I cannot Support Rachel Barnhart

I really wish that I could support Rachel in her primary battle against Assemblyman Harry Bronson.  The reason I cannot is because of her record and the personal interactions I have had with her.

Rachel has been touting her record as a progressive, her career as an investigative journalist and her desire for a more transparent political process.  The problem is she has rarely walked the walk when it comes to the platform she has put forth.

Has Rachel been transparent in regards to her work as a journalist?  She claims to be a progressive, but is she really?  When Emily Good was arrested for filming a police officer she was silent.  I contacted her personally and asked her to cover the story.  I thought the story (which turned into a national news story) merited more attention than it was getting and when I approached Rachel over twitter she said “no thank you”.  She knew Emily Good because she is a longstanding activist in the community and Rachel felt that a person who was so vocal on urban issues “had it coming” and that even though the interaction between police and Emily Good was filmed Rachel felt the story was lacking.  She was wrong and her track record shows a clear bias against activists who are attempting to make the community better.  The Occupy movement and Black Lives Matter may be fads, but underneath the hype is a clear desire for under-served populations to be heard and recognized.  Rachel would rather focus her efforts elsewhere whereas Harry Bronson has put his money where his mouth is.  He’s owner of Equal=Grounds, a cafe that caters to the LGBTIQ community and its supporters.  He did this long before the issue of gay rights was a public conversation and he was one of many elected representatives who spoke out in favor of marriage equality on the local, state and national level.  Where was Rachel’s stories on marriage equality?  Did she march in solidarity with us at the protests and pride marches and organizing meetings?  No she did not.

Rachel has spoken out in favor of marijuana legalization, equal pay for equal work and pledges to support our ailing population, but isn’t ethics a life long pursuit?  Where is her activism on these issues prior to her pursuit of elected office?  Rallies occur every year on these very issues and yet I can find no record of her ever speaking at one, or marching or participating in any way.  Yet now that she wants your vote she’s willing to support issues that she has no track record of supporting.  Whereas Harry Bronson does have a track record on marriage equality, family leave and a host of other issues.

For these reasons and others I cannot support Rachel and it truly pains me as a suffragette to say so.  I want more women in elected office, but gender is not the most important factor.  I want a person in elected office who is an activist for people who do not have a voice and who is willing to risk on behalf of others.  Bronson has taken risks for his community.  Rachel has not.