Endorsements

Courage California

Courage California

Courage California (formerly Courage Campaign) believes that California must be a beacon of progressive, equitable, and truly representative democracy. As the 5th largest economy in the world -- and the United States' largest and most diverse state -- California is uniquely positioned to serve as a model for the country. 

We must prove that democracy in the US can still solve the thorniest problems facing our state, our nation, and the world, while also serving ALL of our people -- regardless of race, gender, or economic status. To do so, Californians must have the information and infrastructure they need to hold elected officials accountable when they are not working for the public’s benefit, instead prioritizing corporate lobbyists and campaign contributors. 

Courage California, driven by our 1.4 million members, helps our great state reach its potential by calling out institutional corruption and oppression, improving coordination and collaboration between progressive organizations, and demanding that our state and local representatives be both accountable to and reflective of the Californians they seek to serve.

State Senate

State Senator, 30th District

  • Elect Assemblymember Sydney Kamlager to continue to push SD-30 in the right direction.

    About the Position

    State senators represent and advocate for the needs of their district at the California State Capitol. They are responsible for creating legislation that addresses issues within their district, as well as voting on and debating preexisting laws. California has 40 State Senate districts. Each represents a population of about 930,000 Californians. Representatives are elected to the Senate for a four-year term. Every two years, half of the Senate's 40 seats are subject to election. Members elected before 2012 are restricted to two four-year terms (eight years) in the Senate. Those elected in or after 2012 are allowed to serve 12 years total across both the State Senate and the Assembly. As of December 2020, Democrats hold a two-thirds supermajority of 30 seats in the California State Senate, while Republicans hold nine seats. 

    About the District

    California's 30th Senate District includes parts of Los Angeles County. Notable cities within the district include Culver City, Ladera Heights, and Westmont, and the Los Angeles neighborhoods of Crenshaw, Downtown, and Florence. Democrats typically hold this district. The most recent election results available by district show that SD-30 voted for Hillary Clinton for president in 2016 and Gavin Newsom for governor in 2018 by large margins.

    About the Race

    In the November 2020 general election, Senator Holly Mitchell, who had held the SD-30 seat since 2014, was elected to the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors. A special election has been called to fill the vacancy through the end of the term in 2022. The primary election is scheduled for March 2. If any candidate wins the majority of primary votes, they will win the seat outright. If all candidates receive less than 50% of the total votes, the top two will go on to the general election on May 4. There are seven candidates running for the SD-30 vacancy, including Democratic Assemblymember Sydney Kamlager, Culver City Vice Mayor Daniel Lee, and trial attorney Cheryl Turner. Assm. Kamlager has raised over $300,000, and has committed to refusing fossil fuel and police money in her campaign. Assm. Kamlager has received donations from corporate PAC and real estate donors across all of her campaigns. Lee has raised nearly $10,000, and has pledged to refuse fossil fuel, police, and real estate money in his campaign. 


    About the Candidate

    Assemblymember Sydney Kamlager, the former district director for California State Senator Holly Mitchell (and Courage California endorsee), is from Chicago, and has lived in Los Angeles since 1990. She was elected to represent AD-54 in 2018, and served as an elected member of the L.A. Community College District Board of Trustees prior to serving in the Assembly. According to campaign materials, Assm. Kamlager is running for this seat to continue to build equitable and just access to public resources for all individuals in the district.

    As the current Assembly representative for 64% of the constituents in SD-30, Assm. Kamlager intends to continue to push forward on several of her existing priorities in the Senate, including economic recovery from COVID-19, criminal-justice reform, health-care expansion, and climate protection. During her time in the statehouse, she has sponsored 235 bills on such topics as prohibiting no-rehire provisions, banning biometric surveillance in police body cameras, and prohibiting the state from charging admin fees to inmates seeking medical care, of which over 10 percent have successfully passed. Assm. Kamlager has also co-authored legislation to reduce plastic pollution, to create a home-loan program for first responders, to eliminate the tax on tampons, and to prohibit racist housing and workplace discrimination related to natural hairstyles. These legislative efforts have demonstrated a commitment to progressive values, and seek to create real benefits for her constituency. She currently sits on six standing committees: Appropriations, Arts/Entertainment/Sports/Tourism/Internet Media, Communications & Conveyance, Insurance, Public Safety, and Rules. She also serves as the chair of the Select Committee on Incarcerated Women. Assm. Kamlager is vice chair of the Legislative Black Caucus, and a member of the Progressive Caucus. 

    She scores a lifetime 88 out of 100 on Courage Score, our annual analysis of legislators’ progressive voting records. Based on our Courage Score analysis, Rep. Kamlager has supported the most progressive bills that made it to a vote. That said, Assm. Kamlager has not supported funding public banks, equalizing out-of-pocket emergency health-care costs regardless of insurance coverage, or preventing dialysis companies from redirecting patients away from Medi-Cal. In addition to these bad votes and abstentions, she has received over $150,000 in donations from insurance and real estate interests across her past campaigns, and has accepted $11,400 from DaVita Inc., a private company that commands 37 percent of the dialysis market. 

    Assemblymember Kamlager has often worked with statewide progressive stakeholders on legislative efforts, but seems to have less extensive partnerships with local organizations within the district. Adequately representing the diverse constituency of SD-30 will require more focused alignment with local organizations, and an intentionally intersectional approach to leadership and governance.

    Assm. Kamlager is endorsed by many of the progressive groups in the district, and several progressive elected officials, including Supervisor Holly Mitchell and District Attorney George Gascón. Her leadership will provide representative continuity in demographics, values, and policy for the SD-30 constituency. With consideration to Assm. Kamlager’s legislative experience and progressive commitments, our analysis shows that she is the strongest choice for equitable and representative leadership in office.

    About Courage California’s Endorsement

    After a comprehensive review of Sydney Kamlager’s record and consultation with local partners, we have determined that she is committed to economic and climate action, and creating more equity in health care, criminal justice, and housing. Her experience in the community and in the California State Legislature combined with her commitment to refusing police and fossil fuel money are in alignment with the progressive future that Courage California hopes to achieve. We are confident that she will co-govern in the interests of all SD-30 residents. Courage California is proud to endorse Sydney Kamlager for Senate District 30. 
     

    Sydney Kamlager

    Elect Assemblymember Sydney Kamlager to continue to push SD-30 in the right direction.

    About the Position

    State senators represent and advocate for the needs of their district at the California State Capitol.

    Last updated: 2021-02-23