Everything You Need to Know About the ADEM Elections

The Quick Facts

  • CA is divided in 80 Assembly Districts. SLO County and Northern Santa Barbara County are part of Assembly District 35 (AD35).
  • Every 2 years the California Democratic Party holds Assembly District Election Meetings (ADEMs) in each district to elect Assembly District Delegates who will represent their district at the state level.
  • These elections are open to all California Democrats who want to participate.
  • Each district gets to choose 14 delegates. Seven self identified females, and seven self identified non-females.


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Brandon Messerley

My name is Brandon Messerly and I am a 27 year old public school teacher and CTA union member living in San Luis Obispo running for AD-35. I am running to help create a Democratic Party that will fight for a livable, comfortable, and just future for my generation and especially for my students. Having seen the excitement and engagement both across the nation and in California during Bernie’s presidential runs, I hope to ensure that district 35 can be a leader in the fight for large scale, structural, and progressive change. As a teacher and union member, I want the Democratic party to fight for public education and workers. As a millennial and progressive, I want the Democratic party to fight for a Green New Deal to ensure that California remains a livable and thriving state for myself and my students who did nothing to cause the climate disaster. I want a Democratic party that is willing to stand up for immigrant rights and for racial justice. To recruit, encourage, and fight for candidates with plans to dismantle systemic racism and inequality. And I want a party that recognizes that healthcare is a human right and refuses to accept any system that allows people to lose their coverage if they lose their job or forces people to decide between food or medicine. We have seen young people energized and passionate about fighting for large, bold, structural change. Those are the voices the Democrats should be listening to and that is the voice I hope to bring to our state Democratic party.

Barry Price

My immigrant grandparents became union organizers in the New York garment industry, so I learned the power of collective action and the vital importance of unions at an early age. The values that motivated my grandparents– racial and economic justice, gender equity, and environmentalism—motivated me to combat the war in Vietnam, join the struggle for civil rights, and fight for environmental protection and against environmental racism during the 1960s, 70s, and 80s. I was teargassed in DC, arrested in Philadelphia, and chained to a tree in the national forest during those tumultuous times.

These are the values I want to represent at the state party level. I believe we should build a true multiracial democracy and economy where everyone is treated justly and equitably. I want a society that is welcoming and safe for all people.

I will advocate for specific laws and policies that uphold those values. I’ve been a political activist and organizer most of my adult life, and for the past several years have been focused on criminal justice reform at the state and local levels. I was active in the legislative campaigns to pass bail reform (SB 10) and strengthen the rules around police violence (AB 392), and helped pass a pair of ballot measures (Propositions 47 and 57) that instituted other much-needed reform in the prison system.

Through my work on these statewide campaigns I have built relationships with other ADDs around the state, and with elected officials and legislative staff in Sacramento and here at home. I will leverage those existing statewide relationships to help build the power of our local Democratic Party.

I live in the City of SLO with my beautiful wife Dona; we have lived AD 35 for 13 years. My professional career in environmental consulting has spanned academia, government, and the private sector. I taught resource management and environmental law at Cal Poly from 2008-2020 while also operating a successful small business that employed 60 people. In addition to my values and my deep commitment to intergenerational, intersectional, and transformative change, I bring organizational skills and management expertise to the party.

I am running for Assembly District Delegate to carry our progressive values forward. Please consider giving me your vote.

Sherri Stoddard

My name is Sherri Stoddard. I’m running for my third term as an ADEM. A retired RN, I became involved in politics through my union, California Nurses Association. I served on the Board Of Directors of CNA for almost 20 years, until just this past September, when I retired. I was also a Bernie delegate to the Democratic National Convention in 2016.

My beliefs are based in social justice and equality: Healthcare is a human right, and Medicare4All is the vehicle. Only removing the for-profit motive in our system will rectify our many problems- as long as there is profit to be had, insurance companies will continue to put profits over patients. People are routinely denied care and cannot afford care. Covid has proven the utter failure of our system. We also need a clean and sustainable environment. Immediate changes must be made- the Green New Deal is the way forward. Cleaning up our environment while at the same time building a new infrastructure is better for our health and adds millions of head-of-household jobs. Bills for both the GND and M4A include a just transition, ensuring training and jobs for workers.

Workers’ rights to unionize is a necessity to ensure living wages – a start in the direction to getting back to having a real middle class.

