Assembly District 51






51 Susana Lopez * SIF
51 Theresa Montaño * SIF
51 Gerald Troy Carbajal No OSIF
51 Maggie Darett-Quiroz No SIF
51 Jamie Tijerina * SIF
51 Francis Engler * OSIF
51 Luis Antonio Sanchez No OSIF
51 Michael Contreras * OSIF
51 Vicente Gonzalez Reyes * OSIF
51 John Gallogly * OSIF
51 Stephanie Maynetto-Jackson No SIF
51 Victor G. Sanchez * OSIF
51 James Johnson Jr * OSIF
51 J. Gabriel Castro * OSIF
51 Karla Monterroso No SIF
51 Selene Betancourt * SIF
51 Carolyn Park * SIF
51 Ash Kramer No SIF
51 Sarah Rascon * SIF
51 Alexander De Ocampo No OSIF
51 Eric Pierce * OSIF
51 Carmen Maria Perez No SIF
51 Lauren Buisson * SIF
51 Mishna Hernandez No SIF
51 Kathrina Abrot No SIF
51 Philip Dorsey Iglauer Jr * OSIF
51 Ezra Pugh * OSIF
51 Joseph David Seal * OSIF
51 Angelica Lopez Moyes No SIF
51 Casey Revkin Ryan * SIF
51 Margaret Buckles No SIF
51 Emily Spokes * SIF
51 Hugh Esten * OSIF
51 Joel Laguna No OSIF
51 Victor Frias * OSIF
51 Tessie Borden No SIF
51 Brian Micó No OSIF
51 Alicia Romero Perez No SIF
51 Jesús “Chuy” García * OSIF
51 Thomas S Irwin No OSIF
51 Yolanda Nogueira * SIF
51 Alexander Gruenenfelder Smith No OSIF
51 Ismael M Parra No OSIF
51 Eileen Hatrick * SIF
51 Ben Cassorla No OSIF
51 Amanda Miguel Staples * SIF
51 Abby Austin * SIF
51 Hayley Coupon * SIF
51 Erin Ploss-Campoamor No SIF
51 Paul M. McDermott No OSIF
51 Jose Medina No OSIF
51 Azeen Khanmalek No OSIF
51 Jonathan D Klein No OSIF
51 Amelia Swedeen * SIF
51 Jeremy Gray * OSIF
51 Matt Kaczmarek No OSIF
51 José Gama Vargas * OSIF
51 Alma Barreras No SIF
51 Moises Vazquez No OSIF

Candidate Statements

My name is Susana Lopez, I was born and raised in East Los Angeles. Both my parents came from Mexico over 40 years ago and worked very hard to give my two older brothers and myself a better life than they had and always shared how important it was for us to receive an education; which is an opportunity they did not have. I recently graduated with a Master’s degree in Public Administration from California State University, Los Angeles to further my education and career and I am also a Mount St. Mary’s Alumni where I received my BA in Sociology with an emphasis in Family Relations. Education is very important to me, and I believe everyone should have access to quality education. I know firsthand how difficult it can be to pursue an education without having the financial means and that is why one of my priorities will be to focus on quality education that will not bring you to student debt. My journey with the City began over 6 years ago when I knew I wanted to be of service to the public and my community. I have been working for the City of Los Angeles for over 6 years. I began as an intern for Council District 14th and with hard work and dedication I am now the Deputy Area Director for Councilmember Kevin De Leon, where I oversee El Sereno and the surrounding communities. I genuinely love going to work each day and seeing the results of our office efforts through Council and City improvements and look forward to doing much more for our communities. My experience with the city has taught me to be an effective and efficient visionary and motivator with a strong management and administrative track record in public service. I am a proactive leader in the development of teams that support organizational initiative and service offerings. I am lucky to have a job where I can give back to the communities I serve and El Sereno holds a very special place in my heart, that is why I want to continue to do more as a community activist by making it a better place for our students and families in making sure our voices are heard and well represented in the State. It would be my honor to represent you as I run for the Assembly delegate in the 51st Assembly District. I hope I can count on your vote for myself and Communities United AD51.

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Susana Lopez

I am Theresa Montaño and here is my story:

I have called northeast LA “home” for over 40 years, 25 years of those years in Eagle Rock. AD51 needs collaborative leaders who work with our elected officials and hold them accountable. That’s why I’m running for Assembly District Delegate on the Communities United for AD 51 team!

Educational justice is my passion, but my activist history is extensive. I have participated, coordinated and organized local and statewide campaigns on critical issues related to labor and immigrant rights. I am a member of the Avance Democratic club and the Second Vice President of Northeast LA Democratic Club.

I have more than 15 years of teaching in LA schools and more than a decade in higher education. In 2000, I left my job as professional development specialist with the United Teacher Los Angeles to work for UCLA’s Teacher Education Program. In 2003, I joined the professoriate at Cal State Northridge where I teach Chicana/o Studies and serve on the academic senate.

With over 40 years of educational experience and activism, I have an understanding of issues facing California’s students. I was a member of the California Ethnic Studies Model Curriculum Advisory Committee, I collaborated on the original draft of California’s Ethnic Studies Curriculum Framework. As co-chair of the Liberated Ethnic Studies Model Curriculum Consortium, I work with over 50 Ethnic Studies educators providing guidance and professional development on Ethnic Studies.

I have been a leader in local, state and national educator unions. I was board member for the National Education Association and president of the National Council for Higher Education. I was on the California Teachers Association’s board and served as CTA Vice President. I was president of educational rights organizations like the National Association for Multicultural Education and the Association of Mexican-American Educators. I am active in the California Faculty Association, the Mesa Directiva of the Association of Raza Educators (ARE) and co-chair League of United Latin American Citizen’s (LULAC) Higher Education Taskforce.

I believe in a strong, active and progressive Democratic Party. I hope I can count on your vote for myself and Communities United for AD 51.

Theresa Montano

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As a lifelong resident of the Glassell Park community, I have a track record of activism. That includes service on the Glassell Park Neighborhood Council for 11 years, and as one of the key founders of the Glassell Park Neighborhood Council. I also served the Glassell Park Improvement Association as president for 2 years. I led the community’s fight to save our community’s swimming pool from closing down and worked closely with Rec and Parks management including our city councilmembers and our mayor to put the pool expenses back in the mayor’s budget. Under my leadership the funding was restored and the pool remains open. I also played a key role in establishing a new playground in our Glassell Park community park.

I played a key role in establishing the Glassell ParK Community Garden at 3304 Drew St. that was originally a house that was the epicenter of violent gang activity for decades. The Garden was conceived after a multi-agency task force arrested the family. In this event, the house was raided by the City of Los Angeles, leaving the house abandoned and an eye sore in the community. With my leadership, it is now more that an urban refugee. Is a symbol of triumph and rejuvenation. The garden has become a valuable asset in Glassell Park, with its friendly aesthetic, which has encouraged a positive life change in local residents in spite of its gang infestation. The garden has resubmitted the confidence of neighbors and has brought the small community closer through garden meetings, garden clean ups, potlucks and harvesting together. What was once a center of gang activity and evoking violence and fear has now shifted to a center of growth, hope and, most importantly, community.

Maggie DQ (Maggie Darett-Quiroz)

My name is Jamie Tijerina. I’m a scientific researcher and hold an MBA. I am a Latina-Middle Eastern-American millennial, bilingual in Spanish, raised in Highland Park/Garvanza & Lincoln Heights.

