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Akilah Weber

About the Candidate

Dr. Akilah Weber, an assistant clinical professor and ob-gyn, was born and raised in the Oak Park neighborhood of San Diego, and has lived in La Mesa since completing her medical residency and fellowship in the midwest. In addition to her medical practice, Dr. Weber was elected to the La Mesa City Council in 2018, where she currently serves as vice mayor. She is the daughter of Secretary of State Shirley Weber, who held this seat for ten years. According to campaign materials, Dr. Weber is running for this seat to continue to work to eliminate the systemic social disparities that lead to poor health and economic outcomes for district residents.

If elected, Dr. Weber’s priorities for the district would include COVID-19 vaccine access, economic recovery, climate protections, and education reform. As a medical professional, Dr. Weber views the benefits of policy through the lens of public health, and believes that improvements in each of these issue areas will lead to better long-term health outcomes from residents.  Demonstrating this philosophy, she has supported the Homeless Outreach and Mobile Engagement (HOME) program as a member of the La Mesa City Council. HOME brings social work and behavioral health support to community members experiencing homelessness, and aims to connect them with housing and medical benefits. A feature of this program is a reduction in police interaction with vulnerable residents. Dr. Weber has also said that she would prioritize legislation that created a police decertification structure for abusive officers, and favors increased age limits and training periods for incoming officers. As vice mayor, Dr. Weber has also supported La Mesa’s transition to a Community Choice Aggregation (CCA) model for energy use, which offers residents clean alternatives to San Diego Gas & Electric, and reinvests revenues into the local economy.  

While Dr. Weber’s platform has a progressive lean, she has been noncommittal on how she will navigate political influences in Sacramento to pass progressive policies. Similarly, she has not highlighted immigration reform or championed a path to citizenship for undocumented individuals in her platform. In a district so proximate to the southern border, providing inclusive leadership will require a clear stance on these issues and a commitment to persistent advocacy on behalf of all residents. 

Dr. Weber is endorsed by a majority of the progressive groups in the district, and several progressive elected officials. Her leadership will provide consistency in values and policy for the AD-79 community. With consideration to Dr. Weber’s local government and professional experience, our analysis shows that she is a strong choice for equitable and representative leadership in office.

About Courage California’s Endorsement

After a comprehensive review of Dr. Akilah Weber’s record and consultation with local partners, we have determined that she is committed to eliminating health disparity through climate action, education reform, and economic recovery. Her experience on the La Mesa City Council combined with her understanding of holistic health and social supports make her a strong candidate for this seat, and align with the progressive future that Courage California hopes to achieve. We are confident that she will govern in the interests of AD-79 residents, and Courage California is proud to endorse Dr. Akilah Weber for Assembly District 79.
 

Leticia Munguia

About the Candidate

Leticia Munguia, a community organizer, was born and raised in San Diego to parents who immigrated from Mexico, and has lived in AD-79 for 11 years. After working in social and criminal justice positions, she applied and enrolled in law school in Michigan, and started her legal career by creating a curriculum for immigrant women to access domestic violence resources. She then returned to California to begin her work as a labor organizer, leading fair wage and health-care negotiations with LAUSD and AFSCME. According to campaign materials, Munguia is running for this seat to support the region’s recovery from the economic, educational, and health impacts of COVID-19.

If elected, Munguia’s priorities for the district would include several issues that have been heavily affected by the pandemic, including education, homelessness, health-care access, women’s rights, and the economy. As a community organizer, she has a unique understanding of the intersections of these issues and the benefits that wraparound services can provide to residents. She has a proven track record of working to increase public school funding and reduce class sizes, and would leverage that experience to support the safe reopening of schools and an expansion of early childhood education. Munguia believes that small-business loans, the creation of high-wage jobs, and further stimulus will bring a strong economic recovery to the region. She would also champion increases in health-care access, expansions of paid family and medical leave, extensions of the eviction moratorium, and increased availability of affordable housing. By strategically investing in these public systems, Munguia believes that residents will be able to trust the equity and stability of the infrastructure designed to support them. 

Before law school, Munguia worked in the criminal-justice system, and is committed to the continued reformation of policing, including creating tiered accountability measures to track abusive officers. As the daughter of immigrants, she looks forward to California’s continued partnership with the Biden administration to create a path to citizenship, and favors proactively providing immigrants with access to health care and other services. 

Leticia Munguia is endorsed by some progressive groups in the district and several progressive elected officials. Her leadership will build on existing progressive values and policies in AD-79. With consideration to Munguia’s long service in the community and her dedication to supporting the most marginalized populations, our analysis shows that she is a strong choice for equitable and representative leadership in office.

About Courage California’s Endorsement

After a comprehensive review of Leticia Munguia’s record and consultation with local partners, we have determined that she is committed to education and housing investment, increasing health-care access, and economic recovery. Her experience as a community organizer combined with her commitment to refusing police, fossil fuel, and corporate PAC 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 AD-79 residents. Courage California is proud to endorse Leticia Munguia for Assembly District 79. 
 

AD79 Dual

Submitted by caitlin on Mon, 03/22/2021 - 10:09

Courage California endorses both Leticia Munguia and Dr. Akilah Weber for California Assembly District 79. Munguia and Dr. Weber are running to fill Dr. Shirley Weber’s vacant seat following her historic Secretary of State appointment.

