District Council 57

June Primary Election Shows Real Change Always Comes From the Bottom Up

The outcome of Tuesday’s primary election confirmed that voters agreed with many of the candidates and issues we endorsed. But the results also proved how important it is to stay engaged in the political process and fight for the issues that matter to working people.

In hotly contested races in San Francisco, San Jose, Sacramento, the East Bay and Central Valley, Jane Kim, Jim Beall, Ash Kalra, Mae Torlakson, Cheryl Cook-Kallio, and Cathleen Galgiani—all endorsed by AFSCME Council 57 members—received enough votes to advance to the general election. Darrell Steinberg was elected outright and becomes the next mayor of Sacramento.

The three local ballot measures that our members endorsed—Measure AA, Measure C in Hayward and Measure B in San Jose—also passed.

The outcome of the Presidential primary was a distinct disappointment to many, although many are celebrating a milestone for women in this country. Hillary Clinton won California’s Democratic Primary with 56% of the vote, and she has become the presumptive Democratic nominee for President—the first time a woman has done so for a major political party.

The working-class movement that Bernie Sanders built with his campaign will still continue. But as he stated at a rally in Santa Monica on Tuesday, his focus will turn to encouraging supporters to defeat Donald Trump at all costs in the November election.

While Council 57 decided to endorse a different Presidential candidate than our International Union for the June primary, we will stand united behind the candidate who will fight the most for our families in November. Sanders’ platform to end extreme inequality, overturn a corrupt campaign finance system, eliminate student debt and guarantee health care to all people still reflects the priorities of many AFSCME members who will continue to work for a better future for their families and this country.

“Bernie’s message of building a movement to combat income inequality will continue through the Democratic convention and beyond,” said Council 57 Political Action Director Cheryl Brown. “We all realize the danger that a Trump candidacy represents and will unite to combat the racism and hatred he promotes.”

AFSCME members also made strides in other parts of this election. Council 57 PAC Co-Chair and AFSCME Retiree Chapter 57 President Nadine Peyrucain won a seat on the Contra Costa Democratic County Central Committee.

Holding a position on the Democratic County Central Committee is important, especially for our members, because the committee members have a big impact on progressive politics in all the counties we work and live in throughout the state.

From registering and educating voters to working to elect candidates statewide and throughout the country, the County Committees lay the groundwork for the California Democratic Party.

Now that this election is over, it’s not time to sit back and relax, our Political Director said. We still have to stay engaged and make sure residents in our communities vote in November. She also said this election was a reminder that we need to continue to work hard to elect our endorsed candidates in the general election because, just like in the June primary, those candidates will surely be under attack.

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