The event also featured four main speakers. It was Christopher Cabaldon who noted the relatively small number of attendees this year as compared to previous bean feeds.
“I know we need a rah-rah speech but first I have to tell you, we’ve got to do better. We have a very important election coming up, not just the one in both of our cities in West Sacramento and Davis and elsewhere in the county, but next November is critical and we have to do better than we did tonight. I’ve been on the central committee now for almost 15 years and if we don’t turn out to vote more people next November than we brought to the bean feed tonight, we are not going to win back the White House and we are not going to win the most contested senate race in all of California.”
The highlight of the evening came from a guest to Yolo County, but certainly one of its adopted sons, Charlie Brown who will be waging a fierce battle in the foothills as he attempts to unseat incumbent and embattled Congressman John Doolittle. Charlie Brown, a retired Air Force Lt. Colonel led the group in the Pledge of Allegiance and then remarked:
“I thank you for letting me lead the Pledge of Allegiance and I would like everyone, when you say the Pledge of Allegiance, to stop and think about what it means to you. You get too used to saying these things by rote, but I view this as when I, 35 years ago, became an Air Force Officer and I took my oath of office to support and defend the constitution of the United States, and when we say the Pledge of Allegiance — I Pledge Allegiance to the flag and to the republic for which it stands — it is everything this country stands for and that is liberty and justice for all. It is not to a political party, it is not to special interest groups, it is not to large donors, but it is for everything this country stands for. Now the trick here is to get people to think about that because when they think, they are going to realize it is the Democrats who upholding those values.”
County Supervisor Mariko Yamada who is running for the 8th Assembly District offered this moment as a call to action for local Democrats.
“This is the annual call to action for all good Democrats, as was mentioned earlier, we may not always agree, we may not always exactly come to the same point of view, or support the same candidates, but in the end we are all Democrats and we all know what we stand for, and we all know what is the left thing to do in our country not the right thing to do…”
State Assemblywoman Lois Wolk will soon be facing a tough battle for the State Senate against Republican Assemblyman Greg Aghazarian.
“My opponent will likely be Greg Aghazarian from Stockton. [Crowd boos loudly]. And you don’t even know him yet. But I’ll just give you a hint, virtually every single piece of legislation for which I’ve been recognized statewide–mandated reporting of elder financial abuse by banks and by financial institutions, the wild and scenic river designation of Cache Creek, the flood protection of our region, he’s voted against all of those things and plenty of others. So I’m looking forward to the race, I know you’ll all be there, it’s going to be a great November I can feel it.”
But again it was West Sacramento Mayor and candidate for the 8th Assembly District Christopher Cabaldon who really embodied the call to action as he juxtaposed his success as Mayor of West Sacramento against the realities of the limitations of his lifestyle and sexual orientation in this country.
“I know many of us feel it here, but we may be leading comfortable lives in prosperous communities, doing very well, but we know something is fundamentally wrong with our country and with our state and we know we should be doing something about it. Maybe we just become numb, all of the lies about the war and weapons of mass destruction, or clear skies, or arsenic’s not so bad in the water supply really, the patriot act… And time after time after time, I think Americans and so many of us in our own communities become numb to what this whole Republican arrogance has done to our nation and to our society and to our government. To our expectations about what democracy and justice are all about.
I certainly feel it every day, I have an opportunity to lead an exciting city, and during the daytime I make decisions about what happens to our police department, but in this country I don’t get the opportunity when I go home after figuring out what we do with the police force of the city and marry the person that I love. And when I get up the next day, and try to figure out whether or not we need save levee breach number 8 or levee breach number 9 in West Sacramento first, those are the kind of decisions that I’m charged with in our community, fundamental issues of public safety, but if I go to the Davis Blood Bank tomorrow to offer to donate blood to save someone, I will be turned away. And anyone like me will be turned away for the rest of our lives. So the paradox of what it means to be in this country, to be successful, to have some amount of power and prosperity and yet to know that there is something still fundamentally wrong with who we are as a nation and who we are as a society is compelling, it’s powerful. For me it’s what motivates the work that I do in public service. It’s why no matter how dynamic and exciting my little town gets to me, I know that the challenges that we’re facing in California and across this country that we step up and that we get serious about what’s facing us.”
The Yolo County Democratic Bean Feed has been a hallmark event for a number of years. It serves as a rallying point for the local Democratic leadership as well as a key fundraiser for the party to engage in critical activities. There are key races facing this community and this nation. We all know about Measure P and Measure Q which will help to fund libraries in Davis as well as the schools. West Sacramento has a critical bond measure for its schools as well, funding nearly $60 million, it will be critical for that school district to obtain those funds as well as Davis to be able to sustain the high level of services that this community is accustomed to. But the two-thirds threshold is very high and it will require mobilization and coordination to pull that off.
—Doug Paul Davis reporting