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Posts tagged as “Kevin de león”

Democratic Superstars Mingle With Activists In Topanga

Special To Topanga Journal

It was a star-studded Democratic Saturday afternoon in Topanga as a green lawn was rolled out for the progressive elected officials and activists. Before the program began activists and legislators mingled on the deck enjoying vegan Thai food and drink, marveling at the view and enjoying the company of fellow progressives.

Kriss Perras, Publisher & Editor Malibu Arts Journal

By Kriss Perras

When the program began progressives were elated to hear Alan Minsky has taken the helm as Executive Director of Progressive Democrats of America (PDA). US Representative Ted Lieu gave the first award as the program got underway. He had arrived early and was swarmed by activists and constituents. US Senate Candidate Kevin De León, who was receiving an award,  comfortably mingled with activists and constituents. The annual event garnered about 200. California State Senator Ben Allen, awardees Jackie Goldberg, Ani Zonneveld, comedian and Zonneveld’s friend, Mona Shay, Alan Minsky, Lila Garrett, Harvey Wasserman, Mimi Kennedy, Susie Shannon, Russell Greene, RL Miller, Michelle Sutter, Larry Gross and even CODEPINK was in the house! 

“My disappointment has turned to outrage. Complicity and capitulation will not shield essential human rights from Donald Trump and the Republican enablers marauding on Capitol Hill.” Kevin De León

Congressman Lieu was there to present the Tim Carpenter Courage Award to activist and honoree Zonneveld from Muslims for Progressive Values. Shay treated the activists to a mini roast of Zonneveld, who then spoke of her work for women’s rights to free Muslims imprisoned in their home countries. She ended her talk with an inspirational song as the audience cheered her on. Goldberg received the Lifetime Achievement award for her long-standing career as a leader and activist both inside and outside the party. Her award was presented by activist Gross from Coalition For Economic Survival and Director of Region 12 off the Democratic Party. Goldberg got the crowd going with her fiery speech encouraging them all to increase their activism. 

DNC member Shannon and environmental activist Miller, early supporters of de Leon’s Senate race against Feinstein, presented his award. De León spoke on progressive values and the hard fought passage of his bill SB100 all the way to Governor Brown’s signature and enumerated many of the other bills he had passed as a California legislator and leader of the California Senate. Toward the end of his speech he donned a dark blue cap with the gold embroidered numbers 100% to symbolize the bill’s renewable energy goal by the year 2045. This was historic because no other economy as large as California’s has committed to 100% clean energy. Feinstein had refused to debate de León and after his speech the reasons were obvious. Most recently he laments the leaderless Democratic Senate on the Kavanaugh hearing. 

“My disappointment has turned to outrage,” said De León in a statement. “Complicity and capitulation will not shield essential human rights from Donald Trump and the Republican enablers marauding on Capitol Hill. I would sooner walk out into the streets and protest with people we represent than remain in that Senate chamber where diplomatic bluster is worth less than the paper the members’ talking points are printed on. We deserve better because too much is at stake.”

The event was held at the Topanga home of Dorothy Reik, President of the Progressive Democrats of the Santa Monica Mountains (PDSMM). Attendees were treated to a clear view of the city lights of Los Angeles below and the stars above as the sun set.   



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Kevin de León Wins Democratic Endorsement 65% In Crushing Blow To Feinstein

In a hard fought battle against an entrenched Senator from 25 years in office, Progressive challenger Kevin de León, the former California Senate Pro Tem, just won the Democratic Party endorsement, voted on by the party’s Executive Board in Oakland on Saturday evening. De León won at 65 percent siding with him, or 217 out of the 333 delegates, according to stats from the Party. The devastating part for Feinstein was only 7 percent endorsed her, or 22 votes, and 94 gave no endorsement whatsoever, or 28 percent. It was a crushing blow for the Feinstein campaign.

De León has had grassroots support that couldn’t be shut down no matter how hard the establishment tried. The movement he started when he began his campaign couldn’t be shut down. He nearly won the endorsement the first time at 54%. This time he went over the top.

“First, to the members of the California Democratic Party, this is your victory, said de León. “Earning the endorsement of so many leaders and activists of the California Democratic Party isn’t just an honor and a privilege; today’s vote is a clear-eyed rejection of politics as usual in Washington, D.C. Through years of hard-won progress, we have proven to the world that California can forge a path for the rest of the nation.”

