Press Release

Jovanka Beckles for State Assembly District 15

For immediate release
July 18, 2018

Dan Kalb and Judy Appel Endorse Jovanka Beckles for AD15

Two leading competitors in the Assembly District 15 primary race today endorsed Richmond City Council Member Jovanka Beckles’s campaign for the November 6 general election. Oakland City Council Member Dan Kalb and Berkeley School Board Member Judy Appel announced their support and emphasized their common aspirations for the District’s representation in Sacramento.

Gladly receiving the endorsements of her two long-time progressive East Bay activist colleagues, Jovanka declared:

The dual endorsement of my campaign by Dan Kalb and Judy Appel raises graciousness and concern for our democracy to a new level in East Bay politics.

What Dan and Judy stand for, and have given their political lives to, is exceptionally moving for me. My two fellow candidates care deeply that we must restore government of the people, by the people and for the people to our state. I thank them for a most civil and informative primary campaign and I look forward to consulting with them about legislation to save our planet and our society.

Dan has devoted much of his life to acting on his deep concern about our treatment of our planet. From 2003, when he began as California Policy Director with the Union of Concerned Scientists, he has led intelligent efforts to fight for environmental health and justice and to protect our precious San Francisco Bay. We are grateful for Dan’s efforts to stop the export of coal through the Oakland port. His signal – and continuing – work deserves all our support.

I admire Dan’s service on the Jewish Community Relations Council board of directors and his co-leadership of the Isaiah Project to bring together young adults in the African American and Jewish communities to advance social justice and enhance cultural understanding. We need more of this kind of caring.

Judy Appel’s passion for education makes me wish I could go back to school! Her deft service on the Berkeley School Board, now in her second term, is a model of her practical passion as California faces a higher education funding crisis and a related devaluation of K-12 schools. I am honored to receive her endorsement because of her profound expertise. I know she can help us all to restore our schools to their past glory.

A co-founding board member of the Ella Baker Center for Human Rights, Judy has also worked to change our criminal justice system. I admire and thank her for the loving work she has carried out in protecting the rights of our LGBTQ community, especially as it relates to families and children, and for her generous support for my candidacy.

Dan Kalb declared:

I am confident that Jovanka Beckles will be a strong advocate and policymaker in Sacramento to preserve, protect and enhance our East Bay environment and accelerate California’s transition to renewable and sustainable energy paths that will mitigate global climate change. I’m also thankful for her support of our shared commitment to stop coal in the East Bay and throughout our state, and to protect our natural environment for generations to come. I’m pleased to support her election to the California State Assembly.

Judy Appel stated:

The communities that make up the 15th AD are some of the most progressive in the state, in the nation. It is our responsibility, a responsibility that is more critical now than ever before, to send a progressive voice to Sacramento who will fight for California’s students, for our working families, for our deeply held commitment to equity. In this race, that person is Jovanka Beckles. I’m supporting Jovanka because, like me, she is unafraid to stand up to the powerful – whether that means corporate charter school interests, national anti-immigrant activists or oil corporations – so that everyone in our communities, regardless of gender orientation, race, religion, economic circumstance or immigration status must be able to avail themselves of the full rights to which they are entitled.

Last week, El Cerrito Vice-Mayor Rochelle Pardue-Okimoto, who also ran in the primary, endorsed Jovanka. Together, Beckles, Kalb, Appel, and Pardue-Okimoto received 60,157 votes in the primary. The top vote-getter received 37,141.


Contact Nicole Valentino at or (510) 621-7566, and for more information.

Oakland City Council Member Dan Kalb, Richmond City Council Member and AD 15 Candidate Jovanka Beckles, Berkeley School Board Member Judy Appel.

Jovanka Beckles

I am running for the California State Assembly to transform our state government to work for people, not profit. Join me and our movement to build a California that works for the many, not the few.