Do It, Lumpy is our new “What’s up with Chris Daly?” column, hooray! The local politician you either love, or love to hate — no one’s better at generating impassioned dialogue (read: high traffic numbers) than the sitting District 6 supervisor.
So what’s Chris been up to lately (i.e., why would he agree to give us an interview?). Well, he’s thrown his hat in the ring to run for a fairly obscure volunteer position within the California Democratic Party, for regional director of Region 4 (SF and parts of San Mateo county).
Daly says he’s running because he wants to get back to his community organizing roots like one President B. Obama — but others are saying it might be because Daly is unhappy with the persistent non-progressive stance of the local chapter of the state party. You might vaguely remember that Daly got in the middle of another intra-party fight last year, when he out-organized the moderates to get former Board of Supes prez Aaron Peskin named as the city party chair, for example.
Anyways, Daly is trying to unseat a guy named August Longo, who’s held the Region 4 Director position for the last eight years. The election is for party delegates only (if you have to ask, you aren’t one), and it’s this Saturday.
Here’s part one of the interview, which is about the party race. Tomorrow’s interview portion will be Daly’s thoughts on the current state of the SF progressives, which will be your reward for reading through all this obscure party stuff that almost none of us will actually be able to vote on this weekend! Good luck, Lumpy!
Why go from city supe to party director? Is this like Howard Dean going to the DNC? What’s your version of the 50 state strategy? Who’s the Rahm Emanuel you’ll be fighting with? (or…. are YOU the Rahm Emanuel coming in to fight with someone else?)
I’m running for CDP Region 4 Director, because even though we elected a community organizer President, we need good community organizers at every level of our Party. While change has become a buzzword of nearly every Democrat, the commitment to enact that change is not as universal. I am committed to organize the structures to help facilitate this change in the California Democratic Party.
It probably was bit of hyperbole for the Chronicle to run the story of my run for CDP Regional Director as what I’m going to do after terming out of office. I have about 21 months left on my Supervisor term. I will continue to represent my constituents on the Board of Supervisors while also working to build the California Democratic Party.
As for the Dean comparison, thanks, but this would be more like a state legislator serving on the DNC. But I know, the Michael Gronstal comparison just isn’t as sexy! Seriously, as a supporter of Jerry McNerney back in his 2004 challenge to Pombo, I’m a true believer in Take Back Red California. It’s one of those things that is not only important but also uniting within the Party and would be a pillar of any operation that I help organize in this region. At the same time, I certainly wouldn’t shy away from any of the tough fights that are ahead for Democrats, including beating back Proposition 8 and fighting for more say within the Party for grassroots activists.
What exactly does a Regional Director of the California Democratic Party do? What do you see yourself doing in the position?
According to Article III, Section 4(d) of the By-Laws and Rules of the California Democratic Party [.pdf], The Regional Directors shall assist the statewide officers in the maintenance and development of the Party organization within their respective regions. They are responsible for developing, assisting, and coordinating the County Central Committees, Clubs & other Democratic organizations within their region, and shall convene a regional meeting of the members of This Committee in the region with sufficient time for input, or timely resolutions, prior to each meeting of This Committee or its Executive Board.
As an active member of the San Francisco Democratic County Central Committee running with the support of our Chair, I believe I am well-positioned to assist and coordinate as Regional Director. I was pleased with my first meeting at the San Mateo County Democratic Central Committee and impressed with the grassroots energy there. I also feel confident in my ability to convene the necessary regional meetings.
For me, the exciting opportunity presented by this position is in the development of the Party organization. Like millions of others last year, I was re-energized by the political movement to elect Barack Obama. This movement didn’t just deliver the Presidency to a progressive Democrat, it gave us an opportunity to continue the politics of hope and change. But like any movement built around a candidate, the challenge of keeping it going to effect lasting change over time is even greater than the challenge of winning an election. The architects of the Obama operation seem to understand this. They have launched Organizing for America through the Democratic National Committee to help implement an agenda of change in Washington. We need to step up at the same time here in California to harness the energy that’s out there. I believe that I can help to create the organizing model within the CDP to do this.
Are you interested in staying active in state party politics and rising through the ranks? Do you want to move to a national level after this?
When it comes to my future, I honestly don’t plan that far ahead. I can tell you that when I leave elected office, I want to find something meaningful to do. I want to continue to be involved in improving people’s communities and lives.
Okay, folks! Thanks for slogging through all of that! Tomorrow, Daly’s thoughts on what happened to the city’s left wing after his crazy 2006 election with the green beads and the millions of dollars of negative advertising. It’s actually pretty interesting (if you’re into that.)
Image: Frank Chan/flickr