It is critical that we build technologically up to date solutions that are sustainable, future-proof, and just, with the next generation in mind. Young people are bearing the burdens brought upon us by the policies of yesteryear, and our communities are being decimated by COVID-19. I believe in policies backed by sound science to get us through this pandemic together.

As a delegate over the past 2 years in AD51, I focused on outreach to people who were less politically engaged, and focused on critical issues that were not prioritized. I was the only AD51 delegate to endorse Andrew Yang & UBI in the 2020 primary, representing all who support fresh ideas based on responsible use of facts and data, and who support new voices in the arena. We see that his proposals, like UBI, could have been a lifeline for workers in this pandemic if they were available to Americans.

As a Latina/Middle Eastern American, I was the only AD51 Delegate who was a member of the Arab American Caucus, supporting peace in the Middle East, advocating for support for Armenia in the current conflict, and advocating to solve issues having to do with representation such as bringing attention to the lack of a MENA category on the census. I was also a member of the Chicano Latino Caucus and continued my work in NELA as a Budget Advocate for Region 8 fighting the historic and systemic disinvestment that our communities have faced, and as a non-profit President fighting the erasure of Latino culture and history.

I have a proven track record of advocacy for our Northeast & Eastside neighborhoods on many issues including:

*Government Transparency
*Student Loan Forgiveness & Reform
*Medicare for All
*Housing Justice
*Immigrant Rights & Sanctuary City policy
*Environmental Justice
*STEAM Advocacy
*Campaign Finance Reform
*Municipal Broadband

I want to continue my advocacy on these issues to ensure that our Democratic party is going in the right direction. I humbly ask for your vote to represent you as one of your AD51 Assembly District Delegates. Vote Jamie Tijerina for Delegate & Communities United for AD51.

Please view my candidate video here:

Jamie Tijerina

My name is Francis Engler and I ask for your vote as a California Democratic Party Delegate part of the Communities United for the 51st Assembly District. I live in Glassell Park, and I am the California Political Director of UNITE HERE Local 11, which is a union of 30,000 hospitality workers. I’ve been building LA’s labor movement and electing progressive candidates to office for 23 years. I made a video about my efforts to push the Democratic Party to stand up for working people which you can watch by clicking

For the past four years my union has been preparing for the 2020 elections. When Trump was elected in 2016, our members met and decided we needed to be ready to stop his reelection by turning Arizona blue. We merged our Southern California and Arizona locals into one organization, we trained our worker committee in door-to-door canvassing, we raised funds, and we tested our grassroots organization by supporting progressive candidates for local office. A former housekeeper and union leader is now the Vice-Mayor of Phoenix!

When the 2020 election began, our canvassers got out on the doors first around the country, starting a ground game in Arizona July to turn out voters who did not cast ballots in 2016. We organized the country’s largest union-door-to-door canvassing operation. We consulted with epidemiologists to develop safety protocols for canvassing during the COVID epidemic and recruited an army of hundreds of laid-off hospitality workers who moved from LA to Phoenix for the election campaign. Housekeepers, cooks, dishwashers and bartenders knocked on 800,000 doors, made 2.5 million calls, and talked to 250,000 Arizonans. More important than any demographic changes, it is the face-to-face conversations with voters that has made Arizona turn blue in November.

I hope to help Democrats run better, more grassroots electoral campaigns with a larger organization of volunteers who are good at door-to-door organizing. To do this, we have to also ensure that elected officials who call themselves Democrats actually fight for working families on issues of jobs, housing, and environmental justice, so that working-class voters feel like their party stands for them. I ask for your vote as Party Delegate so that I can push for these two changes.

Francis Engler

I am a long-time resident and homeowner in El Sereno and a proud father of two young children attending an area LAUSD elementary school. I am also a committed progressive with over 25 years experience as a community organizer helping to build people power from the bottom-up and ensuring we prioritize families and communities over corporations.

I have dedicated my life to fight for social and economic justice. After college, I returned home to Los Angeles by serving as a teacher and co-founding InnerCity Struggle, which continues to advance social justice in the Eastside of Los Angeles by organizing youth and families to create positive change. I previously served as a delegate and secretary for AD 51 delegation for the LACDP.

I spent years developing the leadership of boys and young men of color to engage in organizing to dismantle the school to prison pipeline and end mass incarceration in California. As a result, I joined forces with community organizers across the state to launch a new organization now known as Power California. The purpose of the organization is to educate and empower young voters of color to help shape the future of California based on the values of justice, equity and opportunity for all. Since 2016, I have served as Power California’s Executive Director by building the organization’s capacity to engage hundreds of young leaders of color to mobilize thousands of youth of color to participate in elections. The work of Power California has led to a new generation of youth leadership demanding greater access to voting rights, living wages, health care for all, affordable housing, tax and fiscal reform and an end to structural racism.

My experience and values inform my interest to serve as a delegate for the California Democratic Party. I will fight to ensure the values of equity and representation are protected and that our communities’ voices are recognized. I will demand that those we elect advance justice and opportunity for all – workers, youth, women, LGBTQIA+, the disabled, tenants and the elderly. The future is in our hands and we have to demand bold action by our representatives.

I am seeking your vote to be a delegate for the California Democratic Party and support for our slate Communities United for AD 51, because we will fight for equity and justice.

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Luis Antonio Sanchez

Hi My name is Michael Contreras born and raised in El Sereno. I am a political organizer, social justice warrior and labor organizer with International Brotherhood of Teamsters. And, recently became President of the Northeast Democratic Club of Los Angeles. When COVID-19 hit it affected all of us especially our communities of color in Northeast and East Los Angeles which were hit the hardest. I could not sit back and watch as our communities were faltering. I decided to help out with food distributions all over Los Angeles. I also organized and mobilized friends and family and raised funds to help buy groceries for many families in dire need of help. I knew that supporting these families were essential during these challenging times.
2020 Election was a critical moment in history. Me and my union made calls all over the country to get out and vote for President-elect Biden and VP-elect Harris. I am proud to say that my union was able to lead the way to a new beginning of a dramatic shift in America. I also worked on trying to defeat Prop 22 in California because I believe everyone deserves a good paying job. A job that can guarantee workers a minimum wage, paid sick leave and other worker protections. I truly believe we have to protect our workforce with basic human rights.
My group and I decided to come together and run to become Assembly District Delegates because we need folks that look like us to represent our community. We need new blood in the Democratic party.
I will be honored to have your support and vote for myself & Communities United for AD 51. Thank You

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Michael Contreras

Hi my name is Vicente Gonzalez-Reyes Jr.

I’m so very luck to be a father of 4 children, a native Angeleno, and a proud resident of Lincoln Heights. I have lived here for over 20 years. I excited to be running to become an Assembly Delegate for District 51.

I’m a proud union member and have been working as US Postal Service as a letter carrier for the last 13 years. I’m an active member of my union NALC Local Branch 24, I’m a proud dues paying member, union officer and a union organizer.

I’m also an Executive Board Member for LCLAA, a rep for the Lincoln Heights Neighborhood Council and member of the Northeast Democratic Club of LA.

I love giving back to my community. I volunteer with several organizations such as LA Young Workers, Labor Community Services, LA County Fed of Labor, Plaza De La Raza, Our Lady of Guadalupe Rose Hills. I can’t make monetary donations but i give my heart and soul to these organizations.

