A California Democratic Party That Works for Everyone
Throughout her career, Delaine has been a leader who has never been afraid to stand up to bullies on behalf of what is right. She fought polluters and sponsored legislation that raised over $100 million for toxic landfill cleanup by putting a tipping few on garbage going to landfills, thereby encouraging recycling. She wrote other recycling legislation that is still in effect today. She took on Big Tobacco and was the honorary Co-chair who helped to pass Proposition10 that taxed the tobacco industry to create ‘First 5 California’, a measure to support children’s development from ages 0-5. And as part of the lawsuit against Proposition 187, Delaine successfully stopped California’s police, health care professionals and teachers from being used as de facto immigration agents.
The California Democratic Party needs a visionary Chair with a brass backbone. Delaine has fought tirelessly for the children and the people of California. Now she is ready to bring those leadership skills to our Party, to create a winning team that will unite our Party and elect Democrats all over our state.
Delaine welcomes your questions, suggestions and feedback. Please contact her at [email protected]. Thank you.
Issues (alpha order): Campaign Finance Reform | Climate Change & Environmental Justice | Criminal Justice & Prison Reform | Dismantling Structural Racism | Economy & Jobs | Education |Gun Violence Prevention | Housing & Rent Control | Immigration | Infrastructure & Transportation | LGBTQ Rights | Medicare for All/Single Payer | Sexual Harassment | Women's Rights
Campaign Finance Reform
Delaine has fought against big money in politics since she first ran for office. She believes that when a system allows corporate money to flow to our elected officials, their actions are too often influenced by that money. Delaine is a corporate-free candidate, and will ensure that our Party fights for campaign finance reform. In fact you can read her own words here in this article "Get Big Money of California Politics". But of course it's not just campaign financing that needs reform, it is our Party. See Delaine's stance on that under Party Reform.
Climate Change & Environmental Justice
The science is clear: climate change is real, and it is happening now. It is a major threat to jobs across the state, to our highways and infrastructure, to our water and to our health, to our homes and families and to a prosperous future. We need to act with great urgency to save our planet for the next generation. California’s current climate commitments, while well intended, won’t stop climate change, which means even more severe droughts, floods, and fires in the years to come. You can see Delaine’s one minute video from her gubernatorial campaign on the environment here.
The fact is the window of opportunity for responding to this crisis is rapidly closing. Unfortunately, transitioning to renewable power won’t be enough to halt runaway climate change. We need more effective action now -- within the next 10 years, to reduce the excess heat that is driving global climate change. This action should focus not just on carbon dioxide, but also on methane, black carbon, and ozone in the troposphere, which together are responsible for nearly as much of this heat as carbon dioxide. And this needs to be done far more cost-effectively through actions that deliver the biggest bang for the buck.
Delaine supported the formation of a Task Force led by leading climate scientists to evaluate all of our options based on the latest science to determine which approaches will be most successful and most cost-effective.
Delaine is the only candidate for California Party Chair with a strong public environmental record and a comprehensive plan, based on the latest climate science.
- Delaine has called for a total ban on oil and natural gas fracking here in California. She believes we need full accountability for the climate impacts of any oil or gas we import into the state. In addition to the problems fracking can cause for groundwater and sensitive environments, it is associated with high levels of methane emissions. Methane is 86 times more powerful than carbon dioxide over a 20-year period.
- We must clamp down even more aggressively on methane emissions from all of our natural gas and oil production storage, waste management facilities, livestock operations, and other industrial sources.
- We must do much more to stop black carbon pollution (soot -- a very potent climate pollutant that comes from diesel), agricultural and residential burning, and industrial smokestacks.
- We must double down on dangerous air pollutants that combine to form ozone gas. This not only causes smog at ground level, but is also hundreds of time more potent than carbon dioxide as a greenhouse gas when formed in the troposphere.
- We must continue to reduce our state’s and our nation’s dependence on fossil fuels. The steps we take here in California will have ripple effects across the country. Delaine adamantly opposes oil drilling off of our long-protected coasts, and efforts to import coal and export fossil fuels.
