AD43 - Los Angeles County, Los Feliz, Griffith Park, Glendale, Burbank

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: Sunday, January 13, 2019
Doors Open: 9:30am
Candidate Speeches Begin: 10:00am
Registration & Voting: 10:30am-12:30pm

Location
I.A.T.S.E. Local 80
2520 W Olive Ave,
Burbank, CA 91505

*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

Pamela Agustin

Community Organizer

Katrina Bergstrom

Attorney and Progressive Caucus Officer

Jenni Chang

Healthcare for All Advocate

Chandra Collins

Burbank Teacher/Burbank Teachers Association Representative

Lindsay Nelson

Worker’s Rights Advocate

Rebecca Ninburg

Los Angeles City Fire Commissioner

Arasele Torrez

Board President East Hollywood Neighborhood Council

Dr. Armond Aghakhanian

Vice President Burbank Unified School District

Alex Calleros

Filmmaker/Activist

Joshua Goodman

Burbank Sustainability Commissioner

Brandon Rey Ramirez

Immigrant Rights Activist

Mike Van Gorder

Founder, Glendale Tenants Union

Saro Sandaljian

Student Activist

Jirair Yessaian
Local Activist

Your Progressive Executive Board Candidate

Vote for Delegate AND Executive Board Rep.
Katrina Bergstrom

Attorney and Progressive Caucus Officer

Detailed Information

Katrina Bergstrom

Statement:

It has been a privilege to serve as one of your ADEM delegates in Assembly District 43 the last two years.  I am running to be your Eboard representative because I want to fight for working class people to be represented by the Party and to take back the power of corporate interests.

For the last two years I’ve served as a representative of our district, pushing for single payer healthcare (SB562), rent control (Prop 10) and campaigning for candidates who believe in true progressive issues such as getting corporate money out of politics, criminal justice reform, and stopping I.C.E. from tearing families apart.

I will continue to strongly advise our elected Democrats to understand that healthcare, education and housing are human rights and that we are in a climate emergency that needs to be addressed NOW!

I will support comprehensive reforms to the Party bylaws in order to create a more even playing field for all people to participate and have their voices heard.  I will also demand transparency from our Party leaders and I will push for serious protections and protocols for those dealing with bullying and harassment which should NOT be tolerated for the sake of political expediency.

I’ve organized hundreds of people across CA to get involved in the political system for the first time and I look forward to inspiring even more new faces to join the Party. I am optimistic that the Democratic Party can truly return to the Party for the people, not of the oligarchy and corporations. This is our time to act and to take back the reins of our own destinies – there is no time to wait and I humbly ask for your vote for all the members of our Forward 43 slate!

 

Background:

I was born into a blue-collar working class family outside of Boston and I know what it feels like to struggle to afford rent and healthcare while working multiple jobs to make ends meet.  I moved to Los Angeles 8 years ago to finish law school and I now work as a business and legal affairs attorney in television.  My student loan balance is as large as a mortgage with an outrageous interest rate of 7.5% – although I am someone who “pulled up their bootstraps” to be better in life, I will forever live in debt.  We need serious reform of the cost of education as well as reinvigorating free community college in our state so that not only people born into wealth can afford a good education.

In 2016, I was proud to serve as a member of the Rules Committee at the DNC Convention in Philadelphia, appointed by Bernie Sanders, where I was able to pass three of four rules change to the DNC bylaws affecting more inclusivity into the Party.  I fought hard to change the super delegate system and open primaries and advocated for the DNC’s Unity Commission’s recommendations.

Prior to law school I had a long career in environmental insurance where I assessed the risks of real estate transactions, infrastructure projects and industrial property portfolios as it related to EPA and local laws.  With this knowledge, I fight with communities that lack resources to get relief against pollution travesties. In law school, I drafted two Amicus Briefs to the Supreme Court. Over the last two years I’ve used my drafting skills to assist fellow delegates to prepare various grievances to the Party’s Compliance Review Commission.   In 2017, I was elected to serve as an Officer of the Progressive Caucus in the role of Parliamentarian and during my term I successfully updated the caucus bylaws for recertification by the Party.

