The Gig Economy in the Age of COVID-19 - Shahid Buttar Livestream with Veena Dubal on April 22, 5pm PT

SAN FRANCISCO, April 22, 2019 — Shahid for Change, the campaign to elect Shahid Buttar, a Pakistani-American constitutional lawyer challenging House Speaker Nancy Pelosi for her seat in California’s 12th Congressional District, will host a livestream with Veena Dubal, an Associate Professor of Law at the University of California, Hastings College of the Law and an expert on the gig economy. The live stream will start at 5pm PST today on the campaign website.

According to a report this week from the San Francisco Labor Agency Formation Commission, 43% of gig workers said the major platform company they work for was doing nothing to adequately protect them and 81% report that their primary platform company is not requiring customers to report that they are sick before they accept the job. As tens of thousands of gig workers across the state of California apply to the State of California only to find the State is telling them they will have to wait for Federal dollars because Uber, Lyft et al. haven’t paid into the State Unemployment Insurance Fund, we will discuss what options gig workers have.

The conversation also takes place at a time when Uber and Lyft are spending tens of millions of dollars on a ballot initiative later this year to exempt themselves from AB5, the law that went into effect on January 1 categorizing gig workers as employees.

This conversation will provide critical analysis on what moves lawmakers and advocates should be making to support gig workers in these difficult times. We will hear from the foremost academic on the topic of gig workers and how companies are using their extensive legal and lobbying teams to ensure that workers don’t have the basic benefits afforded to them by the law.

COVID-19 forced politicians around the country to change tactics rapidly. Shahid’s campaign is doing this in creative ways, and the campaign’s already strong web presence puts it in a strong position to continue to grow the base as the lockdown in San Francisco continues into May. The campaign raised over $300,000 in Q1, putting it in a strong position to continue the challenge Nancy in November and continue to grow the progressive movement in San Francisco. Moreover, in recent weeks the campaign has received endorsements from respected local community leaders including Cat Brooks, news anchor at KPFA and Trevor Timm, Executive Director of the Freedom of the Press Foundation.


Democratic Party Announces Pre-Endorsement Conference Results Despite Election Irregularities

Pre-Endorsement Conference Ballot Skews Vote for the Incumbent by Failing to Include Accurate Name of Immigrant Candidate Advancing San Francisco’s Values

SAN FRANCISCO, 10.22.2019 — Last week, the California Democratic Party (“CDP”) announced its preliminary endorsements, falsely insinuating that Speaker Nancy Pelosi is supported by a consensus among local party delegates. While Pelosi was reportedly favored by a majority of participants in the pre-endorsement conference, the ballot was inaccurate and failed to include the name of Pelosi’s leading challenger, Shahid Buttar.

Hene Kelly, the state party’s Director for Region 6, administered the election and promised to fix an error noted by a Buttar campaign supporter. She failed to do so, and then offered comments in the press indicating her support for Pelosi. The combination of the party’s marginalization of an immigrant challenger, failure to correct a documented error, and the election administrator’s subsequent statements in the press, suggest a bias that undermines the legitimacy of the process.

Speaking to the Globe Post, Kelly was quoted as saying, “Nancy Pelosi...has been the real thing for quite a while….I’ve been with her for a long time.” (emphasis added)

“It’s one thing to make an innocent mistake with no consequence, but that doesn’t appear to be what happened here,” said Pelosi’s 2020 challenger, Shahid Buttar. “Misspelling a candidate’s name impacts the integrity of any election. Here, Ms. Kelly failed to fix the error despite notice, and then spoke out in the press about her support for the incumbent. That reeks of an unfortunate bias that undermines the legitimacy of the pre-endorsement conference results. We look forward to winning a free and fair election administered by the state rather than Pelosi’s supporters.”

Jasper Wilde, campaign manager, said “The history of institutions misspelling the names of immigrants, in particular, is a long and ugly reflection of institutional racism. As the strongest primary challenger that Pelosi has ever confronted, the state party may try to minimize Shahid Buttar, but the voters will know his name.”

The party’s announcement of a consensus favoring Pelosi corresponds to Mayor London Breed’s controversial decision to appoint career prosecutor Suzy Loftus to fill the vacancy left by former District Attorney George Gascon. Rather than allow the first race for an open seat in over a century, the Mayor leaned on the scale late in the election cycle, allowing her preference to undermine the chance for voters to express theirs.

