Assembly District 77




SelfIdentifiedFemale (SIF) OtherthanSIF (OSIF)

77 Ehab Shehata  * OSIF
77 Jimmy Karam * OSIF
77 Jason Bercovitch  * OSIF
77 Greg Hodosevich * OSIF
77 Aleena Jun Nawabi * SIF
77 Katelyn Hailey * SIF
77 Andrew T Boyd No OSIF
77 Kourtney Jones No SIF
77 William M Moore No OSIF
77 Ria Otero No SIF
77 Emily Wier No SIF
77 Paul Sasso No OSIF
77 Amna Zuberi No SIF
77 Darshana Patel No SIF
77 Indroneal Banerjee * OSIF
77 John Finkelman * OSIF
77 Torrey Powers  No SIF
77 Doreen Govari No SIF
77 Sol R Allen No OSIF
77 Corinne Wilson No SIF
77 Andrea Schneider * SIF
77 Lynn E Gerson No SIF

Candidate Statements

I am honored to have the opportunity to represent my assembly district on the Democratic State Central Committee. I have extensive experience with voter outreach and helping under represented groups to vote and participate in the political process. I am very involved with several democratic clubs in San Diego County and I have volunteered for several democratic campaigns. I am most passionate about human and civil rights, as well as making sure that all Americans have access to health care.

Ehab Shehata

Hello everyone,

I’m Jimmy Karam. I’m running to become a Delegate to the California Democratic Party representing the 77th Assembly District.

I’m a proud son of immigrants, a father of four children, and a retired Navy Veteran. The Navy has always been really good to me and my family. I was fortunate to benefit from one of the Navy’s affirmative action programs and consequently graduate from the United States Naval Academy.

I also earned two master’s degrees along the way. I’m currently an Economics Adjunct Professor at Palomar College and a Program Manager by day.

I’m running for ADEMS because I believe in the importance of giving back to your community. Serving others has always been a core value of mine. My passion lies with anything related to Education, Social Justice and Immigration Reform.

I’m also proud to be running on the 2021 Unity Slate with like-minded Democrats. As part of the 77th Assembly District Unity Slate, we all pledge to ensure your voices will be heard. We all come from all over the 77th, stretching from Poway to Clairemont. We wanted to make sure this slate is a reflection of all district constituents.

As with the rest of the members on this slate, I understand that representation matters. I will be there to listen, advocate and serve all of you in the 77th. I would greatly appreciate your support and vote.

Jimmy Karam

Watch Me Now!

Jimmy Karam

The United States of America is at a turning point and so is the State of California. This past election saw over 81,000,000 Americans come out in support of President elect Joe Biden, a record number in the 244 year history of the Unites States of America. At the same time, over 74,000,000 Americans voted for Donald Trump’s re-election, the second highest vote total in our country’s history. Over 11,000,000 Californians voted for Joe Biden, but almost 6,000,000 Californians supported Donald Trump. What does this all mean? Our country is divided. We need delegates to the California Democratic Party who understand how to bridge that divide and unify us for a common goal. My name is Jason Bercovitch. I have the professional experience, and personal background, to get it done.

I was born in Madison, Wisconsin, raised in Guaynabo, Puerto Rico, and graduated from the University of California – Riverside with a Bachelor of Arts in Business Economics and a minor in Political Science. Growing up in Puerto Rico gave me an early understanding of life in a multi-cultural, diverse community. California has a plurality of LatinX voters. As we learned in 2020, LatinX voters are not monolithic. My ability to easily communicate with Spanish speaking Californians makes me uniquely qualified to bridge cultural divides and connect with the voters whose future support we need most. In Puerto Rico, we like to say “Mi Casa es Su Casa” and that is the same mentality all voters should have when joining the California Democratic Party.

I have been a registered Democrat and voted in every election since turning 18. I am the Director of Constituent Services for Congressman Scott Peters where I’ve worked for almost seven years specializing in foreign affairs, immigration, and economic policy. We need to build a Democratic Party which promotes collaboration and cooperation instead of trying to define people based on one policy position or one personal attribute. Whether it be access to quality, affordable healthcare or combatting the climate crisis, we know what needs to be done, but will never succeed unless we work together. Join me in making the California Democratic Party a place where everyone has a seat at the table.

Thank you very much for your time and consideration.
Jason Bercovitch

Jason Bercovitch (JB)

I am a financial systems executive. My professional experience has been in the development and operations of accounting and financial systems. I have also worked in the information technology and hi-tech. In 2000 I immigrated to US from Canada. I have been a treasurer and volunteer of several campaigns supporting Democratic Party candidates.

If elected I will make every effort to assist my community in their pursuit of happiness and freedom.

Greg Hodosevich

Aleena Jun Nawabi

She/Her American

Muslim Democratic of San Diego – President


Council on American-Islamic Relations – Outreach Coordinator

Safe harbor Network – Board Member

San Diego Progressive Democratic Club – Membership Chair At-Large

CD-52 Bernie Delegate – At-Large

Arab American Caucus – Communications Director

Adem 77 – Current

Ed. Nurse, Linguist, English, Education

Now more than ever, ADEM needs delegates that will reflect its constituents and the issues that are crumbling our district.

I represent the most under-represent communities; refugees, Muslims, BIPOC, someone who grew up on food stamp-affordable housing, united domestic workers, a victim of hate crime-racism-islamophobia-Muslim ban, first-generation college graduate, and second-term delegate.

Despite all the challenges, I am grateful to have this opportunity to bring people and communities from all backgrounds to represent our amazing district and find solutions to better our region.

As a delegate, I will make sure ADEM 77 is a reflection of all district constituents because of representation matters. I will continue to stand by, protect, serve, and fight for all people in every neighborhood despite completely understanding their struggles; while giving them complete control of their narratives.

I am currently an ally, advocate, and community leader standing on the frontlines for health equity, economic justice, ending irresponsible enforcement, immigrant-refugee rights, community economic development, housing crisis, gender justice-workers’ rights, environmental-regional equity, and youth education-empowerment.

Aleena Jun Nawabi

My name is Katelyn Hailey (she/her) and I’m running to serve as an Assembly District Delegate and E-Board Representative for the 77th Assembly District.

Community service is a central theme throughout my career. After graduating with an M.A. in Comparative Politics, I cut my advocacy teeth working for a local environmental nonprofit to promote reliable drinking water, safe beaches, and thriving ecosystems.

Having discovered a love for public policy, I went on to serve the constituents of the 39th Senate District in the offices of both Senators Christine Kehoe and then Marty Block.

This experience opened me up to an incredible opportunity in 2016 – I became the SoCal representative for NextGen America. I worked to flip seven targeted Congressional Districts in CA, partnering with the California Labor Federation. I traveled to each district and met with community leaders and activists in order to determine the best ways to move the needle district-by-district. And together we won all seven in 2018.

For the last two years I advocated and ran campaigns for our labor community, winning political and legislative fights for working people. In 2020, we were successful in 75% of the races we engaged in.

In 2021 I will start a new role as Local Government Affairs Director for United Domestic Workers of America – a social justice union where I will serve home care workers who take care of our most vulnerable members of society.

And volunteer work truly feeds my soul. I have spent many nights, weekends, and vacation days promoting progressive candidates. I volunteer with environmental organizations to promote safe, healthy beaches and waterways, and to clear local canyons of invasive species and dangerous overgrowth; I served on the Political Committee and the Steering Committee of Sierra Club San Diego; for the past 11 years I have volunteered with a peace and justice summer program for international students; and I serve on the board of the Coalition for Reproductive Justice.

I am proudly progressive, pro-choice, pro-environment, and pro-labor. I’m an advocate for public schools, where I have two step-children who are 8 and 13, and I’m the wife of a veteran. I fight for social and racial justice both in my career and in my personal life. I want to continue serving our community – I would appreciate your vote. See more here: – Thank you!

Katelyn Hailey

Andrew Boyd is a Healthcare IT Consultant, assisting hospitals throughout the country develop and implement workflows to improve patient flow – a critically important piece to ensure our hospitals remain efficient and have the space needed for patients. In his spare time, he is a volunteer at the La Jolla Playhouse, serving as President of the Playhouse Partners and a Trustee for the Board. Andrew currently resides in Santee with his husband, Stephen.

Please consider voting for Andrew to be a delegate for district 77! He looks forward to advocating for our district and helping to advance the platform of the CA Democrats.

Andrew Boyd

Longtime Progressive Activist.

Columbia Law, J.D. Began career as Legal Services Attorney. Former pro-bono attorney for the San Diego County Democratic Party. Pro bono advisor and board member to numerous environmental and progressive nonprofits. 2020 Democratic Candidate for San Diego City Council, endorsed for City Council by Carmel Valley Democratic Club, University of California San Diego Democrats and others.

California faces multiple crises – the Climate Crisis, the Housing Crisis, the Inequality Crisis. And the California Democratic party needs to lead on each of those. I have a proven record of leadership on all of these issues – real solutions and straight talk for a new California.

