This statement is from Kim Solga, one of the seven endorsement committee members who evaluated and recommended a candidate in the Indivisible Shasta endorsement process.
I became active in the Indivisible movement a year ago because it is a non-partisan effort to resist the democracy-killing, oligarchic agenda of the Trump administration. The folks in Indivisible are moderates and progressives of many different views. We work together to defeat this regressive threat to our country and our planet.
The core of the Indivisible movement is that each local group focus on the actions of our own Congressional representatives. For us in Siskiyou County, this means Senators Diane Feinstein and Kamala Harris, and our District 1 Representative Doug LaMalfa. Feinstein and Harris already seriously oppose the far right GOP bloc in the Senate. We thank them and do what we can to support their work. But LaMalfa is a deep Trump supporter, and steadily rubber-stamps his approval on every repressive action that comes before him.
Voting LaMalfa out of office is clearly the single most effective thing we can do to resist the Trump Agenda.
Therefore as I agreed to help Indivisible Shasta select a candidate to endorse and support, I tackled my evaluation from one specific point of view. Who can beat LaMalfa in the November General Election? Who will appeal to the widest range of voters?
It does not matter to me if the candidate agreed with my personal stands on issues. All of the five candidates are reasonable people. Any of them would be a fabulous replacement for arch-conservative LaMalfa.
So which of the candidates (DeMocrats and Green Party) would be able to bring together the diverse coalition of voters that will be needed to unseat an incumbent Republican in District 1? Would it be Audrey Denney, a passionate young millennial with a strong backing among the Chico student community? Would it be Jessica Holcombe, a powerful young lawyer from Auburn funded with personal wealth and out of district financial support? Or Lewis Elbinger, a dedicated “Berniecrat” Green Party intellectual, or Larry Jordan from his Mt. Shasta ranch? Or could the most electable candidate be Marty Walters, a hard-working activist from Quincy who has been building a grassroots campaign throughout the District for nearly a year.
I chose Walters:
- her progressive (even libertarian) approach to issues will appeal to a wide variety of District 1 voters – from traditional Democrats, to independents, even to moderate Republicans and the 40% of eligible voters who are not yet voting in elections.
- her approach allows her to reach beyond the traditional Democratic base while maintaining progressive values
- she has vast experience in the real world of business, activism, raising a family in District 1 since 2004
- her energy, personality, and common sense are appealing
- she shows a willingness to meet with and listen to constituents face to face
- she has clear speaking skills…no rhetoric, no evasions. She tells the truth and holds her values in a way that includes other views and opinions.
- her grassroots organization ability
- her pledge to fund her campaign through individual donations and her commitment to get corporate money out of politics
- her potential to work in a bipartisan manner
- she demonstrates knowledge of all the important issues here in District 1, not just a few major speaking points. She has clearly done her homework.
- the fact that she has concrete ideas about improving our rural economy, about water issues and infrastructure, about healthcare and education, allows her to run a positive campaign…not merely a reactive campaign against the status quo.
- she is part of the groundswell movement of strong women candidates entering politics in 2018
These are the criteria for electability that the Indivisible Shasta members had specified were most important to them (and a few more of my own).
The seven member endorsement committee was unanimous in the selection of Marty Walters as the strongest candidate in the race. Indivisible Shasta will support Walters in the June primary, and hope she gets the votes then to make it onto the final ballot against LaMalfa in November. It is time for LaMalfa to go!