After weeks of collecting signatures from constituents in San Francisco's 8th Congressional District, Independent candidate Cindy Sheehan has made it onto the November ballot to oppose Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi, for Pelosi's heretofore secure Congressional seat. As Sheehan told me exclusively this afternoon:
"I think this is the happiest that I have been since before Casey was killed (except when my grandson was born). Getting on the ballot as an independent in California is so difficult, but with the help of many of our friends who are committed to peace, accountability, economic equality and environmental sustainability, we have done it! The voice of the people will be on the ballot in San Francisco in November."
Sheehan, the s/heroic "Peace Mom," whose 24 year old soldier son, Casey, was killed in Iraq on April 4, 2004, inspired the creation of an entire peace community outside George W. Bush's Crawford Texas ranch in August of 2005, when she followed Bush to Crawford to ask him, "for what noble cause did my son die?" George W. Bush's refusal to answer Sheehan spurred Sheehan on to become an outspoken and pivotal member of the anti-war movement. She gained national and international fame as a leader in the effort to end the Iraq War and to impeach those who illegally began it - as is mandated by the Constitution. For the past few years, and more so since the 2006 election, Sheehan has been an integral part of the growing number of Americans frustrated by Congress' failure to hold the Bush administration accountable for its crimes.
After the 2006 election, in which Democrats won majorities in both the Senate and the House, Americans' disgust for Congress reached a fever pitch when the new Democratic Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi, instantly took impeachment off the table - thereby ensuring George W. Bush and Dick Cheney the job security to complete their second term and commit further offenses with impunity.
Sheehan's anger toward Pelosi was palpable. While other valiant patriots expressed their ire for Pelosi in emails, faxes, opeds, and camp-outs at her San Francisco home and Congressional office, Sheehan took it a step further and decided to challenge the wealthy Pelosi for her powerful seat in Congress - clearly no easy task. After an uphill battle against institutional rules and regulations designed to quash third party candidates, Sheehan showed her mettle and prevailed. As of today, after a s/heroic effort to gather the thousands of signatures needed to qualify for the November election, Cindy Sheehan became just the sixth person in the history of California to get on the ballot as a "Decline To State" candidate. According to Sheehan:
"I am even more convinced now than I was a year ago that the people of San Francisco are ready to lead the way to step outside of the dated two-party system and elect someone who truly represents San Francisco values, not party loyalties and criminal activities."
Now comes the true test for the progressive movement. Will progressives who vehemently oppose Nancy Pelosi's failed Congressional leadership come forward to help Cindy Sheehan challenge Pelosi for her seat in San Francisco's 8th Congressional District? I know I will.
Nancy Pelosi represents all that is wrong with American government. As long as we have s/heroes like Sheehan who are willing to reclaim our democracy, I'll do my part to help.
Go to: www.cindyforcongress.org