An easy way to get involved with the California Democratic Party

7 Jan

UPDATE: Here are the results for the 16th AD election. Thanks to everyone who came out to vote!


Abel Guillen
Joel Freid
Wayne Nishioka (i)
Mark Briggs (i)
Dan Rush
Jakadi Imani


Sumi Marie Paranjape
Ronnie Caplane
Frieda Edgette
Alice Fried
Esperanza Tervalon-Daumont
Tara Marchant (i)

Cal. Dem. Party E-Board Rep.:
Mark Briggs (i)

(i) = incumbent

You may not have heard, but this Saturday, there’s a very important election being held. I know, you voted three times last year and were hoping for a bit of a break, but this election’s a bit different than the primaries and general election held last year. This is an election that could come down to just a few votes, and one of those votes could be yours.

What is this election? It’s the election for delegates to the California Democratic Party (CDP). Even if you’re not a hard core Democratic activist, as long as you’re a registered Democrat, I strongly recommend attending and making your voice heard. Though these elections are generally sparsely attended (relative to other elections), they’re extremely important. The delegates that are elected this Saturday will be voting on new party leadership, including a new Chair of the CDP. Delegates also vote on endorsements for ballot initiatives and candidates for state office.

All you have to do is arrive at Alameda Hospital on Saturday between noon and 2:00 to cast a vote. You can then leave immediately or wait around to hear the results. That’s it. It will take a couple hours of your time, and you’ll get to ride the bus through Oakland and see areas you probably often don’t visit.

If you’re still not convinced that this is the best way to spend your Saturday afternoon, let me tell you a little story about the importance and power of CDP delegates. Last year, at the CDP convention, there was a high profile fight between Senator Carole Migden and Assemblymember Mark Leno to get the CDP endorsement. Leno was doing what is seldom done – challenging a fellow Democratic incumbent for her Senate seat (he was termed out of the Assembly). Well, Migden won the endorsement vote among the delegates from her Senate district, but then Leno’s supporters went around the convention that evening and collected enough signatures (actually, double the amount they needed) to challenge Migden to a full convention vote among all CDP delegates. In the full convention vote, Migden did not receive enough votes to get the endorsement. Neither did Leno, which meant the Democratic Party did not endorse either candidate.

I believe that this vote sealed the deal for Leno. Though there’s a good chance he would have won against Migden anyway, without the official support of the CDP, there was no way for Migden to win. This is just one of many stories that demonstrate how important the delegate positions are and why it’s so important for the 16th Assembly district to elect delegates that support our values.

I hope you’ll join me on Saturday to vote and will support the following four candidates (you can vote for up to six women and six men):

  • Abel Guillen: Over the last two years, Abel has served as a Trustee for the Peralta Community College District. During this time it has become clear to him that we need to have a unified progressive voice that is grounded in the realities of working men, women, students and senior citizens. He is running for this position because he believes he can help champion these causes and continue to be an advocate for education.
  • Frieda Edgette: As President to East Bay Young Dems and a health policy strategist to more than 100 worker health campaigns, Frieda has diverse experience in local politics and strategic organizing skills that she will leverage to build a more inclusive and cohesive CDP. If elected, she will ensure that the CDP takes a committed and proactive approach to California’s progressive “bread ‘n butter” issues, such as restoring the Golden State’s promise for equitably funded education, clean energy alternatives, single payer healthcare, and marriage equality.
  • Richard Fuentes: As a Gay Progressive Latino, Richard is committed to ensuring that all those who cannot speak are given a voice to speak for them.  With more than 5 years of public service, advocate, volunteer, PTA member, School Site Council member, Neighborhood Association member, and loyal Democrat he stands steadfast to assure our democratic values and interest are the focus of our progressive agenda.
  • Sean Sullivan: As an LGBT Leader, Prop. 8’s passage, Sean is running to ensure our State Democratic Party leads in the fight to overturn this injustice. As former executive staff with Covenant House, he has advocated and will continue to stand for the homeless, youth, those disenfranchised and living at the margins.  During this difficult time our party must have more than a focus not on simply getting through but by building a sustainable state through transit oriented growth, green sector employment development, single earner jobs  and world class education.

If you want to meet many of the delegate candidates, stop by Mix It Up East Bay tomorrow (Thursday) night at its new location, Shashame on Broadway. Check the events page for details.

I hope to see you on Saturday:

When: Saturday, January 10th, 2009 from 12:00-2:00 pm
Where: Alameda Hospital – 2nd Floor, Meeting Room A, 2070 Clinton Avenue, Alameda, CA
More Info:
Accessible by AC Transit lines 51, 50, and 63.


7 Responses to “An easy way to get involved with the California Democratic Party”

  1. Pats E January 7, 2009 at 1:34 pm #

    Thx for this posting, Becks! Nice to have the break-down. I’ll refer to this as I do some more research on the candidates…and cast my vote Saturday!

