AD43 - Los Angeles County, Los Feliz, Griffith Park, Glendale, Burbank
What are Assembly District Delegates?
Every two years, the CA Democrats elect 7 women and 7 men from each Assembly District in CA as delegates to the state party. Those who are elected will have a chance to vote for the new party chair and other leadership. The race is hotly contested and will determine how welcoming, grassroots-focused and innovative the party becomes or how beholden it will remain to big money interests.
Delegates elect Party officers, endorse candidates for statewide, legislative and congressional office, attend the annual convention, network with other Democrats, represent your constituency, promote the California Democratic Party agenda, and vote to endorse resolutions and ballot measures.
You get 14 votes for delegates, 1 of which you must also vote for Executive Board Representative.
Voting Time & Location
Date: Saturday, January 7
Candidate Speeches Begin: 12:30pm
Registration & Voting Begin: 1:00pm-3:00pm
Election Portion Begins: 3:00pm
Counting of the Ballots Begins: TBD
I.A.T.S.E. Local 80
2520 W Olive Ave,
Burbank, CA 91505
Corner of S. Buena Vista Street
*Any registered Democrat living in the district is eligible to vote. On-site voter registration is available for those not registered as Democrats.
Can We Count on You?
Attorney/DNC Rules Committee for Bernie
Bernie Delegate to DNC Platform Committee in Orlando, Bernie Whip in Philly, National Bernie Organizer 2015-2016
Bernie Delegate, Community Organizer, Filmmaker
Samer “Samerai” Kassab
Independent Artist / Community Activist
Activist, National Women’s Political Caucus Member, Stonewall LGBT Democratic Club Member
Editor, Berniecrat, Community Activist
Mike Van Gorder
Musician & Community Organizer
Teacher & Community Organizer
Progressive Community Organizer
Being born into a blue-collar family and town, I understand the struggles of those who work two jobs and still can’t afford rent or healthcare, who are no longer counted among the unemployed when benefits have run out, who may be smart and motivated enough to go to college, but who can’t afford tuition or the 7% interest on federal loans. I’ve experienced the stress and fear that comes along with living with no sense of financial stability in sight. I’m running for Assembly District Delegate and E-board to be a voice for these people who always get the short end of the stick.
Countless hours of the past year I’ve spent working for a better future by phone banking and canvassing for strong progressive candidates across the state. During the primary, I volunteered for the Voter Protection Hotline, clearing up issues voters had at the polls. I was elected as #2 Female delegate in my district and appointed to Rules Committee for Bernie Sanders for the DNC Convention. I proposed four rule changes to the Democratic Party Bylaws at the Rules Committee Meeting in Philadelphia and three of them were passed. I fought hard to change the super delegate system and open primaries hope to see these goals realized with the DNC’s new Unity Commission. As an activist, I’ve marched in support of BLM, against the DAPL, for Unity against Hatred after Trump was elected.
My background is in insurance where I worked on many real estate transactions and infrastructure projects with a focus on navigating EPA and local laws. I continue to fight pollution travesties in communities that lack resources. As a self-funded law school graduate, I’m intimately aware of the outrageous cost of tuition and the flawed income-based loan repayment plans offered by our government – I support free state-based college and student loan reform. I currently work as a TV Network attorney where I negotiate and draft agreements. In law school, I drafted Amicus Briefs to the Supreme Court for two cases. I hope to lend my drafting skills to the Party in any capacity that I can.
I’ve coordinated hundreds of people across CA to get involved in the political system for the first time and I look forward to inspiring even more new faces to join the Party. I am optimistic that the Democratic Party can truly return to the party for the people, not of the oligarchy and corporations. This is our time to act and to take back the reins of our own destinies – this is the why I am inspired to run and I humbly ask for your vote.
Why should you consider Ben Kemper to help with this effort and represent you in Assembly District 43? I was raised in our district and have lived here most of my life. You can count on me to listen to you — to be active in our wonderfully diverse community to make sure I understand what matters to you and what you hope we can achieve as a party. You can also count on my commitment to our party. I come from strong Democratic stock, going back four generations. I have volunteered for Democrats for more than 25 years, always at the campaign level, not within the party itself. I have had the opportunity to serve on, and lead, amazing teams of activists and volunteers — as a phone bank captain, a neighborhood captain, and later as a national volunteer leader for Bernie. One of the most thrilling occasions of my life was being a member of the Bernie-appointed Democratic National Platform Committee in Orlando, Florida this past July. Our work together produced the most progressive platform in our history as a party. I am particularly proud of the unity amendment on Civil Asset Forfeiture I co-authored. I also had the honor of serving as a Bernie’s California Whip at the DNC in Philadelphia.
