Endorsements

The Working Families Party

The Working Families Party

The Working Families Party is a progressive grassroots political organization. We are building a multiracial movement of working people to transform our nation to work for the many, not just the wealthy few.

WFP is made up of individual members across the country, along with our partners in unions, community organizations and social movements. We’re building durable, independent progressive power to win racial, economic, climate and gender justice. We’re a multiracial party that fights for workers over bosses and people over the powerful.

We recruit, train, and support people-powered candidates up and down the ballot and run them to win!

 

Congress

50th Congressional District

  • Elect Ammar Campa-Najjar to push CA-50 in the right direction.

    About the Position

    The United States is divided into 435 congressional districts, each with a population of about 710,000 individuals. Each district elects a representative to the House of Representatives for a two-year term. California has 53 congressional representatives. There is no term limit for this position.  

    About the District

    California's 50th Congressional District includes parts of San Diego and Riverside Counties. Republicans typically hold this district. The most recent election results show 54.6 percent of AD-52 voted for Clinton for president in 2016, and 59.1 percent of the district voted for Cox for governor in 2018.

    About the Race

    In the primary, Democrat challenger Ammar Campa-Najjar led Republican opponent Darrell Issa by a margin of 13.4 percent. Campa-Najjar’s campaign has pledged to refuse corporate PAC money. While his campaign has yet to pledge to refuse fossil fuel or police money, it has not taken such financing. Campa-Najjar’s campaign has raised $2,969,097.44, and top donors are California universities and a Democratic Party–aligned group. Issa’s campaign has raised $5,465,943.21 and is funded by corporate and investment interests, defense contractors, and energy companies.

    About the Candidate

    Ammar Campa-Najjar was born and raised in San Diego. According to campaign materials, he is running for election because he believes in a fair, just, and inclusive America and wants to carry the hard work of democracy forward.

    Campa-Najjar is a San Diego State University lecturer and the owner of a small business that helps other small businesses and nonprofits with small budgets compete against their larger counterparts. Campa-Najjar has served in a White House position in the Executive Office of the President, at the United States Hispanic Chamber of Commerce. Campa-Najjar also headed the Office of Public Affairs for the Employment and Training Administration (ETA) at the U.S. Department of Labor. In this role, Campa-Najjar successfully promoted a nationwide effort to expand and diversify the number of registered apprenticeships in America. His efforts helped American workers who were laid off, expanded aid for farmworkers, launched youth job programs, provided vocational training and rehabilitation services to those in the criminal-justice system, and advanced veteran employment opportunities.

    That said, in this second attempt at running for Congressional District 50, Campa- Najjar has fallen short in advocating for large structural health-care reform, and has said that he would have abstained from voting on impeachment. In recent weeks, Campa-Najjar provided a problematic and wandering interview to a far-right group, Defend East County. During that conversation, he was noncommittal about supporting Vice President Joe Biden, stated his support for confirming judicial nominee Amy Coney Barrett, and discussed investigating Hillary Clinton and former President Barack Obama. He has issued a public apology for his lack of judgment in participating in the interview, and has strongly condemned Defend East County for their racist threats against Black Lives Matter protesters. While Campa-Najjar has a moderate Democratic platform, and has even claimed that he would be a conservative voice for his district, he has committed to working with local organizations to navigate complex issues and bring meaningful legislation forward to benefit marginalized communities.

    Despite his more moderate perspective, Campa- Najjar is endorsed by many progressive groups in the district. The opponent, Republican Darrell Issa, is endorsed by Republican Party figures. The threat of policies from Issa, who is anti-woman, anti-LGBTQIA+, pro–border wall, and a Trump supporter, are significant and underscore the imperative that this seat be held by a Democrat. Ammar Campa-Najjar the strongest choice for equitable and representative leadership in office.

    Ammar Campa-Najjar

    Elect Ammar Campa-Najjar to push CA-50 in the right direction.

    About the Position

    The United States is divided into 435 congressional districts, each with a population of about 710,000 individuals.

    Last updated: 2020-10-26

State Assembly

State Assembly, 25th District

  • Democratic Socialist
  • Elect Alex Lee to push AD-25 in the right direction.

    About the Position

    State Assembly Members form part of the California State Legislature, and work alongside the governor to establish laws and a state budget. They hold the power to pass bills that affect public policy, set state spending levels, raise and lower taxes, and uphold or override the governor’s vetoes. The California State Assembly has 80 districts. Each represents a population of at least 465,000 Californians. Representatives are elected to the Assembly for a two-year term. Every two years, all 80 seats are subject to election. Members elected before 2012 are restricted to three two-year terms (six years) in the Assembly. Those elected in or after 2012 are allowed to serve 12 years total across both the State Senate and Assembly. This term, Democrats currently hold a two-thirds supermajority of 61 seats in the California State Assembly, while Republicans hold 17 seats. One seat is held by an Independent, and one seat is currently vacant.

    About the District

    California's 25th Assembly District includes parts of Alameda and Santa Clara Counties. Democrats typically hold this district. The most recent election results show AD-25 voted for Hillary Clinton for president in 2016, and Gavin Newsom for governor in 2018.

    About the Race

    In the primary, Democratic challenger Alex Lee trailed Republican Challenger Bob Brunton by a margin of 5.4 percent. However, this is only due to the size of the Democratic primary field, where Democratic candidates outperformed Brunton by a margin of 79.2 percent. Alex Lee’s campaign has pledged not to take money from police or fossil fuel organizations. Brunton’s campaign has not committed to any such pledges, and he has been subject to legal complaints and penalties for campaign finance violations in 2014 and 2015.

    About the Candidate

    Alex Lee is from San Jose, CA, where he returned after completing undergraduate studies at UC Davis. According to campaign materials he is running for election to address the housing crisis, improve public transportation, achieve universal health care, and build ecologically sustainable communities.

    Alex Lee is a former legislative policy advisor for State Senator Henry Stern, where he worked on legislation addressing climate change, housing, and public education. If elected, he would be the youngest state legislator in nearly a century.

    Alex Lee is endorsed by many local progressive groups in the district and has been found to be true to his pledges to refuse money from problematic sources. According to our analysis, Alex Lee is the strongest choice for equitable and representative leadership in office.

    About Courage California’s Endorsement

    After a comprehensive interview with Alex Lee, we have determined that he is committed to criminal justice reform, environmental justice, racial equity and justice, and immigrant rights. His experience in Sacramento and deep knowledge of his district, along with his pledges to refuse money from corporate PACs, police, and the fossil fuel industry are in alignment with the progressive future Courage California hopes to achieve in which special interests have no place in politics. One of the first policies he would champion as a state legislator in the 2021 session is regarding social housing, a time-tested housing solution in Europe and Asia wherein the public sector is responsible for building affordable housing, not for-profit developers. We are confident that he will co-govern in the interests of all Californians and actively fight for anti-racist legislation. Courage California is proud to endorse Alex Lee for AD-25.

    Alex Lee

    Elect Alex Lee to push AD-25 in the right direction.

    About the Position

    State Assembly Members form part of the California State Legislature, and work alongside the governor to establish laws and a state budget. They hold the power to pass bills that affect public policy, set state spending levels, raise and lower taxes, and uphold or override the governor’s vetoes. The California State Assembly has 80 districts. Each represents a population of at least 465,000 Californians. Representatives are elected to the Assembly for a two-year term. Every two years, all 80 seats are subject to election. Members elected before 2012 are restricted to three two-year terms (six years) in the Assembly. Those elected in or after 2012 are allowed to serve 12 years total across both the State Senate and Assembly. This term, Democrats currently hold a two-thirds supermajority of 61 seats in the California State Assembly, while Republicans hold 17 seats. One seat is held by an Independent, and one seat is currently vacant.

    About the District

    California's 25th Assembly District includes parts of Alameda and Santa Clara Counties. Democrats typically hold this district. The most recent election results show AD-25 voted for Hillary Clinton for president in 2016, and Gavin Newsom for governor in 2018.

