Soapbox

California Democrats did far more than flip off Trump

Supporters cheer as Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom speaks during the California Democratic Convention in Sacramento on May 20.
Supporters cheer as Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom speaks during the California Democratic Convention in Sacramento on May 20. rbenton@sacbee.com

While The Bee’s editorial (“Flipping off Trump won’t help win White House,” May 23) chose to focus on a few colorful moments of the California Democratic Party Convention, the three-day event actually was incredibly productive for our party – and for California’s future.

The passion and energy at the convention – buoyed by a new generation of grass-roots activists – reflected the excitement about our progressive agenda and opposition to the Trump agenda. We welcome debate and a wide spectrum of opinion because it reflects the diversity of our party.

California Democrats now number more than 8 million for the first time, hold every constitutional office, and command a supermajority in the Legislature because we reflect the values of the citizens of our state.

But we are not resting on our laurels, far from it.

While President Donald Trump and Republicans in Congress are talking about slashing health care for 23 million Americans, California Democrats re-emphasized their belief that health care is a right, not a privilege, as we pursue Medicare for all with Senate Bill 562. While Trump and the Republicans are scheming to cut taxes for the rich, we have specific plans to empower the middle class and end child poverty in our state. While Trump and Republicans deny science, we called for California to continue its leadership in climate action.

Throughout the convention, leaders touted our party’s success in making our state the most progressive in America. Washington, D.C., might be mired in gridlock, but a Democratic supermajority and Gov. Jerry Brown are getting things done: increasing the minimum wage; expanding quality, affordable health care coverage; enacting the nation’s strongest gun safety laws; and protecting reproductive rights.

We also laid out an electoral road map to retake Congress in 2018 and lay the groundwork to defeat Trump. Democratic leaders spoke about their vision for social and economic justice in California.

Americans look to California as the big blue beacon of progress. We don’t doubt our mission, or take that responsibility for granted. While our state is already a global economic superpower, we have much more work to do to make our state work for everyone. And we’ll keep leading the nation on issues most important to working- and middle-class families.

Eric C. Bauman is chairman of the California Democratic Party. He can be contacted at Ericbauman@cadem.org.

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