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Federal

President and Vice President

  • Elect Vice President Joseph Biden as President of the United States to get America back on track. 

    About the Position

    The President of the United States is the head of the Executive branch of the federal government, and the Commander-in-Chief for all branches of the armed forces. A president has the power to make diplomatic, executive, and judicial appointments, and can sign into law or veto legislation. Presidential administrations are responsible for both foreign and domestic policy priorities. Presidents are limited to serving two four-year terms in office.

    About the Race

    As of October 12th, Democratic challenger Vice President Joe Biden is leading Republican incumbent President Donald Trump in the polls by an average national margin of 9.2% (as of 10/24/20). Ten days before Election Day in 2016, Secretary Hillary Clinton held an average 4.9% polling lead over Donald Trump. Vice President Biden’s campaign has raised $952 million (as of 10/14/20) and is not funded by fossil fuel money. While his platform commits to establishing meaningful campaign finance reform, his 2020 campaign has received donations from special interest, corporate PAC, and lobbyist organizations. President Donald Trump has raised $601 million (as of 10/14/20) and has not taken any fundraising pledges. President Trump is endorsed by the Fraternal Order of Police, Citizens United, Proud Boys, and a variety of law enforcement organizations.

    About the Candidate

    Vice President Joseph R. Biden, Jr. is from Scranton, PA, and moved to Claymont, DE with his family when he was 10 years old. He has been a resident of Wilmington, DE, for most of his adult life. Vice President Biden came of age during the 1960s Civil Rights movement, which he cites as his inspiration for majoring in political science at the University of Delaware before earning his law degree at Syracuse University. His political career began in 1970 when he was elected to the New Castle County Council. Just two years later, at age 29, Vice President Biden ran for the Delaware Senate seat, and became one of the youngest people ever elected to the United States Senate. A few weeks after his election, his wife and infant daughter were killed in a car accident, and his two sons were badly injured. This personal tragedy shaped Vice President Biden’s public image as an empathetic leader and committed family man. 

    Vice President Biden spent 36 years representing Delaware in the Senate. He is often critiqued as being an unremarkable, status quo Democrat, and mid-career votes in favor of the Defense of Marriage Act, anti-drug legislation, and the Iraq War reaffirm that characterization. In 1991, Vice President Biden was the chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee and presided over the Supreme Court confirmation hearings for Justice Clarence Thomas, who had been credibly accused of sexual harassment by a former colleague, Anita Hill. Vice President Biden’s mismanagement of the hearing resulted in a targeted and unfair character assassination of Anita Hill, and remains a reminder of his complicity in the patriarchal and racist systems on which American government is built. 

    Vice President Biden has also been directly accused of unwanted contact by several women over the course of his career. Most of the accusations came to light as part of the #MeToo movement, and related to invasions of personal space that included the touching of shoulders, caressing of hair, and close whispering. He has apologized publicly for this behavior, and stated an understanding of his responsibility to conform to more modern social norms in his interactions with women. 

    Vice President Biden launched two unsuccessful campaigns for President during his time in the Senate, in 1988 and 2008. After ending his 2008 campaign, he was chosen by President Barack Obama to join his ticket as Vice President, and they served together for two terms. As Vice President, he was responsible for managing the 2009 economic recovery, helping to expand health care through the Affordable Care Act, and acting as the administration’s liaison to the Senate. In 2015, his oldest son, Beau Biden, lost his battle with brain cancer at the age of 46. Since leaving office in 2016, Vice President Biden has dedicated substantial resources to cancer research.

    Although he was rarely a trailblazer, Vice President Biden’s record does demonstrate a consistent liberal evolution on many issues throughout his career. After voting in favor of the Defense of Marriage Act in 1996, he was the first member of the Obama Administration to advocate for marriage equality in 2012. After presiding over the Anita Hill hearings in 1991, he was the architect of the Violence Against  Women Act in 1994, and led the Obama Administration’s effort to reduce campus sexual assault through the It’s On Us campaign. After supporting the 1994 Crime Bill and aligning with the racist ‘tough on crime’ approach of that era, his current platform supports criminal justice reform, abolishing private prisons, and decriminalizing marijuana. 

    Vice President Biden has long been committed to building relationships with colleagues across the aisle, and bridging intra-party policy differences to establish compromise legislation for the American people. This commitment to civility resulted in Vice President Biden maintaining problematic working relationships with segregationist Senators James Eastland and Herman Talmadge during his time in the Senate. During the 2020 primary, Sen. Cory Booker and Sen. Kamala Harris, both Black candidates running for President, were outward in their critique of what they viewed as Vice President Biden’s defense of the reputations and decency of these segregationists. However, Vice President Biden has not apologized for his continued defense of collaborating with these segregationist colleagues, and maintains broad support in the Black community. 

    Vice President Biden’s commitment to compromise has extended to the left in recent months, and updates to his campaign platform are reflective of his interest in connecting with progressive voters. While he was a more moderate candidate in the larger 2020 field, he has been conscientious about including the popular perspectives of his progressive rivals, including Sen. Elizabeth Warren and Sen. Bernie Sanders, in his platform. He has recently issued proposals that include middle-class tax cuts, lowering Medicare eligibility to age 60, new benchmarks for greenhouse gas emission limits, free college tuition for families making less than $125,000 annually, and clean energy investments. While these proposals do not embrace the full scope of progressive ideals, they are an important indicator of his capacity for collaboration. 

    The Biden/Harris campaign is endorsed by many progressive groups in the country. While the Biden/Harris platform is the most progressive platform ever adopted by a major party ticket, we encourage progressive advocates to continue to hold their administration accountable, and work to encourage progressive legislation throughout the country. With consideration to their records in public service, we unequivocally recommend Joe Biden and Kamala Harris as the strongest choice for equitable and representative leadership in office.

    Vice President Joseph R. Biden, Jr. is from Scranton, PA, and moved to Claymont, DE with his family when he was 10 years old. He has been a resident of Wilmington, DE, for most of his adult life. Vice President Biden came of age during the 1960s Civil Rights movement, which he cites as his inspiration for majoring in political science at the University of Delaware before earning his law degree at Syracuse University. His political career began in 1970 when he was elected to the New Castle County Council. Just two years later, at age 29, Vice President Biden ran for the Delaware Senate seat, and became one of the youngest people ever elected to the United States Senate. A few weeks after his election, his wife and infant daughter were killed in a car accident, and his two sons were badly injured. This personal tragedy shaped Vice President Biden’s public image as an empathetic leader and committed family man. 
    Last updated: 2020-10-27
  • Elect Senator Kamala Harris as Vice President of the United States to get America back on track. 

    About the Position

    The Vice President is the second-highest office in the Executive branch of the federal government. The officeholder is the first in the line of succession to the presidency and holds legislative authority as the president of the Senate. In this role, the Vice President presides over Senate deliberations and can cast a tie-breaking vote in close decisions. A Vice Presidential candidate is selected directly by a Presidential nominee who has won the democratic primary process. Vice Presidential candidates are elected indirectly as a part of the Presidential ticket in the general election. A Vice President serves four year terms, and there is no term limit for this position.  

    About the Race

    As of October 12th, Democratic challenger Vice President Joe Biden is leading Republican incumbent President Donald Trump in the polls by an average national margin of 9.2% (as of 10/24/20).  Ten days before Election Day in 2016, Secretary Hillary Clinton held an average 4.9% polling lead over Donald Trump. Vice President Biden’s campaign has raised $952 million (as of 10/14/20) and is not funded by fossil fuel money. While his platform commits to establishing meaningful campaign finance reform, his 2020 campaign has received donations from special interest, corporate PAC, and lobbyist organizations. President Donald Trump has raised $601 million (as of 10/14/20) and has not taken any fundraising pledges. President Trump is endorsed by the Fraternal Order of Police, Citizens United, Proud Boys, and a variety of law enforcement organizations.

    About the Candidate

    Senator Kamala Harris grew up in Berkeley, CA, and now resides in Los Angeles. She is the daughter of a Jamiacan father and an Indian mother who both emigrated to the Bay Area in the 1960s, and established themselves as activists in the Civil Rights movement in Oakland. Sen. Harris’ interest in justice and equal rights was instilled at a young age when she participated in civil rights protests in Oakland alongside her activist parents, and was further shaped when she was included in the second class of students to be bussed as part of Berkley’s efforts toward school integration. She attended Howard University, one of America’s HBCU institutions, for undergraduate studies, and completed her law degree at the University of California, Hastings. 

    After working for the Alameda County District Attorney’s Office for 8 years, Sen. Harris transitioned to a role as a prosecutor in the San Francisco District Attorney’s office. Sen. Harris’ political career began in 2003 when she won her bid to become District Attorney of the City and County of San Francisco. She served two terms in San Francisco before being elected as the Attorney General for the state of California in 2010. She was the first woman and the first person of color to hold this seat. In representing the needs and interests of Californians in each of these roles, Sen. Harris’ record was both progressive for the time and complicated by her moderate approach to policing and criminal justice. She has been criticized for failing to institute comprehensive police accountability measures, for not establishing meaningful prison reform, and for taking a hands-off approach to cases related to police misconduct. However, her lenient approach to policing was often punctuated by decidedly progressive support for social justice issues, including the establishment of an education and workforce reentry program designed to diminish recidivism. Similarly, as Attorney General, she declined to defend Proposition 8, a proposition to make same-sex marriage illegal in California, in court and officiated the first wedding in the state when marriage equality was restored in 2013. 

    In 2016, Sen. Harris became the first woman of color elected to represent California in the United States Senate. Sen. Harris has sponsored legislation on climate and environmental protections, rental and housing protections, women’s health, and pandemic relief. She was also an original cosponsor of the progressive Green New Deal authored by Rep. Alexandria Ocasio Cortez and Sen. Ed Markey. Sen. Harris sits on four committees: Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs, Budget, Judiciary, and Select Committee on Intelligence. She has been an outspoken opponent of the Trump Administration, and has deftly used her position on the Senate Judiciary Committee to question judicial nominees and interrogate the hypocrisy of her Republican colleagues. 

    Sen. Harris formally launched her campaign for President in January 2019 at an Oakland rally with an estimated attendance of 20,000 supporters. As a candidate, she pushed forward a platform that opposed Medicare for All, supported expansion of the Affordable Care Act, sought to expand tax benefits for middle and low-income families, supported citizenship for Dreamers, and favored a ban on assault weapons. She ended her campaign in December 2019, and was tapped to join Vice President Joe Biden’s ticket ahead of the Democratic National Convention in August 2020. 

    The Biden/Harris campaign is endorsed by many progressive groups in the country. While the Biden/Harris platform is the most progressive platform ever adopted by a major party ticket, we encourage progressive advocates to continue to hold their administration accountable, and work to encourage progressive legislation throughout the country. With consideration to their records in public service, we unequivocally recommend Joe Biden and Kamala Harris as the strongest choice for equitable and representative leadership in office.

    Senator Kamala Harris grew up in Berkeley, CA, and now resides in Los Angeles. She is the daughter of a Jamiacan father and an Indian mother who both emigrated to the Bay Area in the 1960s, and established themselves as activists in the Civil Rights movement in Oakland. Sen. Harris’ interest in justice and equal rights was instilled at a young age when she participated in civil rights protests in Oakland alongside her activist parents, and was further shaped when she was included in the second class of students to be bussed as part of Berkley’s efforts toward school integration. She attended Howard University, one of America’s HBCU institutions, for undergraduate studies, and completed her law degree at the University of California, Hastings. 
    Last updated: 2020-10-28

Congress

Depending on where you live, you may have one of the below congressional districts on your ballot.

5th Congressional District

Member of the House of Representatives

  • Re-elect Mike Thompson to keep CA-05 on the right track.

    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 5th Congressional District is centered in Napa County, and includes portions of Contra Costa, Lake, Solano, and Sonoma counties. Democrats have held this district since the special election of 1949, with Incumbent Thompson representing CA-05 since 2013. In the 2016 presidential election, 69.2 percent of CA-05 voters cast their ballot for Hillary Clinton, 24.3 percent for Donald Trump, and 6.6 percent for third-party candidates. In the 2018 gubernatorial election, an overwhelming 70 percent of CA-05 voted for Gavin Newsom and 30 percent for the Republican candidate. Of those who voted in the 2020 presidential primary, 79.6 percent of CA-05 voters cast their ballot for a Democratic candidate, and 20.4 percent opted for a Republican candidate.

    About the Race
    In the primary, Democrat Incumbent Representative Mike Thompson led Republican challenger Scott Giblin by a margin of 43 percent. Rep. Thompson’s campaign has accepted at least $187,500 (as of July 27, 2020) from corporate PACs and $7,000 from Edison International PAC and PowerPAC of Edison Electric Institute, a large fossil fuel company that emits 62.9 million tons of carbon dioxide per year. Giblin’s campaign has not yet submitted any receipts for contributions.

    About the Candidate
    Rep. Thompson is from St. Helena, CA. He received his BA and MA at CSU Chico and is a Purple Heart veteran who served in Vietnam. He was elected to the California State Senate and served as the chair of the Senate Budget Committee. In 1999, Rep. Thompson was elected as congressmember to California’s 1st District and then again in 2013 to California’s 5th District. According to campaign materials, Rep. Thompson is running for re-election to protect Social Security and Medicare, fight climate change, and bring living wage jobs to CA-05.

    Rep. Thompson’s priorities for CA-05 this year have included fiscal responsibility, creating jobs, strengthening the middle class, protecting seniors and veterans, increasing access to health care, and preserving the environment for future generations. He currently sits on the Committee on Ways and Means. This year, Rep. Thompson has voted 100 percent of the time with Nancy Pelosi and 94 percent of the time with Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. One significant piece of legislation that Rep. Thompson voted for and AOC voted against was H.R. 5430, the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) that will replace the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). On July 21, 2020, Rep. Thompson also voted against the Progressive Caucus on H.R. 6395, the Pocan Amendment, which would have cut all Pentagon funds and accounts by 10 percent for the next fiscal year. This year, Rep. Thompson has sponsored 44 bills about a wide variety of topics, including taxation, health, national security, commerce, and crime and law enforcement. None of Rep. Thompson’s bills this session have become law yet, and only one has passed both chambers: H.R. 925, America’s Conservation Enhancement Act. As of August 21st, 2020, Rep. Thompson has still yet to cosponsor H.R. 40 which would begin the formal process of studying the case for reparations to Black Americans, despite saying that he has been a lifelong proponent for social justice.

    Rep. Thompson is endorsed by a strong majority of progressive groups and elected officials in the district, such as California Democratic Party, Contra Costa Young Democrats, and Progressive Women of Napa Valley. His more problematic endorsements include Peace Officers Research Association of California, Lakeport Chief of Police Brad Rasmussen, and the sheriffs from Contra Costa, Lake, Napa, Solano, and Sonoma counties. Rep. Thompson is also a member of the Blue Dog Coalition, an organization of moderate Democrats that focuses on promoting conservative fiscalism. However, the threat of Republican challenger and avid Trump supporter Giblin’s potential policies greatly outweighs Rep. Thompson’s police endorsements and moderate legislation. According to our analysis, Rep. Thompson is the strongest choice for representative leadership in office.

     

    Mike Thompson

    Re-elect Mike Thompson to keep CA-05 on the right track.