    About the Race

    In the primary, Democratic challenger Alex Lee trailed Republican Challenger Bob Brunton by a margin of 5.4 percent. However, this is only due to the size of the Democratic primary field, where Democratic candidates outperformed Brunton by a margin of 79.2 percent. Alex Lee’s campaign has pledged not to take money from police or fossil fuel organizations. Brunton’s campaign has not committed to any such pledges, and he has been subject to legal complaints and penalties for campaign finance violations in 2014 and 2015.

    About the Candidate

    Alex Lee is from San Jose, CA, where he returned after completing undergraduate studies at UC Davis. According to campaign materials he is running for election to address the housing crisis, improve public transportation, achieve universal health care, and build ecologically sustainable communities.

    Alex Lee is a former legislative policy advisor for State Senator Henry Stern, where he worked on legislation addressing climate change, housing, and public education. If elected, he would be the youngest state legislator in nearly a century.

    Alex Lee is endorsed by many local progressive groups in the district and has been found to be true to his pledges to refuse money from problematic sources. According to our analysis, Alex Lee is the strongest choice for equitable and representative leadership in office.

    About Courage California’s Endorsement

    After a comprehensive interview with Alex Lee, we have determined that he is committed to criminal justice reform, environmental justice, racial equity and justice, and immigrant rights. His experience in Sacramento and deep knowledge of his district, along with his pledges to refuse money from corporate PACs, police, and the fossil fuel industry are in alignment with the progressive future Courage California hopes to achieve in which special interests have no place in politics. One of the first policies he would champion as a state legislator in the 2021 session is regarding social housing, a time-tested housing solution in Europe and Asia wherein the public sector is responsible for building affordable housing, not for-profit developers. We are confident that he will co-govern in the interests of all Californians and actively fight for anti-racist legislation. Courage California is proud to endorse Alex Lee for AD-25.

    Last updated: 2020-10-28

State Senate

State Senator, 11th District

  • Democratic Socialist
  • Elect Democratic Socialist challenger Jackie Fielder to push SD-11 toward more representation for communities that have been excluded from the policymaking process.

    Jackie Fielder was born in Long Beach and raised in Southern California. Fielder is Native American (Two Kettle Lakota and Hidatsa), Mexicana, and a queer educator and organizer. According to campaign materials, Fielder identifies as a Democratic Socialist and is running to take on the crises facing San Francisco, the country, and the planet and win back the district from corporate interests.

    Fielder got her start as an educator and organizer after graduating from Stanford. She joined the movement against the Dakota Access Pipeline on the ground. Upon her return to California, she co-founded the San Francisco Public Bank Coalition, formed to demand that the city divest its approximate $11 billion of taxpayer funds from private banks and put it into a city-owned bank that would promote community wealth building and an economy that upholds social justice and ecological sustainability. In 2018, Fielder ran the No on H campaign. Prop H was a local ballot measure proposed by the San Francisco Police Officers Association (POA) to weaken restrictions on Tasers and reduce the requirement to try de-escalation tactics before use of force. Fielder has also taught at the College of Ethnic Studies at San Francisco State University.

    Fielder’s platform supports the Green New Deal, affordable housing for all, and addressing income inequality. Her housing plan is based on the premise that the state’s housing-affordability crisis cannot be remedied by relying on real estate developers and the private market alone. She also supports a moratorium on charter schools, making public colleges tuition-free, and statewide loan-forgiveness programs.

    Fielder is endorsed by a majority of local progressive groups in the district. According to our analysis, Fielder will provide leadership for the district that works to promote the shared interests of communities that have been excluded from the policymaking process.

    Jackie Fielder

    Elect Democratic Socialist challenger Jackie Fielder to push SD-11 toward more representation for communities that have been excluded from the policymaking process.

    Jackie Fielder was born in Long Beach and raised in Southern California.

    Last updated: 2020-10-20

State Senator, 23rd District

  • Elect Abigail Medina to push SD-23 in the right direction.

    About the Position

    State senators represent and advocate for the needs of their district at the California State Capitol. They are responsible for creating legislation that addresses issues within their district, as well as voting and debating on preexisting laws. The California State Senate has 40 congressional districts. Each represents a population of about 930,000 Californians. Representatives are elected to the Senate for a four-year term. Every two years, half of the Senate's 40 seats are subject to election. Members elected before 2012 are restricted to two four-year terms (eight years) in the Senate. Those elected in or after 2012 are allowed to serve 12 years total across both the State Senate and Assembly. This term, Democrats currently hold a two-thirds supermajority of 29 seats in the California State Senate, while Republicans hold 11 seats.

    About the District

    California's 23rd Senate District includes parts of San Bernardino, Riverside, and Los Angeles Counties. Republicans typically hold this district. The most recent election results show SD-23 voted for Donald Trump for president in 2016 and John H. Cox for governor in 2018.

    About the Race

    In the primary, Democratic challenger Abigail Medina led Republican challenger Rosilicie Ochoa Bogh by a margin of 3.3 percent. Medina’s campaign has pledged not to accept any fossil fuel or police money. Bogh’s campaign has not committed to any such pledges and is backed by Big Energy donors Marathon Petroleum and Edison International.

    About the Candidate

    Abigail Medina is from Torrance, CA, and moved to San Bernardino City, CA. According to campaign materials, she is running for office to advocate for environmental protections, public health, affordable housing, and increasing access to public college.

    Abigail Medina is a member of the San Bernardino City Unified School District board, serving as the lead on budgeting and strategic planning. Under her leadership, high school graduation rates have exceeded state and county standards for the first time in over 40 years. Additionally, Medina has fought for LGBTQIA+ rights as the executive director of Inland Region Equality Network, and she served as a board member for the Center for Community Action and Environmental Justice. As a youth, Medina spent time in the foster-care system and worked as a fruit picker, experiences that informed her lifelong commitment to social services.

    Abigail Medina is endorsed by a strong majority of local progressive groups in the district. She has a detailed record of promoting progressive causes in her work and,  according to our analysis, is the strongest choice for equitable and representative leadership in office.

    About Courage California’s Endorsement

    After a comprehensive interview with Abigail Medina, we have determined that she is committed to education, criminal justice reform, environmental justice, racial equity and justice, and immigrant rights. Her experience with the SBCUSD and work as the Executive Director for IREN will bring fresh and new perspectives to the legislature on LGBTQIA+ issues. One of the first policies she would champion as a state legislator in the 2021 session is health care for all, including undocumented people. We are confident that she will co-govern in the interests of all Californians. Courage California is proud to endorse Abigail Medina for SD-23.


     

    Abigail Medina

    Elect Abigail Medina to push SD-23 in the right direction.

    About the Position

    State senators represent and advocate for the needs of their district at the California State Capitol.

    Last updated: 2020-10-30

Countywide Races

Los Angeles County

  • Non-Partisan
  • Elect George Gascón to push Los Angeles County in the right direction. 

    About the Position

    The district attorney (DA) serves as the chief prosecutor for their designated county. The district attorney’s duties include reviewing police reports, determining criminal charges, and prosecuting criminal cases. The district attorney oversees a staff of prosecutors, who are responsible for presenting cases against individuals suspected of breaking the law, initiating investigations and recommending sentencing. The district attorney holds the power to grant immunity, conduct investigations of individuals, plea bargain with defendants, and is responsible for conducting investigations into every police misconduct incident. 

    About the District

    Los Angeles County is the most populous county in the United States. It encompasses a population of over 10 million, with significant Latinx, Black, and Asian populations. Notable cities within the county include Los Angeles, Inglewood, Long Beach, and Compton. Notable issues within the county’s criminal justice system include high rates of incarceration and police brutality.  

