Voters Guide

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As November 6th approaches, hundreds of millions of dollars are being spent in support of reactionary, conservative and regressive politicians and ideas. With a Republican majority in government, now more than ever your voice, input, political organizing, and votes are of key importance to the future of our democracy. This is a guide to facilitate your efforts to make well informed, progressive decisions on every candidate and issue on the ballot.

We recommend all to do as much personal research as their free time permits to make their own decision – however with such a large amount of research required to cast an informed vote, the scarcity of progressive sources of information, and the history of voting rights in this country: it is obvious that many institutions aim to make voting deliberately more difficult for everyone except a small group of privileged people.

Furthermore many Democrats and even some Progressives have avoided addressing important issues for people in their community (Police Brutality, Mass Incarceration, Immigrant Rights, Housing Crisis, Universal Health Care) despite having been elected by these same people.

Our guide is an attempt to fight these harmful and conciously anti-democratic dynamics. It is unacceptable that politics in the U.S continues to be manipulated by and for the interests of the privileged above all others. We believe in the power of grassroots activism to create systemic change locally and nationally, and although voting is only one of many political actions needed to transform our system (alongside organizing, financial support of activist causes, and cultural change), an electoral victory for Progressives would take power out of the hands of Republicans and create real, tangible, and immediate change. Legislation such as Prop 10 (Rent Control) & Measure B (Public Bank) would make a powerful difference in the lives of residents of Los Angeles and we believe victory in these races is not only absolutely attainable, but also the first of many if as a city we can collective rally around the change we want to see, today!

We also wrote this article to further clarify some of the most difficult to understand, confusing, and deceptive choices for the upcoming ballot. You can see on Restless Nites editorial blog.

FAQ

Answers to FAQs are below. If we missed something or you’d like to chat with us directly about any topic covered, feel free to contact us directly at thefutureleft@gmail.com.

Are you registered to vote?

How Did We Build This Guide?

The guide is partial towards candidates, propositions, and ballot measures that work in favor of the following:

  • Affordable Housing
  • Environmental Protection & promoting Sustainable Energy Sources and Infrastructure Projects
  • Labor Rights
  • LGBTQ rights & ending forms of violence and erasure perpetuated against the LGBTQ community
  • Solving and Preventing Homelessness
  • Ending Police Brutality & the Prison Industrial Complex
  • Undocumented Immigrant Rights & ending the War on Drugs
  • Universal/Single-Payer Health Care
  • Funding for Public Schools, Community Colleges, & state subsidized education
  • Increased funding for Social Services, Student Financial Aid, & Public Education

Our guide is vehemently against candidates, propositions, and ballot measures that enact corporate and private interests over those of the 99%. The Future Left is for the people!

Plenty of other progressive, forward-thinking organizations have created their own voter guides as well. Compare and contrast them with ours by following the links below.

Who Are We?

We’re a collective of progressive professionals, community organizers, activists, and concerned citizens who call Los Angeles home. We love this city—our goal is to make it better for everyone, regardless of race, gender, creed, or economic standing.

Not registered to vote yet, or not sure if you are? The deadline is October 22, so act now!

Full Voters Guide

California Proposition 1: Housing Programs and Veterans' Loans Bond-YES

Prop 1 would authorize California to issue $4 billion in bonds for existing affordable housing programs, loans, grants and projects that support veterans, low-income residents and farmworkers. Due to the current housing crisis in California, funding for affordable housing is sorely needed, as 1.7 million low income households in CA spend more than 50% of their income on rent, and Housing costs continue to rise while working class wages remain stagnant. This bill would provide ample resources for funding affordable housing projects, sourced from individuals who have the resources to invest in bonds, rather than from taxes on groups of people already under financial strain.

Vote: YES

Sources: https://calmatters.org/articles/homeless-in-california-what-the-data-reveals/

https://www.npr.org/2018/09/27/650533981/is-rent-control-an-answer-to-californias-housing-crisis

California Proposition 2: Use Millionaire's Tax Revenue for Homelessness Prevention Housing Bonds Measure-YES

In 2004, California passed the Mental Health Services Act which created a 1% tax on people who make one million dollars or more per year to fund mental health services across the state (woo!). Prop 2 amends the act so that California can use up to $140 million of those funds each year to specifically pay for housing for people with mental illnesses who are homeless or who are at risk of being homeless (the previous resolution was unclear about where funds were to be used). This proposition will not cost taxpayers anything; it simply redirects existing funds towards housing for mentally ill, which is crucial to addressing the homelessness crisis in California, as 25% of the the nation’s homeless live in California. Homelessness has surged 75% in seven years here in Los Angeles alone, and an estimated 25% of homeless people are mentally ill.

Vote: YES

Sources: http://www.latimes.com/local/california/la-me-homeless-landmarks-20180902-htmlstory.html

https://www.nationalhomeless.org/factsheets/Mental_Illness.pdf

https://www.npr.org/2018/09/27/650533981/is-rent-control-an-answer-to-californias-housing-crisis

California Proposition 3: Water Infrastructure and Watershed Conservation Bond Initiative - NO

Although Prop 3 frames itself as a way to provide funding for important water and environmental projects, it actually raids funds intended for reducing climate pollutants, building affordable housing and transit, and reducing wildfire risk and gives it to large water agencies. In addition to this, only a small fraction of the $8.9 billion bond would be used for clean water supplies and safe drinking water for disadvantaged communities, while the majority of the funding would have no public oversight and input and would be directed to projects benefiting commercial agriculture.  Prop 3 would add $430 million debt annually for the next 40 years, while we just passed a $4 billion water bond in June and haven’t begun to spend the money. This bond would potentially harm the environment more by opening new funding pathways for ill-conceived dams, creating incentives that harm endangered species, and more. Additionally, the bond is written behind the scenes by those in corporate agriculture who would gain funds from it, rather than through a legislative process.