- For full transparency, we must update our methods of tracking California’s contribution to climate change, which are woefully out of date. Our current carbon footprint only looks at annual emissions of greenhouse gases. However, carbon dioxide is very long-lived in the atmosphere. That means that the carbon dioxide we’ve been releasing into the atmosphere for the past two hundred years is still there, and still affecting climate. Moreover, this current carbon footprint accounts for only a fraction of methane emissions, and leaves out black carbon and tropospheric ozone altogether.
- Our state, regional and county Climate Action Plans, should also be updated to account for all climate pollutants based on the latest climate science. This will help to incentivize a wider range of mitigation options.
- We support current efforts nationally to institute a carbon fee and dividend, updated to include all climate pollutants.Through direct project funding, the cost of mitigation could be driven down substantially. This could create real incentives for industry participation and achieve the level of mitigation we need. Instead of $12/ton for mitigation, the typical going rate for cap and trade programs, mitigation could be achieved at far more affordable rates estimated at about 12¢/ton, according the UNEP (United Nations Environment Programme) and other sources. So, for instance, California could establish climate performance requirements and policy incentives, which companies could fulfill by funding suitable projects around the world at these dramatically lower costs.
- We must rationally investigate and undertake climate restoration options that allow the earth to heal itself, reducing heat on the planet without causing negative side effects for people or the environment.
- We must join with other states, countries, NGOs, and private sector partners to zero in on those climate mitigation strategies with the greatest ability to stabilize this crisis within the next decade, even if those strategies are deployed outside our state borders. California can’t do it alone, but we can lead the way.
As Chair, Delaine will bring together environmental advocates, climate experts, and impacted local communities to foster greater engagement and ensure that California Democrats remain at the forefront of addressing environmental injustices. The California Democratic Party Platform will more explicitly suggest policy directions at the local, state and national levels.
- Everyone deserves a fundamental right to breathe clean air and drink clean water, yet our poorest communities and communities of color routinely experience higher levels of pollution; from nitrates in groundwater, to poor air quality to lead poisoning. This leads to long-term health issues.
- We need long range planning to ensure that we do not compromise the health and safety of future generations for temporary profits for large corporations or giant agribusiness enterprises.
- We need to expand services in vulnerable communities, including access to safe parks, fresh food and other services that improve health and well-being.
Read more about Delaine’s strong environmental record here.
Criminal Justice & Prison Reform
California ranks 21st in per pupil spending, but is near the top in terms of per prisoner expenditures. Delaine believes it is time to reexamine our criminal justice system and stop criminalizing poverty, skin color, and mental health. The terrible pattern of incarceration that America has been guilty of for some decades must stop. We must invest in education rather than incarceration. Since 1985 we have built 4 public universities and 21 public prisons. That is a misguided expenditure plan and a foolish waste of lives and tax dollars.
Our Party must commit to ending the War on Drugs in California and supporting legislation to treat all addiction, not just alcohol and opioids, as a mental health issue.
We need to improve police training, including implicit bias training, end cash bail, stop prosecuting teenagers as adults, and end mandatory enhancements and minimums that provide no discretion to judges. We must move resources directed toward law enforcement to social services that constructively address the challenges of community members that are now answered by law enforcement.
We must provide rehabilitative services to those that are in prison, and job opportunities and housing access when they leave so they have the opportunity to support themselves.
Delaine believes that we should look to Europe and create prisons more like rehabilitation centers, and train guards less as gestapo and more as trauma-informed care and support counselors, which would also create a less stressful, more satisfying and productive situation for those who are in prison and those who are responsible for their care. Delaine opposes the death penalty.
Fundamentally, to fight crime, we must invest in education, as every major study shows our prisons are filled with people who are illiterate or barely literate. They should not have to wait to get to prison to receive an education. We need to provide scaffolding for vulnerable children as they are growing up. We must focus on our poorest children who have the least access to support services in our underfunded schools, on our foster children and our incarcerated youth, so that we short circuit the school to prison pipeline.
Delaine served on the Board of Yolo County's Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) to help Foster Youth. She served on a number of boards that promoted civic engagement of young people. During her time as a Community College Professor, Delaine taught a semester at the Youth Authority in Ventura.
Dismantling Structural Racism
Unfortunately, the history of our country is inseparable from the past and present exploitation of Black and Indigenous bodies. Many of our institutions, from our education system to our justice system, and from our financial system to our healthcare system, were designed in a way meant to uphold white supremacy and to protect the privileges of wealthy elites.
