With Release Of 2018 Courage Score, Courage Campaign To Engage in Democratic Primaries For First Time In Effort To Hold CA State Legislators Accountable

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
January 24, 2018
Contact: 
Brett Abrams | brett@unbendablemedia.com | (516) 841-1105

Progressive Group To Take Accountability To Next Level For Members Failing To Represent Their Districts, Plans to Spend $100K in Democratic Primaries

The Highly-Anticipated Third Annual Report Card Names Asm. Daly, Asm. Frazier, Asm. Cooper, Asm. Baker, Asm. O’Donnell, Asm. Caballero, Asm. Grayson, Sen. Glazer and Sen. Nguyen To Hall of Shame

CALIFORNIA -- Today, the California-based Courage Campaign, in partnership with the Alliance of Californians for Community Empowerment (ACCE) Action, released its third annual Courage Score, a progressive report card that grades California state legislators on how courageously they represented their constituents against the corporations that seek to exploit them. Legislators were evaluated on how they voted on critical statewide bills and the extent to which elected officials accurately reflected the values of their constituents. Those members who do not reflect those values are featured in the Courage Score “Hall of Shame,” whereas those who scored top marks are named as “Courage Score All-Stars.”

VIEW COURAGE SCORE HERE: http://www.CourageScore.org

Courage Campaign also announced today that for the first time in the group’s history, they will begin to play in Democratic primaries using Courage Score as a marker to determine which members are representing their constituents and which ones are simply doing the bidding of corporate donors and their lobbyists. Courage Campaign has set aside $100,000 for this purpose.

The website, CourageScore.org, allows 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 continue to dominate California politics.

For the third 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 criminal and racial justice, to consumer protection, immigration, economic justice, gun violence prevention, gender equality, health, housing, LGBTQ rights,  workers’ rights, environmental justice, and environmental protection and more. The report card is endorsed by California Calls, Democracy For America, Communications Workers of America Local 9421 and  District 9, University Professional and Technical Employees, National Union of Healthcare Workers, Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, Dolores Huerta Foundation, DailyKos, California Immigrant Policy Center, and Presente.org, to name a few.

HALL OF SHAME:  The report card 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. They received a “D” or “F” grade and represent a district where constituents clearly support progressive solutions to challenges that face California. The 2018 Hall of Shame includes:

  • Senator Steve Glazer (D-7)

  • Senator Janet Nguyen (R-34)

  • Assemblymember Catherine Baker (R-16)

  • Assemblymember Jim Cooper (D-9)

  • Assemblymember Anna Caballero (D-30)

  • Assemblymember Timothy Grayson (D-14)

  • Assemblymember Patrick O’Donnell (D-70)

  • Assemblymember Tom Daly (D-69)

  • Assemblymember Jim Frazier (D-11)

COURAGE SCORE ALL-STARS:  Members of the CA Legislature who scored an A+ during the 2017 legislative sessions include:

  • Senator Holly Mitchell (D-30)

  • Senator Nancy Skinner (D-9)

  • Assemblymember Tony Thurmond (D-15)

  • Assemblymember Mark Stone (D-29)

  • Assemblymember Monique Limon (D-37)

  • Assemblymember Ash Kalra (D-27)

  • Assemblymember Laura Friedman (D-43)

  • Assemblymember David Chiu (D-17)

  • Assemblymember Shirley Weber (D-79)

“Let’s be clear: for those members more interested in doing the bidding of corporate lobbyists than representing their constituents, Courage Campaign is putting you on notice. We’re taking accountability to the next level, and for the first time in our organization’s history, we will be playing in Democratic primaries using the Courage Score as our North Star,” explained Eddie Kurtz, Executive Director of Courage Campaign. “With Washington broken and with Trump pursuing a reckless and bigoted agenda, now more than ever it is urgent that California lead the way. We need representatives in Sacramento who will stand up for their constituents, not corporate donors. We need representatives who will advocate for common-sense progressive policies to lead our state forward. And we need accountability for those elected officials who continue to betray their constituents’ wishes.

“That’s why Courage Campaign is so excited to roll out this year’s Courage Score and play in Democratic primaries.”

“Vulnerable residents across California who do not have lobbyists swarming the halls of Sacramento count on elected officials to do what is in their best interest, and it is their right to know when their representatives are voting in line with corporate interests and wealthy power players instead of the communities they were hired to fight for,” says Christina Livingston, Executive Director of ACCE Action. “ACCE members are fed up with Corporate Democrats masquerading as progressives, while actively working to uphold systems that foster greed, criminalization, and othering. Courage Score exposes legislators who are voting against the interest and will of their constituents, and we plan to use that information as we talk to voters about what is at stake in this year’s election.”

A full list of the bills used to calculate the 2018 CourageScore.org can be found here: https://www.couragescore.org/bills

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