As a lifelong Democrat, I was deeply inspired by the Bernie Sanders campaign and his clarion call to fundamentally transform this country. I want to see the California Democratic Party become a model for the nation, with leadership that rejects big money interests in favor of bold progress on universal health care, 100% renewable energy, tuition-free public universities, and criminal justice reform. I am running to be a district-level delegate to make sure we realize the ambitious vision laid out in the Democratic Party Platform–a platform I believe we can and must enact in our great state, no matter who sits in the White House. I volunteered for both the Obama campaign and in the fight against Proposition 8, as well as local city races–but during the 2016 election I became a full-time organizer. I joined the leadership team of Glendale for Bernie Sanders and supervised a volunteer office with the California Nurses Association. Our office in Glendale made over 500,000 calls to every state in the nation and knocked on thousands of doors. I ran as a Bernie delegate to the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia; I’m proud to say my running mate Lindsay Nelson and I received the most votes of anyone in our district. After the convention, I co-founded the group Progressive Action for Glendale, which is harnessing the energy and activism of the 2016 election and directing it toward local and state issues. Let’s make the California Democratic Party a truly progressive, grassroots, transparent organization that leads the way on every issue! Thank you for your consideration.
Samer “Samerai” Kassab
As a proud first-generation American born in Los Angeles county, where I’ve lived for three-quarters of my life, I’ve been able to experience the unique beauty and ugliness coexisting here among the amazing diversity. As a young teenager I also lived in New Hampshire which further enhanced my diverse range of perspectives. My introduction to community activism began with hip-hop at a very young age, thanks to my older brother.
Now, as an independent artist for over ten years, I’ve been able to raise awareness & contributions for multiple causes & charitable organizations, most recently volunteering and campaigning for Bernie Sanders. It would be an honor to become a delegate for California’s Assembly District 43 as it would be the first step in becoming directly involved with public service, with a focus on reforming the criminal justice system & police department, eradicating homelessness, improving care for our veterans, and strengthening the education system.
My name is Angel Izard and I love people. I’ve always said, if I could meet every single person in the world and be their friend, I would. I care about everyone. I care about our country, I care about our state, and I care about our party. I hope to bring a light to the California Democratic Party and do my part to ensure that we thrive, and work toward prosperity for all Californians, and all Americans. Please feel free to reach out to me personally with any questions, or I’d love for you to learn more about me at my website: www.angelizard.com
As a recent father of two I’m eager to create a world that’s safer, stronger and more equal in which my sons and their peers will grow up. During this past election I was inspired by the future that Bernie Sanders wanted for our country and I was inspired by the tens of millions of people that stood up for this vision. A vision that promoted equality, that stood up for the working class and working poor, and that treated the crisis of climate change with the urgency it deserves. With the election over, I’m looking to do my part in shaping our community, our party and our country and hope that you will give me this opportunity to do so. Always Forward, Never Back.
Mike Van Gorder
What do we share? We share a journey. Like many of you, I am a young Democrat and I want to bring together the generations on our journey towards a better and brighter horizon, a future to believe in. Along this journey I want to learn everything I can about leadership, about dialogue, about building coalitions, about navigating our systems of government and better opening its gates to allow in more and newer voices. A lifelong Democrat, I heard my values and challenges most perfectly addressed in the Bernie 2016 movement and came to understand that the political revolution boils down to the choice of greater civic involvement – so I volunteered every hour I could during Sen. Sanders’ Presidential campaign and joined Progressive Action for Glendale and the East Area Progressive Democrats. After the DNC I was one of the most active volunteers for Ardy Kassakhian for State Assembly in this district, culminating on election day with a 4AM start to a 16-hour Get Out The Vote effort in Burbank. I met and shared ideas with Republicans, Libertarians, Democratic Socialists, Progressives, and many more disenfranchised, and I came to understand that progressive core values like a higher minimum wage, debt-free college tuition, greater banking and trade regulation and prioritizing green energy development are not only mainstream but the keys to swelling the ranks of Democratic voters nationwide. Let’s seize this new groundswell of opportunity together!
Being an educator, I strongly feel the future of this country lies in the hands of our young people. Additionally, as a mother of two teenagers, I strive to bring political awareness into our home with a lead-by-example approach. As Democrats, we need to focus on the younger generations, who were deeply moved by this election cycle, and ensure their inclusion in our political actions and activities. In May of 2015 I founded Glendale for Bernie. I built and led a team of volunteers who were responsible for making over 500,000 calls for Senator Sanders, registered thousands of voters into the Democrat party, and canvassed door-to-door all over Glendale, Burbank, and Atwater Village. I also co-founded the group Progressive Action for Glendale, whose mission is to rally behind progressive politicians at all levels of government who pledge to get big money out of politics, fight climate change, and are responsive to the needs of working people. I would like to see California lead a movement in the Democrat party to focus less on raising huge amounts of money and focus more on grassroots community organizing. California should also follow the example in Vermont and New York by enacting a statewide ban on fracking. With Trump in the White House, the next four years are going to be tough- but if we all roll up our sleeves, get to work, and promise to never give up, we can accomplish anything!
Born in Boston, Derek studied international relations at American University in Washington, D.C., earning a Bachelor and Master’s in International Studies and Communication. He spent the last few years in Europe, mainly Berlin, organizing a transparency research project and NGO, Making Commitments Matter, which supported the United Nations information system and working as Director of Internationalization for KAYAK. He recently moved to Los Angeles, produced a film, Of Fortune and Gold, which won Best Picture at the Boston International Film Festival and throws socially aware nightlife events. In his free time, Derek dedicates himself to community service and social justice.