39th Assembly District

Not in 39th Assembly District? Click here to choose your customized guide.

RETURN BALLOTS BY TUESDAY, MARCH 3RD


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.

Voting has changed in Los Angeles County this year. The Voter’s Choice Act was enacted in the county to make voting more convenient. Changes include an expanded period of in-person early voting, every registered voter in the county will receive a vote-by-mail ballot, and every registered voter in the county is able to vote in-person at any Vote Center in their county. Also, in-person voters in Los Angeles County will have the opportunity to use the new Ballot Marking Device, a touchscreen with audio features, to mark their ballots. Have questions about the changes to voting in Los Angeles County? Visit your county elections website.

City Council Races

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

Los Angeles City Council

Los Angeles City Council, District 2

Paul Krekorian photo
Non-Partisan

Builds Power


Los Angeles City Councilmember Paul Krekorian was born and raised in San Fernando Valley. He is the incumbent, having served in this position since 2010. He is the first Armenian-American elected to public office in the city of Los Angeles. 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. 

On the City Council, Councilmember Krekorian serves as chair of the Budget and Finance Committee, vice-chair of the Housing Committee, and sits on the Energy, Climate Change and Environmental Justice Committee among others. Prior to joining the Los Angeles City Council, he served for three years on the Burbank Board of Education and represented the 43rd district from 2007-2010 in the California State Assembly.

Councilmember Krekorian is being challenged by Ayinde Jones and Rudy Melendez. Councilmember Krekorian is the strongest choice because of his track record of public service and strong relationships in the district. 

According to our analysis, Councilmember Krekorian is the strongest choice for progressive leadership in office.
 

Last updated: 2020-02-29


Los Angeles City Council, District 4

Nithya Raman photo
Non-Partisan

Builds Power
Builds Progress
Builds Representation



Nithya Raman lives in the Silverlake neighborhood of the city of Los Angeles. According to campaign materials, she is running to represent District 4 on the City Council to build a more inclusive and just Los Angeles.

Raman is a trained urban planner who is running on a strongly progressive platform that promises to center the voices and needs of underserved communities in Los Angeles. Her knowledge of policy is clearly demonstrated in her platform, which focuses on addressing housing and homelessness, responding to the climate emergency, and bringing Angelenos into the lawmaking process to increase transparency and accountability in city policymaking.

She is a co-founder of SELAH Neighborhood Homeless Coalition, a local neighborhood-based organization formed in response to the city’s inaction on homelessness. She has also served as Co-Chair of the Silver Lake Neighborhood Council’s Homelessness Committee since 2017. Raman recently served as executive director of Time’s Up Entertainment, the women’s rights movement furthering equity and safety for women in the entertainment industry. Raman’s relationships in entertainment are strong, and her campaign is based on partnering with artists and performers as a rallying force for its organizing efforts.

Raman is running against David Ryu, the incumbent who has failed to fulfill supportive housing commitments in the district. Other candidates include Sarah Levy. Raman is the strongest progressive choice because of her strong understanding of the challenges facing the city of Los Angeles as detailed in her policy platform, her track record of leading the way in standing up for communities under attack, and her ability to connect with and engage people currently outside of the political process.

According to our analysis, Nithya Raman is the strongest choice for progressive leadership in office.
 

Last updated: 2020-02-27


Los Angeles City Council, District 6

Nury Martinez photo
Non-Partisan

Builds Power
Builds Progress
Builds Representation



Los Angeles City Councilmember Nury Martinez was born and raised in the San Fernando Valley, the daughter of immigrants from Mexico. According to campaign materials, she is running for re-election to continue to fight for the families of the City of Los Angeles and the Sixth Council District in the Northeast San Fernando Valley.

Councilmember Martinez has served on the Los Angeles City Council since 2013. Her current agenda is bolstered by her new role as City Council President, which gives her decision making power on when new proposals are raised at council meetings and who sits on committees. Since January, she has articulated priorities including launching programs to help working families, support for foster youth to get employed, and a ban on building permits for private detention centers, including facilities that would hold unaccompanied immigrant minors. When it comes to housing and homelessness, Councilmember Martinez has over-delivered on her 2018 commitment to build supportive housing units in District 6.

Councilmember Martinez is the first Latina City Council President in the City Council's 170-year history. While recent City Council decisions have tended to be unanimous and presented as a united front, Councilmember Martinez has suggested that she is more open to open and transparent debate. Prior to her election to the LA City Council, she has a long history in public service, on the L.A. Unified School District Board from 2009 to 2013 and before that, on the City of San Fernando Council from 2003 to 2009.

Martinez is being challenged by Benito "Benny" Bernal and Bill Haller. Martinez is the strongest progressive choice because of her track record in representing the needs and interests of the residents in her district and her skillful leadership that has won the support of her colleagues on the council.

According to our analysis, Councilmember Nury Martinez is the strongest choice for progressive leadership in office.
 

