Assembly District 20

District

BallotName

EBoard(*)

SelfIdentifiedFemale (SIF) OtherthanSIF (OSIF)

20 Jennifer Esteen * SIF
20 Dolly Adams No SIF
20 Gary Singh No OSIF
20 Jatinderpal “JP” Sahi No SIF
20 Mike Kusiak No OSIF
20 David Sorrell * OSIF
20 Kristy Boer * SIF
20 Lisa Van Zevern * SIF
20 Kelsey Pressnall * SIF
20 Annie Koya * SIF
20 Justine You Ching Tsai No SIF
20 Antonio Herrera No OSIF
20 John Smith * OSIF
20 Jennifer H. Ong No SIF
20 Austin Michael Bruckner No OSIF
20 Michael Gonzales No OSIF
20 Anish Mohanty No OSIF
20 Yiling Peng * SIF
20 Zachariah Oquenda No OSIF
20 Ramesh Konda No OSIF
20 Sandra Macias No SIF
20 Lavena Holmes * SIF
20 Seema Salwan Sharma No SIF
20 Mary Swain No SIF
20 Sara E. Raymond No SIF
20 Chandu “Chandrakala” Siramdas No SIF
20 Glenn Nate No OSIF
20 Jose Mari Galang No OSIF
20 Vipan Bajwa No OSIF
20 Teresa Keng * SIF
20 Omar Hashwi * OSIF
20 Sarabjit Kaur Cheema * SIF
20 Vinnie Bacon * OSIF
20 Maha Ibrahim * SIF
20 Vincent Decierdo No OSIF
20 Victoria Birbeck-Herrera No SIF
20 Harris Mojadedi No OSIF
20 Kewal Singh No OSIF
20 Anson Tjing No OSIF
20 Aziz Akbari No OSIF

Candidate Statements

https://youtu.be/RWFB-mcri0E

I’m running to serve on ADEM because we need more working-class representation in the Democratic Party. I am a Registered Nurse & I believe that representation matters. As a Black, gay woman & mother, I know what it means to work long hours & to show up with “diligent care.” Being an essential worker, sole provider, a tutor & confidant to my children helped me develop a special capacity for diligent care. My dedication to my family will be matched by my dedication to public service when I win a seat & serve the Democratic Party in Assembly District 20.

Working as a Public Health Nurse for the last 10 years I’ve witnessed the effects of public service budget cuts. Resources, like case managers & treatment beds, for my clients who have severe & persistent mental illness, are in short supply because they are not prioritized in budgets. Being forced to discharge patients from the psychiatric emergency room wearing nothing more than a hospital gown, thin cotton scrub pants & socks, no matter the weather, is a decision no provider should ever have to make. Giving them a resource sheet that contains clinics with months long waiting lists is not the way to provide care. Our public health needs to be invested in, but that will not happen without elected leaders who cast votes to make those investments.

When COVID-19 caused cities & counties to enact shelter in place ordinances, we all felt the impact. The Bay Area led the way & kept residents safe if they could shelter in the safety & comfort of their own homes. Unfortunately, in unincorporated Alameda County, where I live, COVID continues to spread with higher infection rates than the rest of Alameda County. We have higher rates of poverty & higher death rates too. My neighbors are essential workers who go to work every day serving the public, which increases our exposure putting us & our families at risk. Our Democratic Party needs more people who do not serve the interests of the wealthy, but instead care diligently for our neighbors.

In a state where women make up 50% of the population but hold less than 1/3 of offices statewide, we need to close the gender gap. We do that when women are represented in Party structures. I am a valuable asset to the Democratic Party, I’ll bring an underrepresented presence to party politics & will help close the gender gap.

Vote Jen Esteen in AD-20

Jennifer Esteen

I’m Dolly Adams, a public school teacher, a Castro Valley School Board member, a delegate to AD20, a board member for the CV Democratic Club, and I have served on other boards, such as the CV Municipal Advisory Council and the CV Teachers Association. As a teacher and parent of two children who attended Castro Valley public schools, I ‌am ‌an‌ ‌advocate‌ ‌for‌ ‌children‌ ‌and‌ ‌their‌ ‌families‌ ‌in‌ ‌education,‌ ‌health‌ ‌care‌, ‌and‌ ‌the‌ ‌environment.‌ I believe in equity and high quality education for all, maintaining excellent college preparation, and improving career and technical education. As a special education teacher at a continuation high school, I’ve worked with students with special needs for the majority of my career, and I’ve worked with students of all backgrounds in our diverse school district. I’m a firm believer in Black Lives Matter and bringing ethnic studies into the classroom, through means such as history and literature. There is no better time than now to elevate voices that traditionally have been left out of the classroom. I hold a B.S. in Physical Science – Geology and an M.S. as an Education Specialist.

I ‌was a union representative and then executive ‌board‌member with the ‌Castro Valley ‌Teachers‌ ‌Association (CVTA) where I secured better‌ ‌conditions‌ ‌for‌ ‌both‌ ‌students‌ ‌and‌ ‌teachers‌. ‌As‌ ‌a‌ ‌community‌ ‌activist‌, I ‌have advanced ‌numerous‌ ‌measures‌ ‌to‌ ‌improve‌ ‌education‌ ‌from‌ ‌early‌ ‌childhood‌ ‌to‌ ‌community‌ ‌college. I am currently implementing distance learning, and I wrote my master’s thesis on computerized learning. I am a 20-year member of the Sierra Club, as well as a member of Citizens Climate Lobby, because climate change is an extremely important issue of our times. While on the Castro Valley Municipal Advisory Council I was able to promote legislative movement for Safe Routes to School with local electeds. As a community activist, I have supported many progressive local, state and national candidates, propositions and measures. Find more information about me at DollyAdams4kids.com and AD20Slate.com.

