RETURN BALLOTS BY TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 14

Janani Ramachandran is listed in the Progressive Voters Guide below. Return AD 18 runoff election ballots by Tuesday, August 31.

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.

  • Democrat
    Janani Ramachandran
  • Janani Ramachandran, an attorney and activist, is from the East Bay. She spent her early career as a community health caseworker supporting immigrant women experiencing domestic violence, and was disillusioned by the systemic injustice that her clients experienced. To better support these vulnerable communities, she pursued her law degree at Berkeley, and has used her credentials to support tenants’ rights, public ethics, and advocate against family violence and abuse. In addition to her professional work, she has invested in her community by volunteering on a mental-health crisis hotline, supporting restorative-justice efforts, hosting legal-education workshops, and allying with a variety of local grassroots organizations. 

    Ramachandran’s platform is rooted in racial, economic, and environmental justice, and focuses on improving the inequitable conditions laid bare by the COVID-19 pandemic, including increasing affordable housing availability in the state, supporting universal health care, and increasing the statewide minimum wage to $22/hour. She is a supporter of the California Green New Deal, and demonstrates a deep understanding of the systemic failures and policy limitations that have allowed for ongoing environmental corruption by corporations. 

    Ramachandran has raised $34,000, and has pledged to refuse fossil fuel, police, and corporate PAC money in her campaign. She has been endorsed by many progressive organizations and individuals in the district, including Indivisible East Bay, Our Revolution East Bay, Project Super Bloom, Coalition for Police Accountability, Oakland Tenants Union, Harvey Milk LGBTQ Democratic Club, Assemblymember Alex Lee, and BART Director Robert Raburn. She has also been endorsed by the East Bay Times. 

    Janani Ramachandran

    Janani Ramachandran, an attorney and activist, is from the East Bay. She spent her early career as a community health caseworker supporting immigrant women experiencing domestic violence, and was disillusioned by the systemic injustice that her clients experienced. To better support these vulnerable communities, she pursued her law degree at Berkeley, and has used her credentials to support tenants’ rights, public ethics, and advocate against family violence and abuse. In addition to her professional work, she has invested in her community by volunteering on a mental-health crisis hotline, supporting restorative-justice efforts, hosting legal-education workshops, and allying with a variety of local grassroots organizations. 

    Ramachandran’s platform is rooted in racial, economic, and environmental justice, and focuses on improving the inequitable conditions laid bare by the COVID-19 pandemic, including increasing affordable housing availability in the state, supporting universal health care, and increasing the statewide minimum wage to $22/hour. She is a supporter of the California Green New Deal, and demonstrates a deep understanding of the systemic failures and policy limitations that have allowed for ongoing environmental corruption by corporations. 

    Ramachandran has raised $34,000, and has pledged to refuse fossil fuel, police, and corporate PAC money in her campaign. She has been endorsed by many progressive organizations and individuals in the district, including Indivisible East Bay, Our Revolution East Bay, Project Super Bloom, Coalition for Police Accountability, Oakland Tenants Union, Harvey Milk LGBTQ Democratic Club, Assemblymember Alex Lee, and BART Director Robert Raburn. She has also been endorsed by the East Bay Times. 

    Last updated: 2021-07-20

18th Assembly District

18th Assembly District

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Statewide Ballot Measures

September 14 Recall of Gov. Gavin Newsom

  • VOTE NO
    Vote NO on the recall of Governor Gavin Newsom to maintain Democratic leadership in the state and continue to pursue progressive priorities.
  • The recall asks voters to remove first-term Governor Gavin Newsom by a majority vote and to choose a replacement to complete his term through its scheduled end in 2022. Voters will be asked only two questions on the ballot: (1) Should Gavin Newsom be removed from office? and, (2) If Gavin Newsom is removed, who should replace him as governor? If over 50% of voters vote “yes” on the first question, Gov. Newsom will be removed and the candidate who receives the most votes on the second question will replace him, even if they do not win over 50% of the vote. Ballots must be returned by September 14.

    The 2021 recall is a cynical effort backed by a right-wing coalition eager to capitalize on the perception of political weakness that has resulted from the ongoing economic impact of Gov. Newsom’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic. This misguided effort to launch a special election, less than a year before the 2022 cycle, is expected to cost California taxpayers $276 million.