    About the Position

    Last updated: 2020-10-20

9th Congressional District

Member of the House of Representatives

No Good Choices
Based on our analysis, there is no progressive candidate to recommend for your vote in this race.
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 9th Congressional District includes parts of Contra Costa, Sacramento, and San Joaquin Counties. Democrats typically hold this seat.  In recent state and federal elections, Democratic candidates have won a majority of the vote. Hillary Clinton won with 56.6 percent of the vote in 2016, and Gavin Newsom won with 53.9 percent of the vote in 2018.

About the Race

In the primary, Democrat Incumbent Representative Jerry McNerney led Republican challenger Antonio Amador by a margin of 26.7 percent. Rep. McNerney’s campaign has not pledged to refuse corporate PAC, fossil fuel, or police money. He has received donations from Amazon, Google NetPAC, Comcast Corporation, Edison International, and Exelon Corporation. He has also received financial backing from defense contractor Lockheed Martin Corporation. Challenger Amador’s campaign has not committed to any pledges, and his campaign is entirely self-funded.

About the Democratic Candidate

Rep. McNerney is the incumbent, having served in Congress since 2007. From 2007–2013, he was the congressmember representing California’s 11th district. After redistricting, he took office in CA-09 in 2013. His platform favors increasing funding for local law enforcement and border patrol, and rejects Medicare for All. Although he holds more progressive views on issues related to climate change, his moderate stance on social issues indicates that he is likely to provide limited progressive leadership in office.

Rep. McNerney’s priorities for CA-09 this year have included applying scientific practices to congressional redistricting, consumer protections around CBD dosing, and establishing a carbon tax and renewable energy. He currently sits on two committees: Science, Space, and Technology (ranks 12th), and Energy and Commerce (ranks 12th). Rep. McNerney has sponsored 21 bills about nuclear waste, water efficiency, energy development, and STEM education. Of those bills, nearly all are in committee or referred to committee.

Because the Democratic candidate in this race is considered to be a safe win in this district, we feel comfortable providing no recommendation in this race. Keep reading for progressive recommendations in other key races and on ballot measures where your vote can make a critical difference.

 


11th Congressional District

Member of the House of Representatives

  • Re-elect Congressional Representative DeSaulnier to keep CA-11 on the right track.

    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 11th Congressional District includes parts of Contra Costa County. Democrats have held this district since 2006. This district has voted in support of Democratic state and national candidates by substantial margins in recent years, supporting Hillary Clinton in 2016 and Gavin Newsom in 2018.  

    About the Race

    In the primary, Democrat incumbent Representative Mark DeSaulnier led Republican challenger Nisha Sharma by a margin of 49.8 percent. Rep. DeSaulnier’s campaign has accepted corporate PAC donations from FedEx Corporation and Amazon, and fossil fuel money from Edison International PAC and Chevron Corporation. Rep. DeSaulnier has also received donations from defense contractor Lockheed Martin Corporation Employees’ PAC. Sharma’s campaign has not committed to refusing corporate PAC, fossil fuel, or police money, and she has received donations from the Wisconsin-based Americans 4 Security PAC.

    About the Candidate

    Rep. DeSaulnier, a career lawmaker, has been a California resident for over 30 years, and currently resides in Concord, CA.  According to campaign materials, Rep. DeSaulnier is running for re-election to continue to promote progressive values and to work to create a more just and equitable country.

    Rep. DeSaulnier’s priorities for CA-11 this year have included improving education funding and access, and health and safety legislation. He currently sits on four committees: Rules (ranks 9th), Oversight and Reform (ranks 15th), Education and Labor (ranks 11th), and Transportation and Infrastructure (ranks 20th). This year, Rep. DeSaulnier has voted 98 percent of the time with Nancy Pelosi and 96 percent of the time with Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. In contrast to Rep. Ocasio-Cortez, he voted in favor of the National Law Enforcement Commemorative Coin Act, and on providing appropriations to the Department of Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies. Rep. DeSaulnier has sponsored 41 bills about greener transportation, transit-oriented development, education funding, and labor protections this year. Of those bills, the majority are in committee or have been referred to committee.

    Rep. DeSaulnier is endorsed by a strong majority of progressive groups in the district. According to our analysis, Rep. DeSaulnier is the strongest choice for equitable and representative leadership in office.

     

    Mark DeSaulnier

    Re-elect Congressional Representative DeSaulnier to keep CA-11 on the right track.

    About the Position

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

    Last updated: 2020-10-20

15th Congressional District

Member of the House of Representatives

  • Re-elect Congressional Representative Eric Swalwell to keep CA-15 on the right track.

    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 15th Congressional District includes parts of Alameda and Contra Costa Counties. Democrats typically hold this district. In recent years, Democrats have won this district in state and federal elections. Hillary Clinton and Gavin Newsom each took 69 percent of the vote in CA-15 in 2016 and 2018, respectively.

    About the Race

    In the primary, Democrat incumbent Representative Eric Swalwell led Republican challenger Alison Hayden by a margin of 42 percent. Rep. Swalwell’s campaign is not funded by fossil fuel money, although he has received donations from Edison International, one of the nation’s largest providers of industrial and commercial energy services. He has also received donations from several major airlines, which use substantial amounts of fossil fuels. During his 2020 presidential campaign, Rep. Swalwell did commit to refusing corporate PAC money, although he has not made a similar commitment in this year’s House race. Rep. Swalwell has received donations from several corporate PACs, including P&G, McKesson, Google NetPAC, and Harris. Challenger Hayden has not committed to any pledges. Her fundraising has been insignificant, with no receipts formally submitted to the FEC.

    About the Candidate

    Rep. Swalwell, a former county prosecutor, is from Dublin, CA. According to campaign materials, Rep. Swalwell is running for re-election to continue to cut through partisan divisions to work toward building the middle class and improving gun safety around the country.

    Rep. Swalwell’s priorities for CA-15 this year have included increasing gun safety and banning semi-automatic assault weapons, and reforming the student loan system. He currently sits on two committees: Judiciary (ranks 11th), and Intelligence (ranks 7th). This year, Rep. Swalwell has voted 100 percent of the time with Nancy Pelosi and 94 percent of the time with Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. In contrast to Rep. Ocasio-Cortez, Rep. Swalwell voted in favor of making appropriations to the Department of Interior, on the passage of the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement Implementation Act, and in support of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2020. Rep. Swalwell has sponsored 19 bills about gun safety, education and student loan protections, and remote government operations this year. All are currently in committee or referred to committee.

    Rep. Swalwell is endorsed by many progressive groups in the district, including Human Rights Campaign, California League of Conservation Voters, and Planned Parenthood Affiliates of California. According to our analysis, Rep. Swalwell is the strongest choice for equitable leadership in office.

     

    Eric Swalwell

    Re-elect Congressional Representative Eric Swalwell to keep CA-15 on the right track.

    About the Position

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

    Last updated: 2020-10-20

State Assembly

Depending on where you live, you may have one of the below State Assembly races on your ballot.

State Assembly, 11th District

Member of the State Assembly

No Recommendation

Based on our analysis, there is no progressive candidate to recommend for your vote in this race.

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 four-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 11th Assembly District includes portions of Contra Costa, Sacramento, and Solano Counties. Democrats typically hold this district. The most recent election results show 58.9 percent of AD-11 voted for Hillary Clinton for president in 2016, and 57.6 percent voted for Newsom for governor in 2018.

About the Race

In the primary, Democrat incumbent Assemblymember Jim Frazier led Republican challenger Debra Schwab by a margin of 97.6 percent. Assemblymember Frazier’s campaign has raised over $772,000 and has accepted fossil fuel, police, and corporate PAC money. Schwab has not pledged to refuse corporate PAC, fossil fuel, or police money. Schwab’s campaign records are not filed on the Secretary of State’s website.

About the Incumbent

Assemblymember Frazier has served AD-11 since being elected in 2012. He sits on the Accountability and Administrative Review and Insurance and Veterans Affairs Committees, and serves as chair of the Assembly Transportation Committee, the Select Committee in Improving Bay Area Transportation Systems, and the Select Committee on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities. Assemblymember Frazier is endorsed by the Peace Officers Research Association of California, the California Association of Highway Patrolmen, Contra Costa County Deputy Sheriffs Association, and California Correctional Peace Officers Association.

Assemblymember Frazier’s lifetime Courage Score is 21 of 100, and he has been in Courage’s Hall of Shame for voting against or abstaining from progressive legislation since 2015. This year, Assemblymember Frazier has voted against police accountability bill AB 1185, which would establish critical oversight of local sheriffs.

Based on their track record, neither candidate is likely to provide progressive leadership in office. Because the Democratic candidate in this race is considered to be a safe win in this district, we feel comfortable providing no recommendation in this race. Keep reading for progressive recommendations in other key races and on ballot measures where your vote can make a critical difference.


State Assembly, 14th District

Member of the State Assembly

No Recommendation

Based on our analysis, there is no progressive candidate to recommend for your vote in this race.

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 14th Assembly District includes parts of Contra Costa and Solano County. Notable cities within the district include Concord, Vallejo, Pittsburg and Martinez. Democrats typically hold this district. Most recent election results show AD-14 voted for Hillary Clinton in 2016 and Gavin Newsom in 2018, both with large victory margins. The district is composed mostly of middle-class and working-class families.

About the Race

In the primary, Democrat incumbent Tim Grayson led Republican challenger Janell Proctor by a nearly 41 percent margin. Grayson’s campaign has raised upwards of $216,000 and is largely funded through significant donations from law enforcement, corporations, and fossil fuel industries. Republican opponent Janell Proctor is funded through individual contributions.

About the Incumbent

Tim Grayson is the incumbent, having served as assemblymember since 2016. Grayson holds regressive positions on issues of environmental protections, police accountability, and decarceration. Grayson refused to vote on AB 965, which aimed to allow incarcerated youth to earn time off toward their earliest parole date. He has also abstained or voted no on legislation in support of workplace rights (AB 749, AB 1066, AB 51, AB 403, AB 218).

In the State Assembly, Assemblymember Grayson is currently working on passing a cap on interest rates on consumer loans that target financially vulnerable families with unaffordable loans they cannot repay. He has also authored legislation that aims to increase transparency and accountability in the University of California system and to streamline the development of areas affected by military base closures into commercial and residential areas. Assemblymember Grayson currently serves as chair of the Select Committee on Streamlining Services for Victims of Interpersonal Violence, and is a member of other committees, including Banking and Finance, Business and Professions, and Insurance. Prior to his election to the State Assembly, he served as a councilmember and mayor of Concord, and he founded the Family Justice Center to support victims of domestic violence, child and elderly abuse, and human trafficking in the Concord area. He also worked as the City of Concord’s police chaplain, directly working with survivors of violent crimes, their families, and first responders.

A significant area of concern is Grayson’s stance on law enforcement. Of the cities located within AD-14, Vallejo has a significant minority population that is roughly evenly split between Black, Latino, Asian, and white residents. Vallejo is currently the city with the highest per capita police-killings rate in Northern California, resulting in 19 deaths since 2010. The recent death of Sean Monterrosa in June and Willie McCoy in 2019 sparked national outrage, and have brought attention to the lack of police accountability in the district. Despite this, Grayson has voted against legislation aimed at improving police accountability (AB 1600). He has received thousands of dollars of law-enforcement funding, and is officially endorsed by Peace Officers Research Association of California, the largest law-enforcement organization in the state.

Assemblymember Grayson also has regressive stances on issues of environmental conservation. He has repeatedly voted no and abstained from voting on legislation to protect California waters, prevent oil spills and drilling, and increase environmental protections. His campaign is largely funded through contributions from the fossil fuel industry, resulting in a concerning conflict of interest.

Assemblymember Grayson’s campaign finances are incredibly regressive. In the 2016 election, IEs spent more than $7.2 million helping him get elected. Over $4.5 million of that came from just four sources: IE committees that spent millions every year on behalf of Chevron, PG&E, and other corporate giantslizards. Grayson’s biggest cheerleader was EdVoice, the billionaire-backed for-profit charter-school lobby, which spent a whopping $2.5 million on his behalf. His current campaign has  raised more than $216,000 and is largely funded through significant donations from law enforcement, corporations, and fossil fuel industries.

Because the Democratic candidate in this race is considered to be a safe win in this district, we feel comfortable providing no recommendation in this race. Keep reading for progressive recommendations in other key races and on ballot measures where your vote can make a critical difference.

 


State Assembly, 15th District

Member of the State Assembly

  • Democrat
  • Re-elect State Assemblymember Wicks to keep AD-15 on the right track.

    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 15th Assembly District includes portions of Alameda and Contra Costa Counties. Democrats typically hold this district. Democrat incumbent Assemblymember Buffy Wicks has served since 2018, when she was elected. The most recent election results show 87.4 percent of AD-15 voted for Hillary Clinton for president in 2016, and 89.6 percent voted for Gavin Newsom for governor in 2018.

    About the Race

    In the primary, Democrat Incumbent Assemblymember Buffy Wicks led Independent challenger Sara Brink by a margin of 75.1 percent. Assemblymember Wicks’s campaign has raised over $559,000 and has pledged to refuse fossil fuel money. According to her campaign website, she has not accepted any corporate money. However, upon further research into her campaign contributions, it was found that she has accepted money from Airbnb, AT&T, Disney, Salesforce.com, and Tesla. Additionally, she has accepted almost $10,000 from the California Correctional Peace Officers Association and the Richmond Police Officers Association. According to Assemblymember Wicks’s campaign website, she said, “I will not accept any donations from charter school advocacy organizations. I have not accepted any such donations and I will not.” However, her campaign contribution records say otherwise. She has accepted $1,500 from the Charter Public Schools PAC. Brink’s campaign contributions have not been recorded with the Secretary of State’s office.

    About the Candidate

    Assemblymember Wicks, a lifelong grassroots activist, is from Oakland, CA. Prior to her election to the State Assembly, she organized against the Iraq War, worked on Barack Obama’s 2008 and 2012 presidential campaigns, served as his deputy director in the White House Office of Public Engagement, and served as executive director of super PAC Priorities USA Action in support of Hillary Clinton for president. She is a longtime supporter of policies that improve the welfare of women and children. According to campaign materials, Assemblymember Wicks is running for re-election to join the fight on the most challenging issues, including solving the housing and homelessness crisis, protecting communities from gun violence, increasing funding for food and health-care programs, and ensuring high-quality education across the state.

    Assemblymember Wicks’ priorities for AD-15 this year include education, housing, and health care. She currently sits on six standing committees: Banking and Finance, Budget, Budget Subcommittee No. 4 on State Administration, Privacy and Consumer Protection, Public Safety, and Rules. She also serves as chair on the Select Committee on Youth Mental Health. She has sponsored 45 bills about housing, education, health care, and transportation this year, of which eight have successfully been chaptered. She scores a perfect lifetime score of 100 out of 100 on Courage Score, our annual analysis of legislators’ progressive voting records. Based on our Courage Score analysis, Assemblymember Wicks has supported all progressive bills that made it to a vote.

    Assenblymember Wicks is endorsed by a strong majority of progressive groups in the district, such as Planned Parenthood Northern CA Action Fund, Moms Demand Action, Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, East Bay for Everyone, and Evolve CA. However, she is also endorsed by Berkeley Police Commissioner George Perezvelez. Independent challenger Brink’s campaign website has made it clear that she is not expecting to win, and instead, she is using the platform to address several issues within the current two-party system and urges voters to elect progressive candidates.