    About the Race

    In the March 3 primary election with three candidates, challenger George Gascón qualified along with incumbent Jackie Lacey, who failed to secure over 50 percent of the vote. At that time, Gascón trailed DA Lacey by a margin of 20 percent. Since then, as a result of the recent Black Lives Matter demonstrations, DA Lacey has been under increasing pressure to account for her problematic record of not listening to community groups and failing to prosecute police officers. Several elected officials have also rescinded their endorsements of DA Lacey since the start of the demonstrations.

    Gascón’s campaign is largely funded through individual donations, as well as contributions from labor unions and law firms. He has joined forces with San Francisco DA Chesa Boudin and Contra Costa DA Diana Becton to call all DAs and DA candidates to reject police union support as a conflict of interest. Gascón has not received any police, corporate, or fossil fuel money. 

    Opponent Jackie Lacey’s campaign’s funding is mostly composed of law-enforcement contributions, including a $1 million donation from the Los Angeles Police Protective League, $800,000 from the L.A. County sheriff’s deputies, and over $100,000 from the Peace Officers Research Association of California. Unions such as the Los Angeles Police Protective League have also contributed over $1 million to an anti-Gascón PAC. This push against Gascón from law enforcement is a direct result of Gascón’s commitment toward stricter oversight of police use of force. 

    About the Candidate

    George Gascón, a Cuban immigrant and longtime Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) police officer is known as a groundbreaking progressive leader in criminal justice reform in the country. Gascón is running for district attorney in Los Angeles because he believes the way the criminal justice system operates in Los Angeles must change.

    George Gascón moved back to L.A. to run for district attorney there, leaving his role as district attorney in San Francisco, where he was appointed to the seat in 2011, and he was re-elected twice. As the San Francisco DA, Gascón led a slate of progressive reforms, including lowering incarceration rates, expunging more than 9,000 marijuana convictions dating back to 1975, and launching a first-of-its-kind website that provides data on prosecutions, caseloads, and trial outcomes to the public in order to increase accountability and transparency in the criminal justice system. 

    Gascón started his career as a cop in Los Angeles. His trajectory took him to the top of the LAPD, where, as assistant chief, he oversaw operations of more than 9,000 officers. Throughout his career, Gascón has demonstrated the ability to think in new ways about complex problems in criminal justice and to create meaningful change in the culture and operations of police departments, including the LAPD, the Mesa Police Department, and the SFPD. 

    In his role as San Francisco DA, Gascón increased the prosecution of sexual assault cases, and created response teams, education programs, partnerships, and a new law-enforcement unit focused on addressing child abuse and sexual assault. He implemented practices and resources that centered on survivors and is currently proposing policies that protect undocumented, LGBTQ, and student survivors while prioritizing cultural and linguistic competency. 

    Gascón’s priorities for Los Angeles County address issues of immigration, corruption, and climate justice. Gascón has experience prosecuting both corporations and individual polluters and has committed to protecting the environment. Additionally, Gascón promises to fight against public corruption and promote accountability among Los Angeles County officials. Gascón is committed to opposing the death penalty and the use of money bail, both of which disproportionately target Black and brown populations.

    One of Gascón’s most notable priorities is addressing police brutality and holding law enforcement accountable. This is particularly relevant, considering Los Angeles County police have killed nearly 900 people since 2000, of which a majority are Black and brown victims. Only two officers have been charged for shooting civilians while on duty. This discrepancy is largely due to incumbent DA Jackie Lacey’s failure to prosecute the officers. In nearly all 886 cases of police violence, DA Lacey deemed use of force as legally justified. 

    Gascón’s track record and position on law-enforcement accountability is rare, particularly for someone with a law-enforcement background. During his term as San Francisco DA, Gascón prosecuted more than 30 police officers for criminal conduct. In 2019, while many police, law-enforcement officials, and prosecutors fought against its passage, Gascón advocated for Assembly Bill 392, also known as the Stephon Clark Bill, or the deadly use of force bill, which created a stricter standard for police use of force. He remains the only law-enforcement official in California to advocate for this legislation; every other prosecutor, including incumbent L.A. County DA Jackie Lacey, refused. 

    Throughout all these initiatives, Gascón has demonstrated an awareness of underserved communities’ needs. His awareness of the intricacies of racial bias is necessary, now more than ever, for the district attorney’s office. That awareness, however, is not what makes Gascón an ideal choice. While critics tend to focus on his background as a police officer who rose through the ranks, it is his departure from policing in pursuit of systemic reform that sets him apart. 

    In a time of heightened injustice, Gascón stands out from other political candidates in that he has studied his past actions and outcomes, listened to communities affected by the system, and changed his views and behaviors in response to become a more effective and compassionate leader. His willingness to prosecute police brutality cases and his track record on creating solutions that have become models for criminal justice reform advocates are highlights of his case for becoming Los Angeles’s next district attorney. 
     
    Gascón is a compelling challenger to incumbent Jackie Lacey, who has consistently resisted public pressure to hold police accountable for the more than 618 people who have been killed by police in Los Angeles County since her election in 2013. According to our analysis, George Gascón is the strongest choice for equitable and representative leadership in office.

    About Courage California’s Endorsement

    After a comprehensive review of George Gascón’s record and from local partners, we have determined that he is committed to criminal justice reform, environmental justice, racial equity and justice, and immigrant rights. His experience in the community and pledges to refuse money from corporate PACs, police, and the fossil fuel industry are in alignment with the progressive future Courage California hopes to achieve in which special interests have no place in politics. Gascón’s dedication to holding law enforcement accountable for police brutality demonstrates the integrity Californians need more now than ever. We are confident that he will rule cases with equity and justice. Courage California is proud to endorse George Gascón.

    George Gascón

    Elect George Gascón to push Los Angeles County in the right direction. 

    About the Position

    The district attorney (DA) serves as the chief prosecutor for their designated county.

    Last updated: 2020-10-28

Board of Supervisor Races

Los Angeles County

  • Non-Partisan
  • Elect Holly J. Mitchell to push Los Angeles County in the right direction. 

    About the Position

    Each of the 58 counties in California is governed by a five-person board of supervisors. A board of supervisors has legislative and executive power to manage county services and resources, including courts, jails, public health, and public lands. They also have quasi-judicial powers, which gives them the right to hold hearings, conduct investigations, and make decisions in a manner similar to judicial courts. Laws passed by boards of supervisors are generally called ordinances. Because counties include both incorporated cities administered by their own city councils, as well as unincorporated areas directly administered by the county, ordinances may or may not apply in different areas of the county. Supervisors are typically ‎limited to three terms or 12 years in office total.

    About the District

    Los Angeles County is the most populous county in the United States. It encompasses a population of over 10 million, with significant Latinx, Black, and Asian populations. District 2 includes the cities of Carson, Compton, Culver City, Gardena, Hawthorne, Inglewood, Lawndale, Los Angeles (portion), Lynwood, as well as a number of unincorporated areas within the county. The five-member board of supervisors is the governing body of Los Angeles County and manages a budget of nearly $35 million annually, which they administer with the support of the Los Angeles County Chief Executive Office. 

    About the Race

    State Senator Holly Mitchell is running against opponent Herb Wesson, member of the Los Angeles City Council. According to recent polling numbers, Sen. Mitchell is leading opponent City Council Member Wesson by a margin of 13 percent, with many voters in the district still undecided.

    Sen. Mitchell’s campaign has raised $445,000 through June 2020 and has pledged to not take police or fossil fuel money. Her campaign, primarily funded by individuals, labor unions, and the campaigns of colleagues in the state legislature, has accepted several donations from corporate PACs. These PACs include Herbalife International Inc. PAC, and Enterprise Holdings, Inc. Political Action Committee, the employee PAC for the brands Enterprise Rent-A-Car, National Car Rental, and Alamo Rent a Car.

