AD27 - Santa Clara County

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.

Voting Time & Location

Date: Saturday, January 12, 2019
Doors Open: 10:30am
Candidate Speeches Begin: 11:00am
Registration & Voting: 11:30am-1:30pm

IBEW Local 332 Union Hall
(South Bay Labor Council)
2125 Canoas Garden Avenue
San Jose, CA 95125

Cross Street: Almaden Expressway

*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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Detailed Information

Monica Kitchner
  • Lifelong activist
  • Community Organizer for the City of San Jose
  • Retired
  • Parent

I am running for the Executive Board (E-Board) position for AD27. The past two years demonstrates the importance of our votes and those who represent us in local, state, and federal seats. The Russian government has identified the conservative movement to penetrate American society. We are entering a dangerous period in our country and Democrats (Dems) must awaken out of our tradition of poor messaging, status quo politics, and making decisions that don’t address kitchen table issues. In addition, registering young voters and independents but also getting them to the polls by showing them there is a difference between the two parties. It shouldn’t take a Donald Trump or a threat to our democracy to get them to vote.

The current system has delegates, local Democratic clubs, and the central committee, making decisions without securing input from the community. This process excludes a large segment of our population, including young voters. I plan to inform and engage all constituents in our district. The strategy is to use social media, attend and report out at community meetings, and conduct outreach to high schools and colleges. This will enable delegates to truly represent our constituents and for voters to make informed decisions as well as be engaged in the process. The upcoming primary is extremely important! Whether Mr. Trump is the GOP nominee or not, the Dem nominee we select must be the best candidate to win the presidency in 2020! He/she must deliver a message with kitchen table issues that will draw young adult and independents voters. We can only accomplish this by listening to the voters and help the Democratic National Committee with the selection of that candidate. Gone are the days of “cliques” and “predetermined” candidates who were shoved down our throats. If we want to appear different from the Republican Party, we must be different. While immigration, gerrymandering, and voter suppression are not the typical kitchen table issues, they are important to the moral fabric and the economic growth of the country as well as fair/equitable elections. The Dem party must create messaging for these issues as well.

I would be honored to be selected to represent AD27 as the E-Board representative. I hope I can count on your vote. Thank you.

Mara Privitt
  • Community Activist
  • Co-founder of Orchard City Indivisible
  • Small Business Owner

Let us not seek the Republican answer or the Democratic answer, but the right answer. Let us not seek to fix the blame for the past. Let us accept our responsibility for the future. – JFK

I am a co-founder of Orchard City Indivisible (OCI), a 15 year resident of AD27 and an owner/operator of Snake & Butterfly Chocolate Factory.

There are a lot of labels I could check: mixed race, cis-femme, bisexual, tattooed, struggles with depression, and Mom. While none of this makes me the perfect candidate for an ADEM spot but it does show that I am just a diverse human who cares fiercely about our community – locally & globally. I care not just for the sake of my livelihood, but for all marginalized communities and the generations to follow.

I hope to use my voice to help to guide our Democratic party towards equality, inclusion and progressive values that support, those in our community, who need it most. I hope that you would honor me with your vote so I can speak truth to the powers that be, for all of us.

Michelle Maa
  • Incumbent
  • High School Teacher
  • Parent

My name is Michelle Maa and I am a downtown San Jose resident and Social Studies teacher in the east side seeking re-election to ADEM.  For a long time, I used to teach United States Government and Politics to high school seniors, which is what sparked my interest initially in participating in politics beyond just voting.  I continue to participate because I believe that I represent multiple communities in my district and like to stay informed and to participate actively.  I do my best to serve as a role model to my students and show what civic engagement looks like and to encourage them to engage in their communities.  I have been a long-time Democrat and am invested in shaping the party to better represent and fight for the needs of the people and am committed to electing the best leaders for such representation.

Laura Drocic
  • Field Representative for the Northern CA Carpenters Council
  • Parent

I am extremely fortunate to live and work in Assembly District 27. I am a Field Representative for the Northern California Carpenters Regional Council, LU 405. A few issues I care about are Organized Labor, Affordable Housing, Transportation Infrastructure, Economic Justice, Affordable Healthcare, Homelessness and Veterans. I would like to continue to see San Jose develop into a safe, thriving community.

Thank you!

Martin Luther King once said, “Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter” I couldn’t agree more

Sylvia Arenas
  • Progressive
  • San Jose City Council Member Representing Working Families
  • Parent

My name is Sylvia Arenas and I’m a San Jose native who’s now raising two children with my husband. I was raised with a fundamental obligation to serve others in my community and want to continue that legacy for my children.

I currently serve as a progressive San Jose City Council Member representing working families. For the last 4 years, I have served as an Assembly District 27 delegate upholding our Democratic values and would be honored to continue to serve as a delegate.

