Re-elect State Assemblymember Marc Berman to keep AD-24 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 24th Assembly District includes San Mateo and Santa Clara Counties. Democrats typically hold this district. Democrat incumbent Assemblymember Marc Berman has held this position since being elected in 2016. The most recent election results show 78.2 percent of AD-24 voted for Hillary Clinton for president in 2016, and 76.7 percent voted for Gavin Newsom for governor in 2018.
About the Race
In the primary, Democrat incumbent Assemblymember Marc Berman led Republican challenger Peter Ohtaki by a margin of 53 percent. Berman’s campaign has raised $491,613 and is funded by police money, fossil fuel money, and corporate PACs. Ohtaki’s campaign has raised $1,800, has not committed to any of the pledges, and is funded entirely by individuals.
About the Candidate
Assemblymember Berman, a lawyer, is from Palo Alto. Prior to his election to the State Assembly, he worked with the Silicon Valley Education Foundation to support efforts to close the achievement gap through STEM education in Silicon Valley. He later served as a Palo Alto City Councilmember, increasing the city’s financial transparency. He is a longtime supporter of increasing election accessibility and infrastructure. According to campaign materials, Assemblymember Berman is running for re-election because he wants to use his long history of public service to continue to push California forward on election security and higher education accessibility.
Assemblymember Berman’s priorities for AD-24 this year include election protections and transportation. He currently sits on five committees: Elections and Redistricting (chair), Governmental Organization, Insurance, Privacy and Consumer Protection, and Transportation. He also serves as chair for both the Select Committees on the Census and the Master Plan for Higher Education in California. Assemblymember Berman has sponsored 45 bills about elections, technology, education, and transportation this year, of which 17 have been successfully chaptered.
He scores a lifetime score of 92 out of 100 on Courage Score, our annual analysis of legislators’ progressive voting records. Based on our Courage Score analysis, Assemblymember Berman has supported the most progressive bills that made it to a vote. That said, he failed to support AB 1505, which would empower local districts to evaluate charter-school applications based on economic-impact criteria. This is not surprising, considering he has accepted campaign money from California Charter Schools Association Advocates for Great Public Schools. Additionally, Assemblymember Berman voted to support AB 1366, which would eliminate critical oversight of telecom companies. He has also accepted campaign money from Verizon, one of the largest telecom providers.
Assemblymember Berman is endorsed by several progressive groups in the district, such as Peninsula for Everyone, AFSCME California, and the California Labor Federation. However, the threat of Ohtaki’s potential policies greatly outweighs Berman’s lack of campaign finance pledges. According to our analysis, Assemblymember. Berman is the strongest choice for equitable and representative leadership in office.