Georgette Gomez is an experienced, effective San Diego City Council leader, a lifelong community activist, a fierce low-income housing and public transportation advocate, and a racial and environmental justice warrior with an admirable and consistent record of standing up for “the least among us.” She’s currently running for the open Congressional seat in CA-53, a safe blue district located in central San Diego County, after her four years on the city council where colleagues unanimously voted her Council President. She’s been a working-class leader and coalition builder who doesn’t forget her roots:
As a true blue progressive — and I mean that with sincerity in terms of that my life experience has guided me in everything that I do — it really is a motivator for me to transform government to address some of these serious issues that people are facing.”
Georgette has a history of speaking up for the working poor, for the homeless, and for marginalized members of our communities. She’s a vocal advocate for labor rights, a living wage, benefit improvements for food stamps, Medicare for All, and the Green New Deal. Read her policy positions here. She’s also in a tough, complicated race due to California’s recent switch to a “top two” primary.
So I find myself penning my first diary (although for the past half-dozen years I’ve been a regular DK reader-lurker) to ask you to shower Georgette’s campaign with $$$ in whatever amounts you generously can spare to boost her fight to win and elect a Congresswoman who’s truly “Progressive, Proven & For the People!”
[By the way, I have zero association with any campaigns. I’m simply committed to the perhaps quaint notion of unshakable support for the Democratic wing of the Democratic Party, especially with a candidate whose progressive principles and policy plans reflect the real-world needs of those she is working to represent.]
But I want to return to Georgette’s background---she is the daughter of immigrants and a proudly out member of the LGBTQ community. Unlike her opponent, Gomez has actually earned, by means of her work ethic and her record in elective office, a broad and impressive set of endorsements. These include Elizabeth Warren, Bernie Sanders and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, not to mention organized labor from the construction trades to the CA Nurses Association; and also the Sierra Club, Equality California, the Latino Victory Fund, and the best and brightest among local and state Democratic elected officials.
Furthermore, Gomez is the ONLY Democrat for CA-53 endorsed by the California Democratic Party and San Diego County Democratic Party. Her opponent has twice sent highly misleading mailers confusing voters on this.
My point here is that there’s only one Democratic candidate for CA-53 who actually identifies with and reflects the lived experience and current needs of the majority of the 700,000+ people in the district. That’s Georgette Gomez, the plain-spoken public servant with a substantive record of governance, who has won elective office, and who has ably served her both her city and her council district while determinedly advocating for the disadvantaged communities she herself hails from. Georgette has walked the walk, not just talked the talk, with respect to the core economic, health, and class interests of the 90% in the CA-53 constituency, not the 1 percenters trying to purchase this seat.
I often wonder: haven’t we had enough of crumbs from the noblesse oblige as their outsize influence, indefensible wealth accumulation, and blithe willingness to win by subterfuge and cheating continues to cripple our democracy? I have.
But we have exactly that type of infuriating situation in CA-53 due in part to the top-two primary system. There’s a second Democratic candidate in this race who is essentially buying this seat in broad daylight via the steamroller of corrosive entitlement and the concentrated family wealth available to her. That candidate is heiress Sara Jacobs whose gross income in 2019 was reported to be 7.2 million dollars. The grandchild of Qualcomm billionaires, Jacobs has a nearly unlimited money spigot available including from her investments in big banks and big pharma, plus the additional millions her family has funneled into her campaign.
In television ads, Jacobs has lied to the public by boasting of her rejection of PAC money; meanwhile her grandparents formed the “California Forward” PAC and in February 2020 alone spent over 1.1 million on TV ads, digital ads and mailings:
The super PAC has just two donors according to Federal Election Commission records reviewed by Sludge: Jacob’s billionaire grandparents, Irwin and Joan Jacobs. The couple has combined to give the super PAC at least $1.5 million according to the most recently available disclosures.
Jacobs also dumped another 2 million dollars of her own fortune/ inheritance into her campaign according to the same report by Sludge. And as of October 2020, the PAC, Forward California’s “independent expenditures” totaled 2.7 million dollars utilized for Jacobs & against Gomez per Open Secrets.
“The idea that a PAC funded by millions of dollars from the Jacobs family is actually independent from Sara Jacobs is laughable,” said Dan Rottenstreich, a Gómez campaign strategist. “If Jacobs is willing to bend the rules repeatedly as a candidate, how can we trust her to do the right thing in Congress?”
There was also a prior failed Congressional effort by Jacobs, perhaps a test-run. As a nearly unknown novice with deep pockets in 2018, Jacobs ran for a different open seat, CA-49, and spent over a million dollars apparently focused on advertising to increase her name recognition. Back then, she was also dogged by accusations of having inflated her “resume” as a volunteer intern and/or a low level employee of a federal contractor and turning that into some sort of alleged expertise in the intricate workings of the federal government. Any positions she may have worked in are far more likely to be connected to her family’s power, wealth, and influence and arising also from their significantly large campaign contributions to national Democratic PACs.
Now in 2020, Jacobs has been spending heavily and saturating the television airwaves for months for the purpose of additional name recognition. With her extreme monetary advantage---5.3 million vs. the 1.5 million raised by the Gomez campaign (per last quarter’s FEC filings), clearly that’s a small price to pay---chump change one might say---for a billionaire family trying to buy this seat in Congress. Jacobs’ ads are also slick, but contain little substance, plenty of platitudes and no depth. Unfortunately for democracy with a small “d”, they work.
But the very last person we need put in Congress, after four years of enduring the methodical corruption of our institutions, is another billionaire or millionaire. The breathtaking obliviousness of Jacobs to this exemplifies her privilege on steroids.
Alternatively if we continue our relentless focus on GOTV work and remain strong enough and fortunate enough to have Joe Biden as our new President come January, it will be exactly the moment for an even bolder, progressive agenda---one that will be propelled and energized by new members of Congress like Georgette Gomez---who actually fight to enact (not dilute) its best ideas.
Georgette might still pull off an upset victory if there’s large, late voter upsurge in turnout for CA-53 and if she can more strongly get her message out there. Let’s try to give her a fighting chance to reach voters and win! Please donate if you’re able, GOTV, and volunteer for her campaign’s phone banks over these next two vital weeks. Could substance, authenticity, and the people’s policy priorities win out over the billionaire class throwing their weight around…? Let’s find out.