Voter's Edge California Voter Guide
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March 3, 2020 — Primary Election
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California State SenateCandidate for District 13

Photo of Sally J. Lieber

Sally J. Lieber

Environmental Advocate
47,773 votes (17.1%)
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My Top 3 Priorities

  • Full funding for education: Moving California from the bottom 10 to the top five. Fee-free higher education, universal pre-K and increasing state subsidized, high quality, childcare.
  • Fighting for our climate: Getting California off carbon based energy and onto locally-produced, publicly-owned, reliable, renewable power is a mandate. Banning fracking and drilling, and conversion of vehicles and buildings to electric.
  • Housing, transit, protection of green spaces: housing that is truly affordable for all, including low income families and seniors, supportive housing and compact housing linked to free transit. Protection of greenbelt and open spaces.



Profession:Environmental Advocate/State Assemblywoman (Ret.)
Advisor,, San Francisco Bay Restoration Authority — Appointed position (2011–current)
Assemblywoman and Speaker Pro Tempore,, California State Assembly — Elected position (2002–2008)
Mayor and City Councilmember,, Mountain View City Council — Elected position (1998–2002)
County Commissioner,, Santa Clara County — Appointed position (1998–2002)


Stanford University Bachelor of Arts, Political Science (2000)


I have served successfully at the local level as a City Councilwoman, Mayor, County Commissioner, and at the state level as a three-term State Assemblywoman and Speaker Pro Tempore.

At the local level, I led on tobacco control, affordable housing, socially responsible investment policies, environmental protection, access to reproductive rights and services, and reform of juvenile justice and dependency care.

In the State Assembly, I led on action on the climate crisis, affordable and supportive housing, gun control, an increased minimum wage and earned income tax credit, mortage protections, relief from abusive landlords, restrictions on toxic chemicals, air quality, environmental justice, human trafficking protections, labor trafficking protections, courtroom protections for people with disabilities, marriage equality, access to abortion and contraception, consumer rights, prison reform, and access to education.

Many of my bills have been “first in the nation” and I have a 100% rating from labor, Sierra Club, Planned Parenthood, Equality California, NAACP, and other social justice organizations.

I am running for the State Senate to be a prizefighter for progressive values and to make real change for the people who need it the most.

Questions & Answers

Questions from League of Women Voters of California (4)

Describe what proposal(s) you would support to alleviate the shortage of affordable housing for all income groups in California?
Answer from Sally J. Lieber:

We need housing for all income levels in California, but the most severe needs that we must focus on are extremely-low-income housing, supportive housing, and low-income housing. To uphold environmental values we must ensure that housing is linked to affordable transit and small businesses. 

Key objectives: 

  • Creation of compact housing for the single adults who make up the majority of people that are unhoused;
  • Housing near transit for college students, especially for community college students;
  • Preservation of existing affordable housing, protecting tenants from from eviction and unsustainable rent increases;
  • Preservation of mobilehome parks, including funding for homeowner co-op buy-outs;
  • Help for non-profit purchase of existing affordable housing and creation of new housing by non-profit developeers;
  • Funding for ADU 'granny cottage' style housing, fee waivers, and programs that match homeowners with tenants;
  • Legal aid for tenants (currently only about 20% of those who need legal help are able to secure it);
  • Increase resources for rapid rehousing;
  • Enforcement of bans on lardlords refusing Section 8 vouchers;
  • Safe parking and shelter space that is safe for women and families
What programs or legislation would you support to meet the water needs of all Californians?
Answer from Sally J. Lieber:

A sustainable future for California requires that we reduce energy and water use. To meet future needs we must:

  •  Reduce toxics that pollute usable, potable water;
  • Support reforms in agriculture and soil conservation;
  • Invest in water recycling;
  • Reduce the use of materials that pollute waterways;
  • Provide support and requirements for resource efficent, energy efficient construction and water efficient appliances.
To reach a goal of carbon neutrality by 2045, as set forth in a 2018 executive order what, if any, proposals, plans or legislation would you support?  Please be specific.
Answer from Sally J. Lieber:

The accelerating rate of climate damage demands that we become carbon-free by 2030. To do so, we must make clean, renewable energy available at an affordable price for consumers and increase energy storage capacity.

The current electrical grid was built for a small number of points of generation of constant, not variable, energy. For our future, we need power that is renewable, locally generated and stored, and publicly owned. We must also pursue all promising technologies for carbon sequestration.

Some objectives that we must meet:

  • Electrification of buildings and all of the vehicle fleet;
  • Increased use of distributed generation and micro-grids;
  • Elimination of single use plastics, produced from petroleum, and other products that produce greenhouse gases in manufacturing;
  • Smart purchasing of non-toxic products for state government;
  • Reduction in water waste, since water movement consumes large amounts of energy;
  • Free, reliable, frequent public transportation.


According to the California Legislative Analyst’s Office, we spend over $81,000 per individual who is incarcerated.  Other than incarceration, what ways can the State address safety and justice?
Answer from Sally J. Lieber:

The vast majority of prisoners in California cycle in and out of the county jails and (less frequently under realignment), the state prisons. To keep more people out of the system longer, we need supportive housing, community mental health and substance abuse treatment, more affordable housing, and services and housing for former foster youth.

We must also:

  • End the death penalty and commute existing death sentences to life without the possibility of parole;
  • Pursue decarceration of individuals who should never have been in prison in the first place;
  • Utilize compassionate release for elderly, disabled inmates;
  • Resolve issues that have led to  costly federal oversight of state prisons (resolve rather than merely fighting);
  • Ensure support and equal starts, equality of opportunity and stability for youth;
  • Work intensively with families of the incarcerated, including siblings and parents of incarcerated youth;
  • Ensure availability of quality public defenders in 58 counties and equalize resources between district attorneys and public defenders;
  • Ensure transparency of CDCR prison system data;
  • Create a strategic plan for keeping developmentally and intellectually disabled Californians out of the criminal justice system;
  • Ensure fair prosecutions, dna analysis, proactive record clearance, and increased oversight of conditions in county jails.

Who gave money to this candidate?


Total money raised: $257,218

Top contributors that gave money to support the candidate, by organization:

Sally J. Lieber
Consumer Attorney's PAC
Employees of Dorothy Polash
John Keener for City Council 2018
Service Employees International Union Local 521 PAC Small Contributor Committee

More information about contributions

By State:

California 99.60%
New York 0.26%
Michigan 0.04%
New Jersey 0.04%
Oregon 0.04%
Other 0.02%

By Size:

Large contributions (97.77%)
Small contributions (2.23%)

By Type:

From organizations (3.96%)
From individuals (96.04%)
Source: MapLight analysis of data from the California Secretary of State.

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