Hi there, Voters ~ I’m glad you dropped by.
Note to brand new voters:

Yes, the ballot below is confusing. And long. Yes, it is.
And yes, it’s hard to whack through the weeds
to figure out who is a clown and who will work for us,
or to understand what in the heck each proposition means.
As my very smart sister reminds me:
You do not have to vote for everything on your ballot.

But do vote on local issues & for local candidates.
Thank you, April
(Refresh your browser each time you return ~ I’m continually updating it.)
You can either vote by voting or vote by not voting. If you don’t vote, someone else’s vote counts more. It’s math. ~ Anonymous
If you’d like to be on my political email list,
email me: aprilspencil (at) g mail (dot) com

NOTE: The ballot below is currently in process–the final draft is coming SOON!  When everything’s ready, I’ll also put my-ballot-in-a-nutshell-here – [a printable PDF–not ready yet]

Meanwhile,  check out some of the terrific voting resources below…and watch the 30 second video at the very bottom of this page

For your very own ballot, go to VotersEdge.


John Chiang


All three are terrific

Former assemblymember Jackie Goldberg writes:

I love John Chiang!  He was courageous when I was in the Assembly [remember–this is Jackie talking, not April] and when Schwarzenegger decided not to pay employees of the legislators and committee employees when we had no budget passed…Chiang defied the…Governor, and paid all but the elected officials because the other employees had no vote on the budget…John Chiang always attends events in every community, and he is quite progressive.  HE DOES TAKE CORPORATE MONEY, however.

She also says: I love Gavin Newsome!  When he authorized same-gender marriages in San Francisco, he moved the debate over Gay/Lesbian marriage quite a bit further along.  He was roundly criticized for his effort, and he make waves that helped fuel the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision on Lesbian/Gay marriage, making them legal throughout the nation.  HE DOES TAKE CORPORATE MONEY, however.

And she says: I love Delaine Eastin!  She may be easily the most progressive of all running for Governor at this time.  She was State Superintendent of Public Instruction, and she will be a critical advocate for school funding, and for efforts to reduce class size in California.  SHE DOE NOT TAKE CORPORATE MONEY.

Gavin Newsom

All three are terrific

Delaine Eastin

All three are terrific

See also this LA Times article with more info about each candidate


Lieutenant Governor



Jeff Bleich


Jeff Bleich is endorsed by one of my heroes, CongressmemberTed Lieu, as well as the Sierra Club, the SF Chronicle, musician Rosanne Cash (as a gun control advocate), and Congressmember Jackie Speier, among many others. (He had my vote at Ted Lieu)

Secretary of State

Alex Padilla


 See his endorsements

Ruben Major


This was tough because Major is endorsed by Elizabeth Warren , who I adore.


Betty T. Yee



Fiona Ma


Attorney General

Dave Jones


Former Assemblyperson Jackie Goldberg writes:

“I have always supported Xavier Becerra as he represented where I live and work in both the California State Assembly, and in the U.S. House of Representatives.  He has done well in taking on the current U.S. President.

However, he supports the Death Penalty, and Dave Jones opposes the death penalty.

Dave Jones does NOT accept Insurance company donations or donations from “Big Oil,” Walmart, the Charter School Association, tobacco, private prison advocates and the bail industry while Becerra does accept money from all these sources.

Becerra has had an inactive bar license for 24 of the past 25 years and did not practice law all that time.

DAVE JONES is a progressive Democrat, an environmentalist, and a person who has spent his entire life supporting working people, supporting unions, civil rights, fighting poverty, and protecting consumers.  I endorse him with enthusiasm.”

Now this is April speaking:
Just to confuse you, here’s who’s endorsing them (both lists are impressive):
Dave Jones  endorsements
Xavier Bercerra endorsements


Insurance Commissioner

Ricardo Lara

they’d both be terrific

Lara is a proud, openly gay state senator.
From his website:
“Dubbed by the Los Angeles Times as the “Point man in the push for immigrant rights,” Senator Lara in 2016 engineered the successful statewide campaign to allow for multi-lingual education in California’s schools. He was also one of the key leaders behind a landmark effort to grant driver’s licenses to undocumented immigrants in California. “

Asif Mahmood

they’d both be terrific

Mahmood’s a practicing physician and supports Medicare for All. On his website Mahmood promises:
“I commit to you that I will not accept campaign contributions from insurance or pharmaceutical companies. Those businesses are not my constituents — you are…What Californians need is an Insurance Commissioner who will fight for each of those dollars to go back to Californians in the form of high quality care, service, and protection.”

California Board of Equalization

Member, District 3

Nancy Pearlman


United States Senator

Dianne Feinstein

not sure yet

Kevin De Leon

not sure yet

U.S. House of Representatives

District 33

Ted W. Lieu


He’s local and he’s a wonderful champion. What’s not to like?