Last updated: 2020-02-29


Los Angeles City Council, District 8

Marqueece Harris-Dawson photo

Builds Power
Builds Progress
Builds Representation


Los Angeles City Councilmember Marqueece Harris-Dawson was born and raised in South Los Angeles. He is the incumbent, having first been elected to represent District 8 in 2015. According to his official website, Councilmember Harris-Dawson’s priorities in office are to increase government responsiveness, develop economic opportunities, create equitable housing and transportation, and improve public safety. 

Councilmember Harris-Dawson’s approach to serving his district is influenced by his background as a community organizer. A primary priority is ensuring that community residents have open channels to contact him and his staff to voice any need or concern. His office launched a campaign to encourage residents to use MyLA311 to request the services needed in the community, which has resulted in a nearly threefold increase in calls over the past three years and increased responsiveness and quality of service from City service providers for the district. When it comes to housing and homelessness, Councilmember Harris-Dawson has over-delivered on his 2018 commitment to build supportive housing units in District 8.

Prior to joining the Los Angeles City Council, Councilmember Harris-Dawson worked at the nonprofit Community Coalition, renowned for its groundbreaking work in bringing together community residents to build safer neighborhoods. Original founder Karen Bass selected Harris-Dawson to replace her as head of the organization when she left to run for office, and, under Harris-Dawson, the organization saw a doubling of its budget and the purchase and renovation of a new building headquarters. 

Councilmember Harris-Dawson is running unopposed. Councilmember Harris-Dawson is a strong progressive leader because of his active engagement with community residents, his track record of strong financial management, and his keen understanding of the needs and priorities of his district. 

According to our analysis, Councilmember Harris-Dawson is the strongest choice for progressive leadership in office.
 

Last updated: 2020-02-29


Los Angeles City Council, District 10

Aura Vasquez photo
Non-Partisan

Builds Power
Builds Progress
Builds Representation


Aura Vasquez was born and raised in Colombia before moving to the United States with her family. She worked nights and weekends as an undocumented student to put herself through college. According to campaign materials, she is running to represent District 10 on the City Council to be a bold leader who will focus on creating a more sustainable and equitable future for Los Angeles. 

Vasquez has a deep background in community organizing and public service. She worked with the city of Los Angeles and the Sierra Club’s Beyond Coal Campaign to make L.A. coal-free by 2025 and helped establish the Feed & Tariff Initiative, the largest rooftop solar program in the country. Based on her work in environmental justice, Vasquez was appointed by Mayor Garcetti to the Board of Commissioners for the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power. Vasquez was also a member of the Wilshire Center Koreatown Neighborhood Council where she was the only non-Korean American to serve on the board. Vasquez, who identifies as Afro-Latina, also brings accomplishments in supporting students experiencing poverty and institutionalized racism to avoid dropping out of school in New York and fighting against the targeting of immigrants driving without a license in Orange County. 

Vasquez’s policy platform is informed by her organizing and advocacy experiences in Los Angeles. Her priorities include helping transition Los Angeles to 100% renewable energy, protecting the health of families by ending neighborhood oil drilling and reducing pollution, and making city services more responsive to residents. She also supports progressive economic solutions like tuition-free community college and a public bank that can inject investments back into neighborhoods. 

Vasquez is running for an open seat, as incumbent Councilmember Herb Wesson has served the maximum terms for the position. Other candidates include Channing Martinez, Melvin Snell, Grace Yoo, and Mark Ridley-Thomas. Notably, Mark Ridley-Thomas, who is currently on the LA County Board of Supervisors, has also termed out, and he and incumbent Wesson are running for each other's seats to maintain their hold on power. Ridley-Thomas is a longtime elected official who has been repeatedly investigated for misuse of campaign and taxpayer funds. 

Nearly 20 percent of Vasquez’s campaign funds come from donations of $100 or less, which far exceeds that of any other candidate in the race. In a crowded field of progressives, Vasquez is the strongest choice because of her track record in successfully advocating for progressive policy changes that reduce barriers and improve lives for many communities inclusively.


 

Last updated: 2020-02-27


Los Angeles City Council, District 12

Loraine Lundquist photo
Non-Partisan


Loraine Lundquist was raised by a career army soldier and a middle school math teacher, living all over the country before settling in Northridge nine years ago. According to campaign materials, she is running to represent District 12 on the City Council to tackle the challenges of the district and the city as a whole. 

Loraine is a neighborhood council member, environmental activist, and astrophysicist. Currently, she is a Faculty Associate at the Institute for Sustainability at California State University, Northridge where she runs a program to provide science and sustainability education to local K-12 schools. She also serves on the advisory panel for LADWP long-range planning, and has testified before the California State Senate and Assembly. Lundquist served as the co-chair of the homelessness committee of Northridge East Neighborhood Council and was a founding member of the West Valley Neighborhood Alliance on Homelessness. 

Lundquist’s policy platform centers on taking action on homelessness, holding the DWP accountable, and resisting special interests. Lundquist says she voted for local measures to raise taxes to pay for housing and services to help ease homelessness and wants to use that money to build more homeless housing and shelters. She also wants comprehensive reform of the LA transit system that will balance the needs of commuters with the needs of local communities, and more investment in local water infrastructure. 

