79th Assembly District

79th Assembly District

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Congress

Depending on where you live, you may have one of the below congressional districts on your ballot.

51st Congressional District

Member of the House of Representatives


Representative Juan Carlos Vargas was born and raised in California's 51st congressional district, which he was first elected to in 2012. 

Vargas’ district includes Imperial county and the southern part of San Diego county along the U.S-Mexican border. To address local concerns about cross-border pollution, particularly of waterways, Vargas supported the United States–Mexico–Canada Agreement (USMCA), specifically citing the $300 million that will be allocated to the Environmental Protection Agency’s Border Water Infrastructure Program (BWIP). He has been an advocate for action on climate change, and is one of the co-sponsors of House Resolution 109, which calls on the Federal Government to create a Green New Deal. 

Vargas has been critical of the Trump administration’s immigration policies, including the wall at the border, the Migrant Protection Protocols, and the deportation of veterans. He urged Democrats to take a strong stance against Trump’s efforts to divert Pentagon funds to build a border wall. Recently, he called for investigations in to efforts by Customs and Border Protection to send asylum seekers to Mexico by issuing documents for fake court hearings. He has also sponsored legislation that would allow Dreamers to apply for FHA loans, which HUD currently denies.  

Courage California (then known as Courage Campaign) was deeply involved in the fight for the Homeowner Bill of Rights in 2012, a critical piece of state legislation to protect homeowners from predatory lending practices by mortgage lenders. Then Senator Vargas played a key role as head of the Banking Committee in the California Senate, prior to his election to Congress. Unfortunately, Vargas repeatedly attempted to protect Wall Street from accountability. However, after heroic organizing with our partners at ACCE (Alliance of Californians for Community Empowerment), he stepped down as committee chair, which eventually allowed for the landmark bill to pass. This gives us great pause about Rep. Vargas’ commitment to progressive governance.

Representative Vargas is running against Juan M Hidalgo Jr. (R). While we have major concerns about Vargas and encourage a more progressive candidate to run against him in a future election cycle, there is no question that he is preferable to a Republican given his record, particularly on issues such as climate change and immigration. 
 

Last updated: 2020-02-13


53rd Congressional District

Member of the House of Representatives


Georgette Gomez was born in San Diego and grew up in the Barrio Logan neighborhood in south central San Diego, the daughter of working class immigrants. She continues to live in San Diego, where she currently represents Council District 9 on the San Diego City Council. According to campaign materials, Councilmember Gomez is running to represent Congressional District 53 in order to stand up against Trump’s dangerous agenda and put the focus back on what working families in our community need.

Councilmember Gomez was elected to the San Diego City Council in 2016 and became the first LGBTQ Latina to be elected as Council President in 2018. During her tenure, Councilmember Gomez has helped expand affordable housing and renter protections, helped lead the implementation of the San Diego’s Climate Action Plan, and secured funding for community priorities including street repairs, parks and libraries. 

Prior to election to the City Council, Councilmember Gomez led the Toxic Free Neighborhoods Campaign at the Environmental Health Coalition to protect kids from lead paint and keep polluting industries out of residential communities and worked as a victims’ advocate for survivors of domestic violence and sexual abuse. Her personal and professional experiences have opened her eyes to the issues faced by low income families and immigrant families, and has led to her unwavering commitment to creating a better, more inclusive government for all. 

Councilmember Gomez is running for the open seat of Congressional District 53, as current Representative Susan Davis has announced her retirement. Other candidates include Annette Meza (D), Chris Stoddard (R), Devorah Ann Fox (D), Eric Kutner (D), Famela Ramos (R), Fernando Garcia (I), Janessa Goldbeck (D), Joaquin Vazquez (D), John E. Brooks (D), Jose Caballero (D), Joseph Fountain (D), Michael Oristian (R), Sara Jacobs (D), Suzette Santori (D), and Tom Wong (D). Councilmember Gomez stands out in a crowded field as a strong progressive choice for office because of her track record as a champion of progressive values and numerous endorsements from progressive organizations. 

According to our analysis, Councilmember Gomez is a strong choice for progressive leadership in office.
 

Last updated: 2020-02-24


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Janessa Goldbeck
Democrat
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Janessa Goldbeck, a veteran, was born and raised in San Diego, the daughter of a public school teacher and a tow truck driver. She currently lives in Talmage. According to campaign materials, she is running to fight for bold, progressive solutions that make a difference in the lives of San Diegans.

Janessa left active service in the Marines in 2019. During her time in service, Janessa served as a Uniformed Victim Advocate, providing support to Marines who had experienced sexual assault. Prior to joining the Marines in December 2012, she was a human rights lobbyist. She is a co-founder of the local chapter of the Truman National Security Project in San Diego.

