Courage California Announces First Endorsements of 2020, Backing Four Progressive Women of Color in Races Across the State

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
January 9, 2020
Courage California Announces First Endorsements of 2020, Backing Four Progressive Women of Color in Races Across the State

Courage California Endorses Esmeralda Soria for CD16, Marisol Rubio for SD7, Tracie Stafford for AD9, and Holly Mitchell for LA County Supervisor

CALIFORNIA  -- Today, Courage California, formerly Courage Campaign, announced its first endorsements of 2020, backing four progressive women of color in races across the State. Specifically, Courage California is endorsing Esmeralda Soria for CD-16, Marisol Rubio for SD-07, Tracie Stafford for AD-09, and Holly Mitchell for Los Angeles County Supervisor District #2.

This is the first time the organization has ever endorsed in a County Supervisor race.  

As part of its endorsements, Courage California will run robust digital campaigns supporting the four progressive primary challengers (#CourageChallenger), feature the candidates in Courage California’s 2020 Voter Guide, and mobilize our partners and community groups throughout the state to help elect these progressive champions. 

The candidates endorsed by Courage California, and its membership of 1.4 million Californians, were selected because they are strong progressive candidates who will reject the forces of corruption, put their constituents first, and truly represent the values of their districts. 

      • Esmeralda Soria for California’s 16th Congressional District: Elected to the Fresno City Council in 2014, Soria was the first Latina to be elected to the Fresno City Council presidency in 2018. During her tenure, she helped create thousands of jobs, expanded Fresno City College campuses into the City’s two most low-income neighborhoods, and brought the first universally accessible park to the Central California region. Soria has been a notable progressive influence in housing and homelessness, where she has worked with community members and developers to bring in hundreds of new units of housing to Fresno. 

Councilmember Soria is challenging incumbent Jim Costa, who is the definition of a corporate Democrat, exemplifying the corruption that has undermined the Democratic Party in recent years. He has voted with President Trump more than almost any other Democrat in Congress and consistently opposed progressive priorities -- siding with corporate lobbyists and failing his constituents on immigration, the environment, and many other issues.

      • Marisol Rubio for California’s State Senate District 7: Rubio is the founder of San Ramon Progressives and a disabled rights activist. Rubio is challenging incumbent State Sen. Steve Glazer, whose corporate-friendly voting record and disgraceful attacks on working families made him an anathema to Democrats in the East Bay -- demonstrated by the fact that he is not endorsed by the Democratic Party in 2020. In 2018, Glazer earned a score of 22 in Courage Score, Courage California’s annual legislative report card, indicative of his allegiance to the priorities of corporate lobbyists, rather than the values and needs of his constituents. He has been featured in Courage Score’s Hall of Shame for five years running.
      • Tracie Stafford for California’s State Assembly District 9: Stafford is a small businesswoman and public advocate speaking for organizations such as the U.S. Department of Justice, Office on Violence Against Women, and The National Institute on the Prosecution of Domestic Violence. She is challenging incumbent Jim Cooper, who consistently skips votes on vital progressive legislation -- more than any other Democrat -- and favors draconian approaches to criminal justice. He has opposed all of the landmark criminal justice reform measures passed by California legislators and voters in recent years. Cooper is also notorious for receiving an abundance of lobbyist gifts and has earned a dismal score of 17 in Courage Score, Courage California’s annual legislative report card. This shows his allegiance to the priorities of corporate lobbyists, rather than the values and needs of his constituents. He has been featured in Courage Score’s Hall of Shame for five years running.
      • Holly Mitchell for Los Angeles County Supervisor District 2: State Senator Holly Mitchell was elected to the State Assembly in 2010 and moved to the Senate in 2013. She is a transformative progressive leader and five time Courage Score All-Star, proving that she is a courageous fighter for the needs and values of her district, and attesting to her refusal to acquiesce to corporate lobbyists and campaign contributors. She is now serving her final term as a State Senator, chairing the Budget and Fiscal Review Committee. During her tenure, Senator Mitchell wrote and worked to pass numerous pieces of criminal justice reform legislation that have fundamentally begun to reshape our broken carceral system.

“Courage California is proud to announce our first endorsement slate of 2020 - entirely made up of women of color who are proven progressive champions,” explained Eddie Kurtz, executive director of Courage California. “California voters must have the courage to hold elected officials accountable -- and vote them out of office -- when they prioritize corporate lobbyists and campaign contributors over the needs and values of the constituents they represent. That is what is necessary in these districts. These races are strategic opportunities to bring progressive change to our districts, state, and nation, by electing candidates who exemplify the progress and courage we need to avert a climate apocalypse and build a democracy that works for ALL Californians.” 

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Courage California, formerly Courage Campaign, works to unite communities organizing for progressive change, fight the forces of corruption, and hold our representatives to account in order to ensure that California’s elected officials act with courage. Our community of 1.4 million members envision California as a model of progressive, equitable, and truly representative democracy that sets the standard for our country.

We're fighting for a more progressive California.
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