Assembly District 31

District

BallotName

Eboard(*)

IdentifiesAsFemale(SIF)

OtherthanSIF(OSIF)

31 Steven Bruce No OSIF
31 Blas Manuel De Luna No OSIF
31 Navkaran Singh Gurm No OSIF
31 Gina Rivera No SIF
31 Anahi Serrano No SIF
31 Jasleen Kaur Gill No SIF
31 David Paredes * OSIF
31 Alexander Grimaldi * OSIF
31 Stephanie Ocampo No SIF
31 Gavin Garza No OSIF
31 Jaspreet Kaur Nagra No SIF
31 Myra Coble No SIF
31 Daren Miller No OSIF
31 Brenda Cabrera-Basurto No SIF
31 Mayra Campa * SIF
31 Doug Kessler * OSIF
31 Randy Villegas No OSIF
31 John Beynon No OSIF
31 Angel Rodriquez * OSIF
31 Mayaprimavera Flores No SIF
31 Estella Lorona Kessler No SIF
31 Moises Hernandez No OSIF
31 Laquania Q Thompson No SIF
31 Alysia Bonner No SIF
31 Marlin Dick No OSIF
31 Daniel Parra No OSIF
31 Andy Hansen-Smith No OSIF
31 Lisa Y Flores * SIF

Candidate Statements

May, 2018. The Firebaugh-Las Deltas Unified Teachers Association, the teachers union of which I’ve always been a proud member, had just had its elections and I had just been informed that I had won the presidency. As a write-in. I’d not heard a whisper that people were writing me in, and it was a great honor to be thought of so highly by my fellow teachers. I think it speaks to the work that I had been doing for my local as a member of the bargaining team, as a site rep, as secretary, and as the former president.

I’ll be honest, though: I was worn out.

You know how tough the work of standing up for the rights of your fellow workers can be. I asked for a few days to think about it, but it only took a few minutes to know that I really had no choice. My beliefs tell me that it’s my duty to try to make the world better, and that, if asked to serve, the answer should always be yes. Unless there’s a really good reason not to say yes, the answer is yes.

I teach 9th-grade English in Firebaugh, a town I moved to eighteen years ago when I got hired because I wanted to live where I worked and to invest my life in the community of my students and their families. On the walls of my classroom, I’ve stapled up quotes that I hope my students read if they catch their eyes, and there are two that I look at all the time and that, together, summarize what I think my and our obligations are to the world.

Marcus Aurelius the stoic philosopher, advises himself in his Meditations that “While thou livest, while it is in thy power, be good.” A character in Kon Ichikawa’s The Burmese Harp says to another character, “Our work is simply to ease the great suffering of the world.”

So…try to be good and try to make the world better.

And that’s how I talked myself into being president of my local again when I was needed. And that’s also why I want to be of service and in service to my fellow California Democrats. I believe in the work and I believe in being of service. I can’t think of anything more important.

The classroom, and the rooms where I can be of service, virtual or otherwise, are where I belong. They are the places where, despite the occasional setbacks and small defeats, I’m happiest and most optimistic. Little by little, we can make up a version of California that’s kinder, better, more inclusive, and worth fighting for. I’d like to fight for that world for you and with you.

Blas Manuel De Luna

Greetings, Democrats! My name is Navkaran Singh Gurm, and it would be my honor to represent you as an Assembly District Delegate to the CA Democratic Party. I am running to ensure that our local perspectives are voiced and reflected in the Democratic party. I have lived in Fresno County nearly my whole life. I am a graduate of Caruthers High School and am currently earning a Bachelor of Arts in Economics from the University of California, Los Angeles.

Our Central Valley is often overlooked in California’s political and public policy conversations. I am running to help change that. As a delegate, I will work to ensure rural communities are not forgotten by statewide elected officials as well as our local legislators. Specifically, I will be an active voice for all our communities in AD31: Biola, Bowles, Calwa, Cantua Creek, Caruthers, Coalinga, Del Rey, Easton, Firebaugh, Fowler, Fresno, Huron, Kerman, Kingsburg, Mendota, Monmouth, Orange Cove, Parlier, Raisin City, Reedley, San Joaquin, Sanger, Selma, and Tranquillity.

Within the democratic party, we are facing a riveting fork in the road. An essential debate is underway between two visions that will define the future of our party and nation. As a delegate, I will work to make sure we continue to be the party of progress and that progressive values are reflected in our party. We must unequivocally support Medicare for All and environmental justice. Working class folks and the labor movement cannot be forgotten. We must continue to fight for equal rights for the LGBTQIA community and reproductive rights for women. Let’s move our party forward.