I want to continue to fight for my community as an Assembly Delegate. I will fight to make sure that homelessness, lack of affordable housing, food inequality, parks and recs and others are part of the Democratic Party and what we stand for.

I just don’t talk bout it , I Take Action. This is why I am running again to be your representative. I hope I can count on your vote for myself and Communities United for AD 51.

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Vicente Gonzalez-Reyes

My name is Stephanie Maynetto-Jackson and I am seeking your vote to be a delegate for the California Democratic Party; I strongly believe that united we stand and divided we fall.
I was born and raised in Highland Park into a family of immigrants that left their war torn countries for a better life. I graduated high school during one of the worst economic recessions and attempted to go to college. However, as a first generation student with no guidance, I found myself working two part time jobs to pay for college myself. I decided to join the military, serve my country, and ultimately pay for my higher education. After joining, I realized I was not alone; many join the Military for stability, an education, medical benefits, to survive, and/or escape their situations whatever they may be.
During my tenure in the Military I dedicated my time to being an Equal Opportunity Leader focusing on equal opportunity and diversity management. Now, as a veteran, I have been organizing in our community and serving as a volunteer. Our community is changing, and as we progress we should focus on equity to ensure that no one is left behind. Many of us believe, “give a man a fish, you feed him 1 day; teach a man to fish, you feed him for 1 lifetime. However, I want to ensure, first and foremost, our community has access to the lake and the great opportunity that flows from it. It is the resources we invest in our communities that teaches one to fish. Without you we cannot move forward.
After serving my country for 10 years, I am compelled to continue serving in my community as a parent advocate. I want to ensure our future generations have more options available to them and are aware of these options! As a widowed mother of two multiracial boys, I know firsthand the struggles of trying to raise a family in this economy. Without the support of my family, I too would be one of the thousands of families left homeless. It is important for our communities to receive the resources we need to survive.
As a delegate for the California Democratic Party, I will make sure that we are represented accordingly. I will fight vigorously to ensure that our voices are heard and our needs met.
I will voice my support for people that will fight for universal healthcare, universal preschool, workers rights, living wages, immigration reform, and climate change reforms.
Watch Video

Stephanie Maynetto-Jackson

My name is Victor G. Sanchez, and I’m an organizer, working families policy advocate and first generation Angelino born, raised and living in the district (Eagle Rock). I’m running to be an Assembly Democratic Party Delegate to ensure our Party is held accountable in pushing for the bold policy solutions we need to ensure California works for all.

As we venture into a post-Trump world, the social inequities that have long persisted before and during his administration have only worsened with the COVID-19 pandemic. Even despite helping to elect Joe Biden, we failed in not being able to secure the right outcome on key ballot measures like Proposition 15, 16, 21, and 22. We have a lot of work to do.

There is an opportunity to push our Party to support policy that makes meaningful progress in changing the life circumstances of our most vulnerable working families. We can do this by ensuring California is leading the way with progressive solutions to stopping climate change, protecting and expanding workers’ right to organize, extending universal health coverage for all, protecting tenants and expanding housing opportunities for everyone, ending mass incarceration, protecting immigrants, and achieving free public higher education.

Now is not the time to settle. Working families and other vulnerable communities are struggling. With mass unemployment, struggling small businesses, and a worsening health crises, our Party must show political courage in pushing back against corporate interests.

To achieve the type of economic recovery we need, we must invest in systemic policy changes that rebuild the social safety net and ensure everyone has the means to thrive.

I humbly ask you to vote for me and the other leaders that are part of the Communities United for AD51 slate. Please also check out this short video I’ve made with a little more on why I’m running: Watch Video

Victor G. Sanchez

I’m James Johnson and 40 years ago as a student at Dorsey High School I attended my first Democratic State Convention as a volunteer. The experience changed my life. I would love to represent our community, the 51st AD as a CDP delegate and Executive Board Representative. I’m a former Democrat of the Year, E-Board Rep, and currently serve on the Resolutions Committee where I’m a progressive force. I live with my wife Valerie, and adult son Gabriel, in Mt. Washington.

I’ve worked on economic and social justice issues as a SEIU organiser for more than 25 years, as the first African American Political Director of the California League of Conservation Voters, and as a member of the team that helped elect Jackie Goldberg back to the School Board. My goal is always to work on specific issues with an eye toward building long lasting coalitions and multiracial unity.

I’m proud that my life-long friend and SEIU 660 comrade, Councilmember Gil Cedillo has endorsed me.

These are very challenging times and the next two years will test us all as Democrats. As someone who’s committed to the best values of our party and who knows how to get the real work done, I ask for your vote.

You can contact me at

James (JJ) Johnson

I am a proud first-generation American and hope to serve and contribute to our State as a delegate to the California Democratic Party. I have a passion for public service, and I have committed my life to helping others as a practicing Immigration Attorney. I am driven by the memory of my late father, who came to this country from Mexico over 30 years ago. In a small town in Alabama, he was able to start his own restaurant and achieve his “American Dream.” He was my greatest inspiration and is the reason why I chose my profession. In my career, I strive every day to help immigrants from around the world to accomplish their own dreams in this country. I want to bring my expertise in Immigration Law to good use as a delegate to the California Democratic Party.

I started my legal career with the US Department of Justice during the Obama Administration through the Attorney General Honor’s Attorney Program. I was assigned to work directly with the Immigration Courts in the Los Angeles area. In addition to government experience, I also bring experience serving in community organizations, as I am the former Directing Attorney for Immigration and Refugee Services at Catholic Charities of Los Angeles (CCLA). In that role, I ran the Immigration Services division for CCLA and partnered with local governments, small businesses and other nonprofit organizations to host Immigration clinics and to provide immigration services to the Los Angeles community at large.

I love this country and aim to use this opportunity to help the California Democratic Party create a fair and just immigration process for all and to help secure our values as a nation of immigrants.

Gabriel Castro

My name is Selene Betancourt and I would be honored to represent your voice within the California Democratic Party.

When my grandparents immigrated to the United States, this district welcomed them. From Glassell Park to Lincoln Heights, they worked hard to achieve the American Dream. We may have a supermajority in the State Legislature, but when we look at our own neighborhoods, it doesn’t feel like it. I’m running to represent AD51 to ensure the Party represents the working class, not the corporate elites.

I’m a strong advocate for Reproductive Justice and I believe everyone deserves the right to decide if, when, and how to raise a family in a safe and sustainable community. This means we need economic and racial justice alongside strong reproductive rights. As a member of NARAL Pro-Choice California and a leader within our Los Angeles Action Council, I have lobbied for legislation that supports gender and racial equity.

As a member of the Feminist Front LA Chapter, I have worked to increase voter turnout for young folks and minorities. This last election we created a how-to vote guide to help demystify electoral politics for the Los Angeles community. It’s time Millennials and Gen Z have more stake in the Democratic Party.

Like many of us, I also lost my job and health insurance during the Pandemic. This past year has made it abundantly clear that we need Medicare-for-All. Healthcare is a right, not a privilege, but access to healthcare is simply not enough. To keep our communities safe and healthy, we need affordable housing and job security as well.

Vote for me and I will push the California Democratic Party forward on these progressive issues.

Thank you.