Critical bond measure proposals for drinking water and ecosystems are best created through a legislative process that is transparent and open to the public.

Vote: No

Sources: https://www.sierraclub.org/sites/www.sierraclub.org/files/sce/sierra-club-california/PDFs/Prop3_FAQ.pdf

http://www.latimes.com/politics/la-pol-sac-skelton-proposition-3-california-20181015-story.html

California Proposition 4: Children's Hospital Bonds Initiative-YES

Prop 4 would authorize $1.5 billion in bonds to fund the construction, expansion and renovation of 13 children’s hospitals. If this Proposition is passed, 72% of funds would go directly to existing nonprofit hospitals providing services to a large percentage of children eligible for governmental programs and special health needs. Providing accessible, affordable healthcare is a key issue for us, and since this proposition genuinely provides funding for this we support it.Vote: YES

California Proposition 5: Property Tax Transfer Initiative - No

Prop 5, backed by the California Realtors Association, would allow all homeowners over 55 to transfer their existing property tax base to a new home they buy. According to a study of Proposition 5 by the California Budget and Policy Center, a nonprofit that advocates for the working poor, Prop 5 would give new benefits to those who are much wealthier and primarily white. Currently, special rules already allow California homeowners who are age 55 or older or who are severely disabled to transfer the taxable value of a home they sell to a new home, so further benefits would be disproportionately generous. Furthermore, property taxes are a major source of funding for schools and local services; local governments and schools would lose a combined $2 billion a year in property tax revenue if these tax breaks are expanded. Prop 5 has several opponents, including economists, local governments and labor unions (see complete list of organizations opposing this initiative here), and they argue that this proposition does nothing to help low-income seniors, or families struggling to find housing.

Vote: No

California Proposition 6: Voter Approval for Future Gas and Vehicle Taxes and 2017 Tax Repeal Initiative - No

Forgetting the cynical motives and ideology of the major backers of Prop 6 (anti-tax, anti-public transit conservatives), this measure would blow a large, multi-billion dollar hole in the state transportation budget, jeopardizing badly needed current and future infrastructure improvements for the superficial gratification of lower gas prices. Supporters say that a better bill exists, but no amount of budgetary maneuvering will come up with the $130 billion required over the next ten years to bring our transportation infrastructure up to safe conditions. And conservatives may disagree, but that equation will always involve expansion of railways and bike lanes, as it should.

Vote: No

Proposition 7: Permanent Daylight Saving Time Measure - NONE TO SUPPORT

This is a non-partisan issue.

California Proposition 8: Limits on Dialysis Clinics' Revenue and Required Refunds Initiative

Prop 8 requires dialysis clinics to issue refunds to patients for revenue above 115% of the average cost of dialysis treatment in California. Dialysis is the only life-preserving option for people with end-stage renal disease and costs about $90,000 per year per patient. Dialysis centers have disproportionately high profits compared to other medical services. This proposition is supported by SEIU (Service Employees International Union) as a way to limit the amount of money clinics can profit off of patients. SEIU has also been trying to organize employees and this proposition may be seen as a way to support their unionization efforts. Opposition has primarily come from the two largest dialysis companies in California (DaVita and Fresenius) who have spent over $100 million against it. The two companies made $4 billion in profits from dialysis operations in 2017 and their profit margin is almost five times higher than an average hospital in California. Although this Proposition is a little tricky, following the funding for and against it leads us to the conclusion that we should vote yes and not be fooled into opposition marketing that is funded by the companies who benefit the most from overcharging patients.

Vote: YES

California Proposition 10: Local Rent Control Initiative Yes

Prop 10 would allow local governments to establish strong rent control that would address the nation’s worst housing affordability and homelessness crisis. In 1995, California passed a law called Costa Hawkins that eliminated a city’s ability to control how much landlords can charge tenants for renting units built in 1995 or afterwards (and any buildings built after 1978 in Los Angeles). Prop 10 would repeal that 1995 law, allowing city governments to establish rent control ordinances. This is a hugely relevant issue for California and Los Angeles in particular, as rapidly advancing gentrification has displaced large groups of people and contributed to the homelessness crisis. One in three Californians pay more than half their income in rent and Prop 10 would protect families from skyrocketing rent and stop corporate landlords from pushing people out of their homes and communities.

Vote: Yes

California Proposition 11: Ambulance Employees Paid On-Call Breaks, Training, and Mental Health Services Initiative - NO

Prop 11 seeks to fill the pockets of private ambulance companies by attempting to bypass the labor laws of EMTs and paramedics. While the mental health services and rhetoric towards public safety in this prop sound appealing, they’re deceptively tacked on to distract voters from their core goal of stripping their workers of the right to rest breaks. Over $21 million have been poured into this proposition by private ambulance corporations in an attempt to increase profit margins and protect themselves from ongoing lawsuits for violating CA labor laws. Other organizations that support this decision include the Green Party, California Labor Federation, CA DEM, California Teacher’s Association, & United EMS Workers.

This proposition purportedly pays for better ambulance services, but the evidence shows otherwise. We believe this is truly a fight between private corporations and their workers, and because of this, we cannot align with anyone who supports this proposition.

 

Proposition 11 is sponsored by American Medical Response, Inc., a private medical transportation company in the United States. AMR executives paid millions of dollars to earn Prop. 11 a place on the ballot, arguing that it works towards the public good; in fact, they forget three things:

 

1) Private ambulance companies commit $350 million dollars’ worth of medical fraud each year, according to ABC, ProPublica, and the Justice Department.