    Independent challenger Brink’s lack of a running platform greatly outweighs Assemblymember Wicks’s problematic endorsements and lack of consistency in campaign finance pledges. According to our analysis, Assemblymember Wicks is the strongest choice for equitable and representative leadership in office.

     

    Buffy Wicks

    Re-elect State Assemblymember Wicks to keep AD-15 on the right track.

    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 15th Assembly District includes portions of Alameda and Contra Costa Counties. Democrats typically hold this district. Democrat incumbent Assemblymember Buffy Wicks has served since 2018, when she was elected. The most recent election results show 87.4 percent of AD-15 voted for Hillary Clinton for president in 2016, and 89.6 percent voted for Gavin Newsom for governor in 2018.

    About the Race

    In the primary, Democrat Incumbent Assemblymember Buffy Wicks led Independent challenger Sara Brink by a margin of 75.1 percent. Assemblymember Wicks’s campaign has raised over $559,000 and has pledged to refuse fossil fuel money. According to her campaign website, she has not accepted any corporate money. However, upon further research into her campaign contributions, it was found that she has accepted money from Airbnb, AT&T, Disney, Salesforce.com, and Tesla. Additionally, she has accepted almost $10,000 from the California Correctional Peace Officers Association and the Richmond Police Officers Association. According to Assemblymember Wicks’s campaign website, she said, “I will not accept any donations from charter school advocacy organizations. I have not accepted any such donations and I will not.” However, her campaign contribution records say otherwise. She has accepted $1,500 from the Charter Public Schools PAC. Brink’s campaign contributions have not been recorded with the Secretary of State’s office.

    About the Candidate

    Assemblymember Wicks, a lifelong grassroots activist, is from Oakland, CA. Prior to her election to the State Assembly, she organized against the Iraq War, worked on Barack Obama’s 2008 and 2012 presidential campaigns, served as his deputy director in the White House Office of Public Engagement, and served as executive director of super PAC Priorities USA Action in support of Hillary Clinton for president. She is a longtime supporter of policies that improve the welfare of women and children. According to campaign materials, Assemblymember Wicks is running for re-election to join the fight on the most challenging issues, including solving the housing and homelessness crisis, protecting communities from gun violence, increasing funding for food and health-care programs, and ensuring high-quality education across the state.

    Assemblymember Wicks’ priorities for AD-15 this year include education, housing, and health care. She currently sits on six standing committees: Banking and Finance, Budget, Budget Subcommittee No. 4 on State Administration, Privacy and Consumer Protection, Public Safety, and Rules. She also serves as chair on the Select Committee on Youth Mental Health. She has sponsored 45 bills about housing, education, health care, and transportation this year, of which eight have successfully been chaptered. She scores a perfect lifetime score of 100 out of 100 on Courage Score, our annual analysis of legislators’ progressive voting records. Based on our Courage Score analysis, Assemblymember Wicks has supported all progressive bills that made it to a vote.

    Assenblymember Wicks is endorsed by a strong majority of progressive groups in the district, such as Planned Parenthood Northern CA Action Fund, Moms Demand Action, Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, East Bay for Everyone, and Evolve CA. However, she is also endorsed by Berkeley Police Commissioner George Perezvelez. Independent challenger Brink’s campaign website has made it clear that she is not expecting to win, and instead, she is using the platform to address several issues within the current two-party system and urges voters to elect progressive candidates.

    Independent challenger Brink’s lack of a running platform greatly outweighs Assemblymember Wicks’s problematic endorsements and lack of consistency in campaign finance pledges. According to our analysis, Assemblymember Wicks is the strongest choice for equitable and representative leadership in office.

     

    Last updated: 2020-10-21

State Assembly, 16th District

Member of the State Assembly

  • Re-elect State Assemblymember Rebecca Bauer-Kahan to keep AD-16 on the right track.

    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 16th Assembly District includes portions of Alameda and Contra Costa counties. Republicans held this district until 2008, when Democrat Joan Buchanan  won and flipped AD-16 from red to blue. It has flipped back and forth in the last decade. Democrat incumbent Assemblymember Rebecca Bauer-Kahan has served AD-16 since 2018. The most recent election results show 64.5 percent of AD-16 voted for Hillary Clinton for president in 2016, and 63.2 percent voted for Gavin Newsom for governor in 2018.

    About the Race

    In the primary, Democrat incumbent Assemblymember Rebecca Bauer-Kahan led Republican challenger Joseph Rubay by a margin of 36.6 percent. Bauer-Kahan’s campaign has raised $873,755 and is funded by corporate PACs, police money, and fossil fuel money. Rubay’s campaign has raised $16,525, of which $15,300 is from candidate self-financing. Rubay has not committed to any of the pledges to refuse corporate PACs, fossil fuel, or police money.

    About the Candidate

    Assemblymember Bauer-Kahan, a law professor and attorney, is from Orinda, CA. Prior to her election to the State Assembly, she taught law at Santa Clara University and Golden State University. She is a longtime supporter of fighting climate change and for a women’s right to choose. According to campaign materials, Assemblymember Bauer-Kahan is running for re-election to protect the environment, fight Trump’s immigration policies, increase access to quality, affordable health care, and help small businesses thrive.

    Assemblymember Bauer-Kahan’s priorities for AD-16 this year include education, public safety, and labor. She currently sits on five committees: Appropriations, Environmental Safety and Toxic Materials, Privacy and Consumer Protection, Public Safety, and Banking and Finance. She also serves as chair on the Select Committee on Women’s Reproductive Health. Assemblymember Bauer-Kahan has sponsored 31 bills about public safety, environment safety, and labor this year, of which nine have been successfully chaptered. She scores a lifetime score of 81 out of 100 on Courage Score, our annual analysis of legislators’ progressive voting records.

    Based on our Courage Score analysis, Assemblymember Bauer-Kahan has supported the most progressive bills that made it to a vote. That said, she has not supported AB 290, which would prevent dialysis companies from steering patients from Medi-Cal to boost corporate profits. This is not surprising, considering Assemblymember Bauer-Kahan has accepted $12,900 from the two dialysis giants in California: Fresenius and DaVita. Additionally, she has consistently failed to support essential housing bills, such as AB 1487, AB 1482, and AB 1279. By accepting almost $10,000 from powerful landlord-lobbying groups like the California Apartment Association PAC and Apartment Association of Greater Los Angeles PAC and failing to support these bills, Assemblymember Bauer-Kahan has shown AD-16 where her priorities lie.

    Assemblymember Bauer-Kahan is endorsed by several progressive groups, such as EMILY’s List, NARAL Pro-Choice California, and the California League of Conservation Voters. At this time, she does not have any problematic endorsements. The threat of Republican challenger Rubay’s potential policies on strengthening police to solve gun violence greatly outweighs Bauer-Kahan’s moderate voting record and lack of campaign finance pledges. According to our analysis, Assemblymember Bauer-Kahan is the strongest choice for equitable and representative leadership in office.

    Rebecca Bauer-Kahan

    Re-elect State Assemblymember Rebecca Bauer-Kahan to keep AD-16 on the right track.

    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 16th Assembly District includes portions of Alameda and Contra Costa counties. Republicans held this district until 2008, when Democrat Joan Buchanan  won and flipped AD-16 from red to blue. It has flipped back and forth in the last decade. Democrat incumbent Assemblymember Rebecca Bauer-Kahan has served AD-16 since 2018. The most recent election results show 64.5 percent of AD-16 voted for Hillary Clinton for president in 2016, and 63.2 percent voted for Gavin Newsom for governor in 2018.

    About the Race

    In the primary, Democrat incumbent Assemblymember Rebecca Bauer-Kahan led Republican challenger Joseph Rubay by a margin of 36.6 percent. Bauer-Kahan’s campaign has raised $873,755 and is funded by corporate PACs, police money, and fossil fuel money. Rubay’s campaign has raised $16,525, of which $15,300 is from candidate self-financing. Rubay has not committed to any of the pledges to refuse corporate PACs, fossil fuel, or police money.

    About the Candidate

    Assemblymember Bauer-Kahan, a law professor and attorney, is from Orinda, CA. Prior to her election to the State Assembly, she taught law at Santa Clara University and Golden State University. She is a longtime supporter of fighting climate change and for a women’s right to choose. According to campaign materials, Assemblymember Bauer-Kahan is running for re-election to protect the environment, fight Trump’s immigration policies, increase access to quality, affordable health care, and help small businesses thrive.

    Assemblymember Bauer-Kahan’s priorities for AD-16 this year include education, public safety, and labor. She currently sits on five committees: Appropriations, Environmental Safety and Toxic Materials, Privacy and Consumer Protection, Public Safety, and Banking and Finance. She also serves as chair on the Select Committee on Women’s Reproductive Health. Assemblymember Bauer-Kahan has sponsored 31 bills about public safety, environment safety, and labor this year, of which nine have been successfully chaptered. She scores a lifetime score of 81 out of 100 on Courage Score, our annual analysis of legislators’ progressive voting records.

    Based on our Courage Score analysis, Assemblymember Bauer-Kahan has supported the most progressive bills that made it to a vote. That said, she has not supported AB 290, which would prevent dialysis companies from steering patients from Medi-Cal to boost corporate profits. This is not surprising, considering Assemblymember Bauer-Kahan has accepted $12,900 from the two dialysis giants in California: Fresenius and DaVita. Additionally, she has consistently failed to support essential housing bills, such as AB 1487, AB 1482, and AB 1279. By accepting almost $10,000 from powerful landlord-lobbying groups like the California Apartment Association PAC and Apartment Association of Greater Los Angeles PAC and failing to support these bills, Assemblymember Bauer-Kahan has shown AD-16 where her priorities lie.

    Assemblymember Bauer-Kahan is endorsed by several progressive groups, such as EMILY’s List, NARAL Pro-Choice California, and the California League of Conservation Voters. At this time, she does not have any problematic endorsements. The threat of Republican challenger Rubay’s potential policies on strengthening police to solve gun violence greatly outweighs Bauer-Kahan’s moderate voting record and lack of campaign finance pledges. According to our analysis, Assemblymember Bauer-Kahan is the strongest choice for equitable and representative leadership in office.

    Last updated: 2020-10-21

State Senate

Depending on where you live, you may have one of the below State Senate races on your ballot.

State Senator, 3rd District

Member of the State Senate

No Good Choices

Based on our analysis, there is no progressive candidate to recommend for your vote in this race.

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 people. 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 or 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 3rd Senate District includes all of Napa and Solano Counties, and parts of Contra Costa, Sacramento, Sonoma, and Yolo Counties. Notable cities within the district include Napa, Martinez, Vallejo, Sonoma, and Davis. Democrats typically hold this district. The most recent election results show SD-03 voted for Hillary Clinton for president in 2016 and Gavin Newsom for governor in 2018. 

About the Race

In the March 3 primary election, Democrat incumbent Representative Bill Dodd led Republican challenger Carlos Santamaria by a margin of 97.6 percent. Dodd’s campaign has raised over $200,000 and is funded largely through business, finance, and real estate contributors. His campaign has also received corporate, police, and fossil fuel money. These include significant donations from the Peace Officers Research Association of California, Walmart, and Chevron, just to name a few. Republican challenger Santamaria's campaign has raised around $1,500 from individual contributions.

About the Candidate

Democrat incumbent Senator Bill Dodd has served as senator for the district since 2013. He holds non-progressive positions regarding affordable housing and criminal-justice reform. Based on his track record, Senator Dodd is likely to provide no progressive leadership in office. 

It’s important to note that prior to his appointment in 2013, Dodd was a Republican, having switched parties in late 2012. Prior to switching to the Democratic Party, Dodd had faced criticism for his slow turnaround on progressive issues. 

Sen. Dodd’s priorities for SD-03 this year include strengthening education, supporting California agriculture, and pushing for environmental protections. He currently sits on 13 committees, and serves as chair for the Wildfires and Climate Change--California’s Energy Future Select Committee. Sen. Dodd has sponsored 51 bills regarding various topics, including safety, the environment, and agriculture, of which four have successfully passed. 

Senator Dodd’s emphasis on environmental protections however, is countered by his close relationship with PG&E leadership. PG&E is the energy company whose equipment started wildfires that devastated California communities. Bill Dodd’s chief of staff is the son of longtime PG&E Supervisor Jim Chaaban. Dodd has also received ample funding from the company through coded “independent expenditures” and PG&E lobbyists. Dodd has used his committee appointments as state senator to craft “bailout bills” for PG&E. Specifically, SB 901 was supposed to “prevent catastrophic wildfires and protect Californians”--yet once again failed to hold PG&E responsible two months later, when the company caused the devastating fires in Paradise, California. The bill was highly criticized for redirecting part of the cost of PG&E’s negligence onto California taxpayers. Senator Dodd’s conflicting interests regarding PG&E have proved to be concerning. 

Senator Dodd also possesses a regressive voting record in terms of affordable housing and criminal-justice reform. In 2019, Dodd voted in favor of SB 136, a bill that keeps mandatory sentence enhancements despite the fact that they cost a fortune and disproportionately harm people of color. Dodd has also opposed giving tenants the right to organize for better living conditions (SB 529) and didn’t vote at all on the Bay Area Housing Finance Authority (AB 1487), an agency to fund affordable housing there. In 2020, Sen. Dodd has also voted against SB 50, which supported the expansion of multifamily apartments to address housing shortages, and against SB 1383, which proposed expanded protections for paid family leave. 

Senator Dodd scores a lifetime courage score of 64 out of 100 on Courage Score, our annual analysis of legislators’ progressive voting records. Based on our Courage Score analysis, Dodd has supported some progressive bills, but remained neutral on key issues. He has also received over 22 endorsements from law-enforcement organizations and sheriffs. 

Because the Democratic candidate in this race is considered to be a safe win in this district, we feel comfortable providing no recommendation in this race. Keep reading for progressive recommendations in other key races and on ballot measures where your vote can make a critical difference.


 


State Senator, 7th District

Member of the State Senate

No Recommendation

Based on our analysis, there is no progressive candidate to recommend for your vote in this race.

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 districts. Each represents a population of about 930,000 people. 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 or 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 7th Senate District includes portions of Alameda and Contra Costa Counties. Democrats typically hold this district. Democratic incumbent Senator Steve Glazer has held this office since he was elected in 2015. The most recent election results show 64.3 percent of SD-07 overwhelmingly voted for Hillary Clinton for president in 2016, and 63.1 percent voted for Gavin Newsom for governor in 2018.

About the Race

In the primary, Democrat incumbent Senator Steve Glazer led Republican challenger Julie Mobley by a margin of 21.1 percent. Senator Glazer’s campaign is funded by corporate PACs, fossil fuels, and police PACs. Mobley’s campaign has also not committed to any of the funding pledges.

About the Candidate

Glazer is the incumbent, having served as a state senator since 2015.  Based on his track record as the Senate’s lowest-scoring Democrat on Courage Score, with a lifetime score of 32/100, Senator Glazer is likely to provide no progressive leadership in office.

