These Are California’s Best Climate Candidates For 2020

February 28, 2020
 Climate Democracy
As climate change becomes a top electoral issue, Food & Water Action reveals its top candidate choices to win in California.

As California prepares to vote by March 3rd, Food & Water Action is proud to endorse and support worthy candidates. These candidates share our vision for a clean energy future, and will represent the values of people impacted by dangerous fossil fuel infrastructure from L.A. City Hall to the halls of Congress. 

Positions On Oil & Fracking Heavily Influenced Our Decisions

When weighing candidates in these races, we looked at their positions, their records and their ability to organize communities and coalitions to win. Like all our work, our fights are rooted in local communities. We believe winning local electoral races will lead to political power we can leverage to stop oil drilling in California and ban fracking nationally. 

We are proud to present our endorsements for the races where we organize and live. Get out and vote by March 3rd in California!

L.A City Council

Nithya Raman – District 4 

Nithya Raman has emerged as a bold community leader with a clear vision for guiding L.A. forward on its toughest issues: homelessness, housing affordability and climate action. Nithya will undoubtedly stand up to fossil fuel interests and support a 2500-ft. health and safety buffer zone between oil drilling and homes, and will stand behind a transition to 100% clean energy by 2030. Nithya is the best person to lead the district forward on these challenges.

Nithya’s campaign began knocking on doors in October, prioritizing relationship building with voters on the biggest issues in the district. No other campaign has acted with this much focus on rebuilding trust and connection with voters. 

Aura Vasquez – District 10

Aura Vasquez has been a part of environmental action since the early days of mass climate action in L.A. In 2019, as a member of the five-member Board of Commissioners at the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power, Aura stuck her neck out to oppose building three gas-burning power plants in vulnerable communities. This move aided existing organizing efforts to block the plants, and potentially saved ratepayers billions of dollars.

Aura’s opponents don’t share her vision for a sustainable Los Angeles, and most of L.A.’s political establishment has lined up behind them. But she remains the strongest candidate in the race poised to lob a wrench into the status quo, and push City Hall further on its climate commitments.

Loraine Lundquist – District 12 

Loraine Lundquist has defied all convention in her meteoric rise from a San Fernando Valley community organizer to viable frontrunner for the last conservative-held seat on L.A. City Council. The reason is pretty clear — long-term grassroots organizing builds strong roots. We met Loraine over four years ago in the midst of the Aliso Canyon Gas Blowout. Her family was sickened by the gas, and Loraine immediately got involved. She brought her science background and inquisitive mind to our community meetings. She helped organize demonstrations, attended advocacy visits with government officials, and she and her husband knocked on doors to collect public health surveys from their neighbors. Her involvement in her community grew from there as she took on issues of homelessness, housing, and clean energy with the same passion. When government inaction became a roadblock, Loraine decided to run for office.

Loraine has enjoyed a surge of grassroots support in the 2019 cycle with historic results. She beat the entire field in the 2019 primary, including the Republican establishment favorite John Lee. Loraine has a vision for getting L.A. off fossil fuels toward a robust clean energy economy that can revitalize our communities, clean up our air, and provide thousands of jobs. She will be a breath of fresh air in the San Fernando Valley. 

City of Glendale

Dan Brotman for Glendale City Council (at-large seat)

Dan Brotman has been an environmental campaigner and advocate in Glendale for many years and was heavily involved in a successful campaign to stop the expansion of the Grayson Power Plant. He will bring experience and vision to Glendale City Hall. 



L.A. County Board of Supervisors

Holly Mitchell – District 2 

Ca. Senator Holly Mitchell is a fighter — she was one of the first elected officials in the California legislature to stick her neck out on banning fracking, even when her colleagues warned her against it. Since that time she’s been an ally in the fight against the spread of more oil drilling in Los Angeles, and wants to ensure that proper measures are taken to protect L.A. communities for oil drilling.

Darrell Park – District 5

Darrell is a proven leader on local environmental issues. From the early days of the Aliso Canyon Gas Storage Facility blowout on the west end of County District 5, Darrell has been a tireless voice demanding accountability, public health and safety, and the permanent closure of Aliso Canyon. His opponent, Katherine Barger, campaigned hard on supporting the Valley community on this issue, but immediately after her election closed her doors to ailing community members, and only revisited the issue as her election came near.

Ventura County Supervisors 

Carmen Ramirez – District 5

Carmen Ramirez has a long-standing record for environmental and social justice in Ventura County, most recently as the Mayor pro tem of Oxnard. In her position, she voted to stop the re-powering of the Puente gas-fired power plant in favor of renewable energy. Carmen also voted to pass and re-extend a moratorium on drilling in Oxnard Tar Sands to protect drinking water. It’s no wonder she’s caught the ire of the fossil fuel industry—she’s not afraid to stand up for communities over their profits. 

Kim Marra Stephenson – District 3

Kim Stephenson is a school principal in Oxnard running in a swing district to replace an incumbent heavily funded by oil interests. Her opponent has already benefited from Big Oil spending to the tune of $825,000. Kim is the clear choice for a district riddled with oil drilling, fossil fuel projects because she’s not afraid to stand up to that industry. 

Santa Barbara County Supervisors

Joan Hartmann – District 3

Joan Hartmann has a long track record for environmental advocacy in Santa Barbara. As supervisor she is battling to keep her seat against a Big Oil supporter. The District includes Isla Vista – home to UCSB, the Santa Ynez valley, and rural communities along the coast. Joan brings passion to her environmental work and told us in an interview that she wants to leave a world that’s better off for future generations. 


Adam Balaños Scow – 20th District 

Adam Scow California CD-20Adam is running for Congress in California’s 20th district, located in what’s known as the salad bowl of the world, to represent Monterey and part of Santa Cruz County. Formerly the Ca. Director of Food & Water Watch, Adam is a proven fighter for clean air, clean water and healthy communities. His track record speaks for itself. He stood up to fossil fuel interests and banned fracking in Monterey and Santa Cruz counties to protect communities, farmworkers and groundwater. Adam currently serves as senior strategist for the Public Water Now campaign, which is actively pursuing public ownership of the Monterey Peninsula’s water system. Adam’s commitment and track record in solving the climate crisis easily makes him our top pick. 

As we continue to fight our local campaigns and build on our electoral successes, we are going to need more resources to win. With your support, we believe we can sustain these efforts and shift politics away from fossil fuel interests across California. 

Will you become a monthly supporter of our growing electoral work at Food & Water Action? Together we can elect more community leaders ready to become food, water and climate champions to give California a cleaner future.