    City Council Member Herb Wesson’s campaign has raised just over $550,000 in the same period and has not pledged to avoid any types of campaign contributions. His candidacy is supported by multiple independent expenditure efforts that spent over $1.2 million on his behalf in the primary, with $715,000 coming from three police officer unions. City Council Member Wesson played the key role in passing an amendment to the Los Angeles City Charter to reduce disciplinary procedures for Los Angeles police officers. Additionally, when he served in the Assembly, Wesson received over $10,000 in contributions from the private prison industry and supported private prisons with SB297 (The bill was vetoed by former Gov. Gray Davis).

    About the Candidate

    State Senator Holly Mitchell is a third-generation Angeleno and continues to live in Los Angeles, where she serves as a state senator for California’s 30th Senate District. According to campaign materials, Sen. Mitchell is running to represent District 2 on the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors in order to meet the real needs of local communities in Los Angeles County.

    Sen. Mitchell was elected to the state Assembly in 2010 and moved to the Senate in 2013. She is currently serving her final term (2018–2022) as a state senator and is the first African American Chair of the powerful Budget and Fiscal Review Committee. During her tenure, Sen. Mitchell proposed a set of criminal justice reforms that were signed into law. The reforms consisted of 10 laws to reduce barriers for Californians affected by the criminal justice system by reducing sentence enhancements for low-level drugs, removing court fees for the innocent, sealing arrest records for people not convicted, ending the sentencing of juveniles to life without parole, and other advancements. She has been a notable progressive influence in other areas as well, with nearly 90 bills signed into law on issues that include homelessness, mental health, children’s rights, and job protections.

    In office, Sen. Mitchell has scored an overall 98 out of 100 on Courage Score, our annual analysis of legislators’ progressive voting record. Recently, Sen. Mitchell has taken a stand on a problematic statewide housing bill, working with a coalition representing low-income communities to demand stronger protections for low-income people, people of color, and other vulnerable people most strongly affected by the housing crisis.

    Courage is proud to endorse Sen. Mitchell because of her track record as a champion for underrepresented and marginalized communities in California and her reputation as a strong leader on ethics for other legislators. The Los Angeles Times described her as “the Legislature’s moral compass.” Sen. Mitchell is endorsed by a strong majority of progressive groups in the district. According to our analysis, Sen. Mitchell is the strongest choice for equitable and representative leadership in office.

    About the Misinformation

    A website and TV ads mischaracterizing Senator Mitchell have been unveiled by her opponent, Wesson. The ads accuse Sen. Mitchell of personally supporting private prisons in return for “thousands” of dollars to her campaign. Her campaign reported returning the unsolicited $1,000 in question, and her voting record in the State legislature proves she has never supported private prisons. On the contrary, Senator Mitchell’s record shows she has been a staunch advocate for criminal justice reform and decarceration. Sen. Mitchell and other advocates have encouraged Councilmember Wesson to return the money he has received from the private prison industry, but he has not done so as of Oct 16, 2020.

    About Courage California’s Endorsement

    After a comprehensive review of Holly J. Mitchell’s record and consultation with local partners, we have determined that she is committed to criminal justice reform, environmental justice, racial equity and justice, and immigrant rights. Her experience in the community and in the California State Legislature combined with her pledges to refuse money from the fossil fuel industry and police are in alignment with the progressive future Courage California hopes to achieve in which special interests have no place in politics. Mitchell’s ideas and proposals are thoroughly well-thought out and demonstrate her strong, structural grasp on the issues Californians face. We are confident that she will co-govern in the interests of all Los Angeles residents. Courage California is proud to endorse Holly J. Mitchell for Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors.

    Holly Mitchell

    Elect Holly J. Mitchell to push Los Angeles County in the right direction. 

    About the Position

    Each of the 58 counties in California is governed by a five-person board of supervisors. A board of supervisors has legislative and executive power to manage county services and resources, including courts, jails, public health, and public lands. They also have quasi-judicial powers, which gives them the right to hold hearings, conduct investigations, and make decisions in a manner similar to judicial courts. Laws passed by boards of supervisors are generally called ordinances. Because counties include both incorporated cities administered by their own city councils, as well as unincorporated areas directly administered by the county, ordinances may or may not apply in different areas of the county. Supervisors are typically ‎limited to three terms or 12 years in office total.

    About the District

    Los Angeles County is the most populous county in the United States. It encompasses a population of over 10 million, with significant Latinx, Black, and Asian populations. District 2 includes the cities of Carson, Compton, Culver City, Gardena, Hawthorne, Inglewood, Lawndale, Los Angeles (portion), Lynwood, as well as a number of unincorporated areas within the county. The five-member board of supervisors is the governing body of Los Angeles County and manages a budget of nearly $35 million annually, which they administer with the support of the Los Angeles County Chief Executive Office. 

    About the Race

    State Senator Holly Mitchell is running against opponent Herb Wesson, member of the Los Angeles City Council. According to recent polling numbers, Sen. Mitchell is leading opponent City Council Member Wesson by a margin of 13 percent, with many voters in the district still undecided.

    Sen. Mitchell’s campaign has raised $445,000 through June 2020 and has pledged to not take police or fossil fuel money. Her campaign, primarily funded by individuals, labor unions, and the campaigns of colleagues in the state legislature, has accepted several donations from corporate PACs. These PACs include Herbalife International Inc. PAC, and Enterprise Holdings, Inc. Political Action Committee, the employee PAC for the brands Enterprise Rent-A-Car, National Car Rental, and Alamo Rent a Car.

    City Council Member Herb Wesson’s campaign has raised just over $550,000 in the same period and has not pledged to avoid any types of campaign contributions. His candidacy is supported by multiple independent expenditure efforts that spent over $1.2 million on his behalf in the primary, with $715,000 coming from three police officer unions. City Council Member Wesson played the key role in passing an amendment to the Los Angeles City Charter to reduce disciplinary procedures for Los Angeles police officers. Additionally, when he served in the Assembly, Wesson received over $10,000 in contributions from the private prison industry and supported private prisons with SB297 (The bill was vetoed by former Gov. Gray Davis).

    About the Candidate

    State Senator Holly Mitchell is a third-generation Angeleno and continues to live in Los Angeles, where she serves as a state senator for California’s 30th Senate District. According to campaign materials, Sen. Mitchell is running to represent District 2 on the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors in order to meet the real needs of local communities in Los Angeles County.

    Sen. Mitchell was elected to the state Assembly in 2010 and moved to the Senate in 2013. She is currently serving her final term (2018–2022) as a state senator and is the first African American Chair of the powerful Budget and Fiscal Review Committee. During her tenure, Sen. Mitchell proposed a set of criminal justice reforms that were signed into law. The reforms consisted of 10 laws to reduce barriers for Californians affected by the criminal justice system by reducing sentence enhancements for low-level drugs, removing court fees for the innocent, sealing arrest records for people not convicted, ending the sentencing of juveniles to life without parole, and other advancements. She has been a notable progressive influence in other areas as well, with nearly 90 bills signed into law on issues that include homelessness, mental health, children’s rights, and job protections.

    In office, Sen. Mitchell has scored an overall 98 out of 100 on Courage Score, our annual analysis of legislators’ progressive voting record. Recently, Sen. Mitchell has taken a stand on a problematic statewide housing bill, working with a coalition representing low-income communities to demand stronger protections for low-income people, people of color, and other vulnerable people most strongly affected by the housing crisis.

    Courage is proud to endorse Sen. Mitchell because of her track record as a champion for underrepresented and marginalized communities in California and her reputation as a strong leader on ethics for other legislators. The Los Angeles Times described her as “the Legislature’s moral compass.” Sen. Mitchell is endorsed by a strong majority of progressive groups in the district. According to our analysis, Sen. Mitchell is the strongest choice for equitable and representative leadership in office.