The outrageous inequities in this country, including racial, gender, and economic injustice, need to end. We need campaign finance reform, including the end to Citizens United, and we need a Democratic Party that respects transparency and truly represents the electors. Profit driven greed in our criminal justice system continues institutional racism against people of color and the poor. Being non-white and being poor need to be decriminalized, and there must be accountability in law enforcement. A welcoming and safe America for all (immigration, refugee, and asylum reform, reinstatement of DACA) and embracing diversity will enhance all our lives. Affordable housing and work to end homelessness should be a top priority.

For the last 20 years I have fought for these ideals- educating, organizing and advocating, and showing up on the streets to elect progressive candidates, support legislation and social justice causes. I will continue to do so. It has been gratifying to be able to represent progressive values here on the Central Coast these past four years, and I would be honored to continue.

Jamie Maraviglia

My name is Jamie Maraviglia. I have lived in San Luis Obispo County for over 20 years and work in marketing and communications. I have spent the last 15 years volunteering in a variety of areas in our community and currently serve as a planning commissioner as well as on the Board of Directors of several nonprofits. I am also actively involved with our local Democratic clubs and have volunteered on several campaigns for city council races supporting Democratic candidates.

I am a longtime participant in progressive activism. From volunteering and campaigning for reproductive rights in high school and college, to lobbying at party conventions for fair patient propositions, to fighting for Medicare for All, healthcare has always been my big focus. I am a mom of two children with congenital conditions and have spent the last 10 years in-and-out of hospitals as well as wasted hundreds of hours dealing with their medical billing. Needless to say, I know the intricacies of our (terrible) medical system and also know how much needless suffering it causes and how much it needs to change. We deserve better.

Beyond Medicare for All, I am also supportive of other progressive policies. I am a proponent of the Green New Deal, believe in expanding social security and access to higher education, support criminal justice and police reform, believe in ensuring housing is affordable and accessible to all, and believe in justice and safety for all. I want to make sure that we live in a country where everyone has the right to the basic necessities of life, despite the color of their skin or the amount of money in their bank account.

As an ADEM delegate, I will work to make sure these ideas are represented in the candidates we endorse and the platforms we enact. I will make sure our elected officials stick to these values. I will always stand-up for what is right and represent the 35th district with dignity.


Michael Hopkins

I am running to be your Assembly District 35 delegate because it is my hope that my experience as a housing advocate, nonprofit project manager, and Planning Commissioner can offer unique insight to build a SLOCDP that wins elections as a champion for racial, social, economic, and environmental justice.

When I moved to San Luis Obispo almost five years ago, I began working for a local affordable housing nonprofit – first as a policy analyst and now as a project manager. While I fell in love with the area and have experienced an extraordinary quality of life on the Central Coast, I quickly realized the privilege that often comes with happiness here. Racism, pain, and poverty is hidden all too often in plain sight. We have a moral imperative to do better.

Subsequently, I began serving in a number of roles to leverage my affordable housing experience to help those facing housing, food, and/or medical insecurity. I served as VIce-Chair of the Human Relations Commission with the City of SLO, a group tasked with increasing equity for all City residents. I also joined the Steering Committee of SLOU40, a group dedicated to expanding civic engagement and advocacy among the under 40 demographic.

Most recently, I was appointed to the City of SLO’s Planning Commission, a role in which I have proudly supported affordable housing and the most progressive Climate Action Plan in the nation. I promoted the inclusion of equity in our City’s financial goals as well as ensured that environmental justice remains central to the implementation of our ambitious climate goals.

During my time in San Luis Obispo County, I have also supported a number of local Democratic candidates including Jimmy Paulding for Supervisor, Ellen Beraud for Supervisor, and Heidi Harmon for Mayor.

I hope to work with you to build a SLOCDP that is anti-racist, pro-housing, and pro-environment. Thank you for considering me for your vote!

Paden McNiff

Hi 35th district neighbor! My name is Paden McNiff and I am running to be your ADEM representative. I am a 21 year old woman, a Cal Poly graduate, an organizer, and a progressive Democrat to my core.

Right now, I spend most of my day hosting virtual events to turn out the vote in Georgia as an associate with Flip the West (which, ps – reading this pre January 5th? Let’s phonebank together! Reach me at the number below.) Before that, I consulted for progressive, environmentalist candidates throughout several California cities with the Next Generation, managing strategic communications so candidates can focus on the issues that matter. Locally, I’ve advocated extensively to keep our district blue.

