A memo to constituents of Rep. Nancy Pelosi

Pub date December 15, 2006
SectionBruce Blog

By Bruce B. Brugmann

To fellow San Franciscans:

Now that even the San Francisco Chronicle/Hearst has declared in a lead front page story that Pelosi will legislate
“from the middle,” the Guardian recommends at minimum three specific proposals for her constituents to push theincoming speaker of the house to do to seriously represent San Francisco values.

l. Pelosi needs to allow Congress to start impeachment proceedings against President Bush and Vice-President Cheney. Bush has rejected the modest recommendations of the Iraq Study Group and Friday’s New York Times reported in one story that Sen. John McCain as saying in Baghdad that the “military considers sending as many as 35,000 more U.S. troops to Iraq” and another story that “Top commanders appear set to urge larger U.S. military.” Only impeachment proceedings will provide the leverage to halt the terrible losses of blood and treasure. See current Guardian editorial link above “Impeachment is now the only option.”

2. Pelosi needs to use the power of her new office to help pass a federal shield law that would uphold the rights of journalists and news outlets to protect the identity of their sources and to keep possession of their unpublished/unaired material. In the meantime, she needs to help push the Bush administration to stop wrongfully persecuting Joshua Wolfe, a 24-year-old freelance videophotograher now in federal prison in Dublin for refusing to give up his unedited tapes of a 2005 demonstration in San Francisco. He is the only journalist in jail in the U.S., has been in jail longer than any U.S. journalist ever and may stay in jail until the new federal grand jury is impaneled next July. She ought to also help push the Bush administration to hold its fire against two reporters from the Chronicle who face l8 months in jail for refusing to reveal the sources of a grand jury investigation in the Balco scandal. My feeling is that these abusive actions against the press in San Francisco by the Bush adminstration have targeted our city because of its San Francisco values, in this case its tradition of dissent and anti-war activity. Pelosi could start on this issue and promote lots of good will by meeting with the mother and supporters of Wolf. (See link below.)

3. Pelosi needs to introduce and push a a bill to eliminate the Presidio Trust, return the land to the National Park Service where it belongs, and overturn the precedent that is leading to a conservative movement to privatize the National Park system. She made the original mistake of leading the move to privatize the Presidio, on the phony argument of saving it from the Republicans, but now her Democrats are in power and it is time for her to right the wrong. Otherwise, the private Presidio Trust will keep asking for and getting tens of millions of federal money to subsidize a private, commercially driven, ruinous park operation, without sunshine and accountability, without any city zoning control, in growing opposition to neighborhors. Most important, the Pelosi park principle will further fuel the move to privatize the national park system. In effect, Pelosi created the model for the theft of one of our greatest resources, the national park system. (See Guardian editorial link, “A key test for Pelosi.”)

These are some real San Francisco values for Pelsoi to support. If she doesn’t, she risks leaving a legacy for failing to stop the Iraq War and selling off the Presidio and establishing the precedent for selling of our national parks. B3, celebrating San Francisco values since l966

PS: How to help Josh after the jump