House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi says she plans to lead an aggressive opposition against President-elect Donald Trump and a GOP-controlled Congress, naming jobs, veterans and Medicare as the top priorities.
But first, Pelosi, who is being challenged for her leadership position by Rep. Tim Ryan of Ohio, is making an attempt to quell disenchantment within the House Democratic Caucus she has run for 14 years.
In a letter to colleagues sent Wednesday, Pelosi (D-San Francisco) said Democrats must push back against the privatization of the Veterans Affairs health system and "insist on a bill that puts good-paying jobs for workers first — not one that is a corporate tax break disguised as an infrastructure bill."
The new California Legislature will look slightly more racially and ethnically diverse than the last, but its number of women has dropped lower than it has been in more than two decades, according to an analysis of preliminary 2016 election results from the California Research Bureau.
Of the 89 members in office, the number of nonwhite lawmakers has increased from 47 to 53, with gains made among Asian/Pacific Islander, Latino and multiracial lawmakers.
The rise in diversity is most pronounced in the Assembly, where the majority, or 54%, of legislators are now minorities.
Leaders of the California Democratic Party spent the weekend in San Diego strategizing how to deal with the political era of President-elect Donald Trump. The meeting ended up being part therapy session, part pep rally.
“Donald Trump’s election was a shocking mistake of historical proportions. His dangerous ideas and policies threaten the freedom, the safety and the prosperity of every American,” said environmental activist Tom Steyer, a San Francisco hedge fund billionaire who has been flirting with a 2018 run for governor. “This is our moment. We will rise to the occasion because there is no one else.”
Marcus Ruiz Evans, the vice president and co-founder of Yes California, said his group had been planning to wait for a later election, but the presidential election of Donald Trump sped up the timeline.
“We’re doing it now because of all of the overwhelming attention,” Evans said.
The California Democratic Party is considering a new policy that would require party leaders to fully disclose any compensation they receive to advocate for a statewide ballot initiative or candidate for state office.
The push for transparency comes after Eric Bauman, chairman of the Los Angeles County Democratic Party and a candidate for state party chairman, faced criticism after his political consulting firm was paid by opponents of Proposition 61, which voters rejected on Nov. 8.
The statewide ballot measure sought to lower prescription drug prices by requiring that state agencies pay no more for medicines than the federal Department of Veterans Affairs.
The California Democratic Party will no longer accept political donations from oil companies or their representatives in Sacramento.
The decree was handed down by Chairman John Burton and announced at the party’s executive committee meeting in San Diego on Saturday.
“I felt that big oil was just swaggering around the Capitol,” said RL Miller, president of Climate Hawks Vote Political Action and chair of California Democratic Party’s Environmental Caucus. “They just have too much influence in Sacramento.”