AD65: Buena Park, Fullerton, La Palma, Anaheim

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 26, 2019
Doors Open: 10:00am
Candidate Speeches Begin: 10:15am
Registration & Voting: 10:45am-12:45pm

Carpenter’s Hall
7111 Firestone Blvd.
Buena Park, CA 90621

*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

Vote for all 14.
Click our slate card to download:
Katie Baldwin

College Student

Campaign Finance Reform

Mirvette Judah

Community Leader / Organizer

Social Justice & Civic Engagement

Also vote for Mirvette for E-board rep

Rebecca Kovacs-Stein

Real Estate Sales

Homeless Advocacy

Sunny Youngsun Park

City Council Member / Attorney

Public Safety

Bobbi-Lee Smart

Sociology Instructor

Strengthening the Middle Class

Susan Sonne

Community Volunteer

Income Inequality & Women’s Rights

Patricia Tutor

Climate Activist

Environment & Housing

Rashad Al-Dabbagh

Non-Profit Director

Immigration & Free Speech

Luis “Jerry” Flores

School Board Member

Education Reform

Benjamin Gonzalez

College Student

Millennial Voter Registration

Ian J. Macdonald

Non-Profit Director

Environmental Protections

Connor Traut

City Council Member

Young Candidate Recruitment

Jose Trinidad Castaneda III

Community Organizer / Bartender


Ahmad Zahra

City Council Member

LGBTQ & Worker Rights

Detailed Information

Mirvette Judeh

I am an Arab American Muslim born in Puerto Rico. I have a Masters in Psychology, and my mission has always been to help the underserved. I am a mother of three, and I have been advocating for many issues with various communities for about 20 years. I am running for Assembly Delegate for our District because I want help those that are disenfranchised to have representation and a voice. For over 20 years I have worked on many issues from homelessness, women’s rights, foreign policy, voter rights, workers rights, anti bullying, interfaith, etc. My passion is social justice and helping build bridges between different communities. I believe that if everyone does their part and we have compassion for one another, the world will be a better place for everyone. My diverse background allows me the ability to connect with many individuals, help bridge gaps, and assist in bringing forward issues Muslim Americans, Arab Americans, Latinos, women, and people of color face. I have been on several boards from interfaith, to civil rights, civic engagement, women empowerment, etc. I have been asked to speak on various platforms on issues affecting minority communities and beyond. I hope to use this skill set and experience to engage voters and volunteers for important elections. It has been an honor serving as a delegate since 2015 and E Board in 2017. I look forward to continue serving our district, helping get more democrats from all backgrounds and walks of life elected and encourage others to get engaged and vote. It would be my greatest honor if you would allow me the opportunity to continue to serve our party to assist in building our party and moving it forward.

Sunny Youngsun Park
My name is Sunny Youngsun Park, and I would to be considered to be an ADD to represent District 65. I am a newly elected City Councilmember in Buena Park, representing District 1, which is turning to be more democratic. My city council position is on a non-partisan basis. However, I would like to keep myself informed of statewide current issues applicable to the Democratic Party, and work with other delegates so that I can network and grow as a well-seasoned democratic leader in the future.
As a local elected official, my top priorities are: (1) well-planned economic developments including affordable housing so that our city continues to grow and thrive, (2) improving public safety by strategically working with police, firefighters, and first respondents, and (3) improving the quality of public education.
In particular, affordable housing is a very important issue to me and is one of my priorities as a councilmember will be to build responsibly, preserve the character of neighborhoods, and ensure that new development in Buena Park complies with all of California’s housing affordability requirements and that anyone who works in the city can afford to live there.
These goals can be achieved by working with other cities, counties and the State, and I hope to be able to work with other delegates to further these goals in my city as well as to help them further their goals in their cities and municipalities.
Also, I want to be able to support, endorse and work with other democratic leaders. I consider attending the convention and assessing and being able to give my input on viable candidates to be an important task and responsibility.
Thank you for your consideration.
Bobbi-Lee Smart
My name is Bobbi-Lee Smart and I am asking you to vote for me for the ADEM Delegate position.
Currently, I am enrolled at Cal State Los Angeles in the Ed.D in Educational Leadership program, concurrently working as an adjunct/lecturer at Cerritos College in the sociology department. I am also the VP of PT faculty for CCFF.
I was born and raised in southern Californian & have lived in District 65 since the age of 4, and my parents were raised in District 65. We all went to Cerritos elementary school and graduated from Western High School.
My mother was a single mother, worked long hours in IT. When I left for college, her carpal tunnel reached the point where she could no longer work. We have spent the last 15 years as a family working our way out of poverty.
I was able to attain my AA in Social and Behavioral Sciences at Cypress College, my BA in Sociology with a concentration in Deviance and Social Control and a minor in Criminal Justice at CSU Fullerton, and my MA in Sociology at CSU Dominguez Hills.
I say all of this to highlight that I have seen and experienced first-hand what the American middle and lower classes experience on a regular basis. My experience and background in sociology allows me an academic understanding of how society works and how it benefits some at the expense of others. I know there are ways we can strengthen the system so that almost everyone benefits.
We must get the Democratic Party back to a place where the focus is on strengthening the middle class, increasing the minimum wage, affordable housing and college, expanding healthcare, reducing racial and gender inequalities, reinvesting & restructuring our broken education system and overall working on making our country better for everyone and not just some. People are feeling disenfranchised, angry, hurt and do not feel that politics is working for them. As a delegate I will fight for and push for policies and ideas that are inclusive. The more I learn as a student and as an educator, the more passionate I feel about my involvement in politics and making a difference so that everyone in the country truly has an equal chance at success. We need to focus on equity, not just equality.
Rebecca Kovacs-Stein

