Why Jerry’s a Better Choice to Defend Women’s Rights Than His Female Opponent

The media may have buzzed with uncertainty over what would happen when eMeg and Jerry shared a stage with Arnold Schwarzenegger at the Women’s Conference yesterday, but our guy exceeded expectations and delivered a stunning performance.

The crowd of more than 14,000 (mostly female) attendees erupted into applause after Jerry pledged to remove all negative advertising should our opponent do the same. When eMeg failed to agree, however, the audience responded less than favorably.

This isn’t the first time a majority of women seemed to prefer Jerry. In fact, in a recent Los Angeles Times/USC poll, Jerry led among female voters by 21 percent. And when asked which candidate was more truthful, women chose Jerry over eMeg by a 25 percent margin.

In other words, us girls aren’t fooled by her fibs.

Women have other reasons to come together in support of Jerry, though. As Governor, he named females to nearly one-third of the state’s posts, more than any of his predecessors. He also signed a flurry of bills protecting women in the workplace, including laws that prohibited employment discrimination on the basis of gender and granted state benefits during pregnancy.

eMeg, on the other hand, can add reproductive rights to her long list of election season flip-flops. After announcing her candidacy, she claimed she was pro-choice, telling the San Francisco Chronicle that she supported public funding for abortions.

Not long after, she circulated mailers throughout the state touting her opposition to federally-funded abortions while attacking her primary opponent, Steve Poizner, for having a “100 percent pro-choice rating” from Planned Parenthood.

Maybe that’s why groups like the National Organization for Women and NARAL Pro-Choice California have soundly endorsed Jerry.

As a California woman, I couldn’t agree with them more.

For footage from Jerry and eMeg’s exchange at The Women’s Conference, click to watch the video below.


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Filed under Get the Facts, Jerry in the Media, Whitman Fails

Rally in the Valley

Guest post from two SoCal Jerry supporters, Chad Jones and Dante Atkins. Chad, the President of Valley Grassroots for Democracy, and Dante, a featured writer for DailyKos, are both members of the Democratic Party of San Fernando Valley (DPSFV). DPSFV, one of the largest grassroots campaign efforts in California, is an umbrella organization that hosted a rally with the six major candidates on the Democratic ticket this past weekend.

Most of the time, it’s a big deal for a statewide Democratic candidate in California to stop by a grassroots volunteer campaign office. Six on the same day would be absolutely unheard of, especially when headlined by Attorney General and gubernatorial candidate Jerry Brown.

But the DPSFV recently got some good news: Along with Kamala Harris, Debra Bowen, Gavin Newsom, John Chiang, and Barbara Boxer, Jerry Brown himself was coming to our rally!

This past Sunday, several hundred enthusiastic Jerry supporters stuffed inside our office, a former video store, until it was bursting at the seams. Everyone wanted to hear what our once and future governor had to say.

When Jerry arrived, he took pictures and personally spoke to just about everybody. The program even started a few minutes early. When was the last time a rally began on time?

Even more amazing than our start-time was the multitude of volunteers who stayed at our office after the program ended to phone-bank and get out the vote for Jerry. Usually at events like these, when the big names are finished, the crowd starts to thin. But not in the San Fernando Valley! In fact, we expect to see many of the same faces next weekend when we walk a hundred precincts in support of the Democratic ticket.

After three commanding debate performances, a television ad that has been hailed as one of the best of the cycle, and a series of increasingly favorable polling numbers, Sunday’s Rally in the Valley served as even more proof that Californians are eager and motivated to see Jerry Brown become their next Governor.

For more from Sunday’s Rally in the Valley, check out our Flickr album.


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Stumping in San Diego

Guest post from Colin, a San Diego native and campaign staffer, who helped coordinate Jerry’s rally at SDSU last Thursday.

Last Thursday, our campaign held a huge rally on the campus of San Diego State University. More than 500 people attended the standing-room-only event.

The Associated Students of SDSU had invited both Jerry and the Meg Whitman campaign to visit their campus, but only Jerry Brown decided to accept their invitation.

While we had been talking with the SDSU student government for a few weeks about the potential event, the decision was finalized midday on Monday. That gave us only 36 hours to setup the rally.

For the next two days, the campaign blitzed the campus, passing out flyers with volunteers and helping students make phone calls to tell their friends. The local Democratic Party and SDSU organizers blasted out emails and Facebook invites, letting people know Jerry was coming to town.

By about 10 a.m. on the morning of the rally, the first few people started to trickle into a line. Within an hour, it had stretched around the building, through the campus plaza.

Our candidate took the stage to chants of “Jerry – Jerry!”  He was flanked by student leaders and a diverse group of San Diego elected officials, including Assemblymember Mary BlockSenator Christine Kehoe, and City Councilmember Todd Gloria.

Jerry explained that when he attended UC Berkeley, tuition was only $125, causing students to both laugh and groan. The audience cheered when he discussed why California should be willing to invest more in education, saying students “are the future, and you’re going to contribute back wealth many times over what people give.”

