2018 Voter Guide – Ventura

City of Ventura

This guide aims to be a complete list of leftist recommendations for every race on your November 6th ballot. It is being assembled by a volunteer group of DSA members in Ventura County frustrated at the lack of information and guidance on local races, and with the difficulty of finding out who and what each candidate really represents. The recommendations here are based on careful research by individual members, and do not constitute chapter endorsements except where noted. It is not yet complete, but we will continue adding recommendations up until Election Day. We hope you find it useful as you fill out your ballot in the spirit of Rebecca Solnit: ”I think of voting as a chess move, not a valentine.“ See you at the polls, then, just as importantly, in the streets. With your help, we can bring to birth a new world.

– Democratic Socialists of America, Ventura County

NOTE: The following are good-faith recommendations based on research by individual chapter members, they do not constitute official DSA-VC endorsements except where specifically stated.

US Senate

Kevin DeLeon (D) ✓ DeLeon is an imperfect candidate and Feinstein has been stepping up her performance lately (no doubt due in part to the presence of a challenger) but it's time for a state as blue as CA to have two progressive senators. Among other things, seating DeLeon will advance our goals of single payer health care & free public education through college.

CA Governor

Gavin Newsom (D) ✓ Newsom is a fairly progressive Democrat and his opponent is a wealthy Trump wannabe.

CA Lt Governor

Eleni Kounalakis (D) ✓ Kounalakis is the more progressive candidate. She is more keen to social justice issues (e.g. LGBTQ+ rights,) and her opponent's statements mostly focus on past accomplishments.

CA Secretary of State

Alex Padilla (D) ✓ Padilla takes mostly good positions (including support for Prop 10 and the Dream Act) but has some troubling corporate backing.

CA Treasurer

Fiona Ma (D) ✓ More guidance for local governments could be helpful.Seems supportive of single payer. Opponent is pushing tax cuts for corporations.

CA Superintendent of Schools

Tony Thurmond ✓ Thurmond is the more progressive candidate. He is an advocate for community college, CSU & UC colleges.

CA Attorney General

Xavier Becerra (D) ✓ Xavier Becerra is a reliable progressive Democrat and is focused on continuing California's resistance to the Trump agenda on issues from immigration to gun safety to the environment. Vote to keep him as attorney general!

CA Controller

Betty Yee (D) ✓ Yee, the incumbent, has by all accounts been doing a good job as controller, and supports the policies you'd expect from a progressive Dem.

CA Commissioner of Insurance

Ricardo Lara (D) ✓ In the state Senate since 2012, Lara is a child of immigrants with an extremely progressive voting track record, as well as the author of several bills (including SB 562, designed to make CA the first state in the union to enact a single-payer, universal healthcare system.)

CA Board of Equalization, District 3

Tony Vasquez (D) ✓ Vasquez has faced some conflict of interest accusations and generally seems to be the sort of wealthy consultant-class Dem we'd like to see less of. Still, it's 2018 and his opponent is a Prop 13 supporting, anti-taxation Republican, so hold your nose and vote for the Democrat, at least for now (Fiona Ma is in favor of disbanding the Board entirely, so this seat may be gone before it's up for election again.)

CA Prop 1

Yes ✓ More money for housing. From ballotpedia: "Proposition 1 would authorize $4 billion in general obligation bonds for housing-related programs, loans, grants, and projects and housing loans for veterans."

CA Prop 2

Yes ✓ Of course we'd prefer to just enact a higher millionaire's tax to pay for these programs, but using mental health money to provide housing for homeless vets as part of their mental health treatment is a reasonable stopgap.

CA Prop 3

No Prop 3 is written and funded by agribusiness and others with a direct economic stake in getting it passed. It is opposed by the Sierra Club and other groups that put our environment and ecosystems ahead of profits.

CA Prop 4

Yes ✓ This is an easy yes vote. Prop 4 funds improvements to hospitals for children and has no organized opposition. Unless you're an anti-bond zealot (and if you're here you're probably not) there's no reason to oppose this.