     

    • Recall elections carry the unique complication of permitting unlimited donations to campaigns in support of or in opposition to the effort. While claiming that populist, small-dollar donors are pushing the initiative forward, groups in support of the recall, led by the California Patriot Coalition, have been collecting six-figure checks from around the state and the country to fund their effort. Real estate investors, conservative fundraising groups, and venture capitalists have made frequent big-dollar donations in support of the recall. Voting NO will deny these opportunistic funders their goal of seating a Republican governor, for the final few months of this gubernatorial term, who will enrich their industries and stall progressive priorities.
    • California has only successfully used the recall process once before, removing Democratic Governor Gray Davis in 2003 and replacing him with Republican Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger. The inherent structure of the recall ballot increases the likelihood that the contested seat will flip to the other party, which is why Republicans are attempting to take advantage of the current political climate. Gov. Newsom is barred from appearing as a candidate on the recall ballot, so voters are required to select another candidate from the long list of individuals who filed to run. In 2003, there were 135 contenders on the ballot, and several Republicans have already announced their intention to run in 2021. In solidarity with Gov. Newsom, no Democrats have declared an intention to enter the race. Voting NO will ensure that the recall does not reach 50% approval, and that Gov. Newsom remains in office.
    • While Gov. Newsom has made mistakes over the course of his political career, he has demonstrated a commitment to issues that matter to Californians, including Medicare for All, LGBTQIA+ rights, criminal-justice reform, and renter protections. These shared priorities allow progressive groups to strategically push for his administration to co-govern with impacted communities and stakeholders, providing steady progress on critical state and local issues. Voting NO will protect this working relationship and ensure that progressive groups can continue to focus their resources on collaboration instead of obstruction.

    In-state funding for this initiative has come primarily from dark-money organizations, including $950,000 from the Rescue California PAC, chaired by Tom Del Beccaro, and $500,000 from Prov. 3:9, LLC, headed by Thomas Liu. High-dollar individual donors include real estate developer Geoff Palmer ($150,000), tech venture capitalist Chamath Palihapitiya ($100,000), and failed Republican gubernatorial candidate and real estate executive John Cox ($50,000).

    Out-of-state funding has had a similar right-wing lean, with $75,000 from Arkansas-based HUCK PAC, founded by former Republican Governor Mike Huckabee; $25,000 from Kansas-based Nevets, Inc.; and hundreds of smaller donations from individuals and organizations across the country.

    Gov. Newsom established his campaign in opposition to the recall in March 2021, and has already collected over $3 million in donations. Over 100,000 people have donated, including large-dollar organizational donations from the California Democratic Party, Professional Engineers in California Government, and LGBT Caucus Leadership Fund. The opposition campaign has also received significant donations from The Wonderful Company owners Lynda and Stewart Resnick, and tech entrepreneurs Kelly and Carla Kimball.

    • The recall is a community-driven response to Governor Newsom’s handling of the COVID-19 pandemic. Three individuals with ties to anti-vaxxers, anti-maskers, and white supremacists launched the recall in June 2020, in the early months of the pandemic, with a petition that outlined a long list of conservative grievances about Gov. Newsom’s leadership, including:
      . . implemented laws which are detrimental to the citizens of this state and our way of life. Laws he endorsed favor foreign nationals, in our country illegally, over that of our own citizens. People in this state suffer the highest taxes in the nation, the highest homelessness rates, and the lowest quality of life as a result. He has imposed sanctuary state status and fails to enforce immigration laws. He unilaterally over-ruled the will of the people regarding the death penalty. He seeks to impose additional burdens on our state by the following; removing the protections of Proposition 13, rationing our water use, increasing taxes and restricting parental rights.
    • The recall is a way for voters to elect a more progressive governor. Democrats across the political spectrum, from moderate to progressive, have come out in opposition to the recall and the idea of running a Democratic candidate on the ballot. At the national level, Senator Bernie Sanders, Senator Elizabeth Warren, Senator Cory Booker, and voting rights advocate Stacey Abrams have spoken out against the recall. Across state representation, Senator Alex Padilla, Congresswoman Karen Bass, Congresswoman Barbara Lee, Congressman Ro Khanna, Congresswoman Katie Porter, and State Controller Betty Yee have been outspoken in their opposition to the recall. The recall opposition also spans across a diversity of identities, with many in opposition coming from the AAPI, Black, Latinx, and LGBTQIA+ communities. The opposition view advocates that the existing ballot strategy of asking voters to vote ‘NO’ on the recall and then chose a candidate to replace Newsom runs the significant risk of confusing voters and fueling a ‘YES’ vote on the recall.
    • Polling shows the recall won’t pass, so there’s no reason to take this seriously. The most recent polling does show Newsom positioned to defeat the recall, with 40% of likely voters in favor of the recall and 56% against. However, voter turnout in special elections tends to be low and skews toward voters who are older and white. Messaging that the recall is not serious will contribute to lowering voter enthusiasm and turnout among voters who oppose the recall.