Goldbeck holds progressive positions in areas including health care and electoral reform. She is a strong supporter of the Family and Insurance Medical Leave Act, which proposes a national program which would guarantee all workers up to 12 weeks paid leave no matter the size of the company or type of work they do. She pledges to support efforts to codify the right to an abortion into law, guarantee full Medicare coverage of contraception coverage and family planning methods, and ensure Title X funds only go to providers who offer comprehensive, evidence-based care. She also identifies as a supporter of the Second Amendment who favors common-sense efforts to reduce gun violence and promote gun safety.

Goldbeck is running for the open seat of Congressional District 53, as current Representative Susan Davis has announced her retirement. Other candidates include Annette Meza (D), Chris Stoddard (R), Devorah Ann Fox (D), Eric Kutner (D), Famela Ramos (R), Fernando Garcia (I), Georgette Gomez (D), Joaquin Vazquez (D), John E. Brooks (D), Jose Caballero (D), Joseph Fountain (D), Michael Oristian (R), Sara Jacobs (D), Suzette Santori (D), and Tom Wong (D). Goldbeck stands out in a crowded field as one of two openly LGBT progressive candidates competing for the same office.

According to our analysis, Goldbeck is a strong choice for progressive leadership in office.
 

Last updated: 2020-02-24


State Assembly, 79th District

Member of the State Assembly

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Shirley N. Weber
Democrat
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Shirley Weber has lived in California since age 3 and has lived in District 79 for over 30 years. She is the incumbent, having served in this position since 2012. According to campaign materials, she is running for re-election to fight for education that’s accessible at all levels, policies that create jobs, and to grow the economy responsibly.

In the State Senate and State Assembly, she authored several critical bills on criminal justice reform. Most recently, Rep.Weber authored the landmark police use of force bill, AB392, which limits police use deadly force to imminent threat of death or serious bodily harm. She currently Chairs the Assembly Budget Subcommittee on Public Safety. Prior to her election to the State Assembly she served as the mayor's appointee and Chair on the Citizens' Equal Opportunity Commission. 

Shirley Weber is being challenged by Carmelita “C.L.” Larrabaster (R), and John Moore (R). She has a 94 out of 100 lifetime score on Courage Score, our annual analysis of a legislator's progressive voting records. Based on our Courage Score analysis, Shirley Weber has consistently shown great courage advocating for the needs of constituents and facing down corporate lobbyists and interest groups that exploit Californians. 

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

Last updated: 2020-02-21


State Senate

Depending on where you live, you may have one of the below State Senate races on your ballot.

State Senator, 39th District

Depending on where you live, you may have the below races on your ballot.

Member of the State Senate



Toni Atkins is from Virginia and has lived in San Diego for over 30 years. She is the incumbent, having served in this position since 2016. According to campaign materials she is running for re-election to continue to champion issues of equity, including affordable housing, healthcare, women’s rights, and LGBTQ protections.

In the State Senate, Atkins passed legislation that created a permanent source of funding for affordable housing. She currently serves as the President pro Tempore of the Senate, and is the first woman and first openly LGBTQ person to hold that position. Atkins is on the Rules Committee and three additional committees. Prior to her election to the State Senate, she served two terms in the State Assembly where she instituted a $7.5m water bond, and established the state’s first Earned Income Tax Credit. Atkins also served as the Director of Clinic Services at Womancare Health Center before being elected to the San Diego City Council, and briefly acting as the interim Mayor.

Toni Atkins is running unopposed. She scores a lifetime 99 out of 100 on Courage Score, our annual analysis of a legislator's progressive voting record. Based on our Courage Score analysis, Senator Atkins has consistently shown great courage advocating for the needs of constituents and facing down corporate lobbyists and interest groups that exploit Californians.

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

Last updated: 2020-02-21


Board of Supervisor Races

Depending on where you live, you may have one of the below county races on your ballot.

San Diego County Board of Supervisors

San Diego Board of Supervisors, District 3

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Olga Diaz
Non-Partisan
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Olga Diaz is a lifelong California resident and has lived in Escondido for over 10 years. According to campaign materials she is running for Board of Supervisors to use her unique understanding of the diverse needs of the community to advocate for environmental and social justice issues at the county level.

Diaz is a member of the Escondido City Council, which she does to apply her academic background in public administration and accounting to the city’s challenging issues of budgeting and priority setting. Diaz has collaborated with a variety of stakeholders and, as the first Latino elected to the City Council, has worked to put inclusive community relationships at the front of her local work. She has been instrumental in the Escondido Creek restoration project that is in progress, which demonstrates a dynamic focus on environmental protection, urban renewal, and public safety. As a member of the Board of Supervisors, Diaz would build on this experience to take actionable steps to improve the region's response to climate change, to produce more affordable housing, and to provide wrap-around services for individuals experiencing homelessness. As a citizen, Diaz has served on the Board of Directors for the Voice of San Diego, the Community Advisory Council for San Diego Gas & Electric, the California Coastal Commission, the CSU President’s Advisory Committee, and the San Diego Union Tribune Latino Advisory Board. 