Similarly, Ms. Kelly’s failure to correct the ballot error may appear innocuous in the abstract, but appears distinctly less so when viewed in context. Mayor Breed’s appointment of Loftus ultimately aimed to defend an establishment threatened by the candidacy of reformer Chesa Boudin. Kelly’s comments in the press supporting Speaker Pelosi suggest that the error marginalizing Pelosi’s leading challenger may have been an intentional response to Buttar’s campaign—representing the progressive future of the party in a challenge to its corporate past—gaining support among delegates.

A detailed description and outline of Shahid Buttar’s platform, as well as his background, can be found here.

About Shahid Buttar

Shahid Buttar has been building social movements and speaking truth to power for almost two decades. Since graduating from Stanford Law School in 2003, he has worked in both San Francisco and Washington as a legal advocate, a non-profit leader, a grassroots organizer, and a poet & musician. His passions have long aligned around a common purpose: building the movement to place human rights and human needs like peace and sustainability before corporate profits.

An early advocate for marriage equality for same-sex couples and a prolific organizer in the movement to end warrantless government surveillance, Shahid most recently built a national grassroots network for the Electronic Frontier Foundation as the organization’s Director of Grassroots Advocacy. He also challenged Nancy Pelosi for her seat in 2018, when he won more votes than any other challenger from the left in 10 years.

His writing has appeared in TechCrunch, Truthout, the Huffington Post, EFF’s Deeplinks blog, Project Censored, and various legal academic journals, and he has been quoted as an authority by outlets including the New York Times, CNN, the Nation, al-Jazeera, WIRED, the Washington Post, Mother Jones, Democracy Now!, the Intercept, and the Guardian US.

Interested parties can find out more at www.shahidforchange.us, or follow us on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, at @ShahidForChange.

 


Progressive Challenger Shahid Buttar Announces Record-Breaking Support in Campaign to Unseat Speaker Pelosi

Shahid for Change raised over $224,000 in its first two quarters, surpassing all progressive Pelosi challengers over the last three decades at this stage

SAN FRANCISCO, October 3, 2019 —Shahid for Change, the campaign to elect Shahid Buttar, a Pakistani-American constitutional lawyer challenging House Speaker Nancy Pelosi for her seat in California’s 12th Congressional District, today announced it has raised over $224,000 through the FEC’s Q3 deadline since launching in April 2019. The haul suggests that Buttar is mounting a more robust challenge than any that Pelosi has ever confronted.

In the 3rd quarter alone, the campaign brought in more than $150,000. To date, the campaign has received over 8,400 donations from over 5,750 grassroots donors from across the country. 99% of all contributions came from small donors (those who gave $200 or less), and the most common profession of campaign donors is tech workers. The campaign’s average contribution is $22.61.

“As an immigrant, I’ve been proud to dedicate my life and career to defending our nation’s stated values—especially in the face of rising fascism. I feel deeply grateful for the support of thousands of my neighbors and fellow Americans from coast to coast, and I’m eager to do the job in Congress that Pelosi has been so reluctant to do.” said Buttar. “We built this campaign by demonstrating solidarity with labor, and social movements defending and advancing human rights, climate justice, and universal healthcare. We’re just getting started.”

The campaign’s record-breaking haul, and remarkable number of grassroots donors, reflect its growing strength among San Franciscans, the ascendant progressive movement, and working-class Americans all over the country.

“At a time when income inequality is growing exponentially in San Francisco and across the country, it is incredibly telling that struggling people prioritize making small-dollar contributions to our campaign,” said campaign manager Jasper Wilde. “ The reason is clear: people know that our representatives are to blame for their daily suffering under late-capitalism. They are yearning for an alternative, and that’s why they are funding this campaign.”.

Notably, Pelosi’s highest-profile progressive challenger to date, Cindy Sheehan, raised $119,570 in her first two quarters during the 2008 cycle. Even after adjusting for inflation, it sits well below Buttar’s $224,000 haul. In comparison, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez brought in $38,958 during the first two quarters of her 2018 campaign.

A detailed description and outline of Shahid Buttar’s platform, as well as his background, can be found here.

