(I am proud to be doing netroots outreach for Judy Chu for Congress but I am speaking personally here, not on behalf of the campaign)
Election day is upon us here in California and in addition to the statewide ballot initiatives (I'm voting NO on 1A-F, more on why HERE and HERE), the 32nd district of California (East Los Angeles stretching east to Covina) is going to the polls to choose a new member of Congress to replace former Congresswoman Hilda Solis.
Polls have been open since 7am and close tonight at 8pm. If you haven't voted and are not sure about your voting location, go HERE. If you have further questions, call (800) 345-VOTE or check out SOS Debra Bowen's voter guide.
Usually on election day, I'd write a post analyzing the state of the race from the ground. Instead, for that coverage I'm going to refer you to Calitics whose coverage has been consistently excellent (check out Dante Atkins's last two updates HERE and HERE as well as David Dayen's HERE and HERE.) Instead, what I'd like to do in this post is write my own personal reflections on the campaign and the candidate I've been proud to work for throughout this brief special election.
Over the past few weeks, I've been very proud to work for Judy Chu's campaign in CA-32. When I took the job, I thought I'd be working for a good solid Democrat and I was right. Judy is a strong progressive and isn't afraid to say it. She is passionate about universal healthcare, the Employee Free Choice Act and building a green economy to put people back to work. Ultimately, it's become reall clear to me that not only will Judy make CA-32 proud representing them in Washington, DC but she truly is the best candidate in the field to carry on Hilda Solis's legacy in Congress. Also, I was always impressed with how fearless Judy was about interacting with the blogosphere. She actually got that if she really wanted to get her substantive message out, she was going to need to go around the mainstream media filter and that's precisely what we did. On top of all of this, though, what I've learned over the past few weeks about Judy is that while I am happy to be working for a candidate for congress with whom I agree on issues, more importantly, I feel really fortunate to be working for someone I really believe will be one of those better Democrats we keep talking about. I know Judy will be more than simply a reliable vote, she will be a progressive champion in Congress and if she wins today, I will always be proud to have contributed in some small way to her getting there.
One of the great things about Judy is that she is that rare elected official who has not lost touch with her progressive grassroots values. After 23 years of being in elected office, Judy's priorities are still rooted firmly in the grassroots of the 32nd district. I witnessed this first hand at a candidates forum a few weeks ago, which was hosted by 5 local Democratic clubs; Judy was still a member of three of them. She was interacting with the members of the clubs as though they were her friends she hasn't seen in a while, because that's precisely what they were. And this is exactly how she treats everyone working for her, whether volunteer or paid staffer. Whenever I'm at HQ, if Judy's not on the phones speaking to voters, she's mingling with the volunteers, speaking to them as peers, thanking them for their hard work because she knows from decades of hard grassroots organizing that that's where the race will be won or lost. And you can tell by the enthusiasm of the young volunteers for the work they're doing to get Judy elected that their admiration for her is just as strong.
Judy treats people the same way she's run her campaign, with integrity and respect, and I think it speaks volumes about the sort of representative she will be in Washington. As the Calitics editorial board wrote in their Anyone but Gil Cedillo anti-endorsement in the race:
...we do believe that, at some level, how you campaign does dictate how you govern.
But first thing's first: before she can get to Washington, Judy has to win tonight. With 7 hours left before polls close, here's what you can still do:
- If you live in the 32nd district, please vote for Judy Chu.
- If you know people in that district, urge them to get to the polls to support Judy whether by email, phone call, Twitter or Facebook status update.
- If you are on Twitter, you can follow my updates throughout the day @toddbeeton and follow and add to the #ca32 tag.
- Even more important, if you have some free time today to do some incredibly important GOTV work for Judy, please call the office at 626-430-3601 or just show up at 4153 North Maine Ave., Baldwin Park, CA 91706.
Thanks for helping send a real progressive champion to Washington.