Today leading California Democratic Party Activist Kimberly Ellis issued a long statement endorsing Jovanka Beckles’ candidacy to represent Assembly District 15 in Sacramento. Her conclusion is “I’m voting for Jovanka because she is the most qualified candidate – with a voice and perspective that is desperately needed in our halls of power.”
Kimberly Ellis has been called the most powerful unelected Democrat in California. In a close contest in 2017 she nearly won chair of the party on the basis of a strong campaign to establish single payer health care. She has served on the California Democratic Party Finance Committee and also on the California Democratic Party’s African American Caucus as Recording Secretary.
Ellis was supported for Party Chair by the California Nurses Association, which supported Bernie Sanders in the Democratic Presidential primary, and by Our Revolution, which grew out of the Sanders campaign.
Ellis issued the following explanatory statement:
“*** First, this is not a short statement – nor should it be ***
“For those who don’t know, I live in AD15. This is my home district. Not only can I endorse in this race, more importantly, I must decide for myself who is the best person to represent my neighborhood.
“Our AD15 primary had an embarrassment of riches with respect to great candidates. As someone who doesn’t believe in putting a thumb on the scale, I wasn’t about to play favorites in the primary, believing instead that the voters should narrow this very crowded field.
“But with returning absentee ballots about to flood election offices next week, the time has come for me to make public my endorsement.
“Having been on the receiving end of a few dual endorsements in my Chair’s race, I gotta tell you, I’m not a big fan. And while I know both candidates to be capable and I have shared friendships with both, I’m only backing one of them in this contest.
“Hell, just me saying that both women are capable is gonna ruffle feathers. That’s OK. I’m a mom of two kids and sometimes Even/Steven ain’t possible.
“In their quest to make it to the state legislature, the two candidates clearly bring different talents and perspectives to this race. It’s no surprise that I’m not a fan of many of those currently in Sacramento, though there are some great exceptions (hat tip to Holly Mitchell, Lorena Gonzalez and Dr. Shirley Weber) – and these women are the types of leaders we need. Honorable MENtion to Rob Bonta.
“At the end of the day, life is all about making decisions: big ones; little ones; important ones; inconsequential ones. But decisions, nonetheless.
“Ultimately, when you have two capable candidates, the decision for me comes down to perspective… the life experience that each one brings to the current make-up of the decision-making table at which they will be seated.
“In short, I’m endorsing Jovanka Beckles because I believe her voice is most needed, especially at this moment in time.
“I believe that our life experiences form our judgments, and while I know that Buffy has a tremendous amount to contribute, elections force us to choose just one.
“From Oakland to Berkeley, Albany to Richmond, Assembly District 15 is the heart and soul of progressivism. We’re the district that keeps California honest.
“Jovanka has done everything we say we want our leaders to do…
“She has been an active and engaged member of the community for decades; she has served on commissions; she has run successfully for elected office (twice) and even served as Vice Mayor; she has helped spearhead the positive transformation of the city of Richmond.
“I know Jovanka’s tremendous impact because I’ve witnessed it firsthand as her constituent.
“And now, Jovanka is asking for a promotion. And she’s the right person to do the job.
“I’ve listened to the various reasons non-supporters give: she’s too radical; too extreme; too militant; too leftist; raises her fist too much; not polished or savvy enough. Doesn’t “get along” with some people.
“As a Black woman who has run for office, I know that oftentimes these “reasons” are code for “she’s not one of us”.
“Far be it from me to inject race into this conversation, but let’s be honest, for too many liberals, Jovanka is just too “Black” (literally and figuratively).
“And if that’s the case, and some folks are more comfortable with and have a preference for white women in sensible shoes, then at least have the courage to admit it to yourself, if not to others.
“On Tuesday, November 6, I’m voting for Jovanka Beckles… not because she’s Black… or because she’s a woman.
“I’m voting for Jovanka because she is the most qualified candidate – with a voice and perspective that is desperately needed in our halls of power.”