Graphic by Jennifer Notman
Every 4 years, the United States holds its presidential election, and we get to see our country collapse in real-time. Unfortunately, the 26th amendment says citizens must be 18 years old to vote, so I have to wait 2 years to cast my ballot. Still, I have been following this election cycle and the candidates it has had to offer closely. The following is a list of candidates for some of the races this year that have the courage and strength we need in people who represent us in government.
President of the United States:
President Trump is the worst president we have seen since Ronald Reagan. The damage he has done to this country in 4 years will take years to repair, and he must be removed from office. While I do recognize the Democrats put forth the worst nominee possible from their original field of over 20 candidates other than Michael Bloomberg, Vice President Biden’s campaign makes few enthusiastic, and I am still baffled that he won the Democratic Primary. Biden does have some good policies, including raising the minimum wage to $15 an hour, universal background checks for gun purchases and guaranteed 12 weeks of paid family leave. I would vote for Vice President Biden.
House of Representatives:
Our current representative in Congress is Democrat Mark DeSaulnier, who is running against Republican Nisha Sharma. DeSaulnier is the easy choice here; he has shown support for progressive policies such as Medicare For All and is a co-sponsor for the Green New Deal. Sharma is a basic conservative in a district where Democrats win by 40% every time.
California State Senate:
This is another case of a race where the Democrats are guaranteed to win by 40%, with our current state senator Democrat Steve Glazer running against Republican Julie Mobley. Glazer may have a (D) next to his name but he is as conservative as they come; his campaign takes tens of thousands from corporate PACs and has advocated that BART employees should not be allowed to strike. He has a horrendous voting record in the state senate; Glazer was the lone Democrat to vote against legislation that would put a donation cap in local elections. And in 2016, nearly 4 million of the 6.2 million dollars that his campaign raised came from the Charter School industry. None of these candidates have the interests of their constituents in mind, and I would leave my ballot empty for this section.
California State Assembly:
This is the closest race of the federal/state elections on the ballot. Our current assembly member is Rebecca Bauer-Kahan, a Democrat who flipped the seat in 2018, defeating Republican Catharine Baker by 4,539 votes. This year Bauer-Kahan is running against Republican Joseph Rubay. Bauer-Kahan is also a fierce advocate for womens’ rights and makes use of her platform to do so. Bauer-Kahan needs to keep her seat.
AUHSD Governing Board:
Out of all of the elections, this one will most directly affect Las Lomas. When I was reading each of the four candidate statements, Christopher Grove caught my eye. Grove is a Las Lomas alumni and special education teacher who seeks to expand mental health resources for students and increase community feedback in board decisions. Grove has the best policy platform out of all the candidates, and I strongly support him.
Walnut Creek City Council:
This is the race I have been the most focused on in the past few months. Walnut Creek has the potential to be a great city, but unfortunately, our City Council members Justin Wedel, Kevin Wilk, Cindy Silva, Loella Haskew and Matt Francois are holding our city back and making it worse. They all need to be voted out as soon as possible. This year Wedel, Wilk, and Haskew are on the ballot and need to be sent home. There are 3 candidates who are clearly the best choices this year, which are Michael Samson, Kurtis Reese and Lauren Talbert. These candidates would make the changes needed for our city. Samson is a community leader and has a strong progressive platform that we desperately need. Samson has also endorsed Reese and Talbert. Reese is a Las Lomas dad and has been endorsed by Friends of Scott Alexis and Taun Hall (FOSATH) and would help bring the change needed to Walnut Creek. One thing remains clear: Walnut Creek needs Samson, Reese and Talbert!