SF Berniecrats fail to rescind endorsement of Shahid Buttar

Sat, Aug 8, 2020 3:52 pm (SFBerniecrats@gmail.com)

The San Francisco Berniecrats have spent the past 2 1/2 weeks revisiting the endorsement of Shahid Buttar in light of accusations of sexual harassment by a former acquaintance and of mistreatment of his former staff. It was important to the club that the process was fair to both the accusers and the accused.

On July 22 and July 26th, the San Francisco Berniecrats Executive Board held two meetings to hear from accusers, and from Shahid himself as well as current staff. The Executive Board made a recommendation to rescind the endorsement based on a majority of votes. On August 5, the club held its General Membership meeting where both the accusers and accused testified to the club membership. The club also compiled and reviewed testimonies from both sides. There were serious concerns about Shahid creating a toxic working environment and mistreating his former staff. Some members have been concerned about the hurtful behavior exhibited by both sides of this conflict during this process.

The San Francisco Berniecrats membership was given 24 hours to cast their ballot on whether to rescind the endorsement of Shahid Buttar for Congress. As per the club’s Bylaws, it takes 60% for a candidate to receive an endorsement from the club, and ⅔ supermajority to rescind an endorsement. Ultimately 56% of members voted to rescind the endorsement, which does not meet the threshold to rescind.

Per our previous statement we felt we were not the proper body to investigate claims made by Elizabeth Croyd0n nor did we have adequate evidence to make a decision around them.The San Francisco Berniecrats condemn misogyny, racism, and all forms of discrimination, as well as disparaging, threatening, insulting, or derogatory behavior towards others. We believe that everyone should be treated with respect in all work, organizing and advocacy spaces. We support workers’ ability to organize and unionize, including campaign workers. We must commit to creating safe spaces in which people of every gender identity, race, ethnicity, religion, and ability feel comfortable working together. We must also commit to creating safe, compassionate spaces where people have the opportunity to recognize mistakes made without being attacked, and where everyone commits to listening to each other, as well as providing and receiving constructive feedback. Together, this is how we can learn and grow, and build a strong progressive movement.

Moving forward our Executive Board will meet to discuss next steps and how we work to address the concerns of the majority of our club members who voted to revoke Mr. Buttar’s endorsement and the strong minority who voted to uphold it. We recognize this is an ongoing issue and are committed to continuing to work to ensure it is addressed. Actions will continue to be taken to ensure progressives remain unified against the ruling class.

Thank You.

–San Francisco Berniecrats Executive Board
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