Trump Care Has Risen From The Dead, California Must Pass Single-Payer Now

On Wednesday, September, 13, 2017, Senator Bernie Sanders introduced his well-anticipated Medicare For All bill (S-1804).  This came during a time when the California State Legislative session for 2017 came to a close with SB-562 still in the Rules Committee of the State Assembly, effectively killing the bill until the 2018 Legislative Session.  This could not have come at a worse time, because on Thursday, the day after Senator Sanders introduced his Medicare For All Bill, Senators Lindsey Graham and Bill Cassidy both introduced Legislation seeking to repeal the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare).

According to this Politico article, states like California would be the hardest hit.  In fact, the article does an excellent job of explaining the bill in detail.  Because of this, California should all the more stick it to Trump and his anti-healthcare agenda and pass SB-562.  If California gets single-payer, it will set off a single-payer tidal wave as states like New York, Oregon, etc. will be more inclined to pass single-payer.  Please contact your Senators and Representatives to stop Trump’s anti-healthcare agenda, and support Senator Sanders/Representative John Conyers’ Medicare For All bill.  Likewise, I call on Speaker Anthony Rendon to release the SB-562 bill and actually respect the legislative process.  Everyone should call their Assembly representatives and let them know that we need to pass SB-562 immediately, especially with the threat of Trumpcare looming over America.  All the more, we need to get single-payer through, more than ever, in order to protect Californians.

#GrahamCassidyNO #SinglePayer

Jestin Samson Supports Ron Birnbaum for Assembly 51

Being a progressive warrior is only as good as the allies he or she has around them.  In AD 51, Dr. Ron Birnbaum embodies what it means to live out one’s progressive values.  Like our campaign, he has also chosen to reject all corporate contributions, which allows him to tell his constituents the truth, even if it is hard to say or hard to hear.  This also means that he is able to live out his progressive values without external consequence.

Dr. Birnbaum has also made single-payer healthcare (based on California Senate Bill 562) his primary goal, because too many people within his district and all across California have had to decide whether to see a doctor or pay the rent, pay for groceries, etc.  He also wants to see a complete ban on fracking, and making California’s public schools the best they can be, along with advancing universal Pre-K education and making public colleges and universities tuition-free.  Because of Dr. Birnbaum’s lifelong record of activism and having the courage and integrity to stand up to the party and political establishment, getting Dr. Ron Birnbaum into the California State Assembly is a must for our progressive movement to grow.  Having him in the State Assembly will also allow us to build a bridge where the progressive policies that either one of us introduce in our respective legislative chambers can have an ally in the other chamber.  October 3, 2017 is the AD 51 special election, and I am urging my supporters and those interested in advancing this political revolution, to come out to support and vote for Dr.  Ron Birnbaum.

Legislative Victories

California Declared Sanctuary State, California Values Act and California Disclose Act Passed

Last Friday, the progressive revolution saw multiple legislative victories in the California State Legislature.  SB-54, The California Values Act passed both legislative houses. This bill makes California the first sanctuary state in America, countering Trump’s anti-immigrant agenda.

The second is AB-249, or the California Disclose Act.  This bill makes where the top three donors of any political advertisement must be listed.  Prior to this, groups such as oil or pharmaceutical companies would simply create a subsidiary group to mask themselves or donate to a Super PAC and hide behind that group.  Now those donors must reveal themselves and show voters who actually paid for those advertisements.

The final victory is actually a package of multiple bills meant to target homelessness and housing affordability, most notably SB-2, authored by Senator Toni Atkins.  SB-2, would implement a transaction fee up to $225 for real estate transactions. Senator Atkins was also one of the primary authors of California’s single-payer bill, SB-562.  I thank her for her progressive leadership in the State Senate and I am looking forward to working with her, if elected.    This article discusses the package of bills addressing housing affordability and can also be found here.

I thank all the progressive, immigration rights, election integrity, and housing activists for their hard work. All of this would not have been possible without your awareness campaigns and constant contact with your legislatures.

The Fight Continues

Although, all of these legislative actions are a great step in the right direction, these bills are far from perfect.  For instance, the California Disclose Act only applies to ballot propositions.  Candidates are exempt from the bill. Even though local law enforcement can no longer act as immigration officials or cooperate with immigrant and customs enforcement (ICE), officers who work in the jails can work with ICE. Although I agree that we need to build low-income housing and that the cities will be mandated to offer affordable housing, wages are still too low to be able to afford basic housing. SB-35 allows developers to build in residential zones without going through environmental review through cities, which may lead to unsustainable environmental practices being used and will lead to further accelerated gentrification in larger cities, such as Santa Ana.

Many of the people I have met on the river trail are in great need of mental health and drug addiction services.  However, the county has refused to use state money to offer services to Orange County residents.  I am proud of the progress that California has made, but we need to continue moving forward to ensure that California values election integrity by expanding the Disclose Act to apply to candidates. We should also move toward full public financing of local and state elections, that jail officers only cooperate with ICE only if the individual is convicted of a violent felony, and not simply a minor crime.  And, we need to remove the conditions that may lead some to homelessness, such as starvation wages, and subsequent inadequate government assistance.