California must remain strong and progressive, and be a leader for the rest of the nation. I ask for your vote so that we can continue to lead.

Dolly Adams

Hello, I am Union City Councilmember Gary Singh. I have been a Democratic Delegate for the last 8 years. I have been serving the Tri-City Area since 2006. Due to the pandemic, I started a food drive, which we continuously serve those in need. I bring plenty of community service experience to the party. I humbly ask for your vote and will work incredibly hard to help our community.

Gary Singh

I want a Democratic Party that fights for genuine local control for the some 6 million Californians in unincorporated communities, and a Party that is a champion for public education for all Californians. This is what inspires me to serve as a member of our Democratic State Central Committee.

I live in Unincorporated Castro Valley, where I have fought for governance reform to bring democratic local control to my community of 63,000. These efforts sparked a statewide effort to find legislative solutions to give our communities a voice in our governance. In my past two years as a DSCC Delegate, I have successfully advocated for changes to our party platform that speak to the need for equitable local governance for unincorporated communities.

I was just elected to the Castro Valley Unified School Board of Trustees. I support rebuilding our schools, reforming how they are funded, and ensuring that all students receive the support they need to be successful, including universal school lunch and breakfast for all students. As a Delegate, I will push my party to keep the “public” in our public schools.

We must fight for equity and inclusion in our Party. I led the effort to bring 8,000 “Castro Valley Stands United Against Hate” posters to my community, part of a larger regional anti-racism and anti-hate effort.

I want to build a Democratic Party that welcomes broader engagement, not just from activists, but from everyday Californians looking to solutions to everyday problems.

•We must work to fully fund our public schools and ensure access to public higher education to any California high school graduate.
•We must use our power as Delegates to hold accountable lawmakers who seek our endorsement.
•We must not be afraid to amplify calls for criminal justice reform and accountability of law enforcement, particularly in our unincorporated communities where there is no genuine civilian oversight of the Sheriff, an office whose legally-prescribed qualifications limits the likelihood of candidates supportive of reform.
•We must tackle the inequality that is exacerbated by land-use policies that prevent new, affordable housing in our communities.

It would be an honor to receive your support to continue the fight for full representation of all of our community members.

Learn more about me in this video: https://bit.ly/2Kc2VXB

Mike Kusiak

I am a believer in being able to bridge the concerns of all members of the party with acknowledging the individuals’ concerns with working towards a common theme (or several): transportation, economic development, housing – all with a racial equity and economic justice lenses.

In order for California to move forward with Post-COVID recovery, we have to ensure that the local, state, and federal officials are accountable, all while working proactively and together, to ensure we reach those goals.

As a public servant, I believe I have the leadership capabilities to help build bridges while ensuring that the elected officials can be trusted and held accountable. I’ve spent my young career working in government in both Chicago and the Bay Area where the trust of the public is critical, all while ensuring and improving the quality of life. My paradigm is based on realism with a dash of hope; technocracy with dashes of improving the status quo acknowledging our systems must do better for Black and Brown communities.

Dave Sorrell

Watch my video, with cc: https://youtu.be/h-GbBnF-kw4

I’m Kristy Boer and I’m asking for your vote as a Delegate. I promise to prioritize people over corporate profits, level the playing field for small businesses, and fight corruption.

I spent most of my childhood right around the poverty line. My family was able to make our way into the middle class, thanks to government assistance, my dad’s hard-fought union benefits, help from family, and a few lucky breaks. But those government programs have been weakened, union membership has plummeted, and millions of families are one emergency away from poverty. Meanwhile, billionaires and large companies keep getting richer. That’s not right. 

When I was a young woman, I hoped that one day I’d be financially secure so I wouldn’t have to keep track of every dollar I spent at the grocery store or lose sleep over how I was going to pay my bills. I daydreamed about being able to devote myself to service, to help others the way people supported my family. For me, that time is now. 

Like many people, the 2016 election motivated me to get involved in politics. I realized that it isn’t enough to just be a voter. Democracy doesn’t run on autopilot. 

Inspired by Elizabeth Warren’s message of big, structural change, I joined Team Warren — first as a volunteer leader in the grassroots Bay Area For Warren group, then on staff as a Training Associate in Oakland. For the general election, I worked for the battleground of North Carolina as the Deputy Training Director. Now that new leadership is coming to the White House, I want to use the relationship-building skills and organizing tools I’ve learned to fight for an equitable and progressive California.

As an organizer, I have helped hundreds of people turn their passion into action and build long-term power in their communities. As your Delegate, I will help build our party, turning average Democrats from observers into participants and leaders.

Everyone deserves healthcare, safe housing and a quality education. Billionaires and big businesses shouldn’t get to play by a different set of rules than the rest of us. We need to strengthen our democratic institutions and elect leaders with courage, who will fight to dismantle structural racism, rebuild the middle class, and lift people out of poverty.

That is what I will fight for. Please vote for me, Kristy Boer, for AD20.

