By Courage California
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Depending on where you live, you may have one of the below congressional districts on your ballot.
Representative Mark DeSaulnier is from Lowell, MA, moved to California in the early 1970s and currently resides in Concord, CA. He is the incumbent, having served in this position since 2015. According to campaign materials, he is running for re-election to continue to promote progressive values and work to create a more just and equal country.
In Congress, Rep. DeSaulnier has advanced initiatives to reform government, support labor, improve transportation, protect the environment, and improve public safety. He sits on the House Committees on Education and Labor, Oversight and Reform, Transportation and Infrastructure, and Rules, as well as an additional six subcommittees. Prior to his election to Congress, Rep. DeSaulnier served on the Concord City Council, California State Assembly, and California State Senate, where he successfully worked to improve local roads and highways, address homeowner foreclosures, and fought against the abusive practices with prescription drugs.
Rep. DeSaulnier is being challenged by Michael Kerr (G) and Nisha Sharma (R). Rep. DeSaulnier is the best progressive choice because of his track record of consistently advocating for the needs of constituents.
According to our analysis, Rep. DeSaulnier is the strongest choice for progressive leadership in office.
Last updated: 2020-02-13
Representative Eric Swalwell was born in Sac City, Iowa, and moved to Dublin, California, where he attended middle and high school. Swalwell was first elected in 2012, defeating 20-term incumbent Democrat Pete Stark after California moved to a “top-two” primary. He has made gun violence prevention a central part of his campaign and has also campaigned on economic issues in support of workforce training, infrastructure investment, and student loan debt relief.
As a college student, Rep. Swalwell interned for California Democrat Ellen Tauscher and went on to complete his law degree at the University of Maryland School of Law. After law school, he returned to California to serve as a deputy district attorney for Alameda County. He was elected for Dublin City Council in 2011 before running for Congress.
Rep. Swalwell currently serves on the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, where he is the Chair of the Intelligence Modernization and Readiness Subcommittee and a member of the House Judiciary Committee. He previously served on the Committee on Homeland Security and the Committee on Science, Space, and Technology.
Rep. Swalwell has been vocal in both committees on issues pertaining to election security and the Mueller investigations, as well as the impeachment inquiry of President Donald Trump. Citing his prosecutorial experience, he wrote an op-ed in The Atlantic calling for an impeachment inquiry of the president. He is a strong advocate and has presented legislation for commonsense reforms to prevent gun violence and is working to address domestic terrorism. He is also a staunch supporter of women’s rights and protecting access to abortions. He co-sponsored the EACH Woman Act, which would repeal the Hyde Amendment, and supported The EqualityAct.
He has recently expressed support for the Green New Deal, however, we’re still waiting for Rep. Swalwell to embrace Medicare for All.
Eric Swalwell is being challenged by Samantha Campbell (D), Austin E. Intal (D), Tuan Phan (D), Alison Hayden (R), Peter Yuan Liu (R), and Don Grundmann (NPP). Given the district’s strong democratic leaning, and Swalwell’s record and strong progressive support, he is the best choice for progressive leadership in the district.
Last updated: 2020-02-27
Rebecca Bauer-Kahan was raised in the Bay Area. She is the incumbent, having served in this position since 2018. According to campaign materials she is running for re-election to continue to use her leadership position to advocate for social issues and improve equity in the community.
In the State Assembly, Bauer-Kahan has worked on legislation to reallocate public funding to parks and schools and transportation projects, to protect women’s health and abortion rights, to codify standards for serving food allergens, and to instate protections for California college students. Shortly after her election in 2018, she was selected to serve as Assistant Speaker pro Tempore in the Assembly. She currently serves as Chair of the Select Committee on Women’s Reproductive Health, and sits on an additional four committees, including Environmental Safety & Toxic Materials, Privacy and Consumer Protection, Public Safety, and Banking & Finance.
Prior to her election to the State Assembly, Bauer-Kahan worked as an attorney, primarily on cases related to corporate environmental compliance and intellectual property. Her work involved an investigation of company practices, a detailed understanding of existing regulations, and how to balance compliance with profitability. Additionally, she has taught law at Santa Clara University and Golden Gate University. Bauer-Kahan has also used her professional credentials to benefit her community by growing her office’s pro-bono program to address cases related to civil rights and homelessness, and by partnering with the International Refugee Assistance Project (IRAP) to provide legal services at San Francisco International Airport after the Trump Administration’s travel ban.
Bauer-Kahan is being challenged by Joseph Rubay (R). In 2019, she scored an 81 out of 100 on Courage Score, our annual analysis of legislator's progressive voting records. Based on our Courage Score analysis, Bauer-Kahan has consistently shown great courage in advocating for the needs of constituents and facing down corporate lobbyists and interest groups that exploit Californians.
According to our analysis, Rebecca Bauer-Kahan is the strongest choice for progressive leadership in office.
Last updated: 2020-02-21
Depending on where you live, you may have one of the below judicial races on your ballot.
Elena Condes an LGBTQ+ Latinx attorney who has been in private practice in the Bay Area for over 20 years. Her practice offers criminal defense, work-related crimes, clearing criminal records, and other services. In her campaign materials, she says she will bring together all of her experiences to provide “equal access to justice” for all.
Condes is currently the treasurer for East Bay La Raza Lawyers Association, which she has been a member of for 18 years. She also served on the board of Women Defenders, a professional organization of women criminal defense attorneys and served on the Executive Committee of Alameda County Court Appointed Attorneys Program (CAAP).
Condes received the sole endorsement from the East Bay Times, who said Condes “stands out as the best experienced and most familiar with the workings of Alameda County courts. Condes’ practice focuses on courtroom advocacy that’s a key part of the day-to-day operations of the local judicial system.” Condes has been endorsed by Alameda County Superior Court Judge Carol Brosnahan, the judge who is retiring and leaving this seat open.
Condes received her undergraduate degree from the University of Arizona and her law degree from Golden Gate University School of Law.
Condes is being challenged by Mark Fickes, a partner at Partner, Cannata O’Toole Fickes & Olson, who previously worked at the Securities and Exchange Commission, and Lilla Julia Szelenyi, an administrative law judge for the state workers compensation agency.
Based on our analysis, Elena Condes is the best choice for judge in Alameda County.
Last updated: 2020-02-19
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.
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