This endorsement list is part of the CN&R’s Oct. 6 Election Issue. For more stories on the 2022 general election click here.
For this year’s endorsements, the Chico News & Review has weighed in on races for which we’ve been able to question candidates directly via in-person interviews and the City Council Q&A (see “Vying for majority”). We’ve also viewed videos of online candidate forums conducted by Butte County League of Women Voters. For measures and propositions, we’ve made recommendations on a couple local ones only; for analysis of the state measures, see “State of direct democracy.”
As always, we encourage voters do their own research. A good starting point is the Butte County League of Women Voters (my.lwv.org/california/butte-county) and its forum videos as well as Voter’s Edge (votersedge.org/ca).
Get informed. Vote. Our lives depend on it.
U.S. Representative, District 1: Max Steiner
While we don’t like everything about this moderate Democrat’s platform (e.g., building more dams), we do like that he supports women’s right to choose, acknowledges Joe Biden won the 2020 election and supports the Voting Rights Act—all things his opponent, entrenched Republican Doug LaMalfa, does not. Steiner also supports increasing funding for a broad-based approach to wildfire fighting and forest management, and he promises to try to bring a measure of sanity back to Congress.
California Assembly, District 3: David Leon Zink
Republican incumbent James Gallagher and first-time candidate Zink, a Democrat, tip the scale on their points of divergence. On California’s Proposition 1, which would codify reproductive freedom in the state, Gallagher is opposed and Zink is in favor. On reducing carbon emissions in the state, Gallagher argues against mandates for phasing out gas-fueled vehicles, while Zink doesn’t see the free market acting fast enough to stave off climate change. Add in Gallagher’s irresponsible grandstanding and constant obstruction of public-health policies during the COVID-19 pandemic, and Zink is our pick.
Chico City Council: Morgan Kennedy (District 2); Monica McDaniel (District 3); Addison Winslow (District 4); Jesica Giannola (District 6)
It’s often said that elections have consequences. Job performance has consequences, as well, and while Chico has faced great challenges the past two years, the City Council deserves a reckoning for how it’s handled the homelessness crisis in particular—encampment sweeps, the Warren v. Chico lawsuit, the dreadful resting site at the airport.
Incumbents Kasey Reynolds and Dale Bennett, as well as fellow conservative candidates Nichole Nava and Tom van Overbeek, are all justifiably concerned about the health and safety impact of unhoused Chicoans living in public spaces. So are folks from the progressive camp. The difference, of course, is in choice of solutions.
Two candidates with high level of civic engagement and on-the-ground experience working with the unhoused (Kennedy, Giannola); a planning wonk with creative ideas on development and raising funds for it (Winslow), and a longtime Arts Commissioner with years of experience working with city staff and the council (McDaniel) would provide a contrast to the conservatives remaining on council and bring welcome approaches to the spectrum of city issues.
Chico Unified School District board: Scott Thompson (Trustee Area 1); Thomas Lando (Trustee Area 4); Eileen Robinson (Trustee Area 5)
Let’s get one thing out of the way: All candidates vying for the three Trustee Area seats on the school board have children who attend, or have graduated from, schools in the district. All six are parents.
For Area 1, either Rebecca Konkin or Thompson would be a newcomer learning on the job if elected, but Thompson presented more concrete plans during interviews (on improving special needs assessments, working on the facilities master plan).
In Area 4, incumbent Matt Tennis is obviously a passionate advocate for parents and students, but his education-outsider posture turned difficult public health decisions during the pandemic into a wedge issue that persists. Fellow incumbent Lando’s reasoned approach, combined with his education/board experience, make him our choice.
For Area 5, Robinson is a passionate board member with decades of experience in education and a proven track record in cultivating consensus and advocating for the most vulnerable students. Logan Wilson brings real-world financial experience, none in education.
Measure H: City of Chico Sales and Use Tax Measure: Yes
It might not be ideal to raise taxes during a time of inflation, but Chico needs money, and this 1 percent local sales tax would add $24 million annually to the general fund. The city has grown by nearly 20 percent since the Camp Fire, yet per capita our budget is way below other cities of our size (e.g., Redding, which nearly doubles Chico’s general fund spending per resident). Food, medicine and rent won’t be taxed. Investing in roads and parks is part of the promise; if council members don’t make good, we have the power to hold them accountable at the next election.
Measure L: City of Chico Public Nuisance Measure: No
This is the end product of the “Quality of Life” measure brought to the City Council by Vice Mayor Reynolds. Basically, it would make public nuisance codes that currently apply to privately owned properties applicable to city-owned property as well—and allow “any resident specially injured by a public nuisance” to demand that the city abate the alleged nuisance. This no doubt would be used to attempt to roust unhoused people from public spaces. It seems ripe for abuse, and it very well could lead to more lawsuits for the city.
Note: The original post was updated on Oct. 27, 2022, to include an endorsement for California Assembly, District 3 race.