Mariko Yamada 2016 Campaign
California State Senate District 3


This was the official website for Mariko Yamada who was running for the California State Senate District 3 seat against fellow Democrat Bill Dodd. She eventually lost the California State Senate, District 3 General Election, 2016 41.86% to Dodd's 58.14%.
Content is from the site's 2016 archived content as well as other outside sources for vewing in its historical context.

 



Meet The Candidates - Nov 2016 - Senate 3rd - Mariko Yamada
Mariko Yamada (D) is one of two candidates running for CA Senate 3rd District. Each candidate was invited to make a presentation in the DMA studio under identical conditions. Statements are up to five minutes in length, not edited, and presented here in random order.

 

Our Big News…Running for Senate!

 

Dear Friends:

Through some of our State’s most difficult times, Californians pulled together and persevered through years of brutal budgets and shared sacrifice. Thanks to the voters, tools like the simple majority budget, temporary taxes, and a rainy day fund, we’re breaking down the “wall-of-debt” that threatened our state’s economy, paying back what we owe to schools, and making a comeback.

Yet, our recovery has been uneven and inequitable. Too many are out-of-work; our social and public safety net is tattered; higher education and healthcare costs continue to rise; and the fourth consecutive year of drought and climate change threaten our multi-billion dollar farm industry. We have the highest poverty rate in the Nation - children, the elderly, and those with disabilities, including veterans, are especially hard hit.

Serving for six years in the California Assembly has been a high honor. Together we survived those difficult years, but there are still many challenges ahead that will require experienced and energetic leadership. We must boost our economy and protect small businesses and the lives of working people whose labor supports it. We must also ensure that the promises made for a secure retirement are kept fair for all Californians, and ensure that care is accessible for the most vulnerable Californians.

That’s why I am a candidate for the Third District in the California State Senate. As a professional social worker for over four decades, my background, training, and commitment to equity have prepared me well to take on these challenges on your behalf. I am excited to do this work and would be honored to have your support.

Primary Election Day is Tuesday, June 7, 2016. Your early endorsement and a contribution of any amount will help share our message.

Thank you for your past support and encouragement. I’m ready to run because “We’ve got work to do!”

Sincerely,

Mariko Yamada

 

Contact us
Yamada for Senate 2016
P.O. Box 528,
Sacramento, CA 95812
Tel: 707-533-4851
Fax: 530-759-0605

 



Mariko on the Issues

Economic Inequality

As a social worker for more than 40 years, Mariko Yamada has worked directly with families going through tough times. She understands that too many Californians struggle because low-wages and rising costs stack the system against them.

Californians are still recovering from the economic storm brought on by Wall Street greed. As we fight to close the gap between the rich and poor, we need leaders who understand that the economic recovery has been uneven. Rising education and health care costs have outpaced stagnating income. The social safety net that previous generations could rely upon has been shredded.

As State Senator, Mariko will work to level the playing field for all Californians. She’ll work to make sure that everyone pays their fair share – including support for extending the Prop 30 tax on millionaires and billionaires, and closing the corporate loopholes in Prop 13.

Mariko will make the case for social, economic, educational and environmental justice for all Californians. In Sacramento, she’ll represent the poor and middle class families over corporate special interests.

Protecting Our Environment

Mariko understands the delicate balance that must be maintained to preserve the character of our region. Dating back to her nine years of service with the Yolo County Board of Supervisors, Mariko has always been a leading advocate for open space and agricultural preservation. She will protect the natural and water resources on which our region’s prosperity depends.

Contrary to the claims of figures on the national stage, the looming threat of climate change is real. While her main opponent has taken a walk from key legislative votes that would protect our environment, Mariko has a reputation for always taking a stand when it comes to protecting our environment. That’s why she’s endorsed by the CA League of Conservation Voters. She’ll combat climate change and support efforts to reduce carbon emissions that put the health of our children and our local economy at risk.

Water

Four consecutive years of drought have endangered our region’s multi-billion dollar farm industry. Farmers and farmworkers have borne a significant share of the drought’s burden. And the impending threat of climate change means that these are problems that all of us will continue to face in the years ahead.

