California Democratic Party Content to Lose in November

UPDATE: The fix was in, the vote wasn't even close. Sad day for California Democrats who value winning.

California is beyond crisis. Yet unfortunately, there has not been an appropriate effort by the California Democratic Party establishment to respond. The complete and total failure to respond to the budget crisis was malpractice, but now it seems the CDP doesn't even want to bother trying to win in November. The issue in question is California's Proposition 19, to tax and regulate marijuana, which has become the latest test of whether the CDP wants to win elections. A vote today by the state party Resolutions Committee showed the fix to be in against incorporating all of the new energy around Prop 19 into Democrats' GOTV program. When it came down to trying to win, or trying to be "very serious people" who are content to lose, they decided they value propping up Mexican drug cartels more than they value electing Jerry Brown.

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Camp Courage

The clapping started slow, grew  faster, stomping feet joined in and then the cheering became infectious. When the echo died away,  I knew I had become part of a new gay movement for social change.

Packed into a weekend and aptly named Camp Courage after its namesake organization, the COURAGE CAMPAIGN, I was one of approximately 150 civil rights advocates who gathered  Saturday morning at 9 a.m. at the Handlery Hotel in San Diego. Black and white, gay and straight,  participants ranged in age from their 60's into their teens. Upon arrival we were randomly assigned into groups of six, and this group became our home base for the weekend.

Here  we  told each other our stories, and like others in their own groups I quickly bonded with my own special gang that included Buddy, a gay man whose partner was in anther group; Nii, our gay black facilitator; Paul, a straight white guy who just didn't think we were getting a fair deal; Anita, a mother of a gay boy, motivated by love for her son to embrace a whole movement; Shelby and me, two white  older lesbians; and our other facilitator, Scotti, a young white guy from Fresno and proud of it.

Together, we comprised a powerful mixture of black and white, gay and straight and this zinged right inside the hard places where I had harbored hurt from the passageof prop. 8.  The black lesbian and gay facilitators and leaders as well as the  black particpants swiftly erased the blame after Prop. 8's passage that I had been harboring against all black Obama supporters [I had been for Hillary after all]  And happily, within hours I could see that this view had been wrong and stupid. I gave it up gladly.

On Saturday we listened to Cleve Jones, union organizer, advisor on the film MILK and rabble rouser extraordinaire. Within our groups we wrote down our own life story, then   we listened to each other, talked to each other, and all the while we cried and laughed and felt more empowered with each passing hour. Both days ended  in breakout sessions on canvassing, using the internet, house parties, phone banking, volunteer recruitment, leadership 101, and retention.

The training is powerful, and the organizers were clear from the start: an army of gays and their friends will win gay rights once and for all. Isn't it time? YESSS!! We all roared back.

Camp Courage is part of the Courage Campaign led by Rick Jacobs. It was founded by and is  led by gay veterans of the Camp Obama campaign who were lacerated by the defeats for gay rights in California in November. Co-founders Torrie Osborn and Mike Bonin who are amply aided by Lead Facilitator and Trainer Lisa Powell are ushering in a new movement which is bringing much needed Change to  the LGBT movement. Gone is the top down structure of a handful of leaders  dictating to the foot soldiers--a sadly bankrupt model which had dominated the movement for decades.

In its place is an organization dedicated to empowering the grass roots, to  training organizers and to marshaling support for a gay movement.  

This movement as you read this is becoming networked, allied and well integrated into the progressive movement, maybe even  leading it. From labor unions to church organizations, from kids to grandparents, Camp Courage is providing gays, gay organizations and their straight allies with all the tools and help required to win full civil rights for gays in every sphere of life where prejudice and bigotry have prevailed. We are on the march now and nothing less will be acceptable other than Full marital rights, Full military rights  and Full immigration rights.

I'm wearing a little white ribbon for marriage equality as I write this. And arrayed in my heart are the faces and voices of all I met this weekend. I fell a little bit in love with All the Camp Courage participants. We listened to each other and we loved each other. And we are on the march.

http://www.couragecampaign.org/

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Courage Campaign

The clapping started slow, grew faster, stomping feet joined in and then the cheering became infectious. When the echo died away, I knew I had become part of a powerful new gay movement for social change.

Packed into a weekend and aptly named Camp Courage after its namesake organization, the COURAGE CAMPAIGN , I was one of approximately 150 civil rights advocates who gathered  Saturday morning at 9 a.m. at the Handlery Hotel in San Diego. Black and white, gay and straight, participants ranged in age from their 60's into their teens. Upon arriveal we were randomly assigned into groups of six, and this group became  our home base for the weekend.

Here  we  told each other our stories, and like others in their own groups I quickly bonded with my own special gang that included Buddy, a gay man whose partner was in anther group; Nii, our gay black facilitator; Paul, a straight white guy who just didn't think we were getting a fair deal; Anita, a mother of a gay boy, motivated by love for her son to embrace a whole movement; Shelby and me, two white  older lesbians; and our other facilitator, Scotti, a young white guy from Fresno and proud of it.  

Together, we comprised a powerful mixture of black and white, gay and straight and this zinged right inside the hard places where I had harbored hurt from the defeat of prop. 8.  The black lesbian and gay facilitatfors and leaders as well as the  black pariticpants swiftly erased the blame after Prop. 8's defeat that I had been harboring against all black Obama supporters [I had been for Hillary after all].  And happily, within hours I could see that this view had been wrong and stupid. I gave it up gladly.