Kristy Boer

I am running to be an Assembly District Delegate because I believe in the power of ordinary people standing together and fighting for the common good. I represent over 2,000 healthcare workers in my facility as a union contract specialist with SEIU-United Healthcare Workers-West. I have been involved in many labor struggles and have led my co-workers in the fight for healthcare justice. I have seen firsthand the disparities in the healthcare system when my members did not have the proper equipment to protect themselves from the pandemic. Together with my co-workers, we organized and lobbied our elected officials in favor of a PPE stockpile for all essential workers in California, and won with the passing of SB275. I volunteered with my union on behalf of Joe Biden, Kamala Harris and Mark Kelly in Arizona, and I am currently spending my free time calling voters in Georgia for the Senate run-off election. I was appointed by Senator Robert Hertzberg and was appointed to the Affirmative Action Committee of CADEM in 2018. I would be honored to continue to serve my district. I humbly ask for your vote and thank you for your consideration.

Lisa Van Zevern

As the Chair of FUN Progressives since our founding in 2016, a CADEM delegate since 2017, & the AD20 Executive Board Representative since 2019, I have been to every convention & E-Board meeting, & I am proud to serve as the Treasurer of the Veteran’s Caucus. I’m running to represent you on the E-Board again to continue the last 4 years of work that our statewide network has done within the Party to address our soaring inequality, the homelessness & housing crisis, & climate on the brink of catastrophe.
Will Rogers famously said “I am not a member of any organized political party. I am a Democrat.” This rings true today as we watch apathetic leadership fail to rise up & embrace the movements of the next generation to expand our coalition. We are more than a party of “not-Trump.” It’s time to proudly stand up & show up for the people. As Democrats in California, I know that we’re in charge, so we have to fix this. It’s our duty to endorse corporate-free candidates & use grassroots movements to get them elected. Our ability to earn public trust, capture young voters, & expand our base depends on it.
My true political love is local politics & grassroots campaigning. I’ve mobilized progressives for local grassroots candidates & I am proud of the progress we have made in a short time in getting corporate-free, progressive Democrats elected to local positions like school boards & city councils. These positions are critical for the Party to focus on so we can fill our bench with remarkable candidates who inspire their communities.
My main goals as your Executive Board Representative will continue to be: Endorsing & campaigning for candidates who have a proven record of commitment to our values by fighting for the working class through racial, economic, and environmental justice, not taking money from special interests, supporting a living wage, empowering unions & workers, & putting our planet first. Second, we need to elect leaders for our state party who will be inclusive, transparent, & work to build a party with a table big enough for all of us to sit at. Third, it is critical that we build a big bench of young politicians with political courage who can carry the torch of the hard work the generations before of us have done & bring the Democratic Party’s legacy to bold, new places. I’d be honored to have your vote. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9r8SATRc0WQ

Kelsey Pressnall

My name is Antonio Herrera and I respectfully ask for your vote to be an AD-20 delegate.

As the son of Latino immigrants and having started with humble beginnings, I have always believed education is paramount to success. Through quite a bit of luck (and hard work), I’m proud to practice law as an attorney today. I owe everything to the California education system (Stockton Unified graduate and 2-time UC Berkeley alum) — this is why my efforts are now focused on giving back in education.

I am a community organizer and an active volunteer in Fremont education efforts. Most recently, I worked with fellow community members to remove police from Fremont Unified schools in an effort to close the school-to-prison pipeline. I am passionate about single-payer healthcare, free education, increased interventions for our disadvantaged students, housing as a human right, and a host of other issues.

I am running to ensure that the Democratic Party acts as a voice for the working class, especially around issues like health care, climate justice, housing, and labor. The party has an opportunity to deliver relief to a country that is suffering through the ravages of a pandemic and growing recession. I want to ensure it does so.

Les pido su voto para representar al AD-20 como un delegado. I ask for your vote to represent AD-20 as a delegate.

 

Antonio Birbeck-Herrera

As a lifelong Democrat, I am running for ADEM 20 to represent the important progressive values of our party. I work hard to listen and collaborate with my fellow Democrats in my area, as well as create progress forward in our state towards single-payer health care, promote free public education for all, affordable community college for all, and economic stability for those who have food insecurity and home insecurity. I have been an advocate for the Homeless in Fremont for 20 years. Served on the Fremont Human Relations Commission 2012-2016, Chair 2014-16. Served on Abode Services, Kidango and Alameda County Fair Association non-profits as a Board Member.

I believe in:

•In Universal Health Care

•In a Green New Deal

•In quality, equitable education

•That Black Lives Matter

•That love is love

•That families belong together

•That change starts here

John R Smith

I do not take democracy lightly. Memories of being terrorized by rogue soldiers attempting to invade and rob our home is seared into my soul. It was 1970’s and Philippine soldiers acted under the guise of martial law. Ultimately, my parents made the painful decision to uproot our family and immigrate to the United States. My name is Jennifer Ong and, as an AD 20 delegate, I honor my parents’ sacrifice by bringing the voices and life experiences of immigrants and refugees to the California Democratic Party.

This country provided many opportunities for my family. After years of saving, with 7 of us in 1 bedroom in my grandmother’s house, we were able to purchase our own home; but only because my parents found union jobs which paid a living wage and provided health insurance. Student loans and California’s public education system enabled me to earn a bachelor’s degree from Cal State East Bay & a Doctor of Optometry degree from U.C. Berkeley. I am the product of a village that raised me to give back because this country’s leaders created policies and resources to help underserved communities achieve equity. Sadly, we are rapidly forgetting that we show value by investing in workers’ rights, small businesses and our children’s education.