California State Senate

District 26

Ben Allen


California State Assembly

District 66

Caney Arnold


Al Muratsuchi


 I would like to be a one issue voter in this race.   And that issue would be to ban toxic MHF… (see BUT below)

The Torrance Refinery Action Alliance  has taught me a lot.
They write, “…the {Torrance] refinery still uses a form of HydroFluoric (HF) acid. HF is an extremely deadly chemical that causes respiratory problems, deep chemical burns, and even death. According to ExxonMobil’s own research provided to the EPA, a release of just 5,000 lb of Modified HydroFluoric (MHF) acid could be lethal to residents within a 2 mile radius, and cause serious, irreversible health damage to those in a 3.2-mile radius. More than 250,000 people live in the affected areas.”

TRAA doesn’t endorse candidates, but candidate Caney Arnold’s website indicates that he’s focused on removing MHF from the Torrance and Wilmington refineries.

BUT Republicans only need to gain two seats to break the Democrats’ supermajority.

I know and respect Al Muratsuchi and all he’s done as our assemblymember.

I do not want a Republican elected in my district, and I’m afraid that voting for Arnold will split the vote.

I’m voting for Al Muratsuchi.

Los Angeles County Superior Court
75% Of us skip voting for judges. You vote counts!

Judge, Seat 4

A. Verónica Sauceda


endorsed by Code Blue, Jackie Goldberg and others, including my friend who’s a family law attorney. He writes, “I am told that both of the candidates [Sauceda, Office #4 and Duron, Office #146] with Family Law experience are currently sitting as “Commissioners” at the Compton courthouse.  The Compton courthouse serves a lower income community, which has a more desperate need for knowledgeable bench officers than some other courthouse communities.  Ms. Saucedo and Mr. Duron apparently both practiced Family Law before they were appointed as commissioners and assigned to Family Law courts.
Judge, Seat 16

Patricia “Patti” Hunter


It’s worth your time to read this May 20, 2018 LA Times article by a writer who researched this office to decide how she would vote.

Sydne Jane Michel


“Michel has been married to attorney C.D. “Chuck” Michel for 20 years. She has two sons with the Long Beach practitioner who is known for representing the National Rifle Association in high-profile litigation.” source: http://www.metnews.com/articles/2018/judielec041618.htm

Her husband’s Facebook page lists him as President of the California Rifle and Pistol Association.

Judge, Seat 20

Wendy Segall


Judge, Seat 60

Holly L. Hancock


The LA Times endorses her
Judge, Seat 63

Malcolm H. Mackey


Judge, Seat 67

Maria Lucy Armendariz


Agreement across the board.
Judge, Seat 71

Danielle R.A. Gibbons


LA Times: “Our preference would be to elect both [candidates]…to the bench.”
The very conservative ElectionForum.org  rated Berger 9 and Gibbons 5. Good enough reason for me to vote for Gibbons.
Judge, Seat 113

Javier Perez


Perez is rated Well Qualified by the Los Angeles County Bar Association and endorsed by many people and organizations I respect
Judge, Seat 118

Rene Caldwell Gilbertson


Enthusiastically endorsed by former assembly person Jackie Goldberg, among others.
Judge of the Superior Court Office No. 126

Rene Caldwell Gilbertson


Judge, Seat 146

Armando Durón


Duron is enthusiastically supported by  former assembly person Jackie Goldberg.  Also,  my friend, an family law attorney, writes, “I am told that both of the candidates [Sauceda, Office #4 and Duron, Office #146] with Family Law experience are currently sitting as “Commissioners” at the Compton courthouse.  The Compton courthouse serves a lower income community, which has a more desperate need for knowledgeable bench officers than some other courthouse communities.  Ms. Saucedo and Mr. Duron apparently both practiced Family Law before they were appointed as commissioners and assigned to Family Law courts.

Los Angeles County


Jeffrey Prang



Alex Villanueva


Ballot Measures
these quick summaries are from Patch.com

Proposition 68 — Bonds for Environment, Parks and Water
Bond Measure


What Is Proposition 68?

Proposition 68, the statewide bond measure, has the support of environmental groups and is opposed by conservative taxpayer groups.

Proposition 69 — Transportation Funding
Constitutional Amendment –


What Is Proposition 69?

Proposition 69, or the lockbox amendment, requires lawmakers to spend new gas tax revenue on transportation projects.

Proposition 70 — Cap-and-Trade Amendment
Constitutional Amendment –


there’s universal agreement
vote no 

What Is Proposition 70?

Prop 70 is a constitutional amendment that would require a legislative supermajority vote in 2024 to pass a cap-and-trade spending plan.

