I live in Elk Grove, California, which is part of Sacramento County. This is part two of my November 2020 voting guide, which deals with my local races. You can read my thoughts on the presidential race and the California ballot measures here.
Congressional District 7
My vote: Ami Bera
The choices for District 7’s representative are Ami Bera (our incumbent) and Buzz Patterson. Although Bera is relatively conservative compared to other House democrats, I certainly like him better than the Republican option. I also think he votes for the right things when it counts, like impeaching Trump. On the matter of healthcare, his website says he supports a “pathway to universal coverage,” and while it doesn’t really explain what that means, I agree with the the broad concept. Meanwhile, Republican challenger Patterson says he “support[s] a border wall on the US-Mexico border.” Part of his platform also says there should be a “ten-page limit on bills” because bills are too long and filled with unrelated stuff. This is incredibly stupid to me. Legislation is complicated. This guy is not fit for Congress.
State Assembly District 9
My vote: Jim Cooper
Fun fact, there is a Republican challenger, Eric Rigard, on the ballot, but there is no statement from him in the voter guide. This suggests he wasn’t bothered to submit anything about himself. Regardless of what his actual positions are, I don’t want to vote for him if he won’t even take the time to submit a few paragraphs for the voter guide. Run for office like you care, Eric.
Jim Cooper is our incumbent. He’s currently sponsoring a bill to study and develop reparations for African Americans and he sponsored the bill to have all Californians be able to vote by mail this election. He’s endorsed by the local Planned Parenthood, which I take as a good sign.
Los Rios Community College District, Governing Board Member, Trustee Area 4
My vote: Kelly Wilkerson
The Los Rios Community College District is governed by a board of seven trustees, so this is kind of like voting for members of the school board, except for higher education. I’m not sure any of these would be bad choices (although I deduct points from Katie Villegas for only having a campaign page on Facebook instead of a real website like Kelly Wilkerson and David Sandino). I like Wilkerson’s platform best. She has a lot of concrete ideas about helping high school students plan for college and creating more dual-enrollment options for high school students. She also wants to use her platform as a way to help keep more young people out of prison and to reform police training.
Elk Grove Unified School District
Governing Board Member, Trustee Area 1
My vote: Regina Q. Banks
Thank you to the local paper, the Elk Grove Tribune for this interview with Regina Q. Banks. I learned a lot more about her than I would have from her facebook campaign page (which also includes an endorsement from the Sunrise Movement!). Banks seems like she gets it and she feels strongly that she could do the most good, which is a feeling I relate to (if I have yet to act on it in the same way). The interview also included a picture of her chihuahua, which is very cute.
Anthony Perez is the incumbent for this school district seat. I tried and failed to find information beyond what was in the voter information guide and his profile on the Elk Grove Unified School District site. I think he is probably a perfectly good school board choice, but I like Banks more.
Governing Board Member, Trustee Area 3
My vote: Bobby Roy
There are three people on the ballot for this race: Sean Yang, Bobby Roy, and Victor Wilson. However, Wilson actually dropped out of the race in September, leaving us with Yang and Roy. Yang has an inspiring story, but I’m not clear what he wants to accomplish as a board member. Roy, in an interview with the Elk Grove Tribune says that “the biggest challenge for Elk Grove and my district is equity. Making sure that our resources are spread out to make everything equal.” That’s a view I can support.
Elk Grove Mayor
My vote: Bobbie Singh-Allen
The Elk Grove mayoral race is actually pretty wild. There are allegations against current mayor, Steve Ly, for harassing women, apologizing, then going back on his apology to say that the women accusing him of harassment are liars. That rules him out for me. We don’t need more ornery men in politics. To amp up the drama, the entire city council has endorsed Singh-Allen instead of Mayor Ly. Excitement in local politics!
Candidate Brian Pastor explains a few of his stances on his website, but I’m not sure I agree with him. Bobbie Singh-Allen seems to have similar stances to Pastor on things I disagree with, but she also has some detailed plans for improving the city through reducing traffic and recovering economically from the pandemic.
Elk Grove Council Member, District 1
My vote: Darren Suen
Our current city council member is Darren Suen. I admit I don’t follow local politics closely enough to have much of an opinion (perhaps it’s time to start!) I do like that he articulates some political stances on his website, like wanting to use his experience as a civil engineer to make Elk Grove into a sustainable city. Challenger Ali Moua, in what seems a trend for local candidates, provides a biography but does not really explain his view on any issues.