Delaine knows that Black Lives Matter and that Indigenous sovereignty must be respected. And xenophobia and racism have no place in our state. She believes that we as a Party must do more not just to speak up but to ensure that our leadership and our elected officials and others in decision making positions reflect the diversity in our state. It’s not enough for us to be a Party that rejects racism. As Democrats, we must commit to eliminating the structures that perpetuate racism in our society.
Economy & Jobs
There used to be an old adage, an honest day’s work for an honest day’s pay (at least if you were a white male.) When Delaine was young, more than 30% of the country was unionized, including her own (her father was a machinist), and the middle class thrived. Over the past several decades, productivity has skyrocketed and corporations have made billions, but more and more is being hoarded at the top as union membership has fallen to historic lows. Today, only about 12% of the country is in a union, and Supreme Court decisions such as Janus vs. AFSCME made it even more difficult for workers to join unions.
Over the decades, workers have seen reduced or stagnant compensation, all while living costs such as housing, healthcare, childcare and education have skyrocketed. This is unsustainable. It’s time for the Party to put more resources behind Democrats who will fight for the working-class.
This would allow us to elect more lawmakers who will pass legislation that would lift wages, promote pay equity for women, and help families secure affordable housing, childcare and preschool. We will also secure healthcare for all, provide excellent k-12 education, and make college tuition-free again.
Whether you’re a machinist in Modesto, a teacher in Tulare, a laborer in Los Angeles or a techie in Silicon Valley, California needs to be a place where you can buy a home, send your kids to college, and live a comfortable retirement.
Delaine is the Former State Superintendent for Public Instruction. Education is her lifelong passion. Her parents didn't go to college, but when her dad completed his career in the Navy, they bought the smaller house that cost more because the schools were better, and this changed Delaine's life. Delaine was the first person in her direct line to attend college; UC Davis as an undergraduate and UC Santa Barbara as a graduate student. Delaine believes the California Democratic Party must fight for greater investment in education, from cradle through career, so today's children have the same advantages that she had.
The First Five Years of Life: Fund prenatal and delivery care; protect and increase funding for paid maternity and paternity leave; implement affordable, high-quality childcare/development programs and universal high-quality preschool for ALL in 5 Years.
K-12: California has the highest number and percentage of poor children and English learners in the country. We have some of the largest class sizes and the fewest numbers of counselors, nurses and librarians per pupil in the nation. Delaine believes we must move California into the top 10 in per pupil spending for K-12 and enrich the learning environment. Learn about Delaine’s legendary record as State Superintendent here. Learn more about Delaine’s stand on charters here, including her time in the Assembly when she fought to require collective bargaining and the Republican governor vetoed her bill.
College & Career: Make college tuition free again and build new colleges, technical schools and universities, including more in rural, remote regions of the state.
Gun Violence Prevention
California has some of the strictest gun violence protection laws in the country and they are working. According to the San Francisco-based Giffords Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence, California has the seventh lowest gun death rate in the country.
Delaine is proud that Californians have continued to push forward on gun violence prevention measures, including giving families and authorities the right to remove guns from individuals who pose a danger to themselves and to others.
Now that President Biden is in the White House, California Democrats have an opportunity to work with the administration to codify a ban on dangerous assault weapons into federal law. We need to ban high capacity magazines, support universal background checks and close the gun show loophole.
When Delaine was in the Assembly, she supported the nation’s first law that banned the sale of military-style assault weapons in California. She received death threats, but stood strong in her position because she knew it was absolutely the right thing to do. The bill was signed by Republican Governor George Deukmejian after the murder of five children and wounding of 32 others in a Stockton schoolyard because at that time, Republicans and Democrats could work together to protect our children.
She worked with Attorneys General of both parties to develop school safety standards for California, that Secretary of Education Reilly told Delaine were the best in the nation after Columbine. He said the national plan borrowed most heavily from California.
