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Statewide Progressive Coalition’s Campaign Turns Out Millions of Voters to Defeat Recall

No to Recall, Yes to Progress campaign targeted efforts and resources in key battleground communities in California, resulting in Gov. Newsom maintaining office 

Los Angeles, Calif., September 16, 2021 – California voters soundly rejected the right-wing-led recall, delivering a win to Governor Gavin Newsom, affirming a mandate for progress. The electoral win—originally assumed, then feared too close to call—was made possible by the collective work of progressive organizations all across the state. In March, progressive organizations fighting for environmental justice, reproductive freedom, LGBTQ rights, racial justice, immigrant rights, and more, formed a coalition, led by Courage California, to combat and defeat the troubling power-grab by right-wing forces. 

Together, the No to Recall, Yes to Progress coalition of progressive community groups, individual leaders, and activists—united, engaged, and turned out millions of voters against the recall around shared values of equity, justice, and accountability. As a result, Californians made their voices heard on Election Day, rejecting the pro-recall agenda, and the results demonstrated how voters care deeply about the future of California. 

In addition to providing voters with nonpartisan voting information and resources…

Coalition efforts included: 

  • In March, environmental justice and environmental organizations announced their opposition to the right-wing and industry led recall: California’s Leading Environmental and Environmental Justice Groups Reject Recall
  • In April, the coalition announced their unified opposition to the recall: Statewide leaders urge Californians to vote “No” on the recall to protect state’s progress.
  • During a July press call, Statewide Leaders and Advocates Called on Californians to Vote “NO” on the September 14 Recall.
  • In August, California youth organizers hosted F#*k No Recall Rally! across social media channels, to motivate voters and mobilize volunteers to our voter outreach partners.
  • The coalition compiled and distributed lists of volunteer opportunities, educating, motivating and directing numerous Californians across the state to support anti-recall campaigns.
  • The coalition created, compiled and shared toolkits, collateral materials, and resources to combat disinformation and provide consistent messaging. 
  • Members of the coalition signed and circulated anti-recall petitions. 
  • Members of the coalition hosted and conducted voter education forums and activities, empowering voters with accurate information needed to cast their vote
  • Members of the coalition ran text, phone-banking, and canvassing campaigns. 
  • Members of the coalition conducted critical statewide youth polling on the recall election. 
  • Members of the coalition participated in and coordinated both earned and paid media efforts, including the launch of digital and static ad campaigns with research-based messaging and reached voters statewide, targeting communities in the Central Valley, Inland Empire, and Los Angeles.

Coalition Members:  

  • ACLU Northern California
  • Alliance of Californians for Community Empowerment (ACCE) Action
  • Bay Rising Action
  • Black Women for Wellness Action Project
  • Black Women’s Democratic Club
  • California Donor Table
  • California Environmental Justice Alliance (CEJA) Action
  • California League of Conservation Voters
  • Central Coast Alliance United for a Sustainable Economy (CAUSE) Action Fund
  • CHIRLA Action Fund
  • Chispa (Orange County) 
  • Climate Hawks Vote
  • Communities for a New California Action Fund
  • Consumer Attorneys of California (CAOC)
  • Courage California
  • Equality California
  • Fund Her
  • Heart of LA Democratic Club
  • Inland Empire United
  • Inland Region Equality Network (IREN)
  • LA Voice Action
  • NARAL Pro-Choice California
  • NRDC Action Fund
  • PowerCA Action
  • Project Super Bloom
  • SameSide
  • Smart Justice California
  • UDW AFSCME Local 3930
  • Voices for Progress
  • Women Against the Recall (WAR)
  • Honorable Shay Franco-Clausen, Vice Chair, Open Space Authority
  • Surina Khan, CEO, Women’s Foundation California
  • Ted Mermin, Director, California Low-Income Consumer Coalition
  • RL Miller, DNC member and chair emeritus, CDP environmental caucus
  • Manuel Pastor, Director, USC Equity Research Institute
  • Nona Randois, public interest attorney, nonprofit director
  • Angel Rice
  • Pete Woiwode

Individuals listed with organizations for identification purposes only.

What’s Next: 

Californians made their voices heard by resoundingly rejecting the recall. Governor Newsom has been given clear direction by voters across the state to build on his vision of justice, equity, and fairness for all.

The coalition now calls on Governor Newsom to use his authority to enact immediate action and to sign a set of progressive bills** that are on his desk and deliver on the mandate set by California voters.

  • *SB 2 (Bradford) – Peace officers: certification: civil rights
  • SB 62 (Durazo) – Garment Workers Protection Act
  • SB 65 (Skinner) – California Momnibus, to reduce disparities in birth outcomes
  • SB 155 – Public Resources Trailer Bill 
  • SB 170 (Skinner) – Budget Act of 2021
  • SB 357 (Wiener) – Safer Streets for All
  • *SB 447 (Laird) – Civil action: decedent’s cause of action
  • SB 483 (Allen) – RISE Retroactivity 
  • SB 596 (Becker) – Reduce carbon emissions from the cement and concrete sector
  • *SB 606 (Gonzalez) – Workplace safety: violations of statutes: enterprise-wide violations: employer retaliation
  • *SB 650 (Stern) – Skilled nursing facilities
  • SB 775 (Becker) – Expanding SB 1437 Resentencing
  • AB 333 (Kamlager) – Gang Enhancement Reform 
  • AB 701 (Gonzalez) – Warehouse distribution centers
  • AB 794 (Carrillo) – Compliance with labor and misclassification laws as a condition of receiving state clean transportation incentive funds
  • *AB 1177 (Santiago, et. al) – California Public Banking Option Act
  • AB 1200 (Ting) – Phase out toxic “forever” PFAS chemicals from food packaging and require disclosure on cookware
  • AB 1487 (Gabriel) – Ensure that all tenants have access to legal representation when faced with eviction

Immediate actions: 

  • End oil & gas drilling within 2,500 feet of homes, prisons & schools
  • Extend the eviction moratorium expiring September 30, 2021
  • Extend water & energy shutoff moratorium until March 2022

* Denotes Dream Alliance priority bills. 

** Not all organizations that are part of this coalition have taken a position on each of the bills listed.

Courage California, formerly Courage Campaign, works to unite communities organizing for progressive change, fight the forces of corruption, and hold our representatives to account in order to ensure that California’s elected officials act with courage. Our community of members envision California as a model of progressive, equitable, and truly representative democracy that sets the standard for our country.


Angela Chavez