La Defensa 2024 Voter Guide Los Angeles County

The La Defensa 2024 Voter Guide is here! 

Ballots will be arriving in Los Angeles mailboxes by February 5! Mail in your ballot or visit an in-person voting location before polls close.

VOTE BY MARCH 5!

We have included Statewide policy suggestions, Federal Seats and CA Legislature picks, but otherwise this guide focuses predominantly on LA County candidates and policy.  

IN THIS GUIDE

NOTE: In our guide, each candidate is tagged with “Endorsed,” “Recommended,” or “Harm Reduction.” 

✅ Endorsed

La Defensa has vetted the candidate and highly recommends this candidate as a community champion on critical issues.

👍 Recommended

Based on our research, La Defensa finds this candidate to be generally aligned with our values and priorities compared to those in their field.

⚠️ Harm Reduction

Although La Defensa is unable to recommend any of the candidates in field, voters can choose this candidate to reduce the possible negative consequences that the alternative candidate could have on progressive policies we care about.

CandidateS

LA Superior Court

Superior Courts handle criminal or civil cases adjudicating disputes ranging from family, traffic, or criminal cases.

Superior court offices are county-wide, meaning we vote for a candidate in EACH of the offices.

Superior Court judges running for re-election who are not challenged by an opponent do not appear on the ballot and they are automatically re-elected following the general elections in November. In contested races, the candidate who receives a majority of all the votes in the primary wins the election. If no candidate receives a majority of the votes in the primary, the top two compete in the November general election.

The current composition of the Los Angeles Superior Court does not reflect the diversity of the County. 48% of all judges in LA County identify as white and 58% identify as male. 72% identified as heterosexual and only 2% reported a disability. Beyond demographics, a disproportionate portion of the LA Superior Court bench came from backgrounds as prosecutors whose objective was to win cases, not seek rehabilitation and community restoration. As of 2023, only two public defenders have ever been elected to the bench in LA County. A judge’s professional background inevitably affects the way they perceive the people, facts and evidence they are tasked with adjudicating.

The Defenders of JUSTICE for la superior court

VOTE FOR ALL THREE DEFENDERS OF JUSTICE IN LA COUNTY!

From a bird’s-eye view, this campaign is meant to shift the paradigms of our current local legal system. As an electorate, Angelenos have almost exclusively voted prosecutors to serve as county judges. This has resulted in a devastating impact on the lived-experiences of Black and Latine people navigating our court system. 

Diversifying the bench means more than just adding more people of color. We need more judges who have represented the most marginalized people, and have fought for lasting solutions rooted in community care.

La Shae Henderson

✅ Endorsed

La Shae Henderson
Office #97

La Defensa is proud to endorse La Shae Henderson for Judge of the Los Angeles Superior Court, Office #97. La Shae Henderson has served as a bilingual lawyer in the Los Angeles County Public Defender’s Office for eighteen years, working in various areas of criminal defense. She collaborated with attorneys across California and conducted trainings to help attorneys develop legal strategies to fight cases under the Racial Justice Act. La Shae is passionate about Juvenile Law and has worked as a counselor, youth minister, mentor, and life coach for teens in her community. She is currently in private practice and teaching Juvenile Rights as an Adjunct Professor at Pepperdine Caruso School of Law. La Shae Henderson graduated from California State University Fullerton with a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science. She earned her Juris Doctorate from Pepperdine Caruso School of Law.

George Turner

✅ Endorsed

George Turner
Office #39

La Defensa is proud to endorse George Turner for Judge of the Los Angeles Superior Court, Office #39. George A. Turner Jr. is a father, husband, and public defender born and raised in the city of Inglewood. He has nearly fifteen years of experience as an attorney for the Los Angeles County Public Defender’s Office, representing indigent individuals accused of crimes. George has handled hundreds of cases including misdemeanors, felonies, and juvenile petitions. He has advocated for treatment and programs to meet the needs of his most vulnerable clients, especially those with mental health disorders. He is the Supervising Public Defender of the Mobile Homelessness Unit with the Public Defender’s Office. George received his Juris Doctorate from UCLA Law School and his Bachelor’s in Political Science from UCLA.

