Fourteen local leaders organizing as the “Progressive Slate” want residents to know there’s a California election on the horizon.

This group of community activists, including Mayor Sue Himmelrich, are urging all Santa Monicans to register and consider voting for them to represent Assembly District 50 in the Democratic party.

California voters will elect representatives from all Assembly districts this month and those individuals will shape the State party’s priorities.

Due to the pandemic all delegate voting will be done by mail and voters must request a ballot at https://adem.cadem.org/ by Jan. 11. Though this is a lesser known election, assembly delegates play an influential role in the state Democratic Party by voting on its platform, endorsing candidates statewide, and serving on committees that guide the party’s operations.

“We need strong leadership in the Democratic Party to withstand the sort of onslaughts on our democracy that we saw yesterday and to stand firm for the rights of those marginalized and left behind in our country,” said Himmelrich, referring to the mob of Trump supporters who stormed the Capitol on Jan 6. “That is why I run, and why I run with this Progressive Slate of true activists.”

The slate aligns itself with the progressive branch of the Democratic Party and advocates for healthcare for all, the Green New Deal, increasing affordable housing, divest/reinvest strategies in policing, strengthening public education, and ending homelessness.

Slate members include officials currently serving on Santa Monica City Council, Rent Control Board, and College Board as well as local healthcare, racial justice, and environmental activists.

“It would be beneficial for leaders from Santa Monica to bring their experience from our community and the issues we deal with on a daily basis to the state party,” said SMC Board member Sion Roy. “This includes advocating for policies that help improve homelessness and housing insecurity—two major issues in Santa Monica.”

Several slate members have been elected as AD50 delegates in the past, where they have served on the party finance and platform committees and pushed for affordable housing and education policies.

“My proudest accomplishment in my first term as a CDP delegate was advocating for a bill that made the second year of community college free in California. I personally got the California Democratic Party’s endorsement for this bill,” said slate member Isabel Storey.

This bill was later passed by the legislature and signed into law by Governor Newsom, resulting in a free second year of education for Santa Monica College students and community college students across the state.

“I feel like we had an impact in the past two years. We testified on legislation and influenced the discussion on housing issues in a big way. That’s our job as delegates,” said Rent Control Board member Anastasia Foster.

Other slate members have experience advocating for and implementing progressive policies at a City and County level.

Angela Scott serves on the Santa Monica Black Agenda Committee and Public Safety Reform Advisory Committee. Scott supports demilitarizing the police department and relocating funds to “non-policing” forms of public safety and community support like social services, healthcare, and housing.

Slate member Paul Song is a physician, co-chair of the Campaign for a Healthy California, and has years of experience as a Medicare-For-All activist.

Domi Piturro and Sion Roy are involved in local implementation efforts of Green New Deal projects. They work with GRID Alternatives, an organization installing solar panels for low-income families, and are involved in SMC programs to train students with green technology skills.

Slate members believe that Santa Monica has often served as a bastion of progressivism by enacting strict environmental regulations, affordable housing projects, and most recently adopting the Black Agenda.

“Santa Monica has always been a national leader for progressive values, which is a mantle I take with me in my role as a delegate,” said Jon Katz, President of the Santa Monica Democratic Club.

The deadline to request a vote-by-mail application is Jan. 11 at 11:59 pm PST at https://adem.cadem.org/. If a person does not have the ability to request a vote-by-mail ballot online, they can request a ballot by emailing adem@cadem.org or by calling the Sacramento CADEM HQ at (916) 442-5707.

Clara@smdp.com