2022 California Voting & Endorsements

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Voting Matters - Make Your Voice Heard!

Your vote is your voice, and big changes are coming in the California State Legislature. In addition, California is losing a seat in Congress and so you may be represented by someone new. That’s why it is important to understand the changes and vote!

The Effects of Redistricting

The first thing to find out is what Assembly, State Senate, and Congressional district you now live in.  Every ten years, based on census data, new district lines are drawn in each state. California completed its redistricting process in 2021. While not all districts have changed, some are dramatically different.  Click here to find Cal Matter's directory to your current and new districts for US Congress, State Senate, and State Assembly.
You also want to make sure you’re registered to vote. To do so and to check your party preference, your polling place, ballot drop off sites, and other important information before an election, go to the California Secretary of State’s website at https://voterstatus.sos.ca.gov.

Why so many changes in the state Legislature?

In addition to re-districting, there are several reasons why there will be quite a few open seats in the Legislature going into next year. These include:

  • Large numbers of legislators terming out of office,
  • Legislators being appointed to or taking new jobs outside of elected office,
  • Retirements, which open the door to legislators who wish to seek higher offices.
  • Changes in elected officials’ district, either pitting them against another incumbent from the same party or requiring them to move.

Key races: Clean Water Action Endorsements

Californians had their first opportunity to influence the future of our legislature and congressional representation by voting in the June 7th Primary.  That election decided which 2 candidates for a specific seat will move on to a runoff in the General Election in November. Clean Water Action’s Vote Environment (CWAVE) Committee chose to focus on a select number of open seat races where certain candidates stood out to us as leaders for the environment, social justice, and democracy.  We’re happy to report that six of our endorsed candidates placed in the top two for the primary election and will be on the ballot for the November general election. We look forward to continuing to support their candidacies.

All races are important and we encourage you to learn what you can about the candidates in your area.  

US Congress

Congressional District 3 (Plumas, Sierra, Yuba, Nevada, Placer, Eldorado, Alpine, Mono, and Inyo Counties): Kermit Jones

Congressional District 3, which runs along California’s eastern border from Plumas County in the North, down into Inyo County, faces some of the harshest drought conditions and threats from wildfires in the state. Kermit Jones understands the need to invest in protecting sustainable water supplies and developing clean energy to address climate change and protect our precious water resources. He’ll also fight for real life solutions, like fire insurance programs and clearage of fire prone acres to address the current problems in District 3. We stand with Kermit Jones because he is “willing to stand up to special interests and party leaders to do what’s right”. He will defend Democracy by fighting for election reform, voting rights protections, and an end to gerrymandering because voters should “choose who represents them, instead of politicians choosing their voters”.

Congressional District 15 (San Mateo Co.):  Kevin Mullin and David Canepa

With the retirement of Representative Jackie Speier, Clean Water Action sees both of these candidates as leaders who will promote both the environmental and environmental justice needs of the diverse communities within the district. Both candidates have strong local roots and governmental experience. In our candidate questionnaire, Kevin Mullin prioritized 1) energy reform, 2) protection of wetlands and improvement of water conservation, as well as 3) protecting land/wildlife and promoting the state park system. David Canepa focused on 1) increased funding for advanced water sanitation and infrastructure, 2) incentives for clean energy vehicles, and 3) addressing toxic PFAS in drinking water. Both came out as the leaders in their primary race.

Congressional District 41 (Riverside Co.): Will Rollins

When our representatives deny the effects of climate change on their constituents, then a political change is necessary. Will Rollins is that needed change. Rollins, a former anti-terrorist prosecutor, will fight to advance an ambitious, science based agenda to achieve net-zero emissions, break down oil monopolies and subsidies that block the development of cleaner, green economic growth, and will champion smart growth in Riverside County to address traffic congestion and the environmental health issues facing families along the CA-41 corridor. He’ll also work to secure the funding needed to update our aging water infrastructure. In addition, Rollins will stand up to the “old boys” establishment in Congress. He isn’t taking money from the oil and gas industry and he will help pass the For the People Act and John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act so everyone in the county has a voice.