Considering the vital role that water plays in the Third State Senate District, this is not the time to be enabling the shipping away of our critical water resources. We should be investing in innovative technology and recycling programs to reduce water use, not destroying the largest fresh water estuary in the Northern Hemisphere to ship water resources to Southern California. Mariko has been a consistent and vocal opponent of the Governor’s Delta tunnels proposals, and will continue to oppose efforts to deprive our region of scarce water resources.

Food Safety

Every family in California should have access to affordable, healthy food, free from harmful toxins.

As State Senator, one of Mariko’s first actions would be to introduce legislation requiring the labeling of genetically modified foods in California. Going further, Mariko supports an outright ban on GMOs in grocery stores until GMOs are proven safe. We must have a better understanding of the long-term health effects and potential impact of allergens before exposing our children to these risks. We can explore ways to meet the growing demands on our global food supply and to alleviate the harm of resistant viruses and bacteria on crops, but these efforts must be weighed against the ability of parents to know what they are feeding their children.

Mariko will work to safeguard our food and water supply, instead of letting corporations like Monsanto win the fight against consumers.

Consumer Protection

Almost eight years ago, recklessness on Wall Street crippled our nation’s economy – but it was families on Main Street who paid the price. Big banks had brought on the economic crisis by gambling with other people’s money and selling their customers financial products they knew they couldn’t afford. And even after taxpayers bailed them out, they’re right back to their old ways while working families are still struggling to dig out of the hole they were left in.

As State Senator, Mariko will stand up for families instead of corporate interests. She’ll protect seniors against credit card fraud, instead of letting big banks off the hook. She’s the kind of leader California needs to stand up against corporate special interests and will fight to strengthen middle class families.

Seniors & Long-term Care

Mariko knows what it’s like to care for an aging parent while trying to raise a family; she was the primary caregiver for a parent for 23 years while raising her own two daughters. She clearly understands that as the Baby Boomer generation reaches retirement age, more and more families will face complex caregiving challenges.

Mariko has taken that experience and applied it to her service in public office. She chaired the Assembly’s Aging and Long-Term Care Committee for five years. As State Senator, one of her top priorities will be to establish the first Senate Committee on Aging and Long-Term Care to serve as the policy locus for issues related to California’s “Silver Tsunami”.

Over the last decade, the number of California seniors age 65 and older living in poverty has nearly doubled, due in large part to rising housing and health care costs. Without a serious effort to address the challenges faced by California’s aging population, the stress placed on our state’s resources threatens to limit the opportunities available to younger generations.

Health & Mental Health Care

While Obamacare has made significant progress in reducing the number of uninsured Americans and slowing the growth of health care costs, we are still a long way from solving the problems that plague our nation’s and our state’s health care systems. Meanwhile, members of the Republican Party, corporate interests, and the big insurance companies threaten to undo any progress we’ve made.

We must ensure that every Californian has access to quality, affordable health care. Health care costs constitute a significant chunk of our state’s budget, and remain one of the most important issues facing our state in the years ahead. Working conditions in our state institutions are also a significant concern. Mariko chaired the Select Committee on State Hospital and State Developmental Center Safety to address deficiencies in these state institutions.

We must finally treat mental health as an integrated component of overall health care instead of something separate or taboo, especially considering the close link between mental health and our state’s homelessness crisis. Mariko will continue to raise awareness for mental health issues and advocate for expanded services for all Californians. Mariko finds unacceptable that a growing number of people are on the streets because mental health services aren’t available. Mariko served as the Homeless Liaison for Yolo County while serving nine years on the Yolo County Board of Supervisors.

Mariko believes it essential that our health care and mental health care systems meet the needs of the brave men and women who served in our armed forces when they return home. Mariko served on the Assembly Veterans Affairs Committee for six years, leaving as its senior member.

Free Community College

Now more than ever, education is the key that opens the doors of opportunity. But too many students who have done everything right and pursued a higher education are finding that not to be the case. They’re graduating without employment prospects in a difficult job market, and overwhelmed by the crushing burden of student debt.

Higher education should be an experience that expands opportunities for the future, not a burden that limits them. To restore the promise that higher education once held for previous generations, we need to ensure that it is affordable and accessible for every young person who is willing to put in the work.