Lundquist is running against John S. Lee, the incumbent who has failed to fulfill supportive housing commitments in the district, and whose campaign has received funds from the fossil fuel industry. Lundquist lost to Lee, who is a Republican and was the chief of staff to the previous councilmember, in a special election held last year. This election presents an opportunity to elect a progressive champion to serve the district. Lundquist is the strongest progressive choice because of her commitment, expertise, and strong endorsements from progressive organizations and leaders. 

According to our analysis, Loraine Lundquist is the strongest choice for progressive leadership in office.

 

 

Last updated: 2020-02-29


Los Angeles City Council, District 14

Kevin de León photo
Non-Partisan

Builds Power
Builds Progress
Builds Representation


Kevin de León was born in Los Angeles and was the first in his family to graduate from high school and college. A former state Assemblymember and Senator, he also served as President pro tempore of the California State Senate from 2014 to 2018. According to campaign materials, he is running to represent the 14th District on the City Council to advance policies to reduce homelessness, improve clean air and water, and make sure that Los Angeles is a safe place to live, work, and play. 

During the years he was in the California Assembly and Senate, de León represented all or a portion of district 14. According to public reports, he successfully secured funding for parks, environmental cleanup initiatives and housing for homeless Angelenos in that time. As President of the Senate, de León has a historic set of progressive accomplishments from his time in office, including millions for the revitalization of the Los Angeles River, toxic waste clean up, and funding for more than a dozen new parks. As part of this effort, he authored Proposition 68, to keep drinking water clean and open new parks throughout the state. And as the author of Proposition 2, he was able to successfully launch an ambitious program to provide permanent supportive housing for Californians experiencing homelessness statewide. Notably, de León authored SB54, California’s Sanctuary Law, which prevents state and local law enforcement agencies from using their resources on behalf of federal immigration enforcement agencies, including ICE. 

de León’s policy platform focuses on building homes for Angelenos experiencing homelessness, keeping the air clean, and reducing traffic and commute times. He also has a focus on quality education, fair treatment of teachers, and ensuring that Los Angeles is a safe place for families to live, work, and play.

Kevin de León is running against Mónica García, John Jimenez, Cyndi Otteson, and Raquel Zamora. de León stands out as the strongest progressive choice because of his remarkable track record as an elected official serving the residents of California and his progressive ideals which have led to significant progressive legislative reforms that have improved the lives of Californians across the state. 

According to our analysis, Kevin de León is the strongest choice for progressive leadership in office.
 

Last updated: 2020-02-28


Los Angeles Unified School District

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

Los Angeles Unified School District, Member of the Board of Education, District #1



Dr. George McKenna is from New Orleans. His is the incumbent, having served in this position since 2014. According to campaign materials, he is running for re-election to the LAUSD School Board to continue to create a system of education that promotes positive change through emphasizing justice, equal opportunities, and cultivating non-violent learning spaces.

As Vice President of the LAUSD Board of Education, Dr. McKenna has implemented reforms to that aim to boost inclusive learning environments and improve student achievement. Prior to his election to the School Board, Dr. McKenna received a PhD in Education and has worked as a teacher, principal, and superintendent where developed a reputation for his innovative education solutions that decreased violence in inner-city schools, addressed low-achievement, increased community engagement and college enrollment. He has also authored legislation that allows parents to receive time off of work so that they are able to attend students’ activities.

Dr. McKenna is running unopposed and is the best progressive choice because of his track record of fighting for students and teachers, which he has received wide national recognition from Time magazine to The Oprah Winfrey Show, as well as a movie documenting his accomplishments and educational approaches titled “The George McKenna Story.”

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

 

Last updated: 2020-02-28


Los Angeles Unified School District, Member of the Board of Education, District #3



Scott Schmerelson is a career educator with over 30 years of experience with LAUSD. He is the School Board District 3 incumbent, having served in this position since 2015. According to campaign materials, he is running for re-election to reduce class size, support and improve public schools, ensure classrooms and teachers have the resources they require while maintaining a responsible budget, and to make certain that schools are led by individuals who reflect the needs of the communities they serve.

On the School Board, Schmerelson has been an outspoken supporter of teachers and their demands, as well as a leading voice to reduce class size so that students have the attention required for an effective learning environment and quality education. Prior to Schmerelson’s election to the School Board, he worked as a teacher, school counselor, assistant principal, and principal where he accomplished increasing test scores and boosting the morale of students, teachers, and parents.

Schmerelson is running against Marilyn Koziatek and Elizabeth Bartels-Badger. Schmerelson is the best progressive choice because of his career-long dedication to improving education throughout LAUSD and his track record of fighting to make sure that children have access to the quality education they deserve.

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

 

Last updated: 2020-02-28


Los Angeles Unified School District, Member of the Board of Education, District #5



Jackie Goldberg is from Los Angeles and has resided in Echo Park, CA, for nearly 40 years. She is the incumbent, having served in this position since 2019. According to campaign materials, she is running for re-election to continue to be the School Board’s progressive voice and ensure that students interests always come first.