Party activists and early supporters of de León have been hitting it hard at phone banks, fundraisers and on Act Blue to give the candidate what he needed to keep his campaign going. Feinstein has on many occasions let the Party faithful down. She declared support for the death penalty at state conventions in the 1990’s, but now that she faces a Progressive candidate, she says she opposes the death penalty.

For his part de León now having won the Democratic Party endorsement has renewed his call for debates. Feinstein said after the primary she would debate her challenger.

“The nation’s most accomplished Democratic Party is leading the call for a new generation of leadership who will fight to advance a bold agenda. I have never been more committed to giving every Californian a real opportunity to succeed,” said de León. “We have presented Californians with the first real alternative to the worn-out Washington playbook in a quarter-century. As the California Democratic Party’s endorsed candidate, I renew my call for a debate.”

Dorothy Reik, Executive Board delegate, early supporter of de León and President of the Progressive Democrats of the Santa Monica Mountains (PDSMM) organized phone banks, handed out KDL buttons, even the ones off her shirt, to everyone she met. She organized fundraisers for de León and voting guides for the party.

“Kevin will bring California’s values and economic growth to the rest of America,” said Reik. “A brand new country was born tonight. Feinstein should concede.”

US Senate Candidate de León ran on a straight Progressive platform: single payer healthcare, a woman’s right to choose, abolishing the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agency, clean energy — which is a continuation of his time as Senate Pro Tem where he ushered through environmental bills like SB350 where 50 percent of California’s energy must come from renewable sources by 2030 — gun control, free public education, immigration reform and legalized cannabis on the federal level.

Recently de León came to the Santa Monica Progressive Democratic Club in the City of Santa Monica. He spoke of the McConnell Rule and the Supreme Court in the US Senate and a number of other topics.

“Obviously the McConnell Rule that was in force on Democrats during the Obama Administration during the last few years was unbecoming, obviously. But I will say this, Republicans play hard. And they don’t capitulate. Whether you concur or not concur, and I know you don’t concur. One thing is unambiguous, they play hard ball. Things that we would be shocked by, they don’t care. They move forward. The GOP tax plan vote in December quite frankly was unpopular among even Republican voters around the country. The leadership made a decision. They said full steam ahead. They have the courage of their convictions, whether we agree with their convictions or not, and I know we don’t. But they move forward. There is no room for ambiguity or vagueness. We capitulate too much in Washington. As a result this is what happens. That’s why folks are getting tired of the same-o same-o from the establishment in Washington.”

There was a rousing applause from the room full of supporters that came to hear him speak. De León flew in to LAX from Sacramento at 5:30pm and made it to the Club’s meeting room by 7:00pm to talk to supporters. He came to Santa Monica specifically to speak just to that group for that hour or so visit. When he was finished he got right back on a plane and headed back to Sacramento.

“I know when I became leader of the California State Senate by definition one could say well you are the establishment,” said de León. “I made the decision to say as leader, I’m going to move policies and use my political capital while I occupy a position of great power to effectuate positive change with raising the minimum wage to fifteen dollars an hour, equal pay for women doing equal work, the most far reaching climate change policies in the entire nation, cap in trade in terms of making sure that at least a quarter of the billions of dollars go into poor communities that are disproportionately impacted by climate change as well as other smog pollutants.”

Feinstein’s campaign issued a statement to the press that appeared to de León’s supporters as an attempt to temper the loss.

“While 217 delegates expressed their view today, Senator Feinstein won by 2.1 million votes and earned 70 percent of the Democratic vote in the California primary election, carrying every county by double digits over her opponent,” Millman said. “We are confident that a large majority of California Democrats will vote to reelect Sen. Feinstein in November.”

From the June 6, primary, Feinstein only got 44.2 percent of the vote. Feinstein also only got 37 percent of the last Democratic endorsement earlier this year to de León’s 56 percent, neither receiving the necessary 60% at that time out of 2,800 delegates.

To de León supporters, this endorsement vote is the strongest rebuke of the Feinstein campaign yet. What this means for the Progressive candidate now is de León will be on the California Democratic Party slate mailers, door hangers and email blasts with an outreach that tops 2 million. This also will lead to a huge boost to de León’s campaign coffers. At last filing on May 16, de León had $693,689 in the bank. The endorsement means he can now raise money in conjunction with the Party.

Topanga Journal
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