AD76: Coastal North County, stretching from Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton in the north to Encinitas in the south.

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 27, 2019
Doors Open: 11:30am
Candidate Speeches Begin: 12:00pm
Registration & Voting: 12:30pm-2:30pm

Oceanside Public Library
330 North Coast Hwy
Oceanside, CA 92054

*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

Mustafa Nizam

Co-founder and President of San Diego Muslim Democratic Club

Also vote for Mustafa for e-board rep.

Kyle Bright

Activist and Youth Organizer

Steve Burrell

Union Organizer and Rep, Community Organizer, Campaign Organizer

Will Dawley

Elected representative to State Council of the California Teacher’s Association

Jim Hesson

Progressive Activist

Kyle Thayer

Progressive Paramedic and Incumbent Delegate.

Carl Wood

Union Organizer, Community Activist

Laura Cunningham

Vice Chair North San Diego Progressive Democratic Club

Marge Kealey

Lifetime Political Activist

Meg Ley

San Diego Superior Court Clerk

Dinah Poellnitz

Community Organizer

Joely Proudfit
Sarah Spinks

Public Arts Commission

Izzy Vineyard

President Progressive Students of MiraCosta

Your Progressive Executive Board Candidate

Vote for Delegate AND Executive Board Rep.
Mustafa Nizam

Co-founder and President of San Diego Muslim Democratic Club

Detailed Information

Mustafa Nizam

My name is Mustafa Nizam and I currently serve as the Ex-Officio member for AD-76. I live in Vista, CA and have lived in AD-76 for 15 years. As the co-founder and current President of the San Diego Muslim Democratic Club, a member of the Vista Democratic Club and The San Diego Progressive Democratic Club I bring in mush needed diversity and the ability to reach out to and connect with different communities and understand the issues that underserved communities face.

I am a husband to my wife Tazheen and we have a 12 year old daughter Sabreena. Politics’ and serving my community are my passion. I believe everybody deserves full participation in our democracy and this can be achieved through education and civic engagement.  I have an excellent understanding of the political landscape in AD-76 and throughout San Diego County and California. People in the party and in the community know me as a person who will stand up for what is right and speak the truth. I will hold our elected officials accountable to insure they are aware of issues affecting their constituents. I believe that if we want to continue to win as Democrats in the county, we need to develop a bench of candidates and community leaders, who will be able to run or help others run for office in future elections. This will ensure that we will have a Democratic majority for years to come.

My name is Mustafa Nizam and I will be honored to earn your vote.

Kyle Bright

My name is Kyle Bright and I’m a 22 year old activist and youth organiser. I’ve been honoured to represent our community to the California Democratic Party these past two years, and I hope to earn your vote again so that I can continue representing the progressive values of the 76th.

This past election has proven how much we can accomplish when young and diverse Americans are brought to the table and given the chance to lead. Seeing young candidates like Corina Contreras, Sara Jacobs, and Priya Bhat-Patel run was inspiring and beyond exciting. Getting young folk to engage with politics or take the leap to run for office is hard though. I hear from my fellow Young Democrats every day how powerless they feel and how difficult it is to even get their foot in the door. As the President of the North County Young Democrats, California College Democrats South State Regional Director, and former President of the Democrats of MiraCosta College, it is my passion and mission to elevate and empower my fellow Young Democrats. I’m incredibly proud to have helped students start Democratic clubs at four high schools, six colleges, and connect them with opportunities to work as staff on political campaigns, internships, and even run for office themselves.

Our party needs to be better about elevating working class and low-income Californians as well. Being an ADEM is not cheap. The costs effectively disqualify candidates who struggle to make ends meet. Like hundreds of families here in the 76th, my parents are Marine and Air Force veterans and struggle with bills and debt – often not knowing if we’ll be able to afford rent or groceries next month. I’m thankfully able to share hotel rooms and carpools with other Young Democrats but, as a student on Medi-Cal and food stamps, I’m always conscious that my vote and voice represents everyone who can’t be a delegate.

Our party also needs to continue the progress we’ve made and bring more diverse and intersectional voices into the decision making process. As a gay and autistic man, I know how important it is to be an advocate and champion for my LGBTQ+ siblings and the entire mental health and disabilities community. If I’m fortunate enough to earn re-election, I will continue to fight for a Democratic Party that centres the voices of marginalised communities and takes oppression and injustice head on.

