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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.
Christine “Chris” Bubser is from Pennsylvania and has lived in Mammoth Lakes for over 13 years. According to campaign materials, she’s running for office to bring responsive representation to California’s 8th Congressional district.
Bubser is a biotech engineer and healthcare advocate. The 2017 attempts to dismantle the Affordable Care Act led her to advocate in Washington, and she decided to run for office after the indifference she experienced. In her community, Bubser is a trustee at her Temple and a co-founder of HODG (HangOutDoGood), a grassroots community of hundreds of volunteers who work to elect progressive candidates.
Bubser is running against nine other candidates: Bob Conaway (D), James Ellars (D), Tim Donnelly (R), Jerry Laws (R), Jay Obernolte (R), Jeremy Staat (R), Justin David Whitehead (R), Jeff Esmus (NPP). Incumbent Paul Cook (R) is not seeking re-election. Recent election results show it's hard for Democrats to win this seat. Chris Bubser is the best progressive choice thanks to endorsements from over a dozen progressive organizations, elected officials, and community leaders.
According to our analysis, Chris Bubser is the strongest choice for progressive leadership in office.
Last updated: 2020-02-28
Representative Pete Aguilar is a fourth-generation San Bernardino county resident and currently resides in Redlands, CA. He is the incumbent, having served in this position since 2015. According to campaign materials, he is running to keep his seat because he understands the problems families in his community face and knows how to bring people together to solve hardships.
In Congress, Rep. Aguilar has worked to expand economic opportunities, protect veterans, and fix the country’s broken immigration system. Furthermore, he has successfully fought to defend programs such as Medicare and Social Security from ongoing GOP attacks. Rep. Aguilar currently serves as Vice-Chair of the House Appropriations Committee and sits on three additional subcommittees. Prior to his election to Congress, he served as the Mayor of Redlands, where he developed a reputation as someone who brings people together on behalf of his community to increase economic opportunities and solve issues pertaining to public safety and public health.
Rep. Aguilar has progressive positions when it comes to increasing access to educational opportunities, preserving the environment, and fixing the country’s broken immigration system. That said, he has voted against key progressive bills on military spending, taxation policy, and limiting payments from health savings accounts for medication.
Rep. Aguilar is being challenged by Agnes Gibboney (R). According to recent election results, Democrats can win this seat but it's often a close race. Though we disagree with Rep. Aguilar’s votes pertaining to military spending, taxation policy, and healthcare, his relationships with partners, strong base in a moderate district and progressive stance on issues like education, immigration and environmental protections make him the best choice in this race.
Last updated: 2020-02-18
Assemblymember James Ramos has lived on the San Manuel Indian Reservation in San Bernardino all his life and was the first Native American to be elected to the Assembly. He is the incumbent, having won the seat in 2018. According to campaign materials, he’s seeking re-election to continue making gains in economic development, homelessness, education, and public safety in the Inland Empire.
In the State Assembly, Ramos’ Early Suicide Prevention Bill (AB 1767) became law in November 2019. The bill expands the school district’s suicide prevention policies to include kindergarten and grade 1- 6. Ramos also authored two bills to address financial inequity: the Fair Access to Credit Bill, which would cap interest rates of payday loans, and the Small Business Tax Relief Bill, which would create a tax benefit for small businesses. James Ramos currently chairs the Select Committee on Native American Affairs.
Prior to his election to the State Assembly, he was the Board Chairman for San Bernardino County Board of Supervisor. He is co-founder of the San Manuel Band’s Cultural Awareness Program, and director of the annual California Indian Cultural Awareness Conference.
Ramos has progressive education and economic stances. That said, he has voted against key progressive bills on criminal justice reform, healthcare, the environment, labor, and housing.
Ramos is being challenged by Jennifer Tullius (R). In 2019 Ramos scored an 18 out of 100 on Courage Score, our annual analysis of a legislator's progressive voting records. According to recent election results, Democrats can win this seat but it's often a close race. Though we disagree with Ramos stances on the issues named above, and know that a stronger progressive candidate would more accurately represent the 40th district, Ramos is the most progressive candidate on the ballot. That said, we encourage more progressive candidates, that will better reflect this community’s needs, to run in future cycles.
Last updated: 2020-02-18
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
Eddie Tejeda has lived in Redlands for over twenty years. According to campaign materials, he is running for Board of Supervisors to use his experiences as a local educator and City Councilman to continue to work to support the economy, improve transportation, and bolster climate protections.
Tejeda is a special education teacher and an elected member of the Redlands City Council, positions in which he has emphasized a commitment to serve his community. In City Council, Tejeda sits on the Parks & Recreation Advisory Committee, and the Municipal Utilities & Public Works Commission. He has been outspoken in his opposition to the Eastgate Air Cargo Facility project, supports mass transit improvements, and the establishment of higher density housing along transit corridors. Tejeda has a strong interest in investing in some of the under-resourced communities in District 3, like Mentone, and improving the overall infrastructure for cycling and the use of electric transportation.
Tejeda is running against Kaisar Ahmed, Roy George, Karen Ickes, Latron Lester, and incumbent Dawn Rowe, who was appointed in 2018. Rowe's appointment, however, has come under scrutiny and she is currently not “acting in an official capacity” while an appeal is heard regarding the legality of her appointment. Tejeda is the best choice because of his long history in the community and his strong vision of improving the district’s environmental efficiency, housing density, and development strategy.
According to our analysis, Eddie Tejeda is the strongest choice for progressive leadership in office.
Last updated: 2020-02-27
Dan Flores is a lifelong resident of District 5, and lives in Colton. According to campaign materials he is running for Board of Supervisors to use his extensive knowledge of the county to continue to create benefits for students, families, and seniors.
Flores is Chief of Staff to the current Fifth District Supervisor, Josie Gonzalez, where he works to promote County level action to improve educational outcomes, housing access, and public systems. He has led efforts to increase the availability of affordable housing, particularly for seniors, and has worked on updating community facilities, libraries, and parks. Flores was elected to the Colton Joint Unified School Board in 2012, and was instrumental in the establishment of preferential admissions partnerships with California University of Science and Medicine and California State University at San Bernardino. He also pushed for capital improvements to school buildings, and advocated for a more robust pipeline for college and vocational school.
Flores is running against Joe Baca Jr, Nadia Renner, and Jesse Armendarez for this open seat. Flores is the best progressive choice because of his long history in the community, and his demonstrated interest in developing local collaborations that improve outcomes for students and families.
According to our analysis, Dan Flores is the strongest 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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