California

November 2020 Election Cheat Sheet

Explanations for endorsements are below.

California State Senate

District 9
✅ Nancy Skinner
District 11
✅ Scott Wiener
District 15
✅ Dave Cortese
District 17
✅ John Laird
District 21
✅ Kipp Mueller
District 33
✅ Lena Gonzalez
District 37
✅ Dave Min
District 39
✅ Toni Atkins

California State Ballot Propositions

Prop 15
✅ Yes
Prop 19
✅ Yes

United States President

✅ Joe Biden

California State Assembly

District 14
✅ Tim Grayson
District 15
✅ Buffy Wicks
District 17
✅ David Chiu
District 18
✅ Rob Bonta
District 19
✅ Phil Ting
District 20
✅ Bill Quirk
District 23
✅ Abigail Medina
District 24
✅ Marc Berman
District 25
✅ Alex Lee
District 26
✅ Drew Phelps
District 30
✅ Robert Rivas
District 43
✅ Laura Friedman
District 53
✅ Miguel Santiago
District 65
✅ Sharon Quirk-Silva
District 68
✅ Melissa Fox
District 78
✅ Chris Ward
District 79
✅ Shirley Weber
District 80
✅ Lorena Gonzalez

Endorsement Explainer

California State Senate

CA State Senate District 9

Alameda County, Contra Costa County

Nancy Skinner

Nancy Skinner has successfully passed some of the biggest pro-housing legislation of the past five years. Her work to advance housing across the state has put the entire state on a better trajectory for the coming decade and her influence cannot be understated.

Endorsed by YIMBY Action.

CA State Senate District 11

San Francisco, San Mateo County

Scott Wiener

Senator Scott Wiener fights every day as our representative in Sacramento to address our housing crisis. He’s consistently authored the boldest pro-housing legislation in the state, pushing the entire legislature to truly face our housing shortage. Senator Wiener has passed laws to ensure that California’s cities become more welcoming and inclusive by enabling them to build more housing. From major streamlining bills to ADU legislation, Scott has been at the forefront of every effort to improve housing in California. If re-elected, he will continue to fight for a future where there is abundant housing—affordable to working people and families—near good jobs and transit.

Endorsed by SF YIMBY, Peninsula for Everyone, and YIMBY Action.

CA State Senate District 15

Santa Clara County

Dave Cortese

Dave Cortese is currently the County Supervisor for District 3 and serves as the Chair of the Housing, Land Use, Environment and Transportation Committee. Two of his priorities for Santa Clara County have been focused on increasing affordable housing and finding solutions to homelessness. He has expressed support for housing along transit-corridors and voted for the CASA Compact, and is committed to expanding access to affordable housing.

Endorsed by South Bay YIMBY and YIMBY Action.

CA State Senate District 17

San Luis Obispo County, Santa Cruz County, Monterey County, Santa Clara County

John Laird

Laird’s experience as an environmental champion gives us confidence he will be a leader on science-based climate policies. He knows housing and transportation policies are key elements to creating sustainable communities.

Endorsed by Santa Cruz YIMBY and YIMBY Action.

CA State Senate District 21

Northern Los Angeles County and parts of the High Desert

Kipp Mueller

“Exclusionary housing policies are the root cause of so many other problems California faces. If we want to confront climate change and make our commutes shorter, we have to allow our residential areas to become more dense and vertical. Exclusionary housing policies create segregated communities, which create further inequities in our education, healthcare, and more. We cannot sufficiently confront systemic racism without confronting housing policy.”

Endorsed by YIMBY Action.

CA State Senate District 37

Orange County

Dave Min

Dave Min understands that the jobs-rich cities in OC must provide sufficient workforce housing to create balanced communities. His commitment to creative housing solutions to end homelessness and support for SB 50 and SB 330 earned him YIMBY Action’s endorsement.

Endorsed by YIMBY Action.

CA State Senate District 39

San Diego County

Toni Atkins

“Housing is the most critical issue facing California, and has been for years. That’s why this past legislative session, the Senate advanced a package of housing bills to spur affordable housing and aid California’s economic recovery. That legislation included my two housing bills, SB 1120 and SB 995. SB 1120 would have encouraged small-scale development by allowing duplexes on single-family lots, and SB 995 sought to extend and expand the CEQA process in an effort to increase housing production and create jobs in California. Those bills unfortunately fell victim to timing this past legislative session, but the tools they would have provided will remain part of the discussion as housing bills advance next year. I’ve been here before – it took a few years to get my landmark affordable housing bill enacted. Now, as then, the work continues, and my resolve is clear. I appreciate the support and all the hard work YIMBY poured into advocating on behalf of our housing production package, and I look forward to your continued support in the coming months ahead as we continue to work on solutions to address California’s housing crisis.”