I hope to bring a forward-thinking, pragmatic, and hard-working perspective to the Democratic Party. I believe it is time for time to pass the torch to a new generation of political leaders and humbly ask for your support to elect me as your AD31 delegate. Young Gets It Done!

Navkaran Singh Gurm

I am currently a student at Reedley College, I am working on a double major in criminology and psychology. I have been a community organizer with a nonprofit called Valley Forward. I decided to run to be a delegate in AD 31 because I believe that if you want to see change you have to get involved. I live in Reedley and have seen how our rural communities have been continuously left behind. As a community organizer I’ve had the opportunity to talk to residents from different areas. Each conversation is unique, but a common factor is that they want someone who will work for them. I want to be able to be a voice for them within our party.

Anahi Serrano

My name is Jasleen Kaur Gill and I am running to represent you as an Assembly Delegate for District 31. I am a student, a young person, a second-generation immigrant, and most importantly, a member of our community. I was born and raised in the Central Valley and I aim to represent our interests within the Democratic party.

As a young woman of color, I have often experienced my voice and my priorities being overlooked. Similarly, our rural communities are far too often passed over and undervalued. As an Assembly Delegate, I will work to change both of those narratives by elevating and prioritizing the voices of rural communities, farming communities, and the working class.

Electing me as an assembly delegate will bring our party forward. I believe in Medicare for All, in free public college, in the Green New Deal, and in elevating the voices of the young people and people of color in our party. As the Covid-19 pandemic continues, as the climate crisis wrecks havoc, and as systemic racism persists, it is imperative that our community has a dedicated and passionate advocate within our party that looks like us, lives like us, and works for us. With your vote, I will be that advocate. I humbly ask for your support and your vote to elect me as an Assembly Delegate for District 31. Young gets it done!

Jasleen Kaur Gill

As a 24 year old and a first-generation Central American college graduate of Fresno State, I am seeking re-election as an Assembly District 31 delegate and I am running to represent our district in the Executive Board of the California Democratic Party. I was proud to be elected as a Bernie Sanders delegate to the 2020 Democratic National Convention and will continue the movement to push our party forward.

After being elected as a state delegate in 2019, I was humbled by the work I was able to accomplish and by the votes I casted on behalf of Democrats living in AD31. As a young Latino who constantly fights to improve the lives of those most marginalized in our community, my values have been consistent and I am passionate about transforming the lives of our fellow working class residents.

Growing up in South Fresno and experiencing environmental racism, I am committed to environmental justice. We need delegates who will move our state party to take the climate crisis with the utmost urgency.

As the COVID-19 pandemic persists, we are reminded that our current healthcare system is a national embarrassment. We need to value a Medicare for All system that puts people over profit. We must also prioritize the needs and well-being of our rural and immigrant communities who are essential to our daily lives, yet who are overexploited for their labor.

Finally, as a young candidate, I am committed to elevating youth voices who are the future of this party and of this country. Electing me as your delegate and Eboard representative will bring our party forward to fight for what we deserve.

I humbly ask for your support to re-elect me as your AD31 delegate and to elect me as our next Executive Board representative to the California Democratic Party. Young gets it done!

David Paredes

Having lived in Southeast Fresno my whole life, I understand the need for fairer representation within our Democratic Party. I am running to be an Assembly District delegate to ensure that our community needs are being met and that our state party is embodying what our community stands for.

Our state party needs young people of color from marginalized communities who will uplift California into a future of justice and equity. It’s time that we elevate the youth voice by electing young delegates that will push for progressive values. Being a young mother without access to premium insurance, our state and country deserve a system that values healthcare as a human right.

This is why I have chosen to run to represent us in the California Democratic Party. I humbly ask for your support and your vote to elect me as an Assembly Delegate for District 31. Young gets it done!

Stephanie Ocampo

Salutations! My name is Gavin Garza. A 20 year old activist and Permaculture Designer residing in Sanger, California. 

My late-grandfather was a field supervisor and, for eight years, I worked with him across the Central Valley. Since my grandfather’s passing, it gets harder to look at the fruit orchards. I know the working conditions, the pesticides used, and the worker exploitation at hand. My grandfather wasn’t the kind of guy to sit in an office and bark orders. He often emphasized and worked hands-on with his crews. 

I share the same sentiment.