That’s why Mariko supports making the first two years of community college free for every California student who meets the requirements. They should have an opportunity to acquire the skills they need for a good-paying job, without having to take on thousands of dollars in debt that put them in a hole before they’ve even started. That’s the key to helping more young people and their families reach the middle class. To make this investment in our next generation of leaders will require a partnership between the federal and state government and examining new revenue sources including an oil severance tax.

 

Biography

Mariko Yamada is a Democrat and former California Assemblymember currently running for California State Senate District 3, comprised of Solano and Napa counties; and portions of the counties of Contra Costa, Sacramento, Sonoma and Yolo. The Primary Election is Tuesday, June 7, 2016.

Mariko was elected to the California State Assembly in 2008 and served in that position before leaving office due to term limits in 2014. During her six years in the Assembly, Mariko saw 31 of her bills signed into law. At the District-level, her hardworking staff mitigated over 1600 constituent cases. One of her proudest achievements was the development of the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance Program, which grew from drawing down $200,000 a year in Yolo County, to her final year total of $2.1 million dollars in tax returns to local working families. Over five years, the grand total of income tax returns was $6.9 million with over 100 volunteers. Mariko also focused her attention on helping high school students with their college financial aid applications through her sponsored Cash4College Workshops. She also hosted numerous veteran’s service fairs as well as AB 60 Workshops for undocumented drivers.

In the Assembly, she served as Chair of the Assembly Aging and Long Term Care Committee for five years; and was the senior member on the Assembly Committees on Agriculture; Water, Parks & Wildlife; and Veterans Affairs. She was also a member of these Committees: Assembly Rules, Labor & Employment, and Housing & Community Development. In addition, she was Chair of the Assembly Select Committees on State Hospital and Developmental Center Safety; Sustainable & Organic Agriculture; and served on the Assembly Select Committee on Homelessness; State School Financial Takeovers; Foster Care; Workforce Development Within the Developmentally Disabled Community; Wine; and the 2010 Census, among others.

Prior to her Assembly service, Mariko served for nine years on the Yolo County Board of Supervisors—four years as District Director and then for five years as the Supervisor for District 4. During that time, she consistently fought for the protection of civil rights, open space and agricultural preservation, and the inclusion of underserved communities in our educational system, the economy and the political process. Her education and experience as a professional social worker drives her leadership on issues affecting poor and vulnerable populations, including seniors and persons with disabilities and those who care for them. Mariko is also known for her advocacy for small businesses and for the protection of the environment and animal welfare, earning frequent recognition for her consistent legislative track record in these areas.

Mariko was born in Denver, Colorado after her family’s release from the Manzanar War Relocation Center, one of ten WWII Japanese-American internment camps. She attended inner-city public schools in the Five Points Neighborhood and was the first in her family to graduate from college – earning a B.A. in Psychology from the University of Colorado, Boulder and a Masters in Social Work from the University of Southern California.

Mariko’s experience also includes a decade in Washington, D.C. in federal service—first with the U.S. Census Bureau working on the undercount reduction "campaign" for the 1980 Census and then as the only female investigator among four headquarters staff with the Office of the Secretary, Office for Civil Rights, and U.S. Department of Commerce. She held similar positions in San Diego County in the late 1980’s.

During her "D.C. days," Mariko co-produced and co-hosted "Gold Mountain, D.C.," a jazz and information show on WPFW 89.3 FM, one of the Pacific Foundation radio affiliates. Classic R&B remains one of her mainstays.

Mariko has been married to Janlee Wong, also a social worker, since 1983, and has resided in Davis, CA, since 1994. They are the parents of two adult daughters.

