Bay View Voters Guide: Cali can make Bernie president if we vote our hopes, not our fears

Bernie Sanders has been drawing huge crowds everywhere he speaks, though corporate media shies away from telling us. Here, he speaks in Los Angeles to 27,500 in August 2015; his rally in neighboring Carson this week drew a similar number. – Photo: Marcus Yam, LA Times
Bernie Sanders has been drawing huge crowds everywhere he speaks, though corporate media shies away from telling us. Here, he speaks in Los Angeles to 27,500 people in August 2015; his rally in neighboring Carson this week drew a similar number. – Photo: Marcus Yam, LA Times

by Dr. Willie Ratcliff

Rarely in my lifetime has the choice been so clear. As U.S. president, Bernie Sanders would definitely make Black lives better. And a big win in the California primary June 7 could give him the leverage to win the nomination – and the presidency.

To vote for Bernie, you must be registered either as a Democrat or No Party Preference, and the last day to register for the primary election is Monday, May 23. You also need to re-register if you’ve changed your name or address.

Check your registration (county contacts are at http://www.sos.ca.gov/elections/registration-status/) and register or re-register at http://registertovote.ca.gov/ or by visiting your county elections office. You can request a vote-by-mail ballot until May 31 from your county elections office, where you can also find out about early voting in your county.

Bernie is surrounded by supporters at Morehouse College earlier this year. Young Black voters are flocking to him, and older Blacks are recognizing that he is “unbought and unbossed” in the tradition of Shirley Chisholm. – Photo: John Amis, EPA
Bernie is surrounded by supporters at Morehouse College earlier this year. Young Black voters are flocking to him, and older Blacks are recognizing that he is “unbought and unbossed” in the tradition of Shirley Chisholm. – Photo: John Amis, EPA

Back when Blacks were a major force at San Francisco City Hall, our slogan was “Vote 100%” – and we did. Voting is not the only way to make change, but it’s too powerful to ignore. So I say, once again, let’s VOTE 100%!

U.S. President: Bernie Sanders

State Senator: Jane Kim

Democratic Central Committee AD 17: London Breed, Jo Elias-Jackson, Wade Woods, Petra DeJesus, Malia Cohen, David Campos, Jane Kim, Shaun Haines, Rafael Mandelman, Tom Ammiano, John Burton, Aaron Peskin, Rebecca Prozan, Alix Rosenthal

Superior Court Judge: Paul Henderson

Something miraculous happened during Bernie’s rally in Portland on March 25, 2016. A tiny bird, a finch, flew down to land on the stage by Bernie’s feet. When he noticed the little bird, it hopped up onto the lectern and looked intently at him for quite a while, as Bernie told the crowd that the bird – a messenger perhaps? – “is asking us for world peace, no more wars!” – Photo: The Portland Oregonian
Something miraculous happened during Bernie’s rally in Portland on March 25, 2016. A tiny bird, a finch, flew down to land on the stage by Bernie’s feet. When he noticed the little bird, it hopped up onto the lectern and looked intently at him for quite a while, as Bernie told the crowd that the bird – a messenger perhaps? – “is asking us for world peace, no more wars!” – Photo: The Portland Oregonian

State Prop. 50, Suspension of legislators: Yes

SF Prop. A, Public health and safety bonds: Yes

SF Prop. B, Recreation, park and open space fund: No

SF Prop. C, Affordable housing requirements: Yes

SF Prop. D, Investigations of officer-involved shootings: Yes

SF Prop. E, Paid sick leave: Yes

Bay Area Prop. AA, Regional wetlands tax: No

Bay View publisher Dr. Willie Ratcliff can be reached at publisher@sfbayview.com or 415-671-0789.

Malcolm X on voting: The ballot is more important than the bullet – or the dollar

by El Hajj Malik El-Shabazz (Malcolm X)

This is Malcolm delivering “The Ballot or the Bullet” for the second time, at King Solomon Baptist Church in Detroit on April 12, 1964, nine days after the Cleveland speech. He had left the Nation of Islam only a month earlier and embarked the following day on his Hajj. The speech is considered the fullest declaration of his Black nationalist philosophy.
This is Malcolm delivering “The Ballot or the Bullet” for the second time, at King Solomon Baptist Church in Detroit on April 12, 1964, nine days after the Cleveland speech. He had left the Nation of Islam only a month earlier and embarked the following day on his Hajj. The speech is considered the fullest declaration of his Black nationalist philosophy.

By ballot I only mean freedom. Don’t you know – I disagree with Lomax* on this issue – that the ballot is more important than the dollar? Can I prove it? Yes. Look in the U.N. There are poor nations in the U.N., yet those poor nations can get together with their voting power and keep the rich nations from making a move.

They have one nation, one vote; everyone has an equal vote. And when those brothers from Asia and Africa and the darker parts of this earth get together, their voting power is sufficient to hold (Uncle) Sam in check. Or Russia in check. Or some other section of the earth in check. So, the ballot is most important.

*Louis Lomax was an influential Black journalist, who reported for Black papers and the major media – he was the first Black TV journalist – and moderated the event in Cleveland at which this speech was delivered. “Karl Evanzz, a staff writer for The Washington Post, wrote in his 1992 book, ‘The Judas Factor: The Plot to Kill Malcolm X,’ that Lomax was working on a documentary concerning the role played by the FBI in the death of Malcolm X, and that Lomax’s own death may have been connected to that project,” according to Wikipedia.

El Hajj Malik El-Shabazz (Malcolm X), the earth-shaking leader Ossie Davis called “our shining Black prince,” was born May 19, 1925, and assassinated Feb. 21, 1965. He would have turned 91 this week. This is an excerpt from “The Ballot or the Bullet,” the first version of the speech, which he delivered on April 3, 1964, in Cleveland.