Will Moore

My name is Ria Otero and my pronouns are she/her/hers. I am the daughter of Philippine immigrants and the first-generation of my family born in the United States. As someone who was born and raised in this district, it has been an honor to represent my own community as an Assembly District Delegate to the California Democratic Party. If re-elected, I look forward to continuing my duties with the same enthusiasm and a new breadth of knowledge and experience.

Professionally, I work as a data analyst in the news/media industry. In my free time, I serve as the Chair of the San Diego Progressive Democratic Club (Metro West Chapter) and Member-at-Large of the Asian American and Pacific Islander Democratic Club of San Diego. I am an active, voting member of the Disabilities Caucus, LGBT Legislative Caucus, and the Filipino-American Democratic Caucus. This year has presented several unique challenges to the activist community. Despite not being able to attend meetings or conventions, I am grateful that modern technology has allowed Democrats to continue organizing in a way that is more accessible and more sustainable than meeting in-person.

Ria Otero

As an environmental advocate and environmental policy advisor for San Diego County Supervisor Nathan Fletcher, I ask for your vote to be an ADEM.

Environmental action is more important than ever. We know that communities overburdened with the worst air quality are more likely to have the highest rates of COVID-19. This is morally wrong.

In my daily work, I fight to take action on these environmental injustices and I would also proudly do so as an ADEM. I will fight for a CDP platform that prioritizes climate action and environmental justice. I will advocate for a Democratic Party that meets the needs of our diverse community. As part of the Unity Slate, I will make sure ADEM 77 is a reflection of all district constituents because representation matters. I will continue to standby, protect, serve, and fight for all people in every neighborhood despite not completely understanding their struggles, while giving them complete control of their narratives.

Emily Wier

I was a Bernie Sanders Delegate to the 2016 and 2020 Democratic National Conventions. This year I canvased hard for Bernie, perhaps knocking on the most doors of anyone in San Diego for Bernie.

After Bernie dropped out of the race, I transitioned to campaigning for Terra Lawson-Remer for County Supervisor here in District Three. I worked on her campaign as a volunteer phonebook host. I’m very happy and proud that we and Terra won, ousting Gaspar from her seat on the County Board of Supervisors.

I believe wholeheartedly that we Democrats must respond to the needs of the fully half of Americans who are struggling just to have the basics; struggling just to have a decent standard of living. Our fate depends on our response to this need. If we respond we will be be strong for decades to come. If we don’t we could be in for another Trump in 2024.

I will work as a delegate to support policy like Medicare For All, a Living Wage, a Green New Deal, and Free Public College.

I would very much appreciate your support in the ADEM election.

Paul Sasso

My name is Amna Zuberi. I grew up in the Midwest, and I had a great childhood. My migrated to the US from OPakistan via England. Where my brother and were born. We came to the US chasing the America Dream, like many people. I would really to represent my community and all communities because I believe we have more in common then not.
This is the time to come together. Our country is going through a tough time. We maybe down but we are not out! I am like many who have lost their jobs due to COVID-19, so I know what a trying time we’ re in.
I am a mother and a wife. And I will work hard to serve my community. Thanks you for the opportunity.

Amna Zuberi

I am Dr. Darshana Patel, a first generation American, a life-long Democrat, civic-minded scientist, community leader, and mother of three young daughters. I look back on my childhood and remember a happy home, however, we moved around a lot, lived through several rounds of no income, faced racism in a variety of settings, and my mom unexpectedly passed away shortly after my 14th birthday. I had to grow up quickly and establish my own priorities and plan for my life journey. I overcame many challenges and earned a Ph.D. in Biophysics at UC Irvine and advanced to a career in research and project management at Genentech, Inc.

My experiences as a scientist, community leader, and elected official give me a unique breadth and depth of knowledge that I use to make informed decisions. I am a vocal advocate of public education since it is the backbone of a strong democracy. In addition to serving in my 2nd elected term on the Poway Unified School District Board of Education, I am the President of the San Diego County School Boards Association and am appointed to the California School Boards Association Policy Platform Committee. I have a strong track record of representing our community by serving on a variety of civic boards, including Rancho Peñasquitos Town Council, Rancho Peñasquitos Planning Board, and PTA. I am a founding member of the Rancho Peñasquitos Democratic Club and member of the Dems of 92127, RB Dem Club, Dems for Equality, and Democrats for Environmental Action. Entering public service was not an afterthought or casual decision; it is my primary focus.