Congressional District 47 (Orange Co.): Katie Porter

In an age of disillusion with politicians, Katie Porter is a beacon of integrity. Porter is serving the people of Orange County in Congress by never taking any corporate PAC money or donations from people who work for Big Banks, Big Oil, or Big Pharma. She stands up to the oil companies to stop offshore drilling and to protect the coastline and its economy. She introduced legislation to raise federal taxes on polluters and is committed to restoring clean water safeguards for all communities. Porter is working to hold oil companies accountable for idle wells and their pollution, stop fossil fuel subsidies, ensure full removal of lead water service lines at no cost to property owners, and increase funding for water infrastructure. She supports water affordability initiatives so no one’s water is turned off. Porter will also work toward transitioning to 100% clean energy, treating methane leaks as the public health risks they are, and regulating the full class of PFAS to stop their proliferation into the environment and our people. Furthermore, Porter supports racial and environmental justice, making sure that all people have the opportunity to vote and to have a place at the decision making table.

California Senate

California State Senate District 8 (Sacramento Area):  Dave Jones

Dave Jones is the leader this district needs because of his broad experience working on the ground to empower communities, as well as his service in elected office, including in the State Assembly. Unlike his opponent, Jones has articulated a clear vision to address climate change, environmental pollution, air quality, and the plastics crisis in ways that also promote environmental justice and equity.  In addition, he is committed to, and has the experience to dismantle systemic racism both within state government and the environment.

California State Senate District 10 (Alameda and Santa Clara Counties, including Hayward, Fremont, Milpitas and North San Jose): Aisha Wahab

Aisha Wahab is running to replace current Senator Bob Wieckowski, who is terming out of office.  According to Wahab’s candidate questionnaire, carbon, infrastructure, jobs, and water are "our biggest issues" and she is focused on ensuring that all Californians have access to homes and a safe environment in a state with rising costs and inequities. While serving on the Hayward City Council, Wahab championed a regionally coordinated approach to address climate change, promoted local efforts to achieve net-zero carbon emissions, and advanced recycled water use and solar energy.  That is why she has been endorsed by Clean Water Action and California’s other leading environmental and environmental justice organizations.

California Assembly

California Assembly District 12 (Marin/North Bay): Sara Aminzadeh

Sara Aminzadeh is a leading expert on water and water equity, and will bring extensive experience as an advocate, author, and policy maker to the Capitol. Aminzadeh is the only candidate who provided Clean Water Action a written and implementable climate action plan for both her district and the state. She also prioritizes addressing water supply issues through storm water capture, recycling, conservation, monitoring, as well as tackling inadequate drainage and sewers that particularly plague low-income communities of color with racist housing histories.

California Assembly District 16 (Parts of Alameda and Contra Costa Counties): Rebecca Bauer-Kahan

Rebecca Bauer-Kahan’s environmental leadership has been recognized in Sacramento, which is why she was appointed to the important Assembly Committee on Environmental Safety and Toxic Materials and is chairing the Water, Parks, and Wildlife Committee. She understands the axis between drought and clean water.  While many lawmakers talk about building environmentally damaging dams to address drought, Bauer-Kahan knows that the real solution is keeping our current water resources clean and available. She is also the candidate who can force polluters to do more to protect groundwater and lift up the voices of tribes and other vulnerable communities to ensure that archaic water rights are more equitable.

California Assembly District 20 (Hayward, Parts of Fremont, Union City): Liz Ortega

Liz Ortega understands the difficulties of making ends meet and ensuring that families have the water they needed to thrive. That’s why she supports a statewide low-income rate assistance program for water. She understands that climate change and environmental racism are “the urgent issues of our generation” and will fight to keep polluters and toxins out of the district’s neighborhoods. Ortega also understands environmental protection is good for the economy. That’s why she is committed to advancing existing and new legislation that incentivizes clean cars, renewable energy and pollution controls on industry, with the additional lens of ensuring that our workers in these industries remain employed and trained to continue to provide for their families. It’s a just transition!

California Assembly District 28 (Santa Cruz, Boulder Creek, Los Gatos, Willow Glen and parts of San Jose): Gail Pellerin

Gail Pellerin is the clear choice to represent the newly formed Assembly District 28, which is made up of communities formerly represented by retiring Mark Stone and redistricted Evan Low. Pellerin has publicly committed to support policies that protect our environment, promote sustainability, address climate change, and invest in clean energy. She’ll fight to lower green-house gas emissions, secure strong coastal protections to prepare for sea level rise, safeguard air and water quality, and minimize loss of life and property by providing critical funding for forest management and wildfire response. Her opponent is silent on these issues. That’s why we must elect Gail Pellerin to the Assembly.