2) The industry is consistently accused of abusing workers’ rights.

3) Private ambulance firms operate for profit, and investigations by the New York Times indicate that their firms’ response times are lower than public firms.

Outside the scope of this proposition, private ambulance companies represent a new front in neoliberal policy in which private ambulance companies use aggressive business practices to displace and disable public services. A similar process occurs with charter schools replacing public schools.

Voting Yes on 11 means that private ambulance companies could attempt to reschedule meal and rest breaks if interrupted by a 911 call. This proposition would also limit legal liability for past violations of labor law, further empowering private companies over their workers. Several lawsuits involving these work break practices for ambulance employees are currently percolating through U.S. courts. It began with a 2016 California Supreme Court ruling in Augustus v. ABM Security, which ruled that a California security company had failed to meet its legal obligation with regard to work breaks because its workers were obligated to be on call. That ruling indicated that failing to compensate employees for meal breaks would not stand up in court. In turn, Prop. 11 alters and limits the ability of these workers to seek redress.

A No vote would subject private ambulance companies to established labor law precedent with regard to lunch breaks. Based on recent court decisions, ambulance companies would likely be required to provide EMTs and paramedics with off-duty meal and rest breaks that cannot be interrupted by 911 call duties.

A fallacious appeal to common sense implies that this would lead to more ambulance workers and better response times. According to the NYT private ambulance firms actually lowered response times even amidst the practices like AMR’s which did not compensate workers for breaks. The analysis from LAO admits that this proposition would not necessarily decrease the number of ambulances on the road, but would instead increase the private ambulance industry’s costs even further, at an amount estimated to be $100M.

 

In light of these facts, it’s important to know that EMS labor unions have made concessions on moving lunch breaks, if necessary, to respond to life-threatening situations. The argument that not paying EMS workers for breaks would be beneficial to delivering emergency services hinges on the assumption that docking workers’ pay would be made up for by private ambulance companies increasing their work hours, but this is not true. Prop. 11 is simply a cost-saving measure, and if private EMS companies truly valued optimum response times, they would pay their workers better and employ more workers.

Private EMS companies are hurting, and many have gone out of business despite their close ties and investments from Wall Street allies. Currently proceeding lawsuits for workers’ abuse could cause them to close their doors forever. And as we mentioned previously, AMR’s EMS workers could be awarded additional payments due to previous violations by precedent set by lawsuits against private security companies, since “the court awarded the company’s security guards payments due to the violations” (LAO).

 

We opposed Prop 11 with lots of anger. Prop. 11 would not provide better care or better response times. The NYT’s analysis of internal documents and legal cases indicates that cities utilizing private ambulance services often suffer decreased response times and quality of service. In fact, AMR was fined hundreds of thousands of dollars for slow response times. Public ambulance services provide faster response times and offer paid meal breaks all the while.

Private ambulance companies, which operate for profit and are often funded by Wall Street, use strategies including litigation (pushing to cut costs by challenging labor laws in courts), lobbying, and labor cost-cutting. This proposition benefits private ambulance companies by transferring the burden to their already low-paid workers. No union/workers’ rights group would ever support a misleading measure.

Vote: No

Further Reading/Sources https://lao.ca.gov/BallotAnalysis/Proposition?number=11&year=2018

California Proposition 12 - Yes

A “yes” vote supports banning the sale of meat and eggs from calves raised for veal, breeding pigs, and egg-laying hens confined in areas below a specific number of square feet.  The restrictions are not enforced until 2022, and in the meantime, it would repeal Prop 2, which was developed in 2008 to ban the confinement of pregnant pigs, calves, and egg-laying hens in a manner that did not allow them to turn around freely, lie down, stand up, and fully extend their limbs.  Although it would be preferred to not repeal Prop 2 in theory, no government agency is currently being held responsible for enforcing previous animal confinement laws, so they are being largely ignored, whereas Prop 12 would specifically hold the California Food and Agricultural department responsible for enforcing the law. For this reason, and also because this Proposition is more thorough and structured than existing regulations, we strategically support Prop 12, with the eventual goal of abolishing big agriculture-style feedlot farming all together.

Vote: Yes

Sources: https://www.kqed.org/news/10394188/whos-watching-the-henhouse-to-enforce-californias-new-egg-law

State Assembly

Background: The California State Assembly is the lower house in the California State Legislature. There are 80 members each representing a seperate district of California. Representatives serve 2 year terms, and can serve a maximum of 12 years in the State Legislature (E.g 8 years in the Senate and 4 in the Assembly, 12 years in the Assembly, or any other combination). Members of the Assembly write and vote on bills that can pass through both houses in order to become State laws.

Insurance Commissioner: Ricardo Lara

Background: The California Insurance Commissioner heads the Department of Insurance, regulates and enforces insurance laws, licenses and regulates insurance companies, and answers public complaints or inquiries about insurance companies.

Decision: Ricardo Lara is a State Senator that has advocated for immigrant rights, assisting labor unions, Single Payer Health care, and perhaps the most inventive and relevant subject that they have advocated for has been Climate Insurance. His opponent Steve Poizner, formerly ran as a Republican for State Governor, and although they are currently running as a non partisan candidate, their previous record and centrist capitalist approach and ideology in contrast to Lara’s strong progressive views makes Lara the clear choice.

State Assembly District 51: Wendy Carillo `{`D`}`

Background: The district encompasses northeastern Los Angeles, including parts of the Eastside. It is currently represented by Democrat Wendy Carillo.

Decision: Carillo supports efforts to provide a permanent source of funding to build affordable housing as well as a statewide housing bond. Carillo understands we need to continue our efforts to provide affordable, workforce and homelessness housing. As the Trump administration seeks to defund Planned Parenthood and other family planning clinics, Carillo will fight to protect these essential resources for cancer screenings, birth control and life-saving treatments. Carillo is endorsed by Emily’s List.