I was the President of Cal Poly Democrats throughout the 2018-2019 primary campaign cycle, in which I conducted widespread campus mobilization efforts for campaigns like Ellen Beraud for Supervisor and pushed the student body left through coordinated voter contact. I was Adam Hill’s field campaign director, worked on Congressman Carbajal’s first re-election campaign, and provided consulting and data development for Mayor Harmon’s most recent campaign. I worked closely with the nonprofit and grassroots sectors of our SLO community as the Co-Chair of the 3rd Annual SLO County Convention; a coalition building event I planned and executed alongside the SLOCDP. Additionally, I’ve completed a hands-on, 8 week long organizing training with the DNC, served on the NC-09 special Congressional election, and worked for Cal Poly’s Gender Equity center – I like to stay busy.

If you’re still reading, thank you! So, why should all of this matter to you? Here’s the deal. If you choose to elect me, my promise to you is that my duties won’t stop at attending meetings and casting a vote. I have the drive and experience needed to build our progressive base and strategize for landslide candidate victories. Our community is ready for change, and I’m ready to do the work needed to present and advocate for our message in a manner that is accessible, actionable, and creative.

I’m running to represent you, and that doesn’t stop on election day. I’m here to hear your concerns and fight to ensure your needs and values are represented on our state platform. Contact me anytime at or (919) 360-6177. I’m ready to better our district and state with you by my side.


Walter Heath

I’m running for re-election as Assembly District delegate of the 35th Assembly District to continue the work of building the presence and the stature of the California Democratic Party in AD35. Our party’s message should be simple and to the point: The Democratic Party will fight for you and your household to be able to work one job with wages that sustain you and provide for future needs, to have educational opportunities that are accessible and affordable, to see a doctor and not be worried about the cost and to get full value for your tax dollars.

In 2007-08, I volunteered to coordinate the voter contact and get out the vote efforts for Barack Obama’s presidential campaign. Although local party leadership was doubtful about Mr. Obama’s prospects until he became the nominated candidate, our fledgling group built an organization that won San Luis Obispo County for the Democratic Party’s presidential candidate for the first time since 1964.

In 2010, I volunteered to manage the campaign of a most brilliant and practical candidate for Assembly who remains the candidate most in touch with the needs of our district’s constituency in 30 years of living here.

In 2012, I volunteered to coordinate the voter contact and get out the vote efforts of the Democratic Party in San Luis Obispo County during a scurrilous attempt to undermine organized labor.

I have volunteered for sixteen years to raise awareness of the benefits of improving Medicare and expanding it to cover everyone, building community and power around this issue in our congressional district.

I’m hoping during the upcoming term to create space for a new generation of leaders whose diversity represents all Nature’s wonders in human form. It is past time for their transformative power to be unleashed.

Daniel Rushing

My name is Daniel Rushing. I am a lifelong progressive and Democrat. I am also an artist, a chef, a manager, a salesperson, a husband and a father… and I believe that we have done great things together as a party. I also believe that, as a party, we have only scratched the surface of what we can do together. This is why I want to join the ranks of Assembly District Delegates representing AD-35.
As a delegate, I will work to ensure our party supports candidates and initiatives that further the rights of workers to organize, make a living wage, and to live in the communities where they work. I will support every avenue to ensure higher education is accessible to all those who seek it. I will fight to limit the power of corporate dollars in our democracy, to support a Medicare for all, to protect our future and planet with green and sustainable policies and jobs, and to march hand-in-hand in solidarity with my fellow progressives to ensure a future where justice is not just blind, it is actually just.
I am also a co-founder/leader of the SLO County Democratic Party’s new Civic Engagement Academy (CEA). CEA’s goal is to foster a grassroots understanding of local government among groups of SLO County residents that have not previously engaged at that level with their local elected officials. The program extends over the course of a year and features in-depth seminars hosted by local electeds and activists, and offers the opportunity to directly connect with local leaders, ask questions, and network with other locals looking to make a difference in local government. Ideal candidates include high school and college students, local business owners, local non-profit leaders, and, literally, anyone else interested in learning a little more about what local government does, why it is so important to take an active interest, and how to get involved.
Building relationships with neighbors, community, and empowering others to take action with us is the heart of our party. As AD-35’s delegate I look forward to joining others to fight for our values together. I’d be honored to represent you.

Antonio Ramirez

Hi! My name is Antonio Ramirez and I am running to represent Assembly District 35 with the California Democratic Party. I would like for you to consider your vote for me as I am feel I would be able to represent the Central Coast with fidelity and integrity.

I was born and raised in Guadalupe located in Santa Barbara County. I am a first generation gay person of color who has worked hard to become a community college counselor for my local community college Allan Hancock College. I have also been recently elected to serve on the City of Guadalupe’s City Council for a second term. An honor I do not take lightly.

