“I’m running for Congress because I can’t watch America’s constitutional crisis from the sidelines. San Francisco’s representative in Washington talks about resistance, but having been in the House for 30 years, she has become a pillar of the Washington establishment. Even worse, she has repeatedly caved under this maniacal President and compromised our rights…. Watching our representative in San Francisco hand expanded domestic surveillance powers to the Trump administration in January 2018 was too much for me to bear.”
— Shahid Buttar in A Fresh Voice for San Francisco
Shahid’s been on the front lines of the fight against warrantless surveillance since even before Get FISA Right started in 2008. He worked very closely with us during his years at Bill of Rights Defense Committee – and with other grassroots civil liberties organizations like Restore the Fourth. More recently, he’s been at EFF and on the board of Center for Media Justice. Now, he’s taking things to the next level and running for Congress in San Francisco … for the seat currently held by Nancy Pelosi.
Every Member of Congress had the opportunity to decide whether to protect Americans’ privacy, and shield vulnerable communities from unconstitutional targeting, or to leave broad spying authority in Trump’s—and Jeff Sessions’—hands.
A surprising number of Republicans opposed a straightforward FISA reauthorization bill this year – enough that there was a chance to get some meaningful reforms. Instead, Pelosi and dozens of other Democrats voted to expand the NSA’s warrantless surveillance powers. Talk about caving and compromising our rights …
Of course, Shahid’s strong position on surveillance is only part of his platform; ShahidForChange.us also highlights issues like reducing government and corporate corruption, reducing military spending to save social services, and ending federal prohibition of cannabis. Still, all the polls show that the majority of Americans oppose warrantless wiretapping — and my guess is that the percentage is even higher in San Francisco. So it’s great to see a pro-civil liberties candidate making it a big part of their platform.
A few years ago on one of the Get FISA Right phone calls we were lamenting how politicians continue to shrug their shoulders at the NSA’s ongoing pattern of misleading Congress and avoiding any kind of oversight, and I remember saying “things won’t change until the civil liberties vote makes the difference in elections.” Now’s as good a time as any to start!