2022 Voter Guide

La Defensa's Election Guide for LA County

Now, more than ever, it is critical that we elect progressive WOMEN to elected office at the local level! We are highlighting the candidates whose careers and platforms support gender, racial, disability and economic justice, from a community-centered vision. These are our picks for the primaries, and some resources to help you get ready for voting in these important 2022 elections.

VOTER RESOURCES

These resources can help you make sure you’re ready to vote. Be sure to double check that you are still registered, and that all your personal information is updated. Monday, May 23 is the deadline to register for voting in the June 7, 2022 primary election. 

2022 Voter guide

LOS ANGELES COUNTY

JUDGE OF THE LOS ANGELES AREA SUPERIOR COURT

Anna Slotky Reitano

OFFICE #60

WHY VOTERS SHOULD ELECT THIS PERSON

Anna Slotky Reitano is a Deputy Public Defender in LA County, where she has defended the rights of some of the poorest and most vulnerable members of our community. Anna is an active member of Local 148, the Public Defender’s Union, and currently serves as a treasurer and Union Steward. Anna’s passion for making sure her clients have resources to access mental health care is grounded in her family’s personal experience, as well as her many years zealously advocating for clients experiencing crisis. She is committed to seeking alternatives to incarceration and connecting individuals with diversion programs, social workers, and other life-affirming solutions. La Defensa is proud to endorse and recommend Anna Slotky Reitano for Office No. 60.

Elizabeth Lashley-Haynes

OFFICE #67

WHY VOTERS SHOULD ELECT THIS PERSON

Elizabeth Lashley-Haynes has defended the rights of the most marginalized folks for twenty years as a Deputy Public Defender in LA County. Elizabeth created a pilot program in the juvenile division that provided holistic representation and connected them to mental health treatment, education support, and substance use support. Elizabeth helps clients whose cases were affected by racial bias in policing, charging, and sentencing, as part of the Racial Justice Act Unit. Elizabeth champions alternatives to incarceration and collaborates extensively with community bail funds to assist her client to reunite and reintegrate with their families. La Defensa is proud to endorse & recommend Elizabeth Lashley-Haynes for Office No. 67.

Holly Hancock

OFFICE #70

WHY VOTERS SHOULD ELECT THIS PERSON

Holly Hancock is the Deputy-In-Charge of the Criminal Record Clearing Unit of the LA County Public Defender’s Office, where she has served for more than 15 years. She currently works in the Homeless Initiative and has collaborated with community organizations to help people expunge their records, which is a barrier to community re-entry. Holly has been active in unions consistently throughout her career, and peers have entrusted her with leadership positions because of her ability to bring people together to make difficult decisions. La Defensa is proud to endorse and recommend Holly Hancock for Office No. 70.

Lloyd Handler

OFFICE #116

WHY VOTERS SHOULD ELECT THIS PERSON

Lloyd Handler is a Deputy Public Defender in LA County. Lloyd believes in pushing for rehabilitation, preventing both overt and implicit racial bias, and connecting clients to services, programs, and other supportive measures for meaningful rehabilitation. Lloyd is challenging sitting Judge David Gelfound, a supervising judge who has refused to grant many mental health diversion requests from public defenders in the San Fernando and Santa Clarita courthouses. La Defensa is committed to services, not cages, and for that reason La Defensa recommends Lloyd Handler for Office No. 116.

Carolyn "Jiyoung" Park

OFFICE #118

WHY VOTERS SHOULD ELECT THIS PERSON

Carolyn “Jiyoung” Park is a former union-side attorney for SEIU 1000, and currently maintains a private general practice where she handles civil rights, labor law, tenant rights, and social impact business matters. Jiyoung has done pro bono legal work in support of asylum seekers and people peacefully exercising their First Amendment rights. Jiyoung is running because she believes we need more women, more women of color, and more people with diverse legal backgrounds on the judicial bench. La Defensa is proud to endorse and recommend Carolyn “Jiyoung” Park for Office No. 118.

Patrick Hare

OFFICE #151

WHY VOTERS SHOULD ELECT THIS PERSON

Patrick Hare is Deputy Public Defender in LA County. Patrick has worked extensively with the Collaborative Justice Courts, providing treatment and alternatives to incarceration for those suffering from mental health and substance abuse issues, as well as programs to support our houseless community. Patrick has been a public defender for over 30 years and believes that justice should not look different based on your zip code. He has collaborated with the Bail Project to assist clients with bail and is committed to criminal justice reform. La Defensa recommends Patrick Hare for Office No. 151.