Since a young age, my family has shown me what it means to pay it forward and through my acknowledged privilege, I want to be able to provide a voice for those in my community. Although I am limited in the amount of characters I can include in this statement, if elected to serve, I will not limit my abilities to create an equitable playing field for all to thrive.

Lastly, I have created a short video so you can see who I am as a person. Someone proud to be representative for all people in the community:

Thank you all for your consideration

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Ethan Stan

Hello! My name is Ethan Stan and I want to serve as your ADEM representative for Assembly District 35.

I am a community organizer, graduate student, and aspiring city planner proud to call the City of San Luis Obispo my home for the past three years. Shortly after moving here with my now-wife (a 4th generation SLO County resident), I dove into getting to know this community and helping its most vulnerable residents as a volunteer and advocate. I believe serving as an ADEM will allow me to represent these issues at both the regional and state level while forming crucial connections between Party leadership and the grassroots by building coalitions based on our shared values and vision.

I have seen firsthand how dire the situation here in SLO is for the houseless and the working class – from helping folks outside my front door by hosting a Little Free Pantry, to working with local activists to advocate for housing and racial justice. Through all the frustrations and difficulties, I still have boundless hope for the City of SLO, SLO County, and the incredible State of California. In the next few years, we have an unprecedented opportunity to finally enact progressive legislation that materially benefits the majority of Californians: Medicare for All, a Green New Deal, a just recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic, and meaningful solutions to California’s housing and homelessness crisis.

I am very lucky to have the time, energy, and privilege to commit to this endeavor. I am white, able-bodied, and thankfully just financially secure enough to spend my free time organizing. The people whose interests I want to represent simply do not have that luxury. My other identities – as a progressive, as a Jew, as a big-hearted planner that believes solidarity can change the world – drive me to serve.

I would be honored to have your support. Thank you!

Teri Doutney

I am interested in being a California Democratic Central Committee Delegate for AD35. I would like to see more participation from Northern Santa Barbara County along with San Luis Obispo County participation in AD35. It is particularly important to have representation from both Counties as our AD35 delegation at the State level. A coordinated effort is required to elect a Democrat in AD35.

I have been serving on the Santa Barbara County Democratic Central Committee (SBCDCC) from District 4 since 2019. I was just re-elected during the 2020 Primary election for another four years. I also serve on the Board of Directors for the Lompoc Valley Democratic Club and will continue in 2021. As part of the Campaign Team for the past two years, I have been highly active in canvassing, phone banking, and other campaign related activities. In November 2019, I worked as a volunteer at the California Democratic Party Convention in Long Beach.

I served in the Army for 3.5 years. My basic training was the last Woman’s Army Corp (WAC) class. After that they went to co-ed training. I worked as a bio-med tech (repaired medical equipment) during that time and was stationed state side at schools or major medical centers. I was in the first class that allowed women into this field.

After the service I worked at a hospital then for General Electric medical systems, manufacturer of medical equipment, where I worked as a field service engineer and serviced all their equipment in Los Angeles county, and other areas. I repaired bedside monitors to include blood pressure, heart rate, ECG and telemetry units, then CAT scanners (my favorite job). Then I worked at the Los Angeles Times, as a journeyman electronics tech. Repairing everything that plugged into the wall – computer and phone systems, communications networks, lasers, printers, printing press, type-set machines.

For the last twenty years I have lived in Lompoc and currently own and manage an apartment complex. I actively participate in Lompoc City Council meetings and watch the meetings virtually these days.

I believe that the Democratic Party stands for what our Constitution promises us. I would like to be a part of the continued positive changes that are being made in the CA Democratic Party.

Juliana Neel

Juliana Neel was born, raised, and educated in the Santa Maria Valley. Growing up transgender in a conservative community posed its own unique challenges and has ultimately given her the resilience to fight alongside communities in their continual battle for equal rights.

Juliana Neel is currently the President of the Santa Maria Valley Young Democrats. Juliana has spent her young adulthood making positive change in Santa Maria with various organizations such as Women’s March, House of Pride and Equality, and the Democratic Club of Santa Maria Valley. Most recently, Juliana worked as Field Organizer for Osvaldo Sotelo’s Santa Maria city council campaign. She is a dedicated progressive fighting for causes like racial justice, LGBTQ+ rights, and women’s rights.

Juliana believes that the time has come for Northern Santa Barbara County to be properly represented at the state party level, and she believes that she is the woman for the job.

John Alan Connerley

Stephen Scopatz

Stephen Scopatz; Entrepreneur, Engineer, Consultant, Manager

Currently residing in Lompoc; native Californian. Having lived in Santa Barbara County, Los Angeles, and both the Silicon and Central Valleys, I know California.