Sources: Wendy Carillo

State Assembly District 53: Miguel Santiago `{`D`}`

Background: This seat represents much of Central and South Los Angeles. It is presently filled by Representative Miguel Santiago.

Decision: Miguel Santiago’s wider breadth of support from reputable organizations, his greater amount of political experience, and his status as the incumbent make him the favored candidate of our group in this election.

Sources: [Miguel Santiago (D)]  //  [Kevin Jang]

Congress

Senate: Kevin De Leon `{`D`}`

Background: The United States Senate is the upper chamber of the United States Congress. The Senate elects a total of 100 Senators, (two per state), and writes federal laws that take effect nationwide. Senators are elected to 6 year terms. They introduce bills that can pass through Congress to become laws, vote on bills proposed by other Senators (they must win a majority of vot es in both houses to become law), and serve on committees to review policy, but they also have powers and responsibilities unique to the Senate, such as approving treaties, and confirming diplomats, Supreme Court candidates, federal judges, and other officials. Because of these responsibilities and long periods in office, Senators are among the most influential politicians in office.

Decision: Kevin De Leon’s priorities are Medicare for All, clean energy, immigration reform, free college tuition, and raising the minimum wage. His competitor, the current CA Senator Dianne Feinstein has previously supported the death penalty, the Iraq war, and she recently wrote a bill that would have required local authorities to cooperate with ICE. Her disappointing voting record makes this a critical race for us and we strongly endorse unseating her and electing a truly Progressive representative for California’s senate seat.

US Federal House of Representatives Districts

Background: The U.S. House of Representatives is the lower chamber of the United States Congress. The House elects a total of 435 Representatives from districts of each of the 50 states, and writes federal laws that take effect nationwide. Elected to a two-year term, each representative serves the people of a specific congressional district by introducing bills that can pass through Congress to become laws, voting on bills proposed by other representatives (they must win a majority of votes in both houses to become law), and serving on committees which review bills, among other duties.

U.S. House District 25: Katie Hill `{`D`}`

Background: This district covers part of northern Los Angeles County and part of Ventura County. It includes the cities of Santa Clarita, Simi Valley, Palmdale, Lancaster, and the northern part of the San Fernando Valley. It is the most Republican congressional district to be located primarily in Los Angeles. Republican Steve Knight has held the seat since 2015, the last time a Democrat held the seat was in 1990, and this is now a competitive race.

Decision: Formerly the Executive Director at People Assisting the Homeless (PATH), Hill is devoted to stabilizing families and addressing poverty at its roots. Hill will fight to keep big money out of politics and will focus on repealing Citizens United and passing campaign reform. Hill stands with Planned Parenthood to expand access to comprehensive sexual health education and access to family planning services such as birth control, cancer screenings, and STI testings and treatment. If Hill wins, she will be the first woman to ever represent the 25th District in Congress.

Sources: Katie Hill Steve Knight

U.S. House District 27: Bryan Witt `{`D`}`

Background: This district is located in the southern portion of the state and includes portions of Los Angeles and San Bernardino counties. It is one of 39 U.S. House districts where a Republican is not running in 2018. The district covers the San Gabriel Foothills including the communities of Alhambra, Altadena, Arcadia, Bradbury, Claremont, East Pasadena, Glendora, Monrovia, Monterey Park, Pasadena, Rosemead, San Antonio Heights, San Gabriel, San Marino, Sierra Madre, South Pasadena, South San Gabriel, Temple City, and Upland.

Decision: Bryan Witt. Based on analysis of multiple outside rankings, Chu is one of the most reliable Democratic votes, meaning she can be considered a safe vote for the Democratic Party in Congress. Chu is likely to be the go-to win, especially as an already well known candidate who has established relationships with constituents in her district and we respect her voting record. However, Bryan is more progressive with a more socialist agenda, supporting labor unions, universal health care, free university, ending war on drugs and for-profit prisons, investing in infrastructure, investing in renewable energy, providing housing for homeless and mentally ill, and limiting the influence of Big Business in politics. In a race with two progressive candidates, we feel it is important to continue to advocate for candidates that address issues often glossed over by establishment Democrats in order to create truly inclusive and lasting changes.

Sources: Judy Chu Bryan Witt

U.S. House District 28: Adam Schiff `{`D`}`

Background: California District 28 includes Burbank, parts of Pasadena, Glendale, the Verdugo Hills communities of Sunland and Tujunga, West Hollywood, as well as parts of Central Los Angeles including Hollywood, the Hollywood Hills, Echo Park, Silver Lake, and Los Feliz.

Decision: Schiff’s number one priority in Congress is ensuring economic growth, jobs, and opportunity for all Americans. Schiff has fought for stronger investment in infrastructure, since the building of roads, bridges, schools, a renewable energy superhighway, broadband and other key elements of the national backbone have a multiplier effect on the economy. Additionally, Schiff believes that trade deals should be fair and free, thus he opposes the current Trans-Pacific Partnership because he believes it will widen income inequality. Schiff is endorsed by Planned Parenthood, NARAL, and the Campaign for Working Families.

Sources: Adam Schiff

U.S. House District 29: No Endorsement

Background: California’s 29th Congressional district is based in the North Central San Fernando Valley, and includes the communities of Van Nuys, San Fernando, Pacoima, Arleta, Panorama City, Sylmar, and parts of Sun Valley and North Hollywood.

Decision: Due to serious sexual assault allegations against the Democratic candidate Tony Cardenas in this Democratic vs. Republican race, we have decided not to endorse either candidate in this race.