Experience

Mariko has a four-decade record of forging partnerships in public service:

  • California State Assemblymember, 2008-2014
    Representing all or parts of Colusa, Lake, Napa, Solano, Sonoma, & Yolo counties
  • Yolo County Supervisor, District 4, 2003-2008
  • District Director, Yolo County Board of Supervisors, District 4, 1999-2003
  • Chair, Yolo County Democratic Party, 1998-2000
  • Chair, California Democratic Party, 8th Assembly District Committee, 2002-2004
  • Social Worker (MSW, University of Southern California, 1974)
  • Equal Employment/Affirmative Action Officer, San Diego County Department of Social Services, 1989-1994
  • Investigator, U.S. Department of Commerce, Office for Civil Rights, Washington, D.C. 1982-1987
  • 1980 Census Undercount Reduction “Campaign”, 1977-1982
  • Assistant Deputy County Supervisor, Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors, 1975-1977

Other Volunteer Positions

  • City of Davis, Personnel Board
  • Yolo County Health Council
  • Yolo Basin Foundation Board of Directors
  • Active PTA volunteer in San Diego and Davis

 



 

PRESS

 

CORPORATE MONEY TRAIL: Over $2.1 Million from Chevron, Big Tobacco and Corporate Special Interests are Boosting Bill Dodd's Campaign for CA State Senate

Posted: May 26 2016

***Special Alert:  As of June 6, Corporate Special Interests Have Spent More Than $3.1 Million in Attempts to Buy This State Senate Seat for Bill Dodd***

Davis, CA - Ten days ago, the Yamada for State Senate campaign reported that corporate special interests had spent $1.4 million boosting Bill Dodd's state senate campaign. New public documents filed with the Secretary of State's office show that this amount jumped to over $2.1 million - and keeps climbing.

Some of the nation's largest corporations, including Chevron, Phillip Morris, Monsanto and others are working behind the scenes to elect Bill Dodd.

The facts behind the dark money:

1. From April 13, 2016 until May 26, 2016, the "EdVoice" independent expenditure committee - partially funded by JobsPac, which accepted money from the tobacco industry (Phillip Morris), Walmart's heir and Republican real estate developer William Bloomfield - spent a total of $1,410,164 supporting Bill Dodd's campaign.

2. "Californians for Jobs and Strong Economy" - the Chevron-backed IE - has spent a total $223,796 supporting Dodd's campaign.

3. "Alliance To Get California Working Political Action Committee" funded by big tobacco spent $75,077 supporting Dodd between May 12, and May 26, 2016.

4. "Cooperative of American Physicians" and "Californians Allied for Patient Protection Independent Expenditure Account", funded by healthcare corporations, together spent over $142,500 to help Bill Dodd. (Source: electiontrack.com)

5. Groups like Monsanto, bank associations, insurance companies and other corporate interests are donating tens of thousands of dollars to Bill Dodd directly.

Money is funneled from committee to committee, but if you follow the money trail - it all leads back to the corporate titans of big oil, tobacco, pharmaceutical and insurance companies, and leading conservative Republican donors.

It's clear these companies get what they pay for.

* As Chevron, Monsanto, other anti-environmental groups and insurance companies support Assemblyman Bill Dodd, he supports them right back.

* A recipient of multiple contributions from Monsanto, Dodd voted against legislation that would require manufacturers to disclose their ingredients on consumer products. (AB708, Business and Professions Committee)

* A key environmental bill requiring California's emission standards be set 40% below 1990 levels failed to pass because Assemblymember Dodd and 14 other Senators did not vote. Dodd tells voters he cares about the environment, but when it comes to making a key vote, Dodd takes a walk.  (Source: September 9, 2015)

* After the tragic balcony collapse in Berkeley that took the life of a local resident, Dodd walked out on a vote for SB465, which would require increased oversight on contractor claims involving negligence, fraud and incompetence. (http://www.sacbee.com/news/politics-government/capitol-alert/article27262366.html)

* In both his 2014 Assembly races, Dodd accepted thousands of dollars in campaign contributions from corporations like Walmart and anti-environmental groups like Monsanto, Allied Propane Service and the California Independent Petroleum Association, an arm of big oil. (FPPC filings, 2014-2016)

* And Bill Dodd failed to appear at the most recent State Senate Candidate Debate on May 11 in Dixon - a town in Bill Dodd's own Assembly District. (Source: The Reporter article, May 12, 2016)

Corporate-backed Bill Dodd is conveniently absent when called to take on the tough fights.

A registered Republican just months before he ran for Assembly, Dodd switched his party affiliation when he realized he couldn't win as a Republican - so perhaps it's no surprise that this conservative candidate is receiving support from special corporate interests.