On Saturday we listened to Cleve Jones, union organizer, advisor on the film MILK and rabble rouser extraordinaire. Within our groups we wrote down our own life story, then we listened to each other, talked to each other, and all the while  we cried and laughed and felt more empowered with each passing hour. Both days ended  in breakout sessions on canvassing, using the internet, house parties, phone banking, volunteer recruitment, leadership 101, and retention.

The training is powerful, and the organizers were clear from the start: an army of gays and their friends will win gay rights once and for all. Isn't it time? YESSS!! We all roared back.

Camp Courage was founded by and is  led by gay veterans of the Camp Obama campaign who were lacerated by the defeats for gay rights in California in November. Co-founded by Torrie Osborn and Mike Bonin and amply aided by Lead Facilitator and Trainer Lisa Powell--Camp Courage and the Courage Campaign, under the leadership fo Rick jacobs, is bringing much needed Change to  the LGBT movement. Gone is the top down structure of a handful of leaders  dictating to the foot soldiers--a sadly bankrupt model which had dominated the movement for decades

In its place is an organization dedicated to empowering the grass roots, to training organizers and to marshaling support for a gay movement.  This movement as you read this is becoming networked, allied and well integrated into the progressive movement, maybe even  leading it. From labor unions to church organizations, from kids to grandparents, Camp Courage is providing gays, gay organizations and their straight allies with all the tools and help required to win full civil rights for gays in every sphere of life where prejudice and bigotry have prevailed. We are on the march now and nothing less will be acceptable except Full marital rights, Full military rights  and Full immigration rights.

I'm wearing a little white ribbon for marriage equality as I write this. And arrayed inside my heart are the faces and voices of everyone I met this weekend. I fell a little bit in love with All the Camp Courage participants. We listened to each other and we loved each other. And we are on the march.

the courage campaign can be reached at: www.ca

 

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Walking for Equality in South Orange County

Photobucket

(Proudly cross-posted at C4O Democrats and OC Progressive)

Yesterday, Team Courage OC did another neighborhood canvass. This time, we went south to Dana Point and Laguna Beach to walk. And while many other folks were simply going to the beach to cool off on a warm day, we were there to heat up the movement for LGBT civil rights in California.

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Defeating The Forces Of Fear

After a week where the number of states in which same sex marriage is legal doubled, the forces of inequality are afraid...very afraid.

Even opponents of same-sex marriage recognized the week's developments as a potential watershed moment that could subdue the effect of their Election Day victory in California. Voters there narrowly approved Proposition 8, which amended the state's Constitution to ban same-sex marriage, effectively reversing a decision by the state's Supreme Court that had legalized it.

"It's a bad day for the country," said Brian Brown, executive director of the National Organization for Marriage, a group established to fight same-sex marriage. "There is a palpable sense that something has changed and people need to get active."

And afraid they should be.

Gay-rights groups say that momentum from back-to-back victories on same-sex marriage in Vermont and Iowa could spill into other states, particularly since at least nine other legislatures are considering measures this year to allow marriage between gay couples.

So what are they doing to push back against the fact that the arc of history is bending toward justice right before their eyes? Why, lie and fear-monger, of course:

The National Organization for Marriage, a prominent backer of the successful campaign against same-sex marriage in California, is launching a $1.5 million ad campaign this morning aimed at forestalling same-sex marriage support in other key states.

The campaign...seeks to energize the opponents of gay marriage by making the case that it will impinge directly on their own lives. The ads will air in New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, New Hampshire and Iowa.

According to Human Rights Campaign, which has a fact sheet rebutting the ad, it is set to air as many as 8 times a day.

Watch it below:

Eugene has a great post at dailyKos about what this ad is really about: same ole same ole conservative victimology. It sure worked here in California last year.

...this is how they get voters in a supposedly tolerant state like California to vote to take away rights from people without making themselves look like hateful bigots in the process.

One of the most powerful weapons in the Yes on Prop 8 campaign's arsenal was the argument that same-sex marriage rights would somehow limit religious or parental freedoms. The No on 8 campaign never effectively countered this, and this conservative victimology helped insulate Prop 8 supporters from being called to account for their bigotry.

Luckily we have the Courage Campaign, which has been organizing for marriage equality in California since November 5th and today sent out another e-mail blast in response to NOM's new ad:

We need your help to fight back right now against this deplorable ad. With many legal experts expecting the California Supreme Court to uphold Prop 8, our only option will be to place an initiative on the ballot to restore marriage equality. To repeal Prop 8, we will need to build a grassroots army for change in every county of California.

In response, the Dolby Family is challenging our community to raise $25,000 as a matching grant to fund Camp Courage trainings for marriage equality activists.

Can you help us respond to these lies and distortions by turning fear into hope? Watch this despicable TV ad now and then contribute to support more Camp Courage trainings by helping us meet this generous $25,000 matching grant from the Dolby Family -- thus doubling their amazing donation.

Now that the forces of inequality have launched their counter-attack, it's all the more important that we continue to build Courage Campaign's marriage equality grassroots army. Contribute what you can and help turn fear into hope today.

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Diaries

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