Selene Betancourt

I’m an activist and attorney with a law practice focusing on union-side labor and police misconduct. I advocated for the rights of workers at one of the state’s largest union locals for over six years.

The pandemic has been a lesson – we are responsible for each other’s health and well-being whether we like it or not. We’ve seen what happens when people don’t hold up their part in the invisible but very real social contract. Governments are also a party to this social contract, but our leaders in government have failed to uphold it time and time again. That’s why 2020, the year of upheaval here and around the world, signaled the end to business as usual.

The system is rigged. Our laws and leaders favor corporations over humans because our nation was founded in the notion that some people deserve life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness while others – Indigenous people, Black people, and women – don’t. Our political system was never intended to give everyone an equal voice. That’s why we need to change the system.

Our nation and the world are at a crossroads. We’re in dire need of healing as a city, a nation, and a planet. Each of us can either forge new ways to thrive together through a new social contract, or else we as a nation and a species will perish together. I choose the path of hope, which is also the path of resistance against the powerful forces of apathy and greed. I will advocate for all to have basics like universal healthcare, clean air and water, healthy food, affordable housing, a living wage, and quality public education. I will advocate for care not cops because people deserve mental health services, rehabilitation, and restorative justice rather than prisons. These policies are not only more cost-effective as shown in study after study, all people in our country, no matter where they’re from or what they look like, have the right to live with dignity, health and joy. Our government needs transformation in order to serve the people, be representative of the people, and be accountable to the people.

We are but visitors on this earth, yet our actions and inaction today and tomorrow ripple far into the future and wider than the oceans. Help me be part of the change for you.

Jiyoung Carolyn Park

Sarah Rascon leads the Mountains Recreation & Conservation Authority’s (MRCA) continuing efforts to revitalize an urban waterway, the 51-mile Los Angeles River and its tributaries with new natural parks and recreational opportunities spanning Los Angeles County. She is tasked with cultivating, building and strengthening coalitions and networks to advance understanding and support for parks, pursue climate resiliency efforts and conservation among diverse urban constituencies, while engaging community-based organizations, elected officials and public agencies.

Rascon is a planning, public policy and community engagement professional, most recently having overseen and completed the development of the Upper LA River and Tributaries Revitalization Plan, encompassing six cities throughout Los Angeles County in the Upper LA River watershed. The Plan which Rascon led identifies more than 300 opportunities for environmental and community enhancements, incorporates more than 1,500 public and stakeholder comments, and establishes climate resiliency metrics.

Previously, Rascon served as a field deputy for the 51st State Assembly District. While working for the State Assembly, she was the lead for Latino/a and LGBTQ affairs, and environmental issues. Rascon was also responsible for overseeing more than half of the 51st district which encompasses Lincoln Heights, Mt. Washington, Cypress Park, Glassell Park, Eagle Rock, Highland Park, Silverlake, Echo Park, El Sereno, Chinatown, and unincorporated areas of Los Angeles County. Sarah Rascon is a native Angeleno raised in the 51st district with roots in El Sereno, having attended El Sereno Elementary, All Saints, and having been a participant of the El Sereno Stallions Organization.

Rascon remains committed to public service and engaged in the Greater Los Angeles Area while serving as an active Board Member of CicLAvia, a member of Northeast Democratic Club and also serves as a Commissioner for the City of Los Angeles, East Area Planning Commission.

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Sarah Rascon

Hi, my name is Alex De Ocampo. I am a Democratic activist and son of Filipino Immigrants and a lifelong resident of Los Angeles.

I started my career in the entertainment industry through the Youth Entertainment Summer program, which connected students of diverse backgrounds to jobs at studios. I worked my way up through the ranks, starting as an assistant and ultimately managing a private foundation. With nearly $400 million of giving to causes around the globe, I helped establish the foundation’s most impactful projects in Los Angeles.

Having grown up in an immigrant family and climbing out of poverty through my work in the arts and entertainment industry, I brought this perspective as a board member of East West Players (Los Angeles based Asian American Theater Group) and the California State Summer School for the Arts Board of Trustees.

I am an active member of the Democratic Party, having served as the President of the California Young Democrats, and as a delegate to several state and national conventions.

I reside in Mt. Washington with my husband and our two dogs. We have served as foster parents as well.

I hope to count on your support for myself and Communities United for AD 51.

Please feel free to visit the link below:

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Alex De Ocampo

My name is Eric Pierce. I am a gay male, a union member, medical social worker, a veteran’s spouse. I am a proud lifelong resident of Assembly District 51. I am a member of the Democratic Socialist of America and was a volunteer for the Bernie Campaign. I spent much of my free time canvassing, phone banking, and fund raising. I look around me and see how my neighbors and families in the 51st District are hurting. Homelessness, lack of healthcare, lack of job and economic opportunity plague my assembly district If I get the opportunity to serve as an A Dem, I pledge to fight for Medicare For All in California, a Green New Deal for California, justice for IBPOC community. As a social worker I see daily the need to move money from “Patrol and Control” to housing, healthcare, education, and opportunity. I am also a member of Health Care NOW Los Angeles Chapter and organize with a coalition of partners to get California to adopt Single Payer Healthcare. In closing, it is extremely important to have the values of AD 51 represented in the California Democratic Party. I feel I can represent those values with your support. I ask for your vote to move our values forward. Thank You.

Eric Pierce

COVID-19 is an overdue awakening. It has taken the ravages of a global pandemic to starkly illustrate the consequences of our grossly underfunded social programs. Millions are unemployed; more than 350 thousand Californians facing eviction because they cannot pay their rent; an untold number of children falling behind in their education for want of internet access; and thousands of long-haulers who survived the virus only to risk financial ruin for the long-term rehabilitation costs of a profit driven medical system, to name but a few of the catastrophes facing us.

COVID-19 is an opportunity. For the first time in decades, most Americans need government aid, and recognize the toll gaps in funding have on their basic needs and those of their children. Now is the time for progressive policies to be the Democratic Party agenda. We must press forward aggressively in this moment, not only to aid those struggling now, but to prevent future pain from the next crisis that is sure to come.

I am running as a delegate for AD-51 because I believe that housing is healthcare; that medical treatment is a human right; that addressing climate change means robust public transit; and that when we subsidize education we are investing in our collective future. California should be leading the way forward. Instead, bills that speak to our most urgent needs are allowed to languish in committees. This is unconscionable. I reject the excuse that these goals are too expensive. Simply put, it is too expensive not to implement them. As we have witnessed, the status quo is as hopelessly inadequate as it is unsustainable.

If elected, I will advocate tirelessly for the changes that we not only need and deserve but have earned. It would be my honor to represent AD-51 in the fight for a California that serves and protects all her people. I humbly ask for your vote. Thank you for your consideration.

Lauren Buisson

Highland Park has been home since my family immigrated here 16 years ago. I attended UCLA to get my Masters in Education and I’m currently a science teacher at my alma mater – Eagle Rock HS! As an immigrant woman of color, and a teacher, I’ve come to understand the importance of fairness, transparency, and equity. It’s clear that our Party could benefit from these values through the eyes of a new generation. I hope to work with others to boldly endorse transformative policies and candidates whose vision for the district espouses real reform and is actively inclusive of the people’s voices.

