| | | | |

Matt Gonzalez – One Year Later

It’s been just over a year since the runoff mayoral election last year in which Matt Gonzalez almost pulled one off against the machine. I can still recall vividly, the Dems scared at the prospect of losing a major city election to a Green, calling on Bill Clinton AND Al Gore to swoop in and stump for Gavin Newsom. Newsom did win, though mostly due to early absentee voters as Matt rocked the city at the polls on election day. The Progressive Voter Project was born as an answer to the absentee problem.

Two books have been published centering around the Gonzalez campaign. The Political Edge, from City Lights Press, is a collection of essays covering different points of view from volunteers of the campaign, local journalists and long-time activists. I’m interviewed by David Rosen for his piece, “130 Parties in 30 Days:” The Matt Gonzalez Mayoral Campaign & the Restructuring of the Culture Industry. He explores the idea that the culture of the campaign is what brought people together. Matt’s cultural identity is something that resonated with many of us thus driving his unprecedented support manifested in the form of spontaneious house parties, raffles, poetry readings, art auctions, rock shows, and yoga benefits to name a few.

The other book is called Go, Matt, Go edited by Nicole Walter. It’s also a collection of essays, blurbs, poetry, manifestos and interviews from many more volunteers of the campaign. Self published and editorially raw, it’s a good window into feeling of those short couple of months. I have a short essay that describes my experiences and emotions of the campaign. Both books are well worth picking up.

| |

Gone Green

whiteleaf.gifThat’s it. I’ve gone Green. The Democratic Party has failed me something fierce. Their strategy was to go against Bush playing his own game, trying to position Kerry as a slightly “gentler and more thoughtful” version of Bush. Kerry agrees with the war in Iraq, but he would have “executed it differently”. Kerry voted for and believes in the Patriot Act but would “tweak it” a little. Guess what? A watered down version of Bush is not that appealing to either the left or the right! The Democratic Party has let the Republicans walk all over them this election and they can’t blame Nader for it this time. But they are blaming. Diane Feinstein is blaming Gavin Newsom for the Republican attack on gays. This is classic broken Democratic Party thinking at work. Find someone else to blame, don’t look inward and take responsibility for your own failings. That’s EXACTLY the game the right wing idealogues play! Democrats are supposed to be the ones standing up for civil rights, social justice, peace, equality and a living wage.

That has changed, it is now the Green Party espousing these values along with corporate accountability, electoral reform and environmental sustainability. It’s going to take a third party to “remind” the Democrats what their principles are. History has shown that when one of the major parties strays too far from their principles, it takes a third party eating their base to bring them back to reality. Either way, going Green can only mean good things. Either the Greens grown in strength and continue to win more local and state offices or the Democrats finally wake up and co-opt the values they have strayed from. The outcome is good for anyone who cares about democracy and equal representation for all.

If you live in California, here’s a link to change your voter registration online. I recommend it.