AD9 - Sacramento & Lodi Counties

What are Assembly District Delegates?

Every two years, the CA Democrats elect 7 self-identified females and 7 other than self-identified females from each Assembly District in CA as delegates to the state party. Those who are elected will have a chance to vote for the new party chair and other leadership. The race is hotly contested and will determine how welcoming, grassroots-focused and innovative the party becomes or how beholden it will remain to big money interests.

Delegates elect Party officers, endorse candidates for statewide, legislative and congressional office, attend the annual convention, network with other Democrats, represent your constituency, promote the California Democratic Party agenda, and vote to endorse resolutions and ballot measures.

You get 14 votes for delegates, 1 of which you must also vote for Executive Board Representative.

Voting Time & Location

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

Bakers’ Union Local 85
7125 Governors Cir.
Sacramento, CA 95823

Cross streets: Near East Parkway & Florin Rd.

*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 candidates!

Samantha Anaya

Incumbent- Assembly District 9 Delegate
Secretary, Latino Democratic Club
Alternate Member, Democratic Party of Sacramento County

Dennessa Atiles

Community Organizer, Mom
Director – Indivisible CA-7
President – Wellstone Progressive Democrats of Sacramento
Associate Member – Sacramento Democratic Party

Regina Q. Banks, JD

Public Policy Director
Indivisible, Sacramento Executive Board Member
Past National Second Vice President Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc.

Nancy Castignetti

Associate Member, Democratic Party of Sacramento County
2018 Pre-Endorsement Caucus Representative, Elk Grove South County Democratic Club
Contributing Social Media Director, 350 Sacramento
Outreach Coordinator, Swing Left CA-07

Maureen Craft

Incumbent- Assembly District 9 Delegate
Executive Board Member, Democratic Party of Sacramento County
Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., Member
South County Democrats, Member

Mandeep Kaur

Sacramento County Democratic Party, Associate Member
Lead Inspector for inaugural voting center at Gurdwara Dashmesh Darbar Sahib (Sikh Temple)
Gurdwara Dashmesh Darbar Sacramento, Sunday School Administrator

Megan Varvais

Consumer activist
Mom, worker, first generation college graduate
Communications Director of Wellstone Progressive Democrats of Sacramento

Amar Shergill

Incumbent CDP Executive Board Member
Capital City Trial Lawyers Association, Board Member
Sacramento County Equal Employment Opportunity Advisory Committee
American Sikh Public Affairs Association, Board Member
Proud Father of Three Great Children

Vote for Amar for both Delegate and E-Board representative!

Gurneel Boparai

College Campaign Organizer for Democrat Dr. Hans Keirstead – 48th Congressional District
College Campaign Employee for – Democrat Katie Porter – 48th Congressional District
Assembly District 9 Proxy Delegate
California Public Interest Research Group – UCI Chapter Student Volunteer
Former Senate President, University of California – Irvine
2016 Democratic National Convention, Youth Analyst Attendee
Youth Broadcast & Media Association, Former Sacramento Co-Chair

Peter Brogan

Organizer & Representative
National Union of Healthcare Workers
Sacramento-Democratic Socialist of America, Labor Committee Chairperson

Miguel Cordova

Vice President of Sacramento Latino Dems (past President)
Co-Founder of Sacramento Immigration Coalition
Leader in SEIU Local 1000 (Bargaining Unit Chair and Latin@ Committee Chair)
Education Programs Consultant at California Department of Education

Yassar Dabhour

Sacramento Regional Coalition for Palestinian Human Rights, Co-Founder
Palestine American League, President
Civil and Human Rights Activist

Steve Ly

Mayor, City of Elk Grove
Assembly District 9 Delegate
Member, Elk Grove-South County Democrats
Member, Wellstone Progressive Democrats
Member, API Democrats
Member, Stonewall Democrats

Mahmoud Zahrayi

Policy & Advocacy Coordinator- CAIR Sacramento Valley/Central California
Advocacy Committee Member – Sacramento FUEL Network
Member- Sacramento Immigration Coalition
Representative- Central Valley Immigration integration Collaborative
Representative of Beit Hanina Community Center

Detailed Information
AD9 ADEM candidates slate card

Samantha Anaya

I am running to be an Assembly District Delegate as a progressive voice and a grassroots activist who will fight to uphold the core principles of social, environmental and economic justice. A resident of the Sacramento area for the last 12 years, my story is rooted in my childhood growing up in the Central Valley of California.

A child of field worker grandparents, I was raised in the creed that opportunity and hard work will get you ahead, but it is no use going alone. It is this which fuels my passion for uplifting our community.

