MESSAGE FROM THE EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR
I am happy to report that the President’s visit to the Bay Area on April 20th was a great success. The events attracted national media attention, and the President got off to a great start in his re-election bid. The President can count on Bay Area Democrats to provide the level of support needed to be successful in 2012.
Over the course of President Obama’s two day visit to San Francisco, BAD members were given opportunities to attend a host of events with a chance to engage with the President, as well as high-level campaign staff, at a personal level in a fully staffed and professional environment.
If you have not already done so, I strongly encourage you to join our effort to make 2012 a banner year for Democratic leadership. I hope that you will consider joining BAD today. If you have any questions as to how you can get involved, please give us a call at (415) 692-3556. Thank you for your continued support, and I look forward to seeing you at an event very soon.
Executive Director, Bay Area Democrats
381 Bush St., Suite 300
San Francisco, CA 94104
BARACK OBAMA IN SAN FRANCISCO
Bay Area Democrats is proud to have taken part in President Obama’s recent visit to San Francisco. Those who attended the President’s speech at the Masonic Center were offered a unique glimpse into the upcoming 2012 election, as the President’s speech touched on the topics of campaign strategies, upcoming policy battles, and the Republican opposition. The predominant message was that Democrats will be facing a tough battle in maintaining control of the White House in 2012, despite a strong record of accomplishments. He added that Republicans have learned from their mistakes in 2010, and are likely to run a much more sophisticated campaign this time around. Having taken a leading role in the success of President Obama’s 2008 campaign, Bay Area Democrats appreciates the wisdom of this sentiment and the amount of hard work it will take to pull off another victory in 2012. With that in mind, BAD is very much looking forward to supporting the President in his pursuit of a second term. Stay tuned for details on more opportunities to support President Obama’s re-election campaign as they become available.
ISSUE SPOTLIGHT – DEBT CEILING
With politicians on both sides of the aisle agreeing that debt reduction efforts should be at the forefront of our political discourse, it seems reasonable to oppose raising the debt ceiling. However, economists agree that a refusal to raise the debt ceiling would hurt the state of our economy rather than help it. If the federal government was forced to stop all deficit spending when the ceiling is reached, the country would begin to default on its loans and other financial commitments. This would make it significantly more difficult for the government to borrow capital in the future, if circumstances necessitate doing so. Still more damaging would be the effect this would have in undermining confidence in the American economy, which leading economists say would have major implications for worldwide markets.
Since 1917, with the passage of the Second Liberty Bond Act, Congress has imposed a limit on federal debt levels as a means of asserting its Constitutional right to control spending. Since then Congress has regularly raised the debt ceiling in order to allow the government to meet its financial obligations. Unfortunately, these obligations still stand whether or not the debt ceiling is raised by Congress. While issuing more debt is not ideal, the consequences of our government not paying its bills would be far worse.
Current projections show government spending will hit the debt limit sometime this summer, so we are likely to see some measure of closure on this issue quite soon. However, the magnitude of this debate will certainly shape our political discourse as we move into the 2012 elections, and the issue of tax increases will undoubtedly be at the heart of the discussion. Currently, Republicans are proposing to cut costs by dramatically slashing program spending without re-evaluating our corporate tax practices. Conversely, Democratic leadership is advocating for a broader appraisal of the savings that can be generated from corporate tax increases as well as reduced funding to selected programs.
MEETING WITH DNC CHAIR DEBBIE WASSERMAN SCHULTZ
On Tuesday, April 26th, Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-FL-20) sat down with BAD members for a roundtable discussion in San Francisco. Wasserman Shultz was appointed Chairwoman of the Democratic National Committee (DNC) by President Obama, maintaining her role as a leader in the Democratic Party. Originally from New York, Wasserman Schultz became active in Florida politics after relocating there to pursue her undergraduate and master’s degrees. Since 2005 she has represented Florida’s 20th Congressional District. In her meeting with Bay Area Democrats the Chairwoman spoke about her priorities as head of the DNC, and the role that San Francisco’s leaders and political organizations will play in the 2012 election cycle. We would like to extend our congratulations to Chairwoman Wasserman Schultz on her new appointment, and wish her continued success as the Representative of Florida’s 20th Congressional District. We will be looking forward to her next visit to the Bay Area, and hope that more BAD members will seize the opportunity to meet this rising star of the Democratic Party.
COCKTAILS AND CONVERSATION WITH MARK UDALL
Bay Area Democrats is thrilled to have participated in a cocktail reception in honor of Senator Mark Udall (D-CO) this past April 26th. The event was structured as an open discussion, and marked another great opportunity for BAD members to discuss their views directly with our Democratic leadership. The dialogue centered on the ongoing debate of whether or not to raise the debt ceiling, with Sen. Udall analyzing the merits of both arguments. Additionally, the Senator spoke about the emergence of clean energy technologies, and praised San Francisco and Colorado as being leaders in this growing sector.
BREAKFAST DISCUSSION WITH CLAIRE McCASKILL
Senator Claire McCaskill (D-MO) was the honored guest at a breakfast reception hosted by Bay Area Democrats Board Member Tom Epstein on April 26th. Sen. McCaskill spoke about her bid for re-election in 2012 and the difficulties of being a moderate Democrat in a mostly red state. Political analysts have rated Sen. McCaskill’s race as one of the most competitive in the country, with several Republican contenders expected to vie for their party’s nomination. A recent Public Policy Polling survey shows that the Senator holds a small lead over her potential rivals. During her visit with BAD members the Senator spoke about the importance of tying President Obama’s political agenda to the campaigns of Democratic Senators in order to convey a unified Party platform. Furthermore, she asserted that Senate Democrats must find ways to emphasize their achievements to voters in order to preserve the Democratic majority. We look forward to hosting Sen. McCaskill again soon, and wish her the best of luck in her re-election campaign this coming cycle.
DISCUSSION FORUM WITH KIRSTEN GILLIBRAND
On April 29th, BAD members had the opportunity to speak with Senator Gillibrand (D-NY), marking her second meeting with our organization in four months. The Senator continued her dialogue on current events in Washington, including the ongoing policy battle regarding funding for women’s health services. The open discourse of the reception gave BAD members the opportunity to engage Sen. Gillibrand on a personal level, and lent an atmosphere of informality to the event. We very much appreciate the level of Senator Gillibrand’s involvement with Bay Area Democrats, and look forward to continuing this great relationship.
Breakfast Reception with Rep. Martin Heinrich (D-NM-1)
Date: May 19
Time: 8:30am – 10:30am
Location: San Francisco
Drive For 25: Lunch with Rep. George Miller (D-CA-7) and Special Guest TBA
Date: June 17
Time: 11:30am – 1:00pm
Location: San Francisco
For more information on these upcoming events, please contact Bay Area Democrats at (415) 692-3556.