Ericka Wiley

✅ Endorsed

Ericka Wiley
Office #48

La Defensa is proud to endorse Ericka Wiley for Judge of the Los Angeles Superior Court, Office #48. Ericka Wiley has worked as a Deputy Public Defender for more than twenty years in Los Angeles, representing clients in criminal cases with charges ranging from misdemeanors to capital crimes. She has worked as deputy in charge, supervising other lawyers and she is passionate about finding solutions for her clients which offer alternatives to incarceration and ways to better their lives. Ericka received her bachelor’s degree in English literature, from Fisk University, In Nashville Tennessee and her Juris Doctor from the University of Cincinnati, College of Law. Ericka lives in Los Angeles with her husband and their beautiful two year old daughter.

Kimberly Repecka | Office #124

👍 Recommended

La Defensa recommends Kimberly Repecka for Judge of the Los Angeles Superior Court, Office #124. Kimberly Repecka has experience representing children and adult dependents in foster care proceedings through her work at the Children’s Law Center and as a dependency attorney practicing in Los Angeles. She is currently a Deputy Public Defender with the Los Angeles County Public Defender’s Office. She believes that safer communities can be achieved through rehabilitation and restorative justice. Repecka is challenging incumbent Judge Emily Spear. Judge Spear was publicly admonished by the Commission on Judicial Performance in September 2023 over a variety of misconduct.

Rhonda Haymon | Office #12

👍 Recommended

La Defensa recommends Rhonda Haymon for Judge of the Los Angeles Superior Court, Office #12. Rhonda Haymon has more than twenty three years of experience as an attorney and has served as a Deputy Public Defender with the Los Angeles Office of the Public Defender since 2004. Haymon has experience defending adults and juveniles in felony cases ranging from petty theft to homicide. She believes in fighting for fairness and justice in the courtroom and her goal is to make sure that every person who walks into my courtroom has a voice and is treated fairly. Haymon also works as an adjunct professor at Southwestern Law School. Notably, Haymon is challenging incumbent Judge Lynn Olson, who joined the bench 17 years ago.

Want to KNOW MORE ABOUT OPEN JUDICIAL RACES ACROSS THE STATE OF CALIFORNIA? CHECK OUT OUR FIRST-EVER JUDICIAL VOTING GUIDE FOR ALL OPEN RACES.

LA COUNTY BOARD OF SUPERVISORS (BOS)

The Los Angeles Board of Supervisors fulfills three major powers in County government: executive, legislative and some judicial powers.

  • The Board is the chief executive authority of the County and administers local government functions, similar to a mayor of an incorporated city.
  • In its legislative role, the Board makes County laws and adopts an annual budget outlining the expenditures of all branches of the County yearly.
  • The Board is the decision maker responsible for judging administrative hearings and public hearings in areas such as conditional use permits, variances, subdivision maps, among others.

Each Board office also acts as a liaison between the public and County agencies and officials

Konstantine Anthony | Supervisorial District (SD) 5

👍 Recommended

La Defensa recommends Konstantine Anthony for Los Angeles Board of Supervisors District 5. Konstantine Anthony was elected to the Burbank City Council in 2020. He has previously served with the Burbank Advisory Council on Disabilities since 2018 and as executive board of Burbank PFLAG (an organization dedicated to supporting, educating, and advocating for LGBTQ+ people and their families) since 2019. He also helped found the Burbank Tenants’ Rights Committee to cultivate community stability, healthy housing, and affordability for renters in the City of Burbank. His policy issues include homelessness and affordable housing, police oversight, mental health, among others.

Janice Hahn | Supervisorial District (SD) 4

⚠️ Harm Reduction

Janice Hahn has been serving on the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors, representing the Fourth District, since 2016. Hahn’s stated priorities include addressing homelessness and reforming LA’s infrastructure for providing mental health services. She led LA Found, an initiative that offers trackable bracelets to families whose loved ones are prone to wandering due to Alzheimer’s, dementia, or autism to aid their safe return home. Hahn also led the effort to return the property known as Bruce’s Beach to the living descendants of Willa and Charles Bruce in 2022. Hahn’s critics argue that despite her stated progressive values, Hahn folds to the demands of law enforcement and votes to invest in carceral spending. Among the candidates in the field, voting for Janice Hahn is a harm reduction vote.

LA DISTRICT ATTORNEY

The DA leads the office of more than 1,000 attorneys, known as Deputy District Attorneys, who prosecute people accused of breaking laws in Los Angeles County and seek their punishment.