Failures in applying an equity lens to PPP funding almost resulted in my losing my 21-year optometric practice. I barely accessed the funding and loan despite having trained and mentored health care workers and having started a non-profit optometric clinic. Assisting marginalized populations over the years in my work on the Alameda County (AC) Commission on the Status of Women, the AC Workforce Development Board, the Asian Pacific American Democratic Caucus of AC and in the Eden Area Municipal Advisory Council, I am aware of the increasing difficulties to accessing resources when policymakers lack the understanding that rising together is best achieved by providing additional resources for those with the most need. Our widening wealth gap contributes to homeless encampments, disregards the value of people over profit and creates failed policies to save the same environment that sustains and nourishes our families.

As your delegate, I will be your champion for demanding transparency and accountability in our Party and elected officials to uphold the priority of equity in their guiding principles for governance.

Jennifer Hidalgo Ong

My name is Austin Bruckner. I grew up in Castro Valley and currently live in Hayward. I am openly LGBTQ and was raised for the better part of my childhood by my adopted grandparents in a Puerto-Rican-Italian family. Throughout my childhood, my biological parents struggled with drug and alcohol addiction. Growing up, I faced housing and food insecurity and witnessed the cycle of both domestic violence as well as drug and alcohol dependency. My life experiences have reinforced my belief in progressive values.

Our party is broken and we all too often fail to act like Democrats. Party leaders let special interest groups and dirty campaign contributions erode our progressive ideals. Our local party fails to hold elected officials accountable even when they work against our values. This must change.

If elected, I would fight for a party that only puts forward candidates who both support our principles AND actively carry them out in public policy. These progressive policies include protections for immigrants and our environment, healthcare for all, rent control and just-cause evictions, livable wages that are actually livable in the Bay Area, support for union workers and competitive contracts, oversight of local law enforcement, and transparency in how our tax dollars are spent.

Our party also needs to support candidates who use taxpayer money in an appropriate manner. In the 20th Assembly District alone, elected Democrats give away millions of dollars of taxpayer money to ultra-conservative mega-churches that oppose a woman’s right to choose and that believe LGBTQ people can be ‘cured’. Elected leaders invest in military-grade equipment for law enforcement and allow departments to instill fear in communities of color. Elected officials work against tenants and working families by supporting policies that support their own wealthy families and real estate donors. The Democratic Party looks the other way all too often. And the worst part is we keep supporting folks that do not support us.

If elected, I would support a progressive platform and candidates that help bring new blood into the party. My name is Austin Bruckner and I would be honored to have your support. Please find me at ad20slate.com.

 

Austin Bruckner

My name is Anish Mohanty, and I represent a generation of young activists and organizers who are concerned for our future and our fighting for it. I’ve organized on progressive campaigns, serving as Media Manager for Rishi Kumar’s congressional campaign, and creating videos on Senator Ed Markey’s digital team, sending the author of the Green New Deal back to Washington. I’ve also been advocating for climate action with Secretary of State John Kerry at his organization World War Zero, and I’m also the Vice President of LMU College Democrats.

I’m running to be a delegate to the California Democratic Party because the party needs to be inclusive of the voices of young people and address the issues we’re most concerned about. We’re worried about the future of our planet and realize that incrementalism will not protect it for our generation and future generations. That means we need to advocate for a platform that is willing to stand up to the fossil fuel industry, transforming public infrastructure to eliminate their dependence on non-renewable sources of energy, and investing in public transportation that makes our lives easier and makes our air cleaner.

As your delegate, I will advocate for systemic change in the criminal justice system, which means putting an end to a system designed to disproportionately and unjustly police and incarcerate Black and Brown people in our communities. I will advocate for an end to a healthcare system designed to put people over profits and put marginalized communities at risk of financial harm during a global pandemic.

This year, Californians will decide who should be our next Attorney General as well as our next United States Senator. My generation will cast its vote for the first time in these races, and I want to serve as a voice for the millions of young people who want to elect an Attorney General who will stand up to big corporations and advocate for marginalized communities and working class peopla, and to elect a Senator willing to fight for climate action, universal healthcare, and racial, economic, and climate justice.

Young people deserve to have a voice when it comes to the decisions that will impact our lives most. I will fight for you and your children and fight for a better California.

If you’re interested in supporting me, please visit www.anishmohanty.com to learn more about me.

Anish Mohanty

My name is Elaine Peng. I’m a Chinese immigrant who speaks Cantonese and Mandarin. I was hit by a family tragedy caused by mental illness in 2012. As a caregiver & a mental illness patient myself, managed to struggle through challenges which almost ruined my entire family When I recovered, I decided to try my best to help other families having similar problems. I took a vow to do all I can to help the much neglected and underserved Chinese community and is blessed with a compassion and understanding only soul-wracking family tragedy can teach. Since 2013, I became a dedicated mental health advocate and educator. I am a leader and developer of multiple mental health programs for the Chinese Community. I also founded a nonprofit dedicated to serving the Chinese communities which are affected by mental illness. We provide servies to minorities who lack resources with substance abuse and mental health issues and also a free, bilingual, and warm line to people with challenges. We have helped more than 600 families and in 2019, we successfully prevented 12 suicides in the SF Bay Area. My volunteers and I have reached over 10,000 Chinese Americans each year.

My volunteer works also includes:
1. Former Chinese Americans for Biden & Harris 2020 Campaign California Chair
2. Former Member of the Cultural and Linguistic Competence Committee (CLCC) of the California Mental Health Services Oversight and Accountability Commission (MHSOAC)
3. Alameda County Labor Council Memeber
4. Democracy Captain of the SEIU Local 2015

I have been duly recognized over the years, including:
1. 2016 National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) National’s Multicultural Outreach Award;
2. 2017 NAMI California’s Multicultural Outreach Award;
3. 2018 Local Hero award from Senator Bob Wieckowski;
4. 2020 Community Hero award from Asian Women’s Resource Center/Gum Moon.