On the School Board, she has worked to restore integrity and leadership to her seat following the corruption chargers from the previous occupant. In addition, she’s worked to reduce class size, establish a productive and reasonable budget, bring the community together to raise students’ achievement levels, improve schools learning conditions, increase the resources available to students and teachers, as well as defend LAUSD schools from ongoing federal attacks from the current administration. Golberg has also worked as a teacher, community activist, Ethics Deputy and Children’s Services Deputy, served on the Los Angeles City Council, California State Assembly, as well as served on the LAUSD school board from 1983 to 1991. Through these positions, Golberg has created a dual language education program, authored the first citywide ordnance on a living wage, instituted protections for LA renters, increased funding for LAUSD, authored the first citywide and statewide domestic partner legislation, and is a co-founder of LACER Afterschool Program which helps nearly 4,000 students annually in the Los Angeles area.

Goldberg is running against Chistina Martinez Duran. Goldberg is the best progressive choice because of her career-long reputation of supporting students and underserved communities throughout the Los Angeles area.

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

 

Last updated: 2020-02-29


Los Angeles Unified School District, Member of the Board of Education, District #7



Patricia Castellanos is from Carson, CA, and currently resides in San Pedro, CA. According to campaign materials, she is running for School Board to bring her knowledge of building coalitions and alliances to the LAUSD to enact progressive education policies.

Castellanos is the Workforce Deputy for L.A. County Supervisor Sheila Kuehl, where she develops and implements economic policies that create job opportunities for members of her community. Prior to becoming a Workforce Deputy, she worked as the Director of Policy Training and Education for Strategic Concepts in Organizing and Policy Education, held an appointment as Port Commission by Mayor Eric Garcetti, and was Deputy Director for the L.A. Alliance for a New Economy. Furthermore, Castellanos led the Coalition for Clean and Safe Ports, where she secured a historic agreement to reduce emissions, and was also a co-founder of Reclaim Our Schools L.A., where she successfully created a coalition of community members to rally support for quality public education.

Castellanos is running against Mike Lansing, Tanya Ortiz Franklin, Silke M. Bradford, and Lydia A. Gutierrez. Castellanos is the progressive choice because of her track record of activism, service, and support to underserved and disadvantaged communities throughout the Los Angeles area. 

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

Last updated: 2020-02-29


State Senate

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

State Senator, 25th District

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

Member of the State Senate

Anthony Portantino photo

Builds Power
Builds Progress



State Senator Anthony Portantino is from Long Branch, NJ. He is the incumbent, having served in this position since 2016. According to campaign materials, he is running for reelection to continue to represent the needs of the foothills community in the State Legislature.

As a State Senator, Portantino has advanced bills to address public health issues, increase access to higher education, and improve senior citizens’ services. Prior to his election to the State Senate, Portantino served on the La Cañada Flintridge City Council, as Mayor of the Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy Advisory Committee, and as President of the League of California Cities Mayors and Councilmembers Department.

As Senate Appropriations Chair, Portantino took actions that resulted in various progressive bills being tabled. Even though we don’t agree with all of Portantino's actions as Appropriations Chair, his position of power in the State Senate, his support of inclusive education and health policies make him a strong choice in this race.

Portantino is running uncontested for reelection. Based on our Courage Score analysis, Portantino has often shown courage advocating for the needs of constituents and facing down corporate lobbyists and interest groups that exploit Californians.
 

Last updated: 2020-02-21


State Assembly, 39th District

Member of the State Assembly

Luz Maria Rivas photo
Democrat

Builds Power
Builds Progress
Builds Representation


Assemblymember Luz Maria Rivas is from Northeast San Fernando Valley and returned to Los Angeles after completing her Masters in Education at Harvard University. She is the incumbent, having served in this position since 2018. According to campaign materials, she is running for re-election because of her belief that every Californian should have a pathway to economic empowerment, independence, and self-efficacy.

In the Assembly, Rivas has worked on legislation to address California’s homeless student crisis, to ensure postsecondary schools cannot refuse transcripts because of a student’s debt, and has authored the Share Our Values Film Tax, which would give tax credits to companies that decide to film in California instead of a state that have enacted anti-abortion legislation. Prior to serving in the assembly, Assemblymember Rivas was an Electrical Engineer and an educator, and strongly believes that an education in a STEM field can create opportunity and empower all people, particularly girls and women. She founded a non-profit, DIY Girls, which teaches engineering and design skills, and was also appointed to the Los Angeles Board of Public Works in 2016.

Assemblymember Rivas is running against Ricardo Benitez (R). Rivas has a lifetime score of 95 out of 100 on Courage Score, our annual analysis of a legislator's progressive voting record. Based on this analysis, Assemblymember Rivas has consistently shown great courage and advocated for the needs of constituents while facing down corporate lobbyists and interest groups that exploit Californians. She has demonstrated her progressive values in her commitment to equity, education, and supporting marginalized populations in her community.

