AD29 - Monterey, Santa Clara and Santa Cruz Counties

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: Sunday, January 13, 2019
Doors Open: 8:30am
Candidate Speeches Begin: 
Registration & Voting: 10:00am-12:00pm

SEIU Local 521 Union Hall
571 Mission Street
Santa Cruz, CA  95060

Cross streets: Mission & Locust St.

*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

Gertrude Smith
Rojina Borzorgnia
Jovita Dominguez
Natalie Grey
Arlene Haffa
Jennifer Holm
Katie Bassler
Tyller Williamson
Justin Cummings
Jeffrey Smedberg
Jason Spitzer
Darin Compton
Sean Hebard
Glenn Glazer

Detailed Information

Gertrude Smith

I have diligently served District 29 as an Assembly District Delegate since I was elected at the ADEM in January 2017. I also eagerly volunteered to be the proxy to our current Executive Board Representative, Monterey City Councilmember-Elect Tyller Williamson, and I have gladly stepped in to vote on behalf of our district in his absence when necessary.

In addition, I have done all that I can to ensure that all my bases were covered when it came to gathering knowledge to make the best informed decision on behalf of fellow residents. I would be honored and pleased to continue serving in this capacity.

Thank you for your support and your vote to be a delegate as well as Assembly District 29’s Executive Board Representative.

Jovita Dominguez

I have served a term as a delegate for CDP for region AD29. There have been many rewards I received by serving such as networking with other regions members in our state, becoming a stronger Democrat through education, and canvassing for assembly and Salinas Valley Memorial Hospital board member seats. As a Registered Nurse in critical care for 28 years I have heard my patients concerns and needs for themselves and their families. By canvassing, I have been able to advocate for my patient’s needs in a political way as they are not able to due to their illness. If re elected, I will continue to advocate for my community’s needs. Thank you for the opportunity.

Natalie Gray

I am running to be an ADEM because I think I represent progressive views well and I do strive to follow the state platform and my community. In addition, I have attended every state convention. To me this is the most important responsibility of an ADEM delegate. I haven’t missed a vote and I intend to continue to listen to my community and push for the things we need, I believe in universal healthcare, forgiveness of student debt, free college, and end the war on Yemen, and dealing with the homelessness. Perhaps most important I will be voting for a green economy and for working on climate change. Thank you for your vote.

Arlene Haffa

My name is Dr. Arlene L. Maki Haffa. I work diligently to support and elect local Democratic candidates to office in my spare time.. I am the political action chair of the California Faculty Association Local CSUMB (SEIU 1983) and serve as a delegate to the Monterey Bay Central Labor Council.

I was elected as an ADEM for AD29 in 2016 and attended all the state meetings. I joined and attended the Environmental, Progressive, and Labor caucuses.

My service as a delegate for AD29 has pushed me to be a louder voice for social and environmental justice on the statewide level as well.

Professionally, I am foremost an educator in the people’s university. As an educator my greatest honor is the success of my students and as a delegate I will support policies that advance education for all.

As a scientist I study climate change in the context of agricultural systems. I am working to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, to reduce the need for fumigant pesticides, and to bioremediate environmental harm in low cost and low footprint ways that support our growers and the ecosystem. I acknowledge the support of my grower partners. I am very proud to have been part of a center fold ad in the Sacramento Bee supporting California’s Clean Energy Bill Vote:

I am willing to protest and picket, and have done so. I am also data driven. It would be an honor to continue serving this district as a quiet rabble-rouser.

Thank you for being part of the Democratic process.

Jennifer Holm

I have had the privilege of serving as an assembly district delegate for the past two years. It means a great deal to me to advocate for progressive values that empower all those who live in the state of California–and beyond. Our work has advanced the conversation around healthcare as a human right, the importance of high-quality, affordable education from preschool through college, sustainable environmental policy, and transparency in our government. I want to keep that momentum going.

As a registered nurse, I bring with me the experience of seeing first-hand how policies on everything from environmental stewardship, to infrastructure management, and on through healthcare administration can affect the day-to-day lives and wellbeing of Californians. As a community college instructor and newly-elected school board member, I recognize the importance of a strong public education system. As someone who has run for public office, I expect our elected officials to be held to the highest standards of integrity. As a mother, I want to help create a world that leaves all children with the best chance of living full and productive lives.

I believe that the advocacy we do as assembly district delegates is a vital part of the democratic process, and look forward to continuing the work. Thank you for your consideration.

Kati Bassler

I am a public school teacher in Salinas , CA. I know too well the struggles of the high cost of living in Monterey County that is impacted by the housing shortage, the extremely high cost of health care, and the challenges facing so many people to provide for their families. I believe in funding public education and controlling the cost of health care. As a delegate, I am committed to the values of a progressive movement that include policies that take care of the needs of people.

Tyller Williamson

As the previous Executive Board member, we had the goal of growing relationships with delegates within our region. Most of the delegates were on board and we’ve created lasting relationships that will prove vital as we continue to mold the future of the state Democratic Party. I would be honored to serve as a delegate for an additional two years to assist in getting input from party members within our region. It’s great to see individuals get involved, but most folks outside of the activist community have no connection. We need to create a space where there voice can be heard and I intend to do that if selected as a delegate representative to the party. I would be honored to have your support and your vote!

Justin Cummings

In order for our society to shift to become more progressive, diverse, and inclusive we need to elect officials who share these values and will commit to representing the many and not just the few. We need to select officials who will help stabilize communities, make health care and education accessible to all, confront climate change head on and respect the integrity of the scientific method, and provide safety for the marginalized and disenfranchised people of our nation and our world. Having grown up in a lower middle class family on the south side of Chicago, and currently as a young working professional who struggles under our current economic structure, I understand the needs and concerns of the average citizen and would like to be a delegate for the democratic party’s 29th assembly district to represent the needs of the many. As a recently elected city council member to the city of Santa Cruz, scientist, and environmental educator, I feel that I would be able to nominate representatives who would reflect the values of our community and work towards protecting our climate, nation, and the people who reside within it. I hope that I can count on your vote to represent you as a delegate for assembly district 29.