As a Delegate for the last two years, I worked to hold our party leaders accountable to our core values and put boots on the ground to get Democrats elected.

If honored with the opportunity to serve AD 9, I will continue to be an active voice in our party. My history working in the labor movement shows me, when we unite in solidarity there is nothing we cannot accomplish. The blue wave proves that engagement is at record heights. I am committed to help elect party leaders and candidates that are focused on building sustainable alliances and going in to all of California’s communities to empower everyone to have a voice in our government, in and between elections.

Dennessa Atiles

I believe in democracy. I believe in people over profits. I want the Democratic Party to be the voice of the working class and the marginalized, not just in platitudes but in actions. I would like to be part of enacting urgent matters like abolishing the prison and military industrial complexes, adopting national Medicare for all, passing an Equal Rights Amendment, and banning fracking and moving to 100% sustainable energy among many other issues. I want money out of politics and out of the party. As a delegate, I will work with our party to see these changes and our platform ideals come to fruition.

I’m a community organizer and I work in food service. I am a bi-sexual Latina woman. I’m a mom. I know the importance of affordable housing, free high-quality education and fair and equal pay. I AM the base of the Democratic Party. I’ve worked to strengthen and expand the party in my community serving as the President of Wellstone Progressive Democrats of Sacramento and as Director of an Indivisible group, The Resistance Indivisible CA-7. I’m ready to take that leadership into the state party to ensure that CADEM lives up to the obligations of our platform and that our resources are allocated to the people in the communities we represent.

I am proud to call myself a progressive and I would be honored to represent our community. I humbly ask for your vote for myself and our entire Progressive Labor Alliance Slate.

Regina Q. Banks, JD

As a Public Policy Director, I organize and advocate for California families from a faith-based and ecumenical perspective. I am proud to be endorsed for Assembly District Delegate by progressive and religious leaders in our area. I am a member of both St. Andrews AME Church in downtown Sacramento and Congregation Beth Shalom in Carmichael. My faith fuels belief in progressive ideals for the issues that plague our community. Similarly, my faith fuels my community activism. I am a proud member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., and serve on the Executive Board of Indivisible, Sacramento.

I am a long-time daughter of the district. I moved with my family to Sacramento in 1988 and live in  our family home in South Sacramento. I graduated from Florin High School in 1997 and continue to volunteer in Elk Grove Unified School District. My community  leadership was developed here  through family ties and years of participation in service organizations like Jack and Jill of America.

As a lifelong Democrat it would be an honor to serve my community as Assembly District Delegate because I believe in the Progressive agenda for California. Despite the recent attacks on the levers of government undertaken in plain view, solutions are available. For example: I believe in public election financing, automatic voter registration and an end to partisan gerrymandering. I know that climate change is real and happening now, and whether you call it “environmentalism” or “creation care” we deserve a Green New Deal. And perhaps most pressingly, I believe in Medicare for All! Together we can move California forward boldly and with compassion.

Nancy Castignetti

I’ve spent my professional life advocating for marginalized communities, including resettling political refugees in New Orleans, teaching adults living with mental illness in Chicago, and implementing a literacy program for children attending a bilingual Head Start center in Milwaukee. Currently, I’m a working single parent of two young children, and hold two jobs as an educator and healthcare provider for pediatric clients with neurodevelopmental disabilities in Sacramento County. I am a member of UPTE-CWA union, and an avid supporter of workers’ rights. Having lived in several U.S. states and regions, I’ve made CA my home with a feeling of great love for our beautiful and expansive state, and the enormous potential we have locally to influence our entire nation and the world by implementing forward-thinking and bold legislative measures.

As a lifelong Democrat and activist, I’ve had a political resurgence when I became inspired and involved as a volunteer with Bernie Sanders’ campaign during the 2016 primaries; and subsequently, in opposition to the bigotry and corruption that has become increasingly apparent in our government since the 2016 election. I believe that U.S. campaign finance laws promote undue influence of a small number of vastly wealthy individuals and the corporate interests they represent, usurping the democratic ideal of a government by and for the people. I will use my voice as a counterbalance to the power of big donors, and to hold our elected Democratic legislators accountable to us, their working-class constituents; and responsible for reflecting our progressive values related to the inherent dignity of all human beings, and the preservation of social, economic, and environmental justice.

Maureen Craft

As a current Assembly District Delegate, I have stood strong with my progressive colleagues.  I have had the hard conversations with politicians and continue to work for you. If re-elected, I will continue to work hard to strengthen the Democratic Party that stands for unions, fights for the poor, believes in universal healthcare and equality for all.