I’m a proud member of the Fresno Sunrise Movement and Fresno DSA. I stand with working class people because I was raised by working class parents (and grandparents) who sacrificed so much for me. I’m not only a supporter for Medicare for All, but an adamant believer in a Green New Deal. Environmentalism is my passion. Which is why I’m also proud to say I’m a certified Permaculture Designer by Oregon State University because I believe humane and ethical agriculture isn’t just possible; it’s achievable.  

I believe it’s time the youth had a seat at the table and, with my life experience, I humbly ask that you vote for me to represent you, working class people, and environmentally friendly policies. Thus moving the Democratic Party forward along the way.

Gavin Garza

My name is Jaspreet Kaur Nagra, and I want to represent our community as an Assembly District Delegate because I believe we can do much better when it comes to advocating for our Central Valley. Our voices are often overlooked and forgotten by politicians who are supposed to be representing us. I am committed to make sure we hold our state party accountable to prioritize the needs of our marginalized communities. I have lived in Fresno County my entire life, and it is time that the needs of the Central Valley are not only heard but implemented.

Through working for a non-profit that aimed to minimize disparities in education and healthcare, I learned about needs on both community and individual bases. As much as the organization focused on creating resources, long-term solutions were not possible because problems that were being faced by these vulnerable populations were systemic.

Through a healthcare-focused organization that assessed patient-physician interaction to ensure quality care, I spoke directly with patients to learn about their biggest concerns in their experiences. Oftentimes, conversations became very personal as patients shared how there was no way they could afford to keep coming to the hospital for even life-threatening illnesses. Stories like these are too common, especially in populations that face environmental racism and food deserts that disproportionately subject them to adverse health effects. No one should have to choose between their health and any other aspects of their livelihood, which is why we must fight for Medicare For All. Healthcare is just one of the issues we must address in order to make sure progressive values are reflected in our party. In order to move forward, we must also equally fight for LGBTQIA rights, racial justice, fair wages, reproductive rights, and policy that combats climate change.

Hope is not enough for many populations who have been facing inequitable situations for decades. We need tangible solutions that will actually make a difference. As a 22-year-old Punjabi woman running on a slate filled with determined, young individuals, I would be honored to earn your vote. Young Gets It Done in AD31!

Jaspreet Kaur Nagra

My name is Myra Coble, and I am a proud lifelong Democrat. I’ve lived in AD31 (Fresno’s Tower District) for most of my life. I graduated from FCC and Fresno State, and was a Special Education Teacher (and CTA Union Member) for 20 years. My experience also includes a decade as an Emergency Services (911) Dispatcher, and work at the County Assessor’s Office. I am a Docent at the Zoo, and a member of the local Community Emergency Response Team. Each of these jobs has required and developed multitasking, communication, interpersonal and organizational skills which I hope to utilize as a Delegate.

I’ve been a Grassroots Democratic Activist and Volunteer for the past 13 years. I see Politics like other people see Sports — I am loyal to my team (Democrats), I follow the “players” (candidates and electeds) closely, stay informed about issues, and enjoy interacting with other “fans” (on both sides). My specialty is organizing and supervising Phone Banks. I have experience using VAN and PDI, managing political data, writing scripts, and recruiting and training volunteers. I have led hundreds of volunteers in 3 Presidential Campaigns, 2 Congressional Campaigns, a Mayoral Campaign, and other local races.

I serve as an Alternate on the Fresno County Democratic Central Committee, and volunteer at Democratic Headquarters as needed. I am an executive board member (and endorsement chair) for the Fresno County Democratic Women’s Club, and an active member of Democratic Women in Action, the Kennedy Club, and Stonewall Democrats (all chartered clubs). I’m also active in Central Valley Indivisible, and the Central Valley Progressive PAC. I was recently humbled and honored to receive the Kennedy Club Courage Award in recognition of my political organizing and volunteering.

Issues that are most important to me include: Healthcare (including Mental Health and Addiction resources), the Environment, Women’s Rights, LGBTQ Rights, Disability Rights, Homelessness, Immigration, Voting Rights, and SOCIAL, RACIAL and ECONOMIC JUSTICE.

I believe our greatest strength as Democrats is our Diversity. Our biggest challenge is to recognize that the values we have in common are stronger than our differences! When we work together we win! I respectfully ask for your vote in the 2021 Assembly Delegate Election for AD31.

Contact: tdc.mnc@comcast.net

Myra Coble

I have spent the past 30 years working as a K-16 educator in the Fresno metropolitan area. My experiences range from working as a Liaison, Principal, Counselor, and College Professor at Washington Union, Buchanan, Edison, Fresno High, Madera High, numerous middle schools, Fresno City College and the Madera Center. At each location, I engaged students, teachers, staff, and families to uplift themselves and their communities.

