The Fresno County Democratic Central Committee has not endorsed any candidate in this race.
South Vice Chair
Santa Barbara County Democratic Party
My name is David Atkins. I’m a democratic socialist Berniecrat supporting Eric Bauman for California Democratic Party Chair.
Why, you ask? Let me tell you a bit about myself to explain.
I’m not just a progressive: I’m a fiercely outspoken economic populist and democratic socialist. I was among those encouraging Elizabeth Warren to run in 2016, and when she declined, I went to Nevada to knock on doors and make calls for Bernie in the primary.
I first got involved in party activism in the Howard Dean progressive wave of 2004, which was the Bernie-style revolution of its day. I founded the Ventura County Young Democrats, became Chair of the Ventura County Democratic Central Committee, helped flip Ventura County from red to blue, and then moved to Santa Barbara County where I’m now South Vice Chair of the County Party and head of the Democratic Club of Santa Barbara. I write frequently online about the need for anti-Wall Street, economic populist, universal benefits stances in my articles at Washington Monthly, American Prospect, and elsewhere. I was proud to endorse Keith Ellison for DNC Chair.
And I’m proud to endorse Eric Bauman for CDP Chair.
That’s because Eric Bauman isn’t just effective at getting Democrats elected. He’s not just a friend of labor who has built the Los Angeles County Democratic Party into a dominant liberal powerhouse, flipping Southern California from red to blue one district and county at a time. He’s an activist and reformer.
When unfair rules were preventing progressive candidates from challenging incumbents disliked by progressive candidates, it was Eric Bauman who exercised the leverage to get the rules changed. When the establishment was resisting calls to divest from fossil fuels and to take a stand against fracking, it was Eric Bauman who helped make it happen. When the old guard has tried to close its ranks against young reformers, Eric Bauman steps in to do the right thing, even if it means upsetting longstanding relationships.
I should know: he was there for me when I was a fresh-faced young organizer making changes in the face of fierce resistance almost a decade ago. And I know countless other young organizers to whom Eric has been a friend and a mentor, helping them make needed reforms year in and year out.
But it’s more than all that. If I may be blunt, Eric works his butt off for the Party grassroots. He’s there for us. Year after year, Eric shows up. He comes to club events and central committee fundraisers. He auctions himself off and emcees, helping us raise the money to send out mailers and pay the rent on offices and do our phonebanks. He mediates disputes. Eric does the work, and he knows what needs to be done.
There is a caricature of Eric Bauman out there among some of my fellow Berniecrats, and that saddens me. The Eric I know is a warrior for progressive causes, both social and economic. The Eric I know has made the Party more open and accessible to the grassroots. The Eric I know has been a friend, mentor, colleague and ally in my fight to take the Democratic Party back from its Third Way, corporate wing.
That’s the Eric I know, and I’m proud to support him for CDP Chair.
I hope you will join me and progressive grassroots activists across the state in supporting Eric for Chair and be part of #TeamBauman.
South Vice Chair, Santa Barbara County Democratic Party
Former Chair, Ventura County Democratic Party
*Titles included for identification purpose only.