Assembly District 74




SelfIdentifiedFemale (SIF) OtherthanSIF (OSIF)

74 Lauren Johnson-Norris * SIF
74 Dennis Bress No OSIF
74 Bethany Webb No SIF
74 Leslie Ozuna No SIF
74 Hanieh Jodat * SIF
74 Nancy Hensel No SIF
74 Natalie Bayer No SIF
74 Rick Eugene Norris * OSIF
74 Michele E Bell * SIF
74 Lamba Najib * SIF
74 Michelle Gasparovic No SIF
74 Lynne Riddle No SIF
74 Kev Abazajian No OSIF
74 Sonia Fernandez No SIF
74 Mary Clifford No SIF
74 Jaime Gomez No OSIF
74 Anne Mohr * SIF
74 Marlene De la Cruz No SIF
74 Robert “Bob” Hartman No OSIF
74 Cory Johnson No OSIF
74 Mary Gretchen Bayer No SIF
74 Chelsea Guo No SIF
74 John Stephens No OSIF
74 Paola Lima No SIF
74 Ron Varasteh No OSIF
74 Mollee Munson No SIF
74 Jesús Gamboa No OSIF
74 Dean Inada No OSIF
74 Mari Fujii No SIF
74 Martin Salgado No OSIF
74 Ariya Haghighat No OSIF
74 Dariush Haghighat * OSIF
74 Laura Robinson Oatman No SIF
74 Theresa Sorey No SIF

Candidate Statements

I am your current EBoard representative and an AD74 ADEM asking for your vote for re-election this year. I am an attorney, mom, incoming member of the Democratic Party of Orange County Central Committee, and long-time activist and organizer in Irvine.

There is much we need to do in AD74 to protect the Democratic gains from 2018 and regain lost seats from the 2020 election. While we are proud to celebrate the new Democratic administration in the White House, we still have work to do in Orange County to turn our county blue. We must continue to elect Democrats down the ballot in 2022 and recruit, train and elect more women, people of color, youth, LGBTQ+ people, and working people.

This is why I am running for re-election to the EBoard and for ADEM and I why I ask for your support. I’ve spent my whole adult life fighting for social justice for our communities and I will continue be a strong champion for AD74 residents again over the next two years.

With me as your EBoard rep, this past year we helped elect a progressive group of strong and diverse candidates to the DNC. We met to discuss the pressing issues in our communities and our nation and banded together against racism and with our communities of color. We worked together to protect Representative Katie Porter and Assemblywoman Cottie Petrie-Norris’ seats. We also got new teams of Democrats elected in our cities for Mayor, City Council, School Board and Water Board.

Let’s continue our gains and organize together for the future of Orange County. I believe in a future that is progressive, in which we fight climate change, promote diversity and inclusion, and stand with working people for economic justice for all.

I humbly ask for your vote, twice: once for E-Board and once for delegate.

You can check out my video here:

or reach me at:

Lauren Johnson-Norris

I am Dennis Bress and I am running to be Re Elected as an ADEM in the AD74 to help keep our district progressive and moving forward with democratic ideas. I am a problem solver and a hard worker. I ask for your vote so that I can give back to OUR community in a positive way. #TeamWork GO Democrats and GO USA !!!

Dennis Bress

The first political campaign I volunteered for was “Michael Dukakis for President” in 1988. My first rally was the Million Mom March in 2000, which called for stricter gun control. I brought my then two-year-old with me. It was a visceral response to the 1999 Columbine School Massacre. (I did not know then that gun violence would later devastate my family.) I spent 2003-2010 helping with my local PTA, eventually serving as President for three years. During those years I also participated in rally’s protesting the war in Iraq, climate change, and defending Planned Parenthood. Additionally, I volunteered for the Presidential campaigns of Howard Dean and Barak Obama. On October 12, 2011, my sister Laura Webb, was shot and killed with seven others at the Seal Beach Salon Meritage Mass shooting. My mother was also shot but would be the sole survivor. I have since travelled the country speaking out for sensible gun legislation and for the abolition of the Death Penalty. (I fervently believe, you cannot heal my family by killing another human being). After the election on November 8, 2016, I went all in. I am a founding member of both the HB Huddle & Indivisible OC 48 grassroots groups. I participated in numerous rallies, made phone calls, wrote postcards and knocked on thousands of doors. In 2018, we flipped Congress– ridding us of Dana Rohrabacher and electing Harley Rouda to the 48th CD. We also got Cottie Petrie-Norris elected in the 74th Assembly District. Then came 2020. While I rejoice in firing Trump, and winning some important local races, we lost the 48th. We have work to do and I am ready to help turn all of OC blue. Starting with getting Katrina Foley elected to OC Supervisor in late winter of 2021 and Harley Rouda reelected in 2022, I am fully committed to the California Democratic Party. Looking forward to serving you.