About Shahid Buttar

Shahid Buttar has been building social movements and speaking truth to power for almost two decades. Since graduating from Stanford Law School in 2003, he has worked in both San Francisco and Washington as a constitutional lawyer, a non-profit leader, a grassroots organizer, a poet and musician. His passions have long aligned around a common purpose: building the movement to place human rights and human needs like peace and sustainability before corporate profits.

An early advocate for marriage equality for same-sex couples and a prolific organizer in the movement to end warrantless government surveillance, Shahid most recently built a national grassroots network for the Electronic Frontier Foundation as the organization’s Director of Grassroots Advocacy. He also challenged Nancy Pelosi for her seat in 2018, winning more progressive votes almost any other candidate in 10 years.

His writing has appeared in TechCrunch, Truthout, the Huffington Post, EFF’s Deeplinks blog, Project Censored, and various legal academic journals, and he has been quoted as an authority by outlets including the New York Times, CNN, the Nation, al-Jazeera, WIRED, the Washington Post, Mother Jones, Democracy Now!, the Intercept, and the Guardian US.

Interested parties can find out more at www.shahidforchange.us, or follow us on Twitter @ShahidforChange, Facebook, Instagram, and Reddit at r/ShahidButtar.


Progressive Challenger Shahid Buttar Secures Important Endorsements for 2020 Campaign Against House Speaker Nancy Pelosi

People for Bernie Sanders and Matt Gonzalez both Endorse Shahid for Change’s Campaign Seeking Medicare-for-All, the Green New Deal, Economic Justice, and Real Resistance to Trump 

SAN FRANCISCO, September 23, 2019 — The campaign to elect Shahid Buttar, a Pakistani-American constitutional lawyer challenging House Speaker Nancy Pelosi for her seat representing California’s 12th congressional district in 2020, today announced two important endorsements. The People for Bernie, a national grassroots organization dedicated to progressive principles, endorsed the campaign this morning. Matt Gonzalez,  former president for San Francisco’s Board of Supervisors and current Chief Trial Attorney for the city’s Public Defender’s office, also endorsed Buttar’s congressional candidacy for 2020.

“Shahid is the future we want. The depth at which he understands and fights for restorative justice is how we see our movement best represented,” said Kat Brezler, People for Bernie Sander’s co-founder. “Our position on Medicare for All and the Fight for 15 are nearly mainstream analysis now, but it’s the way Shahid sees the world as it should be not merely how it is that makes him a powerful ally and a pleasure to endorse.”

“With her recent attacks against newly elected progressive Democrats - all women of color -and her support of funding for Trump's expanded ICE raids, Nancy Pelosi continues to show how out of touch she is with San Francisco. Congressman Shahid Buttar would immediately join forces with new Democrats like Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez who want to stop the ‘appeasement of Trump’ culture in Washington and forge a new egalitarian and humanistic direction for our country,” said Matt Gonzalez.

Buttar is challenging Speaker Pelosi’s refusal to address crucial issues facing the United States, including the increasingly dire climate crisis; our broken and barbaric for-profit healthcare system; mounting wealth & income inequality; and our failed and racist criminal “justice” system. Buttar advocates for clear solutions supported by a super majority of Americans across political parties, which must be addressed by new voices in Congress.

“We are thrilled and humbled to receive these two endorsements,” said Buttar. “They reflect a growing recognition—both in San Francisco and across the country—that our current representative has failed to hold this criminal administration accountable and has enabled its worst abuses, while simultaneously failing to address the most important problems facing the country and this district. I’m eager to do the job of finally addressing these problems head on including Medicare-for-All, a Green New Deal, as well as San Francisco’s unprecedented housing crisis.”

A detailed description and outline of Shahid Buttar’s platform, as well as his background, can be found here.

Shahid wields substantial experience on issues including civil rights, civil liberties, campaign finance reform, tech policy, and foreign policy, in addition to constitutional law, antitrust law, and judicial nominations. He also has an extensive background in grassroots organizing and non-profit management, reflected in his work at the Electronic Frontier Foundation as Director of Grassroots Advocacy, and at the Bill of Rights Defense Committee (now Defending Rights and Dissent), which he led for six years as the organization’s Executive Director. He also serves on the Boards of Directors of the Center for Media Justice, the Fund for Constitutional Government, and Defending Rights and Dissent.

