AD17: San Francisco

What are Assembly District Delegates?

Every two years, the CA Democrats elect 7 self-identified females and 7 other than self-identified females from each Assembly District in CA as delegates to the state party. Those who are elected will have a chance to vote for the new party chair and other leadership. The race is hotly contested and will determine how welcoming, grassroots-focused and innovative the party becomes or how beholden it will remain to big money interests.

Delegates elect Party officers, endorse candidates for statewide, legislative and congressional office, attend the annual convention, network with other Democrats, represent your constituency, promote the California Democratic Party agenda, and vote to endorse resolutions and ballot measures.

You get 14 votes for delegates, 1 of which you must also vote for Executive Board Representative.

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Voting Time & Location

Date: Saturday, January 12, 2019
Doors Open: 
Candidate Speeches Begin:
Registration & Voting: 11:00am-1:00pm

The Women’s Building
3543 18th St
San Francisco, CA 94110

Cross street: Valencia Street

*Any registered Democrat living in the district is eligible to vote. On-site voter registration is available for those not registered as Democrats.

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Your Progressive Candidates

Detailed Information

John Avalos – Former San Francisco Supervisor
Vote for BOTH Delegate AND Executive Board

My name is John Avalos. I am running for a seat on the California Democratic Party Assembly District 17 as a member of the Reform Democrats for Labor and Equity slate.

As a 3rd generation Mexican American from a labor household, I have always seen the Democratic Party as the party for working people. I am a child of the 60s and the party was at the center of the legislative advances in Civil Rights, the Great Society and the War on Poverty.

I have lived in San Francisco since January 1989. I’ve spent all my years here as a grassroots community, labor organizer, in the struggle for justice and greater opportunities for youth and families of color and hard-working union janitors and healthcare workers in the Bay Area. I am currently a union representative with the National Union of Healthcare Workers.

I am also a local politician who has served two terms on the San Francisco Board of Supervisors representing District 11 neighborhoods like the Excelsior and Lakeview. As a Supervisor, I worked collaboratively with my colleagues on all sides at City Hall to balance city budgets and pass legislation on every major issue of concern to working people seeking a more just, inclusive and egalitarian society.

I am running for the California Democratic Party and its Executive Committee to bring my vast experience fighting for social justice to the state level. Californians need single payer healthcare, free public college tuition, women’s and LGBT rights, immigrant rights and racial justice, affordable housing, strong labor unions, climate justice and radical reforms to policing and the justice system. I have spent years giving voice to the aspirants of these issues which I hope to champion at highest levels of the state party.

We need to rebuild the Democratic Party from the bottom up. Please join me in that effort by voting for me and for the entire progressive Reform Democrats for Labor and Equity Slate for Assembly District 17.

I am honored to have your consideration and support.

Mia Satya – Harvey Milk LGBT Democratic Club

My name is Mia Satya and I’m a progressive Democrat running on the Reform Slate in Assembly District 17.

I am a working class, and formerly homeless trans woman with over a decade of experience as a
community organizer, educator, case manager and social justice advocate. Bridging my personal and professional experiences, I have served on over 10 committees in San Francisco government, and I have continuously advocated for an equitable distribution of city resources. I was appointed to the San Francisco Youth Commission, the Department of Children Youth and their Families Oversight Committee, and I currently serve on SFUSD’s School Parcel Tax Committee.

I have served on the executive boards of the San Francisco Young Democrats, the Harvey Milk LGBTQ Democratic Club, and I currently preside as Vice Chair of the California Young Democrats LGBTQ Caucus. In 2016 I was elected by neighbors like you to be a delegate in the California Democratic Party. I am running on the Reform Slate again this year because I want to continue working within the Democratic Party to advocate for racial, economic, and gender justice for all.

Bahlam Vigil – President of the San Francisco Youth Commission

My name is Bahlam Javier Vigil. I am a young queer, gender queer youth activist and organizer running on the Reform Democrats: Labor and Equity slate. I am a first generation born to immigrant parents from Mexico. My family came to the US for a better life and in pursuit of the American Dream. I have seen first hand what it means to be low income with an undocumented status having grown up barely seeing my dad in my early years because he had to work three jobs to bring food to the table.

In high school, I was a student organizer who pushed for gender neutral bathroom (which we successfully did in our school at the time) and pushed for more awareness around women’s rights and mental health. Currently, I study at the University Of San Francisco where I am majoring in sociology.Now, I am learning in USF more about our communities needs and how we can successfully advocate and achieve legislative victories alongside our communities to improve our quality of life.