Bethany Webb

My name is Hanieh Jodat, and I am the co-founder and President of Muslim Delegates and Allies (MD&A), a female led organization born from the 2020 DNC Convention. As a Bernie delegate, I have co-authored a multitude of Healthcare, Foreign Policy, Social Justice, Climate Justice and Gender Rights resolutions, some of which have been adopted into the DNC platform. I am the co-founder of Immigrants for Biden and the co-director of the 50 State Voter Mobilization Initiative. Through a coordinated national effort, my contingent played a critical role in flipping three counties in Florida blue. In direct coordination with the campaigns, MD&A is currently focused on the Georgia Senate races.

I am a published author, philanthropist, entrepreneur, wife and mother. I have worked as an award-winning face to face fundraising coordinator for the UN Commissioner for Refugees USA. As a former board member of the Women’s March California, one of the founding members of Women’s March LA, I served on the planning committee for the Families Belong Together LA March, March for Our Lives LA, and the International Women’s Strike alongside notable activists and an abundance of social justice organizations.

Born and raised in Tehran, as a child of war, I migrated to the United States at the young age of 11. My journey as a young immigrant brought me to Orange County, and the experiences that have shaped me as a woman of color living in the US have encouraged my years in militancy to uplift the voices of our vulnerable communities, especially our Black, Brown, Indigenous, LGBTQ, Muslim, and minority religion diaspora.

If you elect me as your AD delegate, I vow to continue to work with passion, empathy, and fortitude to ensure that AD 74 is the model district which leads in inclusion, clean air, healthcare, and social justice. I pledge to continue organizing with my fellow Democrats and the Progressive Caucus as a representative of the marginalized communities to champion for the rights of those who otherwise do not have a voice.

For my activism, I am honored to have been recognized by the City of Los Angeles, The Board of LA County Supervisors, and the City of West Hollywood. The Medicare for All resolution I co-authored has recently passed with a unanimous vote at the Orange County Central Committee. To learn more about me, please visit

Hanieh Jodat

Hanieh Jodat

When I moved to Laguna Woods in 2016 I wasn’t sure how my politics would fit in and was delighted to find a vibrant and active Democratic Club. Currently I serve as special events chair of the Laguna Woods Democratic Club and am a candidate for 2nd vice president.

I have been a Democrat since I was old enough to vote. I’m a Democrat because I believe we need to provide health care for everyone and we need an economy to work for rural states and coastal states. I believe we need diversity and equality in our workplaces, and equality will benefit our entire society. As an educator, I know teachers must assist students to determine fact from fiction and use evidence in making decisions. I am committed to these democratic and educational principles.

I’ve been an active and engaged Democratic activist for 50 years. As a doctoral student at the University of Georgia, I worked with local Democrats to register voters. My husband and I organized a multiracial coalition of university employees, labor union members, and community members to elect delegates to the 1972 Democratic Convention. We successfully carried our district for George McGovern. During the Mondale Ferraro campaign, while a professor at the University of Redlands, a colleague and I opened the Redlands, CA campaign office.

I later worked in Washington DC as executive director of an educational association, where I advocated for educational spending in Congress and through federal agencies such as the National Science Foundation and Department of Energy. Our organization hosted two to three Congressional briefings each year.

I am grateful to be an American. Having done volunteer work in many countries, I realize how fortunate we are to have a democratic government and choose our leaders. The past four years have shown us the fragility of our democracy. Now that I have retired I want to devote my energies to strengthening our democracy and understanding of our constitutional government. I believe in higher wages, health care for all, racial justice, and addressing environmental issues. I want to ensure that our Democratic candidates support these issues. This is why I would like to be an Assembly District Delegate.

Nancy H. Hensel

My name is Natalie Bayer and I am so excited for the opportunity to be your ADEM for Assembly District 74. I graduated from UC Berkeley in 2018 and am currently finishing up my last year in law school. I want to be your ADEM for the same reason that I went to law school: to help dismantle the systems that were put in place to further oppress marginalized groups in our society. After law school, I plan to pursue a career in public interest law, helping to break down the criminal legal system. As your ADEM, I promise to advocate for progressive ideals at the state level and always keep in mind how our policies will impact our communities.

