Marcy Winograd has strong words for Democratic Congresswoman Jane Harman: "She is pro-war and has voted for the Patriot Act three times. Do we really need her in Congress?"

Winograd, 52, is a grassroots activist who has just won a stunning victory in her challenge for Harman's southern California Congressional seat. In a district pre-endorsement meeting, Winograd won 35% of the delegate vote, denying Harman the 70% she needed to enter the statewide Democratic convention with a clear home district endorsement.

"It's almost unheard of for a six-term Congressional incumbent to walk into the Democratic party convention without a pre-endorsement," says Winograd. "Harman can't possibly feel like she has the backing of the people of the district."

Winograd is co-founder of the California Election Protection Network, a statewide grassroots organization formed when election protection activists met in Sacramento to protest the confirmation of Bruce McPherson as California's Secretary of State. As President of the Los Angeles chapter of the Progressive Democrats of America, Winograd is now urging McPherson to abandon an exact voter ID match system that could disenfranchise thousands of voters. "If I register at the DMV as Marcy Winograd, but register to vote as Marcy A. Winograd, I may not be able to vote in my own congressional race."

Winograd's opponent is the ranking Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee. Incumbent Harman has a large war chest of well over $500,000 and strong backing from the conservative Democratic machine. The district, which includes San Pedro, Wilmington, Torrance, Manhattan and Redondo Beach, Venice, and parts of west Los Angeles is considered a safe Democratic district, gerrymandered in 2000 to ensure a Democrat takes the congressional seat. Will it be a Bush Democrat Jane Harman or a progressive Democrat Marcy Winograd?

Winograd thinks it could be her. "People are tired of a lack of strong leadership. They want to bring our troops home. They want someone to stand up to the reckless Bush agenda of eternal war and militarism, suspension of due process and dissolution of the Constitution. I will have the courage to advocate for the people and protect our democracy."

A teacher and leadership coach in the public school system, Winograd has long been active in teachers' union politics. She decided to run when she saw Harman saying on Meet the Press that she opposed those who leaked news of Bush's illegal warrantless wiretap program. Though a trained lawyer, Harman questioned whether Bush had broken the law.

Winograd has gotten a letter of endorsement from anti-nuclear leader Helen Caldicott, and has been joined by long-time activist Tom Hayden in walking her district. "By and large Democratic party leadership has not stood up to Bush. But we the people are not afraid. I hope to be carried to Washington on the shoulders of the peace and justice movement. This is a grassroots effort all the way."

On Monday Winograd will face a crucial meeting of the local Sierra Club, which may be poised to endorse Harman. "Harman is doing an amusing dance right now," says Winograd. "She's trying to portray herself as a progressive, when she's actually one of George W. Bush's favorite Democrats. She has repeatedly cancelled meetings with grassroots peace organizations, and continues to support the war. She wants to militarize space, supports the Patriot Act, voted for the bankruptcy bill and still has not signed on to Congressman John Conyer's bill for universal single-payer health care."

In the 1970s Winograd worked as news director for Pacifica's KPFK and reported for local NPR stations. As a teacher she has staged counter-recruitment leafleting actions to warn students of the myths of military recruitment and helped develop curriculum to accompany Hiroshima/Nagasaki photo exhibits at local schools.

"We can win this seat for the peace and justice movement," she says. "Visit me at"