I am a member of the Latino Democratic Club where I am now the secretary for a second term. I am also currently the Chair Person to the Youth Commission where I have had experience advocating and working on policy related to criminal justice reform, employment opportunities for youth, as well as having co-authored a resolution supporting our DACA recipients during Trump’s attacks on the community. I am also working on policy related to immigrant families ensuring that our immigrant families’ voices are heard and advocated for and that they have equitable access to programs in here in California.

I believe in immigrant rights, racial and class justice, gender equality and equity, education as a right for all, healthcare for all, criminal justice reform that has our most marginalized and targeted communities at the table, environmental and climate protection as a sacred trust.

I would be honored to represent Assembly District 17, in working with our community to better advocate for transformative policy. I firmly believe that we can not move forward without having everyone in our community at the table. Moreover, as a delegate to the California Democratic Party, I will make sure that the decisions I make are consulted with our community leaders so that we can have as many voices involved in this process.

Jane Martin – Senior Political and Community Organizer, SEIU USWW

My name is Jane Martin. I am running as a member of the Reform Democrats for Labor and Equity slate. To face the current political crisis we need a progressive Democratic Party that fights for both racial and economic justice. Our resistance must be grounded in a bold, progressive vision that includes single payer healthcare, free higher education, the green new deal, stronger rent control, and access to good union jobs. One job should be enough for anyone to afford to live here and raise a family.

I am a queer woman who has been organizing and fighting alongside low-income workers in the Bay Area for the past 18 years. I am a long-time board member of Jobs with Justice, and I’ve worked for various unions and community organizations in the Mission, Bayview and Bernal Heights. When low-income youth were being harassed and ticketed on their way to school, I was the lead organizer of the successful grassroots campaign to win free Muni passes for youth. When Sutter Heath planned to eliminate the only charity care hospital in the southeastern part of the city, I organized with nurses and seniors to save St. Luke’s. I have consistently driven labor to fight for stronger protections for low wage workers and tenants.

I am currently the political coordinator for SEIU-USWW, the union representing janitors, security guards, and airport workers in California. I worked with our members to pass California’s sanctuary workplace law and protections for janitors against rape on the night shift. Our movement for progressive reform within the Democratic Party needs to be driven by low income people of color who are organizing on the front lines every day, facing increasing immigration enforcement, and the rising tide of racism and inequality. ÁSi se puede!

Gabriel Markoff – Former Electoral Committee Co-Chair, DSA-SF

My name is Gabriel Markoff, and I’m an organizer and attorney running to represent you as an AD17 delegate on the Reform Democrats for Labor & Equity slate.

I am running for delegate because we must have a vibrant, accountable, and uncompromisingly progressive Democratic Party if we are to win in fighting Trump’s fascism and protecting our working people at home. A former Obama 2008 field organizer and 2012 law school graduate, I spent much of my first three years in legal practice working pro bono in partnership with the Latino civil rights group MALDEF (Mexican American Legal Defense & Educational Fund) to defend voting rights and the Obama Administration’s DAPA and DACA immigration policies.

In the two years since Trump’s election, I have organized at the local level to make real gains for working people in San Francisco. While I am a member of many local progressive clubs, my organizing home is the local chapter of the Democratic Socialists of America (DSA SF), where I co-founded the Electoral Committee. In that role, I helped lead the fight to pass June 2018 Proposition F (Right to Counsel for tenants facing eviction) and helped organize the volunteer signature-gathering mobilizations that defied the odds to get the great Proposition C on the November 2018 ballot, among other work to elect progressive candidates and pass progressive ballot measures.

San Francisco is a city suffering from late-stage gentrification and harsh, right-wing state laws designed to benefit the rich at the expense of the poor. As your AD17 delegate, I would be uncompromising in pushing for the repeal of state laws that prevent San Francisco from implementing critical policies to prevent evictions, expand rent control, tax the wealthy, and finally reform the racist SF Police Department. We must also enact single-payer health care in California, reform Prop 13 so that big companies pay their fair share of taxes, and prepare for the coming climate catastrophe with a network of public banks that can finance a Green New Deal. Last but not least, we must also elect a new Democratic Party Chair who will work for the people, not for wealthy donors.

If you agree that San Francisco can and must be a city for all of us, and not just for the wealthy few, I would be honored to have your support for my own candidacy and for the entire Reform Democrats for Labor & Equity slate.