Steve Burrell

I am running for delegate because I believe true progressive voices must be heard within the Democratic Party. I have spent most of my life fighting for social justice. As a volunteer with Cesar Chavez,as a union organizer and rep., as a community organizer, and campaign organizer. I am also a gay man, that believes that members of the LGBTQ Community should be represented at all levels of politics. We need people whom are willing to work to make the Democratic Party the  political base of sustainable power. We must take this moment in time to build sustainable power through our organizing efforts. We have the support of the majority of the people of this country for the issues that we all care about. Let’s spend the next two years working together, committed to building power. Organization is power! I would be honored and humbled to be a part of that effort, and to serve as a delegate.

Will Dawley

I am running for reelection to continue to represent the Democrats of Assembly District 76 because Assembly District Delegates have a crucial part to play in making sure that Democrats care about people and their communities and act accordingly. I have a number of roles in our community that help me speak for our shared, Democratic values. As the treasurer of MiraCosta College’s associate faculty union (and an instructor in anthropology at the college), I am committed to building our community not only through education but as a labor representative, representing over 400 members in the largest labor union in the U.S (the National Education Association, or NEA) and all of California as an elected representative to the State Council of the California Teacher’s Association (the largest NEA affiliate in the country), which tries to shape and influence California’s educational policy. Locally, I also serve as the secretary for the North County Labor Alliance (NCLA), which represents unions in North County San Diego ranging from education and healthcare to the building trades and public servants, endorsing and supporting candidates throughout the region and statewide.
I promise that, if reelected, I will faithfully and eagerly act as a voice not only for the communities of AD76 or for education and labor, but for the heartfelt values that make the Democratic party a friend of educators and workers and ordinary people across California and the rest of the nation. Delegates have an important role in making sure elected representatives stick to those values  especially the high value that we place on ordinary people and the common good in the Democratic Party. I promise to continue to execute this power to best of my abilities, working with local Democratic groups and voters to shape Democratic politics at the local, state, and national levels.
In 2017, many of us recommitted ourselves to reviving the Democratic Party’s fortunes and its values. We sent an important message by electing a progressive slate to represent us in the California Democratic Party, but we still have important work to do in 2019 and 2020. In that spirit of solidarity, I humbly ask for your vote for assembly district delegate and for your continued support in the fight ahead.

Jim Hesson

The defining moment of my political consciousness came at age 14, when my father, a boilermaker, had a major heart attack and discovered his lungs were filled with asbestos fiber, forcing him to stop working, while our family with six children struggled to survive on disability benefits of a mere $12,000 a year. I remember these as dark and stressful times, but my life grew brighter at age 17 when I met a social activist priest who preached against income inequality, poverty, hunger, police brutality, racism, violence, and war. He encouraged me to volunteer in a soup kitchen and support the United Farm Workers boycott. His message was empowering, giving my life direction and planting a seed that grew into a lifetime passion of supporting social justice movements. He inspired me to go to college and earn a degree in Social Thought and Political Economy.

I worked in various human services jobs over the years, and then, in public schools teaching English language learners, incorporating Paulo Freire’s Pedagogy of the Oppressed into my classroom. I protested against military aid to repressive regimes; marched against apartheid; protested against the Gulf War, and wars in Afghanistan and Iraq; supported union organizing efforts; fundraised for a group serving the poor in Haiti; supported homeless squatters; fundraised for Greenpeace, Oxfam, Union of Concerned Scientists; attended Occupy Wall Street rallies, and Marched in the Women’s March.

As an ADEM delegate, I  spoke in Democratic clubs and organized informational presentations promoting SB562, California’s single-payer plan, and distributed hundreds of fliers on it while canvassing for candidates like Doug Applegate, Marggie Castellano, and Elizabeth Warren, staunch supporters of universal healthcare.  Coming from a working-class neighborhood and a Labor Democrat family, I support candidates and movements fighting against decades of rising income inequality, stagnant wages, including support for unions and the Fight for the Fifteen and other initiatives that benefit working- and middle-class Americans. My greatest hope is that in time, the Democratic Party will denounce all corporate funding, and return to its previous role as an unwavering defender of working-class Americans. As a delegate I will prioritize supporting single-payer healthcare, the Green New Deal, and money out of politics.

Kyle Thayer

Progressive paramedic, and current incumbent delegate.

Carl Wood

If elected to represent our Assembly District AD 76 in the California Democratic Party, I will be a True Progressive.  I will support Democrats who do not accept corporate donations. To pass essential progressive legislation we need Democrats who are free from corporate influence and obligations.  My policy goals include the Healthy California Act that provides improved Medicare for All, a Living Wage of at least $15/hour, the Green New Deal for a healthy environment with good new jobs in a peace economy, and legislation to promote strong Unions.

Born into a progressive family, I have been a participant in movements for racial justice, peace and labor rights since childhood.  As a student at UC Riverside in the 1960s, I worked to overcome racial discrimination in housing and employment, collected food to support the farm workers union and organized the city’s first demonstrations against the war in Vietnam.