Sources: http://www.latimes.com/local/lanow/la-pol-ca-cardenas-golfer-lawsuit-20180817-story.html

https://www.dailynews.com/2018/09/21/woman-who-claims-rep-tony-cardenas-fondled-her-as-a-teen-adds-new-allegation-to-lawsuit/

U.S. House District 30: Brad Sherman `{`D`}`

Background: California’s 30th congressional district is covers the western San Fernando Valley of Los Angeles County and the eastern Simi Hills of Ventura County.

Decision: Brad Sherman has provided critical support for the protection and expansion of park lands in the Santa Monica Mountains. He has worked to improve the Sepulveda Basin recreation area, and to build more local playgrounds, sports fields and bike lanes. In regards to gun control Sherman has worked to encourage stronger enforcement of existing gun laws and to pass new common sense legislation to keep guns out of the hands of criminals. Additionally, Sherman has fought for LGBT rights, recently earning him a 100% rating from the Human Rights Campaign.

Sources: Ben Sherman

U.S. House District 33: Ted Lieu `{`D`}`

Background: The 33rd district includes cities, communities, and districts on the Westside of Los Angeles, the South Bay beach cities including portions of Torrance and the entire Palos Verdes Peninsula within Los Angeles County.

Decision: Lieu has long fought for environmental rights; he has introduced legislation in Washington to address climate change modeled after California’s landmark Global Warming Solutions Act. Additionally, Lieu is the author of the first-of-its-kind legislation to ban the practice of so-called “gay conversion therapy.”

Homework: Ted Lieu

U.S. House District 34: Kenneth Mejia `{`G`}`

Background: The 34th district is located almost entirely in Los Angeles County, and includes the neighborhoods of Boyle Heights, Chinatown, City Terrace, Cypress Park, Downtown Los Angeles, Eagle Rock, El Sereno, Garvanza, Glassel Park, Highland Park, Koreatown, Little Bangladesh, Little Tokyo, Lincoln Heights, Monterey Hills, Mount Washington, & Westlake.

Decision: Kenneth Mejia has run a robust, strongly progressive, grassroots campaign on a multitude of issues, including Universal Single payer health care (in favor), Immigrant Rights (Pro-Abolishing ICE),Tenant & Homeless rights (Former Community organizer, Pro Prop 10), Foreign Policy (Against violent intervention in & funding (only funded by small community donations, not Corporations). In contrast, although Jimmy Gomez is not necessarily a Centrist, their voting record as an incumbent and more moderate positions on many issues shows them to be a more cautious and traditional democratic candidate. The thoroughness of Mejia’s platform, his locally funded grassroots model, and his willingness to take a strong position on subjects many liberals often compromise on, makes him the more progressive choice.

U.S. House District 37: Karen Bass `{`D`}`

Background: The 37th district includes many neighborhoods in the city of Los Angeles including South Los Angeles, Crenshaw, Baldwin Hills, Miracle Mile, Pico-Robertson, Century City, Cheviot Hills, West Los Angeles, and Mar Vista. It also encompasses Culver City and the communities of View Park and Ladera Heights.

Decision: Karen Bass has represented California’s 37th district in the House since 2013. Bass has worked hard to reform America’s foster care system and strengthen the United States’ relationship with Africa. In her first term, she created the bipartisan Congressional Caucus on Foster Youth. Bass also created the Congressional Council, which provides an opportunity for constituents to learn firsthand about the issues in Congress and how to become involved in the legislative process. The Council is composed of all volunteers, and seeks to engage other District residents in public policy, both domestic and internationally. She is a frequent Trump administration critic, especially on issues related to immigration, women and minorities. Before public office, Bass served the public for decades. She founded and ran Community Coalition, a community-based social justice organization in South LA. She has been endorsed by Planned Parenthood Los Angeles, Emily’s List, the Los Angeles County Federation of Labor, and the California Federation of Teachers. Her Republican opponent, Ron Bassilian, is a former Democrat who switched parties after Trump’s victory.

Statewide Offices

Governor: Gavin Newsom

Background: The Governor of California is the official head of the State government of California. They serve as the Commander in Chief of the California National Guard and State Military Reserve, are responsible for ensuring that the laws of the state are enforced, and submitting the budget. As the Executive branch of the state government, they formally sign or vetoes bills that pass through the State legislature into law, although if a law is vetoed by a Governor they can be overruled by the Legislature with enough votes.

Decision: Although we supported Delaine Eastin in the Primary race and have been critical of Gavin Newsom in the past, in this two candidate race (Gavin Newsom (D) vs. John Cox (R)) we are supporting Newsom for his Liberal positions on Gun Control (In Favor), Sanctuary Cities (In Favor), Green Energy (In Favor) and other key issues. In contrast, his opponent holds dangerous misogynistic, racist, and strongly xenophobic positions in almost every political sphere and given the power and influence of the Governors office and the power he would have to harm many communities and social causes it is essential that Newsom wins this race.

Secretary of State: Alex Padilla `{`D`}`

Background: The Secretary of State is the chief clerk of the state of California and serves as the state’s Chief Elections Officer, overseeing the voter registration, & election process and ensuring that the process is transparent, accurate, and as inclusive as possible.

Decision: Padilla has served as Secretary of State since 2015, during this time Padilla has implemented automatic voter registration so that those eligible to vote will automatically become registered when they renew their driver’s license or state ID. Additionally Padilla launched online pre-registration for 16 and 17 years olds so that they will be able to vote as soon as they turn 18. Padilla has been a longtime supporter of the Dream Act, and has revamped the online resources portals to help protect immigrants who are seeking assistance from immigration consultant fraud.