Just as I did four years ago in this position, I plan on voting and endorsing according to our community’s values (including the often-left-behind East LA). As one of your delegates, I will do my best to be attentive and responsive to your opinions and needs. There are a lot of great people to running to represent you. I hope that you’ll consider giving me a chance to serve once again and I appreciate your participation in this very important election!

Highland Park ha sido mi hogar desde que mi familia inmigró aquí hace 16 años. Asistí a UCLA para obtener mi maestría en Educación y actualmente soy maestra de ciencias en Eagle Rock HS! Cómo mujer, inmigrante, y maestra, he llegado a comprender la importancia de la justicia, transparencia, y la equidad. Está claro que nuestro Partido podría beneficiarse de estos valores a través de los ojos de una nueva generación. Espero trabajar con otros para respaldar audazmente políticas transformadoras y a candidatos cuya visión para el distrito propugna una reforma real e incluya las voces de la gente.

Tal como lo hice hace cuatro años, planeo votar y respaldar de acuerdo con los valores y necesidades de nuestra comunidad. Cómo una de sus delegadas, haré todo lo posible para estar atenta, y responder, a sus opiniones y necesidades. Hay muchas personas excelentes que también quieren su voto para representar a nuestro distrito. Espero que considere darme la oportunidad de servirle nuevamente y agradezco su participación en esta elección que es tan importante!

Mishna Erana Hernandez

My name is Kathrina Abrot and I hope to earn your vote to be an Assembly Delegate representative for the California Democratic Party. I am a Filipino immigrant born in Manila, lifelong Angeleno, and resident of Echo Park.

I have worked to elect progressive Democrats across the country, California, and my mission is to continue to fight for equal representation and gender equity. I practice that in my career working professionally in political campaigns.

We still have so much work to do.

As a Filipino American, time and time again Filipinos are left out of the conversation despite the fact that we are one of the largest Asian populations in the state of California. The 51st Assembly District is home to one of the largest Filipino populations and immigrants, and yet we have taken a backseat in policy making decisions that directly impact us. Covid19 has deeply impacted our communities, especially our Filipino nurses – many of whom have become one of the pandemic’s largest casualties. The time is NOW to have a seat at the table for our communities and save lives.

We need to have our Democratic Party champion our values, and this past election has taught us that when we work together, we can push for progressive policies that work for all communities especially communities of color.

However – we still have so much work to do to make real change.

My name is Kathrina Abrot, and I hope to earn your vote to be an Assembly Delegate for the California Democratic Party.

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Kathrina Abrot

Whether you’re a “Bernicrat” who voted for Biden in the general or you supported Biden from the get-go, I’m a 100 percent certain you agree he beat Trump and won the election fair and square.

Make no mistake. Trump’s enablers in high office (Mitch McConnell), as well as his Proud Boys and Patriot Prayer street thugs are hell bent to upend fair elections and democracy itself.

The best way to stop them is to dig in our heels on the values and policies that define today’s Democratic Party. If we fail this test, if we appease these bullies and thugs, we’ll snatch defeat out of the jaws of victory.

What does that mean?

It means doubling down on making our party even more inclusive to new voices. It also means doubling down on making sure our ADEMs are always fair and transparent, free from party insider hanky-panky. That means doubling down on electing progressive populists as state party leaders — political street fighters that won’t suffer these fools.

And that’s why I’m asking for your vote for district delegate. That’s why I’m asking you to send me to the Democratic Convention.

Because I get it. We can make our Party even stronger. We can make it unstoppable! Now’s the time to do it. We have to elect Democrats who are progressive populists to local and state offices this year and in 2022.

I get it. I’ll give you an example of what I mean by it, too. One thing I know for sure. It’s not about getting a slew selfies with gaggles of electeds at nameless events, and posting them on your Facebook Feed. Selfies don’t make a difference!

Let me explain what I mean: The water protectors in North Dakota (Yesh…that feels like eons ago now!); Black Lives Matter organizers; anti-fascist and anti-racist activists. They prove it doesn’t matter who you know to make a difference and change the world.

Sure, I ran and got elected in the 2011-2012 ADEM. So, I know my way around the resolution and endorsement process a wee bit. I did tons of committee work with nonprofits and neighborhood councils in Northeast L.A. through the years. So, yeah I know Roberts Rules Of Order a wee bit.

I’ll help make the California Democratic Party stronger, progressive populist stronger!

Philip Iglauer

Hello fellow AD 51 Dems! My name is Ezra Pugh, and I am a life-long Angelino. I grew up in Atwater Village and have now lived in Echo Park for 8 years.

I was one of our district’s Bernie Sanders delegates to the Democratic National Convention earlier this year, and I am passionate about pushing progressive issues forward. I have been active in many local grassroots groups, such as DSA LA where I was the treasurer in 2019 and Our Revolution LA where I was the treasurer in 2018. I have also volunteered with the Echo Park Neighborhood Council, Sunrise Movement, and local political campaigns like Jackie Goldberg for School Board, and others.

If elected, I vow to keep pushing progressive issues forward inside of the party. I will do my best to not allow big monied special interests to dictate what our party is about. Even though Trump is leaving the White House, our work is nowhere near over. We must not get complacent but continue to push for issues we believe in like Medicare for All and a Green New Deal.

Please elect me so I can make your voice heard!

Ezra Pugh

I am running to serve as a delegate in our state Democratic Party because I believe healthcare is a human right and in public schools, workers’ dignity and equal pay, women’s and LGBTQ equality, housing for all, respect for immigrants, environmental justice, and efforts to end gun violence. I also believe that if we want an inclusive party that serves the people and the planet’s survival and if we expect honest government that protects public health and the common good, not private interests, I have a duty to lead by example. This is my opportunity.

Casey Revkin Ryan

I am running to be an Assembly District 51 Delegate to give a voice to my district and be a force for progressive change. I’ve watched with the rest of you as our country, state, and city have strayed away from critical values of fairness, decency, and care for each other, and I am fire up to make sure we get back on track to a more inclusive and just society. As an attorney and former city commissioner in West Hollywood, I’ve stood up for public spaces, progressive rent policies, justice for victims of police violence, undocumented immigrants’ rights, and grassroots change. I believe that aggressively combatting global warming is a human imperative, that protecting the right of all voting-age Americans to cast their ballot is paramount, that money in politics is fatal to a democratic republic, and that black and brown lives must be affirmatively protected.

In my former role as a city commissioner, I took citizen input very seriously, and I would do that as an AD 51 Delegate as well. I believe in listening more than I talk and in holding my colleagues up instead working toward my own objectives. I would bring an intersectional anti-racist, anti-patriarchal, anti-hetero/cis-normative perspective to the Democratic party.

In my spare time, I hang out with my two dogs, Bruce and Sasha, both adopted from LA Animal Services. (Plug to please consider a shelter pet!) I love to hike and travel and support local businesses and be out in this beautiful city of ours. I know what a tough time this is for Angelenos. It has been for me as well, as fortunate as I have also been. But I believe we’ll get through this together. And I hope that you will give me the chance to fight for you! I thank you for your consideration.

Margaret Buckles

I am running to serve as a delegate in our state Democratic Party because I am incensed by our country’s lack of climate crisis intervention. Environmental justice is under recognized and BIPOC in EJ communities are historically abused, underserved and undermined. If we do not take climate preservation action immediately, our planet will continue to rapidly decline. Racial and social justice are also top priorities for me. I strongly support LGBTQIA and women’s equality, and a fair system for public health. I believe this opportunity will allow me to fight for those who are unable to fight for themselves. I believe it is my moral obligation to do all that I can for the members of my community, both locally and globally.

