Democrats gathered in the Mission on Sunday to qualify potential delegates for the national convention. Now, nine people are waiting as potential delegates for Hillary Clinton. Another nine people are for Bernie Sanders. Not all will go to the July Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia. It might be five for one candidate and four for the other candidate, or a split of two and seven or some other variation, depending on the outcome of the California primary on June 7.
Democrats who gathered for Bernie Sanders met an old college friend of his – Hene Kelly, a local party official, elected to San Francisco’s Democratic County Central Committee (DCCC).
Kelly told the group that Sanders was the same person at age 20 as he is now. Sanders even won approval from Kelly’s father, a rabbi. “Not because of Bernie’s politics,” Kelly said, “but because he was a nice Jewish boy.” Sanders, Kelly, and others organized a sit-in about student housing at the University of Chicago and in 1963, Sanders and Kelly joined the March on Washington led by Martin Luther King Jr. “You feel the Bern?” she said. “I knew the Bern.”
Starting at 2 p.m., Sanders supporters lined up on Cesar Chavez Street, outside Chez Poulet, and 435 signed into the caucus. Any Democrat can vote in a caucus in their congressional district and any Democrat can apply to be a delegate. Forty people spoke, for 30 seconds each, about their personal commitment to the Sanders campaign. The speakers included both professors and students, a Viet Nam vet and a daughter of vets, a whistleblower, a grandmother of six, a pastry chef, a lawyer, and an immigrant eligible to vote for the first time this year. After the speeches, Kelly led everyone in a singalong, “So I tell them…I’m for Bernie.”
Voters at the caucus could mark up to 10 people on their ballots. Volunteers, in four teams of three, stayed until 7 p.m. to count the results.
Results of the caucus
Amy Erb from National Nurses United, the first union to endorse Sanders, was voted to be female delegate No. 1. Thomas M. Gallagher, a writer, teacher, and experienced convention delegate, was voted male delegate No. 1. Mia “Tu Mutch” Satya, who started All Out, a training program for LGBTQ political leaders, was voted female delegate No. 2. Ben Becker, who hosts the “Bern, Baby, Bern!” fundraising disco parties, was voted male delegate No. 2.
Clarice Corell, phone bank host, and Lea Ejanda, union nurse, tied for female delegate No. 3. Hassan El-Tayyab, teacher and musician, was voted male delegate No. 3. James “Jake” Barlow, phone bank host, was voted male delegate No. 4. Amit Shaham, union nurse, was voted female delegate No. 5. Christopher D. Cook, political journalist, was voted alternate delegate. (These preliminary caucus results are for Bernie Sanders delegates from California’s 12th congressional district.)
Others who received caucus votes above 20 percent were game designer Cassandra Inglesby, union nurses Maricris Barquilla, Katharina Del Mar Moss, and Cary Sunshine, organizer Yayne Abeba with the Frisco Five hunger strike, and Michelle Brenard, who, like others, has already arranged to be in Philadelphia as a volunteer, if not a delegate.
The caucus for Clinton delegates also met in the Mission, at Laborers Local 261 on 18th Street.
Comments from the participants
Amy Erb, female delegate No. 1, said, “It was so great to be part of this democratic process today.” She and the nurses in her union want Medicare for all.
Tom Gallagher, male delegate No. 1, said this year is “the most important political campaign in 40 years.” The first time Gallagher was a convention delegate was in 1984.
Hassan El-Tayyab, male delegate No. 3, said he felt ecstatic. He plans to keep working “until Bernie wins by a landslide.” He reminded everyone to register to vote and, if you are already registered, to check your voter registration.
Hene Kelly, caucus chair, said, “What this did for me is tell me there are real people out there working for Bernie.” Speakers had talked about registering voters, knocking on doors, and traveling to other states. “That excites me,” Kelly said, “and it takes a hell of a lot to excite me.”
Hillary Clinton’s Delegates
Clinton supporters chose Susan Pfeifer, female delegate No. 1, Alec Bash, male delegate No. 1, Guicela Sandoval-Lopez, female delegate No. 2, Matt Tuchow, male delegate No. 2, Maria “Zoe” Dunning, female delegate No. 3, Chris Gembinski, male delegate No. 3, Amy Bacharach, female delegate No. 4, Todd Lloyd, male delegate No. 4, Denzil Sikka, female delegate No. 5, and Rick Hauptman, alternate delegate. (These preliminary caucus results are for Hillary Clinton delegates from California’s 12th congressional district.)