Picking smart battles when the time is right — why I’m postponing my state senate campaign

I believe that the best way for Democrats to win nationally in 2018 and 2020 is for Democrats to support an agenda that delivers meaningful results for everyday people. Unfortunately, big money often keeps that from happening, even in states like California where Democrats hold a strong majority.

As California increasingly becomes a one-party state, progressives must find a way to normalize insurgent challenges against incumbent politicians who will otherwise face little to no accountability. We need to build the “democratic wing” of the Democratic party.

The greater Sacramento region is leading the state in this regard, as delegates blocked the initial automatic endorsement of a corporate leaning state assemblyman, state senator, and member of Congress by the California Democratic Party. While we should celebrate our progress so far, we must also acknowledge we have a long way to go and our movement is not yet strong enough to win multiple battles at once. We need to channel our volunteer energy, our small contributions, and the public’s limited attention span on the races where we can make the most difference.

Since I launched my campaign last December, a number of other races have developed that quite frankly appear to present better opportunities for progressive organizing than state senate district 6. With this in mind, it is my view that I can best help build the progressive movement by postponing my state senate campaign until 2022. I’ll continue to building support with individual voters and refuse corporate contributions along the way. We must develop a model for grassroots campaign that doesn’t depend upon big money, and taking four years to build a campaign will provide the time we need to be successful.

For the time being, I encourage my supporters and friends in Sacramento to get to know these terrific local candidates who are taking on entrenched incumbents:

Anna Molander is running for Sacramento’s School Board. https://www.facebook.com/AnnaForSacKids

Tamika L’Ecluse is running for Sacramento City Council https://www.tamikalecluse.com/

Porsche Middleton is running for city council in Citrus Heights https://electporsche.com/

For my statewide friends and supporters, I’d urge you to take a look at: Delaine Eastin’s campaign for Governor https://www.delaineforgovernor.com/

Alison Hartson’s campaign for US Senate https://www.alisonhartson.com/

Gayle McLaughlin’s campaign for Lt. Governor https://gayleforcalifornia.org/ Jessica Morse’s campaign to unseat Republican Tom McClintock in Congress https://www.morse4congress.com/

All are impressive people that I know personally. Each has a strong progressive track record. I encourage you to visit each candidate’s website and sign up to volunteer or donate. 

A journey of a thousand miles always begins with a few small steps. I look forward to taking many more with you in the coming years.

Sincerely,

Derek

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