I serve as an elected volunteer member of the DSA National Electoral Committee, serving as Co-Chair of the Compliance Committee and I am active in the Electoral Politics and Housing and Homelessness committees of my local DSA-LA Chapter.

Pamela Agustin

My name is Pamela Agustina and I’m a resident of Glendale.  I am an active member of
Glendale Tenants Union, I work as a Community Organizer at the Boyle Heights Building Healthy Communities and I am a proud UC Riverside Alumna (Go Highlanders!)

“Every mind is its own world.” Words from my father who taught me to listen first and learn from the unique experience of others. His words taught me the value of communication and collaboration and today guide my work as a community organizer in the Eastside of Los Angeles where I advocate for housing justice and economic opportunities for Eastside residents alongside fierce community leaders.

As a Delegate of Assembly District 43, I will apply these values and fight to create a more inclusive, transparent and accountable party that prioritizes the needs of our district’s communities, especially the needs of our community members whose civil and human rights are being threatened by the current administration’s racist and divisive agenda.

As a resident of Glendale, I have heard my neighbors express their concern about how to make ends meet because of the high cost of rent in the city. “Where will I go? My home is here!” they say. These words are no better expressed than by the older adults who live on a fixed income and struggle to afford housing, medical, and other basic needs.

Like in Glendale, residents throughout our Assembly District and LA County are being impacted by the increasing cost of rent, healthcare, and stagnant wages. Our communities need long-term solutions to these issues and a party platform accountable to these concerns is what my fellow Forward 43 Delegates and I are committed to fighting for with your support.

Together, we will guide policies and support candidates that will build and preserve affordable housing, protect our environment, protect the rights of immigrants regardless of status, fight for healthcare for all and ensure that everyone in our district and in our state has opportunity, stability and the right to remain in the communities they call home.

Jenni Chang

As a community activist and organizer, I have fought hard to advance the message of healthcare justice. I was the Los Angeles regional coordinator for the Healthy California Campaign, the coalition behind the Medicare-for-All bill, SB 562. Seeing the value of connecting person-to-person, I have worked with community groups, unions, and everyone from students to senior populations to organize over hundreds of events and meetings to educate on the values of a single payer system. I frequently work with progressive powerhouse organizations, including the California Nurses Association, the California Alliance for Retired Americans, Labor United for Universal Healthcare, and many hard-working grassroots groups that keep our communities informed and engaged.

Highly valuing civic engagement, I have helped organize over 250 activists to lobby every assemblymember and senator in the state of California on the issues of healthcare, fair housing, and the economic hardships of vulnerable seniors.

My work as an organizer utilizes many of the skills I learned through publishing at Conde Nast, marketing, and copywriting for various industries. Honest and open communication is essential, and I believe in regularly connecting with our legislators.

On a personal note, I am the daughter of South Korean immigrants. I grew up with a disabled father, a severely autistic brother, a dear sister, and an exceptionally strong mother who worked tirelessly to be the bread winner for us all.

As a delegate, I intend to take my role seriously, to not only meet my convention duties but to help elevate the voices of our communities and continue building political will to achieve real change.

Chandra Collins

My name is Chandra Collins. I am a wife and a mother to three daughters. I majored in Political Science at UCLA. I am currently a Special Education Teacher in Burbank and have a specialized Autism class. I have been teaching for over 20 years, 11 of which have been here in Burbank. It has been an honor and a privilege to serve as a Burbank Teachers Association Representative for the past 3 years. During this time I have attended School Board Meeting, City Council Meetings, and other community events. I have succeeded in having Burbank Unified School District recognize April as Autism Awareness Month and have supported a Safer Schools traffic initiative. I believe teachers are an integral part of our community, our voice, and our healthy democracy.

Lindsay Nelson

I am a Southern California native and resident of Burbank for most of the past eight years. I come from a working class Democrat family. I am running because I want the Democratic Party to reject corporate interests and to focus on grassroots organizing rather than courting wealthy donors at high priced fundraising events.

I have attended CDP conventions, county committee meetings, and E-Board meetings as a Party member for the past two years. The CDP has a lot of room for improvement. We can make this party more inclusive, transparent, and democratic. We can and must make it more progressive. Climate science indicates that we do not have time to stay entrenched in the CDP’s old ways. We need new ideas and brave leadership. We need to support strong, progressive candidates who will put the peoples’ interests over their own. We need Democrats who are not satisfied with the status quo and we need delegates who will advocate for change.

