to report a robbery when there’s no evidence he was ever robbed.


We are going to see a lot of anti-Trump action in the next few weeks – a lot of rallies and meetings leading up to the inauguration protests, and after that, a long period of political organizing to try to halt and push back against his agenda.

One of the first events is Saturday/7 when United Against Trump holds a panel discussion and strategy meeting. 1pm – 4pm, Women’s Building. I will be on the panel, which starts at 1.

There will be, I hope, much, much more to come.


Meanwhile, back at City Hall, the new Board of Supes will take office next week, with most of the new members doing swearing-in ceremonies on Sunday/8. The first meeting will be Tuesday/10. We don’t have the full agenda yet, but among the first items of business will be electing a Board President.

I have been told by some labor folks, including Labor Council Executive Director Tim Paulson, that Ahsha Safai, the real-estate guy who won D111 but fewer than 500 votes, will “surprise” the progressives. I suspect he won’t surprise us a bit on his first vote, which will be to keep London Breed in the top position. And that will pretty much guarantee her the job.

At some point this spring, there will be – since there pretty much has to be – some talk of calling a special election in 2017 to put some revenue measures before the voters. That’s going to be the only way to avoid brutal cuts coming out of Washington. If the supes call an election (and I suspect the mayor won’t want this, since he seems to want to solve the deficit largely with cuts), then the person he appoints to the D8 seat (and will that person even be seated by Jan.10?) will have to face the voters with less than a year to build up name recognition and a campaign.

And given the likely choices on the mayor’s plate, there will almost certainly be a progressive challenger.

Gonna be a full spring.


  1. There doesn’t seem to be an organized corporate/moderate slate in AD 17, which is very surprising.

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