It's about understanding our own power

  • Statement about: Jovanka Beckles and Gayle McLaughlin
  • For these candidates: I support a strong endorsement with a commitment to "boots on the ground" support from DSA.
  • Summary: Grass roots issue and electoral campaigns must reinforce each other

Written by East Bay DSA member Mike Parker

I first want to say that I find the conduct of this debate, at the humanist hall, and now here to be refreshing and exciting. It is serious without being nasty. East Bay DSA members should be very proud of this culture.

Zak Wear said most if what I had planned to say on the endorsements already in his contribution and explained it better than I would. Our views are similar because we have been through the same experience. I believe that support for these two corporate free candidates will both clarify and advance DSA's reputation and its program.

Advancing a grass roots political campaign like Single Payer is not counter to supporting a grass roots political campaign. They reinforce each other. The political campaign shows that you are serious about seeing the single payer campaign through because ultimately you are demanding that elected officials adopt a policy and are following through to put people into political positions who can implement your campaign.

Most working class people do not get involved in political struggles because they feel powerless that change is not really possible. Yes they know the medical industry is corrupt and driven by the profit motive but they feel powerless to change it so why do much beyond perhaps signing a petition. Political campaigns tied to both issues and movements that can hold elected officials accountable help to give people a sense of power over the society and that there is a reason to participate in campaigns.

Electoral political campaigns are not enough, but electoral campaigns which both build and express the movements in the street are an important part of the process of people understanding our own power and understanding the nature of the society we are up against.

In Richmond we won rent control because we had leaders on the Council who could advance the fight and we won more Council members because we fought for rent control.

Mike Parker


Richmond Progressive Alliance


The statement above is the opinion of its author and does not necessarily represent the opinions of East Bay DSA, its local council, or its members.