  2. Adam Raabe January 8, 2009 at 8:59 am #

    Becks –

    I am also running for 16th AD delegate, on a slate with Sean Sullivan and Richard Fuentes. I am an Oakland Firefighter, an Oakland resident and a Jingletown/Kennedy Tract Community Activist. I worked on the Obama campaign, and I am currently endorsed by International Association of Firefighters Local 55. I would appreciate your vote and those of your readers. I am running for this position due to the total lack of Public Safety members involved at this level of politics. Our tax dollars need to be spent correctly when it comes to public safety. We deserve a certain level of service to be provided to the citizens of this state, and it needs to be more than lip service, it needs to be a Political Platform in the Democratic Party.

    My official Candidate Statement:

    I am a proud Oakland Resident, a member of the
    Oakland Fire Department and extremely active in my
    community. I am endorsed by International Association of Firefighters Local 55 (Oakland, Alameda County and Emeryville). I understand the difficulties that our country faces from all directions, I see them every day at work. From the struggles of people who are recent
    immigrants to our country, to the people the are left
    behind in the struggle for economic equality, to
    homeowners hoping to keep their hard won first house,
    the contact I have with people in need every day has
    completely changed my outlook on life. I would relish
    any opportunity to have more input in the direction that
    our Country and our Party is going. This is my first time
    running for a position in the Democratic Party, and this
    year was the best opportunity I have had to directly work
    to elect a President and City Council members that we
    all can be so proud of. I am a person newly
    reinvigorated by politics on all levels. The true
    grassroots efforts I saw on all levels this election cycle
    has made me so proud and so hopeful for the future of
    our Country, and the Democratic Party. I would treasure
    the opportunity to be more involved as a Delegate.

  3. AustinOAK January 9, 2009 at 7:34 pm #

    Thanks LITO for this post. Can’t wait to vote Saturday.

    Any registered democrat who lives in the 16th Assembly District (Assemblyman Sandre Swanson) can vote. The 16th District includes: Oakland, Alameda and Piedmont.

    Drop in voting is allowed between 12:00 – 2:00 p.m.

    Along with those mentioned above please consider Debra Taylor. For me an easy very enthusiastic wholehearted vote for yours/mine very very good friend.

    Deborah is also running amongst this very large field.
    Many here in Oakland met her this fall as the truly superb and X-cellent Manager of the Oakland Dem Headquarters.It was so fun to B around her. Never forget it.

    The Oakland Dem Headquaters was the BOMB. MOST Progressive Dem Headquarters in the Country – bar none.

    There she was officially the Regional Field Director in charge of the California Democratic Party/UDC Oakland Campaign office during the November election.

    She also has worked as a fundraiser, campaign consultant and volunteer coordinator for a number of elected officials currently holding office on the federal, state and local level. Her background as a democratic activist range from serving as a delegate to 3 DNC conventions, state party delegate and “E” Board member, secretary of the LA County Central Committee, chair of two Assembly District Committees (33 & 34); and, most recently, as a volunteer for the re-election of Mary Ellen Early to the DNC.

    In Oakland, she is actively involved in local and neighborhood issues. Served as a Commissioner on the Rent Board, the Measure X (Strong Mayor) Review Committee and, currently, as the Commissioner of the Community Policing Advisory Board.

    She as a Progressive Dem would appreciate a vote from all us here at LITO

    Look – I just Luv this Gal. A very close and personal best politics Buddy who I can’t wait to work with again some day. Probably again @ OAK-Headquarters in Fall 2010.

    SOOooo LITO my 1st vote will B 4 her. The next 4 for those above – really appreciate your post here and the Progressives mentioned above.

    I met Sean Sullivan at Rebecca Kaplan’s swearing-in reception. Nice guy.

    LITO supporters please vote 4 these PROGRESSIVES…

  4. AustinOAK January 9, 2009 at 7:40 pm #

    Adam Raabe – thanks for your candidacy post here. You can count on 2 more votes > My Partner and I. Hope to meet you there.

  5. AustinOAK January 11, 2009 at 11:32 pm #

    Do we know the results yet? Women/Men that got the nod? And the overall president/commander/lt./chairman not sure on that – who’d we pick? such a nice day doing that I’ll always remember how fun it was. I’ll want to vote each time from now on. Thanks Becka,Sean, Jonathan and my best buds Debra & Matt and Elizabeth from OAKDemHdqtrs…lively crowd…

  6. AustinOAK January 11, 2009 at 11:34 pm #

    PS – it was fun having it in Alameda as I really enjoy seeing that city everytime I go over.

  7. Becks January 12, 2009 at 8:34 am #

    Here are the results for the 16th AD election. Thanks to everyone who came out to vote!


    Abel Guillen
    Joel Freid
    Wayne Nishioka (i)
    Mark Briggs (i)
    Dan Rush
    Jakadi Imani


    Sumi Marie Paranjape
    Ronnie Caplane
    Frieda Edgette
    Alice Fried
    Esperanza Tervalon-Daumont
    Tara Marchant (i)

    Cal. Dem. Party E-Board Rep.:
    Mark Briggs (i)

    (i) = incumbent

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