Natalie Bayer

Some say that the Democratic Party avoided tyranny by motivating 81 million voters to reject Donald Trump for a second term as President. As impressive as this accomplishment is, it is only the beginning of the battle for democracy. Donald Trump’s large contingent of disillusioned followers, the Republican office holders who fear him and the far-right fanatics, still amount to 74 million Americans. The time will come when our grandchildren will read about this period in school and ask what each of us did to save American democracy or didn’t do when it failed. This question motivates my candidacy as a Democratic Party Delegate.

My California education started by earning a Bachelor of Science in Political Science from U.C.L.A. in 1979. After receiving my Certified Public Accountant (CPA) certificate in 1982, I earned a Juris Doctor from Southwestern University School of Law in 1985. I was the founder of Rick E Norris, Accountancy Corporation in 1992, and retired from accounting at the end of 2019. I published several professional articles.

Currently, I am a musical novelist with two published books—Angelic Wars, First Rebellion and Into the Mind of Lucifer. My third novel, End of the Beginning, will be released in 2021. All three novels include music that I composed. My songwriter/musician accomplishments, in addition to my services as an entertainment CPA, enable me to be a member of The Recording Academy (Grammys).

While my interest in politics goes back to my college days, in 2005 I submitted my candidacy for the office of Manhattan Beach City Treasurer. I received the Democratic Party endorsement (voice vote) and garnered a respectable number of votes against three former city mayors, but ultimately was unsuccessful. Nevertheless, I continued my proactive political activity by supporting Ted Lieu. In 2018, I canvassed Orange County for Congress person, Katie Porter. In 2020, I participated in phone banking for T.J. Cox and most recently for Georgia’s Senatorial candidates, Jon Ossoff and Raphael Warnock.

I am the creator and co-star of the international business travel podcast, Rambling Business, where we broadcast unique stories of small businesses.

I believe I have both the skills and passion to represent my district for the Democratic Party.

Rick E. Norris

4 Wheatley Court

Irvine, CA 92617

Rick E. Norris

My name is Michele Bell, and I would be honored to serve as your ADEM Delegate for District 74. I am a resident of Orange County, the mother of two young boys, and an attorney. Employed by the Orange County Public Defender’s Office for the last 13 years, I understand the current challenges that permeate our criminal system and issues of social injustice that divide us. We need a unified party in order to implement positive and permanent change on a local and national level, and I want to do what I can to contribute.

For the last 2 years, I have been an active Board Member of the Thurgood Marshall Bar Association and have dedicated much of my spare time to mentoring and developing programming for young lawyers in Orange County. In 2021, I will serve as a Board Member of the Public Law Center (the largest pro-bono non-profit organization in Orange County), develop programming as the President of Orange County Bar Association’s Criminal Bar Section, and Co-Chair the Orange County Bar Association’s Diversity and Inclusion Committee.

I hope that my perspective as the daughter of an immigrant, an Afro-Latina, and someone who works closely with the indigent population of Orange County will contribute to our local politics and serve as a voice for our constituents.

Michele E. Bell

The United States opened their doors to my family with the Refugee Act of 1980 – it is why I am here today. That could not have been done without the support of the American people. As a first generation and a child of refugee immigrants, I know that fair representation and diversity is essential in maintaining the integrity of the democratic process. It is also fundamental in progressing forward and California has shown its commitment to progress time and again.

I am a lifelong resident of Orange County and a Progressive Democrat. Upon my graduation from UCLA in 2016, I decided to serve my community as an advocate and an organizer leading me to meet some incredible Californians that have since inspired me to continue the momentum and serve my district by fairly representing them as an Assembly District Delegate. Fair representation means inclusivity of minority communities, such as the one I am from. I fervently believe that I can bring a perspective that can foster positive change as a result of my background and experiences.

I hope to receive your vote and serve you. Thank you.

Lamba Najib

Michelle Gasparovic is an entrepreneur and founder of three small businesses. A native Southern Californian, she has an intense excitement to positively impact her community and natural environment. Michelle believes that our commitment to each other as neighbors and friends can supersede any obstacles that may stand in our way.

Michelle Gasparovic

“Eternal vigilance is the price of liberty.”

Like you, I’ve given increasing thought and action regarding our democracy – nationally, communally.

Here’s what I realize more deeply. To sustain a democratic, inclusive, equitable, and loving community we must each live into being democracy, inclusiveness, equality, and loving acts – collectively and individually — every single day.

We can’t just vote; hope for the best.

Our work in supporting and electing the best among us is a good start. But as individual citizens, I believe, we have a duty to support them from beside, behind, and yes, from out front.

