California has long held the title of America’s most liberal state but does not host the most liberal politicians to match it. It is time for Senator Dianne Feinstein to pass the torch to a progressive Democrat.
In the months after the 2016 general election, David Hildebrand, a Legislative Analyst with the State of California, waited for a progressive to challenge Feinstein’s seat. Growing tired of waiting for someone to run for him, he decided to run himself.
Hildebrand took an active organizational role with the Sanders campaign for his local precinct in 2016 and on a single-payer healthcare bill, then working with the campaign of a progressive running for president of his local board of education.
At home, his platform includes battling institutional racism, investing in our country’s infrastructure and workforce on a massive scale, pushing for single-payer health care, defending our public school systems while making public universities and trade schools free, term limits in Congress, campaign finance reform, and making real efforts to halt climate change.
The Progressive Army was interested in his strong stance on protecting and promoting American jobs and labor unions, which have been under assault for decades now by politicians eager to deregulate and ship jobs overseas.
In his own words, “There’s a lot of work to be done in the so-called ‘green state’ of California.” His environmental policy would make the state an example for the rest of the country to follow. One of his most ambitious plans is to move the state to 100% green energy while re-training fossil fuel industry workers so that they aren’t out of a job.
Abroad, Hildebrand wants to end America’s job-killing “free” trade agreements that cost jobs in the States, resolve the Israel-Palestine conflict on pre-1967 borders, and bring an end to our offensive wars, including a complete withdrawal from the Middle East.
It’s an ambitious agenda, and Hildebrand knows that better than anyone else, but the fact that the current administration is trying to do the opposite of all these things is no reason to compromise. On the contrary, pushover Democratic politicians that readily surrender on the platform have allowed the right to take over. Our progress since the turn of the 20th century is evaporating in front of us. Here the rich and powerful are, once again, destroying the prospects of the middle and lower classes, only this time the world as we know it may quite literally be destroyed.
I’m against small, incremental change — especially now at the 11th hour… If we don’t do all of these things now then we’re going to fall off the cliff. We need to address the environment today. We need to pass single-payer because our healthcare system is in shambles. We need fair wages so that people can make up for what they’ve lost in the last 40 to 50 years to corporate profits. I will not lose a second of sleep to a corporation losing profit when they’ve made such serious gains in the last 50 years while workers have lost all their wages.
Hildebrand goes on to add that “I’m not a straight up socialist, I’m a democratic socialist. Capitalism can exist, we just need strong regulations on it.”
David Hildebrand is right that we have no time to waste. He is concerned about “people on the progressive side giving up now…because we ‘can’t do anything anyway.’ Right now is about building coalitions so in 2020 we take back the presidency with a progressive.”
The Democratic establishment knows that progressives like Hildebrand are the ones who threaten their grasp on power, and are going to fight tooth-and-nail to maintain it. All this means for him is that he is campaigning harder and holding faster to his beliefs than ever.
Hildebrand separates himself from the vast majority of incumbent Democrats because his constituents come first. Just last week, California Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon killed SB 562 — the single-payer bill that Hildebrand has been working on for months. Why? He and his senior advisor have together received over $100,000 from the drug industry in the past few years. This is why we need a new batch of Democrats, David says. “If we keep voting for people that accept corporate donations, then it’ll never end.” Our elected officials are lining their pockets with corporate cash and we trust them to fairly represent us? Please.