AD44 - Los Angeles & Ventura Counties - Oxnard/Thousand Oaks

What are Assembly District Delegates?

Every two years, the CA Democrats elect 7 women and 7 men 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 7
Candidate Speeches Begin: 10:00am
Registration & Voting Begin: 10:30am-12:30pm
Counting of Ballots Begin: 12:30pm

UFCW 770 Building
816 Camarillo Springs Road
Suite D
Camarillo, CA 93012

Cross streets: Right of the 101

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

Can We Count on You?

Your Progressive Candidates

Melissa Demyan

Bernie Delegate – Human Rights Activist & Organizer

Rick Gardner

ADEM Candidate

Spencer Pletcher

Student, Local Organizer for Sander’s Campaign, Moorpark College Democractic Club Member

Karen Stevens

Delegate for Bernie Sanders to the DNC Philadelphia. Running for Assembly District Delegate in AD44

Noemi Tungui

Student, Bernie Delegate, Grassroots Community Activist

Catherine Willott

Information Technology Consultant

Valerie Ewald

Registered Nurse

Alessandro Neri

Alessandro Neri For AD44 Delegate

Detailed Information

Melissa Demyan

I was born at Ventura County Medical Center to a woman who couldn’t care for a child. My parents had been trying to adopt, and rushed to the hospital from their home in Moorpark when they heard I was born. They had no advance notice or time to prepare for a baby, and they brought me home from the hospital in a laundry basket. Our community of friends and family inundated them with everything new parents might need—my mom always says: “it takes a village” and that phrase has particular significance in my leadership aspirations. Ventura County is my village—our community raised me to be the person I am—and living here has instilled in me the small town collaboration and democratic values needed to lead our party and country into the future. As Democrats, we must increase and rebuild lines of communication and trust within our communities. I have been diligently working to establish relationships with Democrats across the state by attending E-Board meetings where I’ve testified to the Rules Committee regarding removal of special interest money from our party, met with Tom Steyer of Next Gen regarding the future of environmental grassroots organizing, and attended caucus meetings including the Environmental Caucus, Progressive Caucus, LGBTQ Caucus, and CA Young Democrats. I was elected with the most votes of any woman in the county as a District Delegate representing Ventura County at the Democratic National Convention, and intend to bring the same level of enthusiasm and moxie with me to future E-Board meetings as your representative.

We have the opportunity to transform our party into a progressive example of what smart leadership and forward thinking can accomplish when tackling the environmental and social challenges of this decade and the next—but it takes a village, and I need your support. My human rights work in political science and sociology has taught me the importance of inclusivity, and I will work hard to make sure we are open in hearing and responding to concerns from all members of our community. My experience spans five campaigns, four non-profits, three management positions, two universities (on 2 continents), and one financial services firm. As a vocational calling, I feel compelled to utilize my knowledge and experience in a way that serves others, and so I humbly seek your vote—the support of my village—in the ADEM and E-Board election.

Slate Card

Rick Gardner

I am a Federal retiree, having served as the head of Environmental Technology for the U.S. Navy, supervising over 100 scientists and engineers at Navy bases throughout the country. In this role I was barred by the Hatch Act from direct participation in partisan Democratic Party activities, although I have been registered as a Democrat for several decades.

Since my retirement in 2013, I have become an active member of the Democratic Party. For the past two years I have served as the President of the Democratic Club of Camarillo and a member of the Ventura County Democratic Central Committee.

As Club President, I hosted a major fundraiser in September for Democratic candidates in the area; participating were Congresswoman Julia Brownley, State Senator Hannah-Beth Jackson, State Assemblymember Jacqui Irwin, Ventura County Supervisorial Candidate Carla Castilla, and City Council Candidate Jameson Lingl. I also participated in individual fundraisers for these candidates. On behalf of the Club, I managed a polling place in Camarillo during the Primary and the Presidential Election. I ran the monthly Club meetings, the monthly E-Board meetings, the Club website, the Club Facebook Page, and the email blasts. I registered voters at the Club’s booth at the Camarillo Farmer’s Market and at the annual Camarillo Fiesta. On behalf of the Club, I testified before the Camarillo City Council on various issues of concern and presented resolutions on the Trans-Pacific Partnership and other topics.

As a Central Committee member, I participated in the monthly meetings and attended the Spring Fling and the Kennedy Legacy Dinner. I participated in the California Democratic Convention in San Jose on a proxy basis. I helped staff the Ventura County Democratic Party booth at the Ventura County Fair in August.

I was a strong supporter of Bernie Sanders during the Primary, participated in Bernie events at the Los Angeles Sports Arena, a Beverly Hills fundraiser, and at Ventura College. I made several donations to the campaign, participated in local rallies, and canvassed neighborhoods in Camarillo. I was the second top male vote-getter in the Bernie caucus from the 26th Congressional District.

Why do I want to become an ADEM member? Quite simply, I want to continue my active service to the Party as a true progressive. I believe that the California Democratic Party must now lead the country in a resurgence of our party’s values, and I want to be a part of this mission. My top three causes are global climate change, economic inequality in the United States, and the growing health crisis in this country. I want to have a voice in these and other matters and to help elect candidates who share my beliefs.

Slate Card

Spencer Pletcher

I am Spencer Pletcher, an 18 year old Thousand Oaks native who is currently a full time student at Moorpark College. I participate in my school’s Democratic Club and also enjoy participating in community theatre productions in the area.

About two years ago, I became passionate about issues facing my generation such as climate change, income inequality, the criminal justice system, and affordable education. The more I learned about these issues, the more comfortable I felt discussing them with people of various backgrounds and beliefs.

In May of 2016, I ran to be a district level delegate, and as the youngest person on the ticket, I came in 6th running for three spots out of a crowded pack of 18 men. I also ran to be an at-large delegate, and traveled to Long Beach to observe the Statewide Democratic delegation meeting.

As I was connecting with other people my age who felt disenfranchised by politics as a whole, I tried to explain the myriad of issues on our November ballot, I was able to reword the ballot initiatives in a way that made them applicable to their lives. It was empowering to see the impact I was having on the way that my peers viewed politics.

Deeper research led me to take action, by phone banking, door-to-door canvassing, training other volunteers, getting my friends and family involved, and engaging in political discussions with people I know. Volunteering has ignited a burning passion in my heart that cannot be extinguished.

If elected as an ADEM, I will proudly represent progressive-humanitarian values, and you the people as well.

Slate Card

Karen Stevens

At this time of much needed change in the Democratic Party, on the heels of local and national losses that threaten the future of our communities, our nation and the world, I feel a personal responsibility to do all I can to remake the Democratic Party into one that’s inclusive, not divisive; compassionate, not greedy, and dedicated to the needs of individuals over corporations. As a long time political activist and Democratic Party proponent, I’ve worked diligently as a full time organizer, most recently on the Bernie Sanders campaign where I hosted daily phone banking, convened debate watch events and managed candidate booths and voter registration at venues throughout Los Angeles and Ventura Counties. Today, I continue my work to advance the Sanders platform as co-founder of the Progressive Democrats of America, Ventura County Chapter. This past year, I was an elected delegate to the DNC convention in Philadelphia. I am a retired psychologist with a background in education and the justice system, and a single mother of two millennials whose futures are principal motivators in my run for Delegate of 44th Assembly District. I see this time in the Democratic Party as one of opportunity to move forward in a people and planet-centered direction. I ask for your vote so together we can transform our party to work for the many — not the privileged few.

Slate Card

Noemi Tungui

Change begins the moment we take action and that is why I respectfully ask friends, family and community members to vote for me this January 8th, 2017 for ADEM Delegate.

The beautiful city of Oxnard watched me grow, and now as a future California State University, Northridge, Psychology and Political Science graduate, I want to contribute back to my community.

For the past eight years, I have been a young volunteer and employee in the Los Angeles County and Ventura County school systems because I firmly believe in the importance of allowing all members of our society to reach their highest education goals.

As a member of a non-profit at California State University, Northridge, I have organized community events to benefit students of low socioeconomic status, raised funds for our annual scholarship, hosted thanksgiving and toy drives and events to benefit women in shelter homes.

As a behavior therapist, assisting children with intellectual disabilities and their families, I firmly believe that we must continue to invest in our community’s physical and mental health.

The Democratic Party must also continue to fight for women rights and stand for equal job opportunities and reproductive rights.

As an ADEM Delegate, I will be a voice for the LGBTQI, women, millennials, the disabled and migrant community members because that is the community I represent. I am an immigrant, student, proud LGBTQI member, and a strong woman that understand that in order to see change happen, I must start by being that change.

This past year, I interned for a State Senator near my university’s campus. I was able to shadow and assist the senator during events and meetings with constituents, organizations, and other Democratic leaders. There, I learned first-hand about our political system as well as my passion for continuing a path of a public servant.

For the past year, I have not only witnessed one of the most historic elections of my lifetime, but I have contributed in a way that I never imagined possible. After having canvassed and phone-banked in Nevada, Arizona, and various counties across California, I had learned some of the most pressing issues affecting the average American citizen. In California, I was able to successfully help organize and host marches and rallies in Los Angeles. I found myself giving speeches in front of hundreds of Americans who also want to see progress in our political system. This past April, I officially became a U.S citizen. A month later, my passion for political activism led me to get elected as an At-large Delegate and attend the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia.

As a Democrat and community member in Assembly District 44, I want to fight for equal opportunities in education, healthcare, housing and all basic human rights. Most importantly, as an ADEM Delegate, I will use my voice to embrace diversity during this upcoming presidency. There is still much work to be done in our educational, political, social, and environmental systems. I firmly believe that now, more than ever, is the time to take community action.

Slate Card

Catherine Willott

I first registered as a Democrat for the 1984 presidential race and voted in every election since then. I was never personally involved in a campaign until Bernie Sanders ran for President. I volunteered full-time at the Thousand Oaks Sanders Volunteer Office, organizing canvassers, training phone bankers, and making thousands of calls. I registered hundreds of new voters and converted Republicans to Democrats. I am a proud member of the CADEM Progressive, Environmental, and Business Caucuses. I am a local organizer for Brand New Congress.

I’ve done all these things because I believe the US and California need to work towards a more civil, compassionate, and accountable society. Assuring that each person has an opportunity to thrive regardless of race, religion, gender, sexual orientation, and economic stratum. Our environment is at risk of irreversible damage if conversion to renewable energy is not completed quickly. Healthcare, education, and free speech are rights that should be available to all, regardless of income level or employment status. Corporate money needs to be removed from the political process; no professional lobbyists and no Super-PACs. Primaries need to be fair and equal for all candidates with no super-delegates to override the will of the voters.

We moved to Thousand Oaks in 1997 and my daughter attended CVUSD schools. I am a single mom who worked full time as an Information Technology professional and was actively involved in charitable, youth, and sports organizations. I am committed to our community. Join me in taking our country back from corporatists and oligarchs.

Slate Card

Valerie Ewald

I am a registered nurse and also an active member of the California Nurses Association/National Nurses United. I am proud that my union was the first major national union to endorse Senator Bernie Sanders for president. It was an honor to campaign for Senator Sanders. His values are my values. I am a native of Ventura County and I am happy that so many progressives are working to make life better for our fellow citizens.


I am running to be a delegate because I want the California Democratic Party to be represented by caring and diverse individuals who will fight for equality in such areas as healthcare, environmental safety, education, decent wages, and of course, freedom from discrimination in how one lives their life.

Slate Card

Alessandro Neri

My name is Alessandro Neri

I am running for re-election as a delegate for the 44th assembly district
because i want to change the party from the inside out and turn the party back to the American people.

In order to do so we must overturn Citizens United.

I have been involved in many political campaigns and now am serving my second term as Vice president of the Conejo Democratic Club.

Thank you for your vote