Democratic gubernatorial nominee Jerry Brown started his three-day, 12-city “Let’s Get California Working Again Tour” early this morning by rallying about 100 supporters in his campaign headquarters, located in a building he owns in the bustling loft district near Oakland’s Jack London Square.
Brown said he bought the building in the early 1990s, and later built the loft/work building around the corner in which he lived for some years. Other local property owners dissuaded him from putting an extra story on that building, saying the area couldn’t support the density and traffic; today, new residential loft buildings tower over Brown’s.
“It taught me that sometimes you’ve got to listen, but sometimes you’ve got to roll over the opposition,” he said, and that’s the philosophy he would take to Sacramento to create jobs in any way possible.
He also cited Oakland’s Fox Theater – a circa-1928 movie house that was refurbished and reopened last year as a live entertainment venue, in which he’ll hold his Election Night party – as an example of respecting tradition while looking to the future, “a continuous flowering of what was, what is and what will be.”
“I don’t want things to be too new, because I’ve been around for a while,” he quipped.
Brown reiterated his campaign stump message that California still has tough times ahead and will require tough decisions that makes it live within its means, but said the Golden State has the people and resources to make it work. He said the energy at this early-morning rally, at which many supporters (and reporters) arrived before dawn, felt like “a renewal of faith and enthusiasm, and that’s what we’re going to need going forward.”
“I don’t like to say the same-old, same-old, that’s why I’m always getting off script,” he said. “For me, life is a continuing discovery and a creation.”
Bound for Stockton, Merced, Fresno and Bakersfield later Saturday, and then for Eureka, Chico, Sacramento and Riverside on Sunday, Brown said he intends to “speak the truth, tell it like it is, straight talk” with “optimism … but a sober assessment of what’s ahead.”
Brown was introduced at Saturday morning’s rally by Rep. Barbara Lee, D-Oakland, who called him “a visionary.”
Earlier, Lee had told reporters that “Californians get it, they understand that we here in California lead in every area in terms of our country” and “want to cast their vote on behalf of the future rather than for the failed policies of the past … They do not want any corporate takeover of California.”
“Money should not be the driving force” in a democratic government, she said. “Elections cannot be bought.”
As for whether Democrats will retain control of the House of Representatives, Lee said, “the American people understand what’s at stake” and now it’s just a matter of turning out enough first-time, young and minority voters. “I’m not willing to accept anything yet, we’re still working hard to get every voter to the polls.”