Water Districts

East Bay Municipal Utilities District (EBMUD) Board of Directors, Ward 3 (Cities of Piedmont, part of Oakland, Orinda, El Sobrante, Moraga, and portions of Richmond and Pinole): Marguerite Young

Marguerite Young has Clean Water Action’s endorsement because of her long record of serving the people in Ward 3, including those struggling to access clean water due to costs. Among her priorities are the expansion of customer assistance programs and reforms to promote equitable rates for lower income residents, along with a commitment to end shutoffs and accelerate infrastructure renewal programs. Young is also a strong advocate for climate action. She works to bring climate justice to the forefront of her policies, emphasizing drought resilience, meeting California’s 2030 net zero goal for greenhouse gases, and reducing wildfire risk for our most vulnerable communities.

East Bay Municipal Utilities District (EBMUD) Board of Directors, Ward 7 (Castro Valley, portions of San Leandro and Hayward, and communities of Cherryland and Fairview, portion of San Ramon): Corina Lopez

Corina Lopez sees the residents of Ward 7 as people, not ratepayers. Her experience growing up as the daughter of migrant farm workers in the Central Valley has led to her strong commitment to uphold California’s Human Right to Water. As she puts it “I know too well that in practice the Human Right to Water is not yet achieved in many rural communities in CA… It is shocking that living in a first world country and in a state with the fifth largest economy in the world, we haven’t figured out how to make safe & clean water affordable to everyone sooner." In addition to working on affordability, Lopez will engage her constituents in the District’s decision making by holding hearings at convenient times for working people, expanding access to watershed lands for recreation, and protecting the regions creeks and habitats to fight climate change.

Marin Municipal Water District Board of Directors, Division 1 (Sleepy Hollow, northwest San Anselmo, Terra Linda, Santa Venetia, Marinwood, Lucas Valley, and portions of San Rafael): Jack Gibson

Jack Gibson’s long career and experience in water has been a benefit to the Marin Municipal Water District Board. He has demonstrated a clear commitment to developing necessary collaboration to address climate change. In particular, Gibson understands that “infrastructure should be shared, and storage should be expanded and interconnected for moving water between the various districts on a cooperative pooled basis." He has a strong history of bringing the quintessential necessity of water and health to the forefront, advising that the district, “needs to put more attention on and expand its view of the Human Right to Water to include a focus on how health relates to an adequate water supply. The district needs to focus on the health ramifications on the entire community when the water supply is inadequate.”

Marin Municipal Water District Board of Directors, Division 4 (Mill Valley, Sausalito, Marin City, Muir Woods, part of Mt. Tamalpais, and various unincorporated communities and watershed lands): Shana Katzman

Shana Katzman is a passionate advocate for environmental justice and climate action. She strongly believes “that our water supply sources should be selected with a deep understanding of the environmental consequences of our choices.” In addition, Katzman recognizes that the water district must make decisions “based on robust science that prioritizes the health of our ecosystem.” She will prioritize working with other water districts in mutually beneficial partnerships to create shared water resiliency and establish fair, equitable, and inclusive distribution of water supply with rate reductions for vulnerable and disadvantaged communities. Katzman also supports a statewide low-income rate assistance program for water and wastewater, because “water is a necessity for life and everyone should have equal access.”

Future Leaders

The CWAVE also endorsed four candidates who are just starting to make their political mark on the state scene. While we are disappointed not to see them make it into the top two during the primary election, we are pleased to have learned more about them and expect to see them continue into future positions of leadership.  They are:

Dr. Tecoy Porter, who ran for California Assembly District 10 (Sacramento/Elk Grove)
Jennifer Esteen, who ran for California Assembly District 20 (East Bay)
James Coleman, who ran for California Assembly District 21 (Bay Area Peninsula)
Bryan Osorio, who ran for California State Senate District 16 (Kern County)

Paid for and authorized by Clean Water Action. Not authorized by any candidate or candidate committee.  For more information, call 415-369-9160.