Carrying the Torch

If you’re reading this blog, there’s a fair chance that you’re carrying the torch for Bernie. He didn’t get enough votes; he won’t be the nominee; he himself has said he’ll be voting for Clinton in the general. But he came close, so close…and the very fact that he did what he did, that his numbers were as good as they were, will drive the Democratic party’s agenda towards progressivism. Maybe even the Republican platform too: Bernie’s electorate has been revealed as a potent force, waiting for a candidate to channel it.

That force is you. And you have a chance to elect one such candidate right here in LA.

That candidate is Josef “Joe” Bray-Ali, proprietor of this blog and the Flying Pigeon LA bike shop. While the incumbent in Council District 1, Gil Cedillo, mouthed support for Bernie, his actions have spoken so much louder than his words, and he is a reactionary, not a progressive.

Joe, however, is the real thing. He’s not carrying the torch for Bernie; he is the torch, and he can light a fire that will illuminate LA’s better future, if he is elected.

Joe is so much more than “the bike guy” that too many people know him as. (If you want the bullet-point rundown of Joe’s strengths and positions, see my post from last week, Push Comes to Shove. The full-on campaign website will be up in a few more days, with a detailed platform, and will of course be announced right here.)

He’s perfect for the district: he’s the son of an immigrant father and a native-born mother; his beautiful wife Susan is also biracial; his daughter has lived her whole life in the district. He’s been a community organizer; he supports human-scale development in a district threatened by gentrification; he supports safe streets in neighborhoods where blood runs in te gutters all too often. And Joe is looking to finance his campaign with contributions from the everyday people of the district, just as Bernie did.

He has a chance. The Green Party became a real force in German by starting small, at the local level—and now Germany is the cleanest industrialized nation of all, as well as one of the richest: just a week or so ago, the entire country ran on 100% renewable energy for over a day, factories and all.

It all starts at the neighborhood level. Contribute what you can to the campaign!

If it’s money you have to give, go to and spill a few bucks for the future.

If it’s time you have more of, go to and sign up.

Bernie’s loss this time around wasn’t the end of the effort. It was only the beginning. Walk the walk, talk the talk, and win big here in CD1. The times, they are a-changin’.

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