Voter's Edge California Voter Guide
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Tuesday June 5, 2018 — California Primary Election
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California State AssemblyCandidate for District 9

Photo of Jim Cooper

Jim Cooper

49,675 votes (67.8%)Winning
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My Top 3 Priorities

  • Jobs: Continue growing our economy. We need to support small businesses, encourage entrepreneurship, and incentivize new businesses to locate to our region and state.
  • Education: Increase funding to K-12 education, invest in universal pre-kindergarten education, job training programs, and higher education so we can roll back tuition rates.
  • Public Safety: We need to ensure that police and fire departments – and the whole criminal justice system – has the resources needed to achieve their goals of protecting and serving the public.



Profession:California State Assemblymember
Assemblymember, California State Assembly — Elected position, California State Assembly (2014–current)
Assemblymember, California State Assembly — Elected position (2015–current)
Captain, Sacramento County Sheriff's Department (1984–2014)
Founding Mayor and Councilmember, City of Elk Grove (2000–2014)
Founding Mayor and Councilmember, Elk Grove City Council — Elected position (2000–2014)


Saint Mary's Masters, Organizational Leadership (current)
West Point Leadership Academy Graduate (current)
FBI National Academy Graduate (current)

Community Activities

Board Member, Big Brothers, Big Sisters (2000–2014)
Board Member, WIND Youth Services (2000–2014)
Board Member, Sacramento Children's Recieving Home (2000–2014)


Assemblymember Jim Cooper proudly represents California’s 9th Assembly district, which
includes the cities of Sacramento, Elk Grove, Galt, and Lodi. Cooper currently serves on several
committees, including: Public Employees Retirement and Social Security Committee,
Governmental Organization Committee, and Insurance Committee. Cooper also serves as Chair
of the Assembly Budget Subcommittee No. 4 on State Administration and the Assembly Select
Committee on Community Law Enforcement Relations and Responsibilities.
Assemblymember Cooper has an extensive background in law enforcement and local

Before joining the Assembly in 2014, Cooper served as a Captain in the Sacramento County
Sheriff’s Department for 30 years and spent 14 years as Elk Grove’s founding mayor and
councilmember. He established solid governing values, balanced the city’s budget, and built a
city from the ground up.

Cooper has earned numerous awards, including the Bronze Star for Bravery for actions during
the 1991 “Good Guys” hostage crisis. He also spent three years working as the Department’s
spokesperson and spent nearly a decade working as an undercover narcotics officer and gang

Community service is a significant part of Assemblymember Cooper’s life. He has served on the
boards of the Boys & Girls Club, Big Brothers Big Sisters, and the Sacramento Children’s
Receiving Home.

Cooper grew up in Sacramento and is a graduate of the West Point Leadership Academy and FBI
National Academy. He earned a Master’s degree in Organizational Leadership from Saint
Mary’s College.

Questions & Answers

Questions from League of Women Voters of California Education Fund (4)

What do you think the State should do to encourage affordable housing for all Californians?
Answer from Jim Cooper:


As a region, we are far behind the rest of the state when it comes to building sufficient rental and affordable housing options for working-class families, the homeless, and citizens on fixed incomes. We need to make every effort to bring stability to the housing market place. The key here is increasing supply at a price point that citizens can afford. It’s a supply issue.


We know from recent media accounts that some 17,000 bay area workers are living in our region because of their inability to find housing near their jobs. This influx of people living in our region is putting further pressure on our supply. The department of housing and community development estimates that California must build at least 180,000 units a year to keep pace with demand, not accounting for the backlog of approximately 2 million units that has accrued over the last several decades.


Last year, I voted in favor of legislation to help address California’s affordable housing shortage. However, the revenue generated by SB 1 is a drop in the bucket. California is a very diverse state and a one-size fits all approach for rent control could actually hinder economic growth and construction of new homes and affordable housing.


It’s clear that our region’s housing costs and supply are at a tipping point. Our focus must be on increasing housing production, streamline permitting while being environmentally conscious, and ultimately driving down the costs to produce housing.


According to a "Civility In America” survey, 75% of Americans believe that the U.S. has a major civility problem. If you are elected what will do to address this?
Answer from Jim Cooper:


I believe that we must treat everyone with the same amount of respect. We are all Americans and Californians. We all have more in common than not in common. People have become embolden to be disrespectful. We must restore morals and courtesy in our daily lives.  


Climate changes, and the shifting between very wet weather and drought, worry Californians. What strategies would allow that your district to both satisfy its water needs and protect the environment? Please be specific.
Answer from Jim Cooper:


Climate change is real and my Democratic colleagues and I have passed several pieces of legislation aimed at combating global warming. Including, passing SB 32 (Global Warming Solutions Act) and extending California's cap-and-trade program. Additionally, I proudly authored AB 615 & AB 630 to help combat poor air quality in our region.




We must increase storage capacity and build additional reservoirs while being environmentally conscious. We must protect the Delta. I will continