Phil Ting on the trail, and flickr


It’s politics season: SF Assessor candidate Phil Ting with his nice staff (whose name I forgot!) and wife Susan (hiding behind them and holding the signs) campaigning outside the 24th St. BART station this morning.
You may have noticed the flickr stream on the left side, down below the blogroll. I just updated that to show any flickr picture tagged with “speakoutca.” There’s also a special election photo pool which includes some nice discussion groups about the props. If you’re a flickr user and you take any picture over the weekend, toss them into the pool or tag them and they’ll show up here automagically!

Pacific Edge.

Beyond reading The Killer Angels, Homage to Catalonia and, say, The Lord of the Rings trilogy, I am not much a student of military strategy. Nor have I studied social movements from any perspective much beyond that of a ground-level observer, nor much political history beyond the American 20th century histories I’ve been consuming voraciously since I got involved in the process in 2002.
But the events of the past forty eight hours, on this dark anniversy no less, feel like the beginnings of some kind of shift. We are watching an ideology crumble before us. Perhaps every generation gets this opportunity, but nothing like it has happened in my lifetime. The moorings of the philosophy of governance that has given us the lies of the Iraq war, decades of economic stagnation, private affluence and public squalor, and the Katrina disaster are pulling loose from the bottom.

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Why should I care?

This is a question that has been asked quite a lot during this special election campaign. We thought it would be useful to break it down.
The bottom line: This special election is about a small minority of people trying to undermine our progressive values in California during an off-year with a conservative wedge issue on the ballot. It is the Bush agenda, coming to California.
Aside from the arguments we have made against each of the measures baced by Gov. Schwarzenegger in our voter guide, here are four big reasons why on November 8, you should vote No on Props 73 through 78, or Nix the first six:

  • If we don’t show up and vote, we lose. This is basic, but true.
  • If we lose, we will be handing the right wing movement, led by President Bush, major ideological victories. These victories would have large implications because they are on issues that progressives are fighting and will continue to fight across the country: a woman’s right to choose (prop 73), taxes (Prop 76) and attacks on organized labor (Props 74, 75 and 76).
  • It’s anti-democratic. Gov. Schwarzenegger called this special election, months before a regularly scheduled election, in a blatant attempt to push through hostile ballot measures when he hoped most Californians wouldn’t be paying attention. The initiative campaigns are being funded by a small group of very wealthy conservative business interests. We have to show we are paying attention, and we say: No.
  • The progressive movement in California is in broad agreement about Schwarzenegger’s agenda. As you can see in our voter guide, old-school good-government groups like the League of Women Voters came to the same conclusions as MoveOn.org, which polled its members via email to produce their recommendations.

Deep down, underneath the cynicism that exists for so many about this special election in particular and even politics in general, Californians do care about their state, and about its future. That’s what this election is about. That’s why you should care enough to vote on Tuesday, and to get involved beyond Tuesday to make sure nothing like this happens again in California.

It’s going to be close…and you can help!

Today is Election Day! There are two main things you, as a progressive, can do to make sure none of the six destructive and right-wing initiatives on the ballot (Props 73-78) pass in California.
1) VOTE!
If you have not mailed your absentee ballot yet, you can bring it to any polling place today. To find your polling place, look up your county here.
2) HELP OUT!
The Alliance for a Better California, which is working on Props 74 through 80, has field offices throughout the state that will be hosting volunteers to help get our voters out to the polls.
Look up the one nearest you by region here:
Northern California
Southern California
Los Angeles County
The Campaign for Teen Safety, working against Prop 73, also has field offices around the state. For a list of contacts, click here!

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You are the best.

Late last night we got a few more donations, and they put us up just enough to buy some great positioning on a few of the sites. You should see our ads popping up on a weblog near you today, and they’ll be up for the rest of the week. Infinite thanks to all who contributed!
Today the latest Field Poll is out, and the numbers are looking good. None of 74-78 are winning (they’re going to have the lowdown on 73 tomorrow), and the momentum looks like it’s all in the right direction. The word is getting out, people are frustrated, and when people know the Governor is behind any of the propositions they’re less likely to vote for it. This matches very well with the feel of things I’ve been getting on the phone. People are not happy with this bizarre package of nonreforms and a lot of them have voted already. It feels like people are making the connections.
But before anyone starts doing the happy poll numbers dance, remember that there’s still a lot more work to do, and the only poll that matters happens a week from today. Anything could happen. Who knows, maybe the Governor’s latest tactics, even this sadly pathetic and misleading one, are going to have some effect.

Blogad update

Our blogad fundraising campaign is doing well enough that we’ve expanded our list of targets a bit. But we need to raise more to get it out on all of the sites we’ve come up with! If you didn’t spend a few hours this weekend out talking to people about this thing, you in particular really need to contribute.
This morning, in two sentences, the SF Chron sums up the big problem with this election: that it doesn’t do a single thing to answer the real problems facing the state…

But as they tick off concerns about the future here — growth, traffic and jobs — Cervantez throws up his hands.
“Why,” he asked, “are we having a special election again?”

That’s about as pithy a summation as my Dad’s reaction: “I can’t believe you have to vote on this stuff. A lot of these are really stupid.” Unfortunately we have to, so channel some of your irritation at this whole mess and contribute to our blogad run!

Let’s get this voter guide out!

We’ve had really amazingly positive feedback to our voter guide (in english and in spanish), and we’d like to get it in front of as many people in the few days left before the election. To do this, we’re planning on running these blogads…




On a few political and some non-political ones, too. Click on the ad to go to our donations page. The nice thing about blogad buys is that (for now at least), they really scale on the low end: you can almost do an ad buy with the change you find in the back seat of your car. But we’d like to go up on some high traffic blogs with good placement – the more you contribute, the more we can do.

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Blast from the past

From an American Prospect article on framing from a long, long time ago…

“[Strategic Framing Institute president Susan Bales] shows two slides. First she displays a cover of the children’s book Chicken Little. When greens sound like Chicken Little, she says, the message is that the sky is falling, it’s your fault and you have to lower your living standards. Not surprisingly, that message attracts only true believers. Then she puts up a second slide of The Little Engine That Could. A far better message is that good old American technology can solve environmental problems, and that citizens can hold government and business accountable if only they have the political will.”

That’s still probably the single most succinct description of framing that’s out there; something to think about while you’re talking to people about the special election. If the topic of how negative things seem right now comes up, point people towards our (very, very positive) progressive values pledge for California!

Another widly successful No on Prop 73 phone bank

This is Nora Dye, she is doing an amazing job coordinating the No on Prop 73 phone banks for Planned Parenthood in San Francisco. Behind her is an adorable poster showing all the happy volunteers who have been coming in week after week to get the word out about this dangerous initiative.
Statewide, Planned Parenthood’s goal is to contact 50,000 voters about Prop 73, and with two weeks left they still need to contact about 20,000. My experience tonight proved again that people are receptive to voting the right way on this one, once they hear a coherent argument. If you haven’t given your time to phone bank on Prop 73, call your local Planned Parenthood affiliate and get involved!
If you’re in San Francisco, it happens at 5:30 p.m. on Tuesdays and Wednesdays at 815 Eddy Street, and Thursdays at 1635 Mission.
They had Thai food. It was so great.