Sources: Alex Padilla

Attorney General: Xavier Becerra `{`D`}`

Background: The Attorney General is the state’s top lawyer and law enforcement official, overseeing more than 4,500 lawyers, investigators, sworn peace officers, and other employees. On December 1, 2016 Becerra accepted Governor Brown’s appointment to become Attorney General of California, Becerra went on to become the first Latino appointed to the position.

Decision:  Xavier Becerra was the Congress member for California’s 34TH District before being appointed to Attorney General in 2017. During his time as attorney general Becerra has continued to fight for affordable healthcare by suing the administration over its plan to end cost-sharing payments that help make subsidies available and by suing the administration over their attempt to limit access to contraceptives under the Affordable Care Act. Additionally, Becerra who is committed to tackling climate change has led coalition of states to stop the Administration’s effort to ease restrictions on methane emissions. As the son of immigrants Becerra has a long history of working to reverse discrimination, most recently as California Attorney General, he has led the national effort to protect the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, sued the Trump Administration over its effort to curb funding for sanctuary jurisdictions that threaten local law enforcement’s ability to protect our communities and joined amicus briefs to oppose the Administration’s discriminatory travel ban.

Sources: Xavier Becerra

Treasurer: Fiona Ma `{`D`}`

Background: The State Treasurer is the state’s lead banker, financier, and asset manager.

Decision: As Chair of the Legislative Women’s Caucus Legislation Committee, Ma has fought for gender equality. Ma was the original co-author of AB 43, which would provide all Californians the right to civil marriage, regardless of gender or sexual orientation. Ma is the highest ranking Asian American woman in the Legislature.

Sources: Fiona Ma

Controller: Betty Yee `{`D`}`

Background: The controller acts as the state’s accountant and bookkeeper, tracking and controlling disbursement of state funds from the treasury.

Decision: Betty Yee is the only qualified candidate for this job. She has focused on developing a framework to stabilize the state’s revenues by better diversifying tax streams, and has helped reform the Board of Equalization since coming into the role of Controller in 2014 (when she won the election). Betty backed calls by Sacramento legislators to expand sexual harassment training throughout the capital. She deserves another term as California’s controller. Yee is endorsed by numerous organizations, elected officials, and community and political leaders including Emily’s List, Feminist Majority, National Women’s Political Caucus – California, Dolores Huerta, and Kevin DeLeon.

Lieutenant Governor: Edward Hernandez

Background: In addition to ceremonial diplomatic roles such as moderating the State Senate, the Lieutenant Governor serves as acting Governor if the absence of the Governor, and appoints members to regulatory and executive government commissions.

Decision: An optometrist by trade, Hernandez’ number one priority has been health care throughout his career in the California State Senate. He personally implemented Obamacare in California, as well as voting for California’s single payer initiative last year. He continues to provide free optometry personally to low income children, and has the most union support of the two candidates in this race, experience in office, and a very Progressive record. In contrast, although his opponent Kounalakis champions affordable housing and has a few prominent endorsements, unlike Hernandez, Kounalakis has a history of fundraising for prominent establishment Democrats, a background in real estate development, and no real record of advocating for Prop 10 so far despite it’s relevance to her #1 campaigning issue.

Neither candidates are a good choice, but one has more experience, and has worked towards enacting progressive legislation. We feel that Ed Hernandez is a better choice despite our problems with his funding sources via business interests progressives shouldn’t trust, but because Eleni Kounalakis is a business woman from a wealthy family, a mega-developer, and has directly opposed progressive causes we feel she is a tad bit worse. Despite substantial donations from Big Pharma, Hernandez still supported establishing single-payer healthcare in California, he authored a bill to increase drug price transparency, ,. His has also sought to overturn Medicaid work requirements, healthcare, and supported the California DREAM Act, while pushing to eliminate student debt.

The SacBee reports that Hernandez has accepted $16,000 in funding from Sempra Energy for resisting The Natural Gas Moratorium SB57. Hernandez caved to corporate values, failing the people of Aliso Canyon suffering from a gas leak caused by Sempra Energy’s fracking operations. That’s peanuts, however, compared toto Kounalakis, who has a war chest of $11 million, largely from her own wealth and her family’s contributions. According to Politico, Kounalakis has invested in real estate occupied by Western States Petroleum Association. As much as we appreciate her commitment to taking the No Fossil Fuels Pledge, it seems they’re still writing her checks to the tune of around ~$3M since 2005, claims The Daily Kos. Kounalakis plays the game well, but her feigned ignorance simply brought more attention to the fact that she has substantial fossil fuel investment and influence. When millionaire developers claim we need more leaders who aren’t in the pockets of the rich, find out who’s writing their checks first.

Beyond this, Kounalakis suffers from a lack of clarity and specificity, demonstrated by the Issues section on her website. She could have used all the money from her campaign to actually support a progressive ballot measure before running to at least establish a legislative history but she is clearly emboldened after buying her way into her previous role as an ambassador. In a recent interview with Cal Matters, Hernandez’s clarity in his remarks made her seem altogether unprepared. Her refusal to support Prop. 10 planted seeds of distrust amongst voters, making them reconsider her history as a developer. Hernandez is undecided on Prop. 10, but he has 12 years’ expertise in authoring legislation, while Kounalakis cites her work in embassy and business. Hernandez’s record is strengthened by his support of single-payer in California, and he is also supported by a long list of labor unions.