Mariah Noah, Yamada campaign coordinator, said, "Follow the money - and the votes. It's clear Bill Dodd is in the pockets of corporate special interests. Voters have a very clear choice - side with corporations or support Mariko Yamada's people-powered campaign. A social worker for over 40 years, Mariko is a principled leader dedicated to serving and strengthening middle class families and taking a stand to protect our environment, water and food supply, seniors, veterans and the most vulnerable communities. It's the tale of two campaigns that voters need to hear."

 

Expenditure Committee

Total

Alliance To Get California Working Political Action Committee

$75,077

Building And Protecting A Strong California, A Coalition Of Firefighters, Building Trades, Realtors, Correctional Officers And Food And Commercial Workers Organizations

$88,650

Californians Allied For Patient Protection Independent Expenditure Account

$39,577

California Apartment Association Independent Expenditure Committee

$49,676

California Building Industry Association Independent Expenditure Committee

$21,434

California Farm Bureau Federation Fund To Protect The Family Farm (farm Pac)

$62,361

Californians For High Quality And Affordable Health Care Political Action Committee, Sponsored By California Health Plans

$72,712

Californians For Jobs And A Strong Economy

$223,796

Cooperative Of American Physicians Independent Expenditure Committee

$103,000

Dart Container Corporation

$20,000

Edvoice Independent Expenditure Committee

$1,410,164

Total

$2,050,415

 



 

The Corporate Money Trail

Posted: May 16 2016

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 16, 2016
Contact Kate Maeder
katem@storefrontpolitical.com
415-745-2381

THE CORPORATE MONEY TRAIL: 
How Chevron, Big Tobacco and Corporate Special Interests are Boosting Bill Dodd's Campaign for CA State Senate

Dixon, CA - Some of the nation's largest corporations are working behind the scenes to elect Bill Dodd.

Public documents filed with the Secretary of State's office reveal the dark money behind Bill Dodd's main allies and supporters - and the direct contributions to his State Senate campaign.

In less than one month, a shocking $1.4 million has been spent from seven different independent expenditure committees - all funded by corporate special interests, big business, big tobacco and big oil - making the Third State Senate District the top race in California for corporate special interest groups.

The facts:

1. From April 13, 2016 until May 16, 2016, the "EdVoice" independent expenditure committee - partially funded by JobsPac, which accepted money from the tobacco industry (Phillip Morris), Walmart's heir and Republican real estate developer William Bloomfield - spent a total of $960,364 supporting Bill Dodd's campaign.

2. "Californians for Jobs and Strong Economy" - the Chevron-backed IE - has spent a total $206,576.56 supporting Dodd's campaign.

3. "Alliance To Get California Working Political Action Committee" funded by big tobacco spent $45,077 supporting Dodd on May 12, 2016.

4. "Cooperative of American Physicians" and "Californians Allied for Patient   Protection Independent Expenditure Account", funded by healthcare corporations, together spent over $142,500 to Bill Dodd in just the past two weeks. (Source: electiontrack.com)

5. Groups like Monsanto, bank associations, insurance companies and other corporate interests are donating tens of thousands of dollars to Bill Dodd directly.

Money is funneled from committee to committee, but if you follow the money trail - it all leads back to the corporate titans of big oil, tobacco, pharmaceutical and insurance companies, and leading conservative Republican donors.

It's clear these companies get what they pay for.

As Chevron, Monsanto, other anti-environmental groups and insurance companies support Assemblyman Bill Dodd, he supports them right back.

*  A recipient of multiple contributions from Monsanto, Dodd voted against legislation that would require manufacturers to disclose their ingredients on consumer products. (AB708, Business and Professions Committee)

*  A key environmental bill requiring California's emission standards be set 40% below 1990 levels failed to pass because Assemblymember Dodd and 14 other Senators did not vote. Dodd tells voters he cares about the environment, but when it comes to making a key vote, Dodd takes a walk.  (Source: September 9, 2015)


* After the tragic balcony collapse in Berkeley that took the life of a local resident, Dodd walked out on a vote for SB465, which would require increased oversight on contractor claims involving negligence, fraud and incompetence. (http://www.sacbee.com/news/politics-government/capitol-alert/article27262366.html)