Jerry’s comments touched briefly on the campaign, comparing its frugality with the unprecedented personal spending of our opponent. When he pointed out that “sometimes when you don’t have enough, you make better decisions, because you have to think about stuff,” the crowd erupted with applause.

After all, starving college students know a thing or two about penny-pinching.

For more from San Diego, check out this video of Jerry’s speech and our Flickr album of photographs.

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How Alameda County Says Jerry

Guest post from our Alameda County Coordinator, Heather, who has been planning some amazing and creative events for our large contingent of Volunteers in the East Bay. Read about her experience below, and please consider joining her team or one near you for the last stretch of efforts this week!

As the Alameda County Volunteer Coordinator, it has been inspirational for me to see people from all over the county come in give their time to help elect Jerry Brown. It speaks to the candidate and to the amazing volunteers who can imagine a better California and are willing to reach out to their friends, their families and their neighbors to make it a reality.

But more still needs to be done. The polls are currently in our favor, but polls are not reality. Just because someone says they will cast a vote for someone does not mean that come Election Day they actually turn in a ballot.

That’s why we must ensure that every voice is heard, every ballot cast. We want not only California but also the nation to know that this state and our elections are not for sale, that we deserve better for our children, ourselves, our environment, our future. It is not a mandate if only one-quarter of the people who can vote, do vote. And this is a message that deserves to be a mandate.

Every time we connect with a voter face-to-face, it increases the likelihood that they will vote by 10 percent. And dropping ten door hangers is the equivalent.

We’ve been lucky to have good turnouts for our debate potluck watch parties and other events, including the So You Think You Can Vote table at the Paramount Theater during the So You Think You Can Dance auditions.

But we are kicking it up a few more notches in our big push to Get The Vote Out these final days.

This Sunday, we’re hosting our very first Knocktoberfest: an afternoon of canvassing followed by an Oktoberfest-themed barbeque, including bratwurst and pretzels – lederhosen optional.

On Tuesday, we’re throwing a trivia night. Come to phone back and stay for the Jerry Brown and California trivia. Prizes, including some sweet Jerry swag, will be awarded.

And on Wednesday, we will be hosting Boogie for Brown at Luka’s Tap Room in Oakland. Phonebank from 6-9 and then enjoy free salsa lessons and dancing afterward.

If you don’t live near the Bay Area, you can still join in the statewide effort – visit my.jerrybrown.org to join a group near you, sign up for local efforts, and even plan an event of your own.

I hope to see you out there on the campaign trail during our final stretch!

Heather’s volunteers hard at work at a post-debate phone bank in Oakland.

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Filed under In the Field, Opportunities

How eMeg’s Capital Gains Plan Would Steamroll Our Education System

Last week, Jerry held a press conference at LA’s scenic Dorris Place School to explain why eMeg’s pledge to implement a lavish tax cut for her wealthy peers would have a devastating impact on California’s education system.

On Tuesday, eMeg responded by claiming her capital gains tax would not affect school funding, namely because she promises to trim an “overfed state education bureaucracy.”

After which she offered no specifics, as usual. So let’s look at some basic math.

California’s most recent budget totaled $86,551,495,000. Of that pool, $36,079,143,000 was allocated to K-12 education. Divide the latter by the former, and it shows 41.685% of the current budget goes to the classroom.

The California Department of Finance estimates that revenues from capital gains taxes – 82% of which comes from the top 1% of earners in the state – will amount to $5.3 billion in fiscal year 2010-2011.

Take the 41.685% of the budget that goes to education and apply it to the $5.3 billion in revenues from capital gains. That roughly amounts to a $2.2 billion hole in the education budget.

The average teacher in California earns a salary of $66,995 annually. Dividing $2.2 billion by that figure equals 32,997 teachers whose jobs would be in jeopardy should eMeg eliminate the capital gains tax, as she adamantly swears she will do if elected.

Candidates can lie, as our opponent has proven repeatedly during this campaign season. But numbers don’t.

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Filed under Education Issues

How Jerry Brown Has Defended Equality For Decades

In honor of GLBT History Month, here’s a little GLBT history for you, courtesy of Mike McQuinn. Mike, a second-year law student at University of San Francisco, works on Jerry Brown’s GLBT outreach efforts.

You’ve probably heard about how Jerry Brown refused to defend Proposition 8 (the so-called California Marriage Protection Act) as our Attorney General.

But what you probably didn’t know is that Jerry Brown has been standing up for equality for decades.

Shortly after becoming governor in 1975, Jerry successfully repealed the law which made consensual sex between gay men a felony. The anti-sodomy law was an oppressive bludgeon designed to keep gays and lesbians underground and in the closet by criminalizing us as human beings. This law ran up against an ideal that many Americans take for granted today, namely that the government has no business injecting itself into the most intimate aspects of our lives.

The measure was incredibly controversial at the time. In fact, Jerry’s Lieutenant Governor broke the tied vote in the State Senate. Controversy notwithstanding, when the repeal bill got to his desk, Jerry unflinchingly signed it.