    About the Misinformation

    A website and TV ads mischaracterizing Senator Mitchell have been unveiled by her opponent, Wesson. The ads accuse Sen. Mitchell of personally supporting private prisons in return for “thousands” of dollars to her campaign. Her campaign reported returning the unsolicited $1,000 in question, and her voting record in the State legislature proves she has never supported private prisons. On the contrary, Senator Mitchell’s record shows she has been a staunch advocate for criminal justice reform and decarceration. Sen. Mitchell and other advocates have encouraged Councilmember Wesson to return the money he has received from the private prison industry, but he has not done so as of Oct 16, 2020.

    About Courage California’s Endorsement

    After a comprehensive review of Holly J. Mitchell’s record and consultation with local partners, we have determined that she is committed to criminal justice reform, environmental justice, racial equity and justice, and immigrant rights. Her experience in the community and in the California State Legislature combined with her pledges to refuse money from the fossil fuel industry and police are in alignment with the progressive future Courage California hopes to achieve in which special interests have no place in politics. Mitchell’s ideas and proposals are thoroughly well-thought out and demonstrate her strong, structural grasp on the issues Californians face. We are confident that she will co-govern in the interests of all Los Angeles residents. Courage California is proud to endorse Holly J. Mitchell for Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors.

    Last updated: 2020-10-30

Merced County

  • Non-Partisan
  • Re-elect Supervisor Lee Lor to keep Merced County on the right track.

    About the Position

    Each of the 58 counties in California is governed by a five-person board of supervisors. A board of supervisors has legislative and executive power to manage county services and resources, including courts, jails, public health, and public lands. They also have quasi-judicial powers, which gives them the right to hold hearings, conduct investigations, and make decisions in a manner similar to judicial courts. Laws passed by Boards of Supervisors are generally called ordinances. Because counties include both incorporated cities, which are administered by their own city councils and unincorporated areas, which are directly administered by the county, ordinances may or may not apply in different areas of the county. Supervisors are typically ‎limited to three terms, or 12 years in office total.

    About the District

    Merced County is California's 24th most populous county. Merced County’s Board of Supervisors oversees the needs of approximately 277,680 people and manages an estimated budget of $1.3 million annually. According to the County Charter, Merced is governed by a five-member Board of Supervisors, elected at large for a staggered four-year term in their respective districts. Chairmanship is awarded by election annually.

    About the Race

    In the primary, incumbent Supervisor Lee Lor led challenger Josh Pedrozo by a margin of 9.5 percent. Sup. Lor’s campaign has raised $29,702 and has not committed to any campaign finance pledges. Pedrozo’s campaign has raised $44,518, is not committed to campaign finance pledges, and is backed by the California Real Estate PAC.

    About the Candidate

    Sup. Lee Lor, a community organizer, is a Merced County native. According to campaign materials, Sup. Lor is running for re-election to prioritize resident input and build economic capital with transparency, sustainability, and integrity.

    Sup. Lee Lor’s priorities for Merced County this term include continuing to develop low-barrier housing and expanding her “People’s Budget,” a participatory program in which residents can engage and decide how to spend a portion of the county budget. Her achievements in office include passing Measure V, an initiative to repair road infrastructure that has surpassed fundraising expectations, incorporating a nonprofit interactive children’s museum, strengthening both economic and educational opportunities in her district, and securing an additional $1 million in library funding. Lor is the first Merced County Supervisor to pay student interns.

    Prior to her election to the Board of Supervisors, Sup. Lee Lor served in several positions at the Merced County Office of Education and as a domestic violence/sexual assault advocate at Valley Crisis Center. She has a long track record of accessibility and open communication  with the populations she serves.

    Sup. Lee Lor is endorsed by many progressive groups in the district and is, according to our analysis, the strongest choice for equitable and representative leadership in office.

    Lee Lor

    Re-elect Supervisor Lee Lor to keep Merced County on the right track.

    About the Position

    Each of the 58 counties in California is governed by a five-person board of supervisors. A board of supervisors has legislative and executive power to manage county services and resources, including courts, jails, public health, and public lands. They also have quasi-judicial powers, which gives them the right to hold hearings, conduct investigations, and make decisions in a manner similar to judicial courts. Laws passed by Boards of Supervisors are generally called ordinances. Because counties include both incorporated cities, which are administered by their own city councils and unincorporated areas, which are directly administered by the county, ordinances may or may not apply in different areas of the county. Supervisors are typically ‎limited to three terms, or 12 years in office total.

    About the District

    Merced County is California's 24th most populous county. Merced County’s Board of Supervisors oversees the needs of approximately 277,680 people and manages an estimated budget of $1.3 million annually. According to the County Charter, Merced is governed by a five-member Board of Supervisors, elected at large for a staggered four-year term in their respective districts. Chairmanship is awarded by election annually.

    About the Race

    In the primary, incumbent Supervisor Lee Lor led challenger Josh Pedrozo by a margin of 9.5 percent. Sup. Lor’s campaign has raised $29,702 and has not committed to any campaign finance pledges. Pedrozo’s campaign has raised $44,518, is not committed to campaign finance pledges, and is backed by the California Real Estate PAC.

    About the Candidate

    Sup. Lee Lor, a community organizer, is a Merced County native. According to campaign materials, Sup. Lor is running for re-election to prioritize resident input and build economic capital with transparency, sustainability, and integrity.

    Sup. Lee Lor’s priorities for Merced County this term include continuing to develop low-barrier housing and expanding her “People’s Budget,” a participatory program in which residents can engage and decide how to spend a portion of the county budget. Her achievements in office include passing Measure V, an initiative to repair road infrastructure that has surpassed fundraising expectations, incorporating a nonprofit interactive children’s museum, strengthening both economic and educational opportunities in her district, and securing an additional $1 million in library funding. Lor is the first Merced County Supervisor to pay student interns.

    Prior to her election to the Board of Supervisors, Sup. Lee Lor served in several positions at the Merced County Office of Education and as a domestic violence/sexual assault advocate at Valley Crisis Center. She has a long track record of accessibility and open communication  with the populations she serves.

    Sup. Lee Lor is endorsed by many progressive groups in the district and is, according to our analysis, the strongest choice for equitable and representative leadership in office.

    Last updated: 2020-10-09

San Diego County

  • Elect Terra Lawson-Remer to push San Diego County in the right direction.

    About the Position

    Each of the 58 counties in California is governed by a five-person board of supervisors. A board of supervisors has legislative and executive power to manage county services and resources, including courts, jails, public health, and public lands. They also have quasi-judicial powers, which gives them the right to hold hearings, conduct investigations, and make decisions in a manner similar to judicial courts. Laws passed by Boards of Supervisors are generally called ordinances. Because counties include both incorporated cities, which are administered by their own city councils and unincorporated areas, which are directly administered by the county, ordinances may or may not apply in different areas of the county. Supervisors are typically ‎limited to three terms, or 12 years in office total.

    About the District

    San Diego County is California's 2nd most populous county. San Diego County’s Board of Supervisors oversees the needs of 3.3 million people and manages an estimated budget of $6.4 billion annually. According to the County Charter, San Diego is governed by a five-member Board of Supervisors, elected at large for a staggered four-year term in their respective districts. A chief administrative officer is appointed by the Board.

    About the Race

    In the primary, challenger Terra Lawson-Remer trailed incumbent Supervisor Kristin Gaspar by a margin of 11.6 percent. Lawson-Remer’s campaign has raised $633,419 and has not committed to any campaign finance pledges. Gaspar’s campaign has raised $522,602, has not committed to any campaign finance pledges, and is endorsed by the San Diego Deputy District Attorneys Association, San Diego Probation Officers Association, Deputy Sheriffs’ Association of San Diego County, San Diego District Attorney Investigators Association, Southern California Rental Housing Association, Greater San Diego Association of Realtors, and North County Realtors. In 2012, the San Diego Reader reported on a controversy surrounding Gaspar’s city council campaign, during which a series of mailers supporting her candidacy were sent to voters that purported to be from a nonprofit organization that later was found not to exist. In 2019, the San Diego Tribune reported that Gaspar attempted to secure a multimillion-dollar city contract for a nonprofit organization she worked for without disclosing her role at the organization.

