My name is Lily Starling and it has been my great honor to be on staff for Daraka Larimore-Hall’s campaign this cycle. I raised my hand the second he told us he was running for Chair, and I want you to know why.
People who know and work with Daraka can speak to his deep integrity, love for the party, and unmatched depth of knowledge about what the Party is and how it functions. He is a zero-BS organizer who won’t sugarcoat, fluff up his platform, or write checks he can’t cash. He’s one of the few people in politics that I can trust to do the right thing – not just the “political thing to do.”
At Eboard last year, I gave testimony against AB 84, a horrifying gut-and-amend bill then making its way quietly through the Assembly. This bill would have allowed the Legislative leadership to set up their own “Party fundraising committees” to raise unlimited money from ANY source for candidates of their choosing. Big money interests could ignore our CDP endorsement process and silence the voice of grassroots activists like me. It would destroy our democratic process and replace it with the DCCC model.
Daraka saw the danger in this bill, and threw himself in front of a bulldozer that was coming to raze our party power to the ground. He worked with us to quickly organize activists, legislators, good government groups, and rank-and-file Democrats to fight back hard against a threat to our party that few people even realized existed. In the end, hundreds of people organized a packed hearing at the Capitol and made thousands of phone calls to legislators to oppose this power grab. We narrowly stopped this existential threat to our party.
This no-nonsense, deeply focused, and selfless leadership is why I am proud to support Daraka for CDP Chair. He put himself in the line of fire to take on the most powerful people in our legislature and ensure that we would have a chair’s race worth fighting over, not a symbolic election for a ceremonial seat. Daraka is the only candidate in this race who put himself on the line to preserve our progressive, grassroots, small “d” democracy power.
It has been a privilege to travel the state and meet with Democrats who built this party into the most powerful progressive grassroots machine in the country. I know without a shadow of a doubt that Daraka is the best person to lead it.