Double-booked: East Bay Dems caught between attending Harris rally or voting in delegate elections

Sen. Kamala Harris speaking at the California State Democratic Party Convention. PHOTO/Shane Bond

Kamala Harris’s campaign for president decided to make its big announcement last Monday and hope the news has legs nearly a week later at this Sunday’s rally in Oakland.

The roll out does not make especially good use of the momentum Harris’s campaign appears to have gained earlier this week. The campaign quickly raised $1.5 million in fundraising during its first 24 hours.

But now comes a curious scheduling conflict between the Harris rally planned for noon this Sunday on the steps of Oakland City Hall and Democratic Assembly District Elections the same time in Alameda, which likely will be comprised of some of the most progressive activists in the East Bay. Namely the base of energized Democrats Harris’s campaign will need to enlist in order to be successful in 2020.

The 18th Assembly Delegate Elections, though, have been scheduled for some time. Several East Bay insiders quickly noted the curious scheduling overlap. Elected officials and Democratic Party activists across the state this month have held similar district-based elections.

The seven men and women elected by registered Democrats become delegates to the state party’s convention where they can help mold the party’s direction and official platform.

Voters who want to attend both events Sunday afternoon could possibly make it happen. Although the district delegate elections start at noon, voting is open until 2:45 p.m. This is provided voters already know beforehand who to support. Each candidate has an opportunity to state their case for election before ballots are cast.

Realizing the conflict, Assemblymember Rob Bonta, who has a slate of candidates running in the delegate elections, provided a solution Wednesday.

The proposed solution, however, might be construed by opponents and opposing slates, as endearing his chosen set of delegate to voters hoping for preferential treatment at Harris’s rally.

Two years ago, Bonta encountered a significant set back when his entire slate of chosen candidates was defeated by a grassroots group of Berniecrats. Similar scenes against establishment candidates occurred all over the state that year, but it was especially embarrassing for Bonta, who is progressive and quite popular in his district.

The insurgency from two years, however, does not appear to phase Bonta much. His slate this year is similarly stocked with assorted political allies and elected officials.

A slate of candidates mostly made up of the Berniecrat activists from two years ago make up a group calling themselves East Bay Unbossed.

It’s not likely this group will be interested in taking up Bonta’s offer to attend Harris’s rally due to her recent support of Alameda County District Attorney Nancy O’Malley and her previous role a top cop in San Francisco and the state attorney general’s office.

 

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