By Josie Caballero
I ran for Congress because I believe we need a strong progressive voice who would play a leadership role in moving our country forward. After long consideration and deep reflection about the direction we must take the 53rd Congressional District, I am supporting Sara Jacobs, and I believe other progressives should as well.
This may come as a surprise to some, since Sara’s opponent is endorsed by national progressive figures that I admire and support. However, I came to this decision driven by the progressive values that my campaign focused on for the primary election.
As a veteran of the United States Navy, veterans rights are incredibly important to me. I was proud to champion and push for the Heroes’ Promise, an ambitious plan to mitigate and end veteran suicide.
On average, 20 veterans die by suicide every single day. A 2018 study showed San Diego had the highest rate in the state of California. After discussing with me the issues that veterans face, Sara has taken on the Heroes’ Promise. I know she’ll be the champion that San Diego’s veteran and military members deserve more than ever in Congress, and will focus on real efforts to solving this tragic crisis.
Sara has demonstrated her understanding of foreign policy issues and understands the urgent need for ending the wars across the world that the United States and its allies have waged. Compare that with her opponent, who said she would learn foreign policy once she got to Congress.
With everything going on, we don’t have time for someone to say, “I will learn it when I get there.” To make matters worse, her opponent has changed her position on crucial foreign policy issues depending on who is willing to fund her campaign. If you care about the United States’ role in the world, the choice couldn’t be more apparent.
While Sara’s opponent voted to increase the police budget despite 11 hours of people calling in asking for the opposite, Sara unapologetically supports the Black Lives Matter movement. I know Sara will always fight against police brutality and follow the lead of all the incredible Black community activist leaders on the ground.
Sara will stand with the Black and Brown people that are being abused and killed. Sara has supported the Black Lives Matter movement long before it became politically advantageous. Sara will always listen and be accountable to the people.
Which brings me to my final and most important point.
Sharing the debate stage with Sara Jacobs was a stirring experience because she has been consistent on the essential progressive issues of our time — Medicare for All, Green New Deal and Student Loan Debt Forgiveness.
Trust me, I was as surprised as you may be. I firmly believe that the existence of billionaires is a policy failure, and the accumulation of wealth is the single biggest issue facing our country right now.
When Sara first entered the race after Susan Davis retired, I wrote her off as an entitled heiress, just another political opportunist looking for the next step up. But after months of being on the campaign trail with her, I can tell you unequivocally that Sara is in this race for the right reasons.
She understands the policy, she understands what needs to be changed, and most importantly, she listens. She is not beholden to anyone except the constituents of the 53rd district.
Our progressive movement needs people like Sara that stand true to our values.
I have personally heard Georgette Gomez say one thing to a progressive crowd, and exactly the opposite behind closed doors when she needed a group’s money. She’s changed her position on Medicare for All depending on whom she is talking. She is wholly beholden to the Democratic Establishment and the lobbyists who fund her campaign while having business in front of the City Council.
Sara Jacobs has not strayed from the critical issues to score cheap political support from “middle ground” organizations. Sara Jacobs is the only candidate in November that has not strayed from our progressive values, and we need her fighting for our progressive values in Congress more than ever.
Sara is someone we can trust. If you consider yourself a progressive, I hope you’ll join me in supporting her.
Josie Caballero, a Democrat who ran for the 53rd Congressional District seat as Jose Caballero, is a University Heights resident.
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