55th Assembly District

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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 Orange 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 Orange County? Visit your county elections website.

39th Congressional District

Member of the House of Representatives

Gil Cisneros photo
Democrat

Builds Power
Builds Representation


Representative Gil Cisneros, a veteran, is from Los Angeles. He is the incumbent, having served in Congress since 2019. According to campaign materials, Rep. Cisneros is running for re-election to ensure future generations have the same opportunities that were available to him through the Navy.  

In Congress, Rep. Cisneros has advocated for quality education, stood up to the insurance and pharmaceutical industry to address high healthcare costs, and worked to bring good-paying jobs to his district. He currently sits on the House Committee on Armed Services and the House Veterans Affairs Committee. Prior to his election to Congress, he served in the United States Navy and was an education advocate. 

Rep. Cisneros has progressive education and economic positions. That said, while we have concerns about some votes, like his vote against an amendment that would have allocated $5 million to combat vaccine misinformation.  

Rep. Cisneros is being challenged by Young Kim (R) and Steve Cox (NPP).  Though we do not agree with all of Rep. Cisneros’s votes, his community support and relationships with progressive partners, his progressive votes on healthcare and other issues make him a strong choice in this race.
 

Last updated: 2020-02-28


State Assembly, 55th District

Member of the State Assembly

Andrew Rodriguez photo
Democrat

Builds Power
Builds Progress
Builds Representation


Andrew Rodriguez is a lifelong resident of the City of Walnut and the 55th State Assembly District. According to campaign materials, he is running for the position to be an accessible, transparent, and effective representative for his community in Sacramento.

Rodriguez is Mayor Pro Tem of the city of Walnut. In this position, he has advocated for more housing in the district, smart growth strategies for the city, and he completed a general plan land use update for the city for the first time in forty years. He has also worked as a land use planner in San Gabriel Valley and on several political campaigns, including then Newark Mayor Cory Booker’s successful U.S. Senate bid.

Rodriguez is running against Phillip Chen (R), who is the incumbent and has held the seat since 2018. Assemblymember Chen has shown that he does NOT represent the needs of constituents in facing down corporate lobbyists and interest groups that exploit Californians. Rodriguez is the progressive choice because of his passion for urban revitalization, planning, and public administration and growing list of endorsements.

According to our analysis, Rodriguez is the strongest choice for progressive leadership in office.
 

Last updated: 2020-02-24


State Senator, 29th District

Member of the State Senate

Josh Newman photo
Democrat

Builds Power
Builds Progress
Builds Representation


Josh Newman is a veteran from Orange County and currently resides in Fullerton, CA. According to campaign materials, he is running for State Senate to stand up for California by putting people and working families' needs over corporate interests.

Newman previously served as a State Senator, where he focused on advancing policies to improve veteran and mental health services, as well as initiatives to promote public education, jobs, and infrastructure improvements. Following the legislature's approval of a bill to repair the state’s aging transportation infrastructure in 2017, Senate Bill 1, Newman was singled out by a well-funded, hyper-partisan campaign that resulted in his recall. Prior to his election to the State Senate, he served as a United States Army officer, business owner, as well as a veteran and community activist.

Newman is running against Ling Ling Chang (R) who is the incumbent and has held the seat since 2018, and Joseph Cho, Ph.D. (D). Newman is the best progressive choice because of his track record of putting the people of California above politics.

According to our analysis, Newman is the strongest choice for progressive leadership in office.

Last updated: 2020-02-28


Statewide Ballot Measures

Proposition 13

VOTE YES

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.