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

Last updated: 2020-02-29


Congress

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

28th Congressional District

Member of the House of Representatives

Adam Schiff photo
Democrat


Representative Adam Schiff is from Framingham, MA, and currently resides in Burbank, CA. He is the incumbent, having served in Congress since 2001. According to his campaign materials, Schiff is running for re-election to advocate for working-class families, equality, and sensible policies on issues from gun violence to climate change. 

In Congress, Rep. Schiff has advanced legislation to bring good-paying jobs to his district, increase access to affordable education, and improve environmental protections. Rep. Schiff currently serves as Chair of the House Intelligence Committee, where he has skillfully led the impeachment inquiry into the current President’s abuse of power. Prior to his election to Congress, Rep. Schiff served as a State Senator and an Assistant U.S. Attorney in Los Angeles. 

Rep. Schiff supports progressive education, immigration, and environmental policies. That said, he has cast unfavorable votes on issues pertaining to military spending and the use of military force. 

Rep. Schiff is running against Chad D. Anderson (D), Sal Genovese (D), Ara Khachig Manoogian (D), G. "Maebe A. Girl" Pudlo (D), William Bodell (R), Eric Early (R), and Jennifer Barbosa (NPP). Though we disagree with Rep. Schiff’s past hawkish foreign policy votes, his highly effective management of the impeachment inquiry, position of power in Congress, and community support helps advance progress and makes him the strongest choice in this race.
 

Last updated: 2020-02-28


29th Congressional District

Member of the House of Representatives

Tony Cárdenas photo
Democrat


Representative Tony Cárdenas is a native of San Fernando Valley. He is the incumbent, having served as the representative for the 29th District in Congress since 2013. According to campaign materials, he is running for re-election to continue providing strong progressive leadership in Congress across issues including juvenile justice, clean energy, immigration, education, and job creation.  

As a congressional representative, Rep. Cárdenas has authored a variety of bills in support of issues including education, job creation, immigrant services, and the closure of tax loopholes. Prior to his election to Congress, he was the first Latino to represent the Valley in California’s State Legislature. There he co-authored the landmark Juvenile Justice Crime Prevention Act, which has made $100 million in funds available to counties each year since 2001 to promote a comprehensive, collaborative approach to juvenile justice that has increased transparency into policing and probation programs and provided resources for effective prevention programs. Rep. Cárdenas also spent ten years serving on the Los Angeles City Council where he authored legislation that created Los Angeles' first Animal Cruelty Task Force.

Rep. Cárdenas is being challenged by Angélica María Dueñas (D), Michael R. Guzik (D), and Brian Perras (R). Rep. Cárdenas stands out as the progressive choice because of his consistently forward-looking vision and ability to successfully pass legislative reforms since he first entered public service in 1996. Based on our analysis, Rep Cárdenas is the strongest choice for progressive leadership in office.

Last updated: 2020-02-28


30th Congressional District

Member of the House of Representatives

Brad Sherman photo
Democrat

Builds Power
Builds Progress


Representative Brad Sherman was born and raised in Southern California and lives in Sherman Oaks, a neighborhood in the San Fernando Valley. He is the incumbent and is currently serving his twelfth term in Congress. According to campaign materials, he is running for re-election to continue providing strong progressive leadership in Congress for the labor movement, human rights, animal rights, and the environment.  

As a congressional representative, Rep. Sherman has provided leadership in areas including fiscal policy and foreign relations and was among the first legislators to call for impeachment against the president in 2017 on the grounds of obstruction of justice. He is a senior member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee and the House Financial Services Committee. Prior to his election to Congress, he served on the California State Board of Equalization from 1991 to 1996. It is, however, important to note that Rep. Sherman has been called out by former aides for enabling a generally toxic workplace atmosphere, although he has not been accused of any specific abusive acts in or outside the workplace.

Rep. Sherman is being challenged by Courtney “CJ” Berina (D), Raji Rab (D), Brian Carroll (D), and Mark S. Reed (R), although none of them appear to meet our viability criteria. Despite the above concerns, Rep. Sherman stands out as the best choice because of his senior position in Congress, progressive voice, base of support in his district, and ability to successfully pass legislative reforms. 
 

Last updated: 2020-02-28


Countywide Races

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

Los Angeles County

Los Angeles District Attorney

George Gascón photo
Non-Partisan



George Gascón, a Cuban immigrant and longtime LAPD police officer, is known as a groundbreaking progressive leader in criminal justice reform in the country. Gascón is running for District Attorney in Los Angeles because he believes the way the criminal justice system operates in Los Angeles must change.

George Gascón moved back to L.A. to run for District Attorney because of his passion for the city, leaving his role as District Attorney in San Francisco, where he was appointed district attorney in 2011 and was re-elected twice. As SF District Attorney, Gascón led a slate of progressive reforms including lowering incarceration rates, expunging more than 9,000 marijuana convictions dating back to 1975, and launching a first-of-its-kind website that provides data on prosecutions, caseloads, and trial outcomes in order to increase accountability and transparency in the criminal justice system.