At every turn we must assure “We’ve got your back.” We must stand beside to bear the load. We must too be in the vanguard bringing our leaders local observations, proposals, resources to forthrightly acknowledge and alleviate the systemic “isms” that from our founding have kept “in place” and exploited our community siblings based on nothing more than thoughtless cultural habits. For Democrats – for justice and liberty for all – those are our daily jobs.

With those “musts” in mind, I offer to continue my service as a 74th ADEM delegate.

A bit of background shows what I’ve done and what I pledge to join you in addressing the existential issues we must meet head on.

— I am a retired federal judge; serving 14 years in the Santa Ana division of the court. That experience honed my habits of life and mind: Exhaustively uncover evidence, establish facts, determine the applicable principle of law, governance, social justice – regardless of personal inclinations – then act upon the path that best serves the whole community.

— My fact-based inquiry and habit of collective resolution didn’t begin with judicial service or even in law school (UC-Hastings). Previously I’d earned a doctorate in education (Syracuse University) and taught philosophy/value clarification in schools of education to grads/undergrads for 10 years (Syracuse, Iowa, UCSB and Dalhousie [Canada]).

— I’m a board member and chair of Legislative and Advocacy work for the Community Action Fund of Planned Parenthood -OC where I’ve served the Electoral Committee for 6 years; recently served as lecturer (Reproductive Justice) at UCI-law; served on the National Leadership Council of Americans United for the Separation of Church and State.

Thank you for your confidence and your vote.

Lynne Riddle

Democrats want leaders that they can trust. In this era of so much post-fact politics, the Democratic Party is the rightful bearer of trustworthy, fact-based, progressive policy. Bringing scientists directly into politics is the strongest way we continue to include the facts in our party platform and into the public discourse. That is why, as a scientist and tenured Professor of Physics & Astronomy at UC Irvine, I want to continue to serve as your delegate to the California Democratic Party. Crucially, the science backs core progressive principles as being good policy and good governance: reducing inequality, increasing inclusion and fairness, protecting working families, protecting the environment, acting on climate change, reducing gun violence, and implementing single-payer health care. Demographic changes and the draw of progressive Democratic Party principles have made Orange County a newly-formed bastion of Democratic Party gains. Let’s work hard to make sure we defend and expand these gains. The best way to do so is to defend our progressive principles with the hard facts that science provides. A large part of that engagement can be done with the largest educational institution in OC, and the 2nd largest employer in the entire county, my campus of UC Irvine, whose precincts have been crucial to our electoral wins in AD 74, SD 37 and CD 45. I have been involved in Democratic Party activities since 2004. Since 2016, I have been involved in recruiting local to federal candidates, participating and organizing civic actions and protests, running for Irvine City Council in 2018, as 1st Vice Chair of the Democrats of Greater Irvine, and as your elected ADEM. Democrats can and must gain more ground by engaging and learning from new and experienced activists, concerned citizens, academics, and scientists in OC who are at our higher education institutions. With students, staff and faculty of over 40,000 at UC Irvine, I aim to represent and engage the goldmine of progressive activism arising from the largest campus in OC, and beyond. That goal is essential to protect and expand our recent gains.

Kev Abazajian

Given California’s Democratic majority, our party needs to work more effectively to ensure that our platform be reflected in government policy on local, state and national levels.

I am running to regain my position as your Assembly Delegate and Executive Board member in District 74. My political experience, in addition to being a National Delegate that represented CD 48 in the 2015 primary, includes having been active in politics since the early 90’s. When I lived in New Jersey, I ran for City Council and also held office as an elected Municipal Committee member for ten years, the last two years of which I was voted Vice-Chair and then named Chair. In addition, I continue to hold, for a second term, the position of Membership–Credentialing Chair of the California Democratic Council, which is a progressive umbrella organization of Democratic clubs that supports clubs in order to build leadership and expand grassroots democratic engagement to accomplish political outcomes that serve the people and provide them with representation and influence within the California Democratic Party.

In my two-year tenure as AD 74 EBoard member, I worked on various projects, which included rules proposals that through hard-fought efforts several had been adapted. During that time, I was also instrumental regarding the passing of the California Disclose Act.

Why I did this work and want to do it again? Because I believe that California Democrats should be democratic in actions and policy and I am not afraid to work to ensure that we are.

During my term, we unseated the Republicans that had held the House of Representative seats in CD 48 and 45 for years as well as electing a Democratic Assembly member in AD 74. While Orange County is now Blue, AD 74 remains Red by a slight margin and I will work to gain the support of those No Party Preference voters.

