SETTING THE RECORD STRAIGHT
Our grassroots campaign for Assembly continues to reach out to voters throughout AD 15, living room by living room and door by door. Thank you for taking the time to talk with me in our 200+ listening sessions and house parties. I am joined by 500+ who are knocking on doors throughout the District to talk to you about your concerns and priorities. We’re the largest and strongest organizing force in the East Bay, and that makes this lifelong community organizer so proud.
This grassroots enthusiasm is what fueled our win in the primary, and, we’ve done it without taking a dime of corporate money. With that success have come unfair and dishonest attacks. A malicious website was launched today in an attempt to discredit our progressive values and grassroots strength. This is a blatant attempt to spread lies about my background and about our campaign. The people of AD-15 don’t appreciate this type of politics, and they won’t fall for it.
Over the course of my 20 years working in the progressive movement, I’ve been attacked by the right-wing hit machine time and again – Glenn Beck, Breitbart, and more. Today, as before, I’m setting the record straight.
MYTH: Buffy Wicks is the corporate candidate fueled by corporate cash.
FACT: I have not accepted contributions from corporations in our campaign.
MYTH: Buffy’s campaign is being supported by the Federalist Society.
FACT: I have no connection to this person or this PAC. These are independent groups, beholden to no one but themselves. I have no say in what they put out or who does the talking. I am opposed to everything the Federalist Society stands for and have spent my career fighting against forces such as the Federalist Society. After I attended community college in California, I devoted myself to progressive causes. I helped to deliver the Affordable Care Act while working in the Obama White House and working with the United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) to fight for better wages and healthcare for Walmart workers. I worked to advance children’s justice and equity here in California and continue my work in progressive politics.
MYTH: Buffy Wicks just moved back to the District to run for this seat.
FACT: I grew up in a trailer in a small rural town in California. I attended California’s public schools and spent two years in community college. I started my career in anti-war organizing in the Bay Area before I moved to Iowa to help Howard Dean in the primary election in 2004 and then subsequently became the 32nd person hired in the Obama for President campaign. I spent significant time in the District as Obama’s CA field director in 2007 & 2008. I moved permanently to the District in 2016 so that my husband and I could raise our daughter in the East Bay and live close to my brother, who has lived in the District for over 25 years. After the national election in 2016, I decided that while I had spent my career helping progressive candidates and causes, if the opportunity came to for me to pursue elected leadership myself, I would pursue it.
MYTH: Buffy Wicks is anti-union.
FACT: I have a 20-year track record of working for, with and alongside our Labor unions. I actually worked in the Labor movement, for UFCW, fighting against Walmart to get better health care and higher wages for their workers. Later, I worked with SEIU to launch a national Women’s Economic Agenda pushing for better paid leave policies, pay equity and paid sick days for working families. And I worked alongside Labor helping to elect President Obama twice and pushing to pass the Affordable Care Act. I have received financial backing from UFCW and former SEIU International President Andy Stern. I am unequivocally committed to collective bargaining, believe strongly in the Labor movement, and will always work collaboratively with Labor if elected.
In addition, our campaign is proud to be endorsed by labor leader Dolores Huerta and 13 local labor unions and councils. Labor organizations supporting our campaign include the Building and Construction Trades Council of Alameda County, Northern California Carpenters Regional Council, United Food and Commercial Workers Union Local 5, LiUNA Laborer’s Local 324 and Local 304, Ironworkers Local 378 Oakland, Carpenters Local 2236, IBEW Local 595, Sheet Metal Workers Local 104, Sprinkler Fitters Local 483, Plumbers & Steamfitters UA Local #342, Heat and Frost Insulators Local 16 and Professional Engineers in California Government.
MYTH: Buffy is taking hundreds of thousands of dollars from charter school groups.
Some of my detractors are trying to spread mistruths about contributions to my campaign from Govern for California (GFC). Govern for California is an organization that supports a wide range of public policy issues facing California, including an increase in more housing (SB827) and the ability to expand midwifery (AB2682). Govern for California is not a pro-charter advocacy organization. Some of the organization’s donors support charter schools, and some of them don’t, but either way it’s not a factor in their support for me. Regardless, I agree with Govern for California on some issues and disagree with them on other issues. On this, I have been very clear.
Govern for California donors have also given to many Democratic and progressive leaders including Senator Kamala Harris, Lieutenant Governor Gavin Newsom, Governor Jerry Brown, Senator Elizabeth Warren and President Obama. GFC’s donor network supports a number of our state’s progressive legislators including Senate President Pro Tem Toni Atkins, Senator Scott Wiener, Assemblymember Laura Friedman, and countless other pro-Labor progressive legislators.
MYTH: Govern for California is Buffy’s biggest financial backer.
Our campaign has received donations from 1,601 supporters, far more individual contributors than any of my opponents.
MYTH: Buffy Wicks is pro-charter.
FACT: As I’ve said for the last year, and laid out in my education platform (which can be found here), I strongly believe we need more accountability for charter schools. The law governing California’s charter schools was passed in 1992; we have had zero reforms to this law and it needs to be fixed. We need to immediately outlaw for-profit charter schools. We need to subject charter schools to the Brown Act, the Public Records Act and the Political Reform Act. We need to make it easier to identify poor performing charters and shut them down. And I believe charter school teachers should be unionized.
MYTH: Buffy is sending her daughter to a charter school.
MYTH: Buffy Wicks doesn’t believe in public education.
Fundamentally, we must invest in our public schools — this includes boosting per-pupil spending, paying our teachers more, providing housing opportunities for teachers, investing in early childhood education, and ensuring all low- and middle-income students can go to college for free. We can do this by closing the commercial loophole on Proposition 13.
MYTH: Buffy Wicks didn’t work in President Obama’s White House and only did fundraising for him on his campaign.
FACT: I worked for President Obama for 6 years — serving on both campaigns and in the White House. I was the Deputy Director of the White House Office of Public Engagement during his first term and worked on a variety of legislative priorities, including the Affordable Care Act, student loan reform, and getting Justice Sonia Sotomayor confirmed to the Supreme Court. For both of his campaigns, I worked as a senior staffer running field operations in a variety of capacities and helped develop the President’s grassroots organizing model. I have never worked in any fundraising capacity for President Obama or anyone else. I have no background in political fundraising.
I am incredibly proud of this campaign and of everyone who has participated — from volunteers to house party guests — your passion and investment in our community gives me hope that we can work together to find solutions to the issues facing California and District 15. I am ready to go to Sacramento to fight for and with our community to give families across this district the best future possible.