Voter's Edge California Voter Guide
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Tuesday June 7, 2016 — California Primary Election
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California State SenateCandidate for District 27

Photo of Janice Kamenir-Reznik

Janice Kamenir-Reznik

Non-Profit Director
40,250 votes (19.2%)
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My Top 3 Priorities

  • Family Leave, Pay Equity, Child Care and other issues relating to elevating women in the workplace
  • Addressing the epic California housing crisis, especially in relation to homelessness and affordable housing
  • Working to decrease Southern California's dependence on water from Northern California



Profession:Lawyer, Social Worker, and non-profit DIrector
Commissioner, LA County Economy & Efficiency Commission — Appointed position (2005–2014)
Commissioner, LA County Judicial Procedures Commission — Appointed position (1998–2004)
Trustee, CA. State Bar Legal Services Trust Fund — Elected position (1994–1996)


UCLA Juris Doctor, Law (1982)
USC Masters in Social Work, Community Organization (1975)
Hebrew Union College Masters in Non Profit Management (1975)
UCLA Bachelor's of Arts, Psychology (1973)


Janice Kamenir-Reznik is an advocate and community leader who has spent her life working to improve the lives of women, children, and working families here at home and around the world.She is the co-founder and Immediate Past President of Jewish World Watch – an interfaith coalition that advocates against genocide, and provides on-the-ground humanitarian support to more than 500,000 survivors of atrocities in Congo and Darfur.

Janice practiced law at the firm she helped build from the ground up into one of the most respected in the San Fernando Valley, employing nearly 50 people. Prior to her legal career, Janice worked to bring freedom to Soviet Jews. Her long history of civic leadership includes service as President of California Women Lawyers, where she worked “across the aisle” with the Republican Administration to appoint more qualified female judges to California’s courts and close the gender gap on the bench.Working alongside women leaders from across the state, Janice helped Sheila Kuehl and Abby Leibman establish the California Women’s Law Center (CWLC) where she later served as President. The CWLC serves as a powerful advocate to protect, secure and advance the comprehensive civil rights of women and girls. The CWLC empowers individuals to use the law that governs their rights and to address the legal issues that perpetuate the growing poverty among women and children.As President of the Los Angeles County Judicial Procedures Commission, Janice worked with Los Angeles County Supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky to develop the Self Help Legal Access Center – a nationally recognized program that enables low-income and working families navigate a complicated and bureaucratic court system without having to pay for a lawyer. The Center now serves hundreds of thousands of people across L.A. County.

Described by Yaroslavsky as “a dynamic, energetic and visionary leader who will be a great State Senator,” Janice has been honored for her leadership by many, including Los Angeles County, UCLA Hillel, Neighborhood Legal Services, the Encino Chamber of Commerce, Temple Valley Beth Shalom, KCET, the Jewish Home for the Aging, and the American Jewish University.

In 2014, Janice was named Woman of the Year by California State Senator Fran Pavley.Janice moved to Los Angeles from Illinois with her parents before she was a year old and attended Los Angeles public schools. She earned a Bachelor’s and Juris Doctor degree from UCLA, a Master’s degree in Social Work from USC, and a Master’s degree in Non-Profit Management from Hebrew Union College. Janice and her husband Ben have lived in Encino for more than 30 years. They have three adult children.

Questions & Answers

Questions from The League of Women Voters of California Education Fund and California Counts, a public media collaboration. (4)


Climate changes and the continuing drought worry many in California. What new strategies do you believe would ensure that California is able to both satisfy its water needs and protect the environment? Please be specific.

No answer provided.
Many Californians are concerned about the influence of money in politics. What can the state legislature do to ensure that decision-making by elected officials is not swayed by moneyed interests at the expense of constituents?
Answer from Janice Kamenir-Reznik:

SImplify the access to information to the public.  THe current Secretary of State website makes it very difficult for the average citizen to ascertain who is contributing money.  This is especially so with respect to PACs.  For example, in my campaign, there are opposing candidates that have made assertions that BIG OIL is underwriting my campaign.  There should be a simple way to find out if that is true.  Currently, many candidates exploit the complexity of investigating the truth by making false assertions which are too difficult to either confirm or deny. 


I also feel that there should be time limits on the length of campaigns and that campaigns should be suspended while the legislature is in session. 

I support public financing of campaigns as well as spending limits, provided that they are mandatory and across the board so that no one is disadvantaged.


There are a variety of proposals to raise California's minimum wage. Many of these proposals face opposition from business groups who are concerned that they would kill jobs. Do you support increasing the minimum wage in California?  In your answer please explain your position on the relationship between wages and jobs with specific reference to the situation in your district. 
Answer from Janice Kamenir-Reznik:

I feel that the minimum wage bill that was recently passed and signed into law by Governor Brown was rushed through and that the legislature was remiss over the past many years by not addressing the issue proactively.  Now, they obviously felt threatened by the impending minimum wage propositions which were about to be placed onto the ballot; as such, they scrambled to pass a law that does not reflect the very best plan to elevate our economy.  I feel that the people of CA. would have been better served by a bill which took into account California's many micro-economies; a system with regionalized wage councils would probably be more likely to have the intended impact of elevating the poor and the working poor.

Fiscal Priorities

What are your top three fiscal priorities, recognizing the need to balance the state’s income with its spending? 

No answer provided.

Who gave money to this candidate?


Total money raised: $965,734

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

Employees of Jeffer Mangels Butler & Mitchell LLP
California Nurses Association
Employees of Cliffside Malibu
Kiesel Law and employees

More information about contributions

By State:

California 97.71%
New Jersey 0.49%
District of Columbia 0.44%
New York 0.32%
Other 1.03%

By Size:

Large contributions (99.00%)
Small contributions (1.00%)

By Type:

From organizations (11.87%)
From individuals (88.13%)
Source: MapLight analysis of data from the California Secretary of State.

Political Beliefs

Political Philosophy


My political philosophy is best described by my lifelong demonstrated commitment to equality and social justice.  I founded a successful non-profit to fight genocide in Darfur and the Congo; I oversaw the building of the organization into an important voice in the anti-genocide movement, and an important force in bringing direct assistance to survivors of genocide and atrocity.  I helped Sheila Kuehl and Abby Leibman  establish the California Women’s Law Center that works to protect the civil rights of women and girls.   I was the President of California Women Lawyers where I worked to narrow the gender gap on California's courts by successfully advocating for the appointment of qualified women to the bench.  As President of the Los Angeles County Judicial Procedures Commission, with then-Supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky I founded the Self Help Legal Access Centers in the LA County courts; from the initial pilot Center in Van Nuys, the project now serves hundreds of thousands of unrepresented litigants in every Judicial District in LA County.  All of these accomplishments are reflective of my philosophical commitment to fairness, justice and access.    These accomplishments also stand for the proposition that my "political philosophy" is not just philosophical in nature but is activist.  Good ideas do not change anything at all unless they are put into effective, sustainable action.  My history of accomplishment best embodies my political philosophy,-- namely: taking constructive, enduring actions which serve to further the twin aims of  bringing more justice into the world especially to vulnerable populations while also empowering those populations.

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