I’m running for Assembly District Delegate because I have lived through why universal healthcare must be a right. I will advocate for inclusive and equitable reform within the Democratic Party in order to create real and lasting change. I want to speak out for the minority voice in our underserved community. I look forward to serving as your Assembly District 20 Democratic Party delegate. ​I hope I can count on your vote for me. Together We Rise!

Elaine Peng

Having experienced homelessness as a child and young adult, and having seen my brothers and my father incarcerated, I have dedicated myself to eradicating poverty and the systems that criminalize people in poverty.

I know how powerless my loved ones have felt when facing the barriers to reclaim their lives and dignity. Experience has taught me that power has two sources: knowledge and community. Building power is about educating ourselves and each other and creating community together.

I studied law and public policy to advocate solutions to problems that plague my family and so many others. We need people committed to building a society where all people have full access to the rights to housing, health care, food security, living wages, education, voting, dignity, and a healthy environment.

Professionally, I’ve been uncompromising in serving families and individuals seeking justice in housing, employment, and the criminal legal system through work at organizations including East Bay Community Law Center, Legal Aid at Work, and the Alameda County Public Defender’s Office, respectively. While at the ACLU, I worked on the campaign for prosecutorial accountability, where I uncovered racist charging and sentencing practices in the Los Angeles District Attorney’s Office. And I now work as a full-time legal and policy advocate for Root & Rebound, a non-profit organization dedicated to restoring power and resources to the families and communities most harmed by mass incarceration through legal advocacy, public education, and policy reform.

In Hayward, I serve and volunteer to expand affordable housing access, to increase support services for homeless community members, and to reinvest police funding in restorative community services.

I humbly ask for your vote for AD20 Assembly District Delegate (ADD) to contribute to building community power within the Democratic Party for a People-Powered Progressive Platform. I am one of many who believe we can harness our collective power to dismantle the systems of inequality and criminalization—and the cycles of trauma, violence, and poverty they perpetuate. We can replace those harmful systems with policies and institutions that center equity, anti-racism, and liberation to create cycles of healing, compassion, and prosperity.

Learn more about why I have joined other progressives to run for ADD: http://ad20slate.com/.

Zachariah Oquenda

I am running for ADEM because I believe there is a disconnect between our elected officials and the constituents they represent. As a community organizer in Unincorporated Alameda County, I see the day-to-day struggle that our communities face. The public health crisis COVID 19 has cause did not create the inequities in our communities it expanded them. As an organizer when the pandemic hit I immediately got to work in helping connect residents with much needed resources. I helped start a basic needs group in the unincorporated area that coordinated stakeholders to work together and identify emerging needs. Through this work, we were able to secure multiple testing sites in the Unincorporated Eden Area, pass an eviction moratorium, and secure $5 million dollars in rent relief. However amongst those wins for our community I have also seen much of the $5 million dollars in rent relief go unclaimed because the application process is so difficult and the requirements are so high that people cannot access it. That is where the disconnect is. It is not enough for our elected officials put out programs and relief if there is no measurable outcomes that can tell us our communities are better off because of them. We will need and equitable recovery that takes into consideration that the decades of disproportionate disinvestment in our area is going to require disproportionate investments to help us recover. I started my work in community organizing because as a mother of two children with special need and the daughter of immigrants I had to learn navigate an unfamiliar system to ensure my children had the services and resources they needed to thrive. That’s when other parents stated coming to me to ask how I was able to get services for my kids, they share their stories of how they struggles with language access and a complicated system designed to deny special education students their services. I could not stand by and watch any child be denied the opportunity to learn and grow. I stated building networks and gaining allies that have helped me make significant changes in the Eden Area. I am running for ADEM because I know that an equitable recovery is the only way our communities will be able to thrive in the years to come. I will speak truth to power and fight for those who do not have a voice.

Sandra Macias

I am Lavena Holmes. I am running for the 2021 CADEM elections because I believe I bring an honest perspective and strong work ethic to the CA Democratic legislature. There are numerous issues facing our district and I want to be a part of the contingency that brings about solutions to meet the challenges for our citizens. As we begin to provide vaccines to residents and move toward a post-COVID reality, our local governments and school districts need funding and resources to provide necessary services. Additionally, citizens need to feel confident and reassured that their needs; including housing, safety, employment, education and mental and physical health are being met.
I have lived in my district since 2005, I own a home in my community. I am employed as a Human Resources Director in a local government entity with more than 21 years of experience. I have witnessed first hand the impact that the numerous crises of 2020 has had on people and business in my community, America, and the world. The tragedies of the COVID pandemic and the murder of George Floyd have greatly impacted our collective well-being. I want to be part of the change that brings a healing process to my community. I want people to feel safe sheltering in their homes as well as leaving their homes to take care of their basic needs. I want to be sure we are getting reliable information to our community stakeholders to make well informed decisions for ourselves and our family members. I am an extremely strong advocate who is vision driven, intelligent, intuitive, and extremely tenacious.
Providing representation for my district will be best served in an accountable, responsible, collaborative and innovative way by a candidate whose experience lends itself to condensing the legislative learning curve and being effective in a very short time. Fortunately, my experience in human resources, particularly in local government will allow me to do that for our district. This is an exciting opportunity at a pivotal moment in history and I want my community to be on the right side of science and justice when decisions are made in the best interest of its citizens. I believe I am uniquely qualified, exceptionally competent, and the right candidate at the right time for this role.

