& Issues

I'm not here to play the game, I'm here to change it.

Jasmyne Cannick

Jasmyne's Platform for County Central Committee

Accountability & Representation

The California Democratic Party is the largest Democratic Party organization outside of Washington, D.C. With 43.5% of the state’s registered voters, the Democratic Party has the highest number of registrants of any political party in California. The Los Angeles County Democratic Party is the largest local Democratic Party entity in the United States, representing over 2.7 million registered Democrats and a population larger than 42 other states in the 88 cities and the unincorporated areas of Los Angeles County.

And even though the number of Blacks living in California continues to decline, thanks in part to gentrification, we’re still here, we’re still voting democratic and we deserve to be represented and to have our voices and issues heard at every level.

Black people are more than just the backbone of the Democratic Party — we are the heart and soul of the Democratic Party and at the same time the least likely to be represented and to hold positions of power within it.

There are no more Black districts in California. Black people live everywhere and we shouldn’t be relegated to running for office in certain areas.

As a Black woman, I am committed to ensuring that all of us are represented — and that includes Black women and other women of color. As a County Central Committee Member I will continue to be a consistent advocate for candidates, issues, and initiatives that speak to the needs of communities of color — representation, restorative justice, criminal justice reform, income equality, living wage jobs, affordable housing and healthcare for all. I will be the one that reminds the Los Angeles County Democratic Party that when we talk about immigration and the migrant crisis at the border, we should also be talking about the groups of Haitians, Eritreans, Cameroonians, and other Africans and people from the Caribbean at the border as well.

Responsible Leadership with Integrity

The people who function essentially as the Board of Directors for the Los Angeles County Democratic Party are known as County Central Committee Members and they are elected by a vote of the People.

These local offices are extremely important because it’s the County Central Committee Members who get to vote on who gets the endorsement of the Party, financial support and what issues the Party addresses.

One of the most important duties of County Central Committee members is that of endorsements.

As a member of the County Central Committee, I will advocate for more African-Americans in leadership in the Los Angeles County Democratic Party–in particular African-Americans who are under 50. I also promise not to sell my vote to the highest bidder or to go along to get along but to support candidates who are the best for the position and reflect the Party’s values and mission and not just the Party “favorites”.

Criminal Justice Reform

“In any country, prison is where society sends its failures. But in this country society itself is failing.”—Ice Cube, “What Can I Do?”

As the campaign director of Reform L.A. Jails (now Measure R), in 2018, I led the effort to get criminal justice reform in L.A. County jails on the ballot in 2020 to provide more transparency and accountability. Voters in Los Angeles County will now be able to give the Civilian Oversight Commission of the Sheriff’s Department more power to do their job and also force the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors to rethink spending $3.5 billion on new jails instead of addressing the root causes that are sending people to jail–mental health, joblessness, and homelessness.

I have a long, successful career of working as a strategist with criminal justice reform and restorative justice organizations in Los Angeles County.

As a member of the County Central Committee, I will continue to work towards making sure the Party remains accountable and present on criminal justice reform and restorative justice issues.

Fighting Homelessness and Gentrification, Protecting Renters

Los Angeles County’s homelessness crisis is a direct results of the high cost of living and rent.

A 2018 study by Zillow showed the link between rising housing prices and homelessness: When people spend more than 22% of their income on rent, the community is likely to experience a rise in homelessness. A more rapid increase in homelessness can happen when the portion spent on rent hits 32%.

As Democrats, we can, and should, talk about other issues like mental and physical health, but the permanent solution on homelessness is to address our state’s housing shortage and the fraudulent practices of landlords.

The Party should not be blindly co-signing or supporting elected officials, candidates or issues that are adding to the crisis.

We should only be supporting affordable housing that is affordable to the average resident in the area of the development–using the median income.

We also have a responsibility to acknowledge the role that gentrification is playing in the displacement of people of color from their communities.

Party Building Within Communities of Color

County Central Committee Members have the ongoing responsibility of communicating important policy issues to the electorate and continuing to add new registered voters to the Los Angeles County Democratic Party.

As a member of the County Central Committee, I will work to end the good ole boys’ culture that permeates with the Party. I will work to engage and bring the voices, values, and ideas of those from marginalized communities into the Party. That means reaching out to people in communities of color who are under 50, identify as LGBTQIA+, women–specifically Black women. I will specifically focus on getting more Black people involved in the Party at all levels including leadership, as we are currently underrepresented.

Fighting for All Immigrants

I agree with the California Democratic Party that our nation’s immigration system isn’t working. It divides families and damages our communities. California is the most diverse state in the nation and Democrats believe that the U.S. immigration system should be inclusive, fair, and just. We support comprehensive immigration reform that is consistent with American values of freedom, opportunity, compassion, and respect for human rights.

Where I hope to elevate the conversation is around the misnomer that all immigrants are from Central America or that Central American immigrants are the only immigrants we should care about and help.

According to the State of Black Immigrants in California report from the Black Alliance for Just Immigration (BAJI), approximately 178,000 Black immigrants live in California–that’s 6.5% of California’s Black population.

Most Black immigrants reside in Los Angeles, San Diego, and Alameda Counties. 41% of California’s Black immigrants live in Los Angeles while 9% of San Diego’s Black population are immigrants.

Even less talked about is that Black immigrants have the highest unemployment rate amongst all immigrant groups.

Not enough is being done to help the hundreds–if not thousands– of Eritreans, Cameroonians, Haitians and other African and Caribbean migrants at the border.

An inclusive Democratic Party is one that recognizes and works to assist ALL immigrants.

Support Economic Justice for All Workers

In theory, I agree that the California Democratic Party should work to expand workers’ rights, promote minimum wage towards a prevailing wage, and expand affordable housing and equal pay for equal work.

In practice, the Democratic Party–at all levels (national, state and local)– acts as a frenemy to certain people of color–Black people– and can do much better at having honest conversations about solutions to the adverse effects of gentrification and biased labor decisions.

Locally the Democratic Party also owes Black Democrats an honest conversation, minus the passive aggressiveness and microaggressions, on its support of policies that hurt the Black workforce in California in particular Los Angeles County.

Healthcare is a Human Right…Period.

Health care must be recognized as a human right, not a privilege for every man, woman, and child in our country regardless of their income. We need to stop confusing health insurance with healthcare. Health is not a commodity; it is a right.

HIV and AIDS Is Still A Crisis

In 2007, while working as a press secretary to then-Legislative Black Caucus Chair Mervyn M. Dymally, I spearheaded a H.R. 4 in the State Assembly recognizing February 7 as National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day in the State of California.

In 2018, I lost my best friend to AIDS — but really more the stigma associated with the disease. She was one of my biggest champions and would always push me to do more including encouraging me to run for office. I would always tell her no, that’s not my thing. She’s not here to see me run for delegate but I am running for her and millions of Black women like her.

Just because white gay men aren’t dying from AIDS in the numbers that they were back in the 80s and 90s does not mean the crisis is over.

Blacks account for a higher proportion of new HIV diagnoses, those living with HIV, and those who have ever received an AIDS diagnosis, compared to other races/ethnicities.

In 2016, Blacks accounted for 44% of HIV diagnoses, though they comprise 12% of the U.S. population.

Stigma, fear, discrimination, and homophobia place many Blacks at higher risk for HIV. Also, the poverty rate is higher among Blacks than other racial/ethnic groups. The socioeconomic issues associated with poverty—including limited access to high-quality health care, housing, and HIV prevention education—directly and indirectly, increase the risk for HIV infection and affect the health of people living with and at risk for HIV. These factors may explain why Blacks have worse outcomes on the HIV continuum of care, including lower rates of linkage to care and viral suppression.

The California Democratic Party and the local county party’s can do more to raise HIV/AIDS awareness and fight the stigma associated with the diseases while advocating that the organizations doing the work in communities of color are fully funded.