I've always been an outsider. Ergo, the name of this
column: "From the Outside Looking In." It's the reason that I chose Alexa
Llewellyn as my nom de plume (the original Alexander Llewellyn was the
only Welsh man serving in Henry II's court).
But being an outsider has its down side, as any Green
Party member can tell you. That is the reason that the San Francisco
Greens are presenting their 2nd annual Progressive Campaign Training on
Saturday, May 17 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Shelton Theater, 522 Sutter
Let's face it. You hear "political candidate" and you
think of a stereotype. Male -- as in nine of the current supervisors and
all of the police chiefs, fire chiefs, district attorneys, and sheriffs
that this city has ever had. Not to mention every single mayor except
Feinstein. You think of white -- the color of every single president of
the United States and the overwhelming majority, past and present, in the
House, Senate, State Assembly, and State Senate. You think of straight --
this extraordinary city is blessed with public servants like Ammiano,
Dufty, Leal, Midgen, and Leno, but even so, most elected politicians
representing San Francisco are straight. It doesn't matter where they
stand on the political spectrum. From Brown to Burton, from Hallinan to
Shelley, they're all straight.
Perhaps one day the world will evolve beyond identity
politics, but in the meantime I would like to see a place and time where
everyone has an equal chance of being elected.
Now, instead, we see the same kinds of faces being
presented by both leading political parties for every elected office in
the nation, state, and yes, the city. Who better epitomizes the
stereotypical politician than Gavin Newsom? A straight, white, rich male
with a gorgeous wife on his arm. Can't you just see them on a brochure?
Obviously, there are people who do not look like the
stereotypical politicians but still have great ideas about how this city
can better provide services to its citizens. People who do not meet the
public's exacting expectations for a politician yet have exciting new
visions of how our city could look and perform better.
Who is recruiting these people to run for office? Who is
mentoring these visionaries so that they can win an election and change
the city for the good?
I thought you'd never ask!! The San Francisco Green
Party!!! The true party of San Francisco. A party whose actions are not
dictated by politicians (although we love three of them very dearly). A
party that does not take middle-of-the-road stands in order to avoid
offending corporate dollars. (We don't take corporate dollars, so we don't
have to worry about corporations' views on our stances.)
But the city is filled with great, thoughtful progressives
who are not Greens -- and they are also visionary. They also have great
ideas to contribute to the greater community of our beloved city. And they
too need to be elected.
How can they get the skills to become electable? How can
they learn the secrets of running a campaign when they don't have a
membership in the Olympic Club? How can they find out how to reach the
voters when they can't afford to hire Barnes, Mosher and Lauer? How can
they figure out how to present their ideas when they have not been born
into a family of politicians who have controlled the city for decades.
Simple! All they need to do is to come to the 2nd Annual
Progressive Campaign Training on Saturday, May 17 from 9:00 to 3:00 p.m.
at the Shelton Theater, 522 Sutter (at Powell). Suggested donation is $20
but no one will be turned away at the door as long as they have RSVP'ed.
Space is limited, so we can only handle 75 participants. Call 386-2706 or
Here is the schedule:
|Progressive Wins and Losses in 2003 and 2004 (David Binder, David
|Filing and Necessary Paperwork (Joe Lynn, Ethnics Commission;
Debbie Gordon, Treasurer for Eileen Hansen's Campaign)
|Creating Field Operations (Supervisor Chris Daly; Robert Haaland)
|Fundraising (Susan King)
|Reaching Target Audiences (Caleb Kleppner of the Center for Voting
|Debates and Forums (Supervisor Matt Gonzalez; Whitney Leigh)
|Getting Endorsements (School Board Member Sarah Lipson)
|When the Campaign Gets Nasty (Public Defender Jeff Adachi)
|Recruiting Great Talent for Our City's Elected Offices (School
Board Member Mark Sanchez; June Brashares of Global Exchange)
|Panel Discussion: Last Chance to Answer Your Burning Questions
(Kim Knox, Chair of the SF Green Party's Campaign and Issues
Committee; Jennifer Webber, Coordinator of Prop A Campaign; Dr. Anita
Grier, Community College Board Member; Alex Clemens, President of
Barbary Coast Consulting)