Endorsed by YIMBY Democrats of San Diego County and YIMBY Action.

California State Assembly

CA State Assembly District 14

Portions of Contra Costa and western Solano county

Tim Grayson

“I support legalizing multi-family housing across the state. I believe this can and should be done in a way that respects the legitimate interests of existing residents and the unique characteristics of local communities. However, when the effects of those preferences results in exclusion, the state must step in to promote equitable development. Furthermore, if the state is going to tackle the massive and interrelated challenges of climate change, housing affordability, and sustainable development, it must play an active role in land use planning.”

Endorsed by YIMBY Action.

CA State Assembly District 15

Portions of northern Alameda and western Contra Costa counties

Buffy Wicks

Buffy Wicks has been a titan for housing in California’s State Assembly. When she was blocked from voting remotely, Wicks brought her still-nursing newborn to the Assembly floor to cast a dramatic vote for housing. No one will fight harder for an affordable California than Buffy.

Endorsed by YIMBY Action.

CA State Assembly District 17 🗺️

Eastern San Francisco

David Chiu

Assemblymember David Chiu has served as Chair of the Assembly Housing Committee, ushering numerous YIMBY bills through challenging committees. As part of the informal Bay Area Housing Caucus, David had been part of every major housing victory in the legislature. Both in Sacramento and back in his district, Chiu has taken bold stances for housing and supported the local activists fighting for change. Recognized both for his strong work on Affordable Housing and housing across the income spectrum, Chiu is a powerful advocate for housing abundance.

Endorsed by SF YIMBY and YIMBY Action.

CA State Assembly District 18

Cities of Alameda, San Leandro, and most of Oakland in Alameda county

Rob Bonta

“I often worry about my children being able to afford their own home. I have been very fortunate to be a homeowner, mostly out of dumb luck and stretching with my wife to purchase a starter home 20 years go. And while this makes the issue of housing deeply personal to me, it’s the same story for millions of Californians. It’s the story of working families, retired seniors, multi-generational families pulling together, and millennials trying afford to live every day. The middle class can’t afford to live in California. In my own district where my constituents have given me the honor and privilege of fighting for them, I’ve seen entire communities destroyed and displaced. I take very personally the pain and anguish my constituents are feeling during this housing and homelessness crisis.”

Endorsed by YIMBY Action.

CA State Assembly District 19 🗺️

Western San Francisco and northern San Mateo county

Phil Ting

Assemblymember Ting has carried important housing bills, including co-authoring the More HOMES Act (SB 50). He has been a critical leader on successful state-wide legislation making it easier to build Accessory Dwelling Units, also known as Granny Flats or Backyard Cottages. Allowing these small units in single-family-home-only neighborhoods has the potential to become a major tool for addressing the state housing shortage, especially in our most exclusionary communities. He is a consistent vote for housing.

Endorsed by SF YIMBY and YIMBY Action.

CA State Assembly District 20

Portions of central and southern Alameda county

Bill Quirk

“Housing policy IS climate policy. As a former climate change scientist, reducing California’s greenhouse gas emissions and meeting our 2030 mandate has been my goal since assuming office. We must make significant changes to how communities and transportation systems are being planned and built if we want to achieve our goal. We need more affordable, denser housing being built near transit, jobs, and services to reduce our carbon footprint. In order to solve our climate crisis we must address the housing crisis.”

Endorsed by YIMBY Action.

CA State Assembly District 23

Portions of eastern Fresno and northeastern Tulare counties

Abigail Medina

“I want to make sure that the people of California know that they can always have a shelter to rely on. That’s going to require a lot of change in our housing policies.”

Endorsed by YIMBY Action.

CA State Assembly District 25

Portions of southern Alameda and northeastern Santa Clara counties

Alex Lee

Alex Lee has worked as a Legislative Policy Advisor in the California State Senate and Assembly working on issues including housing, public safety, education and climate change. He believes housing is a human right and that the state must work towards building affordable housing faster, building stronger tenant protections, and take advantage of underused lots for mixed-use and mixed-income housing. He was a strong supporter of SB 50 and champions transit-oriented policies.

Endorsed by South Bay YIMBY and YIMBY Action.

CA State Assembly District 26

Inyo county and portions of Tulare and Kern counties

Drew Phelps

“Ending exclusionary zoning to allow for new multi-unit buildings is a necessary step to building enough housing for California. As both a renter and as a senior policy analyst for a homebuilder, I understand the desperate need for housing in my community.”