Diaz is running against Kristin Gaspar, who is the incumbent and has held the seat since 2016, as well as Terra Lawson-Remer. Diaz is the best progressive choice because of her experience in local government and her track record of working to be an effective consensus builder to get things done for constituents. 

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

Last updated: 2020-02-27


Statewide Ballot Measures

Proposition 13

VOTE YES
Vote YES On Prop 13, School and College Facilities Bond
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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. Without question, 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.

City Ballot Measures

Depending on where you live, you may have the below city measures on your ballot.

City of San Diego

Measure C

VOTE YES
Vote YES on Measure C, Lodging Tax for Convention Center Expansion, Street Repairs, and Homelessness Programs
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As is so often the case with local propositions and ballot initiatives, the debate over San Diego’s Measure C has taken a bizarre, nit-picky turn. The bulk of the measure is relatively non-controversial and would slightly increase the tax rate on certain San Diego hotel rooms to pay for an expansion of the convention center itself. Much of the tourism industry is in favor of the measure because the convention center provides a hefty chunk of business, and local taxpayers wouldn’t be on the hook for any of the funds. 

Advocates claim the measure could raise more than $6 billion over the next four decades, with 59% of the money going to the convention center project and the remaining 41% going to community projects. That’s where the controversy starts, however. That 41% would be earmarked for infrastructure spending and programs combating homelessness. Opponents are worried that the measure isn’t specific enough about what kinds of homelessness programs that money will be spent on, and advocates for the chronically unhoused are additionally concerned that the sum Measure C would raise will fall far short of the $1.9 billion necessary to enact the city’s already-written 10-year homelessness plan. That could give the appearance of a funding solution while simultaneously making it incredibly difficult to get their plan - a $900 million housing bond that would pay for new units of affordable housing - onto the ballot in November. Several City Council members have even indicated that if Measure C passes, they will no longer support that bond measure, which is a frustrating turn.

Ultimately, San Diego residents should push for both, not allow themselves to be backed into picking one or the other. Measure C would require a two-thirds majority to pass and is not a substitute for other funds necessary to combat homelessness, but funding is funding and the city should devote as many resources to addressing their housing crisis as possible. 

Vote YES on Measure C.

Measure D

VOTE YES
Vote YES on Measure D, City Auditor Selection and Term Charter Amendment
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Measure D would amend the process by which San Diego’s auditor -- the person responsible for investigating waste, fraud, and abuse for the city -- is appointed. At present, the auditor is appointed by the mayor, but Measure D would amend the San Diego City Charter to allow the City Council to appoint the auditor instead. The purpose of the change is to ensure the auditor is as independent as possible, and the measure has unanimous support from the City Council and Mayor’s office itself. In fact, it hasn’t attracted any real opposition. 

Under Measure D, the Audit Committee would forward a minimum of three nominees to the full City Council, which would then make the final hiring decision. It would also limit the auditor to two five-year terms. An independent auditor’s office is important and, after the chaos of the previous auditor’s resignation in 2018 that led to the city government going without oversight for a spell, reforming the process is a worthy goal. 

Vote YES on Measure D.

City of San Diego

San Diego Mayor

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Todd Gloria
Non-Partisan
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Todd Gloria is a lifelong San Diegan, and grew up in Clairemont. According to campaign materials, he is running for San Diego Mayor to continue to work to align his public service with his philosophy that public systems should work dynamically to benefit all members of a community, not just the wealthy and connected.

Gloria is a California State Assemblymember representing the 78th Assembly District, and does this work to find legislative solutions to the issues affecting his community, like affordable housing, gun violence prevention, and climate change. He was elected to this seat in 2016, and served as the Assistant Majority Whip before assuming his current role of Majority Whip. Early in his career, Gloria worked for the County of San Diego's Health and Human Services Agency, and worked as the District Director for Congresswoman Susan Davis. He served 8 years in the San Diego City Council, eventually acting as Interim Mayor, and authoring an aggressive and nationally recognized Climate Action Plan. Gloria was a popular and accessible member of city government, advocating for local infrastructure projects, championing LGBTQ rights, and working to raise the city's minimum wage. 

Gloria is running against Barbara Bry, Rich Riel, Scott Sherman, Gita Applebaum Singh, and Tasha Williamson for this open seat. As an Assemblymember in 2019, he scored a 98 out of 100 on Courage Score, our annual analysis of a legislator's progressive voting records. Gloria is the progressive choice because of his history of demonstrated leadership, and his track record of successfully working to pass legislation that benefits diverse communities in the region.

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

Last updated: 2020-02-27


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