Lavena Holmes

My name is Seema Sharma, and I am wife, mother, and a Physician. During this time of pandemic with the lack of leadership from our government, I feel compelled to be a part of the solution to help address the issues facing our community. As a Physician at Kaiser, I am sadly disappointed by the way President Trump has handled this pandemic. Rather than rely on science and data, he politicized the issue which has resulted in rampant viral infections that are still not under control.
The effects of this crisis are disproportionately being felt by those that are most vulnerable in our community. The government has done great job of bailing out Wall Street and the wealthy, but done a poor job of helping those that need it most – our essential workers who work in retail, grocery stores, restaurants, and hospitals. We need to make sure that we help those that are suffering the most and we must provide a safety net for those that need it. Furthermore, we must push for financial stimulus to keep our economy going, and prevent evictions and foreclosures. We also must help our small businesses who have not been helped by our government by providing grants, tax credits, and reducing red tape.
As a lifelong Democrat, I have enjoyed working behind the scenes to help elect progressive candidates. I am ready to be a part of the change to help champion Democratic values, and to make sure that we continue to be the party that helps rebuild our middle class and take care of our most vulnerable.

Seema Salwan Sharma, M.D.
Candidate for ADEM 20

Seema Salwan Sharma

My name is Mary Swain
I am currently an appointed delegate in AD 20 and I would be honored to be able to continue as an elected delegate. Prior to being appointed, I was a proxy delegate twice.
I have been an active participant in the local Democratic Party as a member of the executive board of the Castro Valley Democratic Club. I have participated in GOTV campaigns for local, state, and national elections . I am a member of the Group Texters of Rossmoor , texting swing state voters through MoveOn’s program. We are now texting in Georgia to win back the Senate. I also have registered voters at the Castro Valley Fall Festival and CV Pride.
With the current COVID situation our Club has been meeting virtually and I have become comfortable working with and attending meetings via Zoom and other formats.
I am an active member of the the Castro Valley chapter of the Citizens Climate Lobby. I would support the implementation of a Carbon Fee & Dividend program to directly address Climate Change.
I am a member of Starr King Unitarian-Universalist Church in Hayward and serve as a member-at-large on the Board of Trustees. The church is active in supporting South Hayward Parish’s food bank and the FESCO shelter.
I believe in the importance of actively participating in our
democracy and I would love to be able to put my progressive values to work as a delegate.
Thanks for your consideration, Mary Swain

Mary Swain

My name is Sara Raymond. I am proud to be a candidate for ADEM20 Delegate. With a Democratic president poised to take office in January, there is no time like the present to begin the work of moving our nation forward with a progressive agenda.

My most important issues are election safety, reproductive justice, gun violence, healthcare, and education. However none of this can be addressed without confronting the systemic racism upon which our institutions were built. This is why defunding police is my most critical issue.

DEFUND POLICE: American policing has failed. Built on white supremacy, it perpetuates racist systems and drains other social services of critical financial resources. Police money must be reallocated to social services that strengthen our communities by tackling mental health, poverty, housing, and addiction, thereby reducing crime.

ELECTION SAFETY: For decades I have participated in voter registration, GOTV, voter protection, and poll monitoring. Republicans have used gerrymandering, voter ID laws, and dismantling of the Voting Rights Act to gamify voting to the extent that people no longer trust elections. We need to make it easier and safer for every eligible person to vote, and restore voters’ confidence in voting systems.

REPRODUCTIVE FREEDOM: Women’s bodies are under attack, and it is critical that we pick leaders who will protect choice and access to essential healthcare both as it relates to maintaining and ending pregnancies.

GUN VIOLENCE: I wrote this statement on the 8th anniversary of the Sandy Hook school shooting. Countless acts of violence have been perpetrated since then. Our leaders have failed to take on the NRA. This must end.

HEALTHCARE: There is no reason why, in the middle of a pandemic, any person in the United States should not have healthcare. Let’s hold leaders responsible for providing this very basic set of protections.

EDUCATION: A free public education should be available to every person, through college. For many a college degree is an inaccessible luxury. We must change this.

In addition to the above, the pandemic has illuminated our damaged social safety net. This nation is failing at setting its priorities. Once again PEOPLE have been put last. We need to bring compassion back to government. I would like to help. Thank you for considering me to be your delegate.

https://tinyurl.com/ya4evtkc

Sara E. Raymond

Being a life-time Democrat, I’ve always believed in the Democratic value system. Having lived in Alameda County for decades as a long-term community leader, a businesswoman, and an Alameda County Consumer Affairs Commissioner, I understand the issues that matter most to the people and communities.
I’ve earned a Bachelor’s in Law and Economics and a Master’s in Political Science. I’m also a proud mother of two college-attending sons. I ran for Fremont City Council Member from Disctrict-1 in 2018 mid-term elections.
I will accept nothing less than transparency, accountability, and balance in actions that impact us. I pledge to listen to and work with Democratic Party leadership, my esteemed colleagues, and people in AD20 for a positive change.
Thank you for your consideration.