Honored in 2018 by the Orange County Registrar as one of the 100 most influential people in the county, I work with public officials, policy makers and attorneys to formulate sustainable solutions to homelessness. My time is spent developing relationships with homeless people, linking them to support services, and supporting their reintegration.

My advocacy work began two years ago, not long after a family member passed away after years of homelessness. Further compelled after being challenged by a peer to learn more about the issue, I felt the need to get involved. The impending dissolution of the Santa Ana riverbed encampment early last year was where I began my current work.

I am currently a board member of OCPAC, outreach coordinator for HHROC, and steering committee member of the community health and wellness contingent of the Buena Park Collaborative.

Now part of these advocacy groups, I am engaged in addressing the immediate needs of many homeless people, while also lobbying for long-term government-funded solutions. It’s my belief that a resolution to this issue is based on a critical analysis of current homelessness policy, including the homeless ‘voice in policy shift discussions, and moving forward thoughtfully, not reactively.

As a real estate agent operating in Orange County for the past 25 years, I’ve watched how housing market trends contribute to housing inequality, a major driver for homelessness. I’ve witnessed how outside monies enter communities and drive up rent costs not matched by living wages. Within this gentrification context, new disparities are made and existing ones are exacerbated.

Having lived in Orange County my entire life, I understand that fiscal responsibility, transparent governance, and integrous public officials are the cornerstones of our public institutions. I’m privileged to be a part of a homeless advocacy collaborative that demands local government utilize these principles to support homeless citizens of our community.

As your delegate, I will push for permanent housing and care management options that address a multitude of life settings, making reintegration a sustainable choice for homeless individuals. Not only will this paradigm shift better address the underlying issues that cause homelessness, it will alleviate strain on local emergency medical services, public works, and law enforcement.

Susan Sonne

Hello everyone, I am Susan Sonne and I am running for to be a delegate for Assembly District 65.

I am a resident of Buena Park and have focused my energies on my community.

In 2016, I ran for city council and have worked in local non-partisan organizations such as the Buena Park Collaborative and the Anaheim Poverty Task Force (now Housing is a Human Right).

I have also served on the local police chief’s advisory board as one of the few members who challenged current policies.

After the 2016 election, and based on interest from local residents, I co-founded Buena Park United, a non-partisan organization to do outreach in the community and keep people informed about local government.

Currently, I am a commissioner on the Beautification-Environmental Commission of Buena Park, where I have been working to plant more trees, restrict single-use plastic, and involve youth.

As income inequality, lack of affordable housing, oppression of marginalized communities, homelessness, environmental crises, and voter suppression and gerrymandering increase, it is imperative that Democratic values are present in all levels of government.

I am running for ADD to continue to work to increase voter registration and participation, to help grow leaders in our communities, and fight for the policies that will protect the well-being of everyone.  As a delegate I will attend the meetings, the CA convention and do the research to help identify and support candidates who will best represent our values.


Again, I’m Susan Sonne and I ask for your vote.  Thank you.

Patricia Tutor

I have studied climate change and realize that humans need to very quickly reverse the damage we are doing to the earth. We need environmental protections and a  comprehensive climate change remediation  plan put into place to reduce the impact of climate change.