Kounalakis’ political history comes from her close relationship with her father, a man who has financially supported a Nazi sheriff in Sacramento and was fined by the EPA. She has murky history alongside neoliberal Democrats like the Clintons, Dianne Feinstein, and Barack Obama, who operate within the same sphere of pay-to-play politics most progressives highlight as the number one problem facing our nation. She said in Politico in 2016 that Bernie Sanders’ policies, like single-payer healthcare, tuition-free public colleges, strong environmental regulations, and increasing regulations on Wall Street, were “pie in the sky and impractical,” while describing Bernie himself as a “fringe candidate” who “is simply too radical.” It should be clear from her comments alone that she is not likely to align with progressive organizations, and will continue to maintain the status quo.

We urge you to vote for Ed Hernandez. We are also in solidarity with those who stand against the endorsement of either candidate since neither of them is truly progressive.

State Senate

Background: The California State Senate is the upper house in the California State Legislature. There are 40 senators, each representing a different district in California. Senators serve 4 year terms and can serve a maximum of 12 years in the State Legislature (E.g 8 years in the Senate and 4 in the Assembly, 12 years in the Assembly, or any other combination). Members of the State Senate write and vote on bills that can pass through both houses in order to become State laws.

State Senate District 24:Peter Choi `{`D`}`

Background: This seat represents Central and Northeastern Los Angeles. It is presently filled by Senator Kevin De León who is now running for U.S Senate.

Decision: Both contenders in this race have highly reputable support and either would be excellent in this seat, but our organization has landed on Peter Choi due to his vocal support of SB 562, long history of non-profit experience, and endorsement from Evolve-CA.

Sources: [Maria Durazo (D)]  //  [Peter Choi (D)]

State Assembly

Background: The California State Assembly is the lower house in the California State Legislature. There are 80 members each representing a seperate district of California. Representatives serve 2 year terms, and can serve a maximum of 12 years in the State Legislature (E.g 8 years in the Senate and 4 in the Assembly, 12 years in the Assembly, or any other combination). Members of the Assembly write and vote on bills that can pass through both houses in order to become State laws.

Insurance Commissioner: Ricardo Lara

Background: The California Insurance Commissioner heads the Department of Insurance, regulates and enforces insurance laws, licenses and regulates insurance companies, and answers public complaints or inquiries about insurance companies.

Decision: Ricardo Lara is a State Senator that has advocated for immigrant rights, assisting labor unions, Single Payer Health care, and perhaps the most inventive and relevant subject that they have advocated for has been Climate Insurance. His opponent Steve Poizner, formerly ran as a Republican for State Governor, and although they are currently running as a non partisan candidate, their previous record and centrist capitalist approach and ideology in contrast to Lara’s strong progressive views makes Lara the clear choice.

State Assembly District 51: Wendy Carillo `{`D`}`

Background: The district encompasses northeastern Los Angeles, including parts of the Eastside. It is currently represented by Democrat Wendy Carillo.

Decision: Carillo supports efforts to provide a permanent source of funding to build affordable housing as well as a statewide housing bond. Carillo understands we need to continue our efforts to provide affordable, workforce and homelessness housing. As the Trump administration seeks to defund Planned Parenthood and other family planning clinics, Carillo will fight to protect these essential resources for cancer screenings, birth control and life-saving treatments. Carillo is endorsed by Emily’s List.

Sources: Wendy Carillo

State Assembly District 53: Miguel Santiago `{`D`}`

Background: This seat represents much of Central and South Los Angeles. It is presently filled by Representative Miguel Santiago.

Decision: Miguel Santiago’s wider breadth of support from reputable organizations, his greater amount of political experience, and his status as the incumbent make him the favored candidate of our group in this election.

Sources: [Miguel Santiago (D)]  //  [Kevin Jang]

Board of Equalization

Background: The California Board of Equalization is the only democratically elected tax commission in the US, & is responsible for tax administration and fee collection in the State of California. Each board member is responsible for a different district, and ensures that taxes and fees are responsibly administered to free of corruption.

Decision: In this section, all of the races have only two candidates: 1 Democrat vs. 1 Republican, therefore, although we are critical of the Democratic party establishment, we have decided to support these candidates over the extremist Neo-Facist politics of the Republican side.

Board of Equalization Member

District 1: Tom Hallinan (D)
Board of Equalization Member District 2: Maila Cohen (D)
Board of Equalization Member District 3: Tony Vazquez (D)
Board of Equalization Member District 4: Mike Schaefer (D)

City & County Offices

Los Angeles County Sheriff: Alex Villanueva

Background: The Los Angeles County Sheriff is head of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s department, which is responsible for patrolling 153 unincorporated communities within LA county and 42 cities, housing and transportation of inmates of the LA County Jail system, Courthouse Security, and law enforcement at local Community Colleges, county facilities and hospitals.

Decision: With strong endorsements from the Sheriff and Firefighter’s Union, as well as Dolores Huerta and the California Democratic party, Villanueva seeks to be the first democrat elected to the office of County Sheriff in 132. Their record of anti corruption, advocacy for mandatory body cameras on police officers, strong stance against collaborating with ICE, & support of more strict ethical standards for police officers is a rare and promising platform for a candidate of this office, whereas their opponent, the incumbent is a traditional right wing Sheriff.

Sources: https://www.laweekly.com/news/alex-villanueva-looks-to-become-first-democratic-sheriff-in-138-years-9903623http://www.alexvillanueva.org/restore.html

Caveat: Although we support the more Progressive Villanueva over his Republican rivals, we would like to emphasize that we support the abolition of ICE, the abolition of Mass Incarceration, and the eventual demilitarization and replacement of policing with a more community oriented model of law enforcement as our ultimate goal.

Los Angeles County Assessor: Jeffery Prang

Background: The office of County Assessor is responsible for discovering all taxable properties in the county, keeping inventory of all taxable property except for properties assessed by State offices, and then assign value to Properties in the County inventory.