Emily Spoked

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In 1993, I joined with friends in Silver Lake and Los Feliz to found Democrats for Neighborhood Action (DNA), a chartered club of the Los Angeles County Democratic party that flourishes to this day. Our first campaign as a club was Jackie Goldberg’s first run for the Los Angeles City Council. Over the next seven years we pursued a neighborhood-based model of political organizing, voter registration, and community education in a gradually widening area, while the area’s Assembly, State Senate and U.S. House seats flipped from red to blue for the first time in over half a century.

During my time in Silver Lake, I served in every office of DNA, including president, and was elected to the Central Committees of the Los Angeles County Democratic Party and the California Democratic Party. I have made my living as a website editor and speechwriter. In 2011, my wife Margaret and I bought a home in Highland Park. We remain active in DNA as well as in East Area Progressive Democrats.

I am running for the State Central Committee because I believe it is essential that we select leadership for our party — and candidates for office — who are free of influence from powerful interests that stand in the way of progressive Democratic goals.

I believe our goals should be an inclusive society with an environmentally sustainable economy that provides universal access to health care, housing, and education, and that protects all members of society from discrimination and violence — whether that violence is perpetrated by private citizens or by law enforcement.

I have included a link (above) to a short video introducing myself and my aspirations for our party. I will be grateful for your support.

Hugh Esten

My name is Victor Adrian Frias. I was born and raised in East Los Angeles. I’m a Special Education Teacher with LAUSD and the United Teachers Los Angeles (UTLA) Chapter Chair at my school site. I participated in the LAUSD/UTLA strike in January 2019 where I advocated for class size reduction, guaranteed nurse & librarian at every school and less standardized testing. I am a community organizer fighting for educational and environmental justice in Southeast LA. Specifically, we are working to address the lack of charter school accountability and oversight and the toxins/pollutants in the land that have long plagued Southeast LA.

I’m a strong advocate of progressive policies, which led me to be elected as a Delegate for Bernie Sanders in 2020 representing California’s 40th Congressional District. As a Delegate, I pushed for progressive candidates and policies within the Democratic Party. I will always advocate and work for progressive policies that serve all people such as Medicare for All, Green New Deal, tuition-free college, student loan forgiveness, immigration reform, & police reform, LGBTQ+ rights, and increased funding for public schools.

If elected your Assembly Delegate, my goal is to uplift the voices of East LA and the entire AD51 community because our voices must be heard. I will focus on issues affecting our community now – affordable housing, healthcare for all, gentrification, and unregulated charter school growth. I firmly believe that as an Assembly Delegate, I will push forward with progressive ideas for a more just and inclusive society.

The work I do, the labor I give – it’s all for my community & I will continue to work unconditionally with all my heart. I hope that I have earned your vote.

Victor Frias

Having been born and raised in California Assembly District 51, I care deeply about my community, my neighbors, and our shared quality of life. I seek to serve as a delegate in our state Democratic Party because I believe in healthcare as a human right, the pursuit of racial justice, public schools, workers’ equal pay, women’s and LGBTQ equality, dignity for our houseless neighbors, respect for immigrants, environmental justice, and an end to gun violence. Through this position, I seek an inclusive party that serves the people and the planet’s survival, with honest government that protects public health and the common good, and not primarily powerful special interests. As a member of this community, I have a duty to lead by example. This is my opportunity and I ask for your support.

Brian Micó

I am running to serve as a delegate in our state Democratic Party because I believe that it is time for people like myself to stop watching from the sidelines and to fight for what we believe in. We are in a pivotal moment in time and it is imperative that we move forward to create a better future for all. That future includes things that are fundamental human rights such as healthcare, racial justice, equal pay for women and LGBTQ, treating workers with dignity, housing for all, respect for immigrants, environmental justice and efforts to end gun violence. I am especially passionate about educational issues because I am a teacher. For me teaching is a vocation, not a career. I have worked in both private and public schools. I have been working in this field for 34 years in different capacities. Through the years, I have witnessed what works and what doesn’t. I have many ideas and things to say and I am committed to advocate for students and parents in the community. I am a fluent Spanish speaker. I also believe that if we want an inclusive party, that serves the people and the planet’s survival, and if we expect honest government that protects public health and the common good, not private interests, I have a duty to lead by example. This is my opportunity and I’m ready and willing to fight for our future.

Alicia Romero Pérez

My name is Jesus “Chuy” Garcia and I am a proud son of immigrant parents who came to the United States for a better future. I am running to serve as a delegate in our state Democratic Party because I believe healthcare is a human right, racial justice, public schools, workers’ dignity, equal pay, women’s and LGBTQ equality, housing for all, respect for immigrants, environmental justice, and efforts to end gun violence. I believe this is my opportunity to lead by example to ensure that we have an inclusive party that serves the people and a government that protects public health and the common good, not private interests.

Jesus "Chuy" Garcia

Los Angeles has always been a city inhabited by stivers and dreamers, and nowhere in our city is that fact better represented than the Eastside. In my years of living on the Eastside; what I have learned is never to underestimate the power of our community’s dreams.

I want to serve in this role because I have seen the immense challenges our community faces. Many of these challenges are long-standing, and our current COVID crisis created many. I believe that we collectively can do so much more to empower our community’s dreams, but it will require our community and party to show moral leadership during this time.

Specifically, I want to prioritize the fundamental economic issues that working families face in our community in the coming years:

Rebuilding our Economy after COVID, to make sure every resident in our community can access good jobs

Pursuing policies that will make housing affordable again

Bringing down the cost of healthcare in our state

Getting kids back on track educationally after COVID and ensuring we have not done long-term damage to our kids’ academic future

I believe that taking small steps in all of these directions will be crucial to our community’s health and working families’ ability to achieve their dreams. As someone who has served the community as a Business Advisor, Tutor, Church Leader, and Basketball Coach, I would be honored to serve as your voice in the Democratic party.

To learn more, you can visit my website:

Thomas S Irwin

I am a proud Democrat, but I am a Democrat who recognizes the flaws in our party’s current leadership. We need bold progressive policies, and we need to execute them in a way that works for all of us. We must fight for policies like Medicare For All, a Green New Deal, and criminal justice. It’s time for real change. The Democratic Party can be the party of these changes, and California can be the epicenter of this progress.

I am a young activist. I co-founded and run the sexual assault victims’ organization Survivor’s Power, in the capacity of which I organized the national walkout Oct12 against sexual violence. I have worked as a political strategist for a number of campaigns, at the local, state, and federal level. I have worked with organizations like Women’s March LA, Black Future Project, and the Latino Theatre Company. We need a state party that works for all of us.

Progressive policies don’t have to raise the taxes of everyday people. Progressive policies should make all of our lives easier and better. I am a champion of the working class, the downtrodden, and those who have been ignored in our party. I hope I can have your vote in this upcoming election.

Alex Gruenenfelder

My name is Ismael Parra. People call me Smiley. I am running for democratic party delegate for the 51st assembly district in California. I am on the People’s Action slate. I am a writer now and Chairperson of the SoCal Chapter of the National Writers Union which represents free lancers in all genres and all media. I volunteered in Labor for Bernie and strive for everyone to have a good job at union wages and benefits. I think climate change is real and dangerous and that our military budget, which is more than half of our national budget, needs to be cut and the those funds should be used for people’s needs such as public health care for anyone living in the USA, free education preschool through college for all including the cancelling of college debt, housing, pandemic relief and prosecuting police involved shootings.