In a wealthy country like the United States, every individual  should have affordable healthcare and education. We have a serious housing affordability crisis in California, and we need to actively work to alleviate this. All people should be treated with dignity and given an equal opportunity to succeed, regardless of race, religion, gender, sexual orientation,  gender identity, or country of origin. Money that we have all paid into Social Security needs to be used for Social Security, not to pay down the deficit, which has grown substantially recently because of the tax cuts to the wealthy.  We need to end Citizens United and get dark money out of politics. We need to work to stop gerrymandering and voter suppression.

Rashad Al-Dabbagh
The day I became an American citizen, I made sure I register to vote. Since then, I have been an activist and fundraiser for many Democratic Party campaigns, registering hundreds of citizens to vote.
My commitment to justice, equality and protecting the rights of all people motivated me to get involved in causes that empower the community. I currently run a nonprofit grassroots organization that focuses on civic engagement to uplift and empower immigrant communities.
As a delegate, I will work with various ethnic, immigrant, and faith communities to broaden the base of support for the California Democratic Party and its progressive values, and advocate for equality and justice for all, while focusing on immigrant rights and protecting our free speech rights.
It would be an honor to serve as a delegate for Assembly District 65. Thank you for your consideration and support.
Luis “Jerry” Gonzalez
Over the last few years, I have had the pleasure of representing you as your Delegate for the 65th district. During my term, I attended both of the annual conventions in Sacramento and San Diego. In addition, I helped establish Latinx Young Democrats which is an organization committed to increasing Latino engagement in the political process as well as preparing Latino leaders to run for public office. As a delegate, I supported local unions to push for community benefits agreements as well as serve as chair of a citizen’s oversight committee for the Centralia School District.
I have recently been elected to serve on the Centralia School Board of trustees, and as one of the youngest elected officials in orange county I plan to
Although California has made great strides at improving our education system, there is still so much more that still needs to be done. As a delegate and as an elected school board member for the Centralia School District, I plan to work with our state representatives to push for increasing California’s school funding so that we can better provide our 6.5 million students the resources they need to be successful in school. Additionally, I want to focus on closing the achievement gap through the use of dual immersion programs and other resources to ensure all our students have an equal opportunity to be successful regardless of their economic or ethnic background.
I’d like to ask for your support to allow me to continue representing you as your delegate for the 65Th District so that I may continue working on making sure California properly invests in our children’s futures.
Benjamin Gonzalez

I have sought to continue to make a difference in my community and give younger students a chance to have a voice in our local education and political systems. I am running to become a delegate for Assembly District 65 because I want to help those who are less fortunate than others and want to have an equal and better representation in their education and. I have lived in the 65th Assembly District and have been a proud Democrat all of my life. Aside from being involved with city council and school board races for more than 6 years, I have also been a constant volunteer with and for the public schools that I have attended, even after graduating.

All students, regardless of religion, race or political party deserve to receive beneficial and effective education within their own community.

I have been constant advocate for education, especially supporting the Visual & Performing Arts programs that have proven to provide our myself and other students with music making capabilities that will change their lives for years to come as they have for me. I have been a special student ambassador to the Japanese Green Band Association for the Tournament of Roses Association for six years and have been volunteered and supported instrumental music, dance and choir programs ranging from Buena Park, La Palma, Cypress, Anaheim, Fullerton and points elsewhere.

I hope to earn your support on my journey to provide young Democrats with the inspiration they need to make a difference within their community and education, and to someday run for public office themselves. It would be a great honor if you would allow me the opportunity to serve our strong party and assist it in moving our party forward together.

Ian J. Macdonald
Our environment, our country, and our world are facing an existential crisis. The issue of Climate Change poses an unprecedented threat, not only on our lives in the United States, but to the lives of the billions of other people whom we share this planet with. We, the members of the Democratic Party, have a responsibility to fight against the destructive policy initiatives implemented by Donald Trump. If we are to protect our way of life and the future of this Earth, we must be vigilant.
We must specify long-term goals with an urgent time schedule in order to ensure preventative measures are passed that are both environmentally conscious and economically efficient. As a candidate for Buena Park City Council I led the initiative to ban polystyrene, also known as styrofoam, a harmful carcinogen from city facilities. I also brought the proposal to our local school district which will become the first in the State of California to ban the harmful substance from its facilities to protect our children. Now, I look forward to working on our University Union Board of Trustees at Long Beach State University in order to push for the implementation of other similar programs on our campus.
As your Delegate, I have taken action to address the issues of Climate Change. My goals are to continue to represent you on the Environmental Caucus and to push for action to be taken at the Legislative Committee on the following points: (1) protect continued funding from cap & trade system toward renewable energy; (2) develop plans for more efficient public transportation to reduce traffic congestion and air pollution; (3) and advocate for a state Superfund to clean-up industrial pollution accidents.
Now is the time to act. To protect our Earth and our environment from the Trump administration, we need someone making an active effort on environmental issues as well as addressing the threat of Climate Change. I would like to continue representing you as your Delegate because I have the experience and commitment to implement solutions on these issues and make a difference for our communities. Along with the endorsement by Mirvette Judeh, our California Democratic Party Executive Board Member, your support will be deeply appreciated. Together, we will put our state at the forefront of the fight against Climate Change and continue leading the way.
Connor Traut