Housing & Rent Control
The pandemic has exacerbated our state’s housing crisis. As a Party, we must continue to stand with tenants and work to stabilize the housing market. We must particularly keep our focus on those who are unemployed and/or unsheltered, as well as advocate for resources for low-income households. California currently has the largest number and percentage of homeless individuals in the nation. Also, our state’s homeownership rate is among the lowest in the country as the housing crunch and obligations such as student debt have had many young adults choosing to live with their parents for a longer period of time. Not only are these factors costing our economy billions, Delaine understands that it is just plain wrong to force so many families into poverty due to housing costs when our nation has the resources to get us back on track. We must:
Protect Renters – The economy is still on the rebound and many are struggling to get by. Our Party must continue to support a moratorium on evictions. Delaine also supports giving tenants more rights by repealing Costa Hawkins, which prohibits rent control on many units, as well as the Ellis Act, which has allowed for the conversion of many affordable units to higher priced condominiums. This will give cities and counties the tools they need to protect tenants and neighborhoods against massive gentrification, which is taking place in too many neighborhoods all over our state.
Expand Housing Units - Now more than ever, we must address the shortage in housing in order to stabilize rental and ownership costs. Most studies show we need 3.5 million new housing units by 2025. We are currently building fewer than 100,000 units a year. We can do better. Our Party should champion and support efforts to meet the housing needs of the 21st century in order to make California living affordable for all.
Modernize and Return Redevelopment - Our Party should support redevelopment and insist on building housing near transportation hubs, in conjunction with a transportation plan so we do not create another crisis. We should also look at ways to give more power to local communities to rezone and repurpose abandoned and/or underutilized commercial spaces into zones for housing units. Delaine does stress modernization that does not allow loopholes for redevelopment to be abused.
Address the Homeless Crisis - Lawmakers in our Party should be encouraged to advance legislation that would help unsheltered individuals and families secure permanent housing. From deadly outbreaks of hepatitis to massive increases in sexual assault, child abuse and domestic violence, the situation is dire and needs focused coordination between agencies so that people can secure shelter while we build our way out of this crisis. Delaine supports the idea of expanding eligibility for housing vouchers, eliminating housing discrimination, and using hotels, motels, tiny houses and cooperative housing to help people get immediate shelter.
In her first term on the City Council in Union City, Delaine convinced the Council to pass a Mobile Home Rent Control Bill after she exposed the deceptions of a mobile home park owner. During her tenure on the Council the City used redevelopment funds to buy up three toxic sites in downtown Union City, and over the years they cleaned them up and ultimately built multi-story, affordable and market rate housing near the BART station. As Superintendent, Delaine advocated for K-3 class size reduction to 20-1 or less. She proposed doing so over 4 years. After months of opposition, Governor Pete Wilson said yes but Delaine and California educators were given just 6 weeks by Republican Governor Wilson to implement class size reduction. In those 6 weeks Delaine coordinated all the agencies, including the portable housing industry, the highway patrol and the California Teacher Credentialling Commission and hundreds of school districts, and 30,000 portable classrooms were delivered to schools with breathtaking speed.
"Our Dreamers and our DACA Californians are as American as I am. And I am proud California became a sanctuary state." Delaine Eastin
Delaine's father was born in Kentucky and he was fond of saying that "Californians are people born somewhere else who came to their senses."
According to the Public Policy Institute of California, about 27% of California's population was, indeed, born somewhere else. California is home to more than 11 million immigrants, with half of California’s children having at least one immigrant parent.
California is the most diverse state in the country, and Delaine considers it our greatest strength. Immigrants are the most entrepreneurial people in our country. They dream and do and sacrifice to give their children the American dream. In California, 42% of all new businesses are started by immigrants.
Delaine absolutely supports and will fight for the inclusion of undocumented Californians in every step of the ADEM elections and in the California Democratic Party. And she sides with our undocumented Californians that they have as much a right to run and vote in our ADEM elections.
She also strongly supports California’s status as a Sanctuary State. She believes we must provide a path to citizenship for DACA recipients that includes granting protected status to their parents, and that the very idea that the government would betray these amazing young people by targeting their parents is un-American. Family is everything. It will take a long time to recover from the tragic decisions made by our last president.
Throughout Delaine's career she has stood up for all Californians to live with dignity and to be treated with respect. As State Superintendent she stood strong against Governor Pete Wilson after the passage of Prop 187. He ordered Delaine to have teachers act as immigration agents. When Delaine said no he threatened to have her recalled. She joined the lawsuit against Prop 187 and they won. Delaine also opposed Propositions 209 and 227. In her race to serve a second term as Superintendent, she was specifically attacked for being a strong supporter of bilingual education, which Prop 227 tried to outlaw. Delaine granted all 50+ Dual Language Immersion schools Alternative Schools Waivers to continue operating, as state law provided for. Delaine won the lawsuit. In 2016, the voters of California joined Delaine and repealed Prop 227 that had banned bilingual education.