Jeffrey Smedberg

A bright future for the peoples of the world, let alone the very survival of the human species, requires a radical transformation in the political economy of the United States, whose current policies threaten the globe with climate change and nuclear war. A left turn of this magnitude will benefit from initiatives from diverse sources both within and outside of traditional political party structures. As the Democratic Party shifts to the left, it now has the potential to become the voice of the 99% in this country and a key agent in the political revolution that our society craves.

To further this vision, my training and experience in the labor and environmental movements will allow me to be an effective delegate to the California Democratic Party Conventions.

During my environmental career as recycling coordinator for the County of Santa Cruz, I became active in my union, SEIU, and I currently serve as Executive Vice President of the Monterey Bay Central Labor Council. Since retirement I have been a leader in Santa Cruz for Bernie and the Movement for Housing Justice, which put rent control on the ballot in Santa Cruz. I have campaigned for single payer healthcare since Prop 186 in 1994, and for raising the minimum wage since Santa Cruz Measure G in 2006.

I ask for your support in the crucial work ahead.

Jason Spitzer

I am a resident of Almaden Valley, San Jose, CA (at the top end of AD29), and proud to be a lifelong registered Democrat. I am also active (since 2010) in the local and statewide California Clean Money Campaign (CCMC; where I have served since 2014 as Assistant Coordinator for the South SF Bay Area Chapter.

My primary concern is with the corrupting influence of oft self-serving special interests’ contributions to political campaigns and independent (and largely unaccountable) expenditure groups (PACs). I believe that it will be next to impossible to advance a progressive agenda at all levels of government without first making profound reforms to the way in which the campaigns of both candidates and ballot initiatives are financed. There is a great deal of institutional inertia and resistance from within both major parties to making meaningful campaign financing changes, and as an Assembly District Delegate I will continue to champion the ‘Clean Money’ cause, and work from within our party to promote and endorse officials who are committed to making significant changes in the system.

I am also deeply passionate about environmental issues, including water usage and conservation, coastal access and preservation, fighting the root causes human-linked climate change, and making sure that California continues to lead the rest of the U.S. and even the World in implementing technically sound and effective regulations to ensure that our economy thrives and our environment survives for the welfare of current and future generations. Again, if re-elected to the AD Delegate position I will work hard to ensure that honest, earnest, and environmentally conscious Democrats are elected to offices throughout the state. Thank you for your support!

Sean Hebard

Having been raised in a politically-active, working class family, I began working on campaigns long before I was able to vote, and this passion has stayed with me throughout my adult life. As both a carpenter working in the field and in my current position as a Field Representative for the Carpenters’ Union I’ve had the privilege of working side by side with people from all walks of life and had the opportunity to work all over Northern California. As a current AD29 delegate I believe my record of voting to represent the values of our coastal and mountain communities on candidates and issues speaks for itself. I have made it my mission to speak for working families in every venue available to me. If re-elected, I will continue to seek input from everyone in my community and will strive to represent the interests of AD29 Democrats, pushing to endorse and elect candidates and move forward a platform that not only protects, but fights for new gains for our environment, our working families, those in most need, and more than ever before, our democracy itself.

Darin Compton

I would be honored to work as a Delegate to Assembly District 29. As a representative for labor I have seen the erosion of the middle class. Working folks everywhere are struggling to make ends meet, particularly here in Silicon Valley, one of the most expensive places on earth. Working together with other like minded folks and the California Democratic Party we can stop this trend and improve the lives of our struggling working class. I was born here in San Jose son of an immigrant. I raised my family here, and have seen our city grow from orchards to become the heart of Silicon Valley. My goal is to be sure the wealth and success of this great city translates into opportunity for all!

Glenn Glazer

Having the privilege to serve with the other 2016-2018 ADEM delegates, I can promise the same level of progressive activism in the future that I have shown in the past. In my first tenure as a delegate, I became a Rural Caucus vice-chair, served as a panelist for the LGBT Caucus, helped pass three resolutions and pushed for a Rules change that allowed voters in CDP elections to have an assistant if they were unable to vote themselves. Bringing my professional experience to bear, I gave a presentation on Computer Voting to the Computer Caucus and continue to educate our lawmakers on the subject. Additionally, I worked on a gubernatorial campaign (Delaine Eastin) and a City Council candidate (Drew Glover), pushing to diversify our representatives. I was also asked to be Secretary of the Santa Cruz DCC and I have served in that role since the previous Secretary stepped down for family reasons. Included in that was helping with the long process of revising the SCCDCC Bylaws and the rechartering of all of the Democratic clubs that are under the SCCDCC aegis. In the midterm election cycle, I was elected to be Treasurer of the Santa Cruz North County Democratic Club. Outside of the party, I serve as the Treasurer for Sanctuary Santa Cruz and do everything I can to help our people live without fear of ICE and deportation. I also serve on the diversity team of my employer, ensuring that more women and minorities are hired into the software engineering field. In all of these things, I have brought passion and energy to the tasks at hand and would be honored to continue to do so in the future and take them to the next level to serve as your Executive Board member. Lastly, I said when I was elected the first time, my door is always open to our constituents and I reaffirm that promise should I be re-elected. It is crucially important not just to do what I have done, but what the Democrats of Santa Cruz and Assembly District 29 want me to do. My will is your will, I am your representative.