Elect Elizabeth Betancourt to push AD-01 in the right direction.
About the Position
State Assembly Members form part of the California State Legislature, and work alongside the governor to establish laws and a state budget. They hold the power to pass bills that affect public policy, set state spending levels, raise and lower taxes, and uphold or override the governor’s vetoes. The California State Assembly has 80 districts. Each represents a population of at least 465,000 Californians. Representatives are elected to the Assembly for a 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 1st Assembly District includes all of Plumas, Shasta, Cierra, Nevada, Modoc, Lassen, and Siskiyou Counties. Additionally, the district includes parts of Placer and Butte County. Notable cities within the district include Redding, Truckee, and Nevada City. Republicans typically hold this district. The most recent election results show that AD-01 voted for Donald Trump for president in 2016 and John Cox for governor in 2018. The district is primarily rural, and includes six national forests.
About the Race
In the primary, Democrat challenger Elizabeth Betancourt trailed Republican incumbent Megan Dahle by a margin of 11.5 percent. Betancourt’s campaign has raised over $124,000, including significant contributions from trade unions and women’s groups. Her campaign is funded largely through individual donations, and does not receive corporate, fossil fuel, or police money. However, Betancourt has not committed to the #NoCopMoneyCA pledge. Opponent Megan Dahle’s campaign has raised over $222,000 and has received significant corporate, fossil fuel, and police money. Assemblymember Megan Dahle’s husband, Brian Dahle, has been linked with anti-LGBTQIA+ rhetoric. When given the opportunity to comment on their views regarding LGBTQIA+ issues, Megan Dahle’s office refused to comment, while Betancourt replied in support.
About the Candidate
Elizabeth Betancourt is a longtime resident of the North State, and lives in Happy Valley. According to campaign materials, she is running for State Senate because she wants to bring her small-business and environmental advocacy experience to Sacramento to provide more productive representation for District 1. Betancourt’s campaign focuses on protecting the environment and the district’s natural resources, strengthening the job market and education system, and working to combat homelessness and housing affordability. As a candidate, she has taken strong stances in support of gun safety, mandatory vaccinations, cannabis regulation, and health-care expansion. Additionally, she has publicly spoken out in support of holding pharmaceutical companies responsible. Betancourt’s campaign values include integrity, optimism, hard work, and equity.
Betancourt has worked in the private and public sectors throughout her career to provide leadership in resource management and planning. In a variety of positions, Betancourt has built her resume in the Sierra-Cascade region on issues surrounding forest resources and drinking-water supplies. To fulfill her responsibilities, she has built collaborative relationships with a variety of stakeholders, including tribes, business and tourism advocates, environmental protection organizations, and water and timber companies. Betancourt has advocated for job creation and Native American Indian tribal empowerment, and was an integral part of the state’s response to the Carr Fire in 2018. As an active member of her community, Betancourt served a four-year term as director of the Western Shasta Resource Conservation District Board, and on the Community Development Advisory Committee for the City of Redding. These opportunities allowed her to use her professional expertise to advocate for local funding distribution, projects, and rural values. She has received endorsements from local progressive groups, and the California Democratic Party.
Betancourt is running against incumbent Republican candidate Megan Dahle, who has held the seat since 2019. Dahle has received multiple problematic endorsements, and promoted rhetoric linking immigration to crime and human trafficking. Betancourt is the progressive choice because of her long history of advocating for environmental improvements, and working to find thoughtful compromises with a broad group of stakeholders.
According to our analysis, Elizabeth Betancourt is the strongest choice for equitable and representative leadership in office.