Effecting progressive change in addition to keeping with democratic values within our organization has been an ongoing endeavor and I hope to resume that effort as your EBoard/Delegate Rep. My goal remains to work to ensure that our party stands for the people. That our elected Democratic officials carry out the objectives of our progressive platform and be accountable to the people.

Your votes for both Delegate as well as EBoard are appreciated. You can reach me at

Thank you for your support.

Anne Mohr

My name is Marlene de la Cruz. I came to California almost 25 years ago to follow with my life dream that it was to receive a PhD in Biology. When I finished my PhD in Genetics, since the first day I was committed to support and give back all of the options and opportunities that I received from United States particularly from California. I was very fortunate that I had a job offer and now a position at the University of California, Riverside first and now in Irvine where I have been able to support hundreds of underrepresented minorities to continue with their educational dreams and become scientists. My job is to support diversity students who need mentoring in their educational path towards the PhD. I am the Principal Investigator (PI) of four grants funded by NIH. In this position I acquired incredible leadership, planning and organizational skills that I will like to share and apply as an Assembly District Delegates (ADD) to the Democratic State Central Committee (DSCC). I am a Hispanic female ready to represent my community and work as a team player with other ADD delegates. My experience includes planning meetings with former President Fox from Mexico, with high authorities from the University of California system including President, Chancellors, Deans, faculty members among others. As Director of student academic development, every month I need to plan and organize multiple activities for my students including participation at National conferences, international trips among many other activities. On a yearly basis I am the supervisor of over 100 undergraduates, graduate students and staff members. I am the Judge leader of several national conferences, the Chair of one NIH organization.

I truly hope that I can be considered to become an ADD. I will be honored with this appointment. I am not a politician, I am a regular US citizen who wants to serve and support her community. I am a citizen who wants to give a different perspective and be part of this great team. Thank you very much.

Marlene De la Cruz

C:\Users\bobha\Downloads\ADEM Candidate Video email version.mp4

Like most of you reading this statement, I have always taken voting and elections seriously. I always voted but I had never gotten involved in politics or the Democratic Party. That changed after Trump was elected and I heard his inauguration speech. I made the decision that I could no longer sit on the sidelines and yell. I had to become involved and participate.

I have been a REALTOR for over 35 years and live and work in Laguna Beach. I grew up here. I am a member of the Laguna Beach Democratic Club. I worked tirelessly for the election of Harley Rouda in 2018 and 2020. I have supported Cottie Petrie-Norris, Dave Min and Katie Porter. I am now working to help elect Katrina Foley to the Orange County Board of Supervisors.

I am a Progressive I believe Health Care is a Human Right and that women have the right to make their own health decisions without government interference. We must address Climate Change, Racial Injustice, LGBTQ Rights and Police Reform. We must elect candidates that can truly address access to guns and the violence on our streets. As a REALTOR, my personal passion is Work Force Housing and Affordable Housing Solutions for low income citizens and homeless veterans. We have too many people living on our streets, especially vulnerable children.

I am ANGRY at what has become of our country in just 4 years. Truthfulness seems to mean so little, my patriotism is usurped by Confederate flag draped truck caravans and so many of our citizens are dying because of a lack of leadership. Can you imagine what would have happened if the Blue Wave had NOT taken the House in 2018?

I am running as a ADEM Candidate to help our Orange County Democratic Party. I want us to continue to win elections. We must re-double our efforts in 2022 and regain those Congressional Seats that we lost. We must restore civility, truthfulness, intelligence and integrity back into the politics of this county and this country. I am asking for your Vote and your support. Thank you.

Robert (Bob) Hartman

My name is Cory Johnson and I hope to earn your support for AD74 ADEM.

As a 21 year resident of Huntington Beach, I am concerned that my city has become known as a gathering place for extreme-right activism. We have a vocal anti-masker mayor pro tem who referred to the Coronavirus as a “plandemic” in his first city council meeting. We have residents still flying flags in support of the President and his baseless claim that he won re-election. I was privileged to phone bank and lit drop for Team HB and I’m hopeful now that we have two more Democrats on our city council. Though we made great progress in this last election cycle, we need to keep fighting to turn Huntington Beach from purple to blue.

I have taught music as an adjunct instructor at Fullerton College for 14 years. My job allows me to provide educational support for all students, with equity and equality as the basis of my teaching philosophy. I am active in my union, Adjunct Faculty United (AFT 6106) where I serve as the Chair of the Committee on Political Education. During the last election cycle we phone banked, lit dropped, and donated to several DPOC endorsed candidates and propositions. We are currently fighting for a Democrat to win the special election for the vacant OC Board of Supervisors seat. As COPE Chair, I also have the privilege to serve as a delegate to the OCLF, building coalitions with a diverse group of laborers.

I believe that Black Lives Matter, health care is a human right, and our LGBTQIA+ brothers and sisters need increased support. I also believe that all people should have equal access to high quality education and I support Affirmative Action. I will fight for our homeless population as well as the growing number of people who are housing and food insecure. I would be a voice from our community for these issues if I have the privilege to serve as AD74 ADEM.

Cory Johnson

My name is Mary Bayer. As a former ADEM and lifelong activist, I am running to bring my experience and passion to help make the Democratic Party representative of the most progressive voices in Orange County.

This past year has highlighted the inequalities in our society that existed long before the pandemic. As Californians, we should be leading in the fight to break down the systems that have harmed marginalized people. I would love the opportunity to represent the 74th district and to continue to be an advocate for progressive values.

Mary Bayer

Hi! I’m Chelsea Guo. I’m currently a sophomore at Harvard studying Sociology and Education, and I’ve grown up in Irvine. I’d love to help bring crucial issues to the forefront of discussions in our district—therefore, I’m humbly asking for your vote for me as an AD74 ADEM.

When my parents immigrated to the US from China years ago, they worked tirelessly to achieve the American Dream. From overcoming racial discrimination in the Midwest to finding a home in the diversity, safety, and innovation within Irvine, they’ve given me the enormous privilege of growing up here, thriving in Irvine public schools, and building skills to give back to the community I’m so grateful for. Over the past year, while working with an international education nonprofit and volunteering (virtually) with children in the low-income neighborhood of Boston’s Chinatown, I’ve increasingly realized the power in local politics. I knocked on doors and called countless numbers for a City Council campaign, listening to dedicated citizens and their needs.

I’ve become deeply invested in issues regarding how public education shapes the brightest minds of this nation, how diversity is crucial to better cultural understanding and societal progress, and how technology and media can be used for immense social good if our elected leaders are prepared with our best interests in mind. I believe there is massive potential in Generation Z activists and advocates like myself. I want to continue working with experienced, inspiring progressive leaders in our party, and help make your voice heard. Let’s make the future of Orange County brighter for all. Thank you.

Chelsea Guo

In U.S. history, Ron Varasteh is the first Iranian-American and also the first Kurdish-American elected Democratic Party nominee for U.S. Congress. In fact, Ron won the Primary Election to become Democratic Party nominee for U.S. Congress twice, in 2012 and 2016.

Ron has been a Progressive activist & community organizer and an Orange County Resident for more than 40 years. He has been a scientist, an engineer, and a small business owner for more than 33 years.

Here is a list of some of Ron’s more recent Progressive leadership positions:

•He was first elected California Democratic Party Delegate, back in 2010.

•He was the co-founder and event & data coordinator of Obama’s Irvine & south OC OFA (Organizing for America) from 2010 to 2011.

•He was the co-founder and civic liaison & logistics of Occupy OC from 2011 to 2012.

•He was the council organizer of Irvine & south OC from 2011 to 2012.

•He has been the host of Greater OC PDA (Progressive Democrats of America) from 2013 to the present.

•He has been the President of DCWOC (West OC Democrats) from 2013 to the present.

•He was the Chair of DGI (Democrats of Greater Irvine) from 2017 to 2018.

For more than 33 years, Ron is well known as a problem-solver of his business clients. In fact, for more than 40 years, he has been solutions-oriented in his life and his family & friends lives, as well as all of his Progressive activism & community organizing.

U.S. Congressmember Katie Porter (CA-45) said “… Ron solves problems”, which truly sums up one of what he practices in everything he is involved with in his life.

Ron Varasteh humbly asks for your vote and will be honored to serve as your California Democratic Party Delegate for another 2 years.

Ron Varasteh

Hello Friends of CA Assembly District 74. My name is Jesús Gamboa. Over the past few years I have been an active member of the Democratic Club of Irvine as well as Imagine Action of Orange County showcasing and canvassing for our promising democratic candidates! With this active contribution we have been able to achieve a historical record-breaking elections!

All of us who come to the United States do so seeking better opportunities and the ability to contribute to our newly adopted home country, the country I call home. As an American citizen today, I call myself lucky to be able to support a prosperous family. As someone who recognizes the promise of the United States, I am committed to developing these opportunities further – for our own generation and for those yet to come. For this reason, and to build on the work so far achieved with the Democratic Club of Irvine and Imagine Action OC, I seek your support to serve you as an Assembly District Delegate of CA 74.