Kitty Fong – Rose Pak Democratic Club

I am a Chinese immigrant and a daughter of a working class family. Growing up in a Single Room Occupancy (SRO) Hotel, I have personally experienced inadequate living situations therefore understand the importance of accessibility to equity housing and tenant’s rights. I have worked as a community organizer focused on empowering SRO families across the city of San Francisco on city wide tenant advocacy campaigns. Currently, I am a Legislative staff at Supervisor Jane Kim’s office of District 6 San Francisco.

As a registered Democrat, I am actively involved with the political movements here in the City. I have volunteered for Aaron Peskin’s Supervisorial campaign in 2015 and worked as Chinese Community Organizing Director for Jane Kim’s State Senate and Mayoral campaigns in 2016 and 2018, respectively.

As a founding member of the Rose Pak Democratic Club, I am committed to represent the voice for Asian Americans and am dedicated to work with underrepresented communities and people of color. My priorities will continue to be voter engagement, affordable housing, homelessness, free City College, and universal health care.

Thank you for your consideration and I would be honored to represent Assembly District 17 as a young Asian American woman.

Kevin Ortiz – PAC Chair, Latino Democratic Club

My name is Kevin Ortiz, and I’m an organizer running to represent you as an AD17 delegate on the Reform Democrats for Labor & Equity slate.

I am running for delegate because, as a lifelong Democrat, we must have a progressive Democratic Party that represents our most marginalized communities of color. As a 2nd generation San Francisco native, I have experienced the housing crisis so many Californians face daily first-hand. Having been displaced from my home neighborhood of the Mission District, I have personally watched so much of my community become priced out of their community due to greed and speculation by the real estate industry.

I have worked on 8 campaigns since I was 15 years old, including this last cycle where I was the campaign manager for Proposition B , the nation’s first set of data Privacy First laws and campaign coordinator for the Red to Blue SF office as a campaign coordinator. As a result of the campaign, we took back 40 congressional seats, 17 candidates of which came from our office. I have organized at the local level to make sure communities of colors voices are represented in San Francisco and state wide. As the Political Action Committee chair of the Latino Democratic Club, I helped organized the multiple actions against Salesforce for their unethical contracts with Customs and Border Patrol that directly impact Latino immigrants that pressured RAICES to refuse donations from Salesforce.

San Francisco is ground zero for gentrification, but the problem is statewide and an issue that must be addressed. Too many families don’t have a roof over their heads, nor affordable healthcare for their loved ones. Climate change is happening rapidly, and we must switch to renewable forms of energy. I would hold true to my values to push for the repeal of outdated state laws to expand rent control, as well as pushing for single payer health care, while advocating for the issues that directly impact redlined lower income communities of color. If elected, I will fight for a new Democratic Party Chair who will take these issues and address them from the bottom up.

I would be honored to have your support for my own candidacy and for the entire Reform Democrats for Labor & Equity slate.

Otto Pippenger – Electoral Committee Co-Chair, DSA-SF

My name is Otto Pippenger, and I’m proud to be running to represent AD17 as a Reform Democrat for Labor and Equity!

As a member of the Democratic Socialists of America San Francisco and Co-Chair of their Electoral Committee, I am committed to the creation of a truly democratic society and economy.

 I am running because the Democratic Party is failing to halt the theft of our democracy by corporate interests and bigotry. There is an urgent demand for a decent society, one which does not permit human suffering to go unaddressed, but this demand will only be met if our system of governance is one where the power of our voters is weighed more heavily than the powers of greed and oppression.

I am running to continue the work begun by 2017’s progressive ADEM slate, who took steps to thwart corporate control over the party by voting to reject donations from private prisons and the oil industry, and by adding the support of rent control and universal healthcare to the party platform.

I’ve had the privilege to play an active role in the Save City College and Free City College movements during my time as a student activist at City College of San Francisco, and more recently I have worked in the DSA to pass propositions F and C, the right to free legal counsel for any tenant facing eviction, and the tax on San Francisco’s largest corporations to provide housing and care to the unhoused respectively, as well as working to block proposition H, the effort to arm police with TASERs and reduce limits on their use.

My priorities include:

The creation of public banks in San Francisco and California to keep public money from being invested in heinous and anti-working class industries.

The full democratization of the workplace through strengthening unions, co-ops and more.

The protection of tenants through rent control, community land trusts and the right to counsel.