Ismael Parra (Smiley)

I have decided once again to run as a Delegate and E-Board Member for the Democratic Party. The experience I had as an Executive Board Member was enlightening and I think I can continue to make a difference.

My career as a LAUSD school teacher and principal gave me a deep understanding as to how we can better serve our public schools through progressive legislation and legislators that understand how to make a difference. Also as a UTLA rep. for nearly ten years I know that supporting and protecting school staff leads to a more effective educational system for our students.

My concern and work for climate issues has been a central part of my life for decades. As an active volunteer for many environmenta groups I have come to see a clear connection of the “climate crisis” and issues such as housing, health, social justice and immigration. I have also learned over the years that it takes many approaches to mitigate this worldwide emergency. I will always seek and support idealistic and pragmatic ways to combat these issues.

I hope to have your support to continue to advance this work through the Democratic Party.

Eileen Hatrick

My name is Ben Cassorla and I’m running to serve as a delegate in our state Democratic Party. I’m a proud father and musician living in Los Angeles who has spent the last 7 years involved in the Housing and Homelessness crisis. If elected, I will push the party to take on this crisis with every lever imaginable, from a stronger commitment to tenant protections to a major investment in Affordable and non-market housing solutions. At the same time, I believe the best solutions arise when we engage locally to solve community problems from within.

After taking part in the homeless count, I began volunteering at the Midnight Mission doing educational and job services intake and preparing hundreds of frozen chicken legs for lunch. Seeing the impossibility in finding housing for those I worked with activated me to organize. I began a free series of talks at my recording studio to bring those from the art world together with immigration, housing, domestic violence, and prison reform activists. Working with LA Forward, a local non-profit, I co-founded a housing book club (still going!) to better educate the public about the depth of the crisis. Finally, I began advocating in front of Neighborhood Councils all over Los Angeles for more Affordable Housing.

This last experience led me to run for a vacant seat on my own Neighborhood Council, and a year after winning I became the co-chair of the Housing & Tenant’s Rights committee. In that role, I’ve organized a Tenant’s Rights town hall with eviction experts and authored motions to advocate for greater City Council commitments to equitable housing and tenant protections.

When COVID-19 arrived in LA, we all saw its still-existing potential to cause an eviction tsunami, so I helped start a group called HEY NEIGHBOR. We set up Emergency Funds backed by city and private dollars for low income families at local elementary schools (5 so far and 1 on the way). We engaged non-profit partners like Hunger Action LA so schools without a PTA could still receive support. So far, we have raised over $40,000 in direct aid for over 400 families. In 2021, we hope to expand the program into even more schools.

If elected, I’ll continue to bring people together (whether inside or outside the Democratic Party structure) to organize for an equitable California where more of our neighbors are taken care of.

Ben Cassorla

I am a health equity advocate and a Latinx millennial passionate about civic engagement.

I’m running for the ADEM51 slate because I believe deeply that Participation is Powerful.

As a former middle school teacher, community organizer, California State Assembly staffer, and now an advocate by trade, my commitment is to create a more equitable Los Angeles.

As a community organizer, I fought alongside more than 1,800 South and East LA parents for safe and clean streets.

As a legislative aide, I worked to pass AB 2153 – requiring battery manufacturers to fund the clean up of communities impacted by lead-acid battery contamination.

And most recently, I advocated for more than $25 million dollars of LA County’s CARES Act funds to support undocumented and mixed status families with grocery vouchers.

Community building as well as policy and advocacy fuel my passion to share our greatest tool to fight inequity with participation.

A vote for me is a vote to continue the fight for people power.

Thank you.

Amanda Miguel Staples

My name is Abby (she/her), and I’m a community organizer and climate activist with the Sunrise Movement. I’m running to be a delegate because I believe our community is not being adequately served under the current democratic leadership.

Here in AD51, our neighbors are struggling. My neighborhood, Highland Park, is experiencing gentrification and cultural erasure. Aging oil wells in Echo Park are threatening the health of residents, while Chinatown suffers from the worst air quality in the city (per a 2018 USC study). Our unhoused population continues to grow while housing becomes less and less affordable. These problems are not unique to our district – and that’s why the Democratic Party needs to deal with them.

I will fight for a Democratic Party that puts working people first. Healthcare, childcare, and housing are human rights – and each should be provided by the state so that all children and families can be safe and healthy.

Communities of color have been disproportionately plagued by police brutality and incarceration, which is why I support divesting from policing and investing in schools, community programs, and housing. Private prisons should be abolished, and incarcerated people deserve to earn a wage for their labor.

Most personal to me is environmental justice. The climate crisis is here, and California is on the frontline of the fight. This fall, the Bobcat Fire (second-largest in LA County history) polluted our skies for weeks. Our governor continues to issue thousands of fracking permits per year while our state legislature fails to ban drilling expansion or buffer zone requirements (90% of California residents living near drilling are people of color, living in ‘sacrifice zones’ that cause asthma, cancer, and birth defects.) Our state needs to be carbon-neutral by 2030 to avoid the most disastrous climate-chaos scenarios, yet our Democratic politicians continue to take money from oil and gas companies.

As a delegate, I will always put the needs of my community first. Corporate money has no place in politics and I am dedicated to ensuring that the Democratic party of California fights to help its constituents and not its biggest donors.

Abby Austin

In the four years since 2016, we have been witness to an astonishing amount of change. These changes have been both inspiring, as in the growing strength of progressive voices and ideas, and distressing, as in the rapid spread of misinformation and disinformation across the nation. I see the urgency of the moment in our fight for Black lives and liberation, in our battle for the health and wellbeing of our planet, and in our shared struggle against ever-increasing economic inequality and injustice. While I continue to look to the Democratic Party as the home to those who believe that it is imperative that we come together to make a tangible, positive impact on our lives and our future, I’m now more convinced than ever that working people can make the most difference; most of all, I believe that it is time that our Party started to listen to us.

I am passionate about labor rights and the right to a living wage, Medicare for All, women’s rights, getting money out of politics, and addressing the multiple existential climate crises we now face. I am a dues-paying member of DSA LA and of the Women’s Center for Creative Work. I have volunteered for organizations like Progressive International, and I am a founding member of Future Foreword — a platform for apparel and textile professionals who are working collectively to solve the systemic obstacles to creating an ethical, sustainable, and regenerative future for the industry. To further develop my skills in organizing and impacting change, I am currently applying to a program for Organizational Consulting & Change Leadership at Georgetown University.

Hayley Coupon

As a lifelong feminist and education activist, I would be honored to be a delegate for Assembly District 51.

I am the mother of two kids, who both attend local, public schools. I worked for many years as an independent filmmaker, mostly in documentary. My activism began in my youth, then was rekindled by the horrifying 2016 election. Since then, I have helped flip red seats blue (fundraising, canvassing, etc.). Then, during the UTLA Teacher’s Strike in 2019, I was inspired to fight on behalf of our public schools as well. In addition to walking the line, I wrote multiple articles about why teachers were striking that went viral. I also began volunteering for LAUSD School Board candidates that I knew would advocate for a more equitable public school system, and decided to run for President of the booster group at my daughter’s school. (I am proud to say this is now my second year as Co-President.)