Infrastructure & Transportation
Members of our Party must recommit to passing legislation that makes critical investments in our state’s infrastructure at the state and local levels. This should include providing public broadband for all residents, in urban and rural communities, who have been historically underserved.
The American Society of Civil Engineers issued a recent report that rated 5.5% of California bridges structurally deficient. It said that poor roads are costing drivers over $800 a year in repair costs. Drinking water improvement needs an estimated $44.5 billion, and wastewater needs total $26.2 billion. As many as 678 dams are considered to be high-hazard potential. It’s going to take serious effort and long-range planning to fix these issues, but together we can achieve it. We owe it to future generations.
Our highways, public transit, and utilities infrastructure are in dire need of an upgrade. In a state whose economy ranks 5th in the world, we should be using our revenue to improve the services we use every day. Delaine Eastin is committed to improving our state’s infrastructure and doing it responsibly.
Prior to her time in the Assembly, Delaine worked as a long-range planner for Pacific Telesis. As an Assemblymember, Delaine Chaired the Committee on Government Efficiency and served on the Transportation Committee. She steered legislation that sped up road construction for counties that had passed 1/2 cent sales tax measures, cracked down on unlicensed contractors, streamlined hospital construction (she was blocked from doing the same for school construction), and sponsored a bill to do a long-range water plan. The bill was vetoed by the Republican Governor who claimed that long-range planning was for Communists. Delaine earned a host of accolades for her work including: Assembly Member of the Year, American Planning Association, California Chapter - The John F. Foran Award for Legislator of the Year, the Metropolitan Transportation Commission - “We Dig California Award” Engineering and Utility Contractors Association - High Tech Recognition Award, California State Government Affairs Committee - Presidential Citation Award, AIA Legislator of the Year, California Council, American Institute of Architects.
Delaine is a long-time and fierce defender of LGBTQ rights. As Chair, Delaine will fight to ensure that in the California Democratic platform LGBTQ rights are the same rights and protections as all other Californians receive, and make sure there are protections in place to fight discrimination and push back against the Supreme Court decisions as necessary.
She will advocate for inclusive learning environments in schools and a no tolerance policy for bullying behavior. She believes it is critical that LGBTQ individuals are included in positions of leadership and government at all levels. It is critical for young people to see individuals that look like them in positions of authority so they can look with hopeful eyes to their own futures.
Delaine has been a lifelong supporter of LGBT rights and fought to defeat Prop 64 back in 1986. Delaine was the first State Superintendent to march in the San Francisco Gay Rights Parade. As State Superintendent of Public Instruction she set up an LGBT Task Force to make sure students felt safe and welcomed, and that teachers knew how to support them. She got death threats but never waivered. The report included “acknowledging lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender historical figures and eight related events, concepts, and issues in the revisions of content standards and curriculum frameworks, when appropriate. Identify and expand the available lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender resources for school library materials.” Delaine was a deciding vote on the Board of Regents when Governor Wilson tried to keep the UC system from extending spousal benefits to same-sex partners. In her successful race to serve a second term as Superintendent, she was attacked for supporting a 'gay agenda.'
Medicare for ALL/Single Payer
Healthcare should be a fundamental right, not a privilege reserved for the wealthy. We are currently paying more than anyone else on the planet for less healthcare and worse outcomes. Delaine was a staunch, unwavering supporter of SB562, the California single-payer healthcare bill, from the beginning. She believes our Party should get behind such types of legislation that would ensure everyone in our state has access to affordable healthcare.
Millions of Californians remain uninsured, and many more pay high premiums and deductibles for substandard care. The Affordable Care Act has provided greater coverage of individuals with pre-existing conditions but there is no cost containment within the system, resulting in increased premiums for patients. We need to take that next step and get out of promoting “affordable” coverage -- which should never be mistaken for care -- and lead the nation in providing quality healthcare to all our citizens as a matter of human rights. As CDP Chair, Delaine will fight for Single Payer/Medicare for All.