This is why I believe one way we can reduce, if not eliminate homelessness is the implementation of a universal basic income.  If we put money into the hands of the poor and working class, they spend the money on housing and other goods, along with the money they have earned. This will not only achieve these aims, but can give the California economy a massive boost because more money is going into the economy.


On September 3, 2017, Mr. Trump announced that he would be ending DACA (Deferred action status for undocumented children who came here with their parents). According to several articles, it is estimated that this would affect between seven and 800,000 individuals who came here with their parents, but recognize America as their home and the only home that they know.

Even though I was fortunate to be born in this country, being a child of immigrants, I understood the stories that I was told about the great lengths and hoops that people that I know had to jump through in order to get to this country. Many of the people that I know today live in fear that the federal government can easily pick them up and throw them out. And their crime, simply lacking the documentation needed or having no path to citizenship. Being around these people all the time, I can assure you that these people are hard-working, pay their taxes, and are seeking for a fair and humane process to become citizens of this country.

I call on the Trump administration to reconsider its decision to end DACA and to encourage Congress to pass fair, humane immigration reform that will benefit everyone.

As California State Senator, even though I understand that immigration is a Federal issue, what I can try to do is protect our undocumented brothers and sisters from the hand of ICE by making sure that we grant sanctuary to our hard-working immigrant brothers and sisters. Our campaign fully supports SB54 and if California is unable to ensure sanctuary, believe me, the fight for having California being a sanctuary state will not end because I will be re-introducing that same legislation.

Labor Day

Today we recognize those who have fought to make sure that workers not only have the right to safe and sanitary work conditions, but have the right to organize and unionize to assure those rights are recognized and respected along with assuring that workers be paid fair wages and benefits for their work.

We thank the pioneers of the labor movement for all they have done.

Despite their hard work, there is much work left to be done. There are several employers who still refuse to allow workers to unionize; there are several multinational corporations that refuse to pay their workers a living wage, despite the fact that their profits can be counted in the billions of dollars, and there are still some that don’t follow the rules when it comes to safe and sanitary work conditions.

As we celebrate this Labor Day, let’s keep this in mind and continue the struggle for workers’ rights and for economic justice for all. As State Senator, I will fight to make sure that workers are not only paid a living wage, but that the minimum wage will be indexed for inflation. I will strengthen laws to ensure that companies that choose to do business in California follow the rules to make sure workers have a safe and sanitary working environment and that workers are free to unionize without intimidation or fear of retaliation.

Speaker Rendon – Californians need Single Payer Healthcare now!

Speaker Anthony Rendon recently decided to create a Facebook post in which he made some unfortunate comments targeted at the California Nurses Association and other Single Payer Healthcare advocates. Within the comment thread, Speaker Rendon commented that the nurses were pulling a political stunt by holding him and all members of the State Assembly’s feet to the fire to debate,  vote, and pass SB 562 The Healthy California Act, which would have guaranteed healthcare to all California residents.

With that, I am asking you to please respectfully comment on Speaker Rendon’s Facebook post to let him know why we need single-payer healthcare now more than ever in the State of California. 

Request that he would please allow the bill out of the rules committee and to respect the legislative process by allowing members of the State Assembly to amend the bill and fill in some of the holes within the current legislation. Below, you will find my response. If you don’t have Facebook, you can contact his office in Sacramento by dialing 916-319-2063.

Mr. Speaker,

I am a candidate for the California State Senate (34th district). Many of my constituents are low income and working class California residents who are clamoring for Healthcare. Though the Affordable Care Act passed at the federal level has done plenty of good for these people, many of them are underinsured or not even insured, despite the gains of the ACA.

As you may know, Latinx individuals tend to be the most underinsured population concerning healthcare. Almost half of my constituents consist of this particular group.

Mr. Speaker, on behalf of my constituents who are begging for universal healthcare, I am respectfully asking that you allow SB 562 out of the rules committee and respect the legislative process by allowing members of the assembly to work on the bill and amend it as needed. I am very aware of the flaws of SB 562, but I also know that if given an opportunity, the members of the assembly will reform the bill, allowing it to be model legislation that can be used throughout the entire nation. California can be a leader in the age of Trump and combat his agenda of throwing millions of people off of healthcare by assuring California residents that we believe that healthcare is a fundamental human right.

I look forward to seeing you do the right thing for your constituents, for my constituents, and for California.

Jestin Samson

California State Senate Candidate


Jestin Samson, Activist

Jestin and Bernie

Jestin interviewed by Lauren Steiner, 2017.

Jestin met with the Young Turks following his speech at a Bernie Sanders rally in Anaheim, CA in 2016.

Jestin Samson, Bernie Delegate at DNC 2016

Jestin continues the fight for Single Payer healthcare