George Gascón

⚠️ Harm Reduction

George Gascón is currently the LA County District Attorney. Although La Defensa does not endorse in DA races, we do, however, want to recognize that Gascón has successfully implemented a number of policy changes in the office that have rolled back the archaic, racist and unjust policies of his predecessors. Despite the media narrative that crime is on the rise, and that Gascón is responsible, reports from the Los Angeles Police Department itself show that violent crime is declining in LA County. Gascón’s opponents are backed by law enforcement and advocate for incarceration as the solution to public safety, although data continues to show otherwise. LA County has enough experience with communities of color being overpoliced, over incarcerated, and under-serviced. Among the field of candidates, a vote for George Gascón would be the harm reduction vote.

LA CITY COUNCIL

The Los Angeles City Council is the fifteen member body that governs the city of Los Angeles, responsible for enacting laws and authorizing the budget for all departments and agencies.
Pastor Eddie Anderson

✅ Endorsed

Pastor Eddie Anderson | City Council District (CD) 10

La Defensa is proud to endorse Pastor Eddie Anderson to City Council District 10. Pastor Eddie Anderson brings a wealth of experience and a profound commitment to improving our community. As the Senior Pastor of the Historic McCarty Memorial Church and a seasoned Community Organizer, he has spearheaded impactful initiatives such as co-founding the Partnership for Growth LA. Pastor Eddie has been a champion for frontline progressive policies, including Measure J, and Measure A to enhance oversight of the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department. Moreover, his leadership in initiatives like United to House LA demonstrates his unwavering commitment to addressing unhousedness and housing affordability. With his keen focus on economic justice, reimagining public safety, and fostering inclusivity, Pastor Eddie is poised to bring transformative leadership to Council District 10.

Ysabel Jurado

✅ Endorsed

Ysabel Jurado | City Council District (CD) 14

La Defensa is proud to endorse Ysabel Jurado to City Council District 14. Ysabel Jurado is a tenants rights attorney and affordable housing activist who has fought to stop tenant evictions in Los Angeles. She is committed to expanding affordable housing, ending houslessness, supporting small businesses, tackling the climate crisis, and building a more just economy for all. We believe Ysabel will help establish a strong progressive block in the LA City Council and bring a much needed change of leadership to a district plagued by corruption. We are confident that Ysabel will focus on addressing the needs of the community rather than the interests of the political establishment, plus she has the drag queen vote – what could be better than that?

Jillian Burgos | City Council District (CD) 2

👍 Recommended

La Defensa recommends Jillian Burgos for City Council District 2. Jillian’s vision for the future of Los Angeles is holistic and inclusive. Her values align with the city’s urgent priorities while maintaining progressive ideals. Jillian is advocating for compassionate solutions to the housing crisis, renter protections, and affordable housing options for all. She advocates for environmentally sustainable urban design and accessible public transport. She supports initiatives to mitigate environmental impact and expand green spaces. In alignment with our progressive values, Jillian prioritizes harm reduction and restorative justice solutions over incarceration. Lastly, she is an advocate for comprehensive support for marginalized and low-income students, ensuring every child has the opportunity to thrive.

Nithya Raman | City Council District (CD) 5

⚠️ Harm Reduction

When Nithya Raman was elected to serve District 4 on the Los Angeles City Council in 2020, many saw this as the landmark moment for progressives in LA. Prior to her election, Raman co-founded SELAH, a volunteer-led organization focused on providing mutual aid to unhoused Angelenos. She decided to run because of LA’s rapidly rising housing costs and her experience in direct advocacy were a major factor in her decision to run. Raman has voted for more law enforcement dollars and has disappointed the progressive base that elected her. A vote for Raman would be the harm reduction vote because her opponents are pro-cop and funded by special interest landlord groups.

CA STATE SENATE & ASSEMBLY

The CA Senate is comprised of 40 members serving four year terms, and limited to three terms. They are responsible for writing the laws of the state, as well as the state budget. Along with the Senate, the Assembly forms California’s legislative branch, responsible for creating laws, establishing a state budget, and setting tax policy. The Assembly is made up of 80 Assembly members serving two year terms, and capped at a maximum of 12 years of service.

✅ Endorsed

Franky Carillo | District 52, CA State Assembly

La Defensa is proud to endorse Franky Carillo for Assembly District 52. If elected, Carrillo would become the first-ever formerly incarcerated exoneree elected official in California. Franky Carillo  spent 20 years in prison after being wrongfully convicted of murder. Since his exoneration, Carillo has committed to fighting the injustices of the criminal legal system. He is a Senior Policy Advisor for the Los Angeles Innocence Project. Carillo sits on the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s advisory board and serves as an appointee to the Los Angeles County Probation Commission. He also co-chaired Los Angeles’ successful Measure A campaign for sheriff’s department accountability and founded the Restorative Project (a holistic reentry initiative).

