I arrived at the monthly meeting of the San Francisco County Central Committee of the Peace and Freedom Party and found Tom Lacey, the chapter Chair, alone in the SF Main Library’s Stong Room. That’s not a typo – the room’s named for Mary Louise Stong, who was an avid library supporter and former President of the Friends of the San Francisco Public Library. But it does give the conference room a name that’s desperately one letter shy of being a great place to start anything.
Tom Lacey, a teacher, has been a committed socialist and Peace and Freedom Party member and a candidate for office in SF. He even garnered the coveted endorsement of the SF Bay Guardian. His knowledge of the San Francisco political environment is excellent, and more, he has been through a lot of the changes, sitting in opposition. Smart, savvy and lucid, Lacey is nothing like the stereotype projected against the Peace and Freedom Party: that of crazy wingnut hippies.
Tom Lacey has great ideas, knowledge about the system, remarkable commitment and a will to implement. He puts a generation half his age to shame. In fact, first I want to support his efforts to get the Oil Extraction Tax on the ballot – an effort that makes complete sense. It’s very easy to get behind.
Every State in the country that lets private companies take oil out of its ground or from under its sea charges an Oil Extraction Tax and uses the money for social welfare … um, except one … California!
In Texas they have diverted these funds successfully to the education system and greatly improved Texas schools. This is an overdue effort in California that has been squelched by powerful oil companies in our state and the politicians they pay for. It’s so simple to understand:
Tax the extraction of oil and use it to pay for schools.
Tom Lacey informed us that the college professor behind the movement, Peter Mathews, who has struggled for this in California, finally got approval for the wording to let us get signatures to put it on the ballot. This happened just a week ago. Now we have a very short time to get the required signatures to put the Oil Extraction Tax to Pay For Education on the ballot. A 2/3 majority of Californians will definitely support this one and we can more than make up for the $1.4 billion in cuts to education that Governor Brown was forced to make this year.
Lacey had copies of the petitions that he had meticulously printed on oversized paper from the .pdf – I am adding it to my platform and collecting signatures myself voluntarily and informing everyone I know about it. check out rescueeducationcalifornia.org and facebook.com/rescueeducationcalifornia and twitter.com/rescueeducation
This is exactly the kind of revenue generation my campaign is about.
Shortly after I arrived and introduced myself to Tom Lacey, Ron Holladay, who is, I believe, the Treasurer of the Peace and Freedom SF CCC, appeared. The two men have considerable history in this town and it was great to meet them. We waited for others.
(cricket sounds) and that was it … (sigh) C’mon people, Prop 14 is going to make third parties disappear unless you show up!
I was fourth on the agenda, but since there wasn’t quorum, Ron Holladay asked whether or not I’d rather skip my presentation and perhaps come to another meeting. I promised I would be at the next meeting, but said I would like to present myself as a candidate to those present. One of my supporters arrived – a surprise! – a little late.
Oh, but wait, then someone else did appear.
An Asian-American man arrived and claimed to have just joined the Peace and Freedom Party. The two long-standing officers had never heard of him, but were relieved that there was at least one other present – I mean, there wasn’t even quorum.
But within minutes I began to suspect that the Asian-American Newly Joined Peace and Freedomer was there to observe and report to someone else. He fell asleep late in the meeting from sheer boredom – or feigned it.
One funny, tiny part of me wondered if another candidate or interest had sent the young man to see what this was all about. Silly probably, but it sure felt like this young man was way more interested in questioning my candidacy and ideas than asking about the party he had just joined.
Of course, it doesn’t matter who comes to observe and report upon me anywhere, anytime, because I am clean, clear and direct and my intentions are pure: I want change, reform, an end to corruption and special interest politics and a return to certain values that made our city the best in the world. I want to lead SF forward to smarter more transparent governance – and I know how.
And so I spoke to four people about why I wanted their vote for Mayor in a small room in the Main Library. We had a great talk for about an hour and I want to thank Tom, Ron and the Peace and Freedom Party for their invitation and informative knowledge.
I then went to see the Fiery Furnaces at Café Du Nord. Single piano and voice, a brother and sister duo, their work is poetic, maudlin and narrative. It was a great show, with songs that told stories with vernacular aptitude, capturing phrases of the contemporary era between married couples, street folk and working class families and others. Very nice.
I was lucky enough to meet the band afterward and to meet and chat with long time San Franciscans Michelle and Matt and others. It was a lovely night.
More soon. Support the Oil Extraction Tax.