Progressive wave of Bay Area candidates strike unifying message against Democratic Party: ‘They’re not us’

Alameda County District Attorney candidate
Pamela Price speaking to voters Wednesday 
at the City of Alameda Democratic Club.
PHOTOS/Zac Goldstein


Four prohibitive political underdogs took the stage in Alameda Wednesday night with visions of unseating entrenched incumbents in the U.S. Senate, Congress and the Alameda County District Attorney’s office. While their platforms hovered around slightly different points on the far left, there was a unifying message: the state and national Democratic Party is out of touch with own constituency.
“We are the progressive wave,” said Stephen Jaffe, who is challenging Democratic House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi next June. “We are here because we are the true believers. We represent the fundamental core values of the Democratic Party. I do not adhere to the politics and programs and the people presently in control of the Democratic Party. They are corporatists. They are centrists and they are elitists. They are not us,” said Jaffe. “It is our job as progressives to band together in this fashion and take back the party from the people who have hijacked it.”

Congressional candidate Stephen Jaffe says
if his campaign makes inroads into Nancy 
Pelosi’s support, it will ignite progressives 
across the country.

Jaffe calls his primary race, “somewhat immodestly,” he adds, the most important in the country next year. If he can make inroads into Pelosi’s support, he said, ostensibly hoping to achieve the momentum that led the Tea Party to topple Republican House Majority Leader Eric Cantor in 2014, it will “send a ripple effect across the country to my fellow progressives,” he said.

A poll released Wednesday bolstered Jaffe’s argument, revealing just 30 percent of Democrats in California want Pelosi to continue as the House Democratic leader.

David Hildebrand, a Socialist Democrat from the Sacramento area, signaled similar tones of dissatisfaction with the status quo, saying his opponent U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein is out of touch with California voters, for instance, opposing legalization of cannabis and supporting the death penalty. “The energy in this party is with the people with boots on the ground,” said Hildebrand. “I’m not here to burn down the house. I’m here to build the Democratic Party within its own tenets and beliefs.”

At a local level, Alameda County District Attorney candidate Pamela Price, like Jaffe on the national scene, believes her June primary race against Nancy O’Malley is the most important in the East Bay. Judging from the reaction at the City of Alameda Democratic Club Wednesday night, they agree. On numerous occasions Price received wild applause, far more than any other panelist.

“I believe justice done right is what we need in Alameda County at this time,” said Price. “For too long district attorney’s have forgotten that their mission is to protect public safety by advancing justice.”

When an audience members asserted many parts of Alameda County support O’Malley’s brand of criminal justice, he asked how Price would change those attitudes. Price rejected the premise, saying vast majorities of county voters supported two recent state referendums for reducing criminal penalties and jail times, initiatives that O’Malley opposes. “We have an office that is out of sync with the will of the people,” she said of O’Malley.

“We voted overwhelmingly to end mass incarceration. We voted to give people a second chance at a first-class life. That means we want people to have alternatives to incarceration. We want bail reform. We want to stop charging kids as adults. We want to get rid of the death penalty. We know what it means to be a Democrat in Alameda County,” said Price to cheers from the audience. “The problem is the district attorney in this county is not following the California Democratic Party platform.”

Like Jaffe, Hildrebrand, another candidate from the 10th Congressional District, Dotty Nygard, who sent a proxy Wednesday night, Price faces considerable institutional and financial forces against her campaign. Not surprising since O’Malley has never faced an opponent during her two four-year terms and will likely count on the endorsements of nearly every county and city official in Alameda County.

But with wave of progressive energy further strengthened in the East Bay, first, by U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders‘ presidential campaign, and then conversely, the election of President Donald Trump, all four candidates are banking that vigilant voter participation will outperform campaign contributions.

“We are in the age of Trump and Ahern,” said Price, while referencing another Alameda County entrenched incumbent, Sheriff Gregory Ahern. “We are a new wave of progressives. This is our time. We have an opportunity to make change where we live.”

4 thoughts on “Progressive wave of Bay Area candidates strike unifying message against Democratic Party: ‘They’re not us’

  1. Please check out Shahid Buttar to unseat Speaker Pelosi in 2020❤️ @ShahidForChange
    #ShahidVsPelosi More info:


  2. Anyone who have been employed by Pamela Price will tell you that she is a NOT a nice person, and have little empathy for those who are not a her “level” as far as education, career. Lack of empathy is not a plus for a would be public official


  3. This is nonsense. Pamela Price received the cheers she did because she brought supporters. Price's answer is typical politicalspeak; let's bridge the question to something I can answer. Progressives should well remember that the County includes voter rich areas like Dublin, Pleasanton & Fremont where Republicans still get elected. Jaffe speaking in Alameda shows that Jaffe doesn't value his own time because Alameda isn't in the district or contribute to campaigns outside their voting reach.


  4. By MW:

    Going back to at least the 1920's, the leadership and top dogs of the Democratic Party have been extremely successful in fooling large portions of the general public, and often sufficiently large portions so as to win elections, with a lot of lies, garbage, nonsense, and demagoguery.

    During all those decades, the big boys in the DP have been pretending that: one, they are the good guys; and two, their opponents, and especially Republicans, are mean and evil. And linked to that, the DP has also been pretending that they and their ideas are intelligent and their opponents are stupid.

    And until the last few elections, the majority of the population was fooled by the DP's lies, garbage, demagoguery, and nonsense.

    However now the DP is in extremely serious trouble and is starting to fracture.

    And the positions taken by NON organization and rebel Democrats at the forum they had last night, and in which Stephen Jaffe, David Hildebrand, and Pamela Price spoke, is just one of an ocean full of developing and enlargening tidal waves that will eventually destroy the DP of Pelosi, Feinstein, Boxer, and the Clintons, and so forth.

    It is impossible to overstate how extremely serious is the trouble the present establishment DP is in. It is just starting to get swamped by a bunch of trends and tidal waves, and any one of which as it got bigger would destroy the DP of Pelosi, Feinstein, Boxer, and the Clintons. However since it will not just get hit by one of those tidal waves, but by a bunch of those tidal waves, within a few decades it will be almost like if the very most feeble and elderly resident in a large nursing home had to play football, and all by himself, against a NFL All Time All Star Team.

    And one of the very most basic tenets and postulates of the top leadership DP has been the right to partial birth abortion. At least virtually all high ranking Democrats, and including Boxer, Feinstein, Pelosi, and Kamala Harris, and so forth, have in the very most strenuous way taken the position that it is absolutely mandatory to completely and unconditionally support that if you are a Democrat. However more and more of the low ranking foot soldiers in the DP are starting to think differently than Generals Pelosi, Feinstein, Boxer, and Kamala Harris on that issue, and that developing tidal wave alone will eventually lead to the destruction of the DP.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s