SETTING THE RECORD STRAIGHT

We are in the final throes of a hotly contested primary election for Assembly District 15, and passions are running high. I’ve worked as a progressive community organizer for 20 years and I’ve seen negative attacks, mistruths, and mischaracterizations overwhelm reasonable and important political discourse. I saw it first-hand working for President Obama for six years. I refuse to speak negatively of my opponents. That’s not the kind of campaign I want to run, and I believe our electorate deserves better.

Despite my lifelong commitment to public education, some of my detractors have been spreading misinformation about my positions and my background in general. Today, I want to set the record straight.

MYTH: Buffy is taking hundreds of thousands of dollars from charter school groups.

FACT: I have said that I will not accept any donations from charter school advocacy organizations. I have not accepted any such donations, and I will not.

Some of my detractors are trying to spread mistruths about contributions to my campaign from Govern for California (GFC). Govern for California is an organization that supports a wide range of public policy issues facing California, including an increase in more housing (SB827) and the ability to expand midwifery (AB2682). Govern for California is not a pro-charter advocacy organization. Some of the organization’s donors support charter schools, and some of them don’t, but either way it’s not a factor in their support for me. Regardless, I agree with Govern for California on some issues and disagree with them on other issues. On this, I have been very clear.

Govern for California donors have also given to many Democratic and progressive leaders including Senator Kamala Harris, Lieutenant Governor Gavin Newsom, Governor Jerry Brown, Senator Elizabeth Warren and President Obama. GFC’s donor network supports a number of our state’s progressive legislators including Senate President Pro Tem Toni Atkins, Senator Scott Wiener, Assemblymember Laura Friedman, and countless other pro-Labor progressive legislators.

MYTH: Govern for California is Buffy’s biggest financial backer.

FACT: My biggest source of financial backing is not Govern for California, but colleagues and fellow progressive leaders I met while working for President Obama. These are people I have worked with for over a decade pushing for progressive policies across the country, who provided the vast majority of the contributions I have received.

Our campaign has received donations from 1291 supporters, far more individual contributors than any of my opponents.

MYTH: Buffy Wicks is pro-charter.

FACT: As I’ve said for the last year, and laid out in my education platform (which can be found here), I strongly believe we need more accountability for charter schools. The law governing California’s charter schools was passed in 1992; we have had zero reforms to this law and it needs to be fixed. We need to immediately outlaw for-profit charter schools. We need to subject charter schools to the Brown Act, the Public Records Act and the Political Reform Act. We need to make it easier to identify poor performing charters and shut them down. And I believe charter school teachers should be unionized.

MYTH: Buffy is sending her daughter to a charter school.

This is perhaps the worst lie I’ve heard repeated to me. My 18-month-old daughter, JoJo, has not yet started school. When she does, we will be sending her to Oakland public schools. So the debate about how we properly fund and protect our public education system is personally important for my daughter’s future and for me.

MYTH: Buffy Wicks doesn’t believe in public education.

FACT: I am the proud product of California’s public schools — from preschool to community college, and I will be sending my daughter to public schools. I know that if it weren’t for California’s public schools, I would not be where I am today. Our public schools, universities and community colleges are one of the last ladders we have to allow anyone to achieve a better life for themselves and their families. I will work tirelessly to ensure that all of our kids have the same opportunity for a better future that I had through our public schools.

Fundamentally, we must invest in our public schools — this includes boosting per pupil spending, paying our teachers more, providing housing opportunities for teachers, investing in early childhood education, and ensuring all low and middle income students can go to college for free. We can do this by closing the commercial loophole on Proposition 13.

MYTH: Buffy Wicks is anti-union.

FACT: I have a 20-year track record of working for, with and alongside our Labor unions. I actually worked in the Labor movement, for UFCW, fighting against Walmart to get better health care and higher wages for their workers. Later, I worked with SEIU to launch a national Women’s Economic Agenda pushing for better paid leave policies, pay equity and paid sick days for working families. And I worked alongside Labor helping to elect President Obama twice and pushing to pass the Affordable Care Act. I have received financial backing from UFCW and former SEIU International President Andy Stern. I am unequivocally committed to collective bargaining, believe strongly in the Labor movement, and will always work collaboratively with Labor if elected.

MYTH: Buffy Wicks’ campaign is using paid canvassers.

FACT: We have knocked on tens of thousands of doors exclusively with 100% volunteers. I have attended 150+ house parties, all hosted by volunteers, and have over 500 volunteers helping on my campaign. I am the only candidate who got on the ballot by collecting over 1,300 signatures of in-district voters, with the help of over 100 volunteers. We’ve accomplished all of this through good old fashioned grassroots organizing. I have not used any paid canvassers in any capacity for my campaign.

MYTH: Buffy Wicks didn’t work in President Obama’s White House and only did fundraising for him on his campaign.

FACT: I worked for President Obama for 6 years — serving on both campaigns and in the White House. I was the Deputy Director of the White House Office of Public Engagement during his first term and worked on a variety of legislative priorities, including the Affordable Care Act, student loan reform, and getting Justice Sonia Sotomayor confirmed to the Supreme Court. For both of his campaigns, I worked as a senior staffer running field operations in a variety of capacities and helped develop the President’s grassroots organizing model. I have never worked in any fundraising capacity for President Obama or anyone else. I have no background in political fundraising.

I am incredibly proud of this campaign and of everyone who has participated — from volunteers to house party guests — your passion and investment in our community gives me hope that we can work together to find solutions to the issues facing California and District 15. I am ready to go to Sacramento to fight for and with our community to give families across this district the best future possible.

I am happy to answer any additional questions you may have about me or my campaign. You can email us at hello@buffywicks.com or call me directly at 510–545–3997.

MYTH: Buffy is taking hundreds of thousands of dollars from charter school groups.

FACT: I have said that I will not accept any donations from charter school advocacy organizations. I have not accepted any such donations, and I will not.

Some of my detractors are trying to spread mistruths about contributions to my campaign from Govern for California (GFC). Govern for California is an organization that supports a wide range of public policy issues facing California, including an increase in more housing (SB827) and the ability to expand midwifery (AB2682). Govern for California is not a pro-charter advocacy organization. Some of the organization’s donors support charter schools, and some of them don’t, but either way it’s not a factor in their support for me. Regardless, I agree with Govern for California on some issues and disagree with them on other issues. On this, I have been very clear.

Govern for California donors have also given to many Democratic and progressive leaders including Senator Kamala Harris, Lieutenant Governor Gavin Newsom, Governor Jerry Brown, Senator Elizabeth Warren and President Obama. GFC’s donor network supports a number of our state’s progressive legislators including Senate President Pro Tem Toni Atkins, Senator Scott Wiener, Assemblymember Laura Friedman, and countless other pro-Labor progressive legislators.

MYTH: Govern for California is Buffy’s biggest financial backer.

FACT: My biggest source of financial backing is not Govern for California, but colleagues and fellow progressive leaders I met while working for President Obama. These are people I have worked with for over a decade pushing for progressive policies across the country, who provided the vast majority of the contributions I have received.

Our campaign has received donations from 1291 supporters, far more individual contributors than any of my opponents.

MYTH: Buffy Wicks is pro-charter.

FACT: As I’ve said for the last year, and laid out in my education platform (which can be found here), I strongly believe we need more accountability for charter schools. The law governing California’s charter schools was passed in 1992; we have had zero reforms to this law and it needs to be fixed. We need to immediately outlaw for-profit charter schools. We need to subject charter schools to the Brown Act, the Public Records Act and the Political Reform Act. We need to make it easier to identify poor performing charters and shut them down. And I believe charter school teachers should be unionized.

MYTH: Buffy is sending her daughter to a charter school.

This is perhaps the worst lie I’ve heard repeated to me. My 18-month-old daughter, JoJo, has not yet started school. When she does, we will be sending her to Oakland public schools. So the debate about how we properly fund and protect our public education system is personally important for my daughter’s future and for me.

MYTH: Buffy Wicks doesn’t believe in public education.

FACT: I am the proud product of California’s public schools — from preschool to community college, and I will be sending my daughter to public schools. I know that if it weren’t for California’s public schools, I would not be where I am today. Our public schools, universities and community colleges are one of the last ladders we have to allow anyone to achieve a better life for themselves and their families. I will work tirelessly to ensure that all of our kids have the same opportunity for a better future that I had through our public schools.

Fundamentally, we must invest in our public schools — this includes boosting per pupil spending, paying our teachers more, providing housing opportunities for teachers, investing in early childhood education, and ensuring all low and middle income students can go to college for free. We can do this by closing the commercial loophole on Proposition 13.

MYTH: Buffy Wicks is anti-union.

FACT: I have a 20-year track record of working for, with and alongside our Labor unions. I actually worked in the Labor movement, for UFCW, fighting against Walmart to get better health care and higher wages for their workers. Later, I worked with SEIU to launch a national Women’s Economic Agenda pushing for better paid leave policies, pay equity and paid sick days for working families. And I worked alongside Labor helping to elect President Obama twice and pushing to pass the Affordable Care Act. I have received financial backing from UFCW and former SEIU International President Andy Stern. I am unequivocally committed to collective bargaining, believe strongly in the Labor movement, and will always work collaboratively with Labor if elected.

MYTH: Buffy Wicks’ campaign is using paid canvassers.

FACT: We have knocked on tens of thousands of doors exclusively with 100% volunteers. I have attended 150+ house parties, all hosted by volunteers, and have over 500 volunteers helping on my campaign. I am the only candidate who got on the ballot by collecting over 1,300 signatures of in-district voters, with the help of over 100 volunteers. We’ve accomplished all of this through good old-fashioned grassroots organizing. I have not used any paid canvassers in any capacity for my campaign.

MYTH: Buffy Wicks didn’t work in President Obama’s White House and only did fundraising for him on his campaign.

FACT: I worked for President Obama for 6 years — serving on both campaigns and in the White House. I was the Deputy Director of the White House Office of Public Engagement during his first term and worked on a variety of legislative priorities, including the Affordable Care Act, student loan reform, and getting Justice Sonia Sotomayor confirmed to the Supreme Court. For both of his campaigns, I worked as a senior staffer running field operations in a variety of capacities and helped develop the President’s grassroots organizing model. I have never worked in any fundraising capacity for President Obama or anyone else. I have no background in political fundraising.

I am incredibly proud of this campaign and of everyone who has participated — from volunteers to house party guests — your passion and investment in our community gives me hope that we can work together to find solutions to the issues facing California and District 15. I am ready to go to Sacramento to fight for and with our community to give families across this district the best future possible.

I am happy to answer any additional questions you may have about me or my campaign. You can email us at hello@buffywicks.com or call me directly at 510–545–3997.