Lifelong Democrat, earliest volunteer work was Jerry Brown’s 1st campaign for governor, before I could vote. Currently an active member of the LVDC. I tend to be more progressive than the party center although the center of the party is moving towards the way I think.

Like many of you, I have had a terrible year. I lost my source of income and insurance at the end of 2019. After having a comfortable middle-class income based on my education and experience, I suddenly found that I had to take advantage of several programs that I supported but never imagined I would come to depend on like Covered California, Unemployment and SNAP. I plan to work until age 70, when I will receive enough social security to cover my monthly expenses, but now at 63 I am not finding work as an engineer. I apply to a minimum of 3 jobs a week to keep receiving unemployment and after months of this I have only had short-term consulting work. The point of explaining this is that I have direct, recent experience with both the state and federal safety net. I can tell you the safety net needs improving, and I have some ideas.

Other issues that I want California Democrats take clear positions on include:

-The drain of tech companies out of California, see the recent announcements by Oracle and Tesla. This is going to hurt the long-term financial health of the state. In Santa Barbara county, many startups move out of the area after they reach a certain size; they cannot continue to grow larger here.

-Public Colleges and Universities need to be funded as a public good and not on the backs of the students and community colleges need to be tuition free. A well-educated workforce will keep the state strong.

-California has to protect and preserve both state and federal public lands within our state. We also need sensible water management that meets the needs of our agriculture industry and the drinking water of our cities.

-California is in the path of disaster due to climate change; we are vulnerable to ever increasing wildfires and sea level rise. We need renewable energy and to achieve carbon neutrality on an accelerated timetable. We need to lead on this issue.

Carson Link

As a small town I believe Lompoc, and other communities like it, lack equitable representation in the governmental and political structures of the Central Coast. Along with this, the youth and future of these communities are even more severely underrepresented. I am running for delegate of A35 to change this. Smaller communities must become more engaged in the goings-on of the county, state, and federal decision making processes. As a delegate, I will seek to utilize the position to its fullest potential. Not only would I give small communities across A35 a voice at the table who understands their concerns, but I will help give them access to a network that is not often made available to them. In order to ensure every community is having their voice heard and their needs met, there must first be a focused effort to raise them up. If I am elected, this is what I plan to do.

Tori Keen

My name is Tori Keen and I’m running for Central Committee in AD-35. I ran for City Council in Atascadero this year and have been involved in my community since I moved here ten years ago.

I currently work as a family law paralegal in a small law firm in Atascadero. I deal with a very diverse population and help people on their worst days.

I want to work with local leaders to encourage more progressive policies on issues that matter now like climate change, homeless population, affordable housing and economic growth that will benefit all of the Central Coast.

I want to be a voice for diversity and inclusivity. It is more important than ever to make sure that we are including all voices and opinions when we make decisions. This may mean reaching out to groups and populations that will be particularly affected by certain decisions to make sure that their voices are heard. I want to be a voice for those that feel they can’t speak up or help amplify those that feel they are not being heard.

I want to look at how national issues can be dealt with on a local level including affordable housing and climate change.

I look forward to working with the central committee to move forward on progressive issues and ideas and coming up with solutions that work for everyone.

Robin Wolf

My name Robin Wolf, and I am running to represent the Democratic Party as an Assembly District Delegate for District 35.

As a Progressive Candidate I believe in Equality, Opportunity, and Justice for all people through Affordable Housing, Medicare for All, Accountability in Law Enforcement, Investing in our Communities, Decriminalizing Addiction, Campaign Finance Reform, and The Green New Deal.

A lifelong member of the restaurant, hospitality, and tourism industry, I am a committed advocate for those fighting to earn a fair wage and I fully support Unions and Labor Organizations. In government I offer a unique skill set and perspective into an industry that is an economic force in our area and provides a living for many of our residents from all walks of life including many marginalized communities. I have learned to listen and to bridge divides between people to ensure everyone has a seat at the table.

I am dedicated to greater community engagement in local government, especially our youth and traditionally underrepresented voices.

In this time it is more crucial than ever to have strong, dedicated voices representing the needs of our community and our state. I am fiercely committed to fighting for those most vulnerable and making sure each constituent and their needs are heard, valued, respected, and engaged.

