By Courage California
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The Courage California Voter Guide compiles the information that allows you to make informed decisions about the races on your ballot, based on your values. Vote in every race on your ballot! It's our right and our responsibility. Please share this guide with your friends and family.
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Depending on where you live, you may have one of the below congressional districts on your ballot.
Audrey Denney grew up in Central California, south of California's First Congressional District. According to campaign materials, she is running for Congress to represent Northern Californians’ values and vision by fighting for access to healthcare, addressing income inequality and discrimination, and ensuring that all humans are treated with dignity and respect.
Denney is a Senior Learning Designer, where she develops curriculum for agriculture companies and nonprofits to streamline institutional knowledge. Denney currently sits on the board of directors at Cristosal, an international human rights organization, and serves on Bidwell Presebyterian Church’s mission committee. Throughout her career, Denney has utilized her agriculture knowledge to help local farmers, as well as farmers in developing countries and other rural areas.
Denney is running against Doug LaMalfa (R), who is the incumbent and has held the seat since 2013. Other challengers include Rob Lydon (D), Gregory Cheadle (NPP), and Joseph LeTourneau IV (NPP). According to recent election results, it will be very difficult for a Democrat to win this seat. Denney is the progressive choice because of her track record of supporting and lifting up vulnerable populations, and her pledge represent her community by putting people over politics and special interests.
According to our analysis, Denney is a strong choice for progressive leadership in office.
Last updated: 2020-02-01
Representative John Garamendi was first elected to Congress in a special election in 2009 and was re-elected to the seat in 2010. California’s subsequent redistricting shifted most of the district to California’s 3rd District, a seat which Garamendi has held since.
Prior to his election to Congress, Rep. Garamendi served in numerous public offices. He was elected to the California legislature in 1974 and went on to successfully run for California’s Insurance Commissioner in 1990. He was Appointed Deputy Secretary of the Interior in 1995 by then President Bill Clinton, and was elected California Lieutenant Governor in 2007 before his run for Congress.
Rep. Garamendi strongly supports strengthening the Affordable Care Act, protecting access to healthcare in rural areas, and efforts to reduce prescription drug prices, including allowing Medicare to directly negotiate drug prices. He also supports bold action on climate change including the adoption of zero-emission vehicles, green infrastructure investments, and investments in renewable energy. As a member of the House Armed Services Committee, he has worked to push the military to be a leader on climate change. He’s been active in efforts to protect the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta, including working to pass legislation to designate it as California’s first National Heritage Area Act. While he expressed concerns about the Green New Deal, he ultimately signed on as a co-sponsor of the House Resolution.
Rep. Garamendi has long supported nuclear nonproliferation, and has co-sponsored legislation to require separate authorizations from Congress in order to utilize nuclear weapons, and legislation to prohibit the research, development, production and deployment of low-yield nuclear warheads.
Rep. Garamendi is challenged by Sean Feucht (R), and Tamika Hamilton (R). The 3rd Congressional District has been a swing district, though it has been leaning more Democratic in the last few election cycles. Rep. Garamendi has strong support from labor, environmental and social justice organizations in the district.
Rep. Garamendi is the strongest choice for progressive leadership in office.
Last updated: 2020-02-05
Jim R. Henson (D) is the current chair of the Paradise Ridge Democratic Club and the only Democrat in this race. While we do not have sufficient information about this candidate to confirm his viability, we recommend supporting Henson as a more progressive alternative to the current incumbent, Assemblymember James Gallagher (R).
Assemblymember Gallagher has represented District 3 in the State Assembly since 2014. Based on our Courage Score analysis, Assemblymember Gallagher has shown that he does NOT advocate for the needs of constituents or face down corporate lobbyists and interest groups that exploit Californians. He scored just 1 out of 100 on this year’s Courage Score, our annual analysis of legislator's progressive voting records. In summary, Assemblymember Gallagher is not serving his constituents with progressive solutions.
According to our analysis, Jim R. Henson has potential to provide stronger progressive leadership in office.
Last updated: 2020-02-20
Vote YES On Prop 13, School and College Facilities Bond
This proposition would provide $9 billion for desperately needed renovations to public preschools and grade schools throughout the state, and $6 billion for construction to community colleges, the Cal State system, and the UC system. This will allow the state of California to use tax revenue to pay for improvements that local communities cannot afford.
The funding would come from bonds the state would pay back over 35 years, totaling an estimated $26 billion, which includes $15 billion in principal and $11 billion in interest. This investment is well worth the costs. It takes money, after all, to ensure that students -- especially those in districts that can’t afford major capital improvement projects -- do not have to learn in dangerous environments.
The vast majority of Democrats in the state legislature support it, as does Gov. Newsom, and the only major opposition is a group called the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association. This is the group famous for destroying California’s school funding system in 1978 through another proposition, ironically one that was also dubbed Prop 13. The group spends most of its time lobbying to reduce tax rates. It has never shown any interest in supporting California’s children, at least if that means wealthy individuals or giant corporations would pay their fair share in taxes.
Critics of the measure have pointed out that the ballot measure’s language includes a provision that frees new multi-family developments around subway stops and bus stations from school impact fees. This provision will make it easier for developers to build apartment buildings within a half-mile of public transit but could also drive up the cost of new housing and take funds away from school districts across the state. Despite this provision, the measure is still supported by most education groups in the state, who believe the overall funding allocation to schools outweighs the impact of reduced funding to school districts located near transit hubs. 2020’s Prop 13 is worth the investment since it means children will soon be able to attend school in buildings that are retrofitted to withstand earthquakes and no longer have lead in their water.
We strongly recommend a YES vote on Prop 13.
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