by David Downs
With just eleven weeks until the November 2 election and even less until voters can begin turning in absentee ballots, official endorsements for candidates and measures are heating up. Last night, the San Francisco Democratic Party spent three hours endorsing candidates for local races and measures, concluding at 9 p.m. with a hearty endorsement of the statewide initiative Proposition 19.
Normally, Democratic party locals do not endorse statewide ballot measures, deferring to their state superiors. However, the California Democratic Party has taken a neutral stance on Tax and Regulate Cannabis, punting endorsements to its 58 local groups.
SFDCCC chair Aaron Peskin introduced the measure to a chuckle among the roughly thirty-person voting committee. Peskin called for a hand vote by saying “Raise 'em high,” to more laughs. The SFDCCC widely endorsed the measure. Reps for Kamala Harris, Gavin Newsom, and Dianne Feinstein voted against endorsing the measure. Reps for Jacky Speier, Nancy Pelosi, and Fiona Ma abstained.
Representatives of Prop 19 as well as law enforcement opponents at Public Safety First made their case before the committee last Saturday, August 7. A no endorsement for Prop 19 from the base of California progressives would have been a shocking sign of the impending defeat of Prop 19. With the SFDCCC's endorsement, the Oakland-led initiative lives on to fight another day.