Delaine is fond of saying "fish stinks from the head." She promises that her office will have zero tolerance for sexual harassment. The Party's leadership will reflect the people of California. It will be at least 50% female and the most diverse to date. She will change the culture in the Party to not just including comprehensive training but have true and clear accountability as it relates to sexual harassment by anyone.
Delaine will advocate for our state protect victims of sexual harassment and assault so that their brilliance isn’t lost to us. Too many amazing young women and men have seen their careers in state government cut tragically short because they’ve been victims of sexual harassment and dared to stand up for themselves and their rights. We will not only protect the victims but we will expose the perpetrators and no more public money will be spent to cover up these acts.
While Delaine believes in protecting the identity of survivors, she will not hide the identity of perpetrators. The public has the right to know who is guilty of sexual harassment following such a determination. Also, to the maximum extent possible, perpetrators will be financially liable for any payments made due to their actions.
Delaine believes that in order to end the culture of sexual harassment and assault, we must start in our schools to teach our children about consent and support their emotional health and development.
It was Shirley Chisholm, the first African American woman in Congress, who said, “At present, our country needs women's idealism and determination, perhaps more in politics than anywhere else.”
Delaine understands that when women make up at least 30% of a legislative body, more support goes to education, to families, to healthcare and to support seniors. Budgets are statements of values, and we need women’s voices to be at the table making important decisions on behalf of our country.
Right now, the face of poverty in California is a single mother and her children. In fifteen or twenty years it will be a senior woman. Women still earn only 81 cents on the dollar what their male counterpart earns, and the figure is lower for Black and Brown women. In California, it is often our richest communities that show the highest disparity. For example, in California Congressional Districts 17 and 18, home to the Silicon Valley, women earn just 74 and 70 cents on the dollar compared to men in the same region. Meanwhile, Hollywood, the supposed bastion of liberalism, is being investigated for its abysmal discrimination against female directors and the treatment of women in general.
California needs to lead the nation in fixing these disparities for the residents of our state. We must continue to protect a woman’s right to choose, and we also need to go further in providing prenatal care and real maternity and paternity leave for women and for men. We must figure out the best means to offer high-quality AFFORDABLE childcare for all. Infant childcare can cost more than college tuition. That is not sustainable and it leads to women forced out of the workforce and/or to children receiving substandard care.
Delaine is a champion of pay equity. She believes California must strive toward the goal that women and people of color will earn $1.00 for every $1.00 that men earn.
Delaine believes there is no more basic right than the right to control OUR OWN BODIES. She has been a long time advocate for reproductive rights, and she has always spoken out against efforts to turn back the clock or make access difficult, whether the law was parental notification or efforts by religious groups to intimidate women. As Democratic Party Chair she will fight to broaden access to contraception and stand steadfastly for full access to abortion as well. She will push for abortion access for all women in our state, including our rural counties, and she will ensure that Medi-Cal reimbursement rates are fair and provide access for vulnerable women.
Delaine is the past President of California Women Lead, Chair of ClosetheGap, California in 2016, and Faculty for Rutgers Project 2012. She was a founder and chair of her local NWPC (National Women’s Political Caucus) chapter as well as Chair of the California Legislative Women's Caucus. She worked as Women's Studies Coordinator at two campuses and has developed courses on Women in Politics at three campuses, most recently at Mills College. Delaine has been a consistent voice for reproductive rights and paid family and medical leave. She has consistently spoken to women’s groups engaging women in running and getting politically involved, including Emerge America and Ignite. As State Superintendent, Delaine was accused of having a department 'run by women.' She did a study and determined that 56% of her leadership was female. Delaine has fought for women’s rights her entire adult life, and has been an inspired mentor and hero to countless women and men.
Reproductive Rights: When Delaine was a City Councilmember she crossed an angry line of anti-choice fanatics to support the opening of Planned Parenthood in Fremont. As an Assemblywoman, she consistently voted for reproductive freedom and she was one of the 600+ legislators (of 7000) from around the country who signed the 1989 Supreme court Amicus Brief in William Webster vs Reproductive Health Services in defense of abortion access. As Superintendent of Public Education she consistently supported comprehensive education about reproduction and sex education generally. She has opposed parent notification for young women under 18 to access abortion or contraception and she has consistently opposed government support for fake clinics.