I am an attorney and workers’ rights advocate. I am a Democratic Socialist. I canvassed for Democrats in swing districts during the 2018 midterm elections. In 2017 I volunteered on the Democratic Socialists of America’s National Electoral Committee and co-chaired a chapter of DSA. In 2016 I was on the leadership team of Glendale for Bernie and was CD-28’s top elected Bernie Sanders delegate to the DNC. I have performed voter protection work in Nevada, Arizona, and California. I have volunteered on city council campaigns, canvassed for Medicare for All, and registered many new Democrats. I have a political science degree and studied law and social change in law school.

I am running to represent those of us who are not party insiders or career politicians. I am running because we no longer have time for incremental change. I am running because progress is always the result of grassroots political pressure.

Rebecca Ninburg

I am a progressive democrat running for the AD43 slate. I currently sit on the Board of Fire Commissioners for the city of Los Angeles and have worked extensively to improve the LAFD youth programs, as well as address workplace environment. Prior to my appointment, I served for 2 years on the Commission on the Status of Women serving as both Vice Chair and Chair. I was also the Co-Founder and CEO of the Los Angeles Derby Dolls and a member of the sculptor’s union local 755 and worked on motion pictures.

I am very proud of my work with the LAFD which has resulted in more than doubling female applicants and graduates of the LAFD academy. In addition, I was instrumental in creating a pipeline of women interested in becoming firefighters by helping bring Girls Fire Camp to the LAFD which is now in its 3rd year.

I believe in universal health care, social justice, environmental justice, addressing income inequality, getting large $ out of politics, and ensuring all residents in our communities have the ability to meet basic needs. California is the 5th largest economy in the world and our poverty rate is the highest in the country. That is unacceptable. We can and must do better and I look forward to working with my fellow members on my AD43 slate to elect progressive Democrats that will work hard for all residents and make our country a model of social justice.

Arasele Torrez

Community: East Hollywood:

Organizations: East Hollywood Neighborhood Council Board President, Stonewall Young Democrats Board Secretary, Friends of the Cahuenga Library Board Member

Arasele Torrez Jimenez has lived and grown up in East Hollywood since 1999, from age 9. Arasele graduated from UC Davis with a double major B.A. in Political Science and Chicano Studies with a minor in Community Development. She holds a Master’s degree in Public Administration from CSUN. She also has an Associate’s and certificate in Paralegal Studies. Arasele loves giving back to her community and has been on her neighborhood council since October 2012, in various board and executive positions. Arasele last got elected as the Virgil Village Representative in May 2016. Arasele has been the board president since February 2017. She has been part of politics and civic engagement since 10th grade of high school.

Candidate Statement:

I grew up in AD 43 since 9 years old, currently 28 years old. While at Marshall High School, I joined the Los Angeles City Youth Council and was involved in many extracurricular activities, including government programs. I volunteered throughout my high school years at my elementary, Lockwood Ave. I voted in every election since I turned 18.

At UC Davis I majored in Political Science and Chicano/a Studies with a minor in Community Development. I was with the Davis College Democrats. I registered people to vote, volunteered in local and congressional races. I received my Masters in Public Administration from CSUN. I also have an Associate’s/certificate in Paralegal Studies from LACC.

Once I finished college in 2012, I became more involved with my neighborhood, East Hollywood. I have been elected to the East Hollywood Neighborhood Council Board since 2012, as the Student Rep., Virgil Village North Rep., and currently the Virgil Village Representative. I served on the executive as Board Secretary, Vice President, and currently Board President since February 2017. I have been a member or co-chair of committees: Youth & Education, Outreach, Elections, Budget & Finance, By-laws, Public Safety, Community Health and Business. I have been a board member with Friends of the Cahuenga Library since 2015. As an active member of Lambda Theta Alpha, Latin Sorority, Inc. since Fall 2015, I give back to the sisterhood/community, done philanthropy and stayed politically/civically engaged.