    If the recall passes, California is likely to have a Republican governor. As was the case in the 2003 recall, the election of a Republican governor will threaten all progressive gains made on the environment, immigration, criminal-justice reform, and many other issues. Additionally, a Republican governor would make appointments in the case of any statewide office vacancies, including a Senate seat that would return control of the Senate to Republicans.

    Republicans, white supremacists, and extremists are using the recall election as a way to promote a racist, xenophobic, and anti-justice agenda and build their base ahead of the 2022 election. Their hope is that even a failed recall will set them up for wins up and down the ballot next year. Their base will be highly motivated to turn out for this special election, which means a small minority of Californians may set the agenda for the whole state if a broader set of the electorate does not turn out and vote.

    A significant number of progressive groups have publicly expressed their opposition to the recall election, including: California League of Conservation Voters, Sierra Club California, National Union of Healthcare Workers, Natural Resources Defense Council, California Democratic Party, Democratic Governors Association, and California Environmental Justice Alliance Action.

    September 14 Recall of Gov. Gavin Newsom

    The recall asks voters to remove first-term Governor Gavin Newsom by a majority vote and to choose a replacement to complete his term through its scheduled end in 2022. Voters will be asked only two questions on the ballot: (1) Should Gavin Newsom be removed from office?

    Last updated: 2021-07-20

State Assembly, 18th District

Member of the State Assembly

  • Janani Ramachandran, an attorney and activist, is from the East Bay. She spent her early career as a community health caseworker supporting immigrant women experiencing domestic violence, and was disillusioned by the systemic injustice that her clients experienced. To better support these vulnerable communities, she pursued her law degree at Berkeley, and has used her credentials to support tenants’ rights, public ethics, and advocate against family violence and abuse. In addition to her professional work, she has invested in her community by volunteering on a mental-health crisis hotline, supporting restorative-justice efforts, hosting legal-education workshops, and allying with a variety of local grassroots organizations. 

    Ramachandran’s platform is rooted in racial, economic, and environmental justice, and focuses on improving the inequitable conditions laid bare by the COVID-19 pandemic, including increasing affordable housing availability in the state, supporting universal health care, and increasing the statewide minimum wage to $22/hour. She is a supporter of the California Green New Deal, and demonstrates a deep understanding of the systemic failures and policy limitations that have allowed for ongoing environmental corruption by corporations. 

    Ramachandran has raised $34,000, and has pledged to refuse fossil fuel, police, and corporate PAC money in her campaign. She has been endorsed by many progressive organizations and individuals in the district, including Indivisible East Bay, Our Revolution East Bay, Project Super Bloom, Coalition for Police Accountability, Oakland Tenants Union, Harvey Milk LGBTQ Democratic Club, Assemblymember Alex Lee, and BART Director Robert Raburn. She has also been endorsed by the East Bay Times. 

    Janani Ramachandran

    Janani Ramachandran, an attorney and activist, is from the East Bay. She spent her early career as a community health caseworker supporting immigrant women experiencing domestic violence, and was disillusioned by the systemic injustice that her clients experienced. To better support these vulnerable communities, she pursued her law degree at Berkeley, and has used her credentials to support tenants’ rights, public ethics, and advocate against family violence and abuse. In addition to her professional work, she has invested in her community by volunteering on a mental-health crisis hotline, supporting restorative-justice efforts, hosting legal-education workshops, and allying with a variety of local grassroots organizations. 

    Ramachandran’s platform is rooted in racial, economic, and environmental justice, and focuses on improving the inequitable conditions laid bare by the COVID-19 pandemic, including increasing affordable housing availability in the state, supporting universal health care, and increasing the statewide minimum wage to $22/hour. She is a supporter of the California Green New Deal, and demonstrates a deep understanding of the systemic failures and policy limitations that have allowed for ongoing environmental corruption by corporations. 

    Ramachandran has raised $34,000, and has pledged to refuse fossil fuel, police, and corporate PAC money in her campaign. She has been endorsed by many progressive organizations and individuals in the district, including Indivisible East Bay, Our Revolution East Bay, Project Super Bloom, Coalition for Police Accountability, Oakland Tenants Union, Harvey Milk LGBTQ Democratic Club, Assemblymember Alex Lee, and BART Director Robert Raburn. She has also been endorsed by the East Bay Times. 

