Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Battle of the Lefties: Today's Podcast

Showtime in Second Suffolk and showtime at Left Ahead! For our weekly podcast, we bring on Sonia Chang-Diaz to kick around strategy, integrity, progressive goals, race and culture.

Two years ago, she came damned close to unseating long-term State Senator Dianne Wilkerson. It was a bizarre race with sticker campaigns — the incumbent also had to use stickers because she didn't bother to get the 300 signatures to be on the ballot — as well as a confusingly similarly named Republican on the ballot, Samiyah Diaz. Wilkerson was under clouds of personal, tax and campaign finance irregularities. Yet, she eeked a victory apparently based on past service and promises of getting her act together.

Sonia joins us at 2:30 p.m. today, Tuesday, 4/15. You can grab the stream then or pick up the archive anytime afterward.

Voters seldom will have such a clear choice between candidates when the platforms are not the big issue. Both take progressive stances on gangs, education, health-care, homelessness and other big concerns for the diverse district. As one might expect, Wilkerson hasn't bothered to update her website, which has a list of legislation she has co-sponsored but no platform. Chang-Diaz put her neck out with strong positions. What she needs to add are some specific proposals and goals.

The demographics are very important here. The district includes heavily Black, Latino and Asian-American sections. Two years ago, the predominately Black areas seemed to have swung the primary for Wilkerson.

We don't have a left vs. right wing fight here. Listen in to see how Chang-Diaz intends to differentiate herself and build on her high profile after her first run.

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