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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.
Have questions about voting in San Joaquin County? Visit your county elections website.
Depending on where you live, you may have one of the below congressional districts on your ballot.
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
Rep. Josh Harder lives in his hometown of Turlock, CA. He is the incumbent, having beat the sitting republican in a tight race in 2018, which helped Democrats to win back control of Congress. According to campaign materials, Harder is running for re-election to protect access to health care, create good-paying jobs, reform our broken immigration system, and to secure and grow his area’s water supply.
In Congress, Rep. Harder has advocated for the needs of the agriculture industry by addressing issues of climate change, and has fought to support California’s farmers. Rep. Harder currently sits on the House Committees on Education and Labor, as well as the Agriculture Committee. Prior to serving in congress, Harder was a business professor at Modesto Junior College. Harder has also passed on his small business knowledge to developing economies through volunteer efforts. While working at Boston Consulting Group, he took a leave of absence to help small farmers in Kenya and Uganda organize for economic cooperation and development.
Rep. Harder is running against Michael “Mike” Barkley (D), Ryan Blevins (D), Bob Elliot (R), Maria Sousa Livengood (R), and Ted Howze (R). According to recent election results, it's difficult for Democrats to win this seat as Rep. Harder did in 2018. His strong progressive track record as well as his recent win in a recently flipped district make him the strongest choice in this race.
Last updated: 2020-02-28
Depending on where you live, you may have one of the below State Assembly races on your ballot.
Tracie Stafford is a 53 year old resident of Elk Grove, born to a single mother and orphaned at the age of 12 along with her 4 siblings. She is the first in her family to earn a college degree. According to Stafford, she is running to end corporate-dominated politics and to give a voice to the unheard, under-served and disenfranchised.
Stafford is a community leader, an elected assembly district delegate, and was appointed by the governor as Chair of the city of Sacramento’s small business board. Stafford supports legislation that closes the gender and racial wage gap while ensuring that women, the LGBTQ+ community and people of color are provided with equal opportunities in the workplace. She will work closely with labor to ensure that workers are being treated justly and with dignity regarding pay, benefits, and access to promotions.
Stafford’s commitment to justice and equity is fueled by her personal experiences with poverty, discrimination, child abuse, sexual assault, and domestic violence. She plans to advocate to preserve confidential, unrestricted access to affordable, high quality, culturally sensitive health care services, including the full range of reproductive services, contraception and abortion, without requiring guardian, judicial, parental, or spousal consent or notification.
Stafford brings a strong track record and deep relationships in progressive politics and public service. Among many other roles and affiliations, Stafford has served as President of the Women Democrats of Sacramento County, as Political Action Chair for the Sacramento NAACP, and as a founder of Indivisible Women of California.
Stafford is challenging incumbent Jim Cooper (D), who has consistently opposed progressive priorities by siding with corporate lobbyists and failing his constituents on many issues include the environment and worker protections. Other candidates include Mushtaq Tahirkheli (D), and Eric Rigard (R). Stafford is the strongest choice in a crowded field because of her track record as a progressive champion for the underserved and disenfranchised, and as an advocate for her region’s priorities in the Democratic Party.
Voting for Stafford is an opportunity to elect a legislator who will accurately represent the perspective and priorities of her district in Congress. Courage California strongly endorses Tracie Stafford for State Assembly.
Last updated: 2020-02-25
Paul Akinjo (D) is a pastor, Alameda County support technician, and has been a Lathrop City Councilman for seven years. He is the only Democrat in this race. While we do not have sufficient information about this candidate to confirm his viability, we recommend supporting Akinjo as a more progressive alternative to the current incumbent, Heath Flora (R).
Akinjo is an immigrant who came to the U.S. from Nigeria in the 1980s and has lived in Lathrop since 2001. During Akinjo’s time on the Lathrop City Council, the city has gone from no financial reserves to $10 million in savings as its seen growth in housing and business. Akinjo has advocated in Sacramento on homelessness, housing, natural disasters, water and transportation. If elected, Akinjo would focus on transportation funding, mental healthcare, and housing.