I’ve been a board member with the Stonewall Young Democrats since 2014, as the Female-At-Large Representative, and recently board secretary. This December I was awarded the Democratic Volunteer of the Year, for my work over the years with SYD at the DPSFV 2018 Truman Awards. I’ve been a proud LGBT ally since high school. I have stayed civically engaged, to keep young, LGBT, and people of color involved.

By staying involved in the Democratic Process, the endorsement committees, voting, registering people to vote, working the polls, walking for campaigns, attending state party conventions, and working under CYD, I can continue being part of the change, to elect people who also represent the interests of the little people, not just special interests/hold them accountable.

As a young Chicana Democrat, 1st college generation and product of AD 43, I respectfully ask for your support!

Dr. Armond Aghakhanian

I have over two decades of experience in the fields of education, public service, government, progressive politics and local activism. I currently serve as the Vice President of the Burbank Unified School District Board of Education and teach at both Glendale Community College and East Los Angeles College. I am also the founder of Southern CA Armenian Democrats, the largest Armenian American Democratic Club in the U.S.

Over the years, I have had the honor to serve in many different roles it countless democratic organizations including: a member of the Burbank Democratic ClubDemocratic Party of the San Fernando Valley, and the Stonewall Democratic Club. I have served as the former Vice Chair of the California Young Democrats of the Los Angeles Basin, Co-founder and former President of the Glendale Young Democrats, former President of the 43rd Assembly District Young Democrats, and as the former President and Secretary of the Verdugo Hills Democratic Club.

My life as an activist started with the Verdugo Hills Democratic Club just as the 43rd Assembly district was beginning to, slowly, turn blue. Whether it was working on Congressman Adam Schiff first congressional race against Jim Rogan, or our own former Assemblymember Dario Frommer’s campaign, “No on Proposition 22” (California Defense of Marriage Act of 2000), or later on AB 32 (Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006), I have always been an advocate for local activism, community involvement, and creating change.

I have always felt that I had no choice but to be a progressive. I was only 17 when I arrived in the U.S. as a refugee. Like many refugees and immigrants today, I had to face challenges like racism, learning to speak and read English (my fourth language), financial hardships, and adapting to a new country and way of life. Also like many immigrants, I had to work three jobs to support my family and education after my father was let go from his. In this time, my mother had to work in sweatshops, making less than a dollar an hour to help support our family. I believe that my voice was only heard once I got involved, and as a delegate I would help and encourage other’s to do the very same.

With increasing racism, gun violence, anti-immigrant sentiments, homelessness, cost of healthcare, education, and the cost-wage discrepancy throughout our state and nation, it is imperative that we unite and push for progressive solutions to these digressive problems. Only “We the People” can determine our destiny. I respectfully ask for your vote.

Alex Calleros

Alex Calleros is an independent filmmaker and long-time resident of Glendale, where he lives with his husband.

In 2015, inspired by Bernie Sanders’ insurgent presidential run, Alex put his film career on hold for a full year to volunteer for the campaign. Alex became a leader of Glendale for Bernie, one of the most active grassroots groups in the country. Working with the California Nurses Union, he managed a full-time phone bank center in which volunteers made half a million calls to voters in every state in the nation. He organized canvassing events, rallies, and traveled to Nevada and Colorado to get out the vote.

After the primary concluded, Alex attended the 2016 Democratic Convention in Philadelphia as a Sanders delegate. He co-founded Progressive Action for Glendale, seeding local activism around tenant’s rights and universal healthcare which continues to this day. He was elected to the Executive Board of the California Democratic Party in 2017 on a platform of fighting for a transparent, accessible, and accountable Democratic Party.

Alex is proud to run in this year’s ADEM election as part of Team FORWARD 43. We believe that guaranteed healthcare, housing, and education are basic human rights and that in the great state of California no one should be too poor to live. We believe the challenges of the 21st Century, including climate change, income inequality, and increasing automation, can only be combated with bold, systemic changes. California MUST lead the way. There’s no time to wait.

Josh Goodman

For progressives, there is no time to wait. Facing a 12 year deadline to prevent catastrophic climate change and worsening income inequality, California – and the California Democratic Party, in particular – must be at the forefront of true change.

