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The Fresno County Democratic Central Committee has not endorsed any candidate in this race.

Dear CDP E-Board Member,

Thank you for all the positive feedback regarding my email supporting Eric Bauman for CDP Chair.  I would also like to share with you my planned votes for the other CDP officers.

Vice Chair FemaleAlex Gallardo Rooker.   Alex is the incumbent vice chair and has been  phenomenal.  In California she has been a relentless voice for labor, Latino, and women candidates.  On the national level, she has been the lead at the DNC since the Chair does not attend the DNC meetings.  Since our chair will be new to national politics and the DNC, her leadership will be critical to ensure continuity at the national level.  Also, since our male vice chair will be new, having Alex at the table will be important to maintain balance and unity in leadership. Her opponent Norma Alcala is wonderful and is an effective advocate, but you don’t remove incumbents unless they are doing something wrong.   Alex Rooker deserves another term.

Vice Chair Male – This one is a tough one because believe or not, only one of the three major candidates has even asked for my vote for this open seat.  Here is a summary of the candidates.  Cullen Tiernan is the only candidate who bothered to reach out to me.  He got involved with the party with the Sanders campaign just last year and is a veteran from Alameda County.  While Cullen and I come from different perspectives, I appreciate that he is willing to reach out to find common ground and discuss differences in the party without the ad-hominem attacks so prevalent in the chair’s race and the Democratic presidential primaries.  His approach and willingness to ask thought-provoking questions about the party while reaching out to others offers some real potential and fresh air in the races for CDP officers. CDP Secretary Daraka Larimore Hall who is chair of the Santa Barbara Democratic Party, teaches at UCSB and works as a political consultant for European leftist parties is a smart and eloquent advocate in the party who has been willing to travel the state to help Democrats and at times build political bridges where they are critically needed. Roger LaPlante is running on a platform of representing rural areas and is an inspiring speaker as well. There is another candidate, Mr. O’Donnell, but his divisive Islamaphobic rehetoric make him out of step with the inclusive nature of our party.  In addition, if I am to stand against those who would accept the use of Anti-Semitic rhetoric in the party, I too must stand against Islamaphobia as well, as hate speech should be condemned and not accepted or criticism of it dimissed under the guise of “robust” or “difficult” conversations. With respect to the other three candidates who should be taken seriously,  I have not yet made up my mind in this race.

Secretary –  Carolyn Fowler. While there are three excellent candidates for CDP Secretary, I am voting for Carolyn Fowler.  Carolyn ran against Daraka the last time the role became open.  Although I did not support her then, her continued work on election protection and security issues and leadership in LACDP and New Frontier Democratic Club has given her a broad network and reflected her great work ethic. San Martin is running, as is  Jenny Bach the CYD Parliamentarian (a role I held for 3 years), who has a great future and I agree with her that we need APIA leadership in the party, but Carolyn has greater depth of experience applicable to the role.

Controller –  Daniel Weitzman.  After the CDP Chair, this is the most critical role for the party. The Controller needs to be the financial compliance leader of the party.  Fundraising ability is important as well, and the ability to lead the CDP Finance Committee (I served on it last year).  Our outgoing Controller get’s credit for inventing the ADEM program to take small recurring donations and put them to use for voter communications in competitive elections and starting a paid fellowship fund in the memory of her predeessor Eric Bradley.  However, the compliance aspect has been neglected due to reduced oversight and funding resulting in negative audits. The Controller needs to focus on compliance and raising money, not politics. The Progressive Caucus Chair, Michael Thaller is a great guy who is principled and an example of how to be a Progressive advocate without making things personal.  However, as a professional fundraiser, Daniel Weitzman knows this job in and out, including the critical compliance aspects that are needed to get CDP back on track.  He has also offered great ideas to ensure training and continuity, another area that has fallen into neglect.  Daniel Weitzman has my support for that reason.