*  In both his 2014 Assembly races, Dodd accepted thousands of dollars in campaign contributions from corporations like Walmart and anti-environmental groups like Monsanto, Allied Propane Service and the California Independent Petroleum Association, an arm of big oil. (FPPC filings, 2014-2016)


*  And Bill Dodd failed to appear at the most recent State Senate Candidate Debate on May 11 in Dixon - a town in Bill Dodd's own Assembly District.(Source: The Reporter article, May 12, 2016)

Corporate-backed Bill Dodd is conveniently absent when called to take on the tough fights. A registered Republican just months before he ran for Assembly, he switched his party affiliation when he realized he couldn't win as a Republican - so perhaps it's no surprise that this conservative candidate is receiving support from special corporate interests. 

Mariah Noah, Yamada campaign coordinator, said, "Follow the money - and the votes. It's clear Bill Dodd is in the pockets of corporate special interests. Voters have a very clear choice - side with corporations or support Mariko Yamada's people-powered campaign. A social worker for over 40 years, Mariko is a principled leader    dedicated to serving and strengthening middle class families and taking a stand to protect our environment, water and food supply, seniors, veterans, and the most vulnerable communities. It's the tale of two campaigns that voters need to hear."

 



 

Election 2016: Mariko Yamada

By Gretchen Miller | www.hercampus.com
 October 14, 2016

Mariko Yamada’s living room doubles as her campaign headquarters. There are calendars, refreshments, and signs lying around that read “Mariko Yamada for State Senate.” As Election Day nears, Yamada is still head-to-head with her opponent Bill Dodd, as both of them run to be elected into the California State Senate 3rd District.

Though both candidates are part of the Democratic party, Yamada believes her roots extend deeper than Dodd’s, who used to be a Republican. Her experience as a professional social worker influenced her to get involved in political activity — she served on the Yolo County Board of Supervisors for nine years and was a member of the California State Assembly from 2008 to 2014.

Yamada’s passion for social work sparks from personal experience.

“My family was one of the families that were interned during World War II in the Japanese internment camps,” she told me. “Everything that my family went through, I became a part of as the inheritance of that social injustice. So I grew up with a very strong commitment to social justice.”

Social justice is just one of the platforms Yamada is running on, in addition to income inequality, college debt, and environmental concerns.

As she explains, “Climate change is the existential threat of our generation that affects everything, like our water supply and ability to grow food. It affects ocean acidification as well as sea level rise. We’re almost out of time to put a halt on what we’ve done to the environment.”

 

After taking care of her mother for 23 years, Yamada has also included elder care as a major component of her campaign.

“20% of California is going to be 65 years of age or over in less than 20 years… It will be a very dramatic demographic shift, and it’s going to impact all generations. We already see how issues like the retirement system are now burdening young people. Their futures have been affected by the dynamics of the baby boomer generation.”

It’s issues like these that have a great impact on young people — and they might not even know it. Between the gossip and scandals of this year’s presidential election, it can be easy to pay less attention to local politics. But voting in local elections is equally as important as voting in the presidential election.

“It’s important for everyone to engage at all levels of government. But the reach to get your needs articulated or met is not as far with local government. We’re a little bit closer to the people,” Yamada described. “And for students, who is representing you in the Assembly and the Senate is very important for budget deliberations.”

Mental health is a relatable issue for people of all generations and backgrounds, and it is another issue Yamada finds significant.

“Mental health is an afterthought of health discussion. We see it playing out with veterans killing themselves. We see mental health issues in the college population, and in LGBT youth where there are enhanced rates of suicide. We need to make sure that people who need access to mental health services are not afraid to do so because of the stigma associated with it.”

I asked Yamada if she’s ever experienced any sort of prejudice in her profession.

“Whatever situations may have arisen, I think I was able to manage or turn around because I had such strong male and female mentors and role models,” she responded, adding: “I don’t back down.”

In terms of being a female in a historically patriarchal field, she stated: “Someone has to start. Sometimes when you’re written about, it’s like, ‘Oh, you’re the first woman, or you’re the first Asian-American, or the first whatever you are.’ That does carry significance and requires certain levels of responsibility. But the goal is to not be the last.”