Gascón started his career as a beat cop in Los Angeles. His trajectory took him to the top of the LAPD, where as Assistant Chief, he oversaw operations the more than 9,000 officers in the LAPD. Throughout his career, Gascón has demonstrated the ability to think in new ways about seemingly intractable problems in criminal justice, and to create meaningful change in the culture and operations of police departments including the LAPD, the Mesa Police Department, and the SFPD. In 2011, then-California Attorney General Gavin Newsom tapped Gascón to be San Francisco District Attorney where he has become known as a visionary in criminal justice reform.

Gascón is challenging incumbent Jackie Lacey, who has consistently resisted public pressure to hold police accountable for the more than 550 people who have been killed by police in Los Angeles County since her election in 2013. Other candidates include public defender, Rachel A. Rossi. Gascón is the strongest progressive choice for district attorney because of his visionary leadership and outstanding track record in criminal justice reform, as well as his experience and demonstrated ability to adapt.

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

Last updated: 2020-02-29


Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors

Los Angeles Board of Supervisors, District 4

Janice Hahn photo
Non-Partisan

Builds Power
Builds Progress
Builds Representation


Janice Hahn was born and raised in Los Angeles. After a brief stint in Texas and New York, Hahn moved back to Southern California and raised her family in Los Angeles. She currently lives in San Pedro, CA. According to campaign materials, Hahn is running for re-election to represent District 4 on the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors to continue her agenda of reforms that prioritize the needs of working families, women, children, seniors, and young people across the 4th District.

Supervisor Hahn was raised in a family of prominent Los Angeles politicians. After a career in the private sector, she was elected to represent the 15th District on the Los Angeles Charter Reform Commission where she fought for many reforms now included in the new charter: Area Planning Commissions, local citizen representation on commissions governing Los Angeles International Airport and the Port of Los Angeles, and a system of neighborhood councils.

Supervisor Hahn then served on the Los Angeles City Council followed by three years in the U.S. House of Representatives before she retired to run successfully to represent District 4 on the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors. In this role, Hahn has been a forceful advocate for addressing homelessness, has worked to protect workers at the port, and has implemented reforms to ensure residents receive safe, clean drinking water. Hahn also successfully brokered a deal to secure long-term affordable housing in Marina del Rey that prevented tenant evictions and secured millions of dollars for District 4 school funding, public safety, and water infrastructure to combat run-off of toxic pollutants while increasing environmental protections.

Supervisor Hahn is being challenged by Desiree T. Washington. Hahn is the strongest progressive choice because of her long track record and effective approach to brokering deals that balance the needs of the many stakeholder communities in District 4.

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

Last updated: 2020-02-29


Los Angeles County Superior Court

Los Angeles County, Judge of the Superior Court, Position #42

Linda L. Sun photo


Los Angeles County Bar Association ranking: QUALIFIED

Linda L. Sun currently serves as Supervising Deputy Attorney General for the California Department of Justice. She began her career as Deputy Attorney General in the Licensing Section of the Attorney General’s Office, California Department of Justice. In her current role, she oversees significant caseloads addressing potential abuses of consumer trust. 

She received her undergraduate degree in economics from the University of California, Los Angeles, and her law degree from Southwestern University.

Last updated: 2020-02-20




Los Angeles County Bar Association ranking: WELL QUALIFIED

Robert “Bob” Villa is a Los Angeles County Deputy District Attorney currently working in the Special Trials department. Villa has spent over 30 years in the district attorney’s office. 
In 2016 he was recognized by Justice for Homicide Victims as a “Prosecutors of the Year” for “exemplary work in the pursuit of justice on behalf of murder victims.” 

He received his undergraduate degree from the University Of California Irvine and a Juris Doctorate from Western State University of Law. 

Last updated: 2020-02-20


Los Angeles County, Judge of the Superior Court, Position #72

Steve Morgan photo


Los Angeles County Bar Association ranking: WELL QUALIFIED

Steve Morgan currently serves as a Los Angeles County Deputy District Attorney, a Lt. Colonel in the Army JAG Corps, and is a law professor.

Morgan received his undergraduate degree from Messiah College in Pennsylvania and went on to complete a dual J.D./MBA at the University of Hawai'i. Upon graduation from the program, Morgan was commissioned as a First Lieutenant in the Army JAG Corps. He was also an adjunct professor at The John Marshall School of Law in Chicago and currently teaches at the Abraham Lincoln University School of Law in Los Angeles.  
 

Last updated: 2020-02-28




Los Angeles County Bar Association ranking: QUALIFIED

Robert F. Jacobs is the founder of the immigration and criminal defense law firm of Robert F. Jacobs & Associates, PLC. 

Jacobs is a Certified Specialist in Immigration and Nationality Law by the State Bar of California Board of Legal Specialization. He was named 2019 Attorney of the Year by the local Southeast District Bar Association (SEDBA). He is also a member of the American Society of Legal Advocates (ASLA), a “nationwide organization of elite lawyers in practice today.” 

