The David Levitt for US Senate campaign, launched last Tuesday, is attracting supporters and donations nationwide as Levitt meets with voters in northern and southern California including stops in San Francisco, Berkeley, Oakland, Santa Monica, Beverly HIlls, and on a radio appearance with other 2012 citizen candidates.
Levitt is campaigning as a Democrat in California's new 'top two' Senate primary this June, where under the new rules he and 20 year incumbent Democrat Dianne Feinstein may become the only Senate candidates on the November ballot.
"We're delighted with the response. We're getting plenty of ballot signatures from California voters, and donations between 5 and 250 dollars from all over the country," says campaign manager Sheila Harden.
"The contributions and enthusiasm aren't just from California," adds Levitt, a media scientist and software engineer who is helping lead a movement of citizen candidates who refuse corporate money. "People in places like North Carolina and New York recognize that a California Senator's financial, Middle East, civil liberties and drug war policies don't just affect California. They want the nation's largest state to represent their interests, not our past budget-busting policies and war machine."
The Levitt campaign launched on Tuesday, February 14th. Highlights of the week's campaign tour include:
- on Wednesday the 15th Levitt attended the "Which Way Forward?" Public Forum held by The San Francisco 99% Coalition at the city's Unitarian Universalist Church, with about 350 attending. During the discussion period Levitt outlined the citizen candidate movement and his own Senate candidacy. Audience applause was followed by signatures on Levitt for Senate ballot nomination forms, signed by voters from San Francisco and several neighboring counties.
- on Friday at UC Berkeley, Levitt attended the opening of the Whistleblowers Conference where Pentagon Papers' Daniel Ellsberg, Colonel Ann Wright and other whistleblowers honored WikiLeaks and its accused source Bradley Manning, who has been nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize. Levitt believes strongly in protecting whistleblowers such as WikiLeaks and other journalists who expose corruption -- especially when, as even Defense Secretary Gates has confessed, the harm they are accused of causing is "overblown".
on Saturday morning, Dr. Levitt and citizen candidates joined Coffee Party Radio / Politics Done Right host Egberto Willies on a special episode "Can We the People 'Be Our Own Government'?" The guests were:
- Jonathan Greenberg, Executive Director of BeYourGovernment.org
- Jeanne van den Hurk, candidate for US Congressional District 3 in South Carolina
- David Levitt, candidate for the US Senate in California
- Eric Reyes, candidate for US Congressional District 17 in Illinois
- David Esrati, candidate for US Congressional District 10 in Ohio
- Sean Closson, candidate for US Congressional District 3 in New Mexico
- also on Saturday morning, in Oakland, Levitt and other candidates spoke at "Occupy our Elections" attended by a local Occupy audience at the Grand Lake Theater. As in the San Francisco and other events, Dr. Levitt credited the Occupy movement with enlightening voters about the capture of our political class by corporate monied interests, inspiring "get the money out" consciousness, and making the citizen-fueled campaigns and candidates possible as never before.
- on Sunday in Beverly Hills, Levitt met with Bruce Margolin, Director of the Los Angeles chapter of NORML, the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws. Levitt strongly opposes marijuana prohibition and the incarceration of millions of Americans in the failed drug war.
- also in Beverly Hills, Levitt met with Occupy Our Schools and founder Tara Margolin, signing a candidate pledge not to reduce funding for public education, public classrooms, or teachers' pay. Levitt is committed to building America's future and keeping it competitive by investing in education, infrastructure and technology.
On Saturday evening in Santa Monica, Levitt attended an event at the home of teacher, activist and former Congressional candidate Marcy Winograd, who hosted the Canadian Green Party's Camille Labchuk. Labchuk explained how her team pulled off a historic electoral win for Elizabeth May, the first Green MP to serve in Canada's parliament.
US Presidential candidate Rocky Anderson, running in 2012 in the newly formed Justice Party, was the second invited speaker at Winograd's event. Anderson outlined the opportunity and duty we have to challenge and replace Republican and Democratic leaders captive to corporate interests, who have until now thwarted policies in the public interest on health care, financial regulation, military spending and climate change. Anderson received overwhelming support from the audience.
Though Winograd is no longer a Democrat and hers was officially a Green Party event, Anderson from the Justice Party and Democrat Levitt met supporters and recruited new ones from the enthusiastic crowd.
Says Levitt, "This election will be different. We're not going to let political parties divide us, distract us, stop us or slow us down."
Here's a video glimpse of the lively scene after Anderson spoke. Featured: Marcy Winograd, Tara Margolin, Rocky Anderson.