It's official. California's Democratic Congressperson Lynn Woolsey (CA-6) retired this afternoon, clearing the way for progressive environmentalist Normon Solomon to officially run for her seat in the 2012 election.
Solomon released the following statement soon after Woolsey's announcement:
Lynn Woolsey has brought the North Bay’s conscience to Congress, representing the best of our values. I greatly admire her steady insistence on compassionate policies, from our own communities to lands that few of us will ever see.
Whether the focus is on the lives of children and seniors here at home or on the lives of soldiers and civilians in war-torn countries, Lynn remains consistent -- elevating the national discourse with her steady advocacy of humane and astute priorities.
During the hundreds of times that she has stood on the House floor and spoken out against war -- contrary to the conventional wisdom -- our Congresswoman has given voice to the pain and predicaments of people who are routinely rendered as abstractions in hardball politics. Lynn Woolsey has stood for economic fairness, social justice, environmental protection, human rights, peace and so much more. She has set a high bar for representing our region in Congress.
Solomon, a longtime activist and author who co-chaired the Commission on a Green New Deal for the North Bay, has already raised over $100,000 and attracted hundreds of volunteers supporting his campaign. He runs on a platform that advocates for the closure of California's nuclear power plants.
As a candidate for Congress in the district that includes Marin and Sonoma counties, I intend to make this a major campaign issue. It remains to be seen whether my one declared opponent, Assemblyman Jared Huffman, will join me in urging a rapid timetable for the closure of California’s nuclear power plants.
Huffman has ties to California’s nuclear-invested utility PG&E. Between 2007 and 2009, according to campaign finance data compiled by nonpartisan Maplight.org, he received $11,100 from PG&E, which owns and operates the Diablo Canyon nuclear plant.
While Huffman and other state lawmakers in February signed a letter to a federal commission on America’s nuclear future citing seismic “concerns which deserve to be more closely examined,” the time for equivocation on nuclear power is long past. We don’t need yet more study on whether to operate nuclear plants on fault lines.
People want bold and responsible leadership as we face up to the well-documented realities of nuclear power on this fragile planet.
Solomon wrote an article for DailyKos last April From campaign trail ... Key issue: nuclear power in which he outlined his position of nuclear energy in California.
The Nuclear Regulatory Commission is a nuclear-friendly fox guarding the radioactive chicken coop. The federal government has no business promoting this dangerous industry while safe and sustainable energy resources are readily available.
The fact that federal law imposes a liability cap of about $12 billion on a nuclear power accident is a reflection of the fact that those plants are uninsurable on the open market.
As a candidate for Congress in the district that includes Marin and Sonoma counties, I intend to make this a major campaign issue.
David Swanson expressed his support for Solomon's campaign in an article published this morning: When the Public Rises, We'll Want an Ally in Congress
No matter how Woolsey's district is redrawn in California, it will remain a very progressive district. This means that nationally those who pay attention to and work on elections, as well as those who want their children to have a decent world to live in, ought to take some interest in replacing Woolsey with a real progressive leader, not just someone who will vote the right way most of the time, not just someone who will say the right things, not even just someone who will stick their neck out and take the lead on matters that are deemed controversial within the Beltway, but someone who will educate, encourage activism, and organize within the government.
Luckily, that candidate is available and running, and he's running against one -- possibly two -- Obama followers. No Republican or independent is going to be elected to Congress from Marin County. The representative is either going to be a robotic Democratic drone who votes as the President instructs, thus inverting and perverting our system of checks and balances. Or the representative is going to be the person that progressives turn to for support from around the nation in the years to come: Norman Solomon.
If you don't know who Norman is, read his Wikipedia page. Norman is one of the best activists I know, and one of the best book authors, possibly the very best columnist, and undoubtedly one of the easiest colleagues to work with whether we agree on something or not (we're working together on RootsAction ).
Woolsey, who has represented CA-6 since 1993, has served as co-chair of the Progressive Congressional Progressive Congress since 2010. She was one of 31 officials to vote against counting the Ohio votes in the 2004 presidential election. Staunchly opposed to the Iraq War, she was the first member of Congress to call for the withdrawal of troops in 2005.
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