As a conscientious objector, I served two years of alternative service at Patton State Hospital during the war, where I became chief steward of American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees Local 128.  I then completed an apprenticeship and worked as an electrician at U.S. Steel in Gary, Indiana and Kaiser Steel in Fontana, CA.

After being laid off during the severe downturn in the steel industry in 1981, I went to work in the power plants of Southern California Edison, where I was elected shop steward and rose to become chief officer of 2000-member Utility Workers Union of America Local 246 in 1986, also serving on the union’s National Executive Board and on the executive board of the San Diego-Imperial Counties Labor Council.

In June 1999, at the request of the unions in the utility industry and the state AFL-CIO, I was appointed by Governor Davis to a 6-year term on the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC), where I played a significant role in protecting California from the consequences of its disastrous deregulation experiment.

After my service on the CPUC, I consulted for utility unions in the U.S., Europe, Asia and Mexico, then worked as National Representative for the Utility Workers Union until my retirement in 2016.

Throughout my life, my lodestar has always been the fight for social justice.  I am proud to wear the label of corporate-free True Progressive.

Laura Cunningham

I’ve been a proud progressive Democrat since 1968, when I embraced Bobby Kennedy’s message of hope. I have worked every presidential campaign since, and canvassed and phone-banked for dozens of candidates up and down the ballot. I’ve worked for and against ballot measures, and logged many miles from my 60s anti-war rallies, through demonstrations for LGBTQ rights, Planned Parenthood, gun safety, and healthcare, to years of rallies outside many Congressional offices. Long before the word “progressive” had entered the political vocabulary, my choices were always for the candidates who sought to move us forward, to bring needed change, to question the status quo, and remain corporate-free. My values are easily defined:  protect our planet and its resources, provide (equally!) for the health and well-being of all people, and promote a California Democratic Party which holds the highest standards in ethics, transparency, service, and access to its members. And I believe money should not be a part of the political process!

I currently serve as Vice Chair for the North Area Chapter of San Diego Progressive Democratic Club. I am also a founding member and elected Vice Chair for a new progressive club currently being formed. I’m a member of DEMCCO, and recently served on the Endorsement Committee. I was honored to serve the 76th as an Assembly District Delegate for the 2013/14 term. I have renewed my membership in the Progressive, Women’s, Environmental, and Disabled caucuses. I have recently joined several clubs, including North County Latino Democrats, Democratic Woman’s Club of SD County, SD Democrats for Equality, and SD Democrats for Environmental Action, because giving our clubs a bigger voice serves the greatest number of people, and I urge you all to join me in this.

If elected to represent you, I will work for a CDP where our voices matter more than those at the top, where unbought and unbossed candidates are supported, and grassroots set the agenda. My activism will continue whether or not I am elected, but I would truly appreciate the chance to advocate for our district. Thank you!

Marge Kealey

I am a Red Diaper Baby.  I have been exposed to progressive ideas and movements my entire life. I walked my first picket line when I was 9 years old.

I have been a political activist my entire life.  As a senior citizen, I have seen it all and will not stop fighting until they shut the lid on my coffin.  I have been involved with progressive politics in San Diego County for over 50 years and continue to have many contacts in the progressive community and in 2016 served as an alternate Delegate from the 76th Assembly District at the State convention.  As a Californian and citizen of the planet, I place the well-being of the people as my highest priority. I believe in the values of community, empathy, equality, tolerance, opportunity, and the common good of the interdependent world we share.

I am most concerned about:                                                                                                                             
1 GETTING BIG MONEY OUT OF POLITICS, Corporations are artificial entities, and not entitled to Constitutional protections as persons. I oppose the undue influence of corporations on our political process                                                                                                                    2 UNIVERSAL HEALTH CARE Health care is a basic human right.
3 UNIVERSAL EDUCATION      The backbone of our democracy is a free, universal  public school system (pre-K through post-secondary), designed to educate informed, reasoning, and thoughtful persons who are critical-thinking lifelong learners prepared to participate in our society

4.ECONOMIC SECURITY FOR THE LOW AND MIDDLE CLASS POPULATION. Income inequality is the driving issue of our time I am committed to a sustainable economy with strong communities based on living-wage jobs, tax fairness, and shared prosperity. Every worker must have the right to organize and bargain collectively to determine their pay, benefits, and working conditions.