I am committed to being actively anti-racist. I believe Black Lives Matter. I also support #metoo and #believewomen. I am equally committed to being pro-choice, pro-LGBTQ, pro-union, pro-universal health care, pro-immigration reform, pro-criminal justice reform, and pro-environment. When given the choice between multiple Democratic candidates who share my values, I will always support BIPOC and women first.

I look forward to advocating for these values as a delegate.

Erin Ploss-Campoamor

Paul McDermott is a life-long Democratic with core progressive values. He was been a resident of Northeast Los Angeles for 34 years.

He believes that access to health care and free education, including job training and university for qualified individuals, should be a right guaranteed to all Californians, regardless of citizenship. The University of California and Cal State colleges and universities ought to be tuition-free and state funded as they once were.

He believes that large corporations should pay their fair share in state and local taxes and that more of their profits should go to the State Treasury and less to their shareholders.

Paul is an active member of ACLU and supports equal rights for all Californians, regardless of their origin of birth, gender, sexual orientation, or income level.

He believes that California should continue on the path of leading the nation on ending our dependency on fossil fuels and slowing the juggernaut of climate change.

Your support for his candidacy is a vote for progressive values.

Paul McDermott

I am a member of the Democratic Party, I believe in fairness, responsibility, and justice for all. I am accountable to do my part in our democracy. I am able of choosing the right decisions and available to seek better conditions for all people of great country. I must give of my time and volunteer for justice, democracy and liberty. I cannot stand idle though if I do, I will dismiss myself and give others their chance to participate. I am asking all of you to give me the opportunity to seek justice and participate with a keen eye and open heart.

Jose Medina

I hope to bring a humanist perspective to my role as a delegate for the California Democratic Party. I owe a lot of my people-oriented politics to my film school teachers. In learning about the history of American movies, we film students were also taught about cinema’s relationship with white supremacy and colonialism — about how most ordinary people in America were left out of the stories which came to define the American mythos. I adopted a belief that a better world for people in the margins is possible — both on the screen and off — and that became a fire which drives my work to this day. Along with getting involved with groups here in Los Angeles like DSA-LA, The Future Left, and the Bernie Sanders’ Campaign, I’ve also taken on filmmaking projects which are in one way or another about power in America, or which are from perspectives outside of the mainstream power structure. Most recently, I got the chance to help in the making of a short documentary Who Do You Protect? about the murder of Daniel Hernandez by LAPD, and how our system is set up so that police union power can influence city politicians in a way that works against the people. I am so proud of how the film shines a light on institutional injustices here in LA — it connects to my belief in the importance of local politics. I can’t wait to use my opportunity as a Democratic Party Delegate to shift our focus away from serving the elite and towards serving working people.

Jeremy Gray

Democrats win because of our strong policies and authentic leaders. At our best, we ignite America’s imagination for a better future and invite our friends and skeptics alike to join us in it. We know that history bends toward our values of equity, inclusion, dignity, and justice. We propose simple, bold, progressive ideas that transform the nation—such as the fundamental rights to healthcare, education, and equality. We dedicate our lives to the slow march of progress with confidence and resolve, and our party needs the strongest leaders of each generation to carry this work forward.

I am committed to public service and the steady pursuit of these values. I was honored to be among the first group of openly-LGBTQ appointees to serve proudly in the White House, advising President Obama on economic policy. I have managed, advised, or volunteered on Democratic campaigns in every cycle since 2000 and now work to develop and elect LGBTQ candidates as a member of the Victory Fund Campaign Board. My activism began as a student anti-racism organizer at UCLA and now I teach public policy to inspire college students to engage in the policy debate.

I am a fierce advocate for progressive policies to promote racial justice, women’s equality, immigration, equitable economic opportunity, and public investment in families, education, and the transition to a green economy. I will energize our party, encourage bold leadership, demand accountability, empower emerging voices, develop strong leaders, and seek out new people everywhere to join our vision and share our values.

Matt Kaczmarek

I’m not the kind of person who runs for an election but … four people without proper housing die a day in Los Angeles. There are violent evictions and foreclosures happening in our communities on a scale never before seen. The economy is broken. Our small businesses are being destroyed while big box retailers make record profits. Things have to change. I’m taking the leap. I’m exiting my comfort zone. I’m doing the impossible. Ask my friends, they probably still don’t believe I’m on the ballot. So who am I?

I am LA born- a son of working class immigrants. I was raised in Watts & have been living in Lincoln Heights for 17 years. After graduating college, I became a union organizer because I believe in people power. Recently, I have spent the last 4 years studying to become an arborist (also known as tree planters), to improve the environment & the public health of my community.

I am also an organizer for tenant & housing rights. I believe any development in our communities should be in the interest of the communities living there & not for the benefit of wealthy landowners, career politicians and investors. Right now, they are running the show, and look around you: is this the world you want to live in? Is this the world you want for your children?

I am passionate about true & meaningful social change to create a world that works for us. As a delegate, I will advocate for

Strengthening tenant protections against evictions;

Strengthening homeowner protections against foreclosures;

Strengthening legal & financial protections for immigrant communities, including advocacy for a national amnesty program;

The protection and expansion of natural open spaces such as Poppy Peak, Ernest E Debs, Flat Top, Elephant Hill and others;

The expansion of urban agriculture & urban forestry programs;

The expansion of community gardens & an increase of support for existing gardens;

Increasing the amount of truly affordable housing;

Strengthening support for micro-businesses, small businesses & worker cooperatives in our communities.

It is crucial these priorities are in the Democratic Party. There are thousands of ordinary, working people like myself running as delegates this year. Please join us. Another world is possible.

José Gama Vargas

My name is Alma Barreras, and I ask for your support to become a first-time Delegate in the community where I was born and raised, Assembly District 51.

I grew up in unincorporated East Los Angeles, a beautiful and vibrant Latino community. I am the daughter of Mexican immigrants who pushed me to pursue a higher education and opportunities they did not have. I attended Belvedere Middle School, James A. Garfield High School and Esteban E. Torres High School; I am a product of this community and I am wholeheartedly invested in it.

I am running to become Delegate because unincorporated East Los Angeles often gets forgotten. Growing up, my family overcame loved ones being deported, the failures of the criminal justice system, and working jobs without any protection. Despite our circumstances, my parents always instilled the importance of perseverance. I now work to advocate for progressive policy change and I’m passionate about helping vulnerable communities overcome barriers.

I currently work as Legislative Representative at the California Department of Education, advocating for legislation that aims to close the achievement gap. I also serve as Co-Chair of the California Latino Capitol Association Foundation where I invest in creating mentorship programs, internship opportunities, and networking mixers for the Latino community. Prior to this, I worked at the California State Capitol, and pushed for legislation to make voting more accessible to limited-English voters, ensure low-income students are guaranteed a meal in charter schools, and to make the pardon and commutation process more transparent and accessible.

Prior to my experience in the Capitol and even as a student at UCLA, I never heard or knew what the Delegate system was. I am running because we need to ensure that communities like ours have a voice in these spaces.

With your support, we will strive to ensure the Democratic Party becomes more accessible to immigrant communities of color.

If you have any questions, si tienen preguntas, please email me at:

Muchas gracias,

Alma Barreras

Alma Barreras