Chandrakala (Chandu) Siramdas

Name: Glenn Nate
Age: 33
Ethnicity: Filipino
Occupation: Consultant
Education and Qualifications:

I am a lifelong resident of Union City. I have served as a Parks and Recreation Commissioner for almost a decade, and am a part of local community service groups. My involvement in elections began while I was still a student in high school, and it is that experience that has fueled my passion for engaging others, especially the youth, in their politics. It is our government that has the direct impact on those we care about the most. I believe in the importance that our Democratic Party reflects the community in which we are elected. I have never stopped my efforts in getting Democratic Party members elected, and will continue to make sure that our party goals are achieved.

Community service and engagement have always been important to me and I have been active in many local community organizations, including:

-New Haven Schools Foundation – Board Member
-President of the Rotary Club of Fremont-Union City-Newark
-Former Union City Parks and Recreation Commission
-Alameda County Transportation Commission – Independent Watchdog Committee
-Washington Hospital Healthcare Foundation – Member

Glenn Nate

Name: Jose Mari Galang
Age: 22
Ethnicity: Filipino
Occupation: Student
Education and Qualifications:

I am a Filipino immigrant that grew up in Union City. The challenges I faced from learning English as a second language to getting acclimated to my cultural environment inspired me to get involved in community service and local politics. I got involved in local elections while I was still in high school and it helped me understand just how marginalized those of foreign descent are. I also became motivated to engage the younger generation who are our future leaders to help build their own future by getting involved in their government. I believe in the importance of diverse representation in our Democratic Party.

-New Haven Schools Foundation – Board Member
-President of the Rotaract club of Union City
-Alameda County Central Democratic Committee – Associate member 20th AD

Jose Mari Galang

My name is Omar Hashwi and I know we can do better, much better.

I recognize the progress we have made in the last several years and as a proud Democrat, I am extraordinarily thankful for our leaders’ tireless dedication. But I would not be running to represent you in the Democratic party if our work was complete.

It is especially critical within a pandemic and when coming out of one (God willing), that we elect delegates who have an unwavering commitment to our universal physiological needs including equal access to food, water, and affordable housing. But also an unwavering commitment to our safety needs including personal security, fair employment security, and healthcare security.

As a delegate, my priority will be to support a platform and candidates who prioritize these issues for all of our citizens as these are also issues I’ve dedicated the last 10 years to.

I am on the Board of Directors of the Kids’ Breakfast Club, a local Hayward non-profit that directly addresses food insecurity and has provided thousands of meals to our community. I will be looking to support candidates who believe that in the wealthiest country in the world, no child should go to bed hungry.

With the guidance and involvement of medical professionals, I developed the first free, comprehensive and actionable online COVID-19 screening platform that has screened thousands of people in multiple languages across the globe. I will be looking to support candidates who work on controlling the spread of COVID-19, provide relief to those suffering the most, and equity in administering the vaccine.

I own a small-business in Hayward and have successfully created fair-employment jobs within my own community. I also hold a Masters degree in Business Management from the University of Michigan that has given me the knowledge to solve environmental problems and provide a living wage to my employees. I will be looking to support candidates who advocate for a living wage and environmental justice.

And finally, because I have managed grassroot campaigns and walked precincts for Democrats, my work in advocating for candidates who share these values and principles is not something new and it is what I would be honored to continue doing as a delegate.

Thank you for your supporting the good work of our party and I humbly ask for your vote.

Omar Hashwi

My name is Sarabjit Kaur Cheema. Some of you may remember me from my many previous elections.
I am serving in my third term at New Haven Unified School District. Currently, I am serving as a board President. I have served as a ADEM for many years and was privileged to serve as a national delegate for President Obama. Thank you all for electing me for various positions. Your faith in my progressive leadership style is greatly appreciated. I ask for your vote to serve once again as a delegate to our state party convention. As an experienced educator and labor leader, I also bring a global perspective.
It is time for the residents of Assembly District 20 to come together around our shared core values and strong sense of community. We must affirm the principles of freedom, opportunity, and equality under the law.

One of the most important tasks facing the Democratic Party nationally is rebuilding its relationship with rural America. To do this will require attending to the particular needs of farmers, ranchers, and all those who make their livelihood from the land. Indeed, the livelihood of rural families globally, is under extreme pressure from corporatization, regulation, and climate change. While in this pandemic, in late November, what may have been the single largest protest in human history took place in India, as tens of thousands of farmers marched to the capital to protest proposed new legislation and upward of 250 million people around the subcontinent participated in a 24-hour general strike in solidarity. It is critical that we work together to understand the challenges of our interconnected, globalized social and economic communities in order to envision together new ways to survive and thrive in the 21st century.
The increasingly high cost of rent and gentrification of the Bay Area is creating a homogeneous society that more and more is about profit over humans.
I want to work to reunite our community. We have a lot of racial divide, growing homelessness, mental disability concerns, increasing utility costs, and growing small business costs that need to addressed.
Please support my candidacy so that together we can achieve the progressive state government that will work for all Californians.

Sarabjit Kaur Cheema

I’m running for ADEMs because I believe we need to remove the influence of corporate / developer money from Democratic Party politics. For far too long, moneyed interests have been able to buy undue influence from our Democratic elected politicians.

I’ve run five campaigns for office and have always refused donations from developers and corporations. I led a change in Fremont city politics where refusing developer donations has now become standard practice for City Council candidates. I served on the Fremont City Council from 2012 through 2020. As a Councilmember, I brought forth progressive referrals on sanctuary city, minimum wage acceleration, rent stabilization and Proposition 13 reform. I was also a strong advocate for transit-friendly development and affordable housing.

I’ve been involved in local Democratic politics since 2008. I served as an Associate Member to the Central Committee from 2010 through 2012 and was an elected member from 2012 through 2020. I was named the Progressive Democrat of the Year by the Ohlone Area United Democratic Campaign in 2015.