Jean Cohen
  • Democratic Party Activist
  • Community Activist
  • Political and Communications Director for UA Local Union 393

As a lifelong Democrat, party activist and organizer, I have the values and experience to help build power to advance a progressive, impactful, and inclusive agenda. My goals include activating our platform and members to win pro-worker, pro-immigrant, pro-women, pro-environment policies through organizing, electoral politics, and coalition building. I will thoughtfully represent our communities as a delegate and look for opportunities to support issues and candidates that advance our vision for a strong, effective, and United Democratic Party.

Born and raised in San Jose, my career has encompassed local government, the labor movement, and the non-profit sector to fight poverty, empower marginalized communities, and build social and economic justice through public policy and organizing.  I worked for many years on housing, land use, and transportation policy for Senator Jim Beall and City Councilman Raul Peralez. Additionally, I served on staff at Sacred Heart Community Service and I’m currently the Political and Communications Director for UA Local Union 393. I am an American Leadership Forum Senior Fellow and a graduate of Saint Mary’s College with an M.A. in 21st Century Leadership. Currently, I sit on the Executive Boards of D.A.W.N., the South Bay Labor Council, and the Santa Clara County Democratic Party.

Gina Gates
  • Incumbent
  • Community Activist on Bank Accountability, Predatory Lending, School Accountability
  • Grand Parent
  • Retired

I respectfully ask for your support by voting for me, GINA GATES, as your Assembly District 27 Delegate for a second term.

I have served this community by working on issues that include health care, schools, housing, predatory lending, and driver safety.     I was born and raised in San Jose and raised my family here as well.   I know we can do better in this valley for all the community and not just special interest groups. We all need to reflect and face “the person in the mirror” to do our part to make the change we must have to not just survive but to thrive.  I continue to be up to the challenge of being a strong progressive voice and tenaciously work to improve the CA Democratic party to be the true party of the people that is transparent, accountable and bold to do what is right.

Please visit my site, to learn more about my work and experience over the last two years serving as a CA Democratic Assembly District 27 Delegate.


Domingo Candelas

      Deputy District Director for Senator Jim Beall

A lifelong resident of San Jose. It would be an honor to continue to serve as an elected delegate to the California Democratic Party for the 27th Assembly District.

I humbly ask for your vote.

Ray Mueller
  • Chair of Alum Rock Citizen’s Oversight Committee

We are ready for change, but we need trusted experience to guide us through. You can read more about me and my story at

Mark Hennessey
  • High School Counselor

I am a 12-year resident of the San Jose area, current resident of East San Jose, and high school counselor at Independence High School. I work every day with students who seek a bright future. I have the same hopes for my own family, including my two young children. In this future, they can:

  • Live in communities that promote their physical and mental health
  • Find adequate affordable housing
  • Attend a world-class K-14 public education system where they learn critical thinking, communication, collaboration, creativity, and civic engagement
  • Contribute solutions to tackle the specter of a degrading climate head on
  • Know that their neighbors have the same rights and opportunities that they have, regardless of citizenship, race, identity, orientation, or belief.
  • Work in an economy focused on justice and helping everyone thrive.

As an Assembly Delegate, I will fight for the California Democratic Party to pursue this vision. I appreciate your consideration.

Enrique Arguello
  • Incumbent
  • Business Manager of Laborers 270

Enrique Arguello is your current ADEM Delegate and is running for re-election.  He is the Business Manager of Laborers 270, a member of the Northern California District Council of Laborers and Laborers International Union of North America (LIUNA).  Enrique was and has always been passionate about actively participating in the labor movement and fighting for social justice.  Organizations he has been actively involved with are SIREN, Somos Mayfair, Sol Coalition Primo De Mayo, and in all union activities of the Laborers Local 270.

Miguel Favela
  • Member of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, Local 332
  • Advocate for Working Families

I’m running to ensure that the millennial generation and working families have representation within the Democratic party. A few of the issues I care about most are income inequality, the lack of affordable housing, climate change, and ridding our political system of corporate money and it’s influence on our legislation. I’ve lived in AD 27 most of my life, I have seen and personally experienced how each of those issues affects our district. As a proud member of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, Local 332 San Jose, I promise to always think about working families first.

Will Smith
  • Union Activist
  • Community Activist

Hello, my name is Will Smith and I am a Business Representative for IBEW 332. I was born and raised in San Jose and lived in AD 27 the majority of my life, so I am familiar with a lot of issues facing working-class families in the District. I am a union and community activist which has kept me engaged in the battle of working-class families. Please allow me the opportunity to represent AD 27 and place the interest of WORKING FAMILIES FIRST! Thank You!

Peter Ortiz
  • Community Organizer
  • School Trustee

I started my political career as a community organizer and was elected to the Mt Pleasant School District Board of Trustees. As a Trustee, I have made it a priority to push policy that will benefit the families of the district.

Led the charge to make Mt Pleasant a Sanctuary District because all students deserve the right to an education without fear of deportation.

Championed restorative justice practices at all our schools and worked with principals and staff on its adoption. Our students are valuable and we cannot afford to lose them to the system.

Spearheaded an intergovernmental partnership between our district and the City of San Jose to bring the first public library to Mt Pleasant community.