Since 2018, I have served as an appointed Fresno County Board of Education of Education Trustee. And in 2019, I was elected to serve as a Delegate for the CADEM 31st Assembly District. I have worked with other delegates in Assemblyman Dr. Joaquin Arambula’s district to ensure that residents voices, desires, and needs are heard and acted upon. I desire to continue this work into the next cycle.

My political qualifications: elected 31st Assembly District Delegate, appointed Fresno County Board of Education Trustee, Executive member on CADEM Black Caucus, Black American Political Association of CA- Fresno Chapter- Chair, and member of numerous Democratic Clubs in Fresno County.

My academic qualifications: five (5) college degrees- A. A. degree, Merced College (1986); B. A. degree, California State University, Fresno (1990); M. A. degree, National University (1994); M. S. degree, Fresno Pacific University (2001); Ed. D. degree, California State University, Fresno (2019).

Dr. Daren A. Miller

To whom it may concern:

My name is Mayra Campa and I live in Assembly District 31. I am running to be an Assembly District Delegate because I want to be more involved with the Democratic Party and help shape it as it continues to follow its core values.

I am currently involved in local government. In March 2020 I was appointed by the City of Sanger City Council to be a part of the Citizens Oversight Committee for Measure S. The committee serves to review revenue generated by 3/4 cent tax for public safety purposes. The Citizens Oversight Committee ] reviews expenditures of special revenue collected to determine whether such funds are expended for the purposes specified in the then-current Public Safety Measure Police and Fire Expenditure Plan. In recent months we have voted to recommend two local nonprofit organizations to receive grants in hopes that endorsing such an organization will help with gang prevention in our city.

I also have an Associates Degree in Administration of Justice. I’ve used my knowledge from my degree to be more involved with the local fire and police department.

My experience studying abroad in France during the summer of 2018 has changed my entire perspective of how decisions made even at the local government level can have a huge affect in the lives of Sanger Citizens. Living under the effects of COVID 19 has, like everyone else on this planet, affected me like none other. I believe the Democratic Party is the best party to help the citizens of the United States.

Mayra Campa

I would like to serve as a district delegate to amplify voices in the Valley who have been taken for granted. Youth, immigrants, and communities of color are the backbone of our party but are often left out when it comes to advocating for progressive policies. As someone who has been active in the region, I would be honored to earn your vote as a delegate for the 31st assembly district to fight for progressive values in our party and a better Valley for all.

I’m currently a professor of Political Science at a community college here in the Valley and a Ph.D. candidate at UC Santa Cruz. Prior to graduate school, I worked as a journalist/community organizer in Bakersfield. As both a journalist and an organizer, I’ve done my best to amplify voices in my community to advocate for change. Whether it was writing Op-Ed pieces or organizing marches, I’ve never been afraid to take a stand on issues and have never been shy about emphasizing the need to be intersectional in our efforts.

As a result of my experiences growing up in an immigrant family, I’ve always been passionate about government. I know what a privilege it is to not only vote but to work towards creating a better community. I carry the experience of working for Valley residents as I previously worked for a state assembly member and a member of the U.S. House of Representatives on Capitol Hill. In 2017 I ran and was successfully elected to be a delegate for the California State Democratic Party, representing the 32nd Assembly district, and was later re-elected in 2019.

The Central Valley is on the front lines of the COVID Pandemic, environmental racism, and wealth inequality, as our youth, communities of color, and immigrant communities face the most severe consequences. Our Zip codes should not determine our life expectancies. That is why we need Medicare for all, a green new deal, and relief efforts now.

That is also why I’m honored to be part of a slate of young people who will hold our Valley legislators accountable and fight for a more progressive party. Young gets it done in AD31, and I humbly ask for your support to serve as a delegate for the State Democratic Party. As someone who cares deeply about the Valley, I’d like to cast my ballot at the convention with my community in mind. It would be an honor to earn your vote and serve the 31st district as a delegate for the Democratic Party.

Randy Villegas

I am a professor of English at Fresno State, where I have had the honor to teach hundreds of students, many of whom are the first in their families to pursue a college degree. I am committed not only to teaching them what they need to learn to thrive in our society; I am also committed to doing everything I can to ensure that their leaders respond to their needs and represent their interests. I currently serve as the Fresno State chapter President of the California Faculty Association, and I am engaged in many of my community’s social, cultural, and political organizations and efforts. I have experience organizing within labor and anti-racism contexts. I strongly believe that the Democratic Party and its leaders must be thoroughly transparent and absolutely accountable to the people they represent. I will tirelessly advocate for candidates and policies that put people over profit.

