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    Momentum Building as Presidential Primary Election Comes to California


    Now that the Presidential Primary Election is finally coming to California, we can be excited about the opportunity to have a say in who will be our next President. As we have watched the ups and downs that have hit both parties throughout this cycle, the outcome is finally starting to become clear. The race is about much more than who will eventually win the nomination. Rather, it is about the opportunity, for the first time, to have an immensely qualified woman represent our nation.

    So many other countries have elected women as their leaders, yet the United States has fallen woefully behind. Now we not only have the most competent and qualified candidate at the top of a major party ticket, but we also have the opportunity to break the glass ceiling that has eluded us for so long.

    In our community we know what it means to have somebody at the table, rather than just waiting for others to provide support. Having Hillary Clinton as our next President will send a message not only to those young girls growing up in the United States, but also to women everywhere, that we have equal opportunities. Having said that, it is not hard to turn around and see the misogyny that has beset this race. Just recently Donald Trump—a man who has never held public office, who has had multiple bankruptcies, who has attacked immigrants, people of color and women with thus far relative impunity—said of Hillary, “The only thing she’s got going is the woman’s card.” Beyond the obvious ludicrous nature of that statement, it does reflect the underlying fear that many people may still have that a woman President is a frightening prospect.

    Trump’s statement has backfired on him, though, resulting in renewed excitement over the prospect of a woman holding office. It has injected renewed vigor into Hillary’s supporters, and awakened those who previously had been lax responding to the overt misogyny. People are recognizing that this kind of attack on a qualified and competent woman is just plain absurd. You may disagree with Hillary, but it is ridiculous to say that she is not immensely qualified to lead the Democratic Party on the presidential ticket. I hope that this focus on the misogyny that has beset Hillary’s campaign will now pull in added supporters and show what kind of attacks have been going on against her for decades.

    I believe that the majority of people that have supported Bernie Sanders are thoughtful and focused on certain issues, but that they will recognize those issues will be far better served with Hilary at the helm. The two candidates share so many of the same goals, but differ at times on how to accomplish them. She has espoused an approach that will allow success, perhaps not all at once, but that would actually accomplish something. Given her history, her extensive accomplishments, her passion for making a difference in the world, and her commitment to public service, I think that those people who have not fully embraced her yet will be very pleasantly surprised under a Hillary Clinton presidency.

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    In short, now is the time for all of us to get excited about the opportunity to have a caring, compassionate and dynamic leader for the Democratic Party. Those of us who have been supporting Hillary for longer than just this election cycle certainly share that vision. As a young lawyer, I looked up to her as somebody who was making a difference in the world with all of her activities on behalf of children. This was when she was selected as one of the top 50 lawyers in the country because she was making a real difference in the lives of those without a voice in the political process.

    Many have not understood how excited supporters like myself are to see Hillary Clinton at the top of the ticket. She is a woman with such strong accomplishments, and who has been an advocate and ally for our community. She has engendered the respect of leaders around the world, and has a history of getting things done. Here she is, finally being in a position to win the White House and to shatter the glass ceiling.

    Change in hearts and minds does not come easily, but by having someone of Hillary Clinton’s caliber as president of the United States, we will see the change that we want to have happen. Excitement is what will ensure victory in November. We all need to be motivated and inspired by this election and the democratic candidate, as well as excited about what a Hillary Clinton victory would mean for generations to come.

    Leslie R. Katz is a former member of the San Francisco Board of Supervisors, was the co-author of the City’s Equal Benefits Ordinance, has served on the San Francisco Democratic County Central Committee (as Chair, and as a general member), and serves on the California Democratic Party’s Executive Board. She is an attorney with a government law, policy and strategy practice, with a focus on emerging technologies.