Based on Munguia and Dr. Weber’s proven records as community leaders, Courage California is confident that both candidates would co-govern in the interests of all Californians.


About the Position

CA - April 6, 2021 Special

Submitted by Collin on Fri, 03/19/2021 - 09:25

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.

CA - March 9, 2021 Special

Submitted by Collin on Tue, 03/02/2021 - 16:36

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.

Berkeley Rent Stabiilization Board -- Johnson/Kelley/Mendonca/Simon-Wiesberg/Walker

Submitted by caitlin on Thu, 10/29/2020 - 14:08

To fill the five open seats on the Rent Stabilization Board Courage is recommending the following five members of the Right to Housing slate, which is made up of a diverse group of experienced community advocates and housing experts. 

About the Position

In 2020, members of the Berkeley Rent Stabilization Board will be elected in an at-large race in which the top five candidates, rather than the usual four, will go on to serve. Board Commissioners serve four-year terms. There are no term limits for Board Commissioners.

Dominique Walker

About the Candidate

Dominique Walker, a housing-justice organizer and activist, is from Berkeley, CA. She is the co-founder of School of Social Justice and Community Development in Oakland and Moms4housing, a coalition of Black mothers that claims empty corporate-owned homes for the community. According to campaign materials, Walker is running for election because she believes that every single person has the right to accessible and affordable housing.

Walker’s priorities for Berkeley renters include fixing habitability issues, rehabilitating older units, and assisting both landlords and tenants in acquiring more energy-efficient upgrades.

Walker is endorsed by several progressive groups in the district, such as ACCE, East Bay Young Democrats, SEIU Local 1021, and Sierra Club. At this time, Walker does not have any problematic endorsements and has not electronically filed campaign contributions. According to our analysis, Dominique Walker is a strong choice for equitable and representative leadership in office.


 

Leah Simon-Weisberg

About the Candidate

Leah Simon-Weisberg, a housing attorney, was born in Berkeley, CA. She currently serves as vice chair of the Berkeley Rent Board. In 2019, Simon-Weisberg represented Moms 4 Housing in court, arguing that housing is a human right and that people should be able to live in empty corporate-owned homes. According to campaign materials, Simon-Weisberg is running for re-election because she believes that everyone has a right to safe, secure, decent, and affordable housing.

Simon-Weisberg’s priorities for Berkeley renters include dismantling systemically racist structures, like redlining, and preventing displacement and gentrification that continues to target Black residents, as well as other people of color. 

Simon-Weisberg’s plans include extending rent control to new units, establishing a cap on the manipulated inflation of the market, and ensuring that policies put community needs over developers’ needs

Simon-Weisberg is endorsed by a strong majority of progressive groups in the district, such as the East Bay Young Democrats, ACCE, SEIU Local 1021, and the Sierra Club. At this time, Simon-Weisberg does not have any problematic endorsements and has not electronically filed campaign contributions. According to our analysis, Leah Simon-Weisberg is a strong choice for equitable and representative leadership in office.


 

Mari Mendonca

About the Candidate

Mari Mendonca, a housing advocate, was born and raised in Berkeley, CA. She currently serves as a Berkeley Rent Board Commissioner, having been appointed unanimously in 2019. Mendonca is a member of Friends of Adeline, a group dedicated to fighting for the dignity and rights of low-income people, and previously served as a committee leader with Unite Here 2850. According to campaign materials, Mendonca is running for re-election because she believes that everyone has a right to safe, secure, decent, and affordable housing.

Mendonca’s priorities for Berkeley renters include dismantling systemically racist structures, like redlining, and preventing displacement and gentrification that continues to target Black residents, as well as other people of color. Mendonca’s plans include extending rent control to new units, establishing a cap on the manipulated inflation of the market, and ensuring that policies put community needs before developers’ needs.

Mendonca is endorsed by a strong majority of progressive groups in the district, such as the East Bay Young Democrats, ACCE, SEIU Local 1021, and the Sierra Club. At this time, Mendonca does not have any problematic endorsements and has not electronically filed campaign contributions. According to our analysis, Mari Mendonca is a strong choice for equitable and representative leadership in office.


 

Xavier Johnson

About the Candidate

Xavier Johnson, a tenants’ rights attorney, is from Berkeley, CA. He moved to Berkeley in 2013 to pursue a law degree at UC Berkeley. He is a longtime activist in the LGBTQIA+ and African American communities and is dedicated to correcting inequities, especially in West and South Berkeley. According to campaign materials, Johnson is running for election to expand tenant protections and build support for a regional housing fund with enough resources to end our housing crisis.

Johnson’s priorities for Berkeley renters include implementing a Green New Deal that focuses on building equitable and zero-emissions housing and creating a regional measure dedicated to providing funding specifically for low-income, affordable units. He aims to protect tenants and make housing a human right.

Johnson is endorsed by a strong majority of progressive groups in the district, such as Alliance of Californians for Community Empowerment Action, Bay Rising Action, Berkeley Progressive Alliance, Berkeley Tenants Union, East Bay Democratic Socialists of America, Our Revolution East Bay, SEIU 1021, and the Sierra Club. At this time, Johnson does not have any problematic endorsements and has not electronically filed campaign contributions. According to our analysis, Xavier Johnson is a strong choice for equitable and representative leadership in office.