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October 2000

Linda Remy Pushes For Independent Assembly Candidate


In the June 2 open primary, Marin and Sonoma voters chose from among a Libertarian, a Republican, a Republican in Democratic clothes (Joe Nation), and seven other Democratic candidates for the 6th Assembly District. Too many choices split the vote. Joe Nation became the Democratic nominee, receiving 20% of total votes and only 27% of Democratic votes. Among Democrats, the other high-vote candidates were Carol Hayashino, Frank Egger, and Barbara Heller.

To the chagrin of friends and allies who are registered in other parties across the political spectrum, I am a proud Democrat who almost always votes a straight Democratic ticket. But sometimes, when I absolutely cannot support a candidate, I look for someone who more closely represents my views. For the November ballot, I have decided to work hard to get registered nurse Anna Nevenic elected as an independent for the 6th Assembly District.

In a surprising strategic move last January, Anna Nevenic filed as an independent to preserve an option for voters. Had Carol Hayashino, Barbara Heller, or Frank Egger won the primary, Anna would have supported the winner. She waited for the outcome of the June primary before doing anything more.

To be on the ballot, an independent candidate has to get thousands of signatures from registered voters, a daunting task. After the election, Anna waited until Carol and Frank decided not to pursue write-in campaigns before starting signature gathering to qualify for the ballot. I was prepared to work hard for Carol or Frank, and I was among those disappointed by their decision.

Anna and her team got thousands of signatures from every community in the 6th Assembly District. The most common reason for signing her petition was that voters did not want Joe Nation to represent them. The Voter Registrar notified Anna on August 14 that 92% of her signatures were valid and that she will be on the November ballot. Any team that gets thousands of signatures by standing on the street for weeks in the heat and cold and wind and rain and fog has a viable candidate. Remember the 1996 campaign for the Marin Healthcare District? I know this up close and real personal.

Who is Anna Nevenic? She worked for 20 years as a nurse at UCSF and other hospitals. She has been involved in community organizations fighting homelessness, crime, mental illness, and other problems, and was a founder and Executive Director of a non-profit organization aimed at preventing illiteracy at an early age. In addition to her nursing degree, she has a Bachelors Degree in Political Science and did graduate work toward a Masters Degree in Political Science from San Francisco State University, and holds a Political Science teaching credential for State Community Colleges. A long-time Marin resident, her son attended Kentfield schools and now is a Stanford University senior.

Anna has been politically active for years. She interned with Senator Milton Marks and worked thousands of hours as a Democratic Party volunteer. In 1992, she ran a grass roots campaign as a Democratic candidate for US Congress, 6th California District. Anna worked hard, spent very little, and received close to 7,000 votes in a crowded field of nine candidates. In fact, she got more votes than Joe Nation and David Strand, who each spent a LOT of money and campaigned for over a year.

As a nurse, Anna's top legislative priority is to get universal healthcare so all California residents have access to this basic right. As an educator, Anna wants more affordable, adequately staffed, and appropriately credentialed preschool and daycare centers. She will improve education by reducing classroom size for all grades. She will crack down on the interrelated problems of drugs and crime by seeking more money for prevention, education, and drug rehabilitation, and less money for prison construction. Anna will work with like-minded legislators to develop campaign finance solutions that will pass Supreme Court tests without harming our First Amendment right to free speech. She supports strong environmental protection because she knows that a declining environment negatively impacts our health and the health of the planet. Anna believes in reproductive choice without qualification and strongly opposes discrimination in every form.

At a healthcare election forum I attended this spring, all Democratic candidates except Joe Nation favored universal healthcare. Joe told a Living Wage proponent that "People deserve what they earn." In his work on the Marin Water District Board, Joe's positions have put off many environmentalists, yet environmentalism has been seen as his "strong suit." We cannot hope to get universal healthcare, safe hospital staffing, better education for our children, campaign finance reform, environmental protection, or a living wage if we are represented by someone who received enormous contributions from insurance companies, HMOs, pharmaceutical companies, the hospital industry, builders, and big business.

Anna is once more running a real grass roots campaign, this time as an independent. She has a well thought-out strategy with a strong volunteer team. We are going to visit every voter household, attend every community event, and host local events. We will distribute thousands of flyers throughout the District. For example, Anna's volunteers distributed over 10,000 flyers since Labor Day at events throughout the 6th District. Anna will send few mailers and run minimal ads. Because of her concerns about campaign finance reform, she is limiting donor contributions. This is a lean campaign with a consistent vision.

To beat Joe Nation and his corporate money machine, Anna needs your help. Please join me in Anna's campaign to represent the 6th Assembly District of Marin and Sonoma. Call her today to volunteer to distribute flyers and make phone calls (1-800-274-3840). Write your own letter or use mine and send it to your friends. The campaign can send you electronic copies of its materials. (email: [email protected]).

If we each do these things, Anna Nevenic has a real chance to win. Then we can have someone in the California Assembly who truly represents positive change for all 6th Assembly District residents.

Linda Remy, MSW, PhD

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