Over the past dozen years, I have worked as an environmental activist, progressive campaign staffer, and public servant to try to bring about this change. As the President of the Burbank Democratic Club and the Vice-Chair of the Sustainable Burbank Commission, I know how many committed activists there are here in our district.

I hope you’ll join me in voting for Forward 43, the slate that will hold our party to the highest possible standards. Because there’s no time to wait.

Brandon Rey Ramirez

As a lifelong activist and organizer, I hope to bring radical change to the Democratic Party. I currently serve as the National Co-Chair for Democratic Socialists of America (DSA) Immigrants’ Rights Committee and the Co-Chair of the DSA Los Angeles Immigration Justice Committee. I am currently a lead organizer in the campaign to Abolish Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agency and an organizer with the ICE Out of LA Coalition. As a student in Philadelphia, I was heavily involved in the Pennsylvania Democratic Party where I worked closely with undocumented students organizing for the DREAM Act and became active in the Occupy Wall St. movement.

The California Democratic Party has the potential to be a truly progressive political force to move our state and country forward. If elected as an Assembly District Delegate for the 43rd District, I will seek to build progressive coalitions within the party that fight for more transparent, egalitarian, and democratic rules for decision-making. I will fight to advance a working-class oriented agenda that prioritizes Universal Rent Control, Medicare for All, and A Green New Deal. As an Immigrants’ Rights activist, I will be an outspoken advocate to Abolish ICE. America needs a bold progressive agenda, and California can deliver. There’s no time to wait.

Saro Sandaljian

As a delegate for the 43rd district, I want to promote an agenda that will help bring criminal justice reform, improved infrastructure, and an education system that can help students reach their full potential to be successful. Having the opportunity to be a delegate, will allow me to serve the needs of my district and to be the new voice for my country.

Mike Van Gorder

Elect a fighter. Someone unafraid of having difficult conversations with powerful people and holding them accountable.

I founded the Glendale Tenants Union, led a voter-led initiative for rent control and worked on the Prop 10 campaign. I was one of the Bernie Sanders supporters that made Glendale for Bernie the most productive presidential campaign center in the country, and immediately afterward I ran for Glendale City Council because no one else that shared our values was willing to run. I’m not interested in personal power – I want to change the conversation to things that directly benefit people.

I was elected a Delegate for AD43 because I believe that if you love something you must criticize it. Only critique and humility can rehabilitate this party – and only unbought delegates like myself can undo the damage of dark money and insiderism that has poisoned not only the priorities of our Party of the People but its public perception as well.

We’re coming up on the most important election of our lifetimes. We cannot simply be ‘Not Trump’, because that already failed us once. We need to engage the oceans of voters out there who feel left behind by both political parties. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez succeeded – and reinvigorated the Democratic left – precisely because she turned non-voters into voters, not by attempting to mollify the Right Wing by dragging the party past the center again.

We need electoral reform, first and foremost. Republican gerrymandering and election tampering has turned places like Wisconsin, Georgia and North Carolina into failed democracies.

We need a Green New Deal to revitalize our economy and job market while breaking the chains of fossil fuels. As the parent of a three-month-old daughter, I want to end our dependence on dirty energy. We are already suffering from the climate crisis and we cannot incrementalize our way out of this disaster.

We need to socialize our healthcare system and our housing markets. Healthcare and housing are basic human rights.

We need new blood, new leaders, and to rediscover our priorities as Democrats. FDR led the country out of the depression with his New Deal, and we can recapture the faith of the American people with our own New Deal addressing income inequality, voter disenfranchisement, and the climate crisis.

No more bullies. Honesty, humility, and the mutual good must come first.

Jirair Yessaian

I am a Los Angeles native, and come from a working class immigrant family. I worked for a number of school districts as an aid, and have seen first-hand the effect of budget cuts on public schools. I personally believe that the Democratic Party leadership has been dropping the ball.

My first political experience was canvasing for the Bernie Sanders campaign in 2016. During the election, I canvassed my local community, going door to door to register as many voters as possible. I believe talk isn’t enough. You gotta DO the work, on the ground, to make real change.

I’m proud to be running alongside the activists and organizers of Team Forward 43.