As your Assembly District Delegate, I am committed to ethically fulfilling my duties to represent our AD77 community at CDP Regional Meetings and the California Democratic Party Convention. I will work collaboratively with other DSCC delegates throughout California to advocate for our community values and priorities through candidate endorsements, ballot measure positions, and our Democratic Party Platform. On behalf of the delegation, I bring leadership experience in public education advocacy, a scientific approach to environmental and health policy, and compassion for equity and inclusion issues. My life experience as a parent, scientist, and public servant has given me unique skills and perspectives that I will use to help build a winning strategy for our party.

I respectfully ask for your vote.

Dr. Darshana Patel

My name is Dr. Indroneal Banerjee and I am humbly submitting my application to represent our Democratic region as an ADEM for the 2021 cycle. I am the son of two East Indian Immigrants and the husband of an immigrant. It is my privilege to be a part of their story as they all came to the United States and built a life with the support of a diverse set of neighbors who became family. It is by being a part of this larger family that I learned a defining truth; that the only way to pay back the community that cares for us is in service to the community. Thus I am running to represent my diverse neighbors and neighborhood. I do so with two high priorities in mind:

The first is to advocate for science and scientists. Before my work in politics/activism, I worked as a Scientist where I spent 15 years as an academic bench scientist. During this time, I earned by PhD in Molecular Biology, worked as a Postdoctoral Fellow and published 27 peer-reviewed papers with over 30+ conference presentations. After leaving academics in 2015, I spent the last 5 years in the biotech industry. What these lived experiences have taught me is that we as scientists need advocacy. It is only with advocacy, that initiatives like the Green New Deal, Precision Medicare for All, and the Covid19 recovery will be successful. Thus I will work and use my voice as an ADEM within the party to make sure that Science and funding are spoken for.

The second priority is to further my advocacy within the party for the Asian American Pacific Islander community. In San Diego from 1940 to 2010 the Asian American population has risen from 1% to 16%. In assembly district 77 Asian Americans make up 25% of the overall population. This means that our community has, and will continue to increase in both numbers and prominence. Unfortunately our community has faced vile hate during the Covid crisis. Thus we need advocacy in order to ensure our voice and safety in the larger body. Currently I am the Club President of the AAPI Dem Club of San Diego and use my platform to speak for the community within the larger body. As an ADEM I will continue this work for awareness, justice and reform.

I look forward to serving my community, as an ADEM should you chose me to do so. Thank you.

Indroneal Banerjee

Being born in this century, I’m keenly aware of the exponential technological progression that is reshaping our society daily—and the challenges that come along. I’m John Finkelman: I’m a young progressive and community advocate currently studying public policy at Stanford University.

My journey starts on the 101, then the 237, and finally the 235. I’ve learned a lot from riding so many buses. Meeting my fellow passengers is always fun. I love listening. As I hear others’ stories, I wonder what their lives would be like with different policies in place, with a politics that cares about their place in the world.

I come from a family of refugees. I’m a first-generation American. The dreams of my immigrant parents were built upon an undefiable hope for the future ever longing for those ethereal wishes of shelter, safety, and success. Right now, inequality is glaring. My time on the bus emphasized that. Clean, sustainable, and efficient public transportation is the way forward for the 21st century. Right now, our system is struggling to stay alive, trapped in a vicious cycle. We can do better: we must do better. Access to public transit creates socioeconomic mobility. This is but one example. Empathy is fundamental. The waning of injustices can only take place if we elect people who respect the rights of all humans. There can never be racial justice without economic justice, there can never be economic justice without gender justice, and there can never be gender justice without fighting homophobia.

My 2-hour bus journeys would always come to a happy conclusion when I arrived to see the hopeful faces of the friends (although I would consider them family) who were helping me create my own nonprofit, focused on bettering the lives of San Diego’s refugee population. Since its inception, my nonprofit has helped impact over 5000 San Diegans.

I would be proud to serve as an ADEM Delegate and take what I have learned from Stanford to advocate for policies that can shape California politics for the better. As a delegate, I will promote and support systemic reform and progressive causes. Compromise is essential, but we can’t defeat ourselves before reaching the negotiating table. I will use this once in a lifetime opportunity to help rebuild our society—not from the bricks of the old, but from the new—and begin again.

It would be an honor to represent AD 77.

