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California Progressive Group Calls on Clinton, Sanders to Address Critical Local Issues Ahead of California Democratic Primary

CONTACT:  Brett Abrams | 516-841-1105 |

California Progressive Group Calls on Clinton, Sanders to Address Critical Local Issues Ahead of California Democratic Primary

CALIFORNIA — As the Democratic Presidential primary race heads to California, the California-based Courage Campaign is inviting Senator Bernie Sanders and Secretary Hillary Clinton to address critical state and local issues impacting California voters.  In a letter sent to the campaign’s this week, read in part:

California is the eighth largest economy in the world, yet due to the perceived political leanings of the state and our traditionally late primary, we are often ignored when it comes to national campaigns.

Regardless of whether Californians #FeelTheBern, say #ImWithHer, or are undecided, we expect those seeking to lead our country to pay attention to the critical issues impacting the daily lives of the people who live in the largest and most diverse state in the nation.


Specifically, Courage Campaign is asking the Democratic Presidential candidates to:

  • Visit families forced to evacuate from Porter Ranch, the site of the massive Aliso Canyon gas leak.  Lax regulations and oversight at Porter Ranch gas facilities led to California’s own Deep Water Horizon-style leak, except the main pollutant here was invisible methane.
  • Visit families in Southeast Los Angeles near Vernon, impacted by the Exide battery plant.  For years, the Exide battery plant flaunted regulations, ignoring desperate protest from the poor, mostly black and latino residents that lived nearby.  Now, there are horrific levels of lead in the soil of their homes and their children’s playgrounds, and the government is only now beginning to take adequate action.
  • Offer support to curb the epidemic of gun violence that continues to plague California.  California was the site of two of the country’s more recent high-profile mass shootings: Santa Barbara in 2014 and San Bernardino in 2015.  In November, California voters will consider an ambitious new ballot measure to begin regulating ammunition on a similar level to firearms, and the State Legislature is again considering a new, loophole-free assault weapons ban, which Governor Brown vetoed in 2014.
  • Highlight the devastating impacts of climate change on California’s drought, which continues to impact Californians after four straight years – despite recent mild relief from El Niño weather patterns.  Courage Campaign also is calling on the candidates to call out corporate profiteers like Nestlé that continue to exploit the State’s water resources, while children in poor communities like East Porterville are literally drinking from polluted duck ponds.
  • Meet with housing advocates from the Bay Area and Southern California to understand the catastrophic depths of California’s housing crisis.  Despite California’s progressive reputation, wealth and income disparities are amongst the highest in the nation, with many low and middle-income Californians spending more than half of their income on rent.  More Californians were subject to foreclosures from the big banks during the housing crisis than in any other state, particularly impacting communities of color.

“Addressing these issues in a deep and substantive way will demonstrate to the people of California that the Democratic candidates for President understand the local and statewide issues that affect our lives every day” explained Eddie Kurtz, executive director of Courage Campaign. “What happens in California has a wide ranging impact on the nation as a whole.  We hope Senator Sanders and Secretary Clinton will take the next month to truly understand our state, our people, and the issues that impact our daily lives to join us in building a better, more progressive California and country.”

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Courage California, formerly Courage Campaign, works to unite communities organizing for progressive change, fight the forces of corruption, and hold our representatives to account in order to ensure that California’s elected officials act with courage. Our community of members envision California as a model of progressive, equitable, and truly representative democracy that sets the standard for our country.


Angela Chavez