Tim Paulson on the California Democratic Party Convention

I attended the California Democratic Party Convention in San Diego a few days ago as a delegate from San Francisco and as a member of the executive board as elected Chair of the Party’s Labor Caucus. Congresswoman Jackie Speier continued the tradition of Tom Lantos by appointing me as one of her representatives to the Party.

Our Labor Caucus was packed with over 600 delegates from around the state. California Assembly Speaker John Perez from Los Angeles, also an officer of the caucus and from the ranks of labor (UFCW), gave a great power analysis of what we need to do protect our safety net in this ongoing economic downturn. John Perez is a fighter and didn’t run for office to deal with simple issues. We are proud of him as our leader in the labor movement, the Democratic Party and in the Assembly. He will fight for revenue from the 1% to fund education and for safety net programs for the elderly and poor.

Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi made time to speak to two of the many Demo caucuses, meeting with our labor friends and the Women’s Caucus chaired by my friend and her daughter, Christine Pelosi. Leader Pelosi has shown tremendous growth of leadership in her 25 years of serving San Francisco and the nation for women’s and workers’ rights.

Executive Secretary-Treasurer Art Pulaski gave a thorough analysis of the “Corporate Deception” ballot measure on the ballot this November that is designed to disenfranchise workers in California. While corporations are now treated as individuals and allowed to spend shareholders money however they want – they still get to fund as much as they want on candidates and ballot measures that try to silence workers.

But we will win!

I’m proud that San Francisco-based leaders Attorney General Kamala Harris and Lt. Governor Gavin Newsom gave two of the best “calls to action” of the convention by our constitutional officers. Please see Kamala’s “Too Big to Fail” speech about Wall Street banks that got stimulated instead of homeowners and workers.

Senator John Burton, Chair of the California Democratic Party, a great union advocate in his 100 years of service, made a great choice in inviting Senator Al Franken from progressive Minnesota to give the key note speech at our Saturday night dinner program. Please watch his speech laying out the idiots, corporate stooges, and destroyers of living wages. His line about how the Republicans can “root against success and prosperity” cannot be made any more simply. Great summary to what we must contend with in our 2012 campaign.

There was also much talk about the competing revenue measures in Sacramento for the November ballot. We heard from the California Federation of Teachers on the “Millionaires Tax” and from SEIU on the agreement they reached with the Governor.

Some of the friends from San Francisco we networked with included Assemblyman Tom Ammiano, Hene Kelly, Conny Ford, Senator Leland Yee, Jane Morrison, Leah Pimintal, Assemblywoman Fiona Ma and Mark Leach from the IBEW.

Most of the delegates left San Diego fired up to hit the streets for the 2012 campaign.

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