Vote Smart

It’s not enough just to vote: A list of candidates that support a robust civil justice system

David M. Ring
2016 October

Election Day is right around the corner. We’ve been building up to November 8 for a while now. Many have election fatigue at this point. But as consumer attorneys, it is imperative that we “vote smart.” By that, I mean don’t just show up and vote. Rather, spread the word to others in the weeks leading up to the election. Share your knowledge with those who don’t know much about the candidates. Vote for those candidates who support consumer rights and access to the courts, who have proven track records in supporting those issues that are important to our clients. Vote for candidates who will stand up for our courts and fight for the funding the courts (especially L.A. County courts) desperately need in order to truly give everyone fair access to justice.

On a personal level, it was a highlight to have U.S. Senate candidate Kamala Harris come and speak to CAALA’s Board of Governors a few months ago. Kamala is a rising star in national politics. She has the opportunity to be California’s representative in the Senate for a long time, just like Dianne Feinstein and Barbara Boxer have been.  Kamala is a true supporter of individual and consumer rights. Her personal story is compelling and inspiring. She is a true leader.

On November 8, as you go down your ballot, some choices are not as clear-cut. Some of us are not quite as knowledgeable about certain candidates or issues. I urge you to take a look at Consumer Attorneys of California’s slate of endorsed candidates. CAOC has worked hard to identify and support the candidates that will be the strongest advocates for a robust civil justice system – candidates who will help slow the continuing creep toward a more corporate-friendly legislature.

Here are some candidates that we know support our cause. If you are unsure of your district, please visit and enter your address – your legislative districts will be provided.

Assembly District 39 – Patty Lopez

Assemblymember Patty Lopez has been a progressive stalwart during her short tenure in the Assembly. First elected in 2014, Lopez has remained true in the Assembly, continuing to champion the constitutional rights of women, children, seniors, and veterans.

Assembly District 39 is located in the Northeast San Fernando Valley.

Assembly District 40 – Abigail Medina

Abigail Medina is a Trustee for the San Bernardino City Unified School District, first elected in 2013. Abigail is the oldest daughter of working-class immigrants. Abigail’s passion and advocacy within her community has driven her Assembly bid.

Assembly District 40 is located in San Bernardino County

Assembly District 43 – Laura Friedman & Ardy Kassakhian (Dual Endorsement)

Laura Friedman

Laura Friedman is a Councilmember and former Mayor of the
City of Glendale, first elected in 2009. Laura is a progressive and a committed environmentalist.

Ardy Kassakhian

Ardy Kassakhian is the Glendale City Clerk. First elected in 2005, Ardy became the youngest person ever elected to public office in Glendale.

Assembly District 43 covers the cities of Burbank, Pasadena, Glendale, La Canada-Flintridge and the neighborhoods of Los Feliz, Silver Lake and portions of the Hollywood Hills.

Assembly District 47 – Eloise Reyes

Eloise Reyes is an attorney taking on an incumbent legislator who has been a leading member of the Assembly’s moderate caucus and a consistent vote against California consumers. Eloise is a fearless champion for the civil justice system and a voice for everyday working people.

Assembly District 47 is located in San Bernardino County and covers the cities of Rialto, Colton, Fontana, Grand Terrace and a portion of the city of San Bernardino.

Assembly District 66 – Al Muratsuchi

Al Muratsuchi is a former member of the Assembly, running to retake the seat he lost in the Republican wave of 2014. Muratsuchi’s priorities are jobs, education, public safety, the environment, and veterans.

Assembly District 66 is a Los Angeles County coastal district in the South Bay area.

Senate District 21 – Johnathon Ervin

Johnathon Ervin is a senior field engineer with Raytheon, former member of the Lancaster Planning Commission and trustee at the Muroc Joint Unified School District.

Senate District 21: Approximately 70% of the district’s voters live in the Los Angeles County portion, which includes Santa Clarita and the Antelope Valley cities of Lancaster and Palmdale.

Senate District 25 – Anthony Portantino

Anthony Portantino is a former member of the state Assembly, serving from 2006-12. Before leaving due to term limits, Portantino accrued a nearly 97% voting record on CAOC-backed bills.

Senate District 25 covers Burbank and stretches east to Claremont.

Senate District 27 – Henry Stern

Henry Stern is an environmental attorney and a senior policy advisor to Senator Pavley. Henry helped write California’s landmark climate change law, AB 32.

Senate District 27: Approximately 65% of the district’s voters live in the western portions of Los Angeles County including Malibu, Agoura Hills, Calabasas, Westlake Village, and a large portion of the San Fernando Valley.

Senate District 35 – Steven Bradford

Elected to the Assembly in 2009, Steven Bradford worked to correct institutional injustices plaguing young black, Latino, and Asian/Pacific Islander males in California. As Utilities & Commerce chair, he authored bills promoting clean energy and enhancing local neighborhood security.

Senate District 35 covers the communities of San Pedro and Wilmington, northeast Torrance, Carson, Compton, Gardena, Lawndale, Hawthorne and Inglewood.

Tell your clients who live in these voting districts why you believe these candidates are worthy of election. Tell your clients to spread the word. Don’t sit on the sidelines. It’s not enough to just show up and vote. We have to vote smart.

David M. Ring David M. Ring

David M. Ring is a partner with Taylor & Ring, where he specializes in plaintiffs’ personal injury and wrongful death cases. He also specializes in representing victims of crime, particularly victims of sexual abuse, assault or harassment, in civil cases and has obtained many precedent-setting verdicts and settlements in that area of law. He was named Personal Injury Lawyer of the Year (2015) by California Lawyer. The Daily Journal selected him as one of the Top 25 Plaintiff Lawyers in California (2015).

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