Assemblymember Heath Flora has represented District 12 in the State Assembly since 2016. Based on our Courage Score analysis, Flora has shown that he does NOT advocate for the needs of constituents or face down corporate lobbyists and interest groups that exploit Californians. He scored a 2 out of 100 on this year’s Courage Score, our annual analysis of a legislator's progressive voting records. In summary, Assemblymember Flora is not serving his constituents with progressive solutions.
According to our analysis, Paul Akinjo has the potential to provide stronger progressive leadership in office.
Last updated: 2020-02-20
Kathy Miller is from Southern California and moved to Stockton in 1997. She has served on the San Joaquin County Board of Supervisors since 2014. According to campaign materials, she’s running for Assembly District 13 Representative to advocate for the homeless, improve neighborhoods, and balance the state budget.
Miller has proven her commitment to progress through her hands-on experiences in public office. At present, she heads the Homelessness Task Force, as well as the Children and Youth Task Force on the Board of Supervisors for San Joaquin County. These two forces, now known as the San Joaquin Continuum of Care, increased the number and improved the quality of public services offered to adults and children reckoning with poverty and homelessness.
Prior to her appointment to the Board of Supervisors, Miller was a Stockton City Councilmember from 2009 to 2014. She spent four of those years as Vice Mayor, and emerged as a strong voice for fiscal responsibility and an open, transparent, and accountable local government.
Miller is running against Christina Fugazi (D), and Carlos Villapuda (D) in this open seat. Miller is a particularly strong progressive choice because of her extensive experience in public office and strong endorsements from local and statewide organizations.
According to our analysis, Miller is the strongest choice for progressive leadership in office.
Last updated: 2020-02-13
Susan Eggman is from Turlock, CA, just south of State Senate District 5, and currently resides in Stockton, CA. She is the incumbent in this race. According to campaign materials, she is running for State Senate to fight for her community’s right to clean water, ensure that veterans receive the care they have earned, and increase access to quality education throughout the Central Valley.
Eggman advocates for her community's needs in the state capitol. As an assembly member, she’s led the project to develop a California State University in Stockton, has challenged delays in establishing the French Camp CA Medical Clinic, and has been an ongoing voice of opposition towards the proposal to develop tunnels through the San Joaquin Delta. Prior to becoming a state legislature, Eggman worked as a social worker focused on addressing issues pertaining to substance abuse, and also served in the Stockton City Council and the United States Army as a combat medic.
Eggman is running against Mani Grewal (D), Jesús Andrade (R), Kathleen Garcia (R), and Jim Ridenor (R). In 2019, as an assembly member, Eggman scored 86 out of 100 on Courage Score, our annual analysis of a legislator's progressive voting records. Based on our Courage Score analysis, Eggman 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, Eggman is the strongest choice for progressive leadership in office.
Last updated: 2020-02-24
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
Michael D. Tubbs is from Stockton, and returned to the district after completing his Master’s degree at Stanford. He is the incumbent, having served in this position since 2016. According to campaign materials he is running for re-election to continue his work to improve the economic foundation, educational outcomes, and public safety standards for Stockton residents.
In the Mayor’s office, Tubbs has worked to raise funding to invest in programming that aims to increase the number of Stockton students matriculating to and completing college. He has established a partnership with Advance Peace to Stockton, a data-forward program that works to reduce and prevent gun violence. Finally, Tubbs used a seed grant to pilot the nation’s first municipal universal basic income program to improve the city’s economic status and reduce poverty. Tubbs is the youngest person in the country to be elected mayor of a city with a population over 100,000, and is the first African American Mayor to serve Stockton. Prior to his election to the Mayor’s Office, Tubbs was elected to serve in the Stockton City Council at age 22. As a Councilman, he worked to create the Office of Violence Prevention, and Chaired the Audit & Legislative Committee, which addressed the city’s bankruptcy.
Tubbs is running against Andrew Lee Johnson, Ralph Lee White, Kevin J. Lincoln II, William Smith, Shoua Lo, Shelly Hollis, and Motecuzoma Sanchez. Tubbs is the best progressive choice because of his demonstrated commitment to working to improve Stockton through education initiatives, violence prevention programs, and economic stimulation.
According to our analysis, Michael D. Tubbs is the strongest choice for progressive leadership in office.
Last updated: 2020-02-24