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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.
Depending on where you live, you may have one of the below congressional districts on your ballot.
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
Jerry McNerny is from New Mexico and has lived in California since 1990. He is the incumbent, having served in this position since 2007. According to campaign materials, he is running for re-election to continue to be an independent voice for the 9th District.
Jerry McNerney currently serves in the House of Representatives, where he has written and passed laws that include the better treatment of veterans returning home with traumatic brain injury, as well as improved training for new green jobs and increased investment in infrastructure for electric vehicles. He currently serves on the Committee on Energy and Commerce as well as the Committee on Science, Space and Technology. Prior to his election to Congress, he worked as a renewable energy engineer and founded a company that manufactures wind turbines.
Jerry McNerney has introduced a proposed amendment to the Constitution that would limit funding for candidates and ballot measures from direct donations from individual citizens, restrict campaign contributions, and essentially eliminate Political Action Committees.
Jerry McNerney is running against William Martinek (R) and Antonio Amador (R). According to recent election results, Democrats can win this seat but it's often a close race. Though we disagree with McNerney’s often punitive stances on immigration, as well as calls for increased funding for law enforcement and surveillance at the border, his position in Congress helps to advance progressive policies on issues such as climate change and makes him the strongest choice for in this race.
Last updated: 2020-02-25
Assemblymember Jim Frazier (D) is the incumbent, having served as Assembly District 11 Representative since 2013. Based on our Courage Score analysis, Assemblymember Frazier has shown that he does NOT advocate for the needs of constituents or face down corporate lobbyists and interest groups that exploit Californians. Frazier scored a shocking 15 out of 100 on this year’s Courage Score, our annual analysis of a legislator's progressive voting records.
Assemblymember Frazier is running unopposed. We here at Courage encourage 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.
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
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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