Our Series on Progressives at the Local Level
We first ran into Marggie Castellano covering a controversial San Diego ADEM meeting, in which she was running to be a California State Delegate. The ADEM election was Marggie’s second time being on a ballot. Marggie’s first experience in an election came in November 2016, when she was a candidate for Tri-City Healthcare District Board of Directors (Vista, Oceanside, Carlsbad) in San Diego, California. She received 22,759 votes and ultimately lost the election, but she feels the experience gained from the process will help the next time around.
Since Marggie was one of the most outspoken, passionate attendees at the ADEM election amidst the controversy, we were immediately drawn to her presence. Most of the controversy surrounding the election centered on Convener Richard Duquette’s handling of the votes.
After the vote counters were just about ready to tally the votes and give the candidates unofficial vote totals Convener Duquette decided not to give out totals, boxed up the votes and took them to his house free of any oversight. Marggie ended up winning a Delegate seat while Duquette, due to the bad press associated with his handling of this election (as covered by the Progressive Army along with several other local media and amplified via social media) and protests from many of the Democrats in the area, promptly lost a San Diego North Area Vice Chair election (40-6).
Marggie says that this result shows that “when we stand together we win, and that justice will prevail.”
Marggie has been practicing active civil engagement her entire life. She followed the lead of her parents, a teacher and an engineer, who “did everything possible to share their knowledge to all people they touched, that is why I am so passionate about sharing my knowledge and advocating for social justice.”
In her native land of Peru, Marggie was an advocate for improving educational opportunities for everyone, rooted in the belief that knowledge is power. In a different context, still rooted in activism and education, Marggie worked on a number of documentaries, specializing in remote locations such as the Peruvian Amazon forest, deserts, and volcanoes as well as on-board diverse platforms, including ships, aircraft, and NOAA vessels. Some of her credits include “The Real Avatar-PERU” Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, “Montecarlo”-Machu-Picchu VFX Plate-20th Century Fox, and “The Secret of the Incas” Channel 4, London.
In describing her work on documentaries, Marggie explains: “I have witnessed that knowledge is power. In a short time you can convey a message that can change and improve your life forever. I am a firm believer of using Science.”
Marggie was Location Manager for the documentary above.
Believing that social change occurs through political office and action, Marggie found herself deeply moved by Bernie Sanders’s message, specifically, the belief that he was advocating for “We the people.”
Marggie, after being heavily involved in Senator Sanders’s campaign, was elected as a national delegate representing CD-49 in California. She is proud to have belonged to the faction of democrats that, as she describes, “raised our voices and signs for issues such as “No TPP,” “Medicare for All,” “No More Wars,” resulting in getting the attention of the 15,000 journalists attending the convention and the right exposure needed for our issues.” (She extensively documented the Democratic Party Convention here.)
Current Position and Future Goals
As highlighted above, Marggie is currently an elected assembly district delegate for the California Democratic Party. According to the California Democratic Party:
ADDs are responsible for planning and attending informational meetings throughout the region and working with other delegates to represent their community. They are also elected by voters in their district to vote on behalf of the community they represent at Regional Meetings, the California Democrats Convention, and those who are also elected to serve as an Executive Board member are responsible for voting and representing their community at the semi-annual E-Board meetings.
Marggie explains her vision of our current political climate and where she fits in her new role:
The message is clear, our country and our party need a new direction. As part of a progressive grassroots movement my goals are, to modernize the Democratic Party by utilizing my valuable international production management experience to inject organizational effectiveness, and to make sure that all our Constituents will have a voice in shaping the future of our country!
Within one year, Marggie is hoping to:
- have a Two-way Media Communication Channel to spread Crucial Information about the structure of the party, our issues, and to engage her Community to participate.
- have Town Halls with her constituents and draft effective resolutions relevant to all of them just in time for the next State Convention on May 19 to 21 in Sacramento.
- find out how to raise funds to develop innovative projects.
Within five years, Marggie is striving to create media, such as PSAs, Commercials, Live Streaming, etc. for:
- Orientation to NEW members
- Convey Party Organizational Chart
- Party Transparency (priorities, budget, processes, decisions, etc.)
- Restore Image of the Democratic Party
- Political Action
- Improve organizational effectiveness of the Party
Marggie’s top policy areas are:
- STOP Climate Change before it changes us. Science for All.
- Money Out of Politics
- Medicare for All
- College for All. Elementary/high-school Curriculum Reform (modernization)
- Immigration Reform with a Path to Citizenship
In 2018, Marggie is contemplating running for State Assembly 76, a current Republican stronghold. But with Marggie relentlessly fighting for progressive values by participating in local events (such as local town hall meetings and protests against her local Congressman Darrell Issa, participating in a Women’s March, and two different #NoBanNoWall events) she could be on her way to building the support and momentum needed to succeed.
Want to know more about Marggie Castellano? Check our her website here.
Correction: A previous version of this article stated that Convener Duquette lost the San Diego Vice Chair election. The election was technically for San Diego North Area Vice Chair. The article has been updated to reflect this.