I was also a Sierra Club leader for over a decade serving as the Chair of the Club’s Southern Alameda County Group and as a member of the SF Bay Chapter’s Executive Committee and Political Committee.
I’ve never been afraid to challenge the powers that be in the party. I am a proud progressive who is committed to moving our party forward on key issues such as Medicare-For-All, criminal justice reform, demanding a living wage, and campaign finance reform. I was pleased to see the Central Committee encourage candidates to not take money from police officer’s associations. We need to make such contributions a disqualifying factor for candidates requesting the Party’s endorsement and expand this rule to other special interest campaign contributions.

I have Masters Degrees in Transportation Engineering and City Planning from UC Berkeley. I understand the importance of the development decisions that our local elected officials make. These decisions determine how effective our transit systems are, how much affordable housing is available, and the quantity of greenhouse gases we emit. Unfortunately, many of the local development decisions that have been put developer’s bottom lines over the need for a well-planned Bay Area.

Please consider voting for me to help take our Party forward.

Vinnie Bacon

My name is Maha Ibrahim (pronouns: she/her) and I am honored and eager to put myself forward as a candidate for delegate in the 2021 ADEM Elections. I live Hayward, in AD 20, with my husband José, a high school math teacher, our 3-year-old Raymond, our baby-on-the-way Amina, and our dog Cucumber Buttons. I have been actively involved in the California Democratic Party, working with and advocating for party issues and candidates, and volunteering and championing other progressive social issues for 20 years. I served as a full-time Democratic Congressional and State Assembly staff member for 7 years before attending law school. I am a Civil Rights Attorney and I have been practicing law with a specialization in Gender Equity laws for 5 years at a Bay Area non-profit legal organization that serves female, female identifying, and members of the LGBTQI+ community at no charge in our state and throughout the nation. I also actively draft, advocate, and serve as a legal expert on legislative and policy matters at the state and local level, and have been successful in that work. I am the current Chair of the East Bay Women’s Political Alliance (EBWPA), an organization I have been involved with for 11 years. I am a former co-chair of the California Democratic Party’s Arab American Caucus and a former Commissioner on the Alameda County Commission on the Status of Women. I am a proud graduate of California public higher education. I am proud to be a first generation Middle Eastern-American college graduate and an alumna of the invaluable California Community College System. I hold a B.A. from UC Berkeley and a J.D. from UCLA. I served as a policy volunteer for the Biden-Harris campaign and I am actively involved in legal advocacy in court, at the agency level, at the policy level, and in grass roots campaigns for the strengthening and repair of our precious civil rights laws at the federal level in the wake of the devastation these rights have suffered under the Trump administration. I believe in sincerely established relationships built on common goals and care for others. This is one of the most important and foundational periods of value-setting and pragmatic leadership needed in our country’s recent political history. You can view my candidate video at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9WIKpQhCkzs&feature=youtu.be.

Maha Ibrahim

My name is Victoria Birbeck-Herrera and I humbly ask for your vote to represent as an AD-20 delegate.

I have been a strong labor advocate for over a decade as well as a public school math teacher. Quality public education and access for every child in every family is a fundamental right, and I will strive to support increased assistance and resources for our public education system. Every child and family in every zip code throughout our diverse district has needs and deserve to have those needs addressed by those who represent them. More than ever before, we can see that society depends on our school system, and we must prioritize funding to match its importance.

I began my work in labor as a union representative and am proud to currently represent over 2,000 educators in Fremont as president of the Fremont Unified District Teachers Association. I am continually impressed by the work that our teachers, counselors, psychologists, nurses, and education specialists are doing for our children and families as they attempt to balance the needs of their own families. This is not unique to the public educator workforce nor unique to pandemic times. Most of us see this working class struggle at the forefront, if not only in our immediate families, then for others close to us. Unfortunately, the decrease in collective bargaining starting in the late 70’s has contributed greatly to the increase in income inequality and has led us closer to the elimination of a thriving middle class. We have critical work to do in the area of reliable livelihood for all.

The ongoing pandemic makes more clear how absolutely necessary and lacking labor rights are right now. As important as living wages, we all have the right to a safe working environment. Without the freedom of expressing a collective voice through unions, we see workers more vulnerable to management looking to cut corners and terminating or disciplining employees who speak up regarding their safety. This is unacceptable; we must stand up for the rights of workers.

It is within our power to foster the growth and livelihood of every human being, and I want to be in a Democratic party who works toward this goal. I ask for your vote to represent AD-20 as a delegate and move this goal closer to reality.

Victoria Birbeck-Herrera

My name is Harris Mojadedi, and I humbly ask for your vote to serve as a delegate from AD 20.

As a life long Democratic activist, I have served our party in various capacities, serving as a founding member and executive board member of the American Muslims & Friends Democratic Club. I have also served as an executive Board member of our local Democratic club,Tri Cities Democratic Forum.

The Democratic Party is in a crossroads, we need new voices that reflect the diversity of our party. My top priorities as a delegate are to ensure transparency, reform the selection process for statewide officers, and support Medicare for all.

Democratically yours,
Harris

Harris Mojadedi

I have lived in Alameda County since 2009 when my family moved from Washington State. A true Alameda County resident, I graduated from James Logan High School in Union City and received my BS from Biola University in Los Angeles in 2018. I currently serve on the Human Relations Commission in Union City. I’m running as delegate to serve my community in Assembly District 20.

Anson Tjing