This weekend, the California Democratic Party announced that it would no longer accept donations from Big Oil. That's a big bold step for a party that had taken three million dollars, over the years, from Chevron and other fossil fuel companies destroying our climate and our democracy.
And the staff of the party was moving in that direction on a parallel track.
And I had a good sense of what was politically possible, and was prepared to back up my ask.
There’s a lot of work ahead if we are to have a truly clean Democratic Party that can effectively oppose the fossil-fueled agenda of Trump’s Republicans. In California, we’re going to have to make sure the next chair keeps the ban on fossil-fuel contributions to the party. And we must take this nationwide and get the Democratic National Committee and other state Democratic parties to join this critical ban on the dirtiest of political money.
We can make this change happen. I know, because I chair the state Democratic Party's environmental caucus, and I worked with Democratic Party staffers to make it happen. When we organize, and find allies among decision-makers, we win.
Some party folk quote Jesse Unruh with approval — "If you can't eat their food, drink their booze, screw their women, take their money and then vote against them you've got no business being up here." However, some elected California Democrats — in particular, a group of so-called moderate Democrats in the state Assembly — were emphatically voting with Big Oil too much. That needs to end.
It’s crucial that California Democratic leaders know that climate hawks all over the nation support this decision. So I put together a thank-you petition: Thank the California Democratic Party for refusing Big Oil money!
Because when our leaders do the right thing, they deserve to hear from us. And if the California Democratic Party can take this step, the Democratic National Committee and other party organizations need to follow suit.