John Beynon

Born and raised in Fresno, South of Shaw, growing up in urban, low income areas, I am familiar with the status quo in Fresno and in the central valley. I have listened to the stories of immigrants as an asylum intake interview volunteer with SIREN, I have seen immigrant street vendors harassed by police, I have seen the amount of vitriol and hatred of the right against our undocumented community members, and that is why I want to win this election—I am against the inhumane treatment of undocumented people by ICE and my efforts will go towards ending the deportation of our community.

I also went to Edison High in the 90’s, and I have seen the amount of economic disparity, the amount of environmental hazards, and the atrocious levels of police brutality, racial profiling, and disproportionate amount of traffic stops committed against Black, Brown, and South-East Asian Fresnans firsthand, and I am driven to change that. I will demand transparency: the names and outcomes of police grievances should be made public. The public should have a bigger say in whether an officer with multiple grievances continues to patrol our streets. Police should not be policing the homeless and must be held accountable for the known incidents of excessive force.

Defund the police. Obey CA sanctuary laws. Install rent moratoriums during COVID, and hold slumlords accountable for their exploitative housing conditions. For too long, community members in low income areas have been ignored, dismissed, and our valid grievances disregarded. I am running not just to challenge the current status quo, but to encourage other progressive activists and visionaries to join me in turning the future around in the central valley. An injury to one of us is an injury to all of us, and I stand in solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement, with the movement to end ICE deportations, with the movement to include ethnic studies in schools and provide more opportunities for the formerly incarcerated, many who want to re-integrate into society and hold a steady job. I believe in our community members, even if the current policies in place do not.

These are my convictions and this is my platform. My primary credentials are my lived experiences, followed by university degrees, and my resume as a prior educator and non-profit employee. Vote for Maya Flores. I will challenge the status quo.

Mayaprimavera Flores

Over the past ten years I’ve worked at a grassroots level with community organizations, the Fresno County Democratic Central Committee, and CBO’s to help elect Democrats to public office throughout Fresno County. I’ve worked as an organizer in Fresno, Tulare, and Kern counties advocating for issues such as clean water, school accountability, voter rights, and Census representation. These experiences have granted me a keen understanding of the needs of the residents of AD31 and the reason why I will be a valuable representative for this area to the State party.

A guiding concept that drives my community work is how to increase the quality of life for all individuals. As a collective our community faces many obstacles stemming from the influence of big ag, big business, developers, and corrupt politics. My focus which I have noted as the main needs for the district revolve around the issues of infrastructure, education, and healthcare.

If given the privilege to represent you at convention, I’ll seek out to build support with the State party for increased resources and support, I’ll be a voice for the priorities of AD31 and I will be an active participant with the various caucuses to further advance the agenda of the people.

I have lived in the district for fifteen years, I graduated from Sanger high school and attended Fresno State where I received my B.A. in Sociology and a Humanics certificate. My professional work has revolved around community organizing, consulting, and media production. I offer my talents to this delegation (if given the opportunity) and hope to work with other talented Democrats of all ages, sexes, backgrounds, and creeds to work on behalf of working class people and ensure that the Party is maintaining integrity in representing this constituency.

Moises Hernandez

My name is Alysia Bonner and I am running as a delegate for Assembly District 31. To be a strong voice for all people in our community advocating for affordable and accessible housing, healthcare, and livable wages. I am a proud union member of Service Employees International Union (SEIU) local 521, where I serve as the President. Helping others is my passion and brings me joy to help them ignite their power within. When the community is empowered, and their voices are heard to promote change it makes a lasting and powerful impact that transforms our communities. I would be humbled and honored to receive your vote.

Alysia Bonner

I have been involved in Fresno area politics the past ten years. I have been on the City of Fresno’s Planning Commission and I am currently on the District 5 Implementation Committee. I am active as a Live Tweeter of Fresno County Board of Supervisors as well City of Fresno Council meetings. I give monthly updates to the Fresno County Party as to the going ons at those meetings and how it may effect us in the present and future. I believe “sunshine” is the best way for citizens to know how our government is operating and for whose interest. I was Chair of the Fresno County Democratic Party for a few months and am currently the Office Manager. I am also the Chair of the Strategic Action Committee.

Win or lose I will remain active in the Fresno area and in helping to bring us fully Blue.

You may follow me on Twitter at @AndyHS

Thank you and I hope I have your vote.

Andy Hansen-Smith