Yesterday, Blue Dog chairwoman Stephanie Murphy-- under pressure from a gerrymandered seat and aware that many progressive constituents have wised to her conservatism and would not vote for her again-- decided to forgo the humiliation of being defeated and announced she isn't running again. The Democrats in Congress will be better off without her, though her seat is likely to go to a Republican, Lee Constantine.
They will also be better off without another shitty Democrat who announced his retirement yesterday too, Hudson County, New Jersey Machine hack Albio Sires. The Machine immediately moved to install another corrupt conservative, the son of worthless Senator Robert Menendez. What a zoo! We're trying to persuade Hector Oseguera to run for the seat. I asked him if he's running last night and he said he's still thinking about it. He also said that "Congressman Sires’ retirement puts the ball in our court. The 8th District is one of the bluest in the country and this presents an amazing opportunity that progressives cannot afford to pass up." So that sounds good.
Another announcement of retirement from Congress-- this one nothing to cheer about-- came from a decent progressive, Lucille Roybal-Allard (80), who was first elected in 1992, making her the first Mexican American woman and the first Latina Democrat elected to Congress. She's been a role model for many members who followed in her footsteps.
If there's any kind of silver lining to her departure, it's that Assemblywoman Cristina Garcia will probably run for the seat. She's an uncompromising fighter for working class families and has a sterling record in the legisalture. A generally transactional conservative-leaning "ex"-Republican, Robert Garcia, mayor of Long Beach, is also running. This is a deep blue district and the last thing Democrats need is another Republican-lite Congressmember. I sure hope Cristina runs.
Yesterday Dave Wasserman, who has been studying the new California map, reported that "California's near-final draft map looks terrific for Dems. All 42 Dem incumbents (except retiring Rep. Alan Lowenthal (D), whose Long Beach seat is folded in w/ LA Rep. Lucille Roybal-Allard (D)'s), get strong seats. Meanwhile, *five* of 11 GOP seats get more vulnerable. The biggest shakeup among safe Dem seats is in the Santa Clara Valley, where Reps. Anna Eshoo (D) and Jimmy Panetta (D) are being merged into one wealthy Silicon Valley/Monterey seat to create a new Latino majority seat in San Jose/Watsonville/Salinas. The most obvious, overriding aim of this map: create more Latino majority districts. Even though CA is losing a seat for the first time since statehood, there are 18/52 seats w/ 50%+ Latino voting age populations in this draft, up *five* from the 13/53 on the current map."
I reached out the Shervin Aazami, the candidate Blue America endorsed in the San Fernando Valley to get a feel for how the redistricting is impacting his campaign. Last last night he told me that his district has changed in many ways -- and that he's confident that "this map will only aid our efforts to unseat Brad Sherman from the left. Overall, our partisan lean jumps from D+18 to D+36 in the most recent iteration, and will likely be scored even higher in the final map. We welcome many new progressive neighborhoods, from Sawtelle to Topanga. I'm running to be the first Iranian American elected to the U.S. Congress from California, and I'm proud to say that Persian Square in Westwood is now in our district-- one of the only dedicated Persian neighborhoods in the entire country. I'm very happy that we've kept many of the core neighborhoods of my hometown West San Fernando Valley together-- from Canoga Park to Woodland Hills and Encino, up to Chatsworth and Northridge. I'm also pleased to welcome new Valley neighborhoods like North Hills, to unite all of Sherman Oaks up to Oxnard, and to keep Studio City. I'm upset that Reseda has been cut in half, but grateful that we keep 50% given that Reseda was largely divided from the West Valley in the state assembly and senate maps. I'm also sad to see Valley Village, Toluca Lake, Burbank, and Granada Hills leave our district. Porter Ranch-- where Brad Sherman lives-- has also been taken out of the district. While legally Brad is still eligible to run, it's poetic justice to see that he now physically resides outside of the district he has failed to advocate for in his 25 years in office. And while Aliso Canyon and the communities like Porter Ranch most directly impacted by the largest natural gas blowout in U.S. history may now be out of district, I will never stop fighting for a carbon-free future that ensures every community destroyed by the greed of the fossil fuel industry is made whole. Brad has never, and will never, fight for that. Our district also expands over the Santa Monica Mountains to include all of Malibu, Brentwood, and Pacific Palisades! I'm very excited to connect with all of our new voters and work together on the critical issues before us-- universal healthcare, ending homelessness, climate justice, and much more. Especially with the addition of cities like Malibu, wildfire prevention and protecting the beauty of our coastlines from oil spills and rising sea levels resulting from climate catastrophe take even greater focus. And lastly, looks like we are no longer the 30th District-- we are now California's 32nd District! Let's do this!"