“And why should voters today bind the hands of lawmakers, one time, in 2024? If voters are truly concerned…about how climate change dollars are being spent, they should address that problem now rather than waiting until 2024…There’s no point cluttering the ballot with so-called reform measures that serve little or no purpose.” ~
full LA Times article on Prop 70


Proposition 71 — Ballot Measure Effective Date
Constitutional Amendment –


What Is Proposition 71?

Proposition 71 would amend the state constitution so that new ballot measures take effect five days after election results are certified.

Proposition 72 — Taxes for Rainwater Capture Systems
Constitutional Amendment –


What Is Proposition 72?

Proposition 72 would allow lawmakers to exclude new rainwater capture systems from property tax assessments.

Manhattan Beach Unified School District
Measure MB


No one submitted an argument against this measure to keep our schools academically and artistically competitive. Seniors can opt out.

To maintain quality education, keep Manhattan Beach schools among California’s best, offset severe state funding shortfalls and provide $2,650,000 annually the state cannot take away, to: Attract and retain high-quality teachers; Maintain manageable class sizes; Protect quality math, science, reading, art/music programs, shall Manhattan Beach Unified School District levy $225 per parcel annually, expiring in six years, with senior exemptions, independent oversight/audits, no money for administrators, and all funds staying local?

If cousin Pookie would vote,
if Uncle Jethro would get off the couch and stop watching sports center
and go register some folks and go to the polls,
we might have a different kind of politics.
That’s what the Moses generation teaches us.

Kick off your bedroom slippers.
Put on your marching shoes.
Go do some politics.
Change this country!”

-Barack Obama

Voter Resources
(many of which I used to determine my positions)

  • See below for L.A. County Vote-by-Mail drop-off locations and much more
  • Register to vote here  ~ a one-stop shop for everything you need to know about the candidates and measures on your ballot.

  • California Choices is so cool…check it out! It creates a chart that includes the positions of unions, newspapers, political parties and non-profits on ballot measures.
  • LA County Bar Association evaluations of candidates  ~ a good  place to start figuring out the puzzle of voting for judges.
  • The California Democratic Party’s endorsements
  • CAvotes.org ~ the League of Women Voter’s Education Fund’s site. Click on “VOTE,” and become a wizard in all things election-related. While you’re there, consider making a donation  (contributions to the League’s Education Fund are tax deductible.)
  • EasyVoterGuide (“For new voters and busy voters”) ~ print a copy of the Easy Voter Guide in English, Spanish, Chinese, Vietnamese, and Korean.  (this guide is a collaboration of the League of Women Voters of California Education Fund and the California State Library.)
  • Los Angeles Times endorsements 
  • South Bay Cares ~ a socially-minded nonprofit dedicated to advocating for human, environmental, and constitutional rights through community action.
  • Swing Left ~ Swing Districts are places where the winner of the last House of Representatives election was determined by a thin margin. Swing Left helps you find and commit to supporting progressives in your closest Swing District so that you can help ensure we take back the House in 2018.
  • Indivisible ~ Their mission is to fuel a progressive grassroots network of local groups to resist the Trump Agenda.
Peace Action ~ Of all the groups I give to, I save my biggest donation for Peace Action, which is a lean, efficient and politically pragmatic organization. Once a year, a Peace Action staffer comes over for lunch and teaches me a TON about the peace movement and specifically what Peace Action is doing to move our politicians, our policies, our country towards peace. Join us for lunch! Contact me: aprilspencil (at) g mail (dot) com
Authors and Illustrators for Children is a nationwide organization of children’s book creators and associates committed to vote, campaign, and speak out for candidates and policies to create a safe, healthy, and inspired future for children everywhere. Join us.
Useful links from the LA County Registrar:
Drop off your Vote By Mail ballot before Election Day.
Find your nearest drop-off location  to return your VBM ballot before Election Day.
Request a VBM Ballot  for this election.
Become a Permanent Vote by Mail Voter  ~ make it easier to vote!
 Check Your Status  ~ not sure if you are a VBM voter already OR do you want to check the status of your ballot?
 Send Me Text Messages  ~ receive quick and easy text message notifications about important election information.Make Your Mark on June 5th!
(800) 815-2666, Opt. 3
Los Angeles County Registrar-Recorder/County Clerk
12400 Imperial Highway, Norwalk, CA 90650
Why the heck do I tell you and your friends how I voted?I started this site because I used to call my brilliant uncle Raphael Konigsberg and ask him how to vote–especially for judges. I mean, who knew how to pick judges?  When he died, I said, “So now who’ll tell me how to vote?”

Then I realized, “Uh-oh…”

So…I’ve been researching, comparing, and sharing my ballot with friends, and friends of friends for more than 15 years.  

If you’d like to be on my political email list, email me: aprilspencil (at) g mail (dot) com

This video is 30 seconds long

If you experience, see or hear about voting problems in your state, please call the toll-free, nonpartisan Election Protection Hotline:
1-866-687-VOTE (1-866-687-8683)

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