The protection of our democracy through campaign finance reform and the establishment of election day as a holiday.

The protection of our vulnerable by ending the drug war, outlawing private prisons, and abolishing I.C.E.

And lastly, as a former addict who has experienced the same misery that so many experience on our streets, I am committed to ensuring that policy is not created without a say for the many deprived of self determination by our draconian legal system.

Thank you for your support!

Gloria Archuleta – Legal Advisor, San Francisco Berniecrats

I’m a life-long Democrat. Growing up, my introduction to politics was at a time when the Democratic party stood for the working class, and when the American dream was attainable for anyone. Our party leaders were champions who fought for our rights and defended our interests.

I am running for ADEM, because over the years, I’ve seen a shift in party values. Corporations receive tax cuts, while social programs are cut, and people are struggling to make ends meet. Many cannot afford basic needs, like healthcare and housing. Programs, which were designed to level the playing field, like our government student loan program, have been sold to private interests who now exploit and profit off the very people they were intended to serve. The great strides in justice and equality we have gained over the years, are under attack. We can no longer wait for a champion, we need to step up and be the change we want to see.

I believe in immigration reform, racial justice, gender equality, healthcare as a right, affordable housing, a living minimum wage, free higher education to provide our youth the same advantage given to foreign students, criminal justice reform, and environmental and climate protection, including a ban on fracking.

I am a member of the San Francisco Berniecrats and Our Revolution. I have volunteered for both local and national candidate campaigns, and for many non-profit organizations over the years.

I’m an attorney activist and member of the California bar. I received my undergrad degree at UCLA, and went on to receive my JD at Lewis & Clark Law School, where I earned my certificate in environmental and natural resource law.

As an indigenous American, with Mexican and Acoma Pueblo roots, I strongly believe in protecting our environment and serving to help my community. I speak Spanish fluently, and have volunteered with DACA, and for immigration rights. I also served three weeks at the legal tent at Standing Rock Reservation. #MniWiconi #WaterIsLife

Zhihan Zou – Field Director, Matt Haney for Supervisor

My name is Zhihan Zou and I am running to represent you as AD17 Delegate.

I’m running because more than ever we need a Party that reflects the experiences and challenges of those most in need. The California Democratic Party has a responsibility to be the standard-bearer for a Party that works in partnership with people of color, working-class people, queer and transgender people, immigrants, young people, and labor to fight for equitable policies. And it must do so without compromise to corporate interests.

An immigrant myself, I worked at Advancing Justice – Asian Law Caucus where we served low-income immigrant communities and successfully led fights against Trump administration policies. I served on the Board of the San Francisco Young Democrats and helped lead successful efforts in a grassroots Supervisor campaign in a San Francisco district that has become ground zero for the biggest challenges around housing, homelessness, income inequality, and displacement.

As the rest of the country looks to California to lead with innovation and compassion, this is the moment for us to dictate what the future looks like. I would be honored to have your vote this January 12th and I hope you will support the entire Reform Democrats for Labor and Equity slate.

Gloria Berry – Founder of Berry Powerful Ladies

I am a United States Veteran. 10 years active duty Navy, 2 years Naval Reserve and 1 year Army Guard. A San Francisco Native born and raised. I went to Public School six years , private school six years and Community College San Francisco for my AA degree. I’ve been a home owner eleven years, was homeless nine months and I am now a renter.

I’ve been an Activist all my life. I speak out against domestic violence, racism, sexism, criminal injustice, homelessness, police brutality, environmental issues, big banks, mistreatment of Veterans, and not hiring local contracts. I’ve attended countless hearings, Board meetings, protests, think tanks, police Commission, reentry council and town hall meetings.

-I want to advocate for the community. I want to partner with the School District and get our District 10 schools at a level competitive with the best in the nation.
-Expand existing homeless programs in the district that are doing the work and remove funding from programs that are just profiting off homeless
-More drug treatment programs in district
-Demand Justice for Police Officers that use excessive force
-Veteran support legislation. Starting with waiver of application fees for a veterans applying to rentals.
-Unity events
-Legislation for an Office of Neighborhood Safety, Richmond, CA model
-Free Health screening for Bayview residents effected by toxins from the Naval shipyard
-support local businesses
-encourage equity to include Black people

Shanti Singh – Co Chair DSA-SF

My name is Shanti Singh, and I’m a proud democratic socialist running to represent you as AD17 Delegate.