Like many of us, I am concerned about the national breakdown in respecting normal political discourse, the ability to converse “across the aisle” and the epidemic of zero-sum political tribalism that has gripped our nation. This polarization risks damaging the potential of the US. Having interacted with a variety of people, I understand the value each and every citizen can bring to the table. Because of this, I’m a proud member of the Democratic Party because at its core it is only this party that attempts to represent all Americans, regardless of gender, race, culture or birthplace. The future of a healthy America is one where the Democratic Party is doing well, because its mandate is a progressive and unifying one.
I lead my political life supporting the following pillars which I promise will be my work should I become your next Delegate:

Develop initiatives that support equal pay for equal work.
Fight voter suppression.
Bridge factions to ensure a government that represents the people.
Preserve the environment and a healthy climate.
Ensure quality health care for all.
Equal opportunity, justice and treatment under the law.

I humbly request your vote! You can vote if you are a registered Democrat. Please register to vote for this CADEM election at:

Jesús Gamboa

I’m Dean Inada (pronouns he/him) running to be a Delegate for CADEM’s State Central Committee in Assembly District 74

after having served on the Orange County Democratic Central Committee from 2007 to 2020

My oath of office was to support and defend the US and California Constitutions.

This became a conflict when Prop 8 passed,

So with the OC Equality Coalition, I filed an amicus brief to that

effect to the US Supreme Court, and they resolved the conflict.

In addition to the US and California Constitutions, I also like to support

the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (<a href=””></a>)

the CDP Platform (<a href=””></a>)

the OC May Day Collective Platform (<a href=””></a>)

and the Party of People slate (<a href=””></a>)

In doing so, I try to observe the Zapatista 7 tasks (<a href=””></a>)

If you know of any opportunities where I or other OC progressives can support such causes,

please submit them to the OC Progressive Calendar (<a href=””></a>)

Thank you

For more information, please see

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Or email me at <a href=””></a>

Dean Inada

Like many of you, though I’ve been a lifelong Democrat, I became “woke” the morning after the November 7th Presidential election, by starting to more actively support various social, racial, and economic justice issues – values which are exemplified by the Democratic Party.

It started small by my attending grassroots gatherings such as neighborhood Courage Campaign meetings, joining the Democrats of Greater Irvine (DG) club, and participating in the Women’s Marches and various local protests (which I’ve never done before). Later I started hosting house parties and knocking on doors for local Democrat candidates, became an AD 74 club delegate for DGI, and actively volunteered with Dave Min’s State Senate campaign by helping his staff organize 100’s of house parties, postcard writing programs, and email campaigns.

I also became involved with Asian Americans in Action, a progressive AAPI organization in Orange County, and was appointed 2nd Vice Chair of DGI. In addition, I became involved in my neighborhood by being elected to my HOA Board of Directors and volunteering with the Japanese American National Museum in LA.

I am taking the next step to ask for your vote to serve as your Assembly District Delegate to the California Democratic Party in the 74th Assembly District.

I’ve always lived by a creed of giving back to my community-at-large and abide by the Greek proverb, “A society grows great when old men plant trees whose shade they know they shall never sit in.” I intend to carry that intention should I become your Assembly Delegate by promising to continue to uphold the values of the Democratic Party and to support stances and candidates that will further strengthen the Party in Orange County.

Thank you for your consideration, and I would be honored to serve as your delegate representative.

Mari Fujii

I am Martin Salgado, teacher, grassroots activist and current delegate for our Assembly District. I am asking for your vote to be re-elected to represent our very own Assembly District 74!

As an ADEM and local organizer, I have worked with activist groups to endorse and support local candidates. As a delegate I have gone to the Chicano Latino Caucus, African American Caucus and the Children’s Caucus. I understand that at the heart of any campaign are hard working community members making calls, knocking on doors and recruiting volunteers! We must be proud of the work accomplished this past year. As we head into 2021, we must work together to recruit and elect qualified candidates for State Assembly, City Council and School Boards across our district. Most importantly work to regain our congressional seats back! I will work to build bridges between our local activists and the State/Local Democratic party. I will also work to mentor young activists and future candidates.

I am running for delegate because I value my community and I want to listen to, represent, and collaborate with our community in Assembly District 74. Growing up in Huntington Beach and attending CSU, Chico in Northern California deepened my care for this state. Now more than ever the democratic party needs to come together, not only in our individual communities but as a state. Together we can spread our Democratic values & ideas and connect with community members.