Christine Anne Williams

I have always told myself that as soon as I have less on my plate I would get involved in the local political party because I believe in grassroots political action. The reality is that I don’t think there will ever be a time that “slows down” but I do believe that this is the right time for me to step up.
As an educator over the last 19 years I have seen exactly how elections matter to our students, their families, and to the schools. Schools have become the place for wrap around services but rarely have enough resources to complete the job for students or their families. Bandaids are no longer enough.
Our society needs to build a future that finds real and sustainable solutions.
We need to continue to create a Democratic Party that recognizes that there are no simple answers to complex problems and we have to have real, honest, and difficult conversations.
We can’t be afraid to stand up and speak up for what is right and just- no matter how difficult the conversation is.
This is a challenging time in our state and nation but I do believe we are up to the challenge and I believe that my skills as an educator, my role as a local president, and my leadership at the state level would help me serve to represent AD-35.
I would appreciate your vote to represent AD-35 and welcome the opportunity to help conduct party business to strengthen the California Democratic Party.
Thank you,

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Elena Garcia

As a lifelong native of California and consistent Democratic voter I am grateful for the opportunity to earn your vote for Assembly District Delegate to the California Democratic Party State Central Committee.

A little about myself – I was raised in Paso Robles, California, received my Bachelor’s degree in Health Education from Chico State University, and currently work as a Social Worker in San Luis Obispo County. I’ve spent years as a dedicated volunteer for various community agencies supporting adults with developmental disabilities. I believe in the unique, inherent value of each person and strive to be of service whenever possible.

Currently I spend much of my time as a founding member of Paso People’s Action, a grassroots community organization focused on investing in the diversity of our community in northern San Luis Obispo County. We work to lift and empower the historically marginalized voices in our community.

This year has been incredibly difficult for people across our nation and the world. The worldwide pandemic, on-going racial injustice, and a painfully divisive time in politics has brought us to this moment of deep reflection. We must do better. We cannot simply return to status-quo. My vision for the Democratic Party of California is one of inclusion, diversity, and proper representation of community members that have been historically overlooked and underserved. We need to ensure we are bringing a diverse group to the table where decisions are being made that affect families and livelihoods. We need to remove barriers that keep everyday folks from participating.

While it is difficult to limit my areas of focus to the confines of this statement, my most pressing areas of concern are racial & gender equality, affordable housing, providing workers with a living wage, early childhood education & youth programs, bold action on climate change, and campaign finance reform.

I would be grateful to earn your vote for Assembly District Delegate and encourage you to reach out to me with any questions or simply to connect via email at Thank you.


Laura Parker

Democrats – It is time to energize, connect and organize!

I have 30 years experience working with diverse groups of people to educate students and lead reform in the public schools of San Francisco — 10 as a classroom teacher and 20 as a site administrator. Since I retired 4 years ago I have mentored students in Paso Robles schools, volunteered as a CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocate) for youth in foster care, with ECHO homeless shelter, and Paso People’s Action on various projects serving our community.

I humbly offer to use my experiences to serve the entire community in this wider scope.

I am ready to:
– serve in this time of challenge and rebuilding
– seek out the voices of the historically marginalized and to insure they are included
– bring the reality of America closer to the promise of America
– focus on meaningful change for every day people working and living their lives
– collaborate to ensure comprehensive steps are taken to reduce our carbon footprint
– advocate for funding the safety net for under and un-insured, un-housed, un-employed and un-educated people
– be decisive so change happens in real time not bureaucratic time
– elevate the needs of individuals and families above profits and corporations
– learn and act and lead so that we create a better world — rather than trying to return to normal

These are unprecedented times and we need
– to focus not on the letter of the law and compliance but the spirit of the law and breaking down systemic barriers that continue to magnify inequities
– transparency and shared decision making so that the voices and inspiration of many create stronger innovations and more equitable solutions.
– to seek out and mentor new candidates, voters and volunteers to make this work relevant for the 21st century.
– to use data analysis and focus groups and intentional leadership to create clear and consistent messages, run effective and efficient campaigns to counteract the 50+ years of intentional misinformation and manipulation
– to learn from the division and polarity of the last 4 years and build a place that holds the humanity and empathy and compassion that will build a better world for the next generation

I am interested in your priorities, concerns and ideas! I am available at


Thank you for your time and attention!

Michael Wilson

Things change.

We yearn for happy memories, but we know that there’s no chance of going back to what we once called “normal”; that whatever we did brought us here, and that the direction we need to go is never behind, but boldly forward to do the work of making a better tomorrow together.

Defining ourselves in terms of the flaws of others instead of our own hopes and vision has eroded our credibility, and with it, the trust and support of voters. What our constituencies expect from us is ethical clarity and commitment to a mission that doesn’t just include them, but is fully ABOUT their families and future.

