Assembly District 24 Candidates
Kelsey Pressnall – Teacher
“It feels like it’s been a long time since 2015, when I had my political debut on Bernie Sanders first campaign. Since then, we’ve been through Trump, a pandemic, the reversal of Roe v. Wade, an insurrection, and now we’re watching a genocide unfold in real time and we feel powerless to stop it. So yeah, it’s been a long eight years.
“Yet, here I am, fighting for so many of the same things that pushed me into politics. After the last eight years, I believe more than ever that we have to get money out of politics. After working as a campaign manager and supporting corporate free candidates, I’ve seen firsthand how money is truly the root of all evil in our democracy.
“I’m still here fighting for healthcare. I don’t even have to explain why anymore. We all know that it’s an ineffective and expensive system that doesn’t provide the best care. We need to find more money for universal healthcare and less money for war.
“I’m still here fighting for free college! In the last eight years, I’ve graduated college and become a teacher. As I carry around my student load debt, I look into the faces of brilliant children everyday who deserve to pursue their purpose! We must invest in education at every level, and especially in higher education if we want to compete in an advanced society and change the world!
“I’m still here fighting for environmental Justice. It’s been over a decade of weather “phenomenons” now. When is enough going to be enough? When it’s us who gets ruined by horrifying acts of God of our own making?
“I’m proud of the wins we’ve had. We’ve worked hard in Alameda County and across this country to elect corporate free candidates who want to change the world! It is not time to stop, but to come together once more and succeed.”
Mel Sheun-Mallory – Teacher
Mel started as an activist and was the stage manager for the Families Being Together and Red for Ed Rallies before becoming more involved with F.U.N. Progressives, the local Our Revolution chapter, in 2018 as part of the Bernie Sanders movement.
Mel went on to found Southern Alameda County Democrats, an organization dedicated to getting corporate money out of politics.
Mel was elected to the Democratic Central Committee in March of 2020. They were also elected later that year as a school board trustee for New Haven Unified School District, making history as the first non-binary trustee for the district and possibly the entire Bay Area.
Mel was also elected and currently serves as the Bay Area Vice Chair for the California Democratic Progressive Caucus.
Mel has been a courageous advocate for the LGBTQIA+ Community, corporate free campaigns, a ceasefire in Gaza and much more during their time in the Central Committee and they hope to continue the work they have started.
Victoria Birbeck – Public School Teacher
Victoria has been a strong labor advocate, elected union leader, and public school teacher for almost two decades. She humbly asks for your vote to represent you as an AD-24 delegate.
Quality public education and access for every child in every family is a fundamental right, and she will strive to support increased assistance and resources for our public education system. Every child and family in every zip code throughout California has needs and deserves to have those needs addressed by those who represent them. More than ever before, we can see that society depends on our school system, and we must prioritize funding to match its importance.
She began her work in labor as a union representative and is proud to have represented over 2,000 educators in Fremont as the prior president of the Fremont Unified District Teachers Association. She is currently an elected delegate representing Fremont at the state level within the California Teachers Association. As we continue to work through the aftereffects of the pandemic, she is continually impressed by the work that our teachers, counselors, psychologists, nurses, and education specialists are doing for our children and families as they attempt to balance the needs of their own families. This is not unique to the public educator workforce nor unique to pandemic times. Most of us see this working class struggle at the forefront, if not only in our immediate families, then for others close to us. Unfortunately, the decrease in collective bargaining starting in the late 70’s has contributed greatly to the increase in income inequality and has led us closer to the elimination of a thriving middle class. We have critical work to do in the area of reliable livelihood for all.
The ongoing pandemic makes more clear how absolutely necessary and lacking labor rights are right now. As important as living wages, we all have the right to a safe working environment. Without the freedom of expressing a collective voice through unions, we see workers more vulnerable to management looking to cut corners and terminating or disciplining employees who speak up regarding their safety. This is unacceptable; we must stand up for the rights of workers.
It is within our power to foster the growth and livelihood of every human being, and she wants to be in a Democratic party that works toward this goal. She asks for your vote to represent AD-24 as a member of the Alameda County Democratic Party Central Committee and move this goal closer to reality.
Vinnie Bacon – Software Development Manager
Vinnie has run several campaigns in his political career, always refusing any corporate donations. He first served on the Central Committee in 2010 as an associate member. He was elected in 2012 and again in 2016. Vinnie was never afraid to raise his voice in opposition to the majority when necessary.
He began his political career by serving in various leadership roles with the Sierra Club. He got very involved in the Sierra Club’s efforts to oppose a huge development right next to Coyote Hills Regional Park. This showed him how developers and large property owners donate to local candidates, and then get their projects approved, making huge profits in the process. Seeing the open nature of this ‘pay-to-play’ politics right there in Fremont was an eye-opening experience.
This led to Vinnie running for the Fremont City Council and serving from 2012 through 2020. As a Councilmember, Vinnie often stood alone in a developer-friendly Council arguing for more affordable and sustainable development. He also demonstrated strong progressive values bringing referrals for minimum wage increase, rent stabilization, sanctuary city status, Proposition 13 reform and preventing oil rail cars from coming through Fremont.
Vinnie is a board member of the statewide Progressive Caucus, and is currently the chair of the Southern Alameda County Progressive Democrats.
“Right now the biggest issue facing state and local elected officials is affordable housing. We are simply failing to provide adequate levels of housing to those who need it most. This only exacerbates our homeless crisis. I believe the root of the problem is the pernicious influence of campaign contributions from the real estate industry which lead to housing policies that benefit their bottom line while ignoring the plight of those struggling to find decent housing.”