BOARD OF SUPERVISORS

HILDA SOLIS

SUPERVISORS DISTRICT 1

WHY VOTERS SHOULD ELECT THIS PERSON

Hilda Solis is dedicated to implementing alternatives to incarceration. Hilda’s district was once the destination for a $3.5 billion dollar jail expansion. Since community-led efforts halted the plan, Hilda has led transformative work on the Board to reimagine public safety and support community-backed recommendations to prioritize a “Care First, Jails Last” vision for reimagining public safety. La Defensa recommends Hilda Solis in her re-election campaign for LA County Board of Supervisors, District 1.

Lindsey Horvath

SUPERVISORS DISTRICT 3

WHY VOTERS SHOULD ELECT THIS PERSON

Lindsey Horvath has held local office since 2009 where she was first appointed to serve as a City Councilmember. She then became Mayor of West Hollywood in 2015 and was re-elected in 2020. Lindsey prioritized providing rental relief to prevent houselessness, and she activated partnerships with community based organizations to address urgent service gaps, like food insecurity. 

Lindsey is committed to implementing alternatives to incarceration and has the courage to end the policies that support pipelines to the carceral system. Lindsey believes in care, not cages, and LA County deserves someone who will continue to fight for systems of care. La Defensa is proud to endorse and recommend Lindsey Horvath for LA County Board of Supervisors, District 3.

MUNICIPALS - CITY OF LOS ANGELES

MAYOR

GINA VIOLA

Mayor, City of Los Angeles

WHY VOTERS SHOULD ELECT THIS PERSON

Gina is a grassroots organizer who has worked in solidarity with Black, Latinx and LGBTQ+ led organizations to divest from criminalization and incarceration. Unlike her opponents, Gina is fully committed to redirecting resources away from policing and into housing, healthcare, a living wage, social programs and community-led emergency responses, as well as a strong supporter of a $39 minimum wage. La Defensa is proud to endorse and recommend Gina Viola for Mayor.

MEMBER OF THE LA CITY COUNCIL

WHY VOTERS SHOULD ELECT THIS PERSON

Eunisses is a lifelong resident of District 1 who has dedicated her professional career to grassroots organizing and community development. Among her many accomplishments, Eunisses was instrumental in the implementation of cannabis legalization in California, ending jail expansion in Los Angeles County, and implementing alternatives to incarceration. Eunisses believes in housing for all, expanding access to mental health care, ensuring road safety, and advancing environmental justice. La Defensa is proud to endorse & recommend for City Council District 1.

Scott Epstein

DISTRICT 5

WHY VOTERS SHOULD ELECT THIS PERSON

Scott Epstein is a leading housing advocate and policy expert. He is the founder of the non-profit Midtown Los Angeles Homeless Coalition, and is committed to advancing renter protections and affordable housing. Scott is committed to re-allocating funds from policing to make investments in housing, infrastructure, and community based services. Scott’s public safety platform includes de-criminalizing homelessness, demilitarizing the LAPD, as well as removing armed officers from traffic stops, and mental health calls. La Defensa recommends Scott Epstein for City Council District 5.

Erin Darling

DISTRICT 11

WHY VOTERS SHOULD ELECT THIS PERSON

Erin Darling is a civil rights and criminal defense attorney supported by grassroots, progressive organizations on the Westside. Erin believes that the houselessness crisis in Los Angeles will not be solved through more policing. He is committed to improving public safety and ending houselessness through investments in affordable housing and social services. Erin is also committed to environmental justice, and supports remediating urban oil fields and minimizing air pollution. La Defensa recommends Erin Darling for City Council District 11.

Hugo Soto Martinez

DISTRICT 13

WHY VOTERS SHOULD ELECT THIS PERSON

Hugo Soto Martinez has dedicated fifteen years to the LA labor movement as an organizer at UniteHere! Local 11, a union that serves a membership of over 32,000 hospitality workers. Hugo believes in building community power by implementing more tenant protections, replacing officers with nonviolent crisis teams, and ending the traumatizing street sweeps that target unhoused people. La Defensa is proud to endorse and recommend Hugo Soto Martinez for City Council District 13.

Bryant Odega

DISTRICT 15

WHY VOTERS SHOULD ELECT THIS PERSON

Bryant Odega is an educator, a tenants rights activist, and lifelong resident of Harbor Gateway. Bryant is a climate justice activist who supports a Green New Deal. Bryant knows that his district has been deeply impacted by environmental racism and that policy failures have caused preventable illnesses. Bryant advocates for stronger tenant protection and will prioritize policies that would create affordable housing. La Defensa recommends Bryant Odega for City Council District 15.

