I spoke by telephone last night with an older woman distraught over the recent election results who wanted to get more politically involved to oppose the Trumpist agenda. Like many I suspect, she has had numerous run ins with friends and others who supported Trump and don't like to have it pointed out to them that they backed a racist and misogynist agenda, something that speaks volumes about them. I gave her contact information for local Democrat circles and she pledged to get more involved. The issue, of course, is who will lead the opposition to Trump and his make America white and heterosexual again agenda. Here in Virginia, the immediate battle will be to make sure Democrats win all of the statewide offices in next year's elections. On a more national front, perhaps California, where Democrats have vowed to fight the Trump agenda, can be a model for others. Bloomberg looks at the vows being made in California. Here are excerpts:
The Republicans are about to control Congress and the presidency for the first time in a decade, and they have an ambitious agenda. They’ve promised to undo Obamacare, deport undocumented immigrants, and roll back environmental regulations. The Democrats who run the state government in California aren’t happy. Immediately after the election, state Senate President Kevin de León and his Assembly counterpart, Anthony Rendon, both Latinos from Southern California, sent out a scathing statement in English and Spanish assuring all 39 million Californians that they were ready for political war. “Today, we woke up feeling like strangers in a foreign land, because yesterday Americans expressed their views on a pluralistic and democratic society that are clearly inconsistent with the values of the people of California,” they wrote. “We will lead the resistance to any effort that would shred our social fabric or our Constitution.”With the largest economy in the U.S. and the sixth-largest in the world, the state enjoys greater independence from Washington than most. It was the first state to adopt its own vehicle emissions standards, in 2002. In 2012, California created the only state-level cap-and-trade system for limiting greenhouse gas emissions after Republicans in Congress rejected a national model. California, which has more undocumented immigrants than any other state, offers them driver’s licenses as well as financial aid for college. It has imposed some of the country’s strictest background checks on firearms purchases. It’s one of three states to provide paid family and medical leave and one of five that require employers to offer paid sick leave. “This is unlike anything we’ve seen in modern political history,” says de León. “We’re going to do everything in our power to protect our people and our values as Californians.”
Hillary Clinton won more than 61 percent of the state’s vote, a higher share than President Obama won in 2012. Voters approved ballot measures decriminalizing recreational marijuana use, restricting ammunition purchases, and increasing taxes on the rich. The national election triggered a resurgence of California secession fantasies, this time under the hashtag #Calexit—a reference to Brexit, Britain’s vote to leave the European Union.
State Democrats say there’s plenty they can do short of leaving the U.S. California has long been a net contributor to Washington’s coffers . . . . That gives state leaders potential leverage when it comes to complying with policies it doesn’t like, starting with the deportation of undocumented immigrants.
On Nov. 14, Los Angeles Police Department Chief Charlie Beck said he won’t reverse long-standing department policy blocking officers from doing immigration enforcement, despite Donald Trump’s threats to cut federal funding to so-called sanctuary cities, which offer residents protection from federal agents. “We are not going to work with Homeland Security on deportation efforts,” Beck said. “That is not our job, nor will I make it our job.”
One of the biggest points of contention between Sacramento and Trump’s Washington will be climate change. The incoming president has called global warming a hoax “created by and for the Chinese in order to make U.S. manufacturing noncompetitive.” . . . . Governor Brown has devoted himself to strengthening California’s carbon pollution rules, already the nation’s toughest. “We will protect the precious rights of our people and continue to confront the existential threat of our time—devastating climate change,” . . . . Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf says cities should be willing to uphold the Paris commitments at the local level.
California’s Democrats are also exploring ways to ensure continued access to health care. . . . A repeal [of Obamacare], as Trump and Republicans have pledged, would cost the state more than $15 billion in federal subsidies a year, according to the nonprofit Urban Institute. “In theory, California could implement its own universal health-care program,” says California’s insurance commissioner, Dave Jones—though doing so, he warns, would require significant state tax increases.
California leaders have taken steps to expand access to the procedure [abortion], and could make the state a haven for women seeking abortions if Roe were to fall. And some ideas that Trump has endorsed, like stop-and-frisk law enforcement policies, are determined at the local level, not by Congress.
Says Mayor Schaaf: “I think it is wise to not react too much to things that have not yet occurred, but rather to be prepared and strengthened in the event that they do.