This will be a momentous weekend for the future of the Democratic Party of Orange County. This Monday, delegates from each assembly district will vote for the party's next chair: either strategist Henry Vandemeir or legendary activist Jeff LeTourneau. Before that, though, comes the election to elect the electing delegates–that happens this Saturday and Sunday at voting booths across Orange County, one per assembly district. You a Dem? Find your polling place online.
Any registered Democrat can vote for the delegates in their particular assembly district, and while we're not registered Dems (this paper is Marxist of the Groucho variety), we do know many of the people running–some losers, of course, but more than a few chingones and chingonas who, if elected, can help guide the party away from vendidos and toward a true challenger to the dying Republicans. Here are five good ones, in no particular order:
1, 2, and 3: Julio Perez, Tish Leon, and Maria Claudia Breña
Perez, Leon, and Breña are running on a slate for the 69th Assembly District, and while there are other good people on that slate (Alejandro Moreno, especially), these three are well-known in the 69th. Perez, of course, ran a great campaign for the 69th but ended up losing because the Democratic Party establishment united behind Tom Daly, freaked out as they were by the prospect of an actual progressive in office. He continues to fight the good fight with labor. Leon, meanwhile, works at the Public Law Center and is heavily involved in fighting SanTana's corrupt City Hall. But the most fascinating story is Breña. The Peruvian immigrant is the baby of the bunch, but already well-versed in community organizing through her time with Barrio Writers and Orange County Communities Organized for Responsible Development (OCCORD). The three's paths have crossed on various projects, and they've never turned into Don Papi Pulidos nor will they–big plus!
4. Rashad Al-Dabbagh
Faithful readers will remember Al-Dabbagh as one of the people trying to get Anaheim to designate an official Little Arabia district instead of the de facto one that exists. And while we're still not too happy with him being a big fan of Anaheim councilmember Jordan Brandman, we forgive him for being on top of all the shit in the Middle East. He's running in the 65th Assembly District.
Beats the hell out of me. Everyone else is kind of meh…what else do you expect from Dems? But, if you are a Dem, do your duty and vote for the best, and voting for the above four folks puts the party on the right track. (And if you're running, feel free to leave your pitch for your fellow Dems in the comments below) Here are your polling places and times:
55th Assembly District
2pm-4pm at IBEW Local 47, 600 N. Diamond Bar Blvd. Diamond Bar
65th Assembly District
10am-12pm, UFCW Local 324, 8530 Stanton Ave,, Buena Park
68th Assembly District
10am-12pm, Teamsters Local 952 Hall, 140 S. Marks Ave., Orange
72nd Assembly District
Saturday, January 12
10:00am-12pm, International Association of Machinists, 5402 Bolsa Ave., Huntington Beach
73rd Assembly District
10am-12pm, San Clemente Community Center, 100 N. Calle Seville, San Clemente
74th Assembly District
10:30 a.m.-12:30pm, The Back Bay Conference Center at Irvine Lanes, 3415 Michelson Dr., Irvine
69th Assembly District