45 years old, Shahid has lived in the Bay Area and Washington, DC since 2000. He graduated from Stanford Law School in 2003, where he served as Executive Editor of the Stanford Environmental Law Journal and a teaching assistant for Constitutional Law. His writing has appeared in TechCrunch, Truthout, the Huffington Post, EFF’s Deeplinks blog, Project Censored, The Globe Post and various legal academic journals, and he has been quoted as an authority by outlets including The New York Times, The Washington Post, CNN, The Nation, Al-Jazeera, Wired, Democracy Now!, The Intercept, and The Guardian US.


Advocate Shahid Buttar to Challenge House Speaker Nancy Pelosi in November 2020 from the Left

Stanford-Trained Pakistani-American Lawyer to Campaign on Medicare-for-All,
the Green New Deal, Economic Justice, and Real Resistance to Trump 

SAN FRANCISCO, April 3, 2019 —Shahid Buttar, a Pakistani-American advocate with strong ties to Bay Area technology and art communities, is challenging House Speaker Nancy Pelosi for her seat representing California’s 12th congressional district in the March 2020 primary and November 2020 general election. Buttar’s entry into the race follows his emergence from the 2018 primary as Pelosi’s leading challenger from the Left.

Buttar will challenge Speaker Pelosi’s refusal to address crucial issues facing the United States, including the increasingly dire climate crisis; our broken and barbaric for-profit healthcare system; mounting wealth & income inequality; and our failed and racist criminal “justice” system. Buttar advocates for clear solutions supported by a super majority of Americans across political parties, which must be addressed by new voices in Congress.

“I’m running to represent San Francisco in the House because on many of the most pressing needs confronting our country, today’s House leadership marches in lockstep with our corrupt and criminal president, rather than demonstrating real resistance or promoting meaningful alternatives,” said Buttar. “The challenges facing working Americans have never been more daunting. Income inequality, crushing student debt, the untenable cost of for-profit healthcare, and San Francisco’s exorbitant housing market place have combined to force even middle class San Franciscans into precarity. Mass prison slavery has turned back the clock on civil rights. And climate change threatens human life on Earth. Yet House leaders have done almost nothing to address any of these critical issues.”

A detailed description and outline of Shahid Buttar’s platform, as well as his background, can be found here.

An official launch event for Shahid’s candidacy will be held this Wednesday, April 3 from 6-8 pm at 1114 Folsom in San Francisco. Details for this event can be found here.

Shahid wields substantial experience on issues including civil rights, civil liberties, campaign finance reform, tech policy, and foreign policy, in addition to constitutional law, antitrust law, and judicial nominations. He also wields an extensive background in grassroots organizing and non-profit management, reflected in his work at the Electronic Frontier Foundation as Director of Grassroots Advocacy, and at the Bill of Rights Defense Committee (now Defending Rights and Dissent), which he led for six years as the organization’s Executive Director. He also serves on the Boards of Directors of the Center for Media Justice, the Fund for Constitutional Government, and Defending Rights and Dissent.

Buttar’s 2018 candidacy was endorsed by the San Francisco Berniecrats; Progressive Democrats of America (both locally and nationally); the SF Bay Guardian; the SF Tenants Union; Vets for Bernie; and the Brownie Mary Democratic Club, in addition to Medea Benjamin, founder of Code Pink; Jason West, who helped launch the movement for marriage equality onto the national stage; State Department whistleblower and retired state judge Arthur Brennan; Trevor Timm, Executive Director of Freedom of the Press Foundation*; author Cory Doctorow; and UC-Hastings law professor and labor advocate Veena Dubal.*

44 years old, Shahid has lived in the Bay Area and Washington, DC since 2000. He graduated from Stanford Law School in 2003, where he served as Executive Editor of the Stanford Environmental Law Journal and a teaching assistant for Constitutional Law. His writing has appeared in TechCrunch, Truthout, the Huffington Post, EFF’s Deeplinks blog, Project Censored, and various legal academic journals, and he has been quoted as an authority by outlets including The New York Times, CNN, The Nation, al-Jazeera, Wired, Democracy Now!, The Intercept, and The Guardian US.

* Organizations listed for identification purposes only.