by Robin Keehn
Like so many Americans, I was mystified and depressed when Donald Trump was elected. But the first Chico Women’s March got me motivated to do something, and in early February 2017, I went to see a dear friend in Sonoma. She warned me that we “just gotta do this thing in Napa.” Would I go too?
The “thing” was Delaine Eastin’s “Meet & Greet” to announce her campaign for California governor. We walked in saying to each other, “No one can beat Gavin, but the tea, cookies and champagne will be fun.”
I walked out saying, “I’m dedicating my next year and a half to getting Delaine elected.” Activism was ignited. Delaine Eastin had become my HERo.
And so it began. Bringing Delaine to the Chico library in April 2017, joining all the Democratic and progressive groups that I could to spread the word about this smart, ethical, experienced woman. I joined Democratic Action Club of Chico, Mobilize, the CD1 Democratic Alliance, and went to any Our Revolution and Indivisible meetings I could get to. It’s been a fun journey, even after the 2016 presidential election that had wiped the smile off my face for days.
So why do I now say, “Get on the Delaine Train”? Getting money out of politics is important to me. Delaine is the only gubernatorial candidate who’s corporation free, and she has been since the beginning. She’ll be beholden to the people of California, not special interests. Not Big Pharma, not Fossil Fuel. Just the people.
I’m disappointed that until now, in this so-called groovy and liberal California, we’ve never had a woman governor.
People think she can’t win. The media mostly ignores her. She has relatively minimal campaign funding. But, Delaine Eastin has always been told she can’t win. She’s been told she’s too young, she’s the wrong gender, and now, that she’s too old.
Through a twist of fate, I was able to be a voting delegate at California’s Democratic Party convention in San Diego in February. After a year of volunteering, what joy to mark my ballot for her.
On the train home to Chico, I talked her up to everyone I met – reporters, a former Obama staffer, a guy living his train-travel dream after a quadruple heart bypass (his wife was a teacher in Minnesota.) They loved hearing about her.
Delaine is one of the first gubernatorial candidates to call for a ban on fracking. After three years working with Frack-Free Butte County, this is important to me. She supports aggressive action to confront climate change.
Delaine was the first woman elected state superintendent of public instruction and served both Democratic and Republican governors. She worked to reduce class size while increasing teacher pay.
Delaine has been out of public service for 15 years. During that time, she’s served on boards, commissions local to national and been teaching women how to get involved in politics at places like Mills College. Trump’s election spurred her back into public service — just as it spurred so many of us to return to or take up activism.
I do this work because it’s renewed my hope that voting for strong and honest candidates will lead to a better state. I want our kids to see California once again become the “Golden State” that I grew up in.
Hop on the Delaine Train. Let’s give her a chance by voting for her in the June primary and making her one of two top candidates. Then, let the real debates begin!
Robin Keehn is the Butte County 4 Delaine volunteer coordinator. To volunteer for the Eastin campaign contact her at email@example.com or call 530-899-7911.