Black Women Lead California

“Long a crucial part of winning Democratic coalitions, black women vote often — in 2008 and 2012, the turnout rate for eligible black women voters was about 7 in 10, higher than any other race or gender subgroup — and reliably Democratic.” But the California Democratic Party does not reflect their leadership, and black women leaders — including CDT-endorsed Senator Holly Mitchell, Assemblymember Sydney Kamlager-Dove and Assemblymember Shirley Weber — are fighting for more representation and influence. 



CalMatters does a deep dive into the California population, including recent migration patterns and the future demographic trends. 


The federal administration proposed a rule that would cut 3.1 million people off food stamps, an estimated 250,000 of whom would be low-income Californians.


District Attorney Races

The Los Angeles Times looks at the shift from tough-on-crime to reformer district attorneys. 


2021 Redistricting

The 2020 Citizens Redistricting Commission extended the application period from August 9 to August 19 to address the underrepresentation of women and people of color in the applicant pool. Fifty-nine percent of the applicants are men and 63 percent are white. Community groups were advocating for an application extension to September and have actively been recruiting candidates to diversify the applicant pool


Republicans have filed a lawsuit against Michigan’s new independent redistricting commission, which will have implications for California’s commission. “The similarities between the Michigan and California rules are no accident. Both initiatives were designed to block gerrymandering by taking the every-10-years post-census effort to redraw each state’s political lines away from elected officials and put it into the hands of a multipartisan citizens’ commission.”



Tenant protection legislation, Assembly Bill 1482, could protect as many as 3 to 4 million people from arbitrary convictions in Los Angeles alone. The bill would bring an estimated 1.2 million units in LA under rent control.


Lobbying spending in Sacramento reached a new high in the first six months of the year: $187 million. The top five spenders: 


  • California Teachers Association, $4.3 million. It focused on legislation to weaken charter public schools, most of which are nonunion.
  • Western States Petroleum Association, $4.1 million. It focused on legislation and policy related to oil, emissions and taxation.
  • Chevron, $3.7 million. See Western States Petroleum Association.
  • California State Council of Service Employees, $2.2 million. Labor
  • ACLU, $2.19 million. It focused on criminal justice issues and police use of force.


Western States Petroleum Association and Chevron consistently rank in the top five every year and they have an outsized influence on killing or watering down critical environmental justice legislation. In the era of the top-two primary election system, they have honed a strategy to elect and influence candidates, especially in and from communities of color who are most affected by the oil industry. CDT works with a broad coalition of progressive groups to counter their influence, including through investments in our partner regional tables and groups in new majority communities.