Jacobs received his undergraduate degree from the University of Wisconsin – La Crosse and earned his law degree from Marquette University Law School. 

Last updated: 2020-02-28




Los Angeles County Bar Association ranking: NOT QUALIFIED

Myanna Dellinger is a professor of law focused on international law and climate change. She is an Associate Law Professor, University of South Dakota School of Law.

Dellinger was born in Denmark and has lived in southern California for over 20 years. She received her J.D. from the University of Oregon School of Law. She contributes often to law journals and outlets, and hosts the podcasts "The Global Energy and Environmental Law Podcast" and "Dellinger on the Law." 

She signed an open letter to Congress opposing strategic lawsuit against public participation (SLAPP) laws in 2015. SLAPP laws are intended to intimidate or deter objections to public discourse with the threat of massive legal lawsuits that would exhaust the resources of individuals or organizations. Before teaching at the University of South Dakota, she was an associate professor at Western State University College of Law.

Last updated: 2020-02-28


Los Angeles County, Judge of the Superior Court, Position #76

Emily Cole photo


Los Angeles County Bar Association ranking: QUALIFIED

Emily Cole has spent 13 years as a Deputy District Attorney for Los Angeles County. She was born and raised in Los Angeles County and received her undergraduate degree at San Francisco State University and her law degree from Golden Gate University. 

Cole currently specializes in the prosecution of sex crimes and domestic violence and has tried high profile cases, including the prosecution of Dino Guglielmelli, a wealthy businessman that tired to hire a hitman to kill his wife. She also led the prosecution of Shehada Issa in 2017, who was found guilty of murdering his wife and son and was sentenced to life in prison. 

This is an open seat, and Cole is running against one challenger: “Judge” Mike Cummins, who is a retired judge and attorney. Cummins has been rated as NOT QUALIFIED by the Los Angeles County Bar Association. Cummins has run unsuccessfully for numerous offices, including San Luis Obispo County District Attorney in 2018. 

According to our analysis, Cole represents the best choice for judge in this race.

Last updated: 2020-02-20


Los Angeles County, Judge of the Superior Court, Position #80



Los Angeles County Bar Association ranking: QUALIFIED

David Berger has been a Deputy District Attorney for the Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office for over 20 years. In 2009, he served for nine months as part of a transition team in the City Attorney’s office before leaving to return again to the District Attorney’s office.  

Berger is a District Attorney's Office Alternative Sentencing Designee as part of the county’s Community Collaborative Courts. He previously ran for judge in 2018. 

Berger was born in London and moved to the U.S. in 1989. He received his law degrees from the University of London and Loyola Law School in Los Angeles. 

Last updated: 2020-02-20


Nick C. Rini photo


Los Angeles County Bar Association ranking: QUALIFIED

Nick C. Rini has been a Los Angeles County Deputy District Attorney for 35 years. He briefly practiced civil law before joining the DA’s office in 1984. 

Rini received his law degree from the University of San Diego School of Law.

Last updated: 2020-02-20


Klint McKay photo


Los Angeles County Bar Association ranking: WELL QUALIFIED

McKay currently is an administrative law judge in the California Department of Social Services. He hears Affordable Care Act appeals for the Department of Social Services. 

Prior to his role as an administrative law judge, from 2006-2014 he served in the Health Quality Enforcement section of the California Attorney General’s office. 

He received his undergraduate degree from the University of Michigan, his MBA from the University of California at Berkeley, Haas School of Business, and his law degree at Wayne State University. 

In 2018, McKay pulled papers to run against newly appointed Los Angeles Superior Court judge, Kristin S. Escalante, but withdrew from the race.

Last updated: 2020-02-20


Los Angeles County, Judge of the Superior Court, Position #97



Los Angeles County Bar Association ranking: WELL QUALIFIED

Timothy D. Reuben is the founder, Managing Principal, and CEO of the firm Reuben Raucher & Blum. The firm advertises services for civil litigation, insurance law, employment law, family law as well as appeals. Reuben contributes regularly to his firm's blog on a variety of legal issues. 

Reuben received his undergraduate and law degrees from Harvard University

Last updated: 2020-02-20




Los Angeles County Bar Association ranking: QUALIFIED

Sherry L. Powell is a Deputy District Attorney for Los Angeles County. Her website states she has predominately prosecuted “crimes of violence, including murder, child molestation, rape, and domestic violence.” 

In 2014 she prosecuted Steve DeSisto, co-owner of a popular deli, for sexually assaulting a woman in a case that gained local attention. Powell received her law degree from the University of California Los Angeles School of Law. 

Last updated: 2020-02-29


Los Angeles County, Judge of the Superior Court, Position #129



Los Angeles County Bar Association ranking: QUALIFIED

Kenneth M. Fuller is a Los Angeles County Deputy D.A, Commissioner on the City of Fullerton Traffic and Circulation Commission, and a member of the U.S. Air Force Reserve. Fuller joined the DA’s office in 2006 and has worked in the VIP SpecialVictim's Unit, Hardcore Gang Division, and Environmental Crimes Divisions. 