✅ Endorsed

Isaac G. Bryan | District 55, CA State Assembly

La Defensa is proud to endorse Isaac Bryan for Assembly District 55. Prior to his election to the Assembly, Isaac was a community organizer, working to address racial injustice in Los Angeles through initiatives such as the Alternatives to Incarceration Workgroup, Care First Jails Last Report, and Measure J. He served as the founding Director of the UCLA Black Policy Project, the first Director of Public Policy at the UCLA Ralph J. Bunche Center, as well as the Director of Organizing for the Million Dollar Hoods project. Bryan’s legislative accomplishments have included ending prison gerrymandering (AB 1848) and ending punishing fees for parents with children in foster care (AB 1686).

Greg Akili | District 57, CA State Assembly

✅ Endorsed

La Defensa is proud to endorse Greg Akili for Assembly District 57. Akili has dedicated more than 50 years of his life to community organizing for labor rights, as well as racial and social justice. He is among the few people of color to co-found a labor union — the United Domestic Workers (AFSCME 3090). His vision for people-powered governance is not just a policy platform, but a guiding principle. Akili has a broad range of experience, from being an educator at the University of California Los Angeles (UCLA), to serving in senior leadership in various grassroots organizations, such as the Fannie Lou Hamer Institute and Los Angeles Black Workers Center.

Sasha Renée Pérez | District 25, CA State Assembly

👍 Recommended

La Defensa recommends Sasha Renée Pérez for State Senate District 25. Sasha Renée Pérez has a background as an Alhambra City Councilmember, educator, and civil rights advocate embodies the values essential for our movement and moving California toward a progressive vision. Pérez’ commitment to amplifying the voices of marginalized communities is evident in her extensive track record of advocacy, from her leadership in securing $97 million to enhance college accessibility to her pivotal role in passing legislation for healthcare expansion. Pérez led efforts to enhance Alhambra’s infrastructure and quality of life, such as implementing a Project Labor Agreement that strengthened worker’s rights and establishing the city’s first community center. Pérez is the only candidate in her race who is endorsed by Planned Parenthood Advocates Pasadena & San Gabriel Valley, underscoring her commitment to protecting abortion access for all.

U.S. Congress - Senator & Representatives

Senators propose and vote on new national laws. They vote on confirming federal judges, U.S. Supreme Court Justices, and many high-level presidential appointments to civilian and military positions.

Representatives serve as one of California’s 53 representatives in the United States House of Representatives. They propose and vote on new national laws, particularly those that allow the government to spend money and impeach federal officials.

Barbara Lee
US Senator
CA District 12

👍 Recommended

La Defensa recommends Barbara Lee for U.S. Senate. As Congresswoman, Barbara Lee has represented California’s 12th District (formerly 13th) since 1998. Lee has had a trailblazing career spanning decades advocating for key issues such as abortion access, affordable housing, climate action and other progressive issues. Notably, she holds the distinction of being the highest-ranking African American woman in Democratic Leadership, serving as the Co-Chair of the Policy and Steering Committee. Lee’s significant roles include her positions on the Budget Committee and the influential Appropriations Committee, where she oversees federal government spending. Barbara Lee is the only woman of color and the most progressive candidate in this field.

Angélica Dueñas
US Representative
Congressional District 29

👍 Recommended

La Defensa recommends Angélica Dueñas for U.S. Congress representing District 29. Dueñas believes that congress can and should be controlled by working-class progressives. She ran previously in 2022 and in both campaigns, has prioritized demilitarizing the police, ending the school-to-prison pipeline, banning private prisons, and fighting for access to housing for all. Dueñas’ campaign does not receive contributions from the war industry, big pharmaceutical companies, big oil, or Super PAC funding. Notably, AIPAC has spent huge sums of money to confuse voters in the 29th district, especially since Dueñas has spoken up demanding a ceasefire in Gaza.