As a young elected official – having served you on our local school board for four years, and now as your city council member – I am proud to have fed more children in-need, brought free childcare, and saved a school from sale to wealthy developers. I take pride in mentoring young people to become impactful in our community. As Democrats, we have a mission to help improve the lives of all people, and I ask for your vote to continue that as a Delegate to the California Democratic Party.

As a Delegate these past four years – two of which were as your executive board representative – I have helped recruit Democrats to serve on city commissions and successfully run for local office. One of my specialized focuses has been to teach and support young people to become experts in their neighborhoods’ needs, work hard to be involved and build relationships, and ultimately step-up to be the change their neighbors deserve. This push for generational equity at the decision-making table only makes our communities better served.

When re-elected as a Delegate, I plan to work toward ensuring more Orange County appointments to State Party caucuses, helping create tangible resolutions and platform improvements that reflect the ever-changing needs of all people, and continuing to inform residents about the diverse ways they too can have an impactful voice in their own backyards.

In addition to serving as a city council member and having served as a school board member, I am a current board director with the local Boys and Girls Club, Cops for Kids, and Eli Home Shelters for Abused Children. My prior work experience includes as a Juvenile Justice Commissioner for the County of Orange and clerking for a Superior Court judicial officer. I am proud to be an Eagle Scout, and am completing my Juris Doctor at Chapman University School of Law.

I am honored to be endorsed by the incoming Governor of California, incoming California State Treasurer, multiple state and federal legislators, and many city council members and school board members. Thank you for your consideration to continue supporting active representation at the California Democratic Party, and know that I am always able to be reached directly at 714-747-6766.

I humbly ask for your vote.

Jose Trinidad Castaneda III

Jose Trinidad Castaneda III is running to earn your vote for California Democratic Party Delegate in AD65. Jose is the ProAgua Coordinator at the William C. Velasquez Institute in Los Angeles, where he engages with Latinx and Indigenous communities to promote civic engagement, social and economic justice, as well as sustainable policies. Due to his extensive knowledge on climate action, Jose played a significant role in the creation of the Los Angeles County Sustainability Master Plan.

Jose served as a municipal commissioner on the City of Fullerton Parks and Recreation Commission, as well as on the South Coast Air Quality Management District Youth Leaders Council. As an individual who grew up with asthma and bronchitis, Jose was the voice behind additional air quality sensors in North Orange County to benefit the health of working class communities of color most impacted by respiratory diseases.

In 2018, Jose received the Certificate of Leadership Award from State Senator Josh Newman for organizing the March for Science and People’s Climate March in Orange County. Jose recently ran for Fullerton City Council before suspending his campaign to run in a future election.

As your delegate, Jose is committed to being your voice, training a new generation of progressive leaders, and introducing policies that promote prosperity and accountability within the party.

Ahmad Zahra
Fulfilling my promise to that special lady with her torch of freedom who welcomed me 22 years ago as a young immigrant, that I’d uphold the values for which she stands, I had the privilege of serving for my first term as an elected delegate and was proud to do my part in bringing positive change to our 65th North Orange district change we witnessed in this last election!
During my term, I participated in both conventions, attended the Executive Board meetings, and attended local party meetings and activities. I also served as Southern Vice Chair of the Arab American Caucus where we expanded our community outreach, set up training seminars on Party Structure, held public events introducing our Democratic elected officials to our community, and participated in labor events and calls to action.
I actively engaged and got involved in our local Indivisble group to create a bridge with our local party and worked with other active delegates to create strategic plans for more local engagement.
Being inspired by the need for local change, I ran for public office and was elected to the Fullerton City Council in its first district election.
I’d like to seek another term as delegate so I may continue the work of bringing positive and progressive change locally, and to help engage a new generation of Democrats in our 65th District. I hope to earn your support and vote to do so.
Sincerely, Ahmad