New Report Card Grades State Legislators' Voting Records, Lists 9 Legislators in Hall of Shame

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 4, 2017
Contact: 
Brett Abrams | brett@unbendablemedia.com | (516) 841-1105

2017 People’s Report Card of California Grades State Legislators' Voting Records, Holds Them Accountable for Not Representing Progressive Policies In Their District

Second Annual “Courage Score” Report Card Names Asm. Daly, Asm. Frazier, Asm. Cooper, Asm. Baker, Asm. Chávez, Asm. Steinorth, Sen. Dodd, Sen. Glazer and Sen. Nguyen To Hall of Shame

Courage Campaign/ACCE Action Report Card Shows Major Statewide Improvement in Legislative Voting Records, Urges Even More Progressive Policies in 2017 

CALIFORNIA - Today, the California-based Courage Campaign, in partnership with the Alliance of Californians for Community Empowerment (ACCE) Action, released its second annual People’s Report Card of California, a website that grades California’s legislators on how they voted on critical bills prioritized by the progressive movement in California, evaluating whether or not elected officials accurately reflect the values of their constituents. Those who do not reflect those values are featured in a Hall of Shame while those who scored top marks are included as “Progressive All-Stars.”

The website, CourageScore.org, allows all Californians to see their state representatives’ “Courage Score” on a scale of 0-100, along with a corresponding letter grade. The Courage Score is a rating of each legislator’s willingness to stand up for their constituents against corporate benefactors and wealthy special interests that dominate California politics.

VIEW THE WEBSITE HERE: http://www.CourageScore.org

For the second year in a row, Courage Campaign is the only progressive organization that has tracked and rated legislators across a broad range of issue areas: from racial justice, to health care, to the environment, to workers’ rights, to consumer protections and more.  The scorecard is endorsed by 18 Million Rising, California Immigrant Policy Center, California Immigrant Youth Justice Alliance, California Reinvestment Coalition, Central Coast Alliance United for a Sustainable California (CAUSE), Congregations Organized for Prophetic Engagement (COPE), Communities for a New California, CWA District 9, CWA Local 9421, Mobilize the Immigrant Vote Action Fund, MoveOn.org, MPower Change Action, National Union of Healthcare Workers, Oakland Rising, Presente.org, Strategic Concepts in Organizing and Policy Education (SCOPE), UltraViolet Action, and UPTE/CWA Local 9119. 

HALL OF SHAME:  The report card also features a “Hall of Shame” for members of the California Legislature who are most out of step with their constituents, and most closely aligned with the corporate and wealthy special interests that exploit Californians. Each Hall of Shame profile features a narrative describing how the representative failed his or her constituents and any ties to corporate interests. The 2017 Hall of Shame includes:
Assemblymember Catherine Baker (R-16)
Assemblymember Rocky Chávez (R-76)
Assemblymember Jim Cooper (D-9)
Assemblymember Tom Daly (D-22)
Senator Bill Dodd (D-3)
Assemblymember Jim Frazier (D-11)
Senator Steve Glazer (D-7)
Senator Janet Nguyen (R-34)
Assemblymember Marc Steinorth (R-40)

PROGRESSIVE ALL-STARS:  Members of the CA Legislature who scored an A+ or above during the 2016 legislative sessions include:
Senator Jim Beall
Assemblymember Lorena Gonzalez Fletcher
Senator Ricardo Lara
Assemblymember Reginald Jones-Sawyer
Senator Kevin de Leon
Assemblymember Kevin McCarty
Senator Holly Mitchell
Senator Bill Monning
Assemblymember Kevin Mulin
Assemblymember Anthony Rendon
Assemblymember Mark Stone
Assemblymember Tony Thurmond
Assemblymember Philip Ting

MOST IMPROVED LEGISLATORS:  Members of the State legislature who showed marked improvement during the 2016 legislative session include:
Assemblymember Ian Calderon (D-57)
Assemblymember Mike Gipson (D-64)
Assemblymember Jim Wood (D-2)
Assemblymember Kansen Chu (D-25)
Assemblymember Lorena Gonzalez Fletcher (D-80)
Assemblymember Evan Low (D-28)
Assemblymember Sebastian Ridley-Thomas (D-54)

“2016 was one of the most progressive legislative sessions in the history of California. This was followed by the passage of statewide Props 55, 56, 57, 58, 59, 63, 64, and 67, and the defeat of Prop 65, reaffirming that California voters stand on the side of progress, and are looking to our elected officials to provide a progressive example for other states in our country to follow,” explained Eddie Kurtz, executive director of the California-based Courage Campaign.  “Since last year, we’ve seen California Democrats come together to support some of the most progressive policies ever seen in the United States - but with Trump and Republicans controlling Washington D.C., now more than ever we need our elected officials continue to deliver on their promises to voters and ensure California is the tip of the spear of the anti-Trump resistance.”

“That means passing legislation like the Healthy California Act (SB 562), the California Values Act (SB 54), the California Religious Freedom Act (SB 31), and Senate Bill 30 which prohibits state funds to be used to build a wall on the California-Mexico border.  With the 2017 People’s Report Card of California, constituents will have all the tools to make sure that their representatives deliver,” added Kurtz.

“Many communities across California -- particularly poor communities and communities of color -- have never recovered from the Great Recession. California has the highest poverty rate in the nation when you account for housing costs and other costs of living.” said Christina Livingston, Executive Director of ACCE Action, “The California Legislature has to step up and deliver for ALL Californians. We hope the People’s Report Card of California can help them move forward to tackle the big issues affecting millions of lives.”

A full list of the bills used to calculate the Courage Score can be found here: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1baE8WvHxOmb-XpZRr_5lK7bVBTJINpUJp9SU6S9ws2Q/edit

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