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Rebecca Bauer-Kahan

Re-elect State Assemblymember Rebecca Bauer-Kahan to keep AD-16 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 16th Assembly District includes portions of Alameda and Contra Costa counties. Republicans held this district until 2008, when Democrat Joan Buchanan  won and flipped AD-16 from red to blue. It has flipped back and forth in the last decade. Democrat incumbent Assemblymember Rebecca Bauer-Kahan has served AD-16 since 2018. The most recent election results show 64.5 percent of AD-16 voted for Hillary Clinton for president in 2016, and 63.2 percent voted for Gavin Newsom for governor in 2018.

About the Race

In the primary, Democrat incumbent Assemblymember Rebecca Bauer-Kahan led Republican challenger Joseph Rubay by a margin of 36.6 percent. Bauer-Kahan’s campaign has raised $873,755 and is funded by corporate PACs, police money, and fossil fuel money. Rubay’s campaign has raised $16,525, of which $15,300 is from candidate self-financing. Rubay has not committed to any of the pledges to refuse corporate PACs, fossil fuel, or police money.

About the Candidate

Assemblymember Bauer-Kahan, a law professor and attorney, is from Orinda, CA. Prior to her election to the State Assembly, she taught law at Santa Clara University and Golden State University. She is a longtime supporter of fighting climate change and for a women’s right to choose. According to campaign materials, Assemblymember Bauer-Kahan is running for re-election to protect the environment, fight Trump’s immigration policies, increase access to quality, affordable health care, and help small businesses thrive.

Assemblymember Bauer-Kahan’s priorities for AD-16 this year include education, public safety, and labor. She currently sits on five committees: Appropriations, Environmental Safety and Toxic Materials, Privacy and Consumer Protection, Public Safety, and Banking and Finance. She also serves as chair on the Select Committee on Women’s Reproductive Health. Assemblymember Bauer-Kahan has sponsored 31 bills about public safety, environment safety, and labor this year, of which nine have been successfully chaptered. She scores a lifetime score of 81 out of 100 on Courage Score, our annual analysis of legislators’ progressive voting records.

Based on our Courage Score analysis, Assemblymember Bauer-Kahan has supported the most progressive bills that made it to a vote. That said, she has not supported AB 290, which would prevent dialysis companies from steering patients from Medi-Cal to boost corporate profits. This is not surprising, considering Assemblymember Bauer-Kahan has accepted $12,900 from the two dialysis giants in California: Fresenius and DaVita. Additionally, she has consistently failed to support essential housing bills, such as AB 1487, AB 1482, and AB 1279. By accepting almost $10,000 from powerful landlord-lobbying groups like the California Apartment Association PAC and Apartment Association of Greater Los Angeles PAC and failing to support these bills, Assemblymember Bauer-Kahan has shown AD-16 where her priorities lie.

Assemblymember Bauer-Kahan is endorsed by several progressive groups, such as EMILY’s List, NARAL Pro-Choice California, and the California League of Conservation Voters. At this time, she does not have any problematic endorsements. The threat of Republican challenger Rubay’s potential policies on strengthening police to solve gun violence greatly outweighs Bauer-Kahan’s moderate voting record and lack of campaign finance pledges. According to our analysis, Assemblymember Bauer-Kahan is the strongest choice for equitable and representative leadership in office.

Rebecca Bauer-Kahan

Rebecca Bauer-Kahan was raised in the Bay Area. She is the incumbent, having served in this position since 2018. According to campaign materials she is running for re-election to continue to use her leadership position to advocate for social issues and improve equity in the community.

In the State Assembly, Bauer-Kahan has worked on legislation to reallocate public funding to parks and schools and transportation projects, to protect women’s health and abortion rights, to codify standards for serving food allergens, and to instate protections for California college students. Shortly after her election in 2018, she was selected to serve as Assistant Speaker pro Tempore in the Assembly. She currently serves as Chair of the Select Committee on Women’s Reproductive Health, and sits on an additional four committees, including Environmental Safety & Toxic Materials, Privacy and Consumer Protection, Public Safety, and Banking & Finance.

Prior to her election to the State Assembly, Bauer-Kahan worked as an attorney, primarily on cases related to corporate environmental compliance and intellectual property. Her work involved an investigation of company practices, a detailed understanding of existing regulations, and how to balance compliance with profitability. Additionally, she has taught law at Santa Clara University and Golden Gate University. Bauer-Kahan has also used her professional credentials to benefit her community by growing her office’s pro-bono program to address cases related to civil rights and homelessness, and by partnering with the International Refugee Assistance Project (IRAP) to provide legal services at San Francisco International Airport after the Trump Administration’s travel ban.

Bauer-Kahan is being challenged by Joseph Rubay (R). In 2019, she scored an 81 out of 100 on Courage Score, our annual analysis of legislator's progressive voting records. Based on our Courage Score analysis, Bauer-Kahan 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, Rebecca Bauer-Kahan is the strongest choice for progressive leadership in office.