Bay Area Democrats skipping Trump inauguration

Several members of the Bay Area’s Democratic Congressional delegation will be joining more than 50 of their colleagues in avoiding Friday’s inauguration of Donald Trump as the 46th president of the United States.

As of Tuesday, dozens of House Democrats from around the country have said they will skip Trump’s swearing in as a protest over a number of different grievances.

Rep. Jared Huffman, D-San Rafael, said:

“Sitting passively while something really dark and dangerous begins is not something I felt I could do. … All of us, if we’re going to get through this, will have to engage in positive actions in every way we can.”

Huffman said he plans to be busy in his home district during his absence by volunteering in a flood clean-up effort and attending a naturalization ceremony for newly minted U.S. citizens, among other things.

The second-term Congressman said he is respectful of other people’s decision to attend and his office continues to work with several local constituents who are trying to secure tickets to the event.

Hoffman said:

“I would be dutifully and enthusiastically in attendance for any other person, including any other Republican I can think of.”

Barbara Lee, D-Oakland, was more blunt in her assessment of the billionaire businessman/reality-TV-star-turned-politician:

“Inaugurations are celebratory events, a time to welcome the peaceful transition of power and honor the new administration. … On January 20, I will not be celebrating or honoring an incoming president who rode racism, sexism, xenophobia and bigotry to the White House.”

Mark DeSaulnier, D-Walnut Creek, said he believes Trump will be in violation of his oath of office as soon as he takes it:

“The President-elect acknowledged, but took no meaningful steps to mitigate his many personal conflicts of interest. … It is the duty of the President of the United States to meet the minimum legal and ethical standards outlined in the Constitution. … This makes his refusal to follow the precedent set by the last four generations of presidents from both parties gravely concerning.”

Rep. Jerry McNerney, D-Stockton, said he would work with the incoming president “when possible” on the issues important to his Congressional district, but called Trump’s presidency illegitimate:

“The election of Mr. Trump lacks legitimacy due to Russian hacking, which Mr. Trump encouraged, the FBI’s biased involvement, and other irregularities, and I cannot sanction the inauguration by attending the ceremony.”

Not all Bay Area Democrats will be staying away, however.

Democratic House Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-San Francisco, will be in attendance, said spokesman Jorge Aguilar:

“She has a duty and a role and she’s a Democratic leader so she’s going to attend.”

Zoe Lofgren, D-San Jose, will also attend “in recognition of the Office of the President, not the individual who will be holding that office,” she said via Twitter Tuesday.