Mariko Yamada is running for California State Senate 3rd District, and will be on the Yolo County ballot this Election Day, November 8th. If you have not yet registered to vote, or are looking to change the county in which you vote for, the deadline to do so is October 24th.

If you are interested in supporting Mariko Yamada’s campaign or getting more insight on her stances, you can visit her website for more information.

 



 

YAMADA IN TIGHT RACE WITH FELLOW DEMOCRAT

Posted On OCTOBER 29, 2016 / Nor Cal News

Mariko Yamada with her husband, Janlee Wong, and their daughters, Midori (back) and Meilee.

Mariko Yamada with her husband, Janlee Wong, and their daughters, Midori (back) and Meilee.

DAVIS — With Election Day less than two weeks away, most voters are focused on the presidential contest. But there are critical choices for state office that are just as important for California’s future.

In State Senate District 3, which includes all or parts of the Northern California counties of Contra Costa, Napa, Sacramento, Solano, Sonoma, and Yolo and the 22 cities therein, the race has come down to an fierce intra-party fight between two different Democrats, Assemblymember Bill Dodd and former Assemblymember Mariko Yamada.

In the state’s top-expenditure June 7 primary race, Yamada was outspent by a factor of 10 to 1, with Dodd’s combined total spending just over $4 million and Yamada’s ledger showing just over $400,000 in expenditures. Despite this imbalance, Yamada entered the general contest just seven points down from her competitor, 90,396 votes (37.40 percent) to 72,243 (29.89 percent).

Republican Greg Coppes was third with 54,525 (22.56 percent) and Democrat Gabe Griess was fourth with 24,540 (10.15 percent). Griess has endorsed Dodd.

The first- and second-place finishers in the primary, regardless of party registration, advance to the November election. The winner will succeed termed-out Sen. Lois Wolk (D-Davis).

Yamada calls Dodd’s campaign an example of the “rise of the corporate Democrats,” citing his backing from the oil industry and charter schools. She says she would be a stronger advocate for climate-change legislation and other bills opposed by the business community; according to The Sacramento Bee, Dodd has been the beneficiary of spending by Californians for Jobs and a Strong Economy, an independent expenditure funded by Chevron, PG&E and other companies.

Yamada is highlighting her opponent’s corporate ties with a website, http://TheRichandPowerfulforDodd.com.

She also emphasizes that she is a lifelong Democrat while Dodd only recently switched parties. A former Napa County supervisor, Dodd became a Democrat and was elected to the Assembly in 2014. He announced his candidacy for the Senate just seven months into his first term.

Forced out by term limits after serving three terms in the Assembly from 2008 to 2014, Yamada, a former Yolo County supervisor, has said she wants to return to the Legislature to take care of unfinished business in such areas as aging and long-term care.

The race between former Angeleno Yamada and her Napa-born opponent remains tight, and the stakes grew higher with Gov. Jerry Brown’s recent endorsement of Dodd.

“While I have enormous respect for Gov. Brown, this doesn’t change the reality that Dodd continues to side with corporate special interests instead of the people in this district,” Yamada commented.

Dodd’s supporters include local newspapers like The Davis Enterprise and The Napa Valley Register; several labor organizations, including the California Labor Federation and California Teamsters; Sen. Dianne Feinstein and Reps. Mike Thompson, Jared Huffman and Mark DeSaulnier; Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom, Secretary of State Alex Padilla, Attorney General Kamala Harris and Fiona Ma of the Board of Equalization; and 15 state senators, including Wolk.

Yamada’s endorsers include the California Asian Pacific Islander Legislative Caucus, California Democratic Legislative Women’s Caucus, California League of Conservation Voters, California Nurses Association, Rep. John Garamendi, former Rep. Lynn Woolsey, State Controller Betty Yee, State Treasurer John Chiang, State Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones, former California Supreme Court Justice Associate Justice Cruz Reynoso, former State Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg, and 13 current or former members of the Assembly, including former Assemblymember George Nakano.

A Little Tokyo fundraiser for Yamada was planned for earlier this year but had to be postponed. Yamada said last week that it would not be possible to reschedule the event but those interested in donating can go to http://YamadaForSenate.com.

 



 

YamadaForSenate.com