    About the Candidate

    Terra Lawson-Remer, an economist, environmental attorney, community organizer, and educator, is a third-generation San Diegan. According to campaign materials, Lawson-Remer is running to improve the quality of life for all San Diegans and defend against Trump administration attacks on “our civil rights, public health and quality of life.”

    Terra Lawson-Remer’s priorities for San Diego County this term include ending sprawl development, protecting open spaces, updating the water system, and encouraging affordable housing development via a single-purpose public bank and reduced taxation/fees for buildings near public transit and work centers. She supports the creation of a social service taskforce to respond to emergency calls regarding unhoused or mentally-ill individuals, guaranteeing asylum-seekers’ legal right to counsel, and ensuring that all families have access to affordable health care and childcare. Lawson-Remer has authored a comprehensive, multistep climate-action plan for 2021–2035, with the end goal of 90 percent clean energy and significantly reduced private vehicle traffic.

    Terra Lawson-Remer served as senior advisor in the Obama Administration, developing environmental policies to cut pollution from oil drilling and mining. She has also worked with the World Bank, the Brookings Institution, and Amnesty International, and taught public policy at The New School and University of California--San Diego. Her scholarship and journalism has appeared in the New York Times, The Economist, Foreign Policy, the Washington Post, the Chronicle of Higher Education, HuffPost, and on CNN. She is a longtime supporter of environmentalism.

    Terra Lawson-Remer is endorsed by a strong majority of progressive groups in the district and is, according to our analysis, the strongest choice for representative leadership in office.

    Terra Lawson-Remer

    Elect Terra Lawson-Remer to push San Diego County in the right direction.

    About the Position

    Each of the 58 counties in California is governed by a five-person board of supervisors. A board of supervisors has legislative and executive power to manage county services and resources, including courts, jails, public health, and public lands. They also have quasi-judicial powers, which gives them the right to hold hearings, conduct investigations, and make decisions in a manner similar to judicial courts. Laws passed by Boards of Supervisors are generally called ordinances. Because counties include both incorporated cities, which are administered by their own city councils and unincorporated areas, which are directly administered by the county, ordinances may or may not apply in different areas of the county. Supervisors are typically ‎limited to three terms, or 12 years in office total.

    About the District

    San Diego County is California's 2nd most populous county. San Diego County’s Board of Supervisors oversees the needs of 3.3 million people and manages an estimated budget of $6.4 billion annually. According to the County Charter, San Diego is governed by a five-member Board of Supervisors, elected at large for a staggered four-year term in their respective districts. A chief administrative officer is appointed by the Board.

    About the Race

    In the primary, challenger Terra Lawson-Remer trailed incumbent Supervisor Kristin Gaspar by a margin of 11.6 percent. Lawson-Remer’s campaign has raised $633,419 and has not committed to any campaign finance pledges. Gaspar’s campaign has raised $522,602, has not committed to any campaign finance pledges, and is endorsed by the San Diego Deputy District Attorneys Association, San Diego Probation Officers Association, Deputy Sheriffs’ Association of San Diego County, San Diego District Attorney Investigators Association, Southern California Rental Housing Association, Greater San Diego Association of Realtors, and North County Realtors. In 2012, the San Diego Reader reported on a controversy surrounding Gaspar’s city council campaign, during which a series of mailers supporting her candidacy were sent to voters that purported to be from a nonprofit organization that later was found not to exist. In 2019, the San Diego Tribune reported that Gaspar attempted to secure a multimillion-dollar city contract for a nonprofit organization she worked for without disclosing her role at the organization.

    About the Candidate

    Terra Lawson-Remer, an economist, environmental attorney, community organizer, and educator, is a third-generation San Diegan. According to campaign materials, Lawson-Remer is running to improve the quality of life for all San Diegans and defend against Trump administration attacks on “our civil rights, public health and quality of life.”

    Terra Lawson-Remer’s priorities for San Diego County this term include ending sprawl development, protecting open spaces, updating the water system, and encouraging affordable housing development via a single-purpose public bank and reduced taxation/fees for buildings near public transit and work centers. She supports the creation of a social service taskforce to respond to emergency calls regarding unhoused or mentally-ill individuals, guaranteeing asylum-seekers’ legal right to counsel, and ensuring that all families have access to affordable health care and childcare. Lawson-Remer has authored a comprehensive, multistep climate-action plan for 2021–2035, with the end goal of 90 percent clean energy and significantly reduced private vehicle traffic.

    Terra Lawson-Remer served as senior advisor in the Obama Administration, developing environmental policies to cut pollution from oil drilling and mining. She has also worked with the World Bank, the Brookings Institution, and Amnesty International, and taught public policy at The New School and University of California--San Diego. Her scholarship and journalism has appeared in the New York Times, The Economist, Foreign Policy, the Washington Post, the Chronicle of Higher Education, HuffPost, and on CNN. She is a longtime supporter of environmentalism.

    Terra Lawson-Remer is endorsed by a strong majority of progressive groups in the district and is, according to our analysis, the strongest choice for representative leadership in office.

    Last updated: 2020-10-09

Ventura County

  • Non-Partisan
  • Elect Carmen Ramirez to push Ventura County in the right direction.

    About the Position

    Each of the 58 counties in California is governed by a five-person board of supervisors. A board of supervisors has legislative and executive power to manage county services and resources, including courts, jails, public health, and public lands. They also have quasi-judicial powers, which gives them the right to hold hearings, conduct investigations, and make decisions in a manner similar to judicial courts. Laws passed by Boards of Supervisors are generally called ordinances. Because counties include both incorporated cities, which are administered by their own city councils and unincorporated areas, which are directly administered by the county, ordinances may or may not apply in different areas of the county. Supervisors are typically ‎limited to three terms, or 12 years in office total.

    About the District

    Ventura County is California's 13th most populous county. Ventura County’s Board of Supervisors oversees the needs of approximately 846,000 people and manages an estimated budget of $2.4 billion annually. According to the County Charter, Ventura is governed by a five-member Board of Supervisors, elected at large for a staggered four-year term in their respective districts. Chairmanship rotates annually.

    About the Race

    In the primary, challenger Carmen Ramirez trailed challenger Tim Flynn by a margin of 6.7 percent. Ramirez’s campaign has raised $47,334 and has committed to not accept any money from the fossil fuel industry. Flynn’s campaign has raised $11,987 and has not committed to any such pledges.

    About the Candidate

    Carmen Ramirez, a legal-aid attorney and Oxnard City Council member, is from the San Gabriel Valley and has lived and worked in Ventura County since 1972. According to campaign materials, Ramirez is running to protect the environment, advocate for disaster preparedness, and help bring modern jobs to Ventura County.

    Carmen Ramirez’s priorities for Ventura County this term include housing and homelessness, addressing climate change, and emergency preparedness, particularly in regard to public health crises. She believes that Ventura County can and should be running on 100 percent renewable energy by 2030, providing training and employment for workers transitioning from fossil fuels to renewables along the way. Her affordable housing plan is transit-oriented, ensuring that families can more conveniently and affordably access buses and trains.

    Carmen Ramirez is a three-time Oxnard City Council member and mayor pro tempore. From 1975 through 1998, Ramirez worked for legal-aid programs in Los Angeles, Santa Barbara, and Ventura Counties, and served as executive director of Oxnard’s Channel Counties Legal Services Association for sixteen years, addressing the legal needs of low-income and disabled clients. During her tenure on the city council, she made all local government proceedings accessible via Spanish-language translation, essential for District 5’s 85 percent Latinx population. She is a longtime supporter of environmentalism and ensuring that local businesses prioritize local citizens during hiring.

    Carmen Ramirez is endorsed by many progressive groups in the district and is, according to our analysis, the strongest choice for equitable and representative leadership in office.

     

    Carmen Ramirez

    Elect Carmen Ramirez to push Ventura County in the right direction.