If you agree with me that it’s time for our party to decisively address the true crisis our country is facing: a crisis of legitimacy, then please join me in working to remind our institutions that their only purpose is to serve humanity.

Could we do with more justice? Can our businesses succeed without destroying the environment? Can we leverage our knowledge, courage and creativity to raise the bar on shared dignity, instead of explaining that it must wait for later? Might we teach our children to be free to build a better future, instead of training them to adapt to the past? Can we stem the rising misery that threatens our communities with sickness, homelessness, and lost hope?

I say to those who forever pretend to not see, who say it isn’t possible, who claim that it’s never the time, or that we just can’t afford justice: you’re wrong.

We will build a future where we live the way we think, dream and feel, by becoming who we dare, instead of settling for what we fear. Playing it safe creates a vacuum in leadership that others will fill, and maybe not for better. It’s time for us to restore trustworthiness to our institutions by bringing integrity and human dignity to bear everywhere, from our own homes and throughout our communities. Those who wish to seek fortune are certainly welcome to pursue that in private enterprise, but not in our representation, which can only be legitimate when our vocation is unquestionably about serving each other, and not only a few. Our will to care for one another and to serve life will power us to create the better world we all want our children to thrive in.

It all starts with each of us, at every step, with every breath.

Now IS the time to live like we really mean it.

Thank you for caring, reading, and voting.

Tom Fulks

Me: Morro Bay resident, journalist, business owner, Cal Poly graduate, father of two adult children, champion of Democratic causes since 1976, when I came to SLO County.

A 63-year-old white man, I’ve never feared the police, never been denied a job due to my race or gender, never suffered unfair treatment by a civil and criminal justice system seemingly designed to oppress people not like me. I recognize my privilege.

Yet I still ask for your vote for an ADEM-35 seat so as to continue my life’s work trying to rectify our imbalances and drag our nation closer to the mythical “perfect union,” which we may never achieve but should never stop seeking.

Our party must win more elections, especially in SLO County, where an ideological imbalance of political power has left record COVID infection rates, hospitalizations and deaths – and a profound sense of injustice, unfairness and frustration.

The majority Republicans who control our elected bodies and law enforcement and justice establishments refuse to protect the health and safety of our community and reject the social norms and values that make us a decent people.

Worse, they fail the basic task of good government – deliberately, wantonly – because they’re ensnared in the Trump cult of sedition, anti-constitutionalism and aggressive disregard for all but those who support their authoritarian push for autocratic government.

I’ve been a member of the SLO County Democratic Central Committee since 2014, as an alternate then elected representative for Supervisorial District 2, a campaign advisor to Supervisor Bruce Gibson since 2006, and have advised too many Democrats running for local offices to list.

As a local political newspaper columnist spanning four decades, I’ve championed civil rights, environmental causes, racial justice and argued for basic decency, fairness and kindness against local fascists, rednecks, bullies and scoundrels my entire career. I’ve exposed corruption, criminality, extremism and evil where and when I’ve found it, and I’ve called for healing, forgiveness and charity at every turn.

We, as Democrats, need to win elections. It’s the only way to achieve the political power necessary to do what’s right and resist the ongoing efforts to do what’s wrong by the other party, whatever they want to call themselves in this dangerous era of Trumpism.

I ask for your vote. Thank

Cory Upham

Cory Upham is a dedicated and devoted community member. He was born and raised in Nipomo, CA graduating from both Nipomo High School in 2016 and Allan Hancock College in 2018. He then went on to receive his bachelor’s degree in Political Science from the University of California Santa Barbara.

Cory has always had a deep devotion and affinity to helping people whether it be helping someone with car problems or volunteering his time teaching students robotics. Cory has previously worked as the head coach for the robotics teams at both Central Coast New Tech High School and Ocean View Elementary School as well as volunteered as the assistant coach for Nipomo High School Robotics.

Having worked in this community since the age of 18, Cory knows the struggles that some in the community face on a day to day basis. He plans to be a voice for everyone on the central coast including those from historically underrepresented communities such as people of color, LGBTQ+, and people with disabilities because he knows how important fostering an inclusive community is to both the economy and our society.

Leah Braitman

My name is Leah Braitman, I live in Lompoc and have been a registered Democrat since 1986. I have served on the board of the Lompoc Valley Democratic Club since 2017. Due to an elected delegate moving out of district, I became a de facto ADEM delegate. I am running again to ensure equal geographical representation for our district, and to make meaningful decisions about the future of our state party.

