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We’re excited to begin sharing with you a summary of the California Democratic Party’s work under Chairman Burton from 2009-2017: The Burton Legacy: Empower the Grassroots, Build for the Future. You can view the full report here, and this first message will highlight the section on “Progressive Leadership: Internal & External.”


One of the first and most important things Chairman Burton did when elected was join the grassroots in the fight to move the party to the left — where we all stand.

For the last eight years, our programs and decisions have been guided by the grassroots, bringing liberal positions to the forefront and going on record as a party on key progressive issues from health care to racial and economic justice.

Here are some of the highlights:

  • We believe that health care is a human right and support a single-payer health care system.
  • We support $15 minimum wage and COLA.
  • We endorse Black Lives Matter.
  • We support debt-free college and free community college.
  • We advocate for extended voting hours and days, scheduling elections on weekends, or declaring Election Day a holiday.
  • We support overturning the decision in Citizens United v. Federal Elections Commission and to end the doctrine that money is speech.


Additionally, in order to inform and reinforce our call to support a more progressive agenda, throughout Chairman Burton’s tenure we’ve hosted multiple issue panels to discuss key topics with our membership. That programming included:

  • Beyond Outreach: How Democrats can strengthen partnerships and forge lasting relationships with communities of color
  • Electing Women to Office by Harnessing Political Power and Leadership Potential
  • Mobilizing Millennials: Strategies to Turnout the Millennial Vote
  • Raising California: Democrat’s Drive for Income Equality


For more information, and to review our post-election wrap ups from 2010-2016 and more, visit:

In coming weeks, expect messages on Rebuilding Trust: Transparency & Accountability, Boosting Our Field Advantage, Rebuilding and Amplifying Our Communications, Fiscal Stewardship: A Sustainable Future, and Proof is in the Pudding: Election & Policy Success.

Thank you for being a California Democrat,

Shawnda Westly
Senior Strategist
California Democratic Party