As a member of the Executive Board of the Democratic Party of Sacramento County, we are on precipice of justice for all in Sacramento County. As a past candidate for Elk Gove City Council and an advocate for diversity and change, I will continue to put the communities needs in the forefront and fight for policies needed to make a difference.

I am a child of a single working mother so I understand the importance of equal pay and the benefits it would bring to have universal healthcare. The parents in our communities need to know that the hard labor on their jobs is going yield enough pay to provide for their families.

I would be honored to be able to continue to serve you in the community. The last two years as a delegate has been extremely insightful and fulfilling. I have been given a wonderful opportunity to serve you and affect change. Although we have made strides in making those  changes we still have a lot of work ahead of us. I am prepared and eager to take on the challenges of continuing this work. I respectfully ask for your vote so that I may continue to serve you as an Assembly District Delegate for District 9.

Mandeep Kaur

Hi, my name is Mandeep Kaur. I am a Sacramento State student pursuing my bachelor’s degree in Human Resources, Economics and a minor in Computer Information Systems. As a first-time candidate for ADEMs, I am excited to have a voice for the Sikh community and the millennials of Assembly District 9.

As an active member in the Sikh Community, I am heavily involved in coordinating events for the Sikh Temple Dashmesh Darbar of Sacramento.  This past election we were fortunate to have the Sikh Temple as a voting center for the first time. Both primary and general elections were held and were very successful. As a lead inspector for both elections, I was humbled and astonished by the turn out we had of first-time voters.

As a member of ADEMs, I will be honored to stand and serve at the pleasure of my community. Standing for equal opportunity and diversity in the workforce, I believe everyone regardless of gender, ethnicity, age, or social standing should be given an opportunity to make a difference and be a part of a change. Together, I believe we can move California into being a more progressive state and make a difference.

Megan Varvais

My name is Megan Varvais. I am a consumer activist, through my job at the Consumer Federation of California and work for the Consumers for Auto Reliability and Safety Foundation. We have taken on Wells Fargo, big telecom, the insurance industry, and tech companies. I also serve on the board of Wellstone Progressive Democrats of Sacramento. I am a working parent and a first-generation college graduate.

I would like the Democratic party to: fight for consumers’ rights, including privacy; directly confront and expose dog whistle campaigning and policies; protect workers’ rights, including living wages and the ability to organize; protect our 7th Amendment rights and ban the use of mandatory binding arbitration in consumer and employment contracts; fight for single-payer, universal healthcare; pass the 28th Amendment to end corporate personhood and divest money from politics; and emphatically embrace the Green New Deal. These are the issues important to me right now, but there’s always room for more. I look forward to connecting with other progressive activists and learning more about what’s important to them. Let’s get into good trouble together!

The gap between the Republican and Democratic party has narrowed as so-called “business” and “mod” Democrats become elected. They will vote for the easy, feel-good social issues that don’t really affect their corporate overlords, but they do not step up and fight for workers and consumers when it really matters. The resulting voter apathy is an existential threat to democracy and stability.

I am tired of our elected officials allowing our resources to strain to the breaking point under corporate cost-externalizing. When Walmart doesn’t provide healthcare, or Wells Fargo spends $25 billion on stock buybacks while laying off 18,000 workers, or Exxon denies climate change to protect profits, we all pay.

Amar Shergill

If you have taken the time to come to this website and review candidate qualifications, you probably care a great deal about the future of our country and seek to ensure that your vote supports those that share your ideals.  Let me make it easy; you will know me by my support for the following:

Medicare For All
Black Lives Matter
Pro-Union and Pro-Labor
Housing as a Human Right
100% Renewable Energy
Comprehensive Immigration Reform
Tuition-Free Public College
Women’s Reproductive Rights
Reinstate the Voting Rights Act
Corporate PAC Money Out of Campaigns
Criminal Justice Reform
No For-Profit Prisons
Democratization of the California Democratic Party

If re-elected, I pledge to continue my work with bold progressive colleagues to build a California Democratic Party that fights for the poor, for working families and for policies that are based in morality and equality of opportunity. As the child of a working-class immigrant mother raising two children after the death of her husband, I understand that free public education, single-payer healthcare and universal equal rights are the cornerstones of a just society. As a father of three, I am determined to do the hard work necessary to build our party into the organization that will be a worthy caretaker for future generations.

