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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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Representative Raul Ruiz grew up in Coachella, CA, and currently resides in La Quinta, CA. He is the incumbent, having served in this position since 2013. According to campaign materials, he is running to fulfill his pledge to serve his community and address the issues his district faces by being a strong advocate in Washington.
In Congress, Rep. Ruiz has utilized his knowledge as an emergency physician to make the case to save programs such as Medicare and Social Security. Furthermore, he has been a strong advocate for veterans, and a voice of opposition against the influence of special interests in Washington. Rep. Ruiz currently serves on the Energy and Commerce Committee and sits on three additional subcommittees. Prior to his election to Congress, he worked as an emergency physician in the Coachella Valley and was the founder and director of the Coachella Valley Healthcare Initiative, where he successfully brought together members of his community to improve access to healthcare and address public health issues.
Rep. Ruiz has progressive positions when it comes to preserving the environment and ensuring access to affordable, quality healthcare. That said, he has voted against key progressive bills pertaining to military spending and other issues involving trade and earlier votes on the impeachment of the President.
Rep. Ruiz is being challenged by Erin Cruz (R), Patrice Kimbler (R), and Milo Stevanovich (R). According to recent election results, Democrats usually win this seat. Though we disagree with Rep. Ruiz’s votes on military spending, trade, and impeachment, his relationships with partners and position of power in Congress supports progressive momentum and makes him a strong choice in this race.
Last updated: 2020-02-05
DeniAntoinette Mazingo was born in Los Angeles and now lives in Hemet, CA. According to campaign materials, Mazingo is running to bring programs to the most vulnerable among us, to ensure affordable housing, to create competitive jobs, and to ensure a great quality of life for her community.
Mazingo is an attorney and Riverside County’s Third District Commissioner for Women. She believes that she can help represent the interests of people in need, such as unhoused seniors, single mothers struggling to care for their children, and veterans struggling to survive. Healthcare, housing, and veteran assistance are significant priority areas for Mazingo, and she believes she can make the biggest difference in the area of housing and veteran affairs.
Mazingo is challenging incumbent Chad Mayes (R), who has consistently opposed progressive priorities and sided with corporate lobbyists and failed his constituents across a wide spectrum of issues. Other candidates include Andrew Kotyuk (R). Mazingo is the strongest choice because of her passion for progressive causes and strong slate of endorsements from progressive groups. According to recent election results, Democrats have the potential to win this seat, and Mazingo’s narrow loss in the same district in 2018 indicates her chances are strong in 2020.
According to our analysis, DeniAntoinette Mazingo is the strongest choice for progressive leadership in office.
Last updated: 2020-02-21
Depending on where you live, you may have one of the below State Senate races on your ballot.
Abigail Medina currently resides in San Bernardino County. According to campaign materials, she is running for State Senate to improve educational opportunities for her district and to be a voice for historically marginalized communities.
Medina serves as the Board President of the San Bernardino City Unified School District (SBCUSD) and Executive Director of Inland Region Equality Network (IREN), where she works to improve youth educational opportunities and elevate disadvantaged communities. While sitting on the school board, Medina has helped improve SBCUSD’s graduation rate from 70 percent, in 2013, to 90 percent, in 2018, and as ED of IREN, Medina has advanced initiatives in the Inland region to empower the LGBTQ+ community. Medina has also worked for the California Association for the Gifted, Congregation Organized for Prophetic Engagement (COPE), Health Advocates, and the District African American Council.
Medina is running against Kris Goodfellow (D), Rosilicie Ochoa Bogh (R), Cristina Puraci (R), and Lloyd White (R) for this open seat. According to recent election results, it's rare that Democrats win this seat. Medina stands out as the progressive choice because of her proven track record of being a community advocate and her ability to solve the issues faced by her community.
According to our analysis, Medina is the strongest choice for progressive leadership in office.
Last updated: 2020-02-28
Joy Silver is from Pennsylvania and has lived in Palm Springs since 2007. According to campaign materials she is running for State Senate because she was motivated after the 2016 Presidential election to use her experience in the healthcare and housing industries to fight for equity in her community.
Silver helped found Courageous Resistance of Palm Springs, a grassroots organization that was established to push back against the Trump administration’s immigration policies and their efforts to ease gun violence prevention legislation across the country. Throughout her career, she has worked to improve healthcare access, and to increase funding for affordable housing. Silver has emphasized sustainable growth and environmental protections, and has spoken out against the gas tax repeal effort. Under this platform, Silver came within 3% of flipping State Senate District 28 in the 2018 election. She lost the race to the incumbent, but was endorsed by Courage Campaign in her bid for the seat. Since that time the incumbent has accepted a position with Trump’s Department of Labor, prompting this special election.
Joy Silver is running against Elizabeth Romero (D), John Schwab (R), and Melissa Melendez (R) in this open race. According to recent election results, it's rare that Democrats win this seat, but Silver lost only narrowly in 2018. Silver stands out as the progressive choice because of her diverse track record of working for healthcare reform, social justice, and affordable housing.
According to our analysis, Joy Silver is the strongest choice for progressive leadership in office.
Last updated: 2020-01-30
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