With the June 5th primary coming up, we’re going into election crunch time. If you haven’t already chosen a campaign to work on or volunteer your efforts, we hope you’ll consider joining us on being part of the Real Justice movement for winning reform-minded county prosecutor and sheriff races across the state.
Taking notice of the increase of police shootings and assaults involving people of color and how so many law enforcement agencies have operated without accountability for years, Progressive Caucus Officers agreed with the burgeoning sentiment out there: End Police Brutality! Black Lives Matter! No Justice, No Peace! But what can we do as progressives to help make a difference?
Here in California, a few key races have captured the energy and enthusiasm of voters and volunteers demanding a change. The recent shooting of Stephon Clark has served as a tipping point; finally, what many criminal justice reform activists have long called for – priority given to district attorney, law enforcement and judicial races – is starting to take place.
The important work of Real Justice and other campaigns inspired by the same spirit of restorative justice deserves our active support. With just two weeks to go, we are asking everyone to get involved with a campaign near you – or even one not so near (virtual phone and text banking make volunteering easy).
As Martin Luther King, Jr. remarked, “We are now faced with the fact, my friends, that tomorrow is today. We are confronted with the fierce urgency of now. In this unfolding conundrum of life and history, there is such a thing as being too late…We must move past indecision to action…If we do not act, we shall surely be dragged down the long, dark, and shameful corridors of time reserved for those who possess power without compassion, might without morality, and strength without sight.”
We can all sense it: the time is right, the cause is just, and We The People will be the agents of change. So be here now – check out one of the campaigns below (more to come) and join us in a fight you can believe in!
To add information about progressive DA or Sheriff candidates in your area, please email the officers.
Pamela Price for DA
We have a unique opportunity thanks to two courageous, smart, progressive women who have stepped up to the plate to run for District Attorney and Superior Court Judge. I say courageous because they are going up against the Good Old Boy Network in a place where the GOB’s play hard and dirty, and usually win. If we can get Susan Krones (DA) and Shanda Harry (Judge) elected, it will do more to improve the lives of everyday people in Lake County than almost any other race in recent history. If you lived here, you would know that is not an exaggeration. Just fact. — Deb Baumann, Progressive Caucus Member
Some have observed that to get the same respect as a man running for office or applying for a job, the woman must be ten times more qualified than her male opponent.
In Susan Krones’ case, she is.
Susan has been a prosecutor in the Lake County DA’s office for 25 years. Before that, she was a Captain in the US Army and served as Judge Advocate General Attorney from 1985-1991. She received her law degree from the prestigious UC Hastings College of Law.
In Lake County, Susan served first in the Family Support Division from 1992 – 1997. She has served as Senior Deputy District Attorney, prosecuting major felonies from 1997 – 2018. She has over a hundred jury trials under her belt, specializing in Child Sexual Assault Prosecution, Domestic Violence Prosecution, Vehicular Homicide Prosecution, and Felony Sentencing Law.
Of her readiness to lead the District Attorney’s office, Susan says “In my first job as a U.S. Army Captain, I learned that the cornerstone of leadership is leading by example. This helped me realize the importance of taking on job challenges that helped me grow. I learned that to earn the respect of coworkers you had to know the job you expected others to do. I learned the value of experience.”
About being ten times more qualified than the man… Susan’s opponent has no jury trial experience whatsoever. After graduating from Empire Law School in Santa Rosa, he joined a small local law office in the community where he was born and raised… and where his father is a Lake County Supervisor (and owner of a Bail Bond business). In recent community debates, her opponent made observations such as “rape is difficult to prosecute because there are no witnesses.” He frequently cites his family’s long history (4 or 5 generations in the same town) as if this alone were reason enough to put him in charge. He denies any conflict of interest concerns related to his father being a County Supervisor and professional Bail Bondsman. His lack of integrity is demonstrated in the fact that, although a Republican, Tea Party and State of Jefferson supporter, he purchasecd space on a commercial slate mailer aimed at Democratic Voters, where he appears alongside Dianne Feinstein and other Democratic candidates. This deceitful act is par for the course for Good Old Boy politics in Lake County.
In truth, there was time when insider family connections would have been enough to be elected to any office. Lake County has a long history of “good old boys” running things. But for the sake of everyone living in Lake County — poor people, people of color, women, Native Americans, more recent arrivals and even white people who have lived here for generations — we hope that the times they are a’changing. Susan Krones would bring an ethical, modern, diverse perspective, as well as integrity and equal justice for all to the Lake County District Attorney’s office.
Lake County needs the objective perspective, strong experience and excellent education that someone like Susan Krones brings to the position. She has been endorsed with glowing recommendations from colleages in Law Enforcement and coworkers at the DA office, where she is well-respected and has a reputation for integrity and hard work.
Susan Krones will provide the leadership needed for the Lake County District Attorney’s office.
