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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.
Voting has changed in Napa 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 Napa County? Visit your county elections website.
Representative Mike Thompson is from St. Helena, CA. He is the incumbent, having served in this position since 1999. According to campaign materials, he is running for re-election because he understands how to bring people together to solve his district’s needs.
In Congress, Rep. Thompson has advanced efforts to rebuild the middle-class, increase access to healthcare, ensure seniors and veterans aren’t left behind and preserve the environment. He currently sits on the House Ways and Means Committee, as well as the Health Subcommittee and serves as Chair of the Select Revenue Measures Subcommittee. Prior to his election to Congress, he worked in the California State Senate and the United States Army, where he was recognized with a purple heart for his service.
Rep. Thompson has progressive positions when it comes to gun safety legislation and increasing access to affordable healthcare. That said, he has unfavorable positions when it comes to immigration and is a member of the moderate Blue Dog Coalition.
Rep. Thompson is being challenged by Jason Kishineff (D), John Wesley Tyler (D), and Scott Giblin (R). According to recent election results, Democrats usually win this seat. Though we disagree with Rep. Thompson's stances on immigration and his affiliation with the Blue Dog Coalition, his relationships with partners, his position of power in Congress, his progressive position on issues like gun safety, and his Democratic opponents' lack of viability makes Thompson the strongest choice in this race.
Last updated: 2020-02-18
Assemblymember Cecilia Aguiar-Curry grew up in Yolo County and lives in Winters, CA. She is the incumbent, having served as Assemblymember for the 4th District in the State Assembly since 2016. According to campaign materials, she is running for re-election to continue to be a fierce advocate for Democratic values and for the small cities and towns that make up District 4.
During her tenure, Assemblymember Aguiar-Curry has worked to serve the interests of rural residents, farmers and agricultural workers, and local government. She has authored successful legislation to protect small family farm homesteads, improve the quality of recycling programs by local governments, and to improve voter registration in counties throughout the state. Through her efforts, she helped establish the Berryessa Snow Mountain National Monument to protect environmental lands across five counties. In the Assembly, Assemblymember Aguiar-Curry currently chairs the Local Government Committee and the Select Committee on Wine. She also currently serves as Chair of the Yolo Housing Commission, Vice-Chair of the Yolo County Water Association, and serves on the Board of Directors of the Sacramento Council of Governments. Prior to her election to the State Assembly, Assemblymember Aguiar-Curry served as the first woman Mayor of Winters.
Assemblymember Aguiar-Curry is being challenged by Sophia Racke (D) and Matthew Nelson (R). Based on Courage Score, our annual analysis of a legislator's progressive voting records, Assemblymember Aguiar-Curry has a mixed record advocating for the needs of constituents and facing down corporate lobbyists and interest groups that exploit Californians. In 2019, she scored a 90 out of 100 on Courage Score. That said, in 2017, she received a 79, and in 2018, she received a 61. According to our analysis, Assemblymember Aguiar-Curry is the strongest choice for progressive leadership in office, although we will continue to closely watch her voting record.
Last updated: 2020-02-21
Senator Bill Dodd (D) is the incumbent, having served as Senator for the district since 2013. Based on our Courage Score analysis, Senator Dodd has shown that he does NOT advocate for the needs of constituents or face down corporate lobbyists and interest groups that exploit Californians. Dodd scored a shocking 57 out of 100 on this year’s Courage Score, our annual analysis of a legislator's progressive voting records.
Senator Dodd is running unopposed. Courage California encourages 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.
Last updated: 2020-02-21
Belia Ramos grew up in Pope Valley and St. Helena and lives with her family in American Canyon. She is the incumbent and has served in this position since 2017. Belia Ramos is seeking a second term as the District 5 Supervisor because she is “dedicated to making Napa County a great place to live, work and raise a family.”
As the District 5 Supervisor, Belia Ramos has focused on improving transportation and infrastructure, affordable housing, and helping residents rebuild after the 2017 and 2019 storms. Her achievements include promoting alternatives to Highway 29 and implementing Measure T and SB 1 funds to repave county roads. She also secured funding for 329 affordable housing units and wants to create a funding mechanism to construct more Accessible Dwelling Units (ADUs). Supervisor Ramos serves as the Elected Vice President of the Association of Bay Area Governments where she addresses the housing crisis. Prior to her election to the County Board of Supervisors, she served as a member of the American Canyon City Council from 2012 to 2016, where she focused on transportation, economic development, public art, public safety, and community engagement.
Supervisor Ramos is running against Mariam Aboudamous, the current Vice Mayor of the American Canyon City Council. Despite a similar progressive agenda, Supervisor Ramos is the better progressive choice because of her track record and experience.
Based on our analysis, Belia Ramos is a strong choice for progressive leadership in office.
Last updated: 2020-02-27
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.
Last updated: 2020-03-02
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