Maebe A. Girl
US Representative
Congressional District 30

👍 Recommended

La Defensa recommends Maebe A Girl for US Congress, representing District 30. Maebe has served as Treasurer and At-Large Representative for the Silver Lake Neighborhood Council (SLNC) since 2019. She is dedicated to working on behalf of all Californians — especially our most vulnerable, disenfranchised, and underrepresented community members. Maebe’s policy priorities include, universal healthcare, housing for all, education for all, environmental justice, racial justice, LGBTQIA rights, reproductive justice, and advocating against war. To date, she is the only candidate for Congressional District 30 to call for a ceasefire in Gaza. In her first congressional campaign in 2022, Maebe made history when she won the primary election against seven other candidates, becoming the first openly trans non-binary person to ever advance to a general election for a seat in the U.S. House of Representatives. Maebe is trans non-binary, and her pronouns are she/her/they/them. She hosts, produces and performs in drag shows around Los Angeles. Maebe was the first drag queen to be elected to public office in the United States.

DAVID KIM
US Representative
Congressional District 34

👍 Recommended

La Defensa recommends David Kim for U.S. Congress, representing District 34. David Kim’s work as a immigration litigation and juvenile dependency attorney, as well as his lived experience as a Korean immigrant have informed his values about abolition, co-governance, and people centric budgets. Unlike other candidates in the field, Kim is not taking campaign donations from oil companies, weapons manufacturers, and big pharmaceutical companies. In the 2022 election, despite being outfunded 100 to 1, he received almost 49% of the vote. Now more than ever, we believe it’s time to send those who represent progressive values and are outspoken in their support of Palestine.

PROPS & POLICY

STATE MEASURES

CA Proposition 1: Behavioral Health Services Program and Bond Measure

❌ VOTE NO

Vote “NO” on Proposition 1; if approved, would increase investment in involuntary locked treatment among people with serious mental illness and addiction disorders. If voters reject Proposition 1, the state could not borrow up to $6.4 billion to build more involuntary locked treatment units and supporting housing. Although California has an urgent need for more affordable housing and treatment for people living with mental illness, Proposition 1 would lead to forced treatment and institutionalization. Proposition 1 would likely incentivize counties to allocate less funding to voluntary, community-based mental health services, like outpatient care, crisis response teams and peer counseling.

Senate Constitutional Amendment (SCA) 2
Public housing projects

✅ VOTE YES

Vote “YES” on SCA 2. If passed, SCA 2 would repeal the current law that requires voter majority approval in a specific community in order to build rental housing projects for low income individuals within that community. California is currently the only state with this requirement, and this often results in a community blocking efforts to build affordable housing for “Not in My Back Yard” reasoning. SCA 2, if passed, would help streamline the process of creating more affordable housing throughout California.

Assembly Constitutional Amendment (ACA) 5

✅ VOTE YES

Vote “YES” on ACA 5. The California State Constitution currently defines marriage as between “a man and a woman.” Federal law defines marriage as a legal right for same-sex couples. If passed, Measure ACA 5 would overturn Proposition 8 and redefine the definition of marriage in the California State Constitution to be a fundamental right for people of all sexual orientations and genders so that if in the case of federal government overturning marriage equality, same sex couples would be protected and recognized by the law in California.

Assembly Constitutional Amendment (ACA) 1

✅ VOTE YES

Vote “YES” ON ACA 1. The California Constitution requires a two-thirds vote at the local level for general obligation (GO) bonds and special taxes. ACA 1 proposes an amendment that will lower the necessary voter threshold from a two-thirds supermajority to 55 percent to approve local general obligation (GO) bonds and special taxes to fund affordable housing, school improvement, and public infrastructure projects, such as parks, roads, and broadband internet access. ACA is aimed at providing local jurisdictions with a financing option to fund affordable housing, and to address public infrastructure challenges facing cities, counties, and special district

Assembly Constitutional Amendment (ACA) 13

✅ VOTE YES

Vote “YES” on ACA 13. ACA 13 would require future ballot measures that increase voter approval requirements to also pass by the same margin. For example, if an initiative constitutional amendment includes a provision that would impose a supermajority (e.g., three-fifths, two-thirds, etc.) voter approval threshold, then that initiative would be required to gain the approval of the same supermajority (three-fifths, two-thirds, etc.;) of voters in order to pass. ACA 13 protects the democratic process in local communities by ensuring that a simple majority of statewide voters cannot restrict the will of a supermajority of voters in a local community.

Measure HLA
City Mobility Plan Implementation Initiative

✅ VOTE YES

Vote “YES” on Measure HLA, City Mobility Plan Implementation Initiative. The City’s Mobility Plan creates plans for a connected network of pedestrian, bicycles, transit, and vehicle routes throughout Los Angeles. A “yes” vote supports requiring the city to prioritize the completion of street improvement projects described in the previously approved City Mobility Plan and provide accessible information to the public about the progress of these projects.