    Last updated: 2021-07-20
  • Democrat
  • Mia Bonta, CEO of Oakland Promise, has lived in the district for over 20 years. Bonta earned a master of education degree at Harvard before attending Yale Law School, and has spent her career working in service of public education and youth development. In her role as CEO of Oakland Promise, a cradle-to-career nonprofit,  she works to disrupt the school-to-prison pipeline. She was elected to the Alameda Unified School District School Board in 2018 and currently serves as president, has served on her local PTA, was a member of the Alameda Free Library Foundation, and served on the district’s Advisory Committees for Women, Education, and Early Childhood. Bonta is married to current state Attorney General Rob Bonta, who vacated this AD-18 seat in March. 

    Her local roles and personal connections have allowed her to engage directly with elected officials across the state government, building relationships that would benefit her in Sacramento as she pursues a platform focused on educational equity, reproductive and health justice, and worker protections. Bonta’s platform demonstrates her strong understanding of the intersections of injustice and the importance of disrupting systemic practices to create more equity across our public systems, particularly in response to the unequal economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. She has stated a commitment to coalition-building in the legislature, and frames the knowledge she’s gained in her nonprofit and public career as transferable to the work of building meaningful legislation. 

    It has been reported that Mia Bonta has benefited from her husband’s political access, as well. When he was an assemblymember, Rob Bonta made contributions from his campaign accounts to, and fundraised on behalf of, nonprofit organizations led by her. These organizations included Literacy Lab and Oakland Promise. These donations were legal, and Mia Bonta has indicated that she is committed to transparency, but they raised some ethical concerns. Similarly, both Rob and Mia Bonta have received significant political contributions from card rooms and non-tribal casinos this year, indicating a donor base that is interested in the benefits of investing in both of them as a sports-wagering initiative recently qualified for the 2022 ballot. 

    Mia Bonta has raised $552,000, and has pledged to refuse fossil fuel and police money in her campaign. She has been endorsed by many progressive organizations and leaders, including the California Democratic Party, the California Black Legislative Caucus, the California Legislative Latino Caucus, Black Women for Political Action, NAACP, SEIU California, Senator Alex Padilla, Representative Barbara Lee, Secretary of State Dr. Shirley Weber, State Treasurer Fiona Ma, Alameda County Supervisor Wilma Chan, Oakland City Councilmember Sheng Tao, and BART Director Lateefah Simon. 
     

    Mia Bonta

    Mia Bonta, CEO of Oakland Promise, has lived in the district for over 20 years. Bonta earned a master of education degree at Harvard before attending Yale Law School, and has spent her career working in service of public education and youth development. In her role as CEO of Oakland Promise, a cradle-to-career nonprofit,  she works to disrupt the school-to-prison pipeline. She was elected to the Alameda Unified School District School Board in 2018 and currently serves as president, has served on her local PTA, was a member of the Alameda Free Library Foundation, and served on the district’s Advisory Committees for Women, Education, and Early Childhood. Bonta is married to current state Attorney General Rob Bonta, who vacated this AD-18 seat in March. 

    Her local roles and personal connections have allowed her to engage directly with elected officials across the state government, building relationships that would benefit her in Sacramento as she pursues a platform focused on educational equity, reproductive and health justice, and worker protections. Bonta’s platform demonstrates her strong understanding of the intersections of injustice and the importance of disrupting systemic practices to create more equity across our public systems, particularly in response to the unequal economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. She has stated a commitment to coalition-building in the legislature, and frames the knowledge she’s gained in her nonprofit and public career as transferable to the work of building meaningful legislation. 

    It has been reported that Mia Bonta has benefited from her husband’s political access, as well. When he was an assemblymember, Rob Bonta made contributions from his campaign accounts to, and fundraised on behalf of, nonprofit organizations led by her. These organizations included Literacy Lab and Oakland Promise. These donations were legal, and Mia Bonta has indicated that she is committed to transparency, but they raised some ethical concerns. Similarly, both Rob and Mia Bonta have received significant political contributions from card rooms and non-tribal casinos this year, indicating a donor base that is interested in the benefits of investing in both of them as a sports-wagering initiative recently qualified for the 2022 ballot. 

    Mia Bonta has raised $552,000, and has pledged to refuse fossil fuel and police money in her campaign. She has been endorsed by many progressive organizations and leaders, including the California Democratic Party, the California Black Legislative Caucus, the California Legislative Latino Caucus, Black Women for Political Action, NAACP, SEIU California, Senator Alex Padilla, Representative Barbara Lee, Secretary of State Dr. Shirley Weber, State Treasurer Fiona Ma, Alameda County Supervisor Wilma Chan, Oakland City Councilmember Sheng Tao, and BART Director Lateefah Simon. 
     

    Last updated: 2021-07-20