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Buffy Wicks

Re-elect State Assemblymember Wicks to keep AD-15 on the right track.

About the Position

State Assembly Members form part of the California State Legislature, and work alongside the governor to establish laws and a state budget. They hold the power to pass bills that affect public policy, set state spending levels, raise and lower taxes, and uphold or override the governor’s vetoes. The California State Assembly has 80 districts. Each represents a population of at least 465,000 Californians. Representatives are elected to the Assembly for a two-year term. Every two years, all 80 seats are subject to election. Members elected before 2012 are restricted to three two-year terms (six years) in the Assembly. Those elected in or after 2012 are allowed to serve 12 years total across both the State Senate and Assembly. This term, Democrats currently hold a two-thirds supermajority of 61 seats in the California State Assembly, while Republicans hold 17 seats. One seat is held by an Independent, and one seat is currently vacant.

About the District

California's 15th Assembly District includes portions of Alameda and Contra Costa Counties. Democrats typically hold this district. Democrat incumbent Assemblymember Buffy Wicks has served since 2018, when she was elected. The most recent election results show 87.4 percent of AD-15 voted for Hillary Clinton for president in 2016, and 89.6 percent voted for Gavin Newsom for governor in 2018.

About the Race

In the primary, Democrat Incumbent Assemblymember Buffy Wicks led Independent challenger Sara Brink by a margin of 75.1 percent. Assemblymember Wicks’s campaign has raised over $559,000 and has pledged to refuse fossil fuel money. According to her campaign website, she has not accepted any corporate money. However, upon further research into her campaign contributions, it was found that she has accepted money from Airbnb, AT&T, Disney, Salesforce.com, and Tesla. Additionally, she has accepted almost $10,000 from the California Correctional Peace Officers Association and the Richmond Police Officers Association. According to Assemblymember Wicks’s campaign website, she said, “I will not accept any donations from charter school advocacy organizations. I have not accepted any such donations and I will not.” However, her campaign contribution records say otherwise. She has accepted $1,500 from the Charter Public Schools PAC. Brink’s campaign contributions have not been recorded with the Secretary of State’s office.

About the Candidate

Assemblymember Wicks, a lifelong grassroots activist, is from Oakland, CA. Prior to her election to the State Assembly, she organized against the Iraq War, worked on Barack Obama’s 2008 and 2012 presidential campaigns, served as his deputy director in the White House Office of Public Engagement, and served as executive director of super PAC Priorities USA Action in support of Hillary Clinton for president. She is a longtime supporter of policies that improve the welfare of women and children. According to campaign materials, Assemblymember Wicks is running for re-election to join the fight on the most challenging issues, including solving the housing and homelessness crisis, protecting communities from gun violence, increasing funding for food and health-care programs, and ensuring high-quality education across the state.

Assemblymember Wicks’ priorities for AD-15 this year include education, housing, and health care. She currently sits on six standing committees: Banking and Finance, Budget, Budget Subcommittee No. 4 on State Administration, Privacy and Consumer Protection, Public Safety, and Rules. She also serves as chair on the Select Committee on Youth Mental Health. She has sponsored 45 bills about housing, education, health care, and transportation this year, of which eight have successfully been chaptered. She scores a perfect lifetime score of 100 out of 100 on Courage Score, our annual analysis of legislators’ progressive voting records. Based on our Courage Score analysis, Assemblymember Wicks has supported all progressive bills that made it to a vote.

Assenblymember Wicks is endorsed by a strong majority of progressive groups in the district, such as Planned Parenthood Northern CA Action Fund, Moms Demand Action, Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, East Bay for Everyone, and Evolve CA. However, she is also endorsed by Berkeley Police Commissioner George Perezvelez. Independent challenger Brink’s campaign website has made it clear that she is not expecting to win, and instead, she is using the platform to address several issues within the current two-party system and urges voters to elect progressive candidates.

Independent challenger Brink’s lack of a running platform greatly outweighs Assemblymember Wicks’s problematic endorsements and lack of consistency in campaign finance pledges. According to our analysis, Assemblymember Wicks is the strongest choice for equitable and representative leadership in office.


Buffy Wicks

Buffy Wicks was raised in rural California and permanently moved to Oakland in 2016. She is the incumbent, having served in this position since 2019. According to campaign materials she is running for re-election because she is a lifelong Californian and a former grassroots organizer who wants to use her federal and local experience to continue to fight for equity and economic security in the region.

In the State Assembly, Wicks has introduced a renter’s protection bill, championed consumer protections, authored a bill to reestablish California's Healthy Start program to connect children and families with critical services, and joined a gun violence prevention working group. Wicks serves on five Assembly committees, including Budget, Public Safety, Banking and Finance, Privacy and Consumer Protection, and Rules. Prior to her election to the State Assembly, Wicks campaigned for Howard Dean, and ran field operations for Barack Obama in 2008 and 2012. Wicks served as the Deputy Director of the White House Office of Public Engagement during the Obama Administration and worked to advocate for the Affordable Care Act. After leaving the White House, Wicks was a Senior Fellow at the Center for American Progress where she focused much of her work on seeking innovative ways to establish economic security for women and families.

Wicks is being challenged by Sara Brink (NPP) and Jeanne Solnordal (R). In 2019, she scored a 100 out of 100 on Courage Score, our annual analysis of legislator's progressive voting records. Based on our Courage Score analysis, Wicks 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, Buffy Wicks is the strongest choice for progressive leadership in office.