Decision: As appointed County Assessor in the wake of a corruption scandal his predecessor John Noguez left behind, Prang has increased the transparency of his office by digitizing over 2 million property files that were previously only available as written records in the County’s files. As former city council member and Mayor of West Hollywood, as well as in their current office, Prang advocated for the property rights of LGBTQ couples, and has the endorsement of the California Democratic party & various other organizations. Their opponent John “lower taxes” Loew is an experienced Assessor, but their emphasis on lower taxes is very likely a dog whistle to court Conservative property owners. In addition, in the wake of a corruption scandal, a candidate who aims to lower property taxes is suspicious, and given that Property taxes are also an important source of funding for state programs, Prang is the clear choice.

Sources: http://www.losangelesblade.com/2018/06/13/equality-in-property-taxation/

http://www.latimes.com/opinion/endorsements/la-ed-endorsement-prang-assessor-20180501-story.html

Superior Court

Superior Court, Office 4: Veronica Sauceda

Background: Veronica Sauceda spent 13 years as a lawyer at non-profit, legal service organizations, representing clients who could not afford private attorneys. She obtained hundreds of restraining orders protecting victims of domestic violence and she worked on complex family law cases. Veronica worked on a county wide initiative that individuals who do not speak English can access all of the services of the Los Angeles County Superior Court. In 2015, she was elected by the Los Angeles Superior Court Judges to serve as a Superior Court Commissioner. She graduated from law school at UCLA and has been endorsed by many sitting judges, Dolores Huerta, the Los Angeles County Democratic Party and many local mayors.

Decision: Veronica has many years of experience as a public interest lawyer defending those in need. Her opponent, Alfred A. Coletta, is a prosecutor who is endorsed by local police unions as well as Republican former District Attorney Steve Cooley.

Superior Court, Office 16: Patricia Hunter

Background: Patricia Hunter is a criminal prosecutor in the City Attorney’s office with over 28 years of experience. She’s endorsed by the Los Angeles Democratic Party, City Attorney Mike Feuer, Councilmember Paul Koretz, Superior Court judge James Hahn and others.

Decision: Patricia Hunter’s opposition, Sydne Jane Michel, is endorsed by California Firearms Enthusiasts since her husband is an attorney who has been representing the National Rifle Association for the past 20 years. She’s also endorsed by numerous law enforcement police.

LA County Measures

LA County Measure W – Vote Yes

Background: This is a parcel tax, targeting property owners in LA County, to generate a fund to improve drinking water quality, combat drought, and protect marine life. It will require two-thirds of the vote to pass.

Decision: Considering the reputable support for this measure, its obvious usefulness in a city consistently struggling with drought and drinking water scandals, as well as the fact that it mostly falls on larger landowners to finance it, rather than financially vulnerable peoples, we are strongly in favor of Measure W.

Sources:[BASICS]  // [AFF]  //  [NEG]

LA County Measure B – Vote Yes

Background: This measure would make it legal for the CITY of Los Angeles to found a municipal bank. Currently, certain charter sections restricting City engagement in commercial ventures would prohibit founding of a bank. Though it only pertains to LA City, everyone in LA County will be able to vote on this measure. A public bank would serve as a repository for all of the city’s funds in lieu of commercial banks. Public banks typically serve the community as a low interest source of lending that is designed to invest in members of the community instead of making profit being it’s first priority. Public banks are like credit unions, except at a massive scale as they would handle LA’s entire multi billion dollar budget. That’s a lot of potential money to inject back into our economy!

Decision: The benefits of a municipal-owned bank which is the primary depository institution for the city (the main bank which handles city money) are enormous. Upfront, a municipal bank would save the city hundreds of millions of dollars in fees and interest payments. More importantly, owning a bank would give the city the power to create money, as depository banks are the primary source of money creation in our economy. By keeping LA city deposits under LA control, LA would take back the power it vests in private banks and bankers with whom it currently deposits city funds. A municipal bank, forbidden from dangerous investments and wanton speculation by its charter, would be able to utilize this power and money to fund socially, economically, and environmentally just and safe investments, as opposed to continuing to allow big banks to make amoral and risky investments with Angelenos’ money. A YES vote on Charter Amendment B is saying YES to the most radical and people-oriented reorganization of economic power in American municipal history.

Sources: [BASICS]  //  [AFF]  //  [NEG]

LA County Measure I - Vote Yes

Background: This measure would establish a Transactions and Use Tax (part of the sales tax) of three quarters of one cent (3/4¢). This Measure, along with Measure J (see below) is endorsed strongly by Pasadena teachers because together they would allocate more money for public schools. It requires a majority to pass.

Decision: Considering the supporters of this measure, the potential impact on public schools, and projected deficit without it ($12 million by 2024), we support this measure.

Sources: BP, VE, United Teachers of Pasadena Support Letter

LA County Measure J - Vote Yes

Background: This measure would advise city officials to allocate ⅔ of sales tax revenue (from Measure I) to the general fund, and ⅓ to the publics schools. It is not binding. This measure is dependent on Measure I to pass. It requires a majority to pass.

Decision: This measure would help the Pasadena school district establish stability independent of State funding for its public schools. Considering this and its supporters, we support this measure.

Sources: BP, VE, United Teachers of Pasadena Support Letter, No on J (Quincy Hocutt has since been ousted as chair of Oversight Committee)

LA County Measure N: Vote No

Background: This measure repeal the city’s utility user tax. If the measure is approved, the General Fund will no longer receive utility user tax revenue resulting in a loss of approximately $3.4 million per year, or 12% of the City’s annual General Fund budget.

Decision: With Yes supporters using this an alternative or fix to pension reform, and strong support from teachers, firefighters and civil servants, we do not support this measure.

Sources: BP, VE, City analysis of N

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