Senator Glazer names his priorities for SD-17 this year as education and the environment, despite having consistently voted to allow various environmental review loopholes for development and housing construction. He failed to support bills like SB 142 and SB 551, which called for the reduction of lead-acid battery pollution and increased accountability for the management of abandoned oil wells. Senator Glazer currently sits on the Agriculture, Education, Governmental Organization, and Insurance Committees, and serves as chair of the Business Committee and Select Committee on Student Success. Senator Glazer has sponsored 46 bills about health, taxes, and business this year, of which eight have successfully passed. Senator Glazer is endorsed by the California Association of Highway Patrolmen and received funding from them, as well as the Los Angeles Police Protective League.

Republican challenger Julie Mobley, an engineer and 2019–2020 Civil Grand Juror, is running to update infrastructure, reduce costs for housing and health care, invest in new technologies, and to support innovative policing. Mobley has lived in the East Bay for over 20 years and believes her experiences as a woman in the male-dominated field of STEM and as a mom gives her an understanding of what the people of SD-07 want and need.

While Senator Glazer is a stronger choice than Republican challenger Julie Mobley, neither demonstrates a commitment to equitable or representative leadership. Because the Democratic candidate in this race is considered to be a safe win in this district, we feel comfortable providing no recommendation in this race. Keep reading for progressive recommendations in other key races and on ballot measures where your vote can make a critical difference.

 


State Senator, 9th District

Member of the State Senate

  • Re-elect State Senate Representative Nancy Skinner to keep SD-09 on the right track.

    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 people. 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 or Assembly. This term, Democrats currently hold a two-thirds supermajority of 29 seats in the California State Senate, while Republicans hold 11 seats.

    State senators represent and advocate 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.

    About the District

    California’s 9th Senate District includes parts of Alameda and Contra Costa Counties. Notable cities include Oakland, Berkeley, Alameda, San Leandro, and Richmond. Democrats typically hold this district. The most recent elections show SD-09 voted for Hillary Clinton for president in 2016 and Gavin Newsom for governor in 2018, both with large victory margins. The district encompasses a significant Black, Latino, and Asian population (62 percent) and has a notable liberal history dating back to World War II and the Free Speech Movement. However, recently, there has been a decline in minority populations, specifically African-Americans, due to gentrification. It is a major urban and commercial hot spot and includes the Port of Oakland and Bay Bridge. State Senate District 9 is considered one of the safest of Democratic districts.

    About the Race

    In the primary, Democrat incumbent Nancy Skinner led Libertarian challenger Jamie Dluzak by a margin of nearly 100 percent. Sen. Skinner’s campaign has raised over $130,000, and has received funding from corporate donations. Her campaign has also received fossil fuel and law-enforcement money, although not a significant amount, compared to other State Senate candidates. Sen. Skinner’s campaign has also received donations from multiple clean-energy corporations, and notable progressive associations, such as the California Nurses Association PAC.

    About the Candidate

    Nancy Skinner was born in San Francisco, and has lived in Berkeley, CA, for over 40 years. According to campaign materials, Skinner is running for re-election to continue fighting for criminal-justice reform, environmental protections, affordable housing, and public safety. Prior to her election to the State Senate, Skinner served three terms in the State Assembly, was the first student to be elected to the Berkeley City Council, and served as the executive director of ICLEI’s United States office, which worked with international cities to stop climate change. As a graduate student at Berkeley, Skinner co-founded the labor union that represents graduate student instructors.

    Skinner is the incumbent State Senator in District 9, having served in the position since 2017. She currently serves as the chair for Senate Public Safety and Senate Subcommittee No. 5 on Corrections, Public Safety, and the Judiciary, and is a member of an additional nine committees. Sen. Skinner has authored legislation to improve California’s affordable-housing shortage, and to protect the environment through the reduction of greenhouse-gas emissions. During her term, she has supported legislation for renewable energy and police reform. In the State Senate, Skinner authored two significant criminal-justice reform bills to increase police accountability and overhaul the felony murder rule. Skinner has voted on 11 bills this year that address issues pertaining to COVID-19 relief, affirmative action, and paid family leave.

    Nancy Skinner is a Courage California all-star, with a lifetime 97 out of 100 Courage Score, our annual analysis of legislators’ progressive voting records. Additionally, Skinner has received endorsements from notable progressive organizations, including United Domestic Workers, United Farm Workers, and California Democratic Party. In 2019, she received 100 percent ratings from AFSCME, California Labor Federation, CA Federation of Teachers, Equality CA, Health Access, Planned Parenthood of CA, and Sierra Club CA. Based on our analysis, Skinner has consistently shown great courage by advocating for the needs of constituents and facing down corporate lobbyists and interest groups that exploit Californians.

    According to our analysis, Nancy Skinner is the strongest choice for equitable and representative leadership in office.

     

    Nancy Skinner

    Re-elect State Senate Representative Nancy Skinner to keep SD-09 on the right track.

    About the Position

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

    Last updated: 2020-10-21

Statewide Ballot Measures

Proposition #14

  • No Position
    Vote on Stem Cell Research Funding
  • Voters will be asked to vote YES to authorize $5.5 billion in bonds to continue a large-scale, long-term stem cell research funding initiative or vote NO to not authorize bond funding and let the initiative lapse.

    Proposition 14 asks voters to authorize a total of $5.5 billion in state general obligation bonds to continue the California stem cell agency that funds research, therapy, and grants to educational, nonprofit, and private entities for Alzheimer’s, Parkison’s, epilepsy, strokes, and other central nervous system and brain conditions and diseases. Prop 14 is an extension of Prop 71, which created the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine (CIRM) in 2004. The CIRM ran out of the original Prop 71 funds in 2019 and has not been funding new projects since then.

    YES on Prop 14 Supporters Say

    Vote YES to continue the CIRM, a state agency that has distributed a significant source of funding to scientific research programs and enterprises across the state, both nonprofit and for-profit.

    • Funding from the CIRM has been available for 15 years, and ending the program could have a limiting impact on research programs in areas that include central nervous system and brain conditions, but also immunotherapy trials, cancer research, and vision-loss research currently funded by the CIRM.
    • In 2018 (the last year it was fully funded), CIRM-funded companies raised more than $1 billion in funding from outside investors; a sign of validation not just for the companies and their therapies, but also for CIRM and its judgment.
    • Stem cell research has the potential to lead to groundbreaking medical treatments, which we need more than ever in the face of COVID-19.
    • CIRM has changed its policies for those who receive CIRM funding through an academic or nonprofit institution to require project proposals to address considerations of racial, ethnic, sex, and gender diversity, which is an important step in remedying past inequities in medical research. It is important to note that this policy change does not appear to apply to for-profit entities funded by the CIRM.
    NO on Prop 14 Supporters Say

    Vote NO to not authorize the sale of $5.5 billion in state bonds for the CIRM and eliminate a financially burdensome stem cell research program that no longer has significant impact on medical research.

    • The federal government provides significantly more funding for stem cell research now  than it did 16 years ago, which makes the CIRM less necessary as a source of stem cell research funding. According to National Institute of Health estimates, the federal government will spend $2,129 billion on stem cell research just this year alone, while the CIRM has granted a fraction of that, $2.7 billion, in its entire 16-year history. Private-sector funding is also growing for stem cell research.
    • There is a lack of accountability and transparency around the funds distributed to the various research entities, as there is no legislative oversight in the program design, and the program has built-in conflicts of interest that Prop 14 does not address. In fact, multiple sources state that the majority of the board overseeing the CIRM come from institutions that have received the bulk of the CIRM’s spending.
    • Prop. 71 was designed to kick-start the research at a time when federal funding was blocked. Opponents say the CIRM should continue its work as a self-sustaining nonprofit organization or close down and allow federal grants and venture funding to push the industry forward.
    • The California Constitution prevents the state from holding equity, and Prop 14 is designed in such a way that any returns the state could generate are then used to improve the affordability of stem cell treatments, with no possibility of paying back the interest being paid back over many years by the state.
    • Prop 14 will add billions of dollars in debt through bond financing tied to the state's General Fund. The bond interest has to be paid first, which makes the overall General Fund budget smaller for other services for years, even while the debt from Prop 71 still hasn't been paid back.
    Top Funders of Prop 14

    Robert N. Klein II, a Silicon Valley real estate developer and the top donor for Prop 14, was also the chief author of Proposition 71, which authorized $3 billion in bonds to create and maintain the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine in 2004. There is no registered financial opposition.

    Misinformation

    There is no notable misinformation about Proposition 14.

    Progressive Landscape

    Progressive Landscape

    Voters will be asked to vote YES to authorize $5.5 billion in bonds to continue a large-scale, long-term stem cell research funding initiative or vote NO to not authorize bond funding and let the initiative lapse. Proposition 14 asks voters to authorize a total of $5.5 billion in state general obligation bonds to continue the California stem cell agency that funds research, therapy, and grants to educational, nonprofit, and private entities for Alzheimer’s, Parkison’s, epilepsy, strokes, and other central nervous system and brain conditions and diseases. Prop 14 is an extension of Prop 71, which created the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine (CIRM) in 2004. The CIRM ran out of the original Prop 71 funds in 2019 and has not been funding new projects since then.
    Last updated: 2020-10-20

Proposition #15

  • VOTE YES
    Yes to Schools and Communities First
  • Vote YES on Prop 15 to provide between $6.4 billion to $11.5 billion in additional funding to local schools and governments. 

    Proposition 15 asks California voters to raise an estimated $6.4 billion to $11.5 billion in funding for local schools and governments by increasing property taxes on commercial and industrial properties based on current market value instead of the price they were purchased for. Based on the most recent report by Blue Sky Consulting Group, 10% of the biggest corporate property owners will pay 92% of the funding and more than 75% of total revenues will come from properties that have not been reassessed since prior to 1990 -- just 2% of all commercial and industrial properties! Proposition 15 will maintain the existing commercial and industrial property tax at a 1% limit and will also maintain existing exemptions for small businesses, homeowners, agricultural lands, and renters.

    Why voting YES on Prop 15 matters
    • Proposition 15 closes a corporate tax loophole by taxing all large commercial properties of $3 million or more at fair market value – not purchase price. This reform will restore $6.5 billion to $11.5 billion of critically needed funds for schools and local community services without raising taxes on homeowners, renters, or small businesses.
    • Prop 15 also cuts taxes for small business owners who have been especially harmed by the pandemic.
    • Prop 15 is a way to invest in our communities without having to raise taxes on small businesses, renters, and homeowners. Closing the corporate tax loophole will restore billions to underfunded public schools that serve low income and communities of color.
    • California schools have the largest class sizes in the nation, and California ranks 41st (with adjusted cost of living) out of all states and Washington, D.C. in spending per K-12 student (California Budget & Policy Center). 
    • California is ranked 51st in three categories: number of K-12 students per teacher, number of K-12 students per guidance counselor, and number of K-12 students per librarian (National Education Association / National Center for Education Statistics).
     
    Misinformation about Prop 15 includes
    • "It hurts small businesses" -- FALSE. Prop 15 exempts small businesses, homeowners, renters, and agricultural land.
    • "It taxes working families" -- FALSE. 92% of the revenue comes from only 10% of large commercial properties that have been undertaxed for decades.
    • "It is a step towards repealing Prop 13" -- FALSE. – This is scare tactic used by large commercial property owners to avoid paying their fair share. Prop 15 protects homeowners, renters and small business owners.
    • "Small business operations from home aren’t protected under Prop 15" -- FALSE. Prop 15 not only clearly exempts small businesses, but helps them by exempting the first $500,000 of business equipment from being taxed. This eliminates this tax for nearly all small businesses.
     
    Primary Funders of Prop 15 include

    Prop 15’s main opponents include realty and industrial property owners, while the California Teachers Association and SEIU California State Council are main supporters.

    Top Funders of Prop 15

     

    Progressive Landscape

    Progressive Landscape - Prop 15

    Prop 15: Schools and Local Communities Funding Act - YES

    Vote YES on Prop 15 to provide between $6.4 billion to $11.5 billion in additional funding to local schools and governments. 

    Proposition 15 asks California voters to raise an estimated $6.4 billion to $11.5 billion in funding for local schools and governments

    Last updated: 2020-10-20

Proposition #16

  • VOTE YES
    Yes to Affirmative Action
  • Vote YES on Prop 16 to repeal 1996’s Prop 209 and reinstate affirmative action in the state.

    Proposition 16 asks California voters to amend the Constitution of California to repeal Prop 209’s restrictions on local and state governments from considering race, sex, color, ethnicity, or national origin in public employment, education, and contracting. If passed, Prop 16 will permit governments to consider those protected categories in order to promote inclusive hiring and admissions programs in California’s public universities, government, and public agencies.

    Why voting YES on Prop 16 matters
    • It is time that California follows the other 42 states that have taken gender, race, ethnicity, and national origin into account for college admissions and hiring in government and public agencies.
    • Prop 209’s affirmative action ban resulted in an over $820 million loss every year in Minority- and Women-Owned Business Enterprise Program (MWBE) contracts with the state of California.
    • Reports conclude that the percentage of contracts granted to MWBEs never returned to pre-Prop 209 levels. Restoring affirmative action is the next step in building a more equitable and diverse future for California.
    • The University of California’s analysis of Prop 209 revealed that affirmative action had increased the population of underrepresented students by at least 12 percent, with the largest effects seen at UCLA and Berkeley.
     
    Misinformation about Prop 16 includes
    • "Gains for women of color in workforce diversity have already been addressed." -- FALSE. Women of color continue to face systemic racism in the wage gap and earn an estimated $946,120 less than white men over a 40-year career.
    • "Black civil workers are overrepresented." -- FALSE. According to the 2018 Civil Service Census of California employees, Black Californians made up 5.5 percent of the total population and 9.8 percent of the total civil-service workforce, compared to white Californians, who made up 37 percent of the total population but 43.5 percent of the total civil-service workforce.
    • "Colleges and universities would be able to use racial quotas." -- FALSE. Racial quotas for university admissions have been outlawed as unconstitutional since Regents of the University of California v. Bakke in 1978.
     
    Top Funders of Prop 16 include
    • Opposition to Prop 16 is sponsored by Students for Fair Admissions, Inc., which contributed to the Californians for Equal Rights committee.
    • Support for Prop 16 is largely financed by philanthropists M. Quinn Delaney and Patty Quillin, California Nurses Association Initiative PAC, California Works (a project of California Labor Federation AFL-CIO), and Elizabeth Cabraser.
     
    Progressive Landscape

    Progressive Landscape - Prop 16

    Prop 16: Repeal Proposition 209 Affirmative Action Amendment - YES

    Vote YES on Prop 16 to repeal 1996’s Prop 209 and reinstate affirmative action in the state.

    Proposition 16 asks California voters to amend the Constitution of California to repeal Prop 209’s restrictions on local and state governments from considering race, sex, color,

    Last updated: 2020-10-20

Proposition #17

  • VOTE YES
    Yes to Restored Voting Rights
  • Vote YES on Prop 17 to restore voting rights to Californians on parole. 

    Proposition 17 asks California voters to amend the Constitution of California to restore voting rights to persons who have been disqualified from voting while on parole. If passed, Prop 17 will restore voting rights to approximately 50,000 Californians currently on parole.

    Why voting YES on Prop 17 matters
    • California is one of the 31 states that do not automatically restore voting rights upon completion of a person’s sentence. In Maine and Vermont, there are no laws that disenfranchise and discriminate against people with criminal convictions even when they’re still serving out their sentences.
    • Parolees who are reintegrating into society resume other civic responsibilities, such as paying taxes and jury duty. Being barred from voting while paying taxes is taxation without representation.
    • In 2017, Black Californians made up 28% of all prison populations despite only making up 6% of California’s total population. With an astonishing and horrifying incarceration rate at 8 times the rate of white Californians, it is clear that the disenfranchisement of parolees is the disenfranchisement of Black voters.
     
    Misinformation about Prop 17 includes
    • "Voting is a privilege" -- FALSE. Voting is a right, not privilege. Projecting voting as a privilege and not a right inherently undermines our democracy. 
    • "Individuals who have not completed their parole period have not completed their sentence" -- FALSE. As soon as a person completes their sentence in prison, they are released into their parole period in order to reintegrate into society. The sentence in prison and parole period are two separate phases.
     
    Top Funders of Prop 17 include

    There are no contributions recorded for support or opposition to Prop 17.

     

    Progressive Landscape

    Progressive Landscape - Prop 17

    Last updated: 2020-10-20

Proposition #18

  • VOTE YES
    Yes to Expanded Voting Rights
  • Vote YES on Prop 18 to allow 17-year-olds to vote in the primary election if they will turn 18 by the following general election.

    Proposition 18 asks California voters to amend the Constitution of California to allow 17-year-olds to vote in the primary election if they will turn 18 by the following general election. At the age of 18, Californians are technically given the right to vote in all elections. However, those who are not 18 by the time of the primary are not able to have input on who would or would not appear on their ballot in the general election. A YES vote on Prop 18 solves this problem.

    Why voting YES on Prop 18 matters
    • Nineteen other states, including D.C., allow 17-year-olds to vote in the primary election if they will be 18 by the general election.
    • Research has proven time and again that voting is habit-forming. These states recognize the importance of allowing 18-year-olds to vote, to help form their voting habits and amplify their voices.
     
    Top Funders of Prop 18 include

    There are no recorded contributions in support of or opposition to Prop 18.

     
    Misinformation about Prop 18 includes

    There is no prominent misinformation about Prop 18.

     

    Progressive Landscape

    Progressive Landscape - Prop 18

    Prop 18: Primary Voting for 17-Year-Olds Amendment - YES

    Vote YES on Prop 18 to allow 17-year-olds to vote in the primary election if they will turn 18 by the following general election.

    Proposition 18 asks California voters to amend the Constitution of California to allow 17-year-olds to vote in the primary election if they

    Last updated: 2020-10-20

Proposition #19

  • VOTE NO
    No to More Housing Inequity
  • Vote NO on Proposition 19 to maintain property tax savings for all and avoid increasing housing inequity.

    Proposition 19 asks voters to amend sections of 1978’s Proposition 13 to increase the number of times a property tax base can be transferred to three times for longtime homeowners. Prop 19 is almost exactly the same as Proposition 5, which was on the 2018 California ballot and overwhelmingly defeated by voters, with 60 percent having voted against the proposition. The main difference in the proposition this year is that Prop 19 includes an additional amendment to Prop 13 that narrows an existing inheritance property tax break and promises to distribute any revenue generated from that amendment toward fire protection agencies and schools.

    Why voting NO on Prop 19 matters
    • Proposition 19 widens the generational wealth gap by giving homeowners older than 55 and other qualified groups a way to keep property tax breaks they receive for having bought their homes decades ago if they move anywhere else in the state, up to three times. They can also keep that break if they move to a more expensive property.
    • Proposition 13 caps most property tax rates at 1 percent of a home’s sale price and holds annual increases in assessed value to 2 percent or less. This means people who purchased their home a few decades ago already pay significantly less property tax than newer homeowners. Prop 19 further builds the wealth of longtime homeowners and denies wealth-building opportunities to people who don’t own a home or who may be struggling to buy one.
    • While Prop 19 does eliminate a $1 million property tax exemption for parent-to-child transfers and could potentially generate state revenue that would be distributed to fire protection agencies and schools, this amendment is being paired with the primary tax break for longtime homeowners to make it more appealing.
     
    Top Funders of Prop 19

    Realtor associations have contributed $36,270,000 in support of Prop 19. There is no registered financial opposition.

     
    Misinformation

    There is no prominent misinformation about Proposition 19.

     

    Progressive Landscape

    Progressive Landscape - Prop 19

     

    Prop 19

    Vote NO on Proposition 19 to maintain property tax savings for all and avoid increasing housing inequity.

    Proposition 19 asks voters to amend sections of 1978’s Proposition 13 to increase the number of times a property tax base can be transferred to three times for long

    Last updated: 2020-10-20

Proposition #20

  • VOTE NO
    No to More Incarceration
  • Vote NO on Prop 20 to protect criminal justice reforms and constitutional rights to privacy.

    If passed, Prop 20 increases penalties for low-level offenses and would create a state database that collects DNA samples from persons convicted of specified misdemeanors for use in cold cases by repealing parts of Props 47 and 57. Prop 20 would expand the list of offenses that disqualify inmates from a parole program, consider an individual’s collective criminal history and not just their most recent offense, and impose stronger restrictions for a nonviolent offender’s parole program. Additionally, Prop 20 would reclassify theft between $250 and $950 as a felony.

    Why voting NO on Prop 20 matters
    • Prop 20 is a dangerous proposition put forth by Courage Score Hall of Shame Assemblymember Jim Cooper, and it is sponsored by Courage Score Hall of Shame Assemblymember Vince Fong. Time and again, Assemblymembers Cooper and Fong vote to protect police brutality and discriminatory criminal justice policies. Both voted no on AB 1600, which would expedite access to police misconduct records for a trial.
    • Association for L.A. Deputy Sheriffs, L.A. Police Protective League, and the Peace Officers Research Association of California all support and have heavily financed Prop 20.
    • Prop 20 would increase recidivism by removing positive incentives from Prop 57.
    • Parole review boards would consider an individual’s entire criminal history, not just the offense they are on parole for, when deciding to release a person convicted of a felony on parole.
    Top Funders of Prop 20
    • Three police unions are the top funders in support of Prop 20, including the CA Correctional Peace Officers Association, the Association for LA Deputy Sheriffs, and the LA Police Protective League Issues PAC.
    • Philanthropists are the top funders of campaigns against Prop 20, including the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, Patty Quillin, and Stacy Schusterman.
    Misinformation about Prop 20
    • "Criminals are getting away with more violent crimes." -- FALSE. The nonpartisan Public Policy Institute of California found that Prop 47, which Prop 20 attempts to roll back, not only decreased racial disparities in bookings and arrests, but also found that violent crimes did not increase after it was passed.

     

    Progressive Landscape

    Progressive Landscape - Prop 20

    Last updated: 2020-10-20

Proposition #21

  • VOTE YES
    Yes to Local Rent Control
  • Vote YES on Prop 21 to allow cities and counties to establish and regulate rent control.

    Proposition 21 asks voters to amend state law in order to allow (not require) local governments at the city and county levels to establish and regulate rent control on residential properties. This proposition would affect residential properties over 15 years old and exempts individuals who own up to two residential properties. Additionally, Prop 21 would allow rent in rent-controlled properties to increase up to 15 percent over a period of three years with the start of a new tenancy. Prop 21 is more or less the same proposition voters rejected in 2018.

    Why voting YES on Prop 21 matters

    California has the highest rate of homelessness in the nation, which can be attributed to the overwhelmingly high median rates for rent throughout the state forcing residents to pay 50 percent of their income just toward rent.
    The Costa-Hawkins Rental Housing Act prohibits rent control on residential properties built after February 1, 1995. Since then, housing built in California has become accessible only to those who can afford uncontrolled rent increases, and low-income families have largely been shut out from newer housing developments.
    According to a Stanford study, those who lived in rent-controlled properties when Costa-Hawkins passed ended up saving a cumulative total of $7 billion over 18 years, which confirms that rent control is an effective way to prevent displacement from the city.

     
    Misinformation about Prop 21 includes
    • "Makes the housing crisis worse." -- FALSE. With one in three Californians paying 50 percent of their income just for rent, Prop 21 offers local governments the opportunity to prevent displacement, and as a result, prevent homelessness. A person who experiences homelessness will cost taxpayers an average of $35,578, and chronic homelessness generally costs around $100,000.
    • "Removes a landlord’s right to profit." -- FALSE. Prop 21 actually guarantees a landlord’s right to profit.
    • "California just passed AB 1482, which went into effect in January of this year, so California doesn’t need any more rent laws." -- FALSE AB 1482 only affects residential properties built after 2005, and according to Zillow’s analysis, only 7 percent of renters would have benefited from AB 1482’s rent cap in 2018.
     
    Top Funders of Prop 21 include
    • Three of the top 10 property owners in Silicon Valley (Prometheus Real Estate Group, Inc., Essex Property Trust, and Equity Residential) have contributed over $10 million in opposition to Prop 21.
    • The leading funder in support of Prop 21 is the AIDS Healthcare Foundation, and its housing advocacy division Housing Is A Human Right is a leading sponsor of the Rental Affordability Act.

     

    Progressive Landscape

    Progressive Landscape - Prop 21

    Prop 21: The Rental Affordability Act - YES

    Vote YES on Prop 21 to allow cities and counties to establish and regulate rent control.

    Proposition 21 asks voters to amend state law in order to allow (not require) local governments at the city and county levels to establish and regulate rent control on residential p

    Last updated: 2020-10-20

Proposition #22

  • VOTE NO
    No to Worker Exploitation
  • Vote NO on Prop 22 to protect labor rights and classify app-based drivers as employees, not contractors.

    Proposition 22 asks voters to exempt companies like Lyft, Postmates, Uber, DoorDash, and others from a recently implemented state worker protection law, Assembly Bill 5 (AB5), so they can classify gig economy drivers from ride-share and delivery companies as independent contractors, not as employees. Additionally, Prop 22 would restrict local regulation of app-based drivers and would criminalize the impersonation of drivers.

    Why voting NO on Prop 22 matters
    • By classifying workers as contractors and not employees, companies like Lyft, Uber, and DoorDash are exempted by state employment laws from ensuring basic protections to their workforce including minimum wage, overtime, unemployment insurance, and workers’ compensation.

    • Currently, rideshare and delivery workers are entitled under AB 5 to labor rights that every other employee in California receives, such as the right to organize, health insurance, and Social Security benefits. Prop 22 would take those rights away.

    • AB 5 also guarantees paid family leave, paid sick days, and unemployment insurance to those classified as gig employees. Proposition 22 asks voters to make gig-economy employees exempt from this law and replaces their rights with fewer benefits of much less value to their workers.

    • More than 2,000 drivers have filed claims against Uber and Lyft for over $630 million in damages, expenses, and lost wages. Prop 22 will codify Uber and Lyft’s abilities to systematically steal wages from drivers.

    • Uber and Lyft currently owe California  $413 million in unemployment insurance contributions due to misclassifying drivers as independent contractors under AB 5. If Prop 22 passes, Uber and Lyft would get away with not paying what they owe.

     

    Misinformation About Prop 22
    • "The cost of ride-share will go up, decreasing the amount of people who will pay for rides and services and forcing companies to lay off more workers." -- FALSE. The nonpartisan Legislative Analyst’s Office found that because these companies would not have to pay for standard employee benefits and protections (roughly 20 percent of total employee costs), companies can charge lower delivery fees and fares. It is projected that this will increase companies’ profits and drivers’ state income taxes.
    • "Prop 22 will guarantee 120% of minimum wage to all drivers." -- FALSE. The UC Berkeley Labor Center released a report that estimates Prop 22’s “pay guarantee” for their Uber and Lyft drivers would only end up being $5.64 per hour after accounting for all the expenses that drivers are responsible for themselves. At that rate, even if an individual worked 10 hour days, 7 days a week under Prop 22, they would be living below the California poverty line.

    • "Prop 22 will give health insurance to all drivers." -- FALSE. Under Prop 22, companies do not pay for health insurance, but instead provide a stipend to drivers. This stipend is valued at only 82% of the minimum coverage provided by state law, and is actually worth even less because workers would owe state and federal income taxes on the stipend. Prop 22 forces drivers to work more than 39 hours a week to qualify for the health stipend, so many workers would never even qualify for the stipend. For drivers who do qualify, Health Access California estimates that the health stipend would be just a couple hundred dollars—and could be just tens of dollars for younger workers—not enough for drivers to cover the purchase of their own health insurance.

     

    What Is At Stake

    If Prop 22 is passed, all future labor legislation surrounding Uber and Lyft would have to be approved by 7/8 of the total California State Legislature. Making this happen is virtually impossible considering Uber and Lyft have donated $2 million to the California Republican Party campaign committee. This is why Uber and Lyft are spending millions of dollars: to make their operations virtually untouchable in terms of regulation.

     

    Top Funders of Prop 22
    • Lyft, Uber, and DoorDash are leading contributions in support of Prop 22, with over $148 million between the three of them. Both InstaCart and Postmates have contributed $27 and $11 million each respectively, for a grand total of over $187 million in support of Prop 22. Their coalition to pass Prop 22 is now the most expensive California ballot measure since 1992.
    • International Brotherhood of Teamsters, United Food & Commercial Workers International Union, Service Employees International Union, United Food & Commercial Workers Local 770, and SEIU-UWH Political Issues Committee have contributed a total of $5.5 million in opposition to Prop 22.

    Top Funders of Prop 22


    Progressive Landscape

    Progressive Landscape - Prop 22

    Last updated: 2020-10-20

Proposition #23

  • VOTE YES
    Yes to Quality Clinical Care
  • Vote YES on Prop 23 to require infection reporting and state approval to close or reduce services at hospitals.

    Prop 23 would add sections to the California Health and Safety Code about how dialysis facilities can operate, requiring a physician to be on-site at every dialysis clinic to oversee operations, and mandating that each chronic dialysis clinic submit quarterly reports on dialysis-related infections to the California Department of Health. The on-site physician would assume a non-caregiving role, as they would not be required to be specially trained in nephrology or interact with patients at all. Additionally, Prop 23 would prohibit discrimination against patients based on their coverage or care.

    Why voting YES on Prop 23 matters:
    • Prop 23 builds upon current federal requirements that report dialysis-related infections to the National Healthcare Safety Network at the Center for Disease Control to include reporting these infections to the California Department of Health.
    • Having a physician on-site at chronic dialysis clinics during all treatment hours provides a higher quality of medical care with an additional layer of patient safety.
    • Prop 23 protects the 80,000 Californians who require dialysis on a weekly basis by ensuring chronic dialysis clinics cannot discriminate against patients based on how they are paying for their treatments. Insurances like Medi-Cal pay less for dialysis treatments than private insurance, which is why corporations like DaVita and Fresenius are spending millions to oppose this proposition.
     
    Top funders of Prop 23 include:
    • Opposition to Prop 23 is heavily financed by dialysis giants Davita and Fresenius, who maintain larger profit margins if Prop 23 fails.
    • Support for Prop 23 is financed by SEIU United Healthcare Workers West PAC.
     
    Misinformation about Prop 23 includes:
    • “Prop 23 is just being used as leverage in unionizing against dialysis employers.” A spokesperson for SEIU-UHW West, Sean Wherley, said that health-care workers in dialysis clinics “want these [initiative] reforms regardless of what happens with their union efforts.”

     

    Progressive Landscape

    Progressive Landscape - Prop 23

    Prop 23

    Vote YES on Prop 23 to require infection reporting and state approval to close or reduce services at hospitals.

    Prop 23 would add sections to the California Health and Safety Code about how dialysis facilities can operate, requiring a physician to be on-site at every di

    Last updated: 2020-10-20

Proposition #24

  • VOTE NO
    No to Pay-For-Privacy Schemes
  • Vote NO on Prop 24 to protect consumers’ personal information.

    Proposition 24 asks voters to amend the California Consumer Privacy Act of 2018 (CCPA) to include pay-for-privacy schemes, which provide better services and internet connection to those who pay more in order to protect their personal information while providing suboptimal services for Californians who cannot or do not want to pay more. Additionally, Prop 24 caters to tech companies by allowing them to upload a California resident’s personal information as soon as that resident’s device, computer, or phone leaves the state’s borders, and permits tech companies to completely ignore a programmable universal electronic “do not sell my information” signal. Under current law, privacy follows a Californian wherever they go, and businesses must honor the electronic signal.

    Why voting NO on Prop 24 matters
    • Prop 24 removes the existing ability for a consumer to direct all companies to not sell their personal information with one instruction. Instead, consumers will have to direct each individual website and app to do so. This puts an impossible burden on consumers.
    • Prop 24 removes the existing prohibition on companies from tracking a consumer's data once an individual leaves the state boundary.
    • Prop 24 requires consumers to pay for privacy, disproportionately affect working people and families of color. California should maintain net neutrality so people do not have to pay for companies to safeguard their personal information.
    • Prop 24 would create a new state agency to exclusively oversee and enforce consumer privacy. Adding a new agency that costs an estimated $100 million annually is pointless when the power to enforce new consumer privacy rights is built into the position of the State Attorney General and the justice department.
    • Prop 24 is written to make it extremely hard for legislators to pass new legislation regulating consumer privacy in the future.

     

    Misinformation about Prop 24
    • "It will better safeguard consumers’ information." -- FALSE. Prop 24 will weaken existing safeguards and strengthen them only for consumers who are financially able to pay for better protections.
    • "It will give us the strongest privacy rights in the world." -- FALSE. Not only does Prop 24 revoke several protections established in the 2018 California Consumer Privacy Act, but Europe's GDPR protects consumer data regardless of location within the EU and consumers’ citizenship/residence. This is not true of Prop 24.

     

    Top Funders of Prop 24
    • Alastair Mactaggart, a real estate developer from San Francisco, donated the majority of the total funds for the support campaign entirely by himself, with a total of $4,892,400.
    • A coalition called California Consumer and Privacy Advocates Against Prop 24 has been registered in opposition, with $20,000 contributed by California Nurses Association.

     

    Progressive Landscape

    Progressive Landscape - Prop 24

    Last updated: 2020-10-29

Proposition #25

  • VOTE YES
    Yes to Ending Cash Bail
  • Vote YES on Prop 25 to eliminate the use of cash bail in pretrial incarceration.

    Proposition 25 is a referendum, which asks voters to directly weigh in on whether to keep or reject SB 10, a bill originally passed in 2018. Voting YES on Prop 25 will keep SB 10 in place and eliminate the cash bail system of pretrial incarceration in California, which is directly responsible for the disproportionate incarceration of Californians who cannot afford bail. The bail bond industry is directly responsible for placing Prop 25 on the ballot and calling SB 10 into question.

    Why voting YES on Prop 25 Matters
    • Nearly two-thirds of the jail population—nearly 48,000 people—are incarcerated pretrial, and California’s average bail is $50,000, more than five times the national average. The cash bail system directly ties an individual’s wealth and ability to pay to the question of whether they pose a risk to the community and their conditions of pretrial release. This system is unfair from every angle and perpetuates the cycle of poverty and incarceration existing in many low-income communities, which are also disproportionately Black and brown communities.
    • In New Jersey, where similar legislation passed eliminating the use of cash bail in 2017, overall pretrial incarceration rates have dropped, racial disparities in pretrial incarceration rates have lessened, and the use of invasive monitoring strategies after release have been applied in far fewer eligible cases (8.3 percent) than feared. California’s SB 10 goes further than New Jersey’s legislation by fully eliminating the cash bail system and has the potential to have even more positive outcomes.
    • The bail bond industry uses its influence to lobby for legislation favorable to them, which perpetuates but also escalates the cycle of poverty and incarceration. Passing Prop 25 will permanently end their influence in the political process.
    • If Prop 25 does not pass, voters will be perceived as having rejected SB 10’s reforms, in particular the effort to end the cash bail system. This will be framed as a significant precedent for opponents of criminal-justice reform to use in lobbying and legal arguments to keep the system intact in the future.
    • If Prop 25 passes, community groups will have the opportunity to advance further criminal-justice reforms related to this initiative.
     
    Special Circumstances Surrounding Prop 25
    • Originally, there was unanimous support for SB 10 from most criminal-justice reform groups across the state. The process of making amendments to the legislation caused many groups to drop their support. In our research, we discovered that the legislative decision-making process around SB 10 was strongly influenced by applied political pressure, resulting in a process and an outcome with less buy-in. Despite the widely acknowledged flaws in the overall process, a strong majority of Courage California's statewide progressive partners are aligned around a yes position on Prop 25.
    • In a ruling in August 2020, the state Supreme Court issued a binding resolution in the case of In re Humphrey that orders all trial judges in the state of California to consider a person’s ability to pay in setting the cash bail amount for pretrial release. Grassroots groups objecting to Prop 25 argue that this ruling already creates systemic reform that will mitigate the impacts of the cash bail system, making SB 10 unnecessary. Advocates for Prop 25 contend that ending the cash bail system is an essential first step in eliminating the cycle of poverty and incarceration entirely.
    • Organized opposition to Prop 25 from grassroots groups is strongest in Los Angeles County, where community leaders have been most successful in partnering with county officials to design and implement community-based alternatives to the incarceration system. In Los Angeles County, there are major concerns about how the implementation of a state-mandated pretrial incarceration program could interfere with their major strides in redressing the harms done to communities by an unfair justice system. These concerns are entirely valid, and attention will be focused on the actions of L.A. County’s Board of Supervisors to ensure that the alternatives to incarceration recommendations developed through a robust, community-driven dialogue process will continue to be implemented. The breakthroughs achieved by L.A. County’s criminal-justice reform movement have been characterized as historic and a model for other counties in California to follow, and this work must continue to move forward without delay.
     
    Concerns About Prop 25

    There are three major components to grassroots groups' objections to Prop 25. Here we provide our assessment of these concerns and how they can be addressed in the future if Prop 25 passes.  

    • Algorithm-based risk-assessment tools will be used as the core component of the new pretrial incarceration system in all California counties. There are concerns about how inherent biases in the system could influence the implementation of these tools. There are two notable countermeasures in place to address these concerns, and both are overseen by the Judicial Council, the policymaking body of the California court system.
      • First, counties must validate the chosen risk-assessment tool for the communities in which it will be used. This is not a standardized approach to validation; the tool must be proven to provide a higher level of responsiveness and sensitivity to community conditions before it is implemented. The Judicial Council will have to certify each county's tool, and the tool must be revalidated for the communities it serves every three years.
      • Second, counties are now required by law to track and publicly report how a defendant’s circumstances and background correspond to the decision a judge makes about their pretrial release conditions. This data has to be collected, compiled, and reported annually to the Judicial Council, as well as made publicly available for review. This law was passed the year after SB 10 to provide an avenue to monitor the implementation of SB 10, and is an important step in making risk-assessment tools more accountable and the overall pretrial incarceration system more transparent.
    • The new pretrial incarceration system is directly implemented by the probation departments of each county in California. Probation departments are currently responsible for investigating offenders’ backgrounds, making sentencing recommendations to the court, enforcing court orders, and supervising sentenced offenders. They also recommend and collect restitution, oversee community service, and provide oversight of criminal-diversion programs. There are strong concerns about how probation departments will approach the oversight of people who have not been convicted of crimes. Probation supervision has been historically used for people who have been convicted and are released, and SB 10 expands that pool of people to those who are accused but not convicted. Probation violations are a primary driver of incarceration in LA, and in Sacramento under SB 10, initial data indicates that 30-40% of people released end up rearrested and 90%+ of those that are released have high conditions of release.
      • We encourage counties to 1) require probation departments to work in partnership with other agencies, including the public defender’s office, mental-health services, and other community-based programs, in both implementing the risk-assessment system and in the pretrial release and monitoring of released individuals; 2) use their power to hold probation departments accountable for how they implement pretrial incarceration programs in communities with a particular focus on ensuring non-invasive monitoring, minimizing conditions of release, and maintaining a low rearrest rate ; and 3) invest in alternatives to the overall incarceration system, such as Measure J on the ballot in Los Angeles County, which amends the county charter to require that at least 10 percent of the county’s local revenues go to community-based programs, such as affordable housing and rent assistance, job training, and mental-health and social services.
    • There are also concerns that judicial discretion is greatly expanded by SB 10. While this is technically true, there are two additional changes to the judicial role in the pretrial system that limit judicial discretion.
      • First, anyone arrested with a misdemeanor, with some exceptions, is considered to not pose a significant risk to a community and is automatically released without going in front of a judge. This greatly reduces the overall role that a judge currently plays in the pretrial incarceration system.
      • Second, while judges are not required to adhere by the risk scores findings in their determination of pretrial release or pretrial detention, this is not an expansion of judicial discretion from the current system. Instead, SB 10 simply gives judges additional information to inform their decision.
      • Third, all judicial decisions are now required to be publicly recorded and therefore more transparent and available for public scrutiny. This is essential because judges now have increased discretion over the more serious felony cases, and they also have discretion to carve out other other exclusions from release for misdemeanors at the county-level. Under the new system, when a prosecutor exercises their option to seek detention, a judge must hold a hearing and make the findings available on record before they order the person detained pretrial. In the current cash bail system, judges can use their discretion to set cash bail at any number with no requirement to make any findings public, which effectively detains an individual with no judicial accountability. The new judicial transparency requirement makes it easier for an individual to appeal a judge’s preventative detention decision. This is a clear improvement over the lax requirements that existed before SB 10.
     
    Misinformation About Prop 25

    The bail bond industry has invested heavily in a No on the Prop 25 campaign in an attempt to spread misinformation and save the industry.

    • “Prop 25 denies a U.S. constitutional right.” FALSE. The 8th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution prohibits the courts from imposing excessive bail. By eliminating the cash bail system, Prop 25 simply makes this prohibition irrelevant.
    • “Prop 25 puts our public safety at risk.” FALSE. Judges will have increased judicial discretion over the more serious felony cases, which means defendants who may pose a threat to a community or specific individual will be given individual consideration. All decisions made by judges will also be required to be publicly recorded.
    • “Prop 25 deprives justice for crime victims.” FALSE. In New Jersey, where similar legislation passed eliminating the use of cash bail in 2017, a recent study concluded that defendants are continuing to show up for court cases at the same rate and that people released under the new regulations are no more likely to commit a crime while waiting for trial than those released under the previous system on money bail.
    • “Prop 25 creates additional biases against minorities and the poor.” FALSE. In New Jersey, similar legislation passed eliminating the use of cash bail has reduced racial disparities in the jail population. In California, new reporting requirements enable racial disparities to be systematically tracked for the first time. And ending cash bail immediately eliminates the most immediate factor in the criminal-justice system that drives the cycle of poverty and incarceration existing in many low-income communities, which are also disproportionately Black and brown communities.
     
    Top Funders of Prop 25
    • The two largest donors in support of Prop 25 are Connie and Steve Ballmer. Steve Ballmer is the former CEO of Microsoft and current owner of the L.A. Clippers team. The Ballmers are philanthropists who have given over $300 million to 70 nonprofits over the last three years for gun safety and racial justice. They have also pledged $25 million in coronavirus aid. In a statement, they said that “far too many people that are not a danger are getting stuck in jail waiting for their trials simply because they can’t afford bail.”
    • The next largest donor is John Arnold of Arnold Ventures and the Laura and John Arnold Foundation. Arnold’s foundation created an algorithm-based pretrial risk-assessment tool called the Public Safety Assessment (PSA) that is currently used in 30 different counties including San Francisco, Santa Cruz, and Tulare counties in California. The foundation has also created several think tank projects including the National Partnership for Pretrial Justice and Advancing Pretrial Policy and Research, which produce research, policy advocacy, and implementation support for the PSA specifically and more generally for the process of replacing cash bail with pretrial risk assessments. Arnold has been sued for a judge’s use of PSA resulting in a murder by the released suspect. In our research, we did not find a connection between Arnold and any of the three pre-trial assessment service providers that have been approved for use under SB 10, which are Journal Technologies Inc., FivePoint Solutions, and Equivant. It is also unclear if the PSA will continue to be used in California counties under SB 10. Arnold is a former hedge fund manager and was involved in the Enron scandal in which he walked away with an $8 million bonus.
    • The other three top donors in support of Prop 25 are SEIU California State Council; Action Now Initiative, LLC; and philanthropist Patty Quillin.
    • The top donor in opposition to Prop 25 is Triton Management Services, LLC, the parent company of Aladdin Bail Bonds.
    • The American Bail Coalition, consisting of several insurance and bail companies, is opposed to Prop 25, as it wants the bail system to remain in place to avoid going out of business.

     

    Progressive Landscape

    Progressive Landscape - Prop 25

     

    Prop 25

    Vote YES on Prop 25 to eliminate the use of cash bail in pretrial incarceration.

    Last updated: 2020-10-20

Contra Costa County Ballot Measures

Measure #X

  • VOTE YES
    Measure X: County of Contra Costa Transactions and Use Tax Ordinance - YES
  • Vote YES on Measure X to issue a county-wide general .5 percent sales tax to provide 20 years of revenue for publicly provided services in Contra Costa County.

    Measure X asks voters to approve a general sales tax of .5 percent to be added to sales within Contra Costa County to provide a 20-year revenue source to fund both essential community and public-provided services in a sustainable way. Exemptions for the proposed sales tax include: groceries, prescription medicines, utilities, health services, and many more listed here. Estimates predict that Measure X will bring $81 million annually to the county to help fund critical services that could face severe budget cuts with the onset of COVID-19. The County Board of Supervisors will deliberate on oversight frameworks proposed by the community by the end of 2020.

    Why voting YES on Measure X matters:
    • Measure X will ensure steady revenue toward emergency services that face longer response times. For example, East Contra Costa Fire, which is responsible for over 120,000 residents, only has three fire stations, which places pressure on the neighboring Contra Costa County Fire Protection District.
    • Contra Costa’s regional hospital continues to experience staff reductions in the midst of a $70 million budget deficit, with a concerning potential of discontinuing services for thousands of people during a pandemic. Measure X will provide immediate relief for these financially depleted services.
    • Early childhood programs, mental-health services, and interpersonal violence services have all been severely affected by the budget crisis, even before the pandemic. Underfunded local nonprofits are seeing a tremendous increase in people requesting these services with the onset of COVID-19. Measure X will help meet the needs of these highly used community services. 
    Top Funders
    • The top contributor fueling the campaign in support of Measure X is Service Employees International Union Local 1021. SEIU Local 1021 represents almost 60,000 employees throughout Northern California in governments, health-care programs, and nonprofit agencies.
    • No committees were formed in opposition to Measure X.
    Misinformation

    There is no prominent misinformation about Measure X.


     

    Measure X: County of Contra Costa Transactions and Use Tax Ordinance - YES

    Vote YES on Measure X to issue a county-wide general .5 percent sales tax to provide 20 years of revenue for publicly provided services in Contra Costa County.

    Measure X asks voters to approve a general sales tax of .5 percent to be added to sales within Contra Costa County to provide a 20-year revenue source to fund both essential community and public-provided services in a sustainable way. Exemptions for the proposed sales tax include: groceries, prescription medicines, utilities, health services, and many more listed here. Estimates predict that Measure X will bring $81 million annually to the county to help fund critical services that could face severe budget cuts with the onset of COVID-19. The County Board of Supervisors will deliberate on oversight frameworks proposed by the community by the end of 2020.

    Why voting YES on Measure X matters:
    • Measure X will ensure steady revenue toward emergency services that face longer response times. For example, East Contra Costa Fire, which is responsible for over 120,000 residents, only has three fire stations, which places pressure on the neighboring Contra Costa County Fire Protection District.
    • Contra Costa’s regional hospital continues to experience staff reductions in the midst of a $70 million budget deficit, with a concerning potential of discontinuing services for thousands of people during a pandemic. Measure X will provide immediate relief for these financially depleted services.
    • Early childhood programs, mental-health services, and interpersonal violence services have all been severely affected by the budget crisis, even before the pandemic. Underfunded local nonprofits are seeing a tremendous increase in people requesting these services with the onset of COVID-19. Measure X will help meet the needs of these highly used community services. 
    Top Funders
    • The top contributor fueling the campaign in support of Measure X is Service Employees International Union Local 1021. SEIU Local 1021 represents almost 60,000 employees throughout Northern California in governments, health-care programs, and nonprofit agencies.
    • No committees were formed in opposition to Measure X.
    Misinformation

    There is no prominent misinformation about Measure X.


     

    Last updated: 2020-10-12

Antioch City Council

Antioch City Council, District 1

  • Non-Partisan
  • Elect Tamisha Walker as City Councilmember to push Antioch in the right direction.

    About the Position

    Incorporated cities in California are generally governed by a five-person city council. In Antioch’s case, this five-person city council includes the mayor and mayor pro tem. 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 Antioch serve four-year terms, and are not bound by term limits.

    About the District

    Antioch is Contra Costa County’s third most populous city, and includes a population that is 43 percent white, 33 percent Latinx, and 20 percent Black. Antioch City Council oversees the needs of 102,372 people and manages an estimated budget of $158 million annually. Antioch is managed by a council-manager structured government. Antioch’s District 1 includes the northernmost region of the city. The northern, eastern, and western boundaries of the district are the city limits, and the southern boundary is Highway 4.

    About the Race

    This November’s election will be the first by-district race since Antioch approved district divisions in May 2018. All four districts are up for election this year, with Districts 1 and 4 electing representatives to initial two-year terms. Going forward, all city council elections will seat members to four-year terms. There are three candidates running for the District 1 seat, including current Mayor Pro Tem Joy Motts and challenger Tamisha Walker. Walker’s campaign has not committed to any fundraising pledges, and has raised nearly $9,000 through a Crowdpac page. She entered the race after the most recent fundraising deadline, and has not recorded any receipts with the county. Incumbent Motts’s campaign has also not committed to any fundraising pledges, and does not have any fundraising receipts on record with the county.

    About the Candidate

    Tamisha Walker, a nonprofit executive director, is from Richmond, CA. According to campaign materials, Walker is running for election to use her experience as a community advocate to ensure that city government continues to work for all families in Antioch.

    Walker’s priorities for Antioch this term include fiscal stewardship, investing in youth development, climate and public lands protections, reimagining public safety, and resolving the local housing crisis. Walker is also committed to establishing Antioch as a sanctuary city.

    Walker is a founding member and executive director of Safe Return Project, which works to dismantle the mass-incarceration system and funds rehabilitation and prevention programs in the community. The program has a large footprint, affecting over 30,000 formerly incarcerated residents and over $90 million in local and state budgets. Criminal-justice reform is personal to Walker, who experienced economic and social disadvantage in her youth, and was incarcerated before turning 18. Since her release in 2009, she has been working in community organizing, and has training in violence-prevention strategies, conflict mediation, and incarceration and gun violence research and advocacy. She is a longtime advocate of the importance of rehabilitation in criminal justice, and eliminating racial disparity and injustice in policing.

    Walker is endorsed by many progressive groups in the district, including Working Families Party. According to our analysis, Tamisha Walker is the strongest choice for equitable and representative leadership in office.

    Tamisha Walker

    Elect Tamisha Walker as City Councilmember to push Antioch in the right direction.

    About the Position

    Incorporated cities in California are generally governed by a five-person city council.

    Last updated: 2020-10-17

Richmond City Ballot Measures

Measure #U

  • VOTE YES
    Measure U: Richmond Business Tax - YES
  • Vote YES on Measure U to amend the business tax system and raise an estimated $9.45 million annually.

    Measure U asks Richmond voters to decide whether to transition from a payroll tax to a gross receipts tax. Currently, the City of Richmond utilizes a business license tax in which the tax is based on how many employees a business has. Regardless of how much total revenue a business makes in a year, nearly all businesses pay a flat tax rate, while small businesses just pay a flat amount. Measure U seeks to implement a gross receipts tax that will tax businesses with a rate from .06 percent to 5 percent of their gross receipts, resulting in a much higher tax rate for corporations who earn a high gross revenue. The revenue to the city is estimated to be $5.95 million. If approved by voters, the new tax system will go into effect on July 1, 2021.

    Why voting YES on Measure U matters:
    • Prominent company Sims Metals generates over $6.6 billion annually but only pays $1,400 in business tax. Measure U will ensure that big businesses will pay their fair share in local taxes.
    • With Measure U implemented, business tax will be cut by more than half for small businesses with a gross revenue of less than $250,000.
    • Affordable housing properties and small property owners are exempted from Measure U’s business tax rate, while homeowners’ tax rates will not be increased at all.
    Misinformation
    • “Measure U hurts small local businesses.” -- FALSE. Business tax will be cut by more than half for small businesses with gross revenue of less than $250,000. Small businesses currently pay the majority of business tax. With the implementation of Measure U, corporations will pay a proportional amount of business taxes, effectively reducing the tax burden on small businesses. 
    • “Measure U incentivizes employee reductions.” -- FALSE. By switching from a payroll tax (which determines business tax depending on the number of employees) to a gross receipts tax, Measure U will reduce tax burdens on small businesses, allowing those businesses to hire more employees.


     

    Measure U: Richmond Business Tax - YES

    Vote YES on Measure U to amend the business tax system and raise an estimated $9.45 million annually.

    Measure U asks Richmond voters to decide whether to transition fro

    Last updated: 2020-10-12

Richmond City Council

Richmond City Council, District 6

  • Non-Partisan
  • Elect City Council Member Claudia Jimenez to push Richmond in the right direction.

    About the Position

    The Richmond City Council comprises six councilmembers elected at large and a separately elected mayor. 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 Richmond are ‎limited to four-year terms.

    About the District

    Richmond is Contra Costa County’s third most populous city. The Richmond City Council oversees the needs of around 110,000 people and manages an estimated budget of around $166 million annually. Richmond is managed by a mayor-council structured government. Richmond is a racially diverse city, with a racial profile of 39.5 percent Hispanic or Latinx, 31.4 percent white, 26.6 percent African American, and 13.5 percent Asian. Richmond’s District 6 includes the neighborhoods of North and East and Richmond Heights. 

    About the Race

    Following the March 3 primary election, challenger Claudia Jimenez is running against Ms. Dandie and Vinay Pimple. Jimenez has pledged to refuse corporate PAC and fossil fuel money, but has yet to pledge to refuse police money. Ms. Dandie’s campaign has not pledged to refuse corporate PAC, fossil fuel, or police money. Neither candidate has made any campaign finance filings, so we are unable to verify if the pledges made are reflected in their contribution records.

    About the Candidate

    Claudia Jimenez, a respected community organizer, is from Colombia and moved to Richmond in 2009 with her family. According to campaign materials, Jimenez is running for election for those who believe in building a future in Richmond where everyone has access to support and services. 

    Jimenez’s priorities for Richmond this term include shifting the city’s spending priorities away from policing and to devote more funds into services like the library, youth programs, housing, and other essential services.

    Claudia Jimenez is a mother, a trained architect, and an environmental planner who has designed and built affordable housing and watershed-management projects in Colombia. She is a longtime supporter of unions, community organizations, and for creating spaces for all to participate in decision-making that benefits the community.

    As a Richmond community organizer, Jimenez is known for building and maintaining coalitions that have pushed policies like the successful Invest in People, Not Prisons campaign. That initiative forged an alliance between African American and immigrant community leaders in the county to end the sheriff’s collaboration with ICE and diverted $5.2 million in state funds toward services for Contra Costa returnees from incarceration. Together with other Richmond families, Jimenez was also key in helping rebuild a vital neighborhood park serving Richmond’s north and eastern residents. As a member of the Contra Costa Interfaith Supporting Community Organizations (CCISCO), Jimenez worked with the Richmond Police Department to implement new towing policies to stop vehicle dispossesion if undocumented drivers were detained during traffic stops.

    Jimenez is endorsed by a strong majority of progressive groups in the district. According to our analysis, Claudia Jimenez is the strongest choice for equitable and representative leadership in office.

    Claudia Jimenez

    Elect City Council Member Claudia Jimenez to push Richmond in the right direction.

    About the Position

    The Richmond City Council comprises six

    Last updated: 2020-10-17

Richmond City Council, District 1

  • Non-Partisan
  • Elect City Council Member Melvin Willis to push Richmond in the right direction.

    About the Position

    The Richmond City Council comprises six councilmembers elected at large and a separately elected mayor. 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 Richmond are ‎limited to four-year terms.

    About the District

    Richmond is Contra Costa County’s third most populous city. Richmond City Council oversees the needs of around 110,000 people and manages an estimated budget of around $166 million annually. Richmond is managed by a mayor-council structured government. Richmond is a racially diverse city with a racial profile of 39.5 percent Hispanic or Latinx, 31.4 percent white, 26.6 percent African American, and 13.5 percent Asian. Richmond’s District 1 includes the neighborhoods of Iron Triangle and Belding Woods.

    About the Race

    Following the March 3 primary election, challenger Melvin Willis is running against challenger Eleanor Thompson. Melvin Willis has pledged to refuse corporate PAC and fossil fuel. He has not pledged to refuse police money. Willis is also a member of the Richmond Progressive Alliance, which advocates for taking political and economic power away from corporations and placing it in the hands of the people. Eleanor Thompson has not committed to any pledges. Neither candidate has made any campaign finance filings so we are unable to verify if the pledges made are reflected in their contribution records.

    About the Candidate

    Melvin Willis, Richmond City Council member for District 6, was born and raised in Richmond, where he attended local public schools. According to campaign materials, Willis is running for election to District 1 to build coalitions and increase community participation in all aspects of government.

    Willis’s priorities for Richmond this term include getting new revenue to fill Richmond’s budget deficit, advocating to close a commercial tax loophole that would add billions to California services, recovering from COVID-19 debt, and pushing for an extension on an eviction moratorium.

    Since 2011, Melvin Willis has worked as a community organizer with the Alliance of Californians for Community Empowerment (ACCE), where he defends the rights of renters and homeowners. He is a longtime advocate for tenants whose rents continue to skyrocket, and for the homeless, many of whom have been priced out of rental homes. As a Richmond City Council member, Willis was key in passing a rent-control law in Richmond, making it California’s first rent-control law in 30 years. He helped extend health care for the undocumented in Contra Costa County, and introduced the ordinance that will increase Richmond’s minimum wage to $15/hour. Having served as Richmond’s planning commissioner, Willis is familiar with government protocols. In 2013, he received the Mario Savio Young Activist Award.

    Melvin Willis is endorsed by many progressive groups in the district. His opponent is endorsed by the Richmond Police Officers Association. According to our analysis, Melvin Willis is the strongest choice for equitable and representative leadership in office.

    Melvin Willis

    Elect City Council Member Melvin Willis to push Richmond in the right direction.

    About the Position

    The Richmond City Council comprises six councilmembers elected at large and a separately elected mayor.

    Last updated: 2020-10-17

Richmond City Council, District 5

  • Non-Partisan
  • Elect City Council Member Gayle McLaughlin to push Richmond in the right direction.

    About the Position

    Incorporated cities in California are generally governed by a five-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 Richmond are ‎limited to four-year terms.

    About the District

    Richmond is Contra Costa County’s third most populous city. Richmond City Council oversees the needs of around 110,000 people and manages an estimated budget of around $166 million annually. Richmond is managed by a mayor-council structured government. Richmond is Contra Costa County’s third most populous city. Richmond City Council oversees the needs of around 110,000 people and manages an estimated budget of around $166 million annually. Richmond is managed by a mayor-council structured government. Richmond is a racially diverse city with a racial profile of 39.5 percent Hispanic or Latinx, 31.4 percent white, 26.6 percent African American, and 13.5 percent Asian. Richmond’s District 5 includes the neighborhoods of Marina Bay, Laurel Park, and Richmond Annex.  

    About the Race

    Following the March 3 primary election, challenger Gayle McLaughlin is running against Ahmad Anderson and Michael Vasilas. McLaughlin’s campaign has pledged to refuse corporate PAC, fossil fuel, and police money. The No Fossil Fuel Money pledge is of critical importance in this district due to the undue influence Chevron has historically had on legislation in the district. Opponents Anderson and Vasilas have not made these pledges. Neither candidate has made any campaign finance filings so we are unable to verify if the pledges made are reflected in their contribution records.

    About the Candidate

    Gayle McLaughlin is a two-time former Richmond City Council member and the former Richmond mayor. As mayor, McLaughlin led the city in a progressive direction, passing a Minimum Wage Increase Ordinance, and pushing Chevron, the city’s largest employer, to pay a fairer share of taxes into the city’s general fund. As mayor, McLaughlin advocated for residents evicted by banks and speculators and initiated a foreclosure-prevention program. According to campaign materials, McLaughlin is running for election to continue the progress that Richmond progressives have made and to address pressing issues of public health and other issues of inequality in the community.

    Gayle McLaughlin’s priorities for Richmond this term include addressing rising housing issues and homelessness due to the COVID-19 pandemic and protecting Richmond’s working-class and diverse profile.

    Gayle McLaughlin is a longtime activist who has worked with the Central American solidarity movement, People United to Save Humanity (PUSH), and the Rainbow Coalition.

    Gayle McLaughlin is endorsed by a strong majority of progressive groups in the district. According to our analysis, Gayle McLaughlin is the strongest choice for equitable and representative leadership in office.

    Gayle McLaughlin

    Elect City Council Member Gayle McLaughlin to push Richmond in the right direction.

    About the Position

    Incorporated cities in California are generally governed by a five-person city council.

    Last updated: 2020-10-17

AC Transit Board

AC Transit Board of Directors, Ward 1

  • Elect Jovanka Beckles to push the AC Transit Board in the right direction. 

    About the Position

    Transit systems in California are generally governed by a five-person board. A transportation board is responsible for operating transit service, setting service levels, routes, and fares, and regulating transit facilities. AC Transit Board directors are elected every four years and can serve indefinite four-year terms until they resign or are replaced.

    About the District

    AC Transit Board is responsible for public transportation within Alameda and Contra Costa counties. The AC Transit Board oversees the needs of 1,423,713 people according to the most recent population report in 2011 and manages an estimated budget of $471 million annually. The AC Transit Board is managed by a seven-person president-director structured government. AC Transit Board Ward 1 serves 284,966 people and operates in Albany, Berkeley, El Cerrito, El Sobrante, Kensington, and Richmond.

    About the Race

    Jovanka Beckles is the only challenger to incumbent Joe Wallace, who was first elected to AC Transit Board Ward 1 in 2000 and has been re-elected every term. He currently serves as president of the board. Wallace is endorsed by San Pablo City Council Member Rita Xavier and the Sierra Club. No campaign filing statements have been filed for either Wallace or challenger Jovanka Beckles. 

    About the Candidate

    Jovanka Beckles, a former Richmond City Council member, is from Richmond, CA. Beckles is also a children’s mental-health professional, a leader in the Richmond Progressive Alliance, and a self-described democratic socialist following the tradition of Martin Luther King, Jr. She is a longtime supporter of environmental protections and public safety, having co-sponsored the Climate Emergency Declaration in Richmond, voted against Chevron’s plan to produce dirtier crude oil, and opposed the transportation of coal into Richmond. According to campaign materials, Beckles is running for election at the urging of AC Transit workers in Amalgamated Transit Union Local 192. 

    Beckles’s priorities for the AC Transit Board this term include establishing fare-free transit, making a Green New Deal for transit in the East Bay a reality by taxing corporations, ensuring a safe ride for all--specifically with COVID-19 in mind--and continuing to fight for labor rights for transit workers, including safe working conditions. 

    Beckles is endorsed by a strong majority of progressive groups and elected officials in the district, such as Carroll Fife (director of Oakland’s ACCE Action chapter), Lateefah Simon (BART Board of Directors, District 7), East Bay Democratic Socialists of America, and Mark Williams (AC Transit Board of Directors, Ward 4). Beckles does not have any problematic endorsements at this time. According to our analysis, Beckles is the strongest choice for equitable and representative leadership in office.

    Jovanka Beckles

    Submitted by caitlin on Mon, 10/12/2020 - 16:45

    Elect Jovanka Beckles to push the AC Transit Board in the right direction. 

    About the Position

    Transit systems in California are generally governed by a five-person board. A transportation board is responsible for operating transit service, setting service levels, routes, and fares, and regulating transit facilities. AC Transit Board directors are elected every four years and can serve indefinite four-year terms until they resign or are replaced.

    About the District

    AC Transit Board is responsible for public transportation within Alameda and Contra Costa counties. The AC Transit Board oversees the needs of 1,423,713 people according to the most recent population report in 2011 and manages an estimated budget of $471 million annually. The AC Transit Board is managed by a seven-person president-director structured government. AC Transit Board Ward 1 serves 284,966 people and operates in Albany, Berkeley, El Cerrito, El Sobrante, Kensington, and Richmond.

    About the Race

    Jovanka Beckles is the only challenger to incumbent Joe Wallace, who was first elected to AC Transit Board Ward 1 in 2000 and has been re-elected every term. He currently serves as president of the board. Wallace is endorsed by San Pablo City Council Member Rita Xavier and the Sierra Club. No campaign filing statements have been filed for either Wallace or challenger Jovanka Beckles. 

    About the Candidate

    Jovanka Beckles, a former Richmond City Council member, is from Richmond, CA. Beckles is also a children’s mental-health professional, a leader in the Richmond Progressive Alliance, and a self-described democratic socialist following the tradition of Martin Luther King, Jr. She is a longtime supporter of environmental protections and public safety, having co-sponsored the Climate Emergency Declaration in Richmond, voted against Chevron’s plan to produce dirtier crude oil, and opposed the transportation of coal into Richmond. According to campaign materials, Beckles is running for election at the urging of AC Transit workers in Amalgamated Transit Union Local 192. 

    Beckles’s priorities for the AC Transit Board this term include establishing fare-free transit, making a Green New Deal for transit in the East Bay a reality by taxing corporations, ensuring a safe ride for all--specifically with COVID-19 in mind--and continuing to fight for labor rights for transit workers, including safe working conditions. 

    Beckles is endorsed by a strong majority of progressive groups and elected officials in the district, such as Carroll Fife (director of Oakland’s ACCE Action chapter), Lateefah Simon (BART Board of Directors, District 7), East Bay Democratic Socialists of America, and Mark Williams (AC Transit Board of Directors, Ward 4). Beckles does not have any problematic endorsements at this time. According to our analysis, Beckles is the strongest choice for equitable and representative leadership in office.

    Transit Board
    Last updated: 2020-10-27

Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) Board

Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) Board of Directors, District 1

  • Elect Board Member Jamie Salcido to push BART District 1 in the right direction. 

    About the Position

    The Bay Area Rapid Transit system, or BART, is split into nine districts within Alameda, Contra Costa, and San Francisco Counties. Each district elects one board member to a four-year term. Once elected, one member acts as president, and five officers are appointed: general manager, controller-treasurer, independent police auditor, general counsel, and district secretary. In 2019, BART served 118 million passengers, averaging 411,000 per weekday.

    About the District

    BART District 1 lies within Contra Costa County and includes the following stations: Concord, Lafayette, Pleasant Hill/Contra Costa Centre, and Walnut Creek.

    About the Candidate

    Jamie Salcido is a transportation commissioner for Walnut Creek and a health-care marketing manager. According to campaign materials, Salcido is running for election to address the extended impact of COVID-19 and bring ridership back; to keep riders safe by increasing collaboration with local governments, nonprofits, and social services agencies, as opposed to the police; and to ensure that BART continues its transition to Communication-Based Train Control, allowing trains to run at closer intervals.

    As transportation commissioner, Jamie Salcido focuses on improving traffic congestion, downtown parking, and moving people out of single-occupancy vehicles in favor of efficient and clean public transit. With a background in urban design, she has built transit-related projects that enhance the safety of public spaces with visibility and lighting systems, and improve community connectivity with pedestrian and bike paths.

    Jamie Salcido is endorsed by many progressive organizations in the district, such as the League of Conservation Voters of the East Bay, Contra Costa Young Democrats, LAMBDA Democrats, East Bay for Everyone, and a number of trade unions and labor councils. According to our analysis, Lateefah Simon is the strongest choice for equitable and representative leadership in office.
     

    Jamie Salcido

    Submitted by caitlin on Mon, 10/12/2020 - 16:29

    Elect Board Member Jamie Salcido to push BART District 1 in the right direction. 

    About the Position

    The Bay Area Rapid Transit system, or BART, is split into nine districts within Alameda, Contra Costa, and San Francisco Counties. Each district elects one board member to a four-year term. Once elected, one member acts as president, and five officers are appointed: general manager, controller-treasurer, independent police auditor, general counsel, and district secretary. In 2019, BART served 118 million passengers, averaging 411,000 per weekday.

    About the District

    BART District 1 lies within Contra Costa County and includes the following stations: Concord, Lafayette, Pleasant Hill/Contra Costa Centre, and Walnut Creek.

    About the Candidate

    Jamie Salcido is a transportation commissioner for Walnut Creek and a health-care marketing manager. According to campaign materials, Salcido is running for election to address the extended impact of COVID-19 and bring ridership back; to keep riders safe by increasing collaboration with local governments, nonprofits, and social services agencies, as opposed to the police; and to ensure that BART continues its transition to Communication-Based Train Control, allowing trains to run at closer intervals.

    As transportation commissioner, Jamie Salcido focuses on improving traffic congestion, downtown parking, and moving people out of single-occupancy vehicles in favor of efficient and clean public transit. With a background in urban design, she has built transit-related projects that enhance the safety of public spaces with visibility and lighting systems, and improve community connectivity with pedestrian and bike paths.

    Jamie Salcido is endorsed by many progressive organizations in the district, such as the League of Conservation Voters of the East Bay, Contra Costa Young Democrats, LAMBDA Democrats, East Bay for Everyone, and a number of trade unions and labor councils. According to our analysis, Lateefah Simon is the strongest choice for equitable and representative leadership in office.
     

    Last updated: 2020-10-12

Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) Board of Directors, District 7

  • Re-elect board member Lateefah Simon to keep BART on the right track. 

    About the Position

    The Bay Area Rapid Transit system, or BART, is split into nine districts within Alameda, Contra Costa, and San Francisco Counties. Each district elects one board member to a four-year term. Once elected, one member acts as president, and five officers are appointed: general manager, controller-treasurer, independent police auditor, general counsel, and district secretary. In 2019, BART served 118 million passengers, averaging 411,000 per weekday.

    About the District

    BART District 7 lies within the Alameda, Contra Costa, and San Francisco Counties and includes the following stations: Ashby, El Cerrito del Norte (partial), El Cerrito Plaza (partial), MacArthur (partial), Montgomery (partial), Richmond, West Oakland, Embarcadero (partial).

    About the Candidate

    Incumbent Boardmember Lateefah Simon, a community activist and president of the BART District Board for 2020, is from the Fillmore district of San Francisco. Legally blind and a working mother, Simon is running for re-election to continue serving the working people, seniors, and people with disabilities who rely on BART. She has expressed a long-term desire to secure enough funding to make public transit free.

    Lateefah Simon began her community engagement at age 15, organizing for the Center for Young Women’s Development. By 19, she was appointed executive director and served 11 years, bringing the organization to national acclaim. At 26, her work with the Center earned Simon the distinction of youngest woman ever to receive a MacArthur Fellowship. She went on to lead the creation of San Francisco’s first reentry services division under the leadership of then District Attorney Kamala Harris. Simon later served as executive director of the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights and as program director at the Rosenberg Foundation.

    Currently, Lateefah Simon works as president of the Akonadi Foundation, an organization based in Oakland that funds and nurtures racial-justice movements, seeking to eliminate structural racism and expand opportunity for youth of color. She is also a California State University Trustee, appointed by Governor Jerry Brown in 2016 to serve the largest public university system in the world.

    Incumbent Boardmember Lateefah Simon is endorsed by many progressive organizations in the district, such as the Harvey Milk Club; San Francisco Bicycle Coalition; SF Renters Alliance; the East Bay, Contra Costa, and San Francisco Young Democrats; and a number of trade unions. According to our analysis, Lateefah Simon is the strongest choice for equitable and representative leadership in office.
     

    Lateefah Simon

    Submitted by caitlin on Mon, 10/12/2020 - 16:35

    Re-elect board member Lateefah Simon to keep BART on the right track. 

    About the Position

    The Bay Area Rapid Transit system, or BART, is split into nine districts within Alameda, Contra Costa, and San Francisco Counties. Each district elects one board member to a four-year term. Once elected, one member acts as president, and five officers are appointed: general manager, controller-treasurer, independent police auditor, general counsel, and district secretary. In 2019, BART served 118 million passengers, averaging 411,000 per weekday.

    About the District

    BART District 7 lies within the Alameda, Contra Costa, and San Francisco Counties and includes the following stations: Ashby, El Cerrito del Norte (partial), El Cerrito Plaza (partial), MacArthur (partial), Montgomery (partial), Richmond, West Oakland, Embarcadero (partial).

    About the Candidate

    Incumbent Boardmember Lateefah Simon, a community activist and president of the BART District Board for 2020, is from the Fillmore district of San Francisco. Legally blind and a working mother, Simon is running for re-election to continue serving the working people, seniors, and people with disabilities who rely on BART. She has expressed a long-term desire to secure enough funding to make public transit free.

    Lateefah Simon began her community engagement at age 15, organizing for the Center for Young Women’s Development. By 19, she was appointed executive director and served 11 years, bringing the organization to national acclaim. At 26, her work with the Center earned Simon the distinction of youngest woman ever to receive a MacArthur Fellowship. She went on to lead the creation of San Francisco’s first reentry services division under the leadership of then District Attorney Kamala Harris. Simon later served as executive director of the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights and as program director at the Rosenberg Foundation.

    Currently, Lateefah Simon works as president of the Akonadi Foundation, an organization based in Oakland that funds and nurtures racial-justice movements, seeking to eliminate structural racism and expand opportunity for youth of color. She is also a California State University Trustee, appointed by Governor Jerry Brown in 2016 to serve the largest public university system in the world.

    Incumbent Boardmember Lateefah Simon is endorsed by many progressive organizations in the district, such as the Harvey Milk Club; San Francisco Bicycle Coalition; SF Renters Alliance; the East Bay, Contra Costa, and San Francisco Young Democrats; and a number of trade unions. According to our analysis, Lateefah Simon is the strongest choice for equitable and representative leadership in office.
     

    Last updated: 2020-10-27

Pittsburg School District

Depending on where you live, you may have the below races on your ballot.

Pittsburg School District, Board Member At Large

  • Elect Taylor Sims to keep Pittsburg on the right track.

    About the Position
    Pittsburg Unified School District contains two high schools, three middle schools, eight elementary schools, and one adult-education center, serving a population of at least 72,500 Californians. Members of the Pittsburg Unified School Board are elected in an at-large race after which the top two candidates go on to serve.

    About the District
    California's Pittsburg Unified School District is located in Contra Costa County. Democrats typically hold this county. The most recent election results show Contra Costa voted for Hillary Clinton for president in 2016 and Gavin Newsom for governor in 2018.

    About the Race
    There are five candidates running for two seats that are up for election in 2020, both serving at-large in the district. Voters will be asked to vote for two out of five possible candidates. 

    • Taylor Sims, staff member at Lift Up Contra Costa
    • Yesenia Roman, Disability Rights Representative
    • Helio Moreno, Deputy Public Defender, Immigration 
    • George Miller, incumbent and board president
    • Michael Orlando

    About the Candidate
    Taylor Sims, a staff member at Lift Up Contra Costa and a partner with the Working Families Party, is from Pittsburg, CA. According to campaign materials, Ms. Sims is running for election to close the educational gap for Black and brown students, focus on restorative rather than punitive justice, and provide opportunities for high school students who decide college is not their path. A co-advisor for the Black Student Union at Pittsburg High, her alma mater, Ms. Sims organized recent Black Lives Matter protests in her community. She urges a Yes vote on Proposition 15 to close property tax loopholes and a No vote on Proposition 22 to ensure that gig-economy employers cannot dodge minimum wage, overtime, unemployment insurance, and workers’ compensation requirements.

    Taylor Sims is endorsed by many progressive groups in the district, such as the Working Families Party, Pittsburg Education Association, and Contra Costa Labor Council. According to our analysis, Ms. Sims is the strongest choice for equitable and representative leadership in office.


     

    Taylor Sims, a staff member at Lift Up Contra Costa and a partner with the Working Families Party, is from Pittsburg, CA. According to campaign materials, Ms. Sims is running for election to close the educational gap for Black and brown students, focus on restorative rather than punitive justice, and provide opportunities for high school students who decide college is not their path. A co-advisor for the Black Student Union at Pittsburg High, her alma mater, Ms. Sims organized recent Black Lives Matter protests in her community. She urges a Yes vote on Proposition 15 to close property tax loopholes and a No vote on Proposition 22 to ensure that gig-economy employers cannot dodge minimum wage, overtime, unemployment insurance, and workers’ compensation requirements.
    Last updated: 2020-10-23