Why is Chronicle Columnist David Talbot Attacking Democrats?

We founded the United Democratic Club at the start of this year with the goal of promoting Democratic values and helping people in our community. We are proud of all the work we have done to achieve those goals, and we’re committed more than ever to protecting people threatened by the incoming Trump administration.

That’s why it is disheartening to see David Talbot use his second ever column in the San Francisco Chronicle to attack our club and substitute his opinion for facts.

We spoke with Mr. Talbot to share the full story about our work, yet he still failed to share any of that with his readers. Had he communicated our record of working in the community with the Kennedy family, we believe that they would be supportive of our mission to honor the legacy of Robert F. Kennedy.

We honor Robert F. Kennedy’s legacy and chose him as our namesake because he is the embodiment of how to roll up one’s sleeves and do the hard work to make a difference. Our commitment to the principle of service is real: our 225 members hosted 43 events in 2016, which included community service volunteer days, panels, forums and educational seminars. We held regular book club meetings, and happy hours and trivia nights to make all members feel welcome. Here are the groups and service efforts our members supported in 2016:

  • Project LEVEL
  • Generation Citizen
  • Meals on Wheels
  • Hamilton Family Center
  • National AIDS Memorial Grove
  • Glide
  • San Francisco Public Works Cleanup Day
  • The Boys and Girls Clubs of San Francisco

We step up when it’s time to do the work necessary to protect important Democratic values — anywhere they are under threat. In 2016, we activated our members to phone bank for Hillary and sent canvassers to Nevada. Recently, we hosted a phone bank for Foster Campbell in the Louisiana Senate runoff race.

In 2017, our goal is to build on this success and support people in need who may be under attack by a Trump administration, and we’re evaluating opportunities to invest in races and causes in states less reliably blue than California. We’re beginning a dialogue with people across the San Francisco political landscape to join the fight for San Francisco values locally, statewide, and nationally.

Columnists are expected to have an opinion, but it is not productive for Mr. Talbot to use his platform at the San Francisco Chronicle to attack fellow Democrats when there is so much we should be doing together to ensure social justice prevails for all Americans.

The United Democratic Club was founded on the premise that we are Democrats willing to do the work. We are making a difference in the world, and we are here to stay and keep growing. We fight for progressive values and to make sure San Francisco continues to be a place people across the world can look to for leadership and open arms. We encourage others to join us.


The Board of the United Democratic Club