    About the Position

    Each of the 58 counties in California is governed by a five-person board of supervisors. A board of supervisors has legislative and executive power to manage county services and resources, including courts, jails, public health, and public lands. They also have quasi-judicial powers, which gives them the right to hold hearings, conduct investigations, and make decisions in a manner similar to judicial courts. Laws passed by Boards of Supervisors are generally called ordinances. Because counties include both incorporated cities, which are administered by their own city councils and unincorporated areas, which are directly administered by the county, ordinances may or may not apply in different areas of the county. Supervisors are typically ‎limited to three terms, or 12 years in office total.

    About the District

    Ventura County is California's 13th most populous county. Ventura County’s Board of Supervisors oversees the needs of approximately 846,000 people and manages an estimated budget of $2.4 billion annually. According to the County Charter, Ventura is governed by a five-member Board of Supervisors, elected at large for a staggered four-year term in their respective districts. Chairmanship rotates annually.

    About the Race

    In the primary, challenger Carmen Ramirez trailed challenger Tim Flynn by a margin of 6.7 percent. Ramirez’s campaign has raised $47,334 and has committed to not accept any money from the fossil fuel industry. Flynn’s campaign has raised $11,987 and has not committed to any such pledges.

    About the Candidate

    Carmen Ramirez, a legal-aid attorney and Oxnard City Council member, is from the San Gabriel Valley and has lived and worked in Ventura County since 1972. According to campaign materials, Ramirez is running to protect the environment, advocate for disaster preparedness, and help bring modern jobs to Ventura County.

    Carmen Ramirez’s priorities for Ventura County this term include housing and homelessness, addressing climate change, and emergency preparedness, particularly in regard to public health crises. She believes that Ventura County can and should be running on 100 percent renewable energy by 2030, providing training and employment for workers transitioning from fossil fuels to renewables along the way. Her affordable housing plan is transit-oriented, ensuring that families can more conveniently and affordably access buses and trains.

    Carmen Ramirez is a three-time Oxnard City Council member and mayor pro tempore. From 1975 through 1998, Ramirez worked for legal-aid programs in Los Angeles, Santa Barbara, and Ventura Counties, and served as executive director of Oxnard’s Channel Counties Legal Services Association for sixteen years, addressing the legal needs of low-income and disabled clients. During her tenure on the city council, she made all local government proceedings accessible via Spanish-language translation, essential for District 5’s 85 percent Latinx population. She is a longtime supporter of environmentalism and ensuring that local businesses prioritize local citizens during hiring.

    Carmen Ramirez is endorsed by many progressive groups in the district and is, according to our analysis, the strongest choice for equitable and representative leadership in office.

     

    Last updated: 2020-10-09

City Races

City of Stockton

  • Non-Partisan
  • Re-elect Michael D. Tubbs as mayor to keep Stockton on the right track.

    About the Position

    The mayor of Stockton is elected in a two-round citywide election. The first round, the primary election, is open to all candidates. The top two candidates from the primary election advance to the general election. Write-in candidates are only allowed to contest the primary election and are not allowed in the general election. The mayor is elected to a four-year term, with a limit of two consecutive terms. The city of Stockton uses a council-manager government. In this form of municipal government, the city council serves as the city's primary legislative body, while the mayor serves as the city's chief executive.

    About the City

    Stockton is San Joaquin County’s most populous city, with significant Latinx, Asian, and Black communities, listed in order of population. The mayor’s office of Stockton oversees the needs of an estimated 300,000 people and manages an estimated budget of $7.8 million for 2020.

    About the Race

    In the primary, incumbent Michael D. Tubbs led challenger Kevin Lincoln II by a margin of 19.9 percent. Tubbs’s campaign has raised $277,680 and has pledged not to accept any money from law-enforcement organizations. Lincoln’s campaign has raised $28,680 and has not committed to any campaign finance pledges. While mayoral elections are officially nonpartisan, Michael D. Tubbs has stated a personal preference for the Democratic Party. Kevin Lincoln II has previously run for State Assembly with the Republican Party and describes California as “one of the unfriendliest business states in the nation.”

    About the Candidate

    Michael D. Tubbs, from Stockton, CA, returned to the district after completing his master’s degree at Stanford, and has served as mayor since 2016. According to campaign materials, he is running for re-election to further improve Stockton’s economic foundation, public education system, transitional/affordable housing, and public safety standards.

    As mayor, Michael D. Tubbs successfully invested in increasing the number of Stockton students attending and completing college. He also established a partnership with Advance Peace to Stockton, a data-forward program that works to reduce and prevent gun violence, and piloted the nation’s first municipal universal basic income program, improving the city’s economic status and reducing poverty. Tubbs is the youngest person in the country to be elected to the mayor’s office in a city with a population over 100,000 and is the first African American mayor to serve Stockton. Prior to his term as mayor, Tubbs served on the Stockton City Council at age 22, where he created the Office of Violence Prevention and was chair of the Audit & Legislative Committee. His achievements and passion for his hometown have been chronicled in the HBO documentary Stockton on My Mind.

    Endorsed by such organizations as Planned Parenthood and AFL-CIO, Michael D. Tubbs stands out for his demonstrated commitment to improving Stockton through education initiatives, violence prevention programs, and novel economic stimulation. According to our analysis, Michael D. Tubbs is the strongest choice for representative and equitable leadership in office.

     

    Michael D. Tubbs

    Re-elect Michael D. Tubbs as mayor to keep Stockton on the right track.

    About the Position

    The mayor of Stockton is elected in a two-round citywide election. The first round, the primary election, is open to all candidates.

    Last updated: 2020-10-09

City of Santa Ana

  • Non-Partisan
  • Elect Jessie Lopez to represent Ward 3 to push Santa Ana in the right direction.

    About the Position

    Santa Ana, CA, is governed by a six-person city council. A city council is responsible for establishing policy, passing local laws (called ordinances), voting on budget appropriations, and developing an overall vision for the city. City councilmembers in Santa Ana are ‎limited to three consecutive terms of four years each.

    About the District

    Santa Ana is Orange County’s second most populous city. The Santa Ana City Council oversees the needs of 332,000 people and will manage an estimated budget of $669.9 million dollars for 2020–21. Santa Ana is managed by a mayor-council structured government.

    About the Race

    Jessie Lopez’s campaign has raised $4,658 and has not committed to any campaign finance pledges. Her campaign is endorsed by the Working Families Party, Planned Parenthood, the Orange County Young Democrats, and several local trade unions. Due to the lack of a primary election and 2020 being the first year when Santa Ana citizens will vote for city council representation by Ward, no polling data is publicly available.

    About the Candidate

    Jessie Lopez, board member for the National Women’s Political Caucus and community organizer, is a lifelong Santa Ana resident. According to campaign materials, Lopez is running to represent Ward 3 in order to hold local government accountable and be a champion for Santa Ana families, youth, and seniors. Her priorities for Santa Ana include the retention of green spaces, access to affordable housing, enacting protections for renters, and increased community engagement.

    Prior to her campaign for city council, Jessie Lopez served the 69th Assembly District as a central committee member within the Democratic Party of Orange County. She is a board member for the National Women’s Political Caucus, and volunteers with Planned Parenthood and the Public Law Center as a Spanish-language interpreter. She is also an active member of Rise Up Willowick, a coalition that fights for community-driven development in Santa Ana with a focus on preserving natural spaces.

    Jessie Lopez is endorsed by many progressive groups in the district and is, according to our analysis, the strongest choice for equitable and representative leadership in office.

    Jessie Lopez

    Elect Jessie Lopez to represent Ward 3 to push Santa Ana in the right direction.

    About the Position

    Santa Ana, CA, is governed by a six-person city council.

    Last updated: 2020-10-24

City of Santa Cruz

  • Non-Partisan
  • Elect Maria Cadenas to push Santa Cruz in the right direction.