At 45, I realized that I had another 20 years of work left in me and it should be spent doing something more important than slinging foodie kibble at the ownership class. So I decided to go back to school and earn a B.A. in Politics, Philosophy and Economics. I learned about FDR and what an unbridled Democratic Party can do, about the history of our relationship with the Unions and the effects that media and money have on our politics. Even on my beloved Democrat Party. I realized that Democrats have not always acted right, even titling one of my papers, “More of an Ass Than a Donkey”.

As a supporter of Bernie Sanders in 2016, it was frustrating to see his economic message poopooed by some in our party, while an early candidate Trump took that same populist message, wrapped it in the flag and won. Again in 2020, I saw the message of economic equality lose to identity politics and a drift towards centrism out of desperation. I was disappointed by our down-ballot losses this last election. We need to search our collective donkey souls and figure out what happened. Was it just the label of Socialism? It drives me crazy when Republicans mention it, but was it our blatant use of identity politics?

Yes, we are the party that champions the environment, civil rights and equality. But we need more to our message. During this last election cycle, I made a lot of calls to young people, especially Latinos. And our message that we are the party of ‘inclusion’ is not cutting it. What have we done for them lately?

Lots of people who voted for Trump used to be Democrats. I want them back. We don’t have to have a beer with them, we just need to show them that they were actually hurt by the Trump economy, and give them a reason to re-register and vote as Democrats. We need to get back to railing against the economic royalists. We have the moral obligation to fix it this broken country. The new administration gives us all hope, but now the real work begins.

Shannon Gonzalez

Hi there. I’m just an ordinary person trying to make a difference and I appreciate the opportunity to earn your vote to become an Assembly District Delegate to the Democratic State Central Committee.

About me – I grew up in Paso Robles, California, received my Bachelor of Science in Biological Sciences from California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo, and currently work as a biologist for an environmental consulting firm in San Luis Obispo County. My background encompasses knowledge of regional biological resources, field methodology, and local, state, and federal environmental laws and review processes.

In my personal time, I have played a role as a founding member of a grassroots community organization called Paso People’s Action. We aim to support, amplify, and empower the historically marginalized voices in our community, and we work to disrupt the systems that push our neighbors to the margins. It is my belief that most societal issues are interconnected, but some of my main areas of concern are racial, gender, and LGBTQ+ equity, climate change, affordable housing and adequate living wages, immigrants’ rights, and universal healthcare.

2020 has been a tumultuous year for all us, and while many cling to the hope of “returning to normal”, we must accept that “normal” was never enough. People suffering or dying from lack of adequate healthcare is not unique to the COVID-19 pandemic. Racial injustice is a historic and continuous occurrence in our country, not a coincidence of the year 2020. And there are numerous other issues that are pushing us to the breaking point of deciding which path our country will take. It doesn’t have to be this way and we have to be the ones to make our country better than it has ever been, for everyone.

I’m just an ordinary person. My professional background is not in politics, but I am running with the belief that any citizen can and should be involved in the decisions that affect all of us. One thing that’s been made abundantly clear in the past four years is that ordinary people cannot afford to be intimidated by those in power. I want to make a difference for the people of my district and state, and I would be grateful to earn your vote to become an delegate for Assembly District 35.

Please feel free to email me at to connect, discuss, and ask questions.



Violet Sage Walker

Allene Villa


What is an Assembly District Delegate?

  • Assembly District Delegates represent their district at California Democratic Party events such as the California Democratic Party Convention, state executive meetings and other regional meetings.
  • ADDs get to participate in:
    • Election of California Democratic Party (CDP) Officers: Chair, two Vice-Chairs, Secretary and Controller (in odd-numbered years after presidential elections)
    • Election of 16-25 Regional Directors who function as liaisons between the California Democratic Party, County Central Committees, and Democratic Clubs in regions comprised of 3 to 5 Assembly Districts (in odd-numbered years)
    • Vote for the Endorsements of the California Democratic Party for partisan legislative and statewide offices in California
    • Vote for Positions on Ballot Propositions (as needed)
    • Establishment of the official California Democratic State Party Platform (in even-numbered years), and CDP Resolutions.

How do I run for ADD?

  • The deadline to apply to run is December 15, 2020. More info here:


How are ADDs connected to the SLO County Dem Party (SLOCDP)?

  • Members of the Democratic State Central Committee (DSCC) resident in this county are automatic members of the SLOCDP, per our bylaws. See Article III: Membership, Section 1-d.
  • The California Democratic Party bylaws define the DSCC membership

Useful Links:

  • CA Democratic Party Bylaws:
  • SLOCDP Bylaws:


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