Politics, government and public life for Southern California

Meet a pair of California DNC delegate brothers who want a more progressive party

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46527 full

They look alike, they talk alike, and though they're not twins, they are united in a mission: move the Democratic Party farther to the left.

Delegates David Atkins of Ventura and Dante Atkins of Los Angeles say they’ve always had political inclinations. David said they were “always excited to get our sample ballots from the time we were 12 years old. And we would go and mark them up. It was hilarious.”

The pair started writing their opinions online about a decade ago, then got involved with Howard Dean's presidential campaign. Since then, the duo has been working within the party itself, trying to embody what Dean described as the “Democratic wing of the Democratic Party.” David expresses frustration at what he calls “old school” local party structure that rarely champions progressive values.

Dante said it’s not just the local party — there are “too many” Democrats at all levels who believe that “where they need to be is the mushy middle.” He dismisses that as “Republican Lite.”

But the pair are happily trying to change hearts from within, joining fellow California delegates at the Democratic National Convention.

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