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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.
Endorsed By: Stonewall Democratic Club, California Federation of Teachers, California Teachers Association, LA County Federation of Labor, AFL-CIO, NARAL Pro-Choice California, National Union of Healthcare Workers, Planned Parenthood Action Fund, SEIU CA, Sierra Club - LA Chapter, United Farm Workers
Representative Judy Chu was born in Los Angeles and has lived in Monterey Park, CA, for over 33 years. She is the incumbent, having served in Congress since 2009. According to campaign materials, Rep. Chu is running for congress to continue her fight for progress in the San Gabriel Valley.
In Congress, Rep. Chu has worked with the Department of Defense to address military hazing, pushed to successfully declare the San Gabriel Mountains a national monument, and has established two Small Business Development Centers that have helped spur local economic growth. Rep. Chu currently sits on the House Committees on Ways and Means, Small Businesses, as well as sits on two subcommittees, and is a founder and co-chair of the Congressional Creative Rights Caucus. Prior to her election to Congress, Rep. Chu served on the Garvey School District School Board, Monterey Park City Council, and in the State Assembly.
Rep. Chu is challenged by Beatrice Cardenas (R), Johnny J. Nalbandian (R), and Christian Daly (NPP). According to recent election results, Democrats usually win this seat. Rep. Chu is the best progressive choice because of her track record of fighting for progress for the San Gabriel Valley and her pledge to continue to do so.
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 Chris Holden is a lifelong resident of Pasadena. He is the incumbent, having served as Assemblymember for the 41st District in the State Assembly since 2012. According to campaign materials, he is running for re-election to continue to find solutions that create and protect jobs, preserve vital services, and strengthen the economic vitality of the San Gabriel Valley.
As an Assemblymember, Holden has authored and led the passage of several bills to support small businesses and innovation, save developmental disability services, protect public health, and preserve civil rights. Assemblymember Holden currently chairs the Assembly Committee on Utilities and Energy. Prior to his election to the State Assembly, he spent 24 years as a Pasadena City Councilmember and Mayor.
Assemblymember Holden is challenged by Robin A. Hvidston (R). He scores a lifetime 92 out of 100 on Courage Score, our annual analysis of a legislator's progressive voting record. Based on this analysis, Assemblymember Holden has consistently shown courage advocating for the needs of constituents and facing down corporate lobbyists and interest groups that exploit Californians.
According to our analysis, Assemblymember Holden is a strong choice for progressive leadership in office
Last updated: 2020-02-29
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
State Senator Anthony Portantino is from Long Branch, NJ. He is the incumbent, having served in this position since 2016. According to campaign materials, he is running for reelection to continue to represent the needs of the foothills community in the State Legislature.
As a State Senator, Portantino has advanced bills to address public health issues, increase access to higher education, and improve senior citizens’ services. Prior to his election to the State Senate, Portantino served on the La Cañada Flintridge City Council, as Mayor of the Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy Advisory Committee, and as President of the League of California Cities Mayors and Councilmembers Department.
As Senate Appropriations Chair, Portantino took actions that resulted in various progressive bills being tabled. Even though we don’t agree with all of Portantino's actions as Appropriations Chair, his position of power in the State Senate, his support of inclusive education and health policies make him a strong choice in this race.
Portantino is running uncontested for reelection. Based on our Courage Score analysis, Portantino has often shown courage advocating for the needs of constituents and facing down corporate lobbyists and interest groups that exploit Californians.
Last updated: 2020-02-21
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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