Sara Lee

Environmental and Political Activist. Teacher. Democrat.

I am a grassroots activist and coalition builder in San Bernardino County.  I am also a mom, wife and teacher.  While I have always been an issues-based activist, it took that dark day in November of 2016 for me to wake-up and realize we all needed to get more involved in electoral politics.  

Upon my journey, I have learned that San Bernardino County has 11% more Democrats than Republicans (110,000 more!) and voted overwhelmingly for Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump. Yet, nearly all of our County elected officials are conservative Republicans.  This does not have to be.  There is a movement across the County to elect a new and effective Democratic Central Committee (6 members from each Assembly district as well as appointees of elected officials and ex officios).

We can ensure County officials are Democrats in this very blue county by

  1. running well funded strategic campaigns; 
  2. working as a movement with labor, grassroots and justice groups to ensure our internal fighting does not ‘split votes’ and stop our larger goals of getting Democrats elected; 
  3. expanding the electorate by registering voters and engaging those who have felt disenfranchised by the current system; and
  4. chartering more grassroots dem clubs to engage young people, POC and others feeling uninvited to the table.

Three political successes from 2019 I am most proud of include: 

I worked to elect 1 of only 2 Democrats who won races in San Bernardino County in 2019.  As a volunteer campaign manager, I recruited Caleb Castaneda to run against a heavily endorsed Republican for a tough school board race in Victorville, the heart of our congressional district CA-08.  Caleb WON! We brought out Democrats and No Party Preference to vote in unprecedented percentages which was no small feat for a special election in this area.  Caleb is the first out LGBTQ+ elected official in the Victor Valley area and 1 of only 2 Democrats elected in San Bernardino in 2019.

Secondly, I am very proud of my volunteer work getting SB307 passed into law that stopped Trump’s fast-tracked Cadiz water mining project that would have devastated California’s Mojave Desert, the second largest pristine ecosystem in the continental US.  Trump prioritized the Cadiz water mining project as his 15/50 top infrastructure project in early 2017.   I worked closely with National Parks Conservation Association (NPCA) and spent 3 years developing a grassroots desert defender statewide network to stop this project. Gavin Newsom signed SB307 into law in the Fall of 2019!  I was humbled to be noted as one of NPCA’s Fearless and Outspoken advocates in their Celebrating 100 years of NPCA.

Thirdly, I worked diligently to elect a progressive slate of Assembly delegates to the CDP.  ADEMS is an obscure party race that any Democrat is allowed to vote in by showing up at CDP-determined locations every two years.  These folks are not elected officials per se, but they make up the important CDP endorsement panels and vote for CDP Chair.  Many of these recently elected delegates, including myself, continue to support elected officials in our area who do not take corporate money.  We have also tried to expand the Democratic base by registering voters and engaging those feeling disenfranchised who either do not vote or have registered No Party Preference. Some platform issues include: fighting climate change with a just transition to renewables, Medicare for All, immigration rights, stopping unnecessary wars, environmental justice, affordable housing, rights for the homeless, economic justice and restorative justice.

Previous to 2019, I also spent much of my time focused on flipping the House for the 2018 election cycle by volunteering and amplifying actions in the districts of Katie Hill, Katie Porter and Harley Rouda.  (Now, onto the Senate, State Houses and the Presidency!).  In addition, I was the volunteer rep for our congressional district CA-08 for Code Blue, Flip the 14 and Swing Socal Left.  

I hope you will vote for me and the rest of the crew (Debra Gail Savitt, Nicholas Christensen and Crystal Wysong) so we can get Democrats into office in the Yucaipa, Mentone and Morongo Basin area as well as countywide! 

It’s 2020 and we are going to turn our country and San Berdoo County BLUE!