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California | Government & Elections | Labor & Workers

The Undemocratic Democratic Party of the State of California
by Maxine Doogan ( info [at] esplerp.org )
Wednesday Aug 8th, 2012 1:47 AM
How the California Democratic Party endorsed one of the worst bait and switch ballot measures in the history of California: Proposition 35, using another undemocratic process.
The Undemocratic Democratic Party of the State of California

I am concerned with the undemocratic process the California State Democratic Party used to endorse prop 35. It seems the state party's undemocratic endorsement process follows the arduous state ballot measure process.

I searched the California Elections website for the month of June to find information about how to oppose Proposition 35 before I finally just started calling numbers in Sacramento and leaving message (because I only ever got voicemails). Finally, I was provided with the information to submit a ballot argument opposing it while having less than 2 weeks to do it.

California’s century old initiative process was designed to give serious, political voice to the average citizen but over the years has become hijacked by monied interests. Poorly written and not thought-out Prop 35 is THE epitome of special interests mandating state spending while limiting legislature power.

It qualified for the ballot via a 1.6 million dollars donation by former Facebook executive Chris Kelly. This former 2010 state Attorney General candidate, picked the right popular push button issue to partner with to keep his name in the press. It could not have hard to locate one of the thousands of anti trafficking groups desperate to locate ‘victims’ to serve to continue to justifying their tax payer funded existence. With a title like “Human Trafficking. Penalties. Sex Offender Registration. Initiative Statues”, proponents are betting it will pass without due deliberation by the electorate.

Our argument was selected by the state to be the listed in the voter information guide opposing Prop 35. Then I had 7 additional days to submit a rebuttal to the proponent’s argument in favor. And this all the while my sex worker contemporaries were attending at the International AIDS Conference in Washington D.C. to demand that sex workers to be recognized as key stakeholders in health policies at the national and international level during that same week. I wondered how we came to be so excluded from these democratic processes.

As the proponent of Prop K, a 2008 San Francisco ballot proposition to stop the enforcement of the anti prostitution laws and bring equal protection under to our class, I was used to being contacted by endorsing groups. So I was expecting the California Democratic Party to contact me when they were ready to hear the official opposition to Prop 35 but was told it was my responsibility to contact them and that they had already endorsed in Anaheim, the weekend following the International AIDS Conference.

As a registered member of the Democratic Party, I wondered about how it was possible that the party of the people had gotten suckered into endorsing this ballot measure of the 1%. Had they only read the title? Too, I found it astounding that the endorsement had been held in the city of Anaheim which is facing allegations of murder and brutality after fatally shooting two Latino men then and firing rubber bullets at crowds of protesters the week before the party's convention. http://www.democracynow.org/2012/7/24/police_brutality_in_anaheim_sparks_outrage

The struggle of marginalized people like myself to access democracy while there is a state ballot measure targeting us for further criminalization cannot be understated. Its just really the most horrible feeling that the rich and civil rights haters have banded together against us with no regard for us. These disrespectful acts towards our class are eerily similar to the proponents of prop 8. Then the insult of the California Democratic Party endorsing these already proven failed policies without bothering to hear from us about exactly how this ballot measure further targets us again for re criminalization is another example of marginalized groups like ours being totally shut out with no recourse.

A California Democratic Party staff person tried to defend the Dem's decision to me by saying over 300 delegates voted in favor of it. Was I, the marginalized person with no access to equal protection under the law, laden with a 100 years of negative social stigma supposed to travel to a city practically under Marshal law to gain access to the party's process to stop this sexual apartheid. I was told, if I didn’t like the process, next time I could try to become a delegate to the party to propose a different process. This idea is completely unrealistic for me in a state that has criminalized my occupation and subsequent economy. Under Prop 35, I would be lucky enough to have received forced welfare after I've been forced out of my profession by that time.

California US Senator Barbara Boxer has acted in the same manner as the California
Democratic Party. She endorsed Prop 35 before she heard the opposition to it. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i1h1ZcHXsaM
I contacted her office about this and also when Obama won in 2010 to have input on these types of policies but was ignored then too. It seems only the rich gain access to congressional hearings. I had given her a donation to her last reelection campaign and now she too could be prosecuted under Prop 35 as a trafficker, forced to register as a sex offender....

There seems to be is no room in the legislative process, the ballot measure proccess, nor through the party process to effect democracy from a small unfunded group of highly vulnerable constituents like ours to have a voice in effecting our destiny.
In 2012 it is the new California Democratic Party; the 1% by the 1% for the 1%.

Maxine Doogan
Opponent to California 2012 Prop 35

Erotic Service Providers Legal, Education and Research Project Inc.
2261 Market Street # 548
San Francisco, California 94114

noonprop35 [at] gmail.com



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