Aside from my activism, I work with students and help them find their voices on the written page and vocally. I guide them in sharing their thoughts and research with each other and inspire them to be an active voice in their community.

I will bring to this assembly district my communication skills, my organizing experience and my love for this State to help the communities I am most passionate about, especially the diverse population of Orange County. Together, we can help mobilize and organize constituents around issues that affect them. We will make it possible for diverse communities to be active and give them outlets and ways to be engaged. With your vote, I know we can make an impact together. Please, vote Martin Salgado for Assembly District Delegate!

Martin "Marty" Salgado

I am honored to have the opportunity to run as a candidate from California’s 74th District. As a Delegate, my mission would be to push forward a collaborative and inclusive agenda that focuses on strengthening economic activity, improving access to jobs, and fostering independence for small businesses. Additionally, I would spearhead efforts to strengthen our platform’s dedication to issues important to generations to come, such as protecting our oceans and coastal terrain, improving the quality of our public schools, and ensuring that every student has an equal opportunity to pursue a quality education. As Delegate for the 74th District, I would strive to represent the diverse needs of our community and, in doing so, ensure that our party’s continuously evolving identity best reflects that of our constituents.

Please view my candidate video at:

Ariya Haghighat

I am Dariush Haghighat (pronounces he/him). As an Iranian-American immigrant who has witnessed the countless human tragedies that occur when greed, racism, sexism, and bigotry push aside noble democratic principles, I reach out to you for your support as I work hard to earn the honor of your representation as a delegate in the 2021 ADEM Elections.

I have a Ph.D. in Political Science from the University of California System and have been teaching as a community college professor for over thirty years. I am the longest serving Department Chair in my college district and served as the President of the largest faculty union chapter in California’s collegial system for many years. I am a lifelong proud Democrat fighting for progressive values. I have worked with countless elected state and federal public officials on a number of pressing issues affecting the education system in the state of California.

I am known by my students, colleagues, and friends as a tireless and passionate fighter for the underserved and underrepresented members of our community. I am a fierce defender of public education and meaningful environmental sustainability policies. I am a staunch opponent of institutional racism and discrimination. As such, I miss no opportunity to push as hard as I can against inequity in all its forms.

As an educator I value the free exchange of ideas, for it is the only way to engage in meaningful discussions and thoughtful deliberations regarding the pressing issues that most affect our community. If elected, I will be relentless in my advocacy for progressive values – not just through words, but through my actions and my commitment to serve. We have a lot of work to do to undo the damage that our civil liberties and basic fundamental rights have suffered during the last four years under the Trump Administration. Together we can overcome them.

Dariush Haghighat

ADEM 74 Statement 2021: Theresa Sorey

As a public school teacher and mother, I will advocate for California’s students and teachers to receive both quality education and health care. California can lead the nation in preparing for our future by funding our schools adequately to provide curriculum and wrap-around services for families, including wellness care and support for housing and food.

As a candidate for ADEM in 2019, I was and am proud today to have been appointed to serve by Rep. Katie Porter. For my current political work on behalf of my community, California Teachers Association awarded me the Member-in-Politics Award for 2020 which recognizes a teacher for outstanding contributions for colleagues across California through effective use of the political process.

A registered Democrat since I turned 18 and volunteered to phone bank for George McGovern, I was involved in the advance Presidential primary campaign planning for Gary Hart twice, and ever since, I have contributed my time, effort, money, and skill to progressive Democratic candidates at all levels for decades.

After teaching high school English for nearly 40 years, I was elected president of the Irvine Teachers Association 5 years ago. A life-long supporter of Labor and working families, in my role as a local president, I have advocated for a number of recent issues including CTA’s efforts to pass Prop. 15. I’ve also helped candidates receive CTA support, including Dave Min (our new State Senator), Cottie Petrie-Norris (our re-elected Assembly Representative), and Rep. Katie Porter. I also worked to re-elect Paul Bokota and to elect Cyril Yu to the Irvine USD School Board. I also serve as the Vice Chair for the Teachers for Local Control PAC, campaigning and raising money to re-elect Beckie Gomez to the OC Board of Education.

In addition, I served as vice chair of DemOC PAC, raising money and awareness for federal candidates, most recently for President-elect Biden and Vice President-elect Harris, but also Democratic Senators and Congressional Representatives from OC and beyond.

I am a committed advocate for public schools, the cornerstone of democracy, and for all children and working families. Please vote for me to be the teachers’ voice for our children and future.

My campaign Facebook page:

With the People campaign page:

Theresa Sorey