Kucinich Kicks off Presidential
Campaign in Bay Area
By Adeel Iqbal
Kucinich with members of the community in
CA: Democratic presidential candidate Dennis Kucinich kicked
off his San Francisco Bay Area tour Saturday, April 7 at the
home of Taj and Qamar Noori, both pioneers of the area’s
Kucinich, who represents Ohio’s 10th district in the
House, opened his address by encouraging the celebration of
diversity and culture as a means to attain peace. About 50
local residents, many of whom were Muslim, attended. “It
is so important to remember the first motto of the United
States,” Kucinich said. “E Pluribus Unum. Out
of many, one.”
With his wife Elizabeth at his side, he said building community
through the sharing of personal stories is the first step
toward cultivating understanding and appreciating diversity.
He spoke of his humble beginnings in Ohio. By the age of 17,
he had lived in 21 different places “and a couple cars”
as his parents had trouble locating a landlord who would accommodate
their seven children.
Kucinich pitched himself as the “no-strings-attached”
candidate, citing a decision to refrain from pursuing campaign
funds from large investors.
“Congressman Kucinich can’t be bought,”
said Sharon Jimenez, who is with the Kucinich campaign.
The candidate briefly touched on current controversial topics
such as diplomacy with Iran, the Palestine-Israel conflict
and immigration reform. Iran, he said, was not more than a
communication problem and that he would have diplomatic relation
with Iran if elected President.
“The first thing you do not do (in a conflict) is put
your gun on the table. In truth, our foreign policy is handled
that way,” he said. “We need to demystify international
relations. It’s how you should treat your neighbor.”
When questioned on Israel, he made it clear that “the
big road to peace is through Jerusalem.”
“We need to be compassionate about Israel’s right
to survive as well as economic and social justice for the
Palestinians,” he said. “We need a President who
understands that unfortunately it’s hard to talk about
peace when you have a 25-foot wall.”
he said, are also not the solution for immigration problems
in the United States.
Although Kucinich said the flow of people in and out of the
country needs to be regulated, a wall between the North and
the South is the complete antithesis to Reagan’s call
in the 1980s for the Soviet Union to tear down the Berlin
Wall between East and West Germany.His message resonated with
“It is my privilege to stand with someone whose values
are close to my own,” said event organizer and community
leader Samina Faheem Sundas, who introduced Kucinich. “He
told me five years ago that he is a candidate for all, not
just for a single group. And he has kept that promise by saying
no to the USA Patriot Act, being a strong voice against the
war and promoting a US department of peace and nonviolence.”
Los Altos resident Kevin O’Reily said he appreciated
Kucinich’s frankness. “What you see is what you
get. That’s what he’s about and it doesn’t
change,” he said.
But while attendees offered praise of Kucinich and his stances,
most were cognizant of the candidate’s uphill campaign
battle. “Although he might not be thought of as the
number one candidate, he does bring some issues to light,
like bringing our troops home and having more ethical and
moral diplomatic relationships with other countries,”
said UC Irvine student and Fremont native Atif Kamran.
After his stopover in the Bay Area Saturday, Kucinich headed
up the coastline to the Pacific Northwest before spending
the middle of the week in Hew Hampshire.
He is slowly adding to his “Be one of a million”
campaign to garner $50 each from one million people across