By Rebecca Dean

Deadline: NOW – events happening now through June 29 

Editors’ note: Indivisible East Bay has endorsed Janani Ramachandran in the June 29, 2021 special election for Assembly District 18. The following is a piece from an IEB member working for Janani’s campaign.

Hey Indivisible East Bay! Are you fired up by progressive elected officials who want to shake up the political process? Do you feel that we need more representation from young women of color in our district? Look no further than Janani Ramachandran!

IEB has officially endorsed Janani Ramachandran for State Assembly, and we need your help to spread the word about her campaign. 

What you can do:

The most important action you can take is to vote for Janani in the June 29 special election – and here are a few other ways you can support her campaign:

  • IEB will be hosting phone banks in June on Wednesday evenings from 5-7 PM – join us to call voters in Assembly District 18! More info here
  • Sign up to canvass in Oakland on Saturdays & Sundays
    • Note on COVID safety: In-person canvassers must be vaccinated and wear masks. Canvassing will involve social distancing and hand sanitizer will be available.
  • Host a “meet and greet” event with friends and family to get to know Janani and her platform
  • Use this digital storytelling tool to post a video about why you support Medicare for All or a higher minimum wage

Why Janani?

As candidates continue to join the competition for the District 18 State Assembly seat vacated by Rob Bonta’s appointment to attorney general, Janani Ramachandran continues to stand out – as a queer woman of color, as one of the youngest candidates and arguably the most rooted in community. She comes with a background of direct service work and advocacy and truly understands the needs of our district. Janani has also committed to a corporate-free campaign.

Why, you might ask, would I support someone who has never held an elected office before, when several more seasoned candidates are running? 

  • I’m a social worker myself, and I value Janani’s experience as both a case manager and attorney working with domestic violence survivors and low-income residents. Social work brings us close to people’s struggles and gives witness to their resilience amidst injustice. These stories are a powerful tool in the fight for a living wage, affordable housing, and access to quality health care, all of which are key issues in Janani’s platform. 
  • Janani plans to address the California housing crisis in a holistic way. Janani has committed to supporting progressive legislation to address homelessness and provide funding for more affordable housing in our communities. As an attorney, Janani has represented families fighting unjust evictions and has experience advocating for tenant rights. I support Janani because I know she will fight for long-term housing solutions that will ensure every Californian has a safe and sustainable home at a price that doesn’t put their financial future at risk.
  • Janani is all about raising the minimum wage. Janani grew up in Alameda County and recognizes that the exorbitant cost of living in Oakland and other parts of the East Bay is causing more residents to fall into poverty and homelessness every day. Janani has started a petition – which is quickly gaining community support – to raise the minimum wage in California to $22 an hour, an amount that only begins to reflect the expense of living in our state. If she’s elected, she will champion this proposed minimum wage increase as an economic justice issue.
  • Janani is a young candidate who will bring fresh ideas to the legislature and support bills that young folks like myself care about – like ending dependence on fossil fuels and health coverage for all. 
  • We need more women of color in the state legislature! Right now in Sacramento, women make up only 31% of our representatives, and women of color even less. Janani would be the first South Asian woman serving in the State Assembly. We have an opportunity to make history with this race. 

Janani is a fierce advocate for the most vulnerable in our communities, and understands how state issues of economic opportunity, housing, and climate change affect not just the marginalized, but all of us. Electing progressive candidates is crucial to Indivisible’s efforts to save democracy – an effort IEB is pursuing in the state legislature and right here in the beautiful East Bay. We can make it happen with Janani Ramachandran!

Rebecca Dean is a social worker and community advocate. After canvassing for progressive candidates in 2020, she has become more involved in state and local politics. Rebecca is passionate about immigration justice and civic engagement. She enjoys hiking, patio gardening, and cuddles with her cat. 


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