Re-elect State Assemblymember Shirley Weber to keep AD-79 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 79th Assembly District includes parts of San Diego Counties. Democrats typically hold this district. The most recent election results show AD-79 voted for Hillary Clinton for president in 2016 and Gavin Newsom for governor in 2018.
About the Race
In the primary, Democrat incumbent Representative Shirley Weber led Republican challenger John Moore by a margin of 48.3 percent. Weber’s campaign has raised $282,688 and has not committed to any campaign finance pledges. Moore’s campaign has no apparent public financial data, no functioning campaign website, and has also not committed to any finance pledges.
About the Candidate
Rep. Shirley Weber, a former San Diego State University professor and longtime assemblymember, is from Los Angeles, and has lived in the 79th district for over 30 years. According to campaign materials, Rep. Weber is running for re-election to fight for education that is accessible at all levels.
Rep. Shirley Weber’s priorities for AD-79 this year include strengthening civil rights protections, improving education, protecting persons with disabilities, and securing voting rights. She currently sits on six committees: the Legislative Budget, Banking and Finance, Budget, Education, Elections and Redistricting, and Higher Education Committees. Rep. Weber has sponsored 264 bills on such topics as school safety, full-day kindergarten, reducing the use of deadly force by police, and strengthening the CalFresh program this year, of which over 10 percent have successfully passed. She scores a lifetime 93 out of 100 on Courage Score, our annual analysis of legislators’ progressive voting records. Based on our Courage Score analysis, Rep. Weber has supported nearly all progressive bills that made it to a vote. That said, Rep. Weber has not supported lowering the voting age to 17 and evaluating charter school applications based on economic impact criteria.
Prior to her election to the State Assembly, Rep. Shirley Weber founded the Department of African-American Studies at San Diego State University in 1972 and taught there for forty years. She also served as president of the National Council for Black Studies from 2002 to 2006, board member and later president of the San Diego Board of Education from 1988 to 1996, and as chairwoman of the San Diego Citizens’ Equal Opportunity Commission. Her time as assemblymember for AD-79 has included successes in environmental cleanup, increasing food access for food-insecure communities, establishing protections for residents of long-term nursing facilities, and lowering the cost of childcare. Rep. Weber holds three degrees from UCLA and is a longtime supporter of the power of well-funded and well-staffed public education.
Rep. Shirley is endorsed by many progressive groups in the district. She is also backed by the California Correctional Peace Officers Association, Chevron, Macpherson Oil Company, Walmart, and the California Statewide Law Enforcement Association. However, the threat of Republican challenger John Moore’s potential policies greatly outweighs Rep. Weber’s lack of campaign finance pledges and problematic endorsements. According to our analysis, Rep. Shirley Weber is the strongest choice for equitable and representative leadership in office.