Meg Ley

My name is Megan Ley and I was born and raised in Oceanside, California. For those who might not know me, this is my background in a nutshell:

I attended Mira Costa College before transferring to UNC-Chapel Hill where I pursued a BA in Studio Art with a minor in philosophy, political science, and economics. After graduating, I worked on cruise ships selling artwork and met people from all walks of life. This job was an experience that I’m grateful for because it showed me we all have struggles we’re working through. Due to family obligations, I returned home and attended UCSD Extension’s ABA-Approved Paralegal Certification program. Since graduating with honors and obtaining my certificate, I have interned at the Public Defender’s Office and now currently work as a court clerk at the San Diego Superior Court. If there’s one thing my background can tell you, it’s that I am able to combine creativity and logic in order to achieve my goals. Given my unique background and the skill set that comes with it; I would love to be utilized as one of your Assembly District Delegates.

At the heart of it, the reason why I am running is because I care about our community and our country. While I’ve been a registered Democrat for almost 10 years, 2016 was a wake up call for myself and many others. That year I knew it was time to walk the walk and get involved.

During our last election cycle, I volunteered for three candidates by phone banking and canvassing for them. After Election Day 2018, I still had that fire in me to continue our fight Ð For affordable healthcare, for better education, for a cleaner environment, and for stronger and kinder communities. As a progressive, I am fully committed to immersing myself in the Democratic Party in order to achieve those goals.

Most importantly, the 76th Assembly District is my home. For that reason, it would be my greatest honor to represent you and our community.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me:

With hope,
Meg Ley

Dinah Poellnitz

Hi my name is Dinah Poellnitz, a curator, single mom to the fullest, artist, a veteran’s daughter, and community organizer who co-founded Oceanside’s Art Walk and  organizes an art space, The Hill Street Country Club a name that’s inspired by my Oceanside/Vista childhood memories of poverty, working class, diverse friendships and family life.  I believe it’s time to stop settling for third prize ideas. I’ve dedicated my last seven years building social capital and creating a gathering space for the community to evolve our conversations into ideas with solutions through the art experience in the art space and extending into our communities with workshops  and offsite exhibitions. I believe my neighbor should have access to Free healthcare, quality public education, rent controlled housing, environmental safe air for our kids to breath, income equality for mothers, free childcare, remove profits from prison, socialize our law enforcement to interact with communities outside the patrol car like picking up trash and walking the streets.  I’m a progressive black Women who votes for our betterment of our family experience.

Joely Proudfit
Sarah Spinks

At nineteen, I participated in a study abroad program in Tuebingen, Germany through my alma mater Cal State San Marcos (BA Literature 2004) that broadened my world view, but also helped me deepen my understanding of myself and where I come from and where I still live, Vista, CA. After college, I took a leap and began a career as a tattoo artist. The ability to listen is necessary for collaboration, and one cannot truly listen to others if they lack empathy. My entire career, and now my work in the community, all of the successes I have experienced were because of my ability to be patient, listen and understand others.

In 2011, I began to deepen my involvement with the City of Vista and became a leader in art activity, eventually becoming chair of the Public Arts Commission and starting a small non-profit, The Backfence Society, engaging community through art where we provide platform for creativity and also perform trashwalks through a program called Only Losers Litter.

Through the arts, I have met many community stakeholders and learned of their passions for the betterment of Vista and North County. During the 2018 election, I assisted two democratic candidates as they ran for seats on Vista City Council, championing for inclusive community engagement, public safety, infrastructure and climate action goals.

Izzy Vineyard

My involvement in politics started at the end of my high school career and stuck with me ever since. It was at the start of the 2016 election campaigning, when Trump stepped onto the scene. His campaign sparked an anger, and passion, in me that I never knew I had. That’s when I knew this had to be my way of life, trying to create change in our government and society. When I started college, I joined political clubs and decided my major was going to be political science, in hopes to run for office one day. Ever since, I have started my very own club that I am now the President of, The Progressive Students of MiraCosta, heavily volunteered for the ACLU, and was involved in the Sarah Jacobs campaign for the 49th Congressional district. There are many issues that I care deeply about but being a college student that was raised by a single mom, tuition-free colleges and universities has to be on the top of my list. Without the financial ease of going to MiraCosta first, I don’t know if I would have been able to go straight to a 4-year university and achieve my dreams. I am also a huge environmentalist, which is why I am vegan, and is why I support the Green New Deal. With all of the scary reports coming out about how we are practically doomed by 2040, I believe we as a people need to come together and realize what we are doing to the earth and act now, solutions need to be brought to the table, or else we won’t be able to stick around much longer. We need the earth a lot more than the earth needs us. I have a very progressive mentality, I believe in Medicare for all, giving women a choice, and the basic fundamentals of humanity and equity. I want to be apart of the ADEMs so that I can be a part of a Democratic Party that creates change, put my true progressive values into action and see them incorporated into my government. I want people to be proud to call themselves a Democrat knowing change is on the horizon because of us.