In my role as a board member of the Capitol City Trial Lawyers Association, I work to ensure that we all have an equal access to justice so that we can fight against the powerful interests intent on benefitting at our expense. My leadership role in civic activism began after the shooting deaths of two Sikh grandfathers in Elk Grove. As a Sikh, I was touched by the outpouring of support from diverse religious, ethnic and political organizations in the region. I have committed my energies to helping all communities find a voice in civic affairs and supporting organizations that believe in strength through diversity. If re-elected as a delegate, I will be diligent and faithful in serving the best interests of our community, our state and our party.

I humbly request your vote and thank you for your consideration. Do not hesitate to contact me at with any questions or concerns. You can also find me on Facebook at

Gurneel Boparai

For years, it has been my privilege and honor to work with our Assembly District 9 delegates and to build relations with local communities and grassroot organizations. My interest in advocacy was sparked early in my life, when I received an opportunity to meet with the Elk Grove Mayor and pose questions that were important to me and my peers. Since then, I have made it my mission to uplift the many voices around me to build a stronger sense of community.

Recently, while pursuing my bachelor’s degrees in Political Science and Philosophy and minor in Accounting at University of California, Irvine. I helped organize Democrat Candidates in the 45th and 48th Congressional Districts of California in Orange County. I was tasked with building relations with local organizations, training volunteers how to phone bank and canvas neighborhoods, and cutting up precincts for canvasing. We successfully were able to overturn the two districts, along with the entirety of Orange county, to blue districts as a part of the grander blue wave that overtook the Congressional House in the 2018 midterms.

Last academic year, I served two consecutive terms as the Associated Students of UCI Senate President, initially elected as the youngest Senate President in the organization’s sixty-eight-year history. During my service, I prioritized supporting our AFSCME 3299 and UAW 2865 campus chapters in their negotiations for better employment contracts. I took lead in re-chartering California Public Interest Research Group (CALPIRG) a student lobby group that operates at colleges across California to challenge big and special interests. I also worked alongside our FRESH Basic Needs Hub to help tackle student food insecurity by destigmatizing and rebranding food stamps in our CalFRESH program to boost student enrollment.

If elected, I aspire to work with the ADEMs to continue to advocate for the needs of those around me and continue to uplift the downtrodden by challenging the socio-economic barriers they face. I believe now, more than ever, that we must work to ensure equal opportunities for Americans of all backgrounds, challenging policies that suggest otherwise. As a unified community, I believe we can pursue more progressive policies that aid our local communities, our California State as a whole, and provide a leading example for the rest of our nation.

Peter Brogan

Although I had only been in Sacramento for less than a year at the time, I ran to be a delegate three years ago with a team of progressive and labor activists in AD 9 and across the Sacramento region. I ran the first time and am running now because I believed that the California Democratic Party needs to be transformed into a democratic, grassroots vehicle for social justice and systemic transformation. While our elected leaders in California often claim the mantle of progressive, what many of them do in practice while in power is disgraceful. Our elected officials—Both Democrat and Republican—often work to advance the interests of corporate power over the working-class majority and marginalized, whom the Democratic Party should be seeking to empower and advocate for in both the halls of power and in our communities. Sadly, many of our elected officials do not seem to be held accountable by the Party, and continue to receive its endorsement even after demonstrating their allegiance to the interests of corporate power.

As a working-class kid raised by a single mom, who went from being a high school dropout that was on a precarious path in life to a PhD and a career as a union organizer in Sacramento, I work tirelessly every single day to build the capacity of workers to change the world by helping them to build their collective power in the workplace and in their communities. Whether it is in the streets, the workplace, or the legislature, the only effective way to take on the power of organized money is with the power of organized people. The work that I do as union organizer and as a Delegate for AD 9 has been fueled by a vision that I believe the Democratic Party must move towards if we are to be a true champion of working class and marginalized communities in California and across the country, that of democratic socialism.

Democratic socialism puts the needs of people before profit, which as newly elected New York Congress woman, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez has so beautifully said, means that, “every American should have stable, dignified housing; health care; education—that the most very basic needs to sustain modern life should be guaranteed in a moral society.” This is the world that we need to fight for and to do that we need a Democratic Party that is truly democratic and rooted in the power of neighborhoods, unionized workplaces, and in our Assembly Districts.

If re-elected, I will work with my fellow delegates on the Progressive-Labor slate to continue our work to deepen and expand this kind of progressive, grassroots power as the model for our Democratic Party and the kind of social, economic, and political institutions that we need to be a compassionate, just, and equitable society that meets the needs of all our people. A vote for me and my Progressive-Labor slate will help move us towards making such a world a reality.