Endorsed by YIMBY Action.

CA State Assembly District 30

San Benito county, and portions of Monterey, southern Santa Cruz, and southern Santa Clara counties

Robert Rivas

For Assemblymember Rivas, housing is a personal issue: he grew up in farmworker housing. In 2019, his first year in the Assembly, he passed an important bill that sets quality standards for farmworker housing and makes it easier to build. This year, Rivas authored two housing streamlining bills, AB3153 and AB3155, and carried fourplex bill SB1120 in the Assembly.

Endorsed by Santa Cruz YIMBY and YIMBY Action.

CA State Assembly District 43

Parts of Los Angeles County (Burbank, Glendale, and parts of Los Angeles)

Laura Friedman

“Housing has become the biggest issue in my district. As housing becomes more expensive and wages remain flat, my constituents’ quality of life suffers. They are unable to save for retirement or their children, they wake up every day worried about having a roof over their heads. The dream of home-ownership is out of reach for far too many families. Homelessness is at epidemic levels. We have way too little supply for our population.

I am proud of my pro-housing reputation. It is not easy in districts like mine to be pro-development, but it is the right thing to do.”

Endorsed by YIMBY Action.

CA State Assembly District 53

Downtown Los Angeles

Miguel Santiago

“As someone who was raised in section 8 housing by undocumented immigrant parents, I firmly believe housing is a human right. I represent the second poorest district in the state. I see the devastation of homelessness throughout my district, especially in Skid Row. Homelessness is the crisis of our time.”

Endorsed by YIMBY Action.

CA State Assembly District 68

Inland central Orange County (Irvine, Lake Forest, Orange)

Melissa Fox

“I support legislation that encourages and legalizes the construction of more houses in all neighborhoods, provides for more affordable housing, streamlines permitting, and reforms provisions that lead people to reject the construction of new homes. I supported SB 50 because it was a step in the right direction to create more housing and transit/job oriented housing, which is what our communities desperately need. I also supported SB 35 because it streamlined permitting processes to build more housing in communities that needed it most. We cannot allow prejudice to further affect our housing development in California. If we do not act to build more dense housing, we will continue to create an economic divide.”

Endorsed by People for Housing OC and YIMBY Action.

California State Ballot Propositions

✅ YES

Proposition 15: Schools and Communities First

Proposition 15 will get rid of property tax breaks for big businesses, and put billions of dollars towards schools and local services.

Currently, thanks to 1978’s Prop 13, owners pay property taxes based on the price they originally paid for that real estate—typically a lot less than what it’s worth today. Prop 15 will roll this back for many large businesses, raising property taxes to be assessed based on the property’s current (probably much higher) market value. Prop 15 will raise approximately $6.5 to $11.5 billion — 60% for cities, counties and special districts, and 40% for schools and community colleges. Homeowners and businesses with under $3 million in California property will be exempted, along with farm land.

✅ YES

Proposition 19: Changes Some Property Tax Transfers and Exemptions

Proposition 19 adjusts the rules of 1978’s Proposition 13. While many YIMBYs would like to see major reform to Prop 13, this is a small adjustment to California’s property tax rules. Prop 19 reduces tax subsidies for people who inherit multiple homes, and shifts them to people downsizing homes or who are moving due to natural disasters. Any excess tax revenue from reducing the multiple-homes subsidy goes to wildfire protection.

Currently, for homeowners who want to downsize to a smaller home, if it costs more than the original price of their big home, they can end up paying more taxes (depending on their county’s rules). Prop 19 makes sure that people who are down-sizing homes are protected from tax increases. Ideally, this allows long-time homeowners to downsize and allow others who need more space to move into their larger homes. Prop 19 also extends to people who are moving due to natural disasters, so they don’t face a tax hike on top of the trauma of losing their homes.

United States President

Joe Biden

Donald Trump has repeatedly said the quiet part out loud about exclusionary zoning, admitting its purpose is to keep the rich from being “bothered” by the presence of lower-income neighbors. He’s written an op-ed in the Wall Street Journal, aptly called “We’ll Protect America’s Suburbs,” that lays out his exclusionary ideology on housing. Donald Trump’s tactics of lies and fearmongering stand in stark contrast to YIMBY values and goals. Fortunately, Trump’s opponent, Joe Biden, has a far-ranging housing policy platform with the potential to greatly improve housing affordability and access to high-opportunity cities and neighborhoods. The choice for housing activists is clear: Joe Biden for President.

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