I’m currently the co-chair of the San Francisco Democratic Socialists of America. Throughout my twenties, I’ve worked or volunteered on progressive campaigns for the Board of Supervisors, and been a member of SF Berniecrats, the Harvey Milk LGBT Democratic Club, and of course DSA. In my time with DSA, I’ve worked on our efforts to pass a universal right to counsel to tenants facing eviction (Prop F), to stop the demolition of city-owned housing in the Fillmore, and lots of other coalition work with community groups and labor against racist policing, against environmental racism, in strike solidarity, and much more.

Through my day job at Tenants Together, I’ve had the honor to work with organizers in marginalized communities across California working for rent control and local tenant protections. Every day, I meet more and more San Franciscans who are seeing their wages drop, who are shut out of new jobs and opportunities, who are being displaced from their homes, and who are becoming homeless. I’m running to fight for tenants’ rights, equitable development, fair housing access, and deeply affordable housing for working-class Californians.

I hope that you will choose myself and the Reform Slate to uplift the voices of working-class people and people of color in AD17 and SF’s eastern neighborhoods, who have borne the brunt of eviction and displacement. I promise to fight to ensure that every one of your voices is heard.

Lorainne Bowser – SEIU 1021

I was born and raised in the Bayview, San Francisco. I have been a registered Democrat all my life. I have been employed for 30 years with San Francisco Unified School District. I am a shop steward, bargaining team member, and a SF Area Representative with the State Employees International Union (SEIU) Local 1021. I am also on the Executive Board and am running for re-election. I am a proud cafeteria worker. I truly enjoy my job.

Three years ago we fought for and won major victories. We fought to make 300 people permanent civil servants. They had been waiting for years for this. We also fought for and won a 3.85% additional raise from Prop G. Most of us are ten-month employees. Although we receive benefits, we cannot receive unemployment. Some of us are actually working all year round but we are treated as if we are a seasonal work force. People cannot live decently when we are essentially laid-off for two months out of every year with a reassurance letter. There are still some people who work only three and a half hours a day and are exempt from benefits. People cannot live that way. Some of us are barely staying off the streets.

These are my goals for running: I want to fight for low-income people, especially in the Bayview District. There is a lot of disadvantage here in the Bayview. I want to work on fair housing and healthcare. My goal is to represent the people that I have known all my life. For so many, the healthcare costs are taking up half of their paycheck.

This is why you should vote for me: I am a strong-minded woman and not easily intimidated. I like to be straightforward with people. When you are honest with people, they respect you. I can even be a little mean if I have to be, but I will fight for what I believe in and not be a pushover. I am willing to fight for our democratic principles, until we all win.

Brad Chapin – Executive Board: Outreach, Harvey Milk LGBT Democratic Club

I’m running to be a delegate in order to honor those who came before me. From my uncle who died living with HIV, to my chosen queer family who taught me the meaning of unconditional acceptance.

I’m privileged to live with my mentor, Harry Britt, who served San Francisco after the tragic assassination of Harvey Milk and, later, as an advocate against the inaction of a federal government toward our families dying of HIV & AIDS. I’m proud to serve on the board of the political organization that Harvey, Harry, & others built in order to continue to build coalitions fighting for social, economic, sexual, and racial justice.

Throughout my career, I’ve focused on the impact of oppression on mental health. I pursued graduate education at the Clinical Psychology PhD Program at University of Massachusetts Boston. In this work, I’ve been privileged to meet President Obama and Vice President Biden after submitting policy ideas promoting better mental health treatment for queer folks living with mental illness.

As an assault survivor, it is my passion to ensure that people living with the mental health consequences of trauma are made part of real policy change. Those living with mental health conditions as a result of years of abuse are much more likely to experience violence and assault from others, even if mental health stigma would have us believe that folks living with mental health disorders are more likely to perpetrate violence toward others.

Not long ago, police were beating our queer family in our own community spaces. It wasn’t long ago that I was beaten mercilessly. Those formative experiences led to my civil disobedience & arrest protesting the police-sanctioned murder of innocent black & brown lives. I take my role as an activist seriously. Shortly after our arrests, Chief Suhr resigned. Our party must fight for equity & justice for our black & brown family, building coalitions & accountability, not division.

PLAN: I will fight for a party that responds to the needs of people above corporations, worker’s rights, Medicare-for-all, the acquisition & development of affordable housing, a Green New Deal, & police reform. Housing, healthcare, & a healthy climate must be human rights.