Why challenge Nancy Pelosi?

Why run against the Speaker of the House, the most powerful Democrat in the nation, who could raise untold amounts of money, were it ever needed?

Because the first responsibility of a member of the U.S. House of Representatives is to provide her constituents with the best possible representation in Washington, D.C. It is my belief that Pelosi has not actually provided the type of political direction that San Franciscans have a right to expect.

THE RATIONALE

After San Francisco distinguished itself the only county in the state to vote in favor of
1994’s Proposition 186 — an ahead-of-its-time initiative that would have created a California single-payer, universal health insurance, it seemed reasonable to expect that the Representative from San Francisco would, at the least, sign on as a co-sponsor of federal Medicare-for-All legislation. This has never happened.

In 2003, San Francisco was a focal point of the largest prewar, antiwar movement the world had ever see. After it failed to stop the Bush Administration from starting the Iraq War, the question became how to stop it — ending its funding being one obvious route. In 2008 I wrote what would come to be that year’s San Francisco Proposition U; enlisted the support of Supervisors Tom Ammiano, Chris Daly, Jake McGoldrick, Ross Mirkarimi, and Aaron Peskin to place it on the ballot, and ran the successful campaign. In the end, by a 60-40 margin, Pelosi’s district voted for a city policy that San Francisco’s “elected representatives in the United States Senate and House of Representatives should vote against any further funding for the deployment of United States Armed Forces in Iraq, with the exception of funds specifically earmarked to provide for their safe and orderly withdrawal.”

The measure had no discernible effect upon the Representative’s behavior, as Pelosi generally voted to keep funding the illegal war. Subsequent policy statements from the California Democratic Party and the city’s Democratic County Central Committee on funding of the Afghanistan War, and on policy toward Syria and Venezuela (detailed in the biography section) have also failed to affect her voting record.

Her support for Trump Administration increased military spending proposals and her indifference to the Green New Deal are among the most recent examples of the divergence between her views and her district’s interests. Hence this campaign.

THE PROSPECTS

I embark upon this campaign motivated not because I am certain that Nancy Pelosi can be beaten, but because I am certain that any Republican who might enter the March 2020 primary can be beaten, and that in November 2020, San Franciscans could choose between an establishment Democrat and a candidate from the Bernie Sanders wing of the Democratic Party. Remarkably — given the city’s political make-up — this would be the city’s first all-Democratic final congressional election.

A PROGRESSIVE PRIMARY FOR SAN FRANCISCO?

The only thing that could put a Republican back in the final election would be a race with multiple progressive candidates — precisely what happened in 2018, when three progressive Democrats spent over $225,000, divided the vote, and a Republican slipped in. To prevent that from happening again, I propose that at an appropriate point during the upcoming year, the city’s progressives develop a method of choosing a single candidate to back.

AN ALL-VOLUNTEER CAMPAIGN

In the interest of not duplicating the waste of resources of the 2018 campaign, at this early stage, I am conducting an all-volunteer campaign and seeking no contributions larger than $200. Your support and assistance would be most welcome.