Fuller also volunteers as a teacher as part of the LADA Project LEAD program. Fuller received his undergraduate degree from University of Southern California and his law degree from USC’s Gould School of Law. Fuller ran unsuccessfully for judge in 2018.

Last updated: 2020-02-23




Los Angeles County Bar Association ranking: QUALIFIED

Mark MacCarley is the Managing Attorney/Consultant at MacCarley & Rosen, PLC and a retired U.S. Army General. He resides in Glendale, where he was raised and serves on the Civil Service Commission. 

In 2016, MacCarley ran unsuccessfully as a Republican in the primary for State Assembly’s District 43. He ran in 2017 for Glendale City Council and lost. 

MacCarley received his MBA from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst and his law degree from Loyola Law School. 
 

Last updated: 2020-02-20




Los Angeles County Bar Association ranking: QUALIFIED

Bruce A. Moss is a private practitioner specializing in family law and is a volunteer Temporary Judge for the Los Angeles County Superior Court.

Moss received his Bachelor's Degree from the University of Southern California and his law degree from San Fernando Valley College of Law.

Last updated: 2020-02-20


Los Angeles County, Judge of the Superior Court, Position #162



Los Angeles County Bar Association ranking: WELL QUALIFIED

Scott Andrew Yang is a Deputy District Attorney in Los Angeles County. He now works in the sex crimes division and was previously part of the juvenile crime department. Before joining the DA’s office, Yang was in private practice working on civil law matters. 

Yang’s family fled Vietnam in 1979 and spent two years as refugees before settling in Michigan. In 1984, they moved to Los Angeles. Yang received his undergraduate degree from UCLA and his law degree from Southwestern University School of Law. 

Last updated: 2020-02-20




Los Angeles County Bar Association ranking: WELL QUALIFIED

David D. Diamond is a criminal law attorney in Los Angeles County and has a Certified Legal Specialty in Criminal Law from the State Bar of California. 

He received his undergraduate degree from Michigan State University and his law degree law at Southwestern Law School. He also ran for judge in 2018. 

Last updated: 2020-02-20


Los Angeles County Ballot Measures

County Measure R

VOTE YES

Vote Yes On Measure R

This proposition would authorize the Sheriff Civilian Oversight Commission in Los Angeles to develop a Comprehensive Public Safety Reinvestment Plan, the goal of which would be to reduce incarceration, ease jail overcrowding, reduce recidivism -- in particular among mentally ill and chronically unhoused populations -- and mandate that alternatives to incarceration for vulnerable populations be studied and prioritized over the building of new jails. That’s already a mouthful, but it would also give the commission a greater ability to investigate police misconduct by giving them the power to subpoena testimony and evidence. 

The effort to get this on the ballot was organized by a grassroots organization called Reform L.A. Jails, led by Patrisse Cullors of Black Lives Matter, and it’s supported by the ACLU, Black Lives Matter-Los Angeles, Dignity and Power Now, Community Coalition, White People 4 Black Lives and Real Justice PAC. Tackling a culture that permits widespread police brutality, endangers the lives of people of color, and prioritizes incarceration over assistance is vitally important, and we get a chance to help do that by voting YES on Measure R. 

We strongly recommend a YES vote on Measure R.



Measure FD

VOTE YES

Vote YES on Measure FD, LA County Fire District Parcel Tax

Measure FD would add a parcel tax of 6 cents per square foot on residential and commercial buildings in the unincorporated areas of LA County as well as in the 58 cities that contract with the county for fire protection and emergency services. (This does not include the city of Los Angeles, but does include many of the smaller cities in and around the city limits.) The parcel tax would cap out at 100,000 square feet and the money would be used to by the Los Angeles County Fire Department to hire more firefighters and paramedics and upgrade its equipment.

In a region famed for being prone to natural disasters, fires are among the most frequent large-scale crises we face. Climate change is making matters worse. All over the state, fire departments are being stretched by the increasing frequency with which they’re dispatched to battle major fires, and, as we learned in 2018, this means reinforcements and resources from elsewhere are not always available when they’re needed. LA County’s fire department also operates paramedic services, which are concurrently seeing an increase in demand. Both of these functions are vital to protecting the health and property of LA County’s citizens and worth funding. 

LA County’s fire department is funded entirely via property taxes -  it doesn’t receive any money from the county’s general fund. Because of this unique funding scheme they periodically have had to go to voters to pass parcel taxes for additional funding. The last time they did this, however, was over twenty years ago in 1997. Though the department has been late in getting their overtime report to voters, meaning they have not done everything they could have to document the need for this tax, it’s still worth voting YES. Too much rides on the fire department’s ability to provide quick, efficient service.

This measure requires a two-thirds vote to pass and the resulting tax would only apply in areas where the L.A. County Fire Department does its work. 

Vote YES on Measure FD.
 



Statewide Ballot Measures

Proposition 13

VOTE YES

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.