CA Prop 5

No Prop 5 takes funding from cities and schools and gives it preferentially to those senior citizens who need it least – those who have been long-time homeowners paying less property tax than anyone else. It's a terrible idea, vote no!

CA Prop 6

No Prop is opposed by all the unions, and takes away funding that provides jobs and fixes unsafe infrustructure.

CA Prop 7

Yes ✓ Permanent daylight saving time would reduce heart attacks by 5%

CA Prop 8

Yes ✓ Privately Owned dialysis clinics must not be allowed to refuse life-saving treatments to patients solely based on payment source. People in need of dialysis don't have a choice in the matter, and the clinics that provide it shouldn't be permitted to gouge their patients.

CA Prop 9

removed from ballot

CA Prop 10

🌹YES!🌹 Prop 10 is a crucial step toward housing justice in California. It removes the rent control restrictions imposed by the Costa-Hawkins Act and paves the way for a real transformation of housing in our state in the form of universal rent and vacancy control. Update: Prop 10 has been endorsed by the national DSA organization! Read the detailed statement signed by all 16 CA chapters here.

CA Prop 11

No Privately owned ambulance companies should not be exempt from giving their staff uninterrupted breaks entitled to them by law. Ambulance crews are some of the most exploited workers in the health care industry and need more protections, not fewer.

CA Prop 12

Yes ✓ Establishes minimum requirements for confining certain farm animals.

House of Reps CA-26

Julia Brownley (D) ✓ She doesn’t believe in Medicare for All, but is better than Trump follower Sabato.

CA Assembly District 37

Monique Limón (D) ✓ Limón is a progressive candidate, and supports single-payer healthcare, DACA and the DREAM Act.

VC Community College Trustee Area 1

🌹Arthur "AJ" Valenzuela, Jr🌹 AJ Valenzuela is the only Democratic Socialist on the ballot for the college board. He will be an advocate for free college tuition and plans to build and strengthen community partnerships and pathways to the workforce. He is a graduate of Ventura College Pathways and has experience organizing at the local and state level. VC DSA proudly endorsed AJ Valenzuela and are looking forward to a partnership with him once elected.

Casitas Municipal Water Div 4

Mary Bergen ✓ Both candidates favor connection to state water and measures to decrease usage, with Bergen favoring moderated residential growth at the expense of agriculture and Spandrio taking a pro-business approach favoring industry over housing. Neither candidate mentioned fracking anywhere in their platform or at the League of Women Voters forum they attended. Neither one seems very exciting, but we're recommending Bergen as the better choice. Plus, her opponent is a Trumpist based on his social media presence.

Ventura City Council District 1

🌹Sofia Rubalcava🌹 Sofía Rubalcava has our endorsement, she is a candidate truly aligned with DSA values. A labor organizer and lifelong Avenue resident, she'll work to bring housing equity and recreation opportunities to Ventura's working people, and improve environmental safety conditions on the west side. She also promises to help bridge the language and culture barrier between the residents of west Ventura. Sofía is the only candidate in the race who supports Prop 10 and rent control.

Ventura City Council District 4

Erik Nasarenko ✓ A reliable liberal vote is better than the anti-homeless zealots that are running against him.

Ventura City Council District 5

Marie Lakin ✓ Marie has a campaign similar to Lorrie Brown. The other two have campaigns that are limited in scope.

Ventura City Council District 6

🌹Lorrie Brown🌹 We’ve endorsed her. Her opponent's platform is similar, but he only has one endorsement compared to her many.

Ventura Unified Area 1

There's really no good option here, every candidate is flawed beyond even a tactical vote. Write in your favorite educational philosopher or your favorite teacher from high school.

Ventura Unified Area 4

Madhu Bajaj ✓ Her campaign is much more inspiring than her competent but uninspiring opponents.

if you are a dues-paying DSA member and would like to contribute research to the guide, please contact the chapter at [email protected]. If you are not yet a dues-paying member and wish to become one, go to dsausa.org/join (please choose a monthly donation to help fund your local chapter.) If you’re not ready to join but want to support our chapter for projects like this you can make a donation here.