Fast forward a few years to 1978. While Jerry’s re-election was on the ballot in the November election, so was an incredibly divisive proposition that, had it passed, would have given school boards the power to fire gay and lesbian teachers solely because of their sexual orientation.

Along with the likes of Supervisor Harvey Milk and President Jimmy Carter, Jerry campaigned against The Briggs Initiative because – like the anti-sodomy law –the kind of government intrusion that these laws represented is antithetical to the sort of free society that he’s been striving for since his first day in public office.

Running for re-election, a typical politician at the time (and maybe even now) would have ducked the issue and focused his energies on his own campaign. But just like with the anti-sodomy law, Jerry showed us that he’s not a typical politician. Instead, he made a bold and public stand against discrimination. Subsequently, the initiative went down in defeat at the polls, while he coasted to victory.

But Jerry wasn’t satisfied with the progress already made on his watch.

After his re-election, Jerry sounded the call for legislation barring employment discrimination based on sexual orientation because, as he said, “[t]he diversity of our people can be a cause of hatred and anxiety or the source of strength and continued achievement. The choice is ours.”

He also appointed five openly LGBT judges to the bench, including two firsts: the first openly gay and openly lesbian judges in United States history.

Unfortunately, nearly 20 years and two Republican governors went by before both another LGBT judge was appointed to the bench and the employment protections envisioned by Jerry became state law.

In Jerry, we have a candidate with more than a 35-year track record of taking principled and sometimes difficult stands for equality. Meanwhile, his opponent Meg Whitman has repeatedly voiced her support for Prop 8.

Jerry’s long and consistent record of standing up for equality makes him the only candidate who can get this state working again. For everyone.

Jerry with Kamala Harris at the Alice B. Toklas Breakfast in June, courtesy of Bill Wilson Photography.

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The Man, The Myth, The Legend

I’ve pretty much been obsessed with Bill Clinton since the day I wrote a letter to the White House in second grade. So to say I was starstruck during his rally with Jerry and Gavin Newsom at UCLA last Friday would be the understatement of the century.

My coworker Dan and I were tasked with assisting the event organizers for the day, smoothing out last-minute kinks and making sure all the logistics played out as planned. We arrived to the Dickson Court at 11am to little more than a few sound engineers milling around the grass, not sure what to expect.

Within an hour the courtyard had transformed into a bona fide entertainment venue, with stacks of lights and amplifiers and a massive California flag hanging beside an equally-large American one. By 3pm, a group of more than fifty volunteers had gathered for a phone-banking and get-out-the-vote push sponsored by Organizing for America.

As I weaved through the ever-expanding crowd, introducing myself to attendees and listening to their gamut of reasons for supporting Jerry, I was struck by the genuine enthusiasm I encountered from each and every person I spoke to. From homemade Jerry shirts decorated in puff-paint to proud UCLA Bruin Democrats, from volunteer firefighters manning our memorabilia table to students wielding Jerry signs and chanting in unison, the bubbling excitement for the ensuing event felt infectious.

By the time doors officially opened to the public, a line of thousands twisted through campus, all eager to join the party. Local elected officials peppered the VIP area; to their left sat the largest ADA contingent our organizer had ever seen at a political event. Two sign-language interpreters chronicled the action for a gathering of deaf community members.

Despite the colossal onslaught of attendees, preparation ran smoothly and the audience was comfortably situated for the opening acts. Performances by local singer-songwriter Chelsea Williams and UCLA’s all-male a cappella group Bruin Harmony were both met with thunderous applause.

Then the motorcade started snaking towards the rally site, and the crowd went nuts. Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa introduced what my mom pegged “the Democratic Dream Team,” and Jerry, Gavin, and Bill filed onstage to a cacophony of cheers.

Newsom spoke first, chronicling his record in San Francisco and heaping praise upon Jerry’s work as governor, attorney general, and mayor of Oakland. Jerry’s talk followed, ending with an inspiring discussion of how California’s breakdown has paved the way for a breakthrough.

Then our forty-second president took the podium and delivered an uplifting address about the importance of environmental reform and access to top-quality education. He urged UCLA students to turn out to the polls, saying, “Any student who doesn’t vote is committing malpractice on their future.” He mentioned he and Jerry are of similar age, joking that he is grateful that Jerry still cares enough about our future to assume the role of governor once more.

It was exhilarating to see a leader I’ve admired for almost my entire life so heartily endorse the candidate I’ve been working hard for all campaign season. “It’s as simple as where are we, where do we need to go, and who can get us there best,” Clinton said to roaring applause as he explained Jerry is the best person for the job.

When his speech ended, WJC surprised everyone – especially his security guards – by leaping right into the audience and shaking hands with nearly every single one of the more than 6,000 fans in the crowd. When he returned backstage, I giddily got my photo-op as well. And the man liked my earrings.

I can’t think of anything that makes quitting my job for this crazy adventure more worth it than Friday’s rally. Except maybe a victory on Election Day.

Backstage with Bill

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