2022 California Voting & Endorsements

Voting booths. Photo credit: hermosawave / iStock

Voting Matters - Make Your Voice Heard!

Your vote is your voice, and big changes are coming in the California State Legislature. In addition, California is losing a seat in Congress and so you may be represented by someone new. That’s why it is important to understand the changes and vote!

The Effects of Redistricting

The first thing to find out is what Assembly, State Senate, and Congressional district you now live in.  Every ten years, based on census data, new district lines are drawn in each state. California completed its redistricting process in 2021. While not all districts have changed, some are dramatically different.  Click here to find Cal Matter's directory to your current and new districts for US Congress, State Senate, and State Assembly.
You also want to make sure you’re registered to vote. To do so and to check your party preference, your polling place, ballot drop off sites, and other important information before an election, go to the California Secretary of State’s website at https://voterstatus.sos.ca.gov.

Why so many changes in the state Legislature?

In addition to re-districting, there are several reasons why there will be quite a few open seats in the Legislature going into next year. These include:

  • Large numbers of legislators terming out of office,
  • Legislators being appointed to or taking new jobs outside of elected office,
  • Retirements, which open the door to legislators who wish to seek higher offices.
  • Changes in elected officials’ district, either pitting them against another incumbent from the same party or requiring them to move.

A few key races: Clean Water Action Endorsements

Californians had their first opportunity to influence the future of our legislature and congressional representation by voting in the June 7th Primary.  That election decided which 2 candidates for a specific seat will move on to a runoff in the General Election in November. Clean Water Action’s Vote Environment (CWAVE) Committee chose to focus on a select number of open seat races where certain candidates stood out to us as leaders for the environment, social justice, and democracy.  We’re happy to report that six of our endorsed candidates placed in the top two for the primary election and will be on the ballot for the November general election. We look forward to continuing to support their candidacies.

All races are important and we encourage you to learn what you can about the candidates in your area.  

Congressional District 15 (San Mateo Co.):  Kevin Mullin and David Canepa

With the retirement of Representative Jackie Speier, Clean Water Action sees both of these candidates as leaders who will promote both the environmental and environmental justice needs of the diverse communities within the district. Both candidates have strong local roots and governmental experience. In our candidate questionnaire, Kevin Mullin prioritized 1) energy reform, 2) protection of wetlands and improvement of water conservation, as well as 3) protecting land/wildlife and promoting the state park system. David Canepa focused on 1) increased funding for advanced water sanitation and infrastructure, 2) incentives for clean energy vehicles, and 3) addressing toxic PFAS in drinking water. Both came out as the leaders in their primary race.

California State Senate District 8 (Sacramento Area):  Dave Jones

Dave Jones is the leader this district needs because of his broad experience working on the ground to empower communities, as well as his service in elected office, including in the State Assembly. Unlike his opponent, Jones has articulated a clear vision to address climate change, environmental pollution, air quality, and the plastics crisis in ways that also promote environmental justice and equity.  In addition, he is committed to, and has the experience to dismantle systemic racism both within state government and the environment.

California State Senate District 10 (Alameda and Santa Clara Counties, including Hayward, Fremont, Milpitas and North San Jose): Aisha Wahab

Aisha Wahab is running to replace current Senator Bob Wieckowski, who is terming out of office.  According to Wahab’s candidate questionnaire, carbon, infrastructure, jobs, and water are "our biggest issues" and she is focused on ensuring that all Californians have access to homes and a safe environment in a state with rising costs and inequities. While serving on the Hayward City Council, Wahab championed a regionally coordinated approach to address climate change, promoted local efforts to achieve net-zero carbon emissions, and advanced recycled water use and solar energy.  That is why she has been endorsed by Clean Water Action and California’s other leading environmental and environmental justice organizations.

California Assembly District 12 (Marin/North Bay): Sara Aminzadeh

Sara Aminzadeh is a leading expert on water and water equity, and will bring extensive experience as an advocate, author, and policy maker to the Capitol. Aminzadeh is the only candidate who provided Clean Water Action a written and implementable climate action plan for both her district and the state. She also prioritizes addressing water supply issues through storm water capture, recycling, conservation, monitoring, as well as tackling inadequate drainage and sewers that particularly plague low-income communities of color with racist housing histories.

California Assembly District 16 (Parts of Alameda and Contra Costa Counties): Rebecca Bauer-Kahan

Rebecca Bauer-Kahan’s environmental leadership has been recognized in Sacramento, which is why she was appointed to the important Assembly Committee on Environmental Safety and Toxic Materials and is chairing the Water, Parks, and Wildlife Committee. She understands the axis between drought and clean water.  While many lawmakers talk about building environmentally damaging dams to address drought, Bauer-Kahan knows that the real solution is keeping our current water resources clean and available. She is also the candidate who can force polluters to do more to protect groundwater and lift up the voices of tribes and other vulnerable communities to ensure that archaic water rights are more equitable.

Future Leaders

The CWAVE also endorsed four candidates who are just starting to make their political mark on the state scene. While we are disappointed not to see them make it into the top two during the primary election, we are pleased to have learned more about them and expect to see them continue into future positions of leadership.  They are:

Dr. Tecoy Porter, who ran for California Assembly District 10 (Sacramento/Elk Grove)
Jennifer Esteen, who ran for California Assembly District 20 (East Bay)
James Coleman, who ran for California Assembly District 21 (Bay Area Peninsula)
Bryan Osorio, who ran for California State Senate District 16 (Kern County)

Paid for and authorized by Clean Water Action. Not authorized by any candidate or candidate committee.  For more information, call 415-369-9160.