Elect Pamela Swartz to push SD-01 in the right direction.
About the Position
State senators represent and advocate for the needs of their district at the California State Capitol.
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Voting has changed in Sacramento County this year. The Voter’s Choice Act was enacted in the county to make voting more convenient. Changes include an expanded period of in-person early voting, every registered voter in the county will receive a vote-by-mail ballot, and every registered voter in the county is able to vote in-person at any Vote Center in their county. Have questions about the changes to voting in Sacramento County? Visit your county elections website.
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.
California's 7th Congressional District includes most of Sacramento County. This district has long been held by Democrats. This district has voted in support of Democratic state and national candidates in recent years, supporting Hillary Clinton with 52.3 percent of the vote in 2016, and Gavin Newsom with 52 percent of the vote in 2018.
In the primary, Democrat incumbent Representative Ami Bera led Republican challenger Buzz Patterson by a margin of 33.6 percent. Rep. Bera’s campaign has not pledged to refuse corporate PAC money, fossil fuel money, or police money. He has a substantial number of donations from the oil and gas industry, including Sempra Energy and PG&E. He has also received donations from the PACs associated with Northrop Grumman and Lockheed Martin Corporation, which are affiliated with the military-industrial complex. Patterson’s campaign has not committed to any of the pledges and is funded almost entirely by small and large individual contributions (91.5 percent) and candidate self-financing (8.5 percent).
Rep. Bera is the incumbent, having served as congressmember for the 7th district since 2013. He has supported legislation that would subject a person to the death penalty for attacking first responders in H.R. 115, Thin Blue Line Act of 2017, and co-sponsored H.R. 620, the ADA Education and Reform Act of 2017, which took away the right for a person with a disability to sue over architectural inaccessibility. In July of this year, Rep. Bera voted against H.R. 6395, the Pocan Amendment, which would have cut all Pentagon funds and accounts by 10 percent for the next fiscal year. Rep. Bera has consistently accepted thousands of dollars from companies that receive billions of dollars in contracts by the Defense Department, such as Northrop Grumman, Lockheed Martin Corporation, and Sierra Nevada Company throughout his campaigns. Based on his legislative activity in 2019, Rep. Bera is ranked the 41st most conservative as compared to House Democrats by GovTrack. When questioned about his stance on the New Green Deal and Medicare for All, Rep. Bera said, “I’m not a socialist. How are we gonna pay for it?”
Rep. Bera’s priorities for CA-16 this year have included health care in the time of COVID-19. He currently sits on the House Committee on Foreign Affairs and serves as vice chair of the House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology. Rep. Bera has sponsored 13 bills this year about health, international affairs, education, energy, and arts, culture, and religion. Only two of his bills have moved on to committee consideration. It is notable to mention that Rep. Bera did not receive the preliminary endorsement from the California Democratic Party’s delegates in his district, who cited his history of supporting pro-corporate policies as the reason why Rep. Bera does not have the support of the working families in the district.
Based on his track record, Rep. Bera is likely to provide no progressive leadership in office. We encourage you to write in a candidate of your choice to show support for progressives in this district. Keep reading for progressive recommendations in other key races and on ballot measures where your vote can make a critical difference.
Depending on where you live, you may have the below races on your ballot.
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.
California’s 1st Senate District includes all of Alpine, El Dorado, Lassen, Modoc, Nevada, Sierra, Siskiyou, Plumas, and Shasta Counties. Additionally, the district includes a large portion of Placer County and a small portion of Sacramento County. Notable cities include Folsom, South Lake Tahoe, and Roseville. Republicans typically hold this district, and it has not had a Democrat representative for over 40 years. The most recent election results show SD-01 voted for Donald Trump for president in 2016 and John Cox for governor in 2018. SD-01 is the most GOP-leaning district in Northern California.
In the primary, Democrat challenger Pamela Swartz trailed Republican Incumbent Representative Brian Dahle by a margin of 21.6 percent. Swartz’s campaign is not funded by corporate PAC, fossil fuel, or police money. Swartz’s campaign has raised $25,000 and is funded mainly through individual donors. Her campaign has not received corporate, fossil fuel, or police money. Swartz has pledged to refuse fossil fuel and corporate PAC donations; she has not committed to the #NoCopMoneyCA pledge. Opposing candidate Brian Dahle’s campaign has raised over $97,000 and is largely funded through corporate, fossil fuel, and law-enforcement donations. Notably, his campaign has received multiple donations from the Peace Officers Research Association of California, the largest law-enforcement organization in California. In the past, Dahle has also received substantial police donations under coded names, such as Taxfighters for Brian Dahle. In addition, his campaign has been funded by large fossil fuel corporations, including BP, Chevron, Sempra Energy, and Pacificorp.
Pamela Swartz grew up in Redding, CA, and currently resides in Nevada County. Both areas are located in SD-01. According to campaign materials, she is running for office to better represent the district’s needs for improved health care, housing, economic, and education systems.
Swartz is a small-business owner who believes the rural communities of SD-01 have been underserved and not strongly represented for too long. She is not beholden to any corporations or special interests, and she says her business experience and educational background in forestry/wildlife provide a unique skill set that will aid her as a state senator. Swartz has spoken out in support of single-payer health care; natural resources management, including reducing the dangers of wildfires; supporting the local farming and tourism economies; and affordable housing.
Pamela Swartz is endorsed by many progressive groups, including the California Nurses Association, Everytown for Gun Safety, and Health Care for All--California. Additionally, Swartz has received endorsements from many labor unions, the California Democratic Party, local Indivisible chapters, and many local women’s associations. Her Republican opponent, Brian Dahle, has received high ratings from regressive organizations, like the National Rifle Association and Gun Owners of California. He scored just 9 out of 100 on this year’s Courage Score, our annual analysis of legislators’ progressive voting records. Senator Dahle is not serving his constituents with progressive solutions, while Swartz has the support of the local progressive community, a compelling campaign platform, and has already demonstrated a commitment to fiscal transparency. According to our analysis, Pamela Swartz is the strongest choice for equitable and representative leadership in office.
State senators represent and advocate for the needs of their district at the California State Capitol.
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:
Misinformation about Prop 15 includes:
Primary Funders of Prop 15 include:
Prop 15’s main opponents include realty and industrial property owners, while there is overwhelming financial support from the California Teachers Association and SEIU California State Council.
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:
Misinformation about Prop 16 includes:
Top Funders of Prop 16 include:
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:
Misinformation about Prop 17 includes:
Top Funders of Prop 17 include:
There are no contributions recorded for support or opposition to Prop 17.
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. A subset are currently prohibited from voting at 18 if they are 17 during the primary election. Prop 18 amends the constitutional loophole that prevents all 18-year-olds from being able to vote in general elections.
Why voting YES on Prop 18 matters:
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.
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.
Realtor associations have contributed $36,270,000 in support of Prop 19. There is no registered financial opposition.
There is no prominent misinformation about Proposition 19.
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:
Top Funders of Prop 20:
Misinformation about Prop 20:
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:
Top Funders of Prop 21 include:
Proposition 22 asks voters to classify ride-share and delivery companies as independent contractors, not 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:
Top Funders of Prop 22 include:
Misinformation About Prop 22 Includes:
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:
Misinformation about Prop 24:
Top Funders of Prop 24: