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March 3, 2020 — Primary Election
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California State SenateCandidate for District 13

Photo of Shelly Masur

Shelly Masur

Redwood City Vice Mayor
45,211 votes (16.2%)
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My Top 3 Priorities

  • Building a sustainable future and protecting our environment.
  • Creating affordable communities.
  • Fighting for high quality education.



Profession:Redwood City Vice Mayor and Education Advocate
Redwood City Councilwoman, Redwood City Council — Elected position (2016–current)
CEO, Californians Dedicated to Education Foundation (2014–2019)
Redwood City School Board Member, Redwood City School Board — Elected position (2005–2015)


City University of New York - Hunter College Masters in Public Health (current)


There’s a saying:  if you want to know where someone will lead you, look at where they’ve been.  So I thought I’d tell you a bit about where I’ve been and where I want us to go – together.

I’ve been an organizer.  I started with women’s health and reproductive rights, protecting women’s health clinics from attacks, in LA and then in NY. I met my husband during the 1992 Democratic convention, when women’s health clinics were under attack and we were both working to keep them open.  This experience and spirit led me to grad school for public health, and spurred me on when I saw the need to fight for my children’s schools.

I’ve been a school board member, a mom, a non-profit leader, and a city councilmember.  Because of my experience, I’ve developed an appreciation for what it takes to make things work for in my community.  I understand how to fight for what’s right, and how to stand up and make change.

And that’s what it’s going to take to be your next senator. 

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 Shelly Masur:

As the Vice-Mayor of Redwood City, I am proud to have helped lead our community’s aggressive efforts to address California’s housing crisis.  As a State Senator, I will continue to fight for affordable housing.  I am the only candidate in this race who has supported SB 50, and I would champion similar legislative efforts in the future.


Additionally, I would work to increase state funding to build more affordable housing, provide property tax exemptions for non-profit developers acquiring buildings to offer low-income housing, and incentivize housing built near transit, walkable areas, and parks.


I would also examine the various sources of funding for moderate income housing provided through California Housing and Community Development (HCD), and what needs to be expanded or revised based on current costs, regional needs and available funding.


I would further advocate for reforming the property tax structure for non-profits converting naturally affordable buildings to deed-restricted affordable housing to remove a perverse tax  incentive to evict current residents, rather than work through natural attrition to preserve affordable housing.

What programs or legislation would you support to meet the water needs of all Californians?
Answer from Shelly Masur:

I believe we need to be investing in diversifying our water supply and that we can meet our water needs through strategic conservation and smart water portfolio management.

As a public health professional, I know that water recycling and reuse can help us safely meet our needs and support legislation to prevent the unnecessary discharge of water what could augement supply.

I support groundwater supply and well monitoring, and wet-weather groundwater recharge and storage.

While I believe we have no time to waste in phasing out fossil fuels, I particularly oppose fracking which immediately jeopardizes critical groundwater supplies.

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 Shelly Masur:

I believe we need to continue focusing on reducing carbon emissiions as quickly as possible.  To do that, we must speed up the timeline to try to reach zero carbon electricity by 2030 rather than 2045.  Not only do we need to explore options to limit carbon emissions, we must capture carbon and methane to reduce the impacts we are already seeing.

We must ensure both new construction and existing buildings are as energy efficient as possible with strong green building standards - I also support requiring new homes to include solar.  Cities and developers need incentives to ensure new development is pedestrian-friendly and transit-oriented to reduce transportation impacts.

In addition to land use policy that gets peopple out of their cars, we must also invest in transportation in a manner that aligns with our climate goals.  The Governor's recent executive order tying transportation funding to achieve the objectives of the Air Resources Board's 2017 Scoping Plan is a major achievement on that front.  California also needs additional resources to address our lack of public transit infrastructure.


I am a supporter of the Green New Deal that is currently proposed in Congress that provides comprehensive solutions for becoming fossil fuel free, and believe California can transition to 100% renewable energy sources while addressing income inequality and supporting impacted workers.  Energy storage will be an essential component of ensuring a reliable renewable grid and both large-scale and in-home solutions must be explored further. 

We should also continue to explore options to remove greenhouse gases from our atmosphere like carbon sequestration and methane capture.

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 Shelly Masur:

I support proven strategies to reduce incarceration.  As a former school board member and an education advocate I believe that adequately funding a supportive learning environment can help reduce future incarceration costs.  Community structures and supports that address socio-economic issues are also vital prevention strategies.

San Mateo County has an excellent track record of diversion, and I support a renewed focus on proven community strategies to reduce recidivism - like additional rehabilitation services, mental healthcare, and transitional support.

Who gave money to this candidate?


Total money raised: $554,949

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

Employees of Cotchett, Pitre & McCarthy
Northern California Carpenters Regional Council
Sheet Metal Workers Local 104
California State Pipe Trades Council
AFSCME California
Association of California School Administrators
California Federation of Teachers
California School Employees Association
California Teachers Association
Operating Engineers Local 3
UA Local 467 Plumbers, Steamfitters, and Refrigeration Fitters

More information about contributions

By State:

California 96.28%
Maryland 0.87%
New York 0.75%
Florida 0.49%
Other 1.61%

By Size:

Large contributions (97.72%)
Small contributions (2.28%)

By Type:

From organizations (46.92%)
From individuals (53.08%)
Source: MapLight analysis of data from the California Secretary of State.

Political Beliefs

Political Philosophy

California is the place that’s holding the line against the Trump administration.  And our legislature and our governor are the people who are building the wall of resistance every day with their leadership.  So as your next senator, I’ll jump right in and fortify that wall by:

Fighting for High Quality Education

  • Increase funding so California is in the top 10 in the country  .
  • Ensure access to high quality early childhood education and childcare programs. 
  • Invest in full-day kindergarten.
  • Address regional cost-of-living variances by establishing regionally cost-adjusted funding for school districts.

Protecting Women’s Rights and Health

  • Stand up for reproductive healthcare and freedom. 
  • Enroll all eligible pregnant women & children in MediCal. 
  • Fight for pay equity and better paid family leave policies. 
  • Protect women from domestic violence and work place sexual harassment.

Creating Affordable Communities 

  • Increase state funding to build more affordable housing.
  • Provide property tax exemptions for non-profit developers acquiring buildings to offer. low-income housing.
  • Incentivize housing built near transit, walkable areas, and parks.

Building a Sustainable Future 

  • Declare a climate crisis to achieve zero emissions by 2030.
  • Invest in clean and renewable energy systems.
  • Modernize our public transportation systems and expand coverage.
  • Build electric car infrastructure.
  • Protect our open spaces, the Bay, and the Coast.

We know that California is the beacon and a leader in meeting our challenges head on.  Living here, in the heart of innovation and the birthplace of technology, I know we can do it. And I want you to know, that’s what I’ll do as your next senator.  Organizing and representing all our community members to tackle the tough challenges with innovation and a willingness to work hard. 

I’ve got the experience, I’ve got the passion, and I’ve got you.  And together we’ll take where we’ve been, and use it to guide us along the path to where we want to go. 

Take a look at where I’ve been, and that will show you where I want to lead:  To the California we all want – for ourselves and for our children and for our future.

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