    About the Race

    In the March 3 primary election, Santa Cruz made history by successfully recalling two sitting members of the city council by a narrow margin for conduct that resulted in city investigations. During the primary, Maria Cadenas lost her bid for the open 17th District State Senate, where she earned only 21 percent of the vote. She entered the city council race in July 2020. Cadenas’s current campaign had not reported any fundraising receipts as of that time. She has not pledged to refuse police or fossil fuel money in her campaign, but she did pledge to decline corporate PAC funds during her March run for State Senate.

    About the Candidate

    Maria Cadenas, executive director of Santa Cruz Community Ventures, was born in Mexico City and grew up in Southern California. According to campaign materials, Cadenas is running to use her experience in community development to fight for working families in the city.

    Cadenas’s priorities for Santa Cruz this term include improving equity and transparency in government, economic development and recovery, and housing affordability and stability.

    Cadenas has spent her career working for social justice. After finishing college, she was associate director of ACLU-Wisconsin, where she fought against anti-Muslim backlash in the months after the 9/11 attacks. She then served as executive director of the Cream City Foundation in Milwaukee for six years, where she advocated for LGBTQIA+ equality through research and targeted campaigns. Cadenas then returned to California, where she served as senior community involvement manager at Driscoll’s before transitioning to her role at Community Ventures. She is a longtime supporter of LGBTQIA+ rights, sustainability and agriculture, and social equity.

    Cadenas is endorsed by a number of local officials, but has not yet announced any organizational endorsements. According to our analysis, Maria Cadenas is the strongest choice for equitable and representative leadership in office.

     

    Maria Cadenas, executive director of Santa Cruz Community Ventures, was born in Mexico City and grew up in Southern California. According to campaign materials, Cadenas is running to use her experience in community development to fight for working families in the city.
    Last updated: 2020-10-27

City of Hayward

  • Non-Partisan
  • Lacei Amodei is a community organizer and housing-justice advocate with Hayward Collective. Previously, she worked as a server and barista while completing her undergraduate degree at San Francisco State University. She has also fought for low-income clients as a legal assistant for several nonprofits. According to campaign materials, Amodei is running for election to enact rent control, place priority for affordable housing development, raise the minimum wage to $15, strengthen sanctuary city laws, and provide financial assistance for childcare. She is a longtime supporter of tenants’ rights.

    Lacei Amodei, Néstor Castillo, and Elisha Crader are endorsed by a strong majority of progressive groups in the district. According to our analysis, all three are excellent choices for equitable and representative leadership in office.

     

    Lacei Amodei

    Lacei Amodei is a community organizer and housing-justice advocate with Hayward Collective. Previously, she worked as a server and barista while completing her undergraduate degree at San Francisco State University.

    Last updated: 2020-10-27
  • Non-Partisan
  • Néstor Castillo, a union organizer and teacher, is a lifelong East Bay resident. He has attained an undergraduate degree from San Francisco State University and a master’s in Public Health from UC Berkeley. Since 2017, he has served as the vice chair of the Alameda County Public Health Commission, and since 2019, he has organized the Eden Community Land Trust. According to campaign materials, Castillo is running for election to preserve housing affordability, bring public land under community control, invest in public banks and Wi-Fi, provide universal basic income and free childcare, and ensure that Hayward residents can access health care regardless of their ability to pay. He is a longtime supporter of public health and immigrants’ issues.

    Lacei Amodei, Néstor Castillo, and Elisha Crader are endorsed by a strong majority of progressive groups in the district. According to our analysis, all three are excellent choices for equitable and representative leadership in office.

    Néstor Castillo

    Néstor Castillo, a union organizer and teacher, is a lifelong East Bay resident. He has attained an undergraduate degree from San Francisco State University and a master’s in Public Health from UC Berkeley.

    Last updated: 2020-10-27
  • Non-Partisan
  • Elisha Crader, a housing rights advocate at the Centro Legal de la Raza and a housing-justice advocate with Hayward Collective, returned to her hometown of Hayward, CA, after attaining an undergraduate degree from UC Santa Barbara. According to campaign materials, Crader is running for election to fight for housing justice, economic justice, police accountability, and immigrants’ rights. She is a longtime believer in the power of grassroots community movements and a proud product of the Hayward public school system.

    Lacei Amodei, Néstor Castillo, and Elisha Crader are endorsed by a strong majority of progressive groups in the district. According to our analysis, all three are excellent choices for equitable and representative leadership in office.

    Elisha Crader

    Elisha Crader, a housing rights advocate at the Centro Legal de la Raza and a housing-justice advocate with Hayward Collective, returned to her hometown of Hayward, CA, after attaining an undergraduate degree from UC Santa Barbara.

    Last updated: 2020-10-27

City of Adelanto

  • Non-Partisan
  • Elect Jayshawn Johnson to City Council to push Adelanto in the right direction.

    About the Position

    Incorporated cities in California are generally governed by a five-person city council, although Adelanto has only four city council members. A city council is responsible for establishing policy, passing local laws (called ordinances), voting on budget appropriations, and developing an overall vision for the city. City council members in Adelanto serve four-year terms, and are ‎not subject to term limits.

    About the District

    Adelanto is San Bernardino County’s 17th most populous city, with a population that is 47 percent white and 20 percent Black. Adelanto City Council oversees the needs of 31,765 people and manages an estimated budget of nearly $20 million dollars annually. Adelanto is managed by council-manager structured government. Adelanto city council members are elected to represent the city at large.

    About the Race

    There are two at-large city council seats up for re-election in this cycle. Ten candidates are on the ballot, including the incumbents, Ed Camargo and Joy Jeannette, and a challenger, Jayshawn Johnson. Challenger Johnson’s campaign has not taken any fundraising pledges, and has not recorded any fundraising receipts with the county. The incumbent candidates have also not taken any funding pledges, and have not recorded any fundraising receipts. In February 2020, the Adelanto City Council voted to remove Jayshawn Johnson from his appointed position of City Planning Commissioner after he voted against permitting a privately owned state prison to increase their capacity to take in Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) detainees. Jeannette voted in favor of his removal, and Camargo abstained from the vote.

    About the Candidate

    Jayshawn Johnson, a former city planning commissioner, is from San Bernardino, CA. According to campaign materials, Johnson is running for election to bring his lifelong commitment to equality, justice, and advocacy to city government.

    Johnson’s priorities for Adelanto this term include shifting to a policing structure that centers on community relationships, investing in youth-development programs, and eliminating economic disparities between the northern and southern regions of the city. Johnson also has a particular interest in increasing government transparency and accountability, and transitioning away from using government contracts to fill the city’s workforce. His platform encourages the establishment of neutral systems and measures for managing policy disagreements.

    Johnson completed his K–12 education in San Bernardino and was raised by a single mother. His commitment to issues of economic disparity and social justice was developed through his experience growing up in a lower-middle-class neighborhood. Johnson was appointed to his position as city planning commissioner by current City Council member Stevevonna Evans. As stated above, in February 2020, Johnson voted against a proposal to permit a private prison owned by GEO Group to expand their capacity to take in Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) detainees. In his vote against the proposal, Johnson cited irregularities in the permit submission and concerns about the prison’s status as one of the deadliest in the nation. He made his perspective clear in a sharp rebuke delivered after the vote had taken place at the planning committee meeting. He was removed from his position one week later by a 3–1 vote from the city council. Johnson’s approach to this issue was representative of his longtime support of social-justice causes, and his outspoken support of eliminating corruption and social barriers.

    Johson is endorsed by some progressive groups in the district, including California Working Families Party. According to our analysis, Jayshawn Johnson is the strongest choice for equitable and representative leadership in office.

    Jayshawn Johnson

    Elect Jayshawn Johnson to City Council to push Adelanto in the right direction.

    About the Position

    Incorporated cities in California are generally governed by a five-person city council, although Adelanto has only four city council members.

    Last updated: 2020-10-24