In L.A.’s CA-30… Maebe For Sure

I live in a very progressive congressional district in Los Angeles, CA-30. It includes, Hollywood, Burbank, Los Feliz, Silverlake, West Hollywood, East Hollywood, Atwater, Hancock Park and Glendale. The PVI is D+23 and the partisan lean is D+45. Biden beat Trump 72.2% to 26.0%. In the 2022 congressional race, two Democrats won slots in the run-off— incumbent Adam Schiff and progressive challenger Maebe A. Girl, beating out Republican Ronda Kennedy. Maebe brought in over 21,000 votes in that primary. 

Democratic primary winners in that year’s primary who won included these 5 who were all heavily favored by the establishment and went on to lose in November:

• Robert Zimmerman in NY-03 with 9,482 votes
• Lauren Gillan in NY-04 with 12,432 votes
• Max Rose, a former Congressman, in NY-11 with 15,871 votes
• Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney in NY-17 with 21,525 votes
• Francis Conole in NY-22 with 10,644 votes

Dan Goldman is now serving in Congress but when he ran in 2022, he took just 16,686 votes to win. And Hakeem Jeffries, now the top Democrat in the House had a contested primary, which he won— with 22,196 votes, approximately the same number of votes as Maebe.

Schiff is gigantically popular in the district and he won the runoff but when he announced he would run for the open U.S. Senate seat, Maebe was in a unique position to run again.

Over a dozen other candidates have since jumped into the race, none nearly as progressive as Maebe and some quite conservative for a progressive district, like state Senator Anthony Portantino, charter school whore Nick Melvoin, former L.A. City Attorney Mike Feuer, wealthy right-wing actor Ben Savage and crackpot MAGA activist Johnny Nalbandian.

Maebe is the obvious candidate for progressive groups and both Blue America and Catch Fire have endorsed her. In 2022 the local Feel the Bern chapter did as well, and probably will again.

But for most national groups and national politicians, even the most progressive… find endorsing a trans-woman just too difficult. I’m not accusing anyone of homophobia or even transphobia but Maebe is a 3-time local at-large elected official in Silverlake and her platform is the best of any candidate in the congressional race. So what’s the problem?

Last month, I posted Maebe’s platform on my Facebook page. Someone’s comment has had me thinking since then. He wrote “I like the platform and would certainly consider a challenge to Schiff whose major celebrity value seems to be performative. ‘We’re doing all we can,really.’ I wish it was not in the mask of a joke candidate which is still not possible to seriously vote for. I’d like it if they were willing to go to office.”

First of all, Schiff isn’t running again. Second of all… there is nothing about Maebe that is “a joke candidate.” Quite the contrary… unless being a transgender person is somehow “a joke.” I hate to think any of my Facebook friends would think something like that. But it’s a steep hill that Maebe has to contend with constantly— although not as constantly as the outpouring of anti-trans hatred she has to contend with as a candidate.

Last Tuesday the Glendale Unified School District voted unanimously to recognize June as pride month— just like most school boards in the area have— and just like the Glendale school board has done for the last 4 years. But this year there was a problem: violent, hate spewing Proud Boys and other bigots decided to inject themselves into the process.

Maebe was at the school, “supporting,” she wrote, “the majority of parents who attended the meeting to speak out against anti-LGBTQ+ hate. ‘As an actual parent, I felt that I had to be here because a lot of the opposing people don’t believe that I exist,” said one parent of a queer middle school student.”

While the violence escalated outside, the police told us to stay inside the building. We later left the building with an escort and departed safely. But Proud Boys continued to march through Glendale.
I’m so proud of my community for standing up to hate today: the brave parents who spoke up at the school board meeting, and the board members who didn’t let the intimidation get to them.

The only folks we don’t tolerate are intolerant people.
But it’s scary that the backlash to our basic human rights is becoming so visible, so physical, even in communities we generally consider progressive like Los Angeles.
I also thank my Congressman Adam Schiff, who represents Glendale, for speaking out against the violence against our LGBTQ+ community.

…I was once a queer youth. I remember how ostracized and discriminated against I felt in a school environment, since most people at the time were not in support of LGBTQIA+ people.
I don’t want any person to experience that ever again.
So, to transphobes and hate groups, I say this: leave queer kids alone.
In solidarity,
Maebe Pudlo


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