Done deal for Aimee?


by James Woodward

Aimee Allison's campaign party was the second one I attended tonight. Maxwell's, located four blocks away on 13th St. in Downtown Oakland, was festooned with orange balloons while a young crowd of supporters,
clad in bright orange tee shirts, stood out front to smoke. Inside people filled the dance floor as the DJ played Latin rhythms and funk. The crowd here is much younger than the Kernighan party. Everybody's having a pretty good time, although the food is gone and the drinks aren't cheap, but everybody seems to partying like it's a
done deal.

Everybody that I talked to was super energized about her campaign. Even if she doesn't win (and the numbers aren't kind to her right now) she has managed to mobilize a sizeable support crew that have gotten Oakland youth involved in what happens at city hall.

"We've brought people from across race lines, class lines, cultural lines, It was really incredible," said Naina Khanna, one of the campaign coordinators. "This is just the beginning of a new movement.
This is a campaign of passion."

I asked Khanna about allegations of voter intimidation and illegal flier distribution that a Kernighan supporter told me he witnessed outside of a polling place.

"We don't run our campaign negative," she said. "We are very aware that our campaign is part of a much bigger message."

Some in the crowd were motivated to support her for the stance she took during Bush War I, when she was discharged as a conscientious objector: a point that she used to rally her troops tonight.

"Once you fight the U.S. military, some static on lakeshore doesn't bother me," she said to a still screaming crowd.

"Everyone here has a lot of respect for her experience as a conscientious objector," said Gina Giarrusso from the League of Young Voters PAC. "The Amy thing: It's amazing"

People at the party were much looser than the polished public servants at the Kernighan party. That's not to belittle anyone, but many people who might not have normally been involved with politics took their newfound political capital to the streets. And maybe they're not as polished or polite, but they still have a voice. And victory or not,
expect to hear a lot more of it