Miguel Cordova

Vice President of Sacramento Latino Dems (past President), Co-Founder of Sacramento Immigration Coalition, Leader in SEIU Local 1000 (Bargaining Unit Chair and Latin@ Committee Chair), and Education Programs Consultant at California Department of Education

I am running as a Delegate to the California Democratic Party and as a progressive voice to ensure those who feel “voiceless” are heard. Raised by a single mom, in an immigrant family, and surrounded by opportunities in agriculture which helps make California the 5th largest economy in the world. I also represent labor. As a union leader, we continue to fight against the “haves” that are determined to take the workers voice away.

I have experienced feeling voiceless, insignificant…disregarded. But I learned to rise up and fight back and I vow to keep our elected representatives and our Democratic Party accountable.

Almost 25 years living in Sacramento County and it is not just my home now, but my family’s home and the birthplace of my daughter. Local struggles with housing, homelessness, education, police shootings, compounded with statewide challenges such as high cost of living, environmental issues, transportation, and further complicated by national issues such as immigration, an inequitable economy that favors the rich, and an executive branch that needs to be replaced in two years, we have our work cut out for us. But we have hope to unify so many and truly build not just a Party that stands for us all, but a country.

Yassar Dabhour

My name is Yassar Dahbour. I am an activist for human rights at large with a focus on Palestinian human rights. I have settled in Sacramento in 1991 where I pursued education in political science, business administration and technology. Having grown up in refugee camp, where one continuously struggles against all odds to better his\her life chances, I have acquired a consistent urge to fight for justice, equality and freedom for everybody. After I moved to the US, it became apparent that all these values that I pursued as my personal plight are universal, and one cannot seek them in one place and disregard them anywhere else. Therefore, it has been natural for me to work with several local and national organizations to promote human rights and equality for all.

Locally, I cofounded Sacramento Regional Coalition for Palestinian Human Rights, a coalition of more than 26 local and national organizations that seeks the just and peaceful resolution of the Palestine-Israel conflict. Although this conflict is international in nature yet it has impacts on our local and national politics and values as well as the US international image. During this struggle we have been building coalitions and networks that resulted in immersing ourselves in other fights that collectively seek the affirmation of the civil rights and values articulated by the Constitutions of the United State of America.

If elected as an Assembly District Delegate, I promise to uphold a progressive stance vis-à-vis all matters related to rights, equality and justice and to make choices on your behalf affirming the values of our Constitution. Therefore, I humbly ask for your vote for our progressive slate!

If you have any inquiry or would like to contact me, you may reach me at

Steve Ly

Elk Grove has been home to my family and me for 20 years.  I have devoted my professional career to educating young people and creating the communities that help them thrive. On a daily basis, I provide academic support to foster youth students and young people in juvenile hall.

Because of my commitment and passion to help every youth succeed, I ran and was was elected by Elk Grove residents to serve as a trustee on the Elk Grove Unified School Board. Subsequently, in November of 2014, I was elected to the Elk Grove City Council and in 2016, I was elected as Mayor and was recently re-elected in November 2018 to serve a second term.

I have served two terms as a delegate and I’m asking to continue. I hope I can count on your vote. For questions, email me at or call me at 916-717-3827.

Mahmoud Zahrayi

If elected, I promise to advocate in changing the Democratic Party from the interests of establishment Democrats to properly reflecting the progressive values that represent the foundation of our party. If you don’t believe in progressivism as it stands, my definition involves you and your aspirations for a more just and inclusive America. As a prominent local activist, my colleagues and I are dedicated to fighting for the underrepresented: the poor, the unhoused, families of the incarcerated, the undocumented, the refugee, the asylum seeker, all people of color, the working class, and most importantly our environment and all things living. As a Muslim American and a product of Palestinian refugees, it was those very foundations that have enforced values of advocating for the wellbeing of all individuals and fighting for a system that will treat all people with dignity and humanity.

I am an individual of many faces. Along with my two brothers, I am a Galt, Elk Grove, and Sacramento business owner. Among many others, I am a representative and member of The Sacramento Immigration Coalition, Sac-Act, and was voted on the Advocacy Committee of The Family Unity Education and Legal Network for Immigrants (FUEL). Most importantly I am a dedicated policy advocate for CAIR-Sacramento and Central California where I am led by my Muslim values to advocate for the civil liberties of all Americans, documented or otherwise. With your help, I am committed to bringing local policy initiatives and serving our community first before state and party interests.

I humbly request your vote and thank you for your consideration. I can be reached at