According to recent press reports, San Francisco voters are now turning out in large numbers for this Nov. 8th Special Election. At my polling place this morning under looming clouds at 9am in the Richmond District of SF it looked like a lower turnout. But then the sun came out and I attended a huge spirited community rally at the Plumbers Union Hall on Market Street where hundreds of GOTV [get out the vote] volunteers and community leaders hit streets to defeat the Governor's initiatives.
Nicole Derse, local SF coalition director of the Alliance for a Better California, told me that 800 volunteers worked neighborhoods up and down SF over the weekend. The Alliance represents 2 & 1/2 million Californians. She also said that dedicated student volunteers of the League of Pissed Off Voters worked SF State University campus dorms and classrooms as well. Local labor and housing activist Robert Haaland, the director of the SF Alliance, said also that the outpouring of community support for the campaign has been tremendous. Many in the audience like Supervisor Tom Ammiano predicted that the Governor's initiatives will be defeated by the power of grassroots efforts like the Alliance and Labor Council actions up and down the state.
Despite the unprecedented millions of dollars pumped into the special election by the Governor and his corporate and wealthy allies, it seems the 'people power' of immigrant, people of color, labor, women and repoductive rights, consumer rights and environmentalists will prevail in this election.
More info: Latino's united
Immigrants and youth united
My prediction is that at the end of this Election Day, the Governor will be badly injured - politically - in this first battle for his to struggle to retain the CA Governor's seat in Nov. 2006. Hopefully, the grassroots forces continue to come together and stay united to back a progressive alternative candidate that can defeat the Governor in the Gubernatorial race for next year and, in the long term, also turn the tide against the big business/conservative assault on our democracy and communities.
RE Turnout in SF - see Steve Rubenstein's SF Chronicle article
(11-08) 11:22 PST SAN FRANCISCO -- Even the free cookies being handed out by some poll workers didn't sweeten the mood of San Francisco voters, who largely said today that they think the special election was unnecessary and that they planned to vote down Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger's ballot measures.
...The special election, which is part of Schwarzenegger's government reform effort, already has generated spending of more than $300 million and is among the most expensive campaigns in California history.
Across the state, about 6.8 million people were expected to vote in the election, which includes propositions on matters including parental notification for minors seeking abortions, redistricting and teacher tenure.
...Voter Jim Ellis agreed. "The propositions were compelling in a negative way," he said. "It was a waste of my money and the taxpayers'."
Said voter Christopher Riess: "This was a power grab, and a very expensive one."
E-mail Steve Rubenstein at firstname.lastname@example.org.