LA CITY CONTROLLER

Kenneth Mejia

LA CITY CONTROLLER

WHY VOTERS SHOULD ELECT THIS PERSON

Kenneth Mejia is an auditor and Certified Public Accountant (CPA) who is running to make the city’s finances more transparent and accessible to all Angelenos, so we can make informed decisions. Kenneth is a dedicated community organizer, tenants rights activist, and data expert, who is willing to critically analyze department budgets and make the recommendations for how to steward Los Angeles’ finances. La Defensa is proud to endorse and recommend Kenneth Mejia for Los Angeles City Controller.

CALIFORNIA STATE

STATE SENATE

Caroline Menjivar

Senate District 20

WHY VOTERS SHOULD ELECT THIS PERSON

Caroline is a lifelong resident of the San Fernando Valley and is running for Senate District 20. She enlisted in the Marines and served while under the “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell” policy, which forced her to hide her relationship. Caroline is an LGBTQIA+ advocate and works to create a more inclusive learning and family environment for LGBTQ+ youth and young adults. Caroline’s platform includes mental health and supportive services for all, resources for affordable housing, and investments in jobs with thriving wages. Caroline also supports investments in quality public schools, higher education, childcare, healthcare, clean air & water, and infrastructure. La Defensa is proud to endorse and recommend Caroline Menjivar for Senate District 20.

Maria Elena Durazo

Senate District 26

WHY VOTERS SHOULD ELECT THIS PERSON

Maria Elena Durazo has been a labor advocate and activist in Los Angeles for decades, protecting the rights of service workers, particularly our undocumented community members as a union leader at UniteHere! Local 11. As a state senator, Maria Elena has won unprecedented victories for labor protection rights and in particular for garment workers. She has been endorsed by powerful actors in the Democratic party, labor unions, and local organizations. Durazo’s platform include labor advocacy, minimum wage increases, protection of immigrants rights, affordable healthcare, and marriage equality. La Defensa recommends Maria Elena Durazo for Senate District 24.

Lola Smallwood-Cuevas

Senate District 28

WHY VOTERS SHOULD ELECT THIS PERSON

Lola Smallwood-Cuevas is an educator, labor organizer, and community advocate. She co-founded and is the former Director of the Los Angeles Black Worker Center. Lola currently serves as a Project Director at the UCLA Labor Center, where she directs the Racial Equity at Work project. Lola hopes to increase access to quality jobs, reduce employment discrimination, and improve industries that employ Black workers through unionization. She is committed to long-term solutions for the housing crisis, protecting the right to collective bargaining, and fighting for climate justice. La Defensa recommends Lola Smallwood-Cuevas for Senate District 28.

MEMBER OF THE ASSSEMBLY

Isaac Bryan

55th District

WHY VOTERS SHOULD ELECT THIS PERSON

Isaac founded the UCLA Black Policy Project and has organized with the JusticeLA coalition. He co-chaired the Measure J campaign, and he dedicated his career to fighting for abolition and social justice. In his time in the Assembly, Isaac has pushed bills that support alternatives to incarceration statewide and authored legislation to secure resources for people across the state. Isaac Bryan is running for re-election after winning the special election in 2021. La Defensa is proud to endorse and recommend Isaac Bryan for Assembly District 55.

Fatima Iqbal-Zubair

56th District

WHY VOTERS SHOULD ELECT THIS PERSON

Fatima Iqbal-Zubair is taking on one of the most heavily funded corporate politicians in California. Fatima is, in many ways, the antithesis of a career politician — she is a former high school teacher who taught chemistry, environmental science and robotics at Jordan High School in Watts. She has been quoted saying she decided to run “out of necessity” to defend and uplift her community from corporate special interests. Fatima’s grassroots campaign focuses on environmental justice and divesting from prisons and police. La Defensa is proud to endorse and recommend Fatima Iqbal-Zubair for Assembly District 65.

Tina McKinnor

61/62nd District

WHY VOTERS SHOULD ELECT THIS PERSON

Tina is a longtime organizer and advocate with LA Voice, a multi-racial, multi-faith advocacy organization based in LA County. She supported the passage of over 100 bills as the chief of staff to several State Assembly members, including the one she is campaigning to replace. La Defensa recommends Tina McKinnor for Assembly District 61/62.

Note: Tina McKinnor jumped into this special election race after a sudden resignation by Autumn Burke (Assembly District 62), and a redistricting effort that will be triggered in Dec. 2022, turning it into Assembly District 61. Confusing, we know. The gist is that voters in either district can vote for Tina in the June primary.