John Finkelman

I’m a lifelong Democrat and have voted in every election since 1972. I’ve been a proud union member of Operating Engineers Local 12 since 1995, where I was employed as a Business Agent before retiring in 2016.
I have been active in election campaigns on behalf of Democratic candidates during my time at the union. Working with the Los Angeles and San Diego Labor Councils, working phone bank calls to voters, walking precincts and door knocking on behalf of Democratic candidates for local, State and National races. Acted as a Precinct Captain on Election Day, watching polls and making follow up calls to targeted voters to boost turnout.
I worked on the campaigns of Doug Applegate and Mike Levin In 2016 and 2018, and finally defeated Republican Congressman Darrell Issa. I worked most recently to ensure Joe Biden would become our next President, and we won it!
I’m running to become one of the Party’s delegates because I want our party to maintain control of as many city councils, school boards, the Board of Supervisors and State and National offices as we can, to counter the deceptions and misinformation coming from the Republicans and to better serve the middle class working folks whom they ignore.
I promise to work hard to represent my fellow Democrats in furtherance of this goal.
I would be most grateful for the opportunity to serve the Party as a delegate on behalf of organized labor. Thank you in advance for your support.

Sol R Allen

I am a labor activist, a leftist, an ally, a policy advocate, and an organizer. I currently serve as a delegate to the California Democratic Party from the 77th Assembly District and I am asking for your vote to continue to serve as a delegate to help represent you.

I am running for reelection because we need a Party that puts human need before corporate greed; one that truly speaks to the problems we face, not just provides lip service. Statewide, more and more of our elections have become a choice between Democratic candidates but its not clear what running as a Democrat means or how to translate those victories into meaningful policy solutions. Many of our neighbors are choosing to not align with any party and to not get involved because they have not seen their actions translating into an impact on their daily lives if they’ve ever chosen to be involved at all.

We need to make politics relevant again by getting out there and having meaningful conversations with our neighbors about their problems and bringing them into the decision-making about solutions. That means we need to help create and then endorse policies that make a real difference. As a Party, we need to put values over friendships, substance over style, and character over personality.

Our job as a Party isn’t simply to elect Democrats. It is also to grow our grassroots power in order push elected officials to do the right thing, to create the political climate in which they can be bold, and to hold them accountable when they fall short.

To do all of this, we need the Party to be more democratic, inclusive, transparent, and accountable.

I believe that we can be better together. I hope to continue to bring my experience and convictions to the Party as a delegate with your support. I have a long history of fighting successfully for economic and social justice both personally and professionally through my time with the Center on Policy Initiatives, the California Nurses Association, with Council President Georgette Gómez and as a volunteer on many local campaigns and as a past Vice President of the Chicano Democratic Association.

Corinne Wilson

I would love your vote as an ADEM for district 77.

Please watch my short video at

I’m Andrea Schneider, an Attorney in San Diego and the president of the Foothills Bar Association which is a legal association in the East county of San Diego.

I was never interested in politics until Donald Trump won the election. I got annoyed and I got active.

I’m great at organizing and motivating people.

During Covid I organized a group of over 30 ladies, taught some of them how to sew and together we created over 7,000 free masks for homeless people and other people in our community.

I have excellent negotiation skills, I’m good at hearing different opinions and facilitating conversations. I love networking and looking for common ground.

I believe that women are underrepresented in political offices as well as in business.

Some of the areas I am interested in:

getting more women in politics and to higher positions in business and politics,

getting more Democrats elected,

helping with the Dreamers,

helping decrease homelessness-especially homeless families.

I’d love an opportunity to make a bigger difference.

I’d appreciate your vote so that I can be an Assembly District Elected Member (ADEM) in District 77.

I’m also the mother of two awesome kids and two wonderful dogs. I like to run, do yoga, lift weights, climb Cowles Mountain, do craft projects and grow succulents.

Thank you for reading/viewing my statement and I appreciate your consideration.

Andrea Schneider

I am the granddaughter of refugees. I recall their stories of escape to America and the hope that motivated them to never give up. That hope? The American Dream.

It was my grandparents’ journey and hardships that instilled the lifelong fight in me to keep the American Dream alive. I will never stop fighting for human rights, righting the wrongs at our borders, paving a path to citizenship, ensuring the right to vote, speaking out for quality education regardless of one’s zip code, protecting Mother Earth and opening the door to equal housing opportunities.

Over the decades, I knocked on doors, registered voters, distributed literature, marched, protested, organized, made phone calls, and sent text messages, postcards and letters to battleground states. But, what stands out most for me is the tireless work I put into Delaine Eastin’s gubernatorial race. I hadn’t been that excited about a candidate since President Obama ran in 2008! The issues that Delaine champions, defends and leads the charge mirror my own and her vision, her experience for resolving those issues is inspiring.

I fight for the betterment of all of us by making certain that my voice is heard. I vote!

Lynn E Gerson