The LA County Democratic Party Central Committee and the Santa Monica Democratic Club, which includes several members of our Progressive Caucus, as well as Caucus So Cal Vice-Chair Susie Shannon and Secretary Marcy Winograd, have endorsed insurgent candidate Alex Villanueva for LA County Sheriff. Villanueva, a sheriff with a Doctorate in Public Administration, is challenging the incumbent sheriff Jim McDonnell. Villanueva says the incumbent has failed to rid the department of corruption following the successful prosecution of the previous sheriff Lee Baca for obstructing an FBI investigation into deputy abuse of jail inmates. Villanueva says he wants to reform the department around the principles of community policing, civilian oversight, ethical conduct and recruitment of people of color. To volunteer, endorse or contribute, visit AlexVillanueva.org.
Let’s send one of the worst DAs and county Sheriffs in the state packing! The Stephon Clark shooting, charging an African-American woman with lynching, and supporting neo-Nazis who stabbed counter protestors are just some of the outrages that have occurred during the tenure of the incumbent DA.
The current Sheriff has cost the county over $10m in damages over sexual harassment and discrimination charges. In addition to joining Trump in advocating the arming of teachers in schools, he was listed as an attendee at an event sponsored by a group that’s on the Southern Poverty Law Center’s official hate groups list.
“Anne Marie Schubert, the current District Attorney of Sacramento County, California, is one of the worst DAs in the state of California. She has consistently refused to hold police accountable for murdering or brutalizing unarmed people of color. She never charged a police officer who brutally beat an unarmed black man who was stopped for an alleged jaywalking offense. Nor did she charge officers who tried to run over an unarmed mentally ill black man with their patrol car before shooting him to death in 2017. Outrageously, she made national news when she charged a 20-year-old black woman with felony “lynching” after she was accused of allegedly interfering with an arrest of another activist during a protest for Freddie Gray in 2015.
Schubert’s challenger Noah Phillips knows what a disaster she has been as chief prosecutor in Sacramento County because he has served in the DA’s office for over 20 years. He supports bail reform, protecting undocumented immigrants, and expanding reentry services for returning citizens. Phillips wants to change the culture of the District Attorney’s that rewards overcharging, coercive plea bargains and racial disparities in bail requests, charging and sentencing.”
Check out more at Real Justice, and learn how you can help elect reform-minded candidates Noah Phillips for DA and Milo Fitch for Sheriff! Together, Noah and Milo are poised to shake up the justice system in Sacramento in the wake of the Stephon Clark murder. Read more about Noah and Milo at Real Justice.
About the county Sheriff’s race:
Fitch is running to replace an avid Donald Trump supporter who not only opposes sanctuary cities but has joined the Trump campaign to arm teachers in the wake of the Parkland shootings. Under Jones’ watch, the Sheriff’s Department is a mess. An out of control “bro culture” and rampant sexual harassment within the sheriff’s office has cost the county millions in lawsuits. Jones’ close relationships with the bail bonds industry while working for the Sheriff’s Department once triggered an FBI investigation. What’s more, in 2015, Jones was listed as an attendee at an event sponsored by a group that’s on the Southern Poverty Law Center’s official hate groups list.
Jones is also one of the top supporters of Sacramento’s rightwing Republican District Attorney Anne Marie Schubert who is being challenged by Real Justice PAC candidates Noah Phillips.
Milo Fitch understands how to run a just sheriff’s department. He served in the Sacramento Sheriff’s Department for 33 years. As a member of the Sheriff’s Department’s narcotics division, Fitch had a front seat in the war against drugs. And he knows arrests and imprisonment are no solution for our addiction crisis. Fitch advocates spending money on education, vocational programs and addiction services, not mass incarceration. And that’s just the kind of thinking we need to reform Sacramento’s criminal justice system. After his years at the Sheriff’s Department, Fitch dedicated his life to innovative programs to help citizens returning to society from prison achieve success, serving as chief of workforce development for the state agency that provides job training and opportunities to set men and women on a new path after incarceration.
Phonebanks: Monday – Thursday, 5:30-8pm
Canvassing: Saturday and Sunday, 10am-1pm / 2-5pm
1033 S St, Sacramento CA 95811
Virtual phonebanking welcomed! Contact: Darrow Sprague.
Read more about the history and impact of the killing of Stephon Clark in Sacramento:
- Stephon Clark’s killing raises tough question: Should cops always charge in?
- Family of Stephon Clark speaks out as investigation into his death continues
We are the margin of victory. These three Progressives running to restore justice to the county of San Diego need your help. As all things progressive, this is a grassroots campaign and we need small donations and people power. These races will be decided on June 5th.
The polls show that these races are close, but the majority of voters haven’t decided. This makes it all the more important that we turn out each and every registered Democrat.
Over the next two weeks, we’re mobilizing 3,000 supporters to each send 50 text messages to Democratic voters in San Diego County. Together we’ll reach 150,000+ voters! This is more than the margin of victory in previous elections. We can be difference between victory and defeat!
Geneviéve Jones-Wright for District Attorney
Dave Myers for Sheriff
Matt Strabone for County Clerk / Recorder
Please take a little time out of your day to donate $3 and text 50 undecided voters.
SAN LUIS OBISPO
Formed from tragedy, the Holland Family Alliance urges action to “STOP THE CORRUPTION NOW”, stating that “Our mission is to stop the corruption of law enforcement and political positions facing our community. No longer can we ignore the statistics.” There is no doubt that new leadership is urgently needed in SLO. Please consider the following reform-minded candidates.
“Judge Mike Cummins pledges transparency in his office, investigation into the 12 deaths in the past five years at the county jail, and the reversal of the alarming and downward spiral in the DA office’s jury trial success rate.”
“Justice & Reform” features prominently on his home page, where he says the following:
“As Sheriff I will bring:
An End to Unjust Jail Deaths
A Dedicated Psychiatric Care Facility
Citizen Oversight and a Warden
An Independent Medical Examiner’s Office”
Your vote is urgently needed in Santa Clara county to install a new Sheriff. We have had the same Republican sheriff for 20+ years, and there have been more and more problems lately, including deaths in our jail and ICE in our jail. We must not allow this to continue.
John Hirokawa believes that the Santa Clara County Sheriff’s Office owes it to the people that we protect everyday to enact immediate and bold reforms to our justice system. The department has made a number of mistakes recently that cannot be repeated, caused by leadership acting with political expediency in mind, instead of public safety.
The Bayshore Progressive Democrats endorsed the most progressive candidate in the race, Jose Salcido, whose focus on human dignity leads him to advocate for better training for officers for gender and LGBTQ+ issues, better cultural awareness for homelessness (e.g., not releasing people at odd hours, but allowing homeless to stay until morning if they desire), better awareness of families and impacts of jail time on families, and better educational opportunities for inmates to reduce recidivism. Here in an excerpt from his website, Jose explains why it is critical to bring in new leadership in Santa Clara county:
“Our jails are in crisis. Morale in the Department is at an all time low. Good people are leaving. And the system is broken. Three former deputies are in prison for murdering an inmate in the jail. Two deputies are currently on trial for severely beating an inmate. Four inmates escaped from maximum security, even after another inmate reported hearing the sounds of bars being sawed. The situation is so out of control that the Blue Ribbon Commission on Jail Reform recommended a change in leadership at the top of the Sheriff’s Department. The County Board of Supervisors felt it necessary to create a civilian oversight committee for the Sheriff’s Office jails.”
For detailed information on the Solano County Sheriff’s race, please see K Patrice William’s Facebook post and comments about the candidate forum and the campaigns in general. Here are her comments:
I’ve been involved in two Solano Sheriffs Forums 1) Northern Solano Democratic Club as the Moderator, and 2) Associated Students of Solano Community College cohosted by BWOPA Solano Chapter and Tri City NAACP as an Organizer. In both cases Sheriff Tom Ferrara did not attend and both Solano Sheriffs Candidates Daniel Marshall and Daryl Snedeker attended and subjected themselves to difficult community questions that they did not know in advance.
The June 5 Primary Election in Solano is important. Either 1 of these candidates will win the election with 50 percent plus one of all Solano County votes. If no one person wins 50+1 the top two vote go getters will go on to the General Election in November.
Ps- video of the Solano Sheriffs Forums can be found on the NSDC, Solano/Napa Bwopa and TriCity NAACP Facebook pages
Check out Dean Johansson, candidate for Yolo County District Attorney. Many in the social justice community in Yolo and Sacramento County are familiar with the selfless work Dean has put in over the years for rights of vulnerable and marginalized communities. From his website:
“Dean earned his Juris Doctorate from the McGeorge School of Law in 1994. He began his career working as a Deputy District Attorney in Sacramento and also spent time working as a Public Defender in San Francisco County and a Deputy District Attorney in Tulare County. He spent a decade working as a criminal trial attorney in Sacramento, representing citizens in criminal cases and litigating civil rights cases. As a civil rights litigator, Dean sought justice for farm workers subjected to dangerous working conditions and sexual harassment, challenged the inhumane treatment of transgender women in the Sacramento County jail, and protected citizens’ First Amendment rights.
With over 20 years of service in the courtroom, Dean Johansson has seen firsthand how the outdated and ineffective approach to criminal justice long favored by the current Yolo County District Attorney’s Office harms families and communities and fails to address the root causes of crime. Together with supporters like you, Dean will work to end mass incarceration, prevent crime, and seek justice for all.”
Learn more about Dean and GET INVOLVED!