OK, well maybe not everything, but enough to help you make up your mind by May 17th, the date of the special election to chose who will represent us in Congress.
But first, a few housekeeping notes.
With the special election only three weeks away, many of you will start receiving absentee ballots this week. Here's a helpful hint: The sooner you fill out the ballot and mail it in, the sooner you'll stop getting those annoying phone calls and mailings from the campaigns. Campaigns actually keep track of that sort of thing so they don't end up wasting money on people who've already cast a ballot.
If you aren't registered to vote, it's not too late. You have until May 2nd to get your voter registration in!
Click here to begin the process of registering to vote. When you're done, print out the form and mail it to: Los Angeles County Elections Office, P.O. Box 1024 Norwalk, CA 90651-1024. You can also obtain a voter registration form at most County buildings, city halls, fire stations, libraries, State Motor Vehicle Offices, Public Assistance Offices (DPSS, WIC), and post offices.
Don't know where your polling place is? No problem! Click on this link, then fill out your street number and street name to find out where it will be for the May 17th special election (I highly recommend you do this - don't assume your polling location will be the same one from the last election).
Now for the good stuff about Debra.........
When Jane Harman first announced her resignation, at first I didn't know who I'd support in the race to replace her, even after one candidate, LA Councilwoman Janice Hahn, called me up the next day asking for an endorsement.
Now, if I learned anything over the last couple of years of community organizing it was this: an educated voter is an empowered voter, and an empowered electorate holds the key to real and positive change in this country.
So I did my homework. I searched the internet, I talked to people I trusted or who knew the candidates, I found old articles and news stories, I even (gasp!) visited my public library to find information.
When I was done, the choice could not have been more clear.
See, when Janice Hahn called me up looking for my endorsement, I told her at the time that I'd be happy if either she or Bowen ended up in Congress. At the time, I absolutely meant it. But after doing the homework, I no longer feel that way.
Choosing Bowen over Hahn became the choice between the transformational vs. the transactional, between having a partner in congress or having a broker, between having someone who is willing to stand up for what is right in spite of the consequences or having someone who will be buffeted by the competing wishes of special interests.
But I don't want you to take my word for it. Since Debra Bowen is the only candidate in this race with legislative experience (having already represented our district for 14 years, first as an Assembly member then as a State Senator in the California legislature) it wasn't hard to find a lot of information about her record online.
So below I'm sharing with you links to the same sources I used during my research. If you want to learn more about Debra Bowen, I encourage you take a few minutes to educate yourself.
LA Times article about Bowen's first election in 1993 to the CA Assembly
LA Times article about Bowen's first year in the California Assembly:
LA Times article in 2001 about Bowen's leadership role in dealing with the California Energy Crisis
Debra Bowen Calls For Charges Against Enron in 2002
State Senator Bowen Makes California A Safe Place For Consumers
As Secretary of State, Debra Bowen defies lobbyists and Diebold, decertifies $45 million worth of voting machines
21st Century Democracts candidate biography of Debra Bowen
Ballotpedia's biography of Debra Bowen
Intersection of Technology, Democracy Influenced Bowen's Path to
California Secretary of State