I ran into Tim Paulson, the former head of the Labor Council who now works for the building trades, out in front of the Women’s Building this morning, and he had the same question that was on all of our minds:
“Is this chaos, or democracy?”
The vote for delegates to the state Democratic Party was indeed a bit chaotic: long, long lines on both sides of the building. Buses carrying supporters of both competing slates. Crowds at the narrow doorway.
But in the end, it was far better than the event two years ago, which could only politely be described as a clusterfuck. This year, with Hene Kelley and Frances Hsieh running the show, and Kevin Bard as the MC, and plenty of volunteers on hand, the lines moved efficiently, the ballots were not just in English, and somehow, by 1:30, a total of 2,033 people had voted.
That’s far more than two years ago – a sign that people in San Francisco think the future of the Democratic Party matters, and that both the progressives and the corporate Dems have the ability to turn out their folks.
Both sides claimed to be “progressive” and speakers from both sides talked about Trump, but there was a clear difference between the two slates. The so-called United Resistance Slate was endorsed by Assemblymember David Chiu, Senator Scott Wiener, and Mayor London Breed – three politicians who opposed Prop. C.
The Yimbys were big on that slate.
But Prop. C wasn’t in the discussion; it was all about political power, and Chiu and Wiener worked hard to get their folks out. Chiu brought in his supporters by bus and staged at the Laborer’s Union down the street; he told me that he did that to avoid the chaos of last year.
He got a copy of the ballot, and printed out samples; there were at least 100 Chiu supporters in line carrying printouts of ballots.
The progressives worked to get their folks out too, but in the end, it appears that the corporate democrat slate has won, hands-down. Other than Gloria Berry, 13 of the 14 people elected came from the Chiu-Wiener slate.
It was close.
But here’s the other question we should be asking: The moderate (or corporate) Dems, led by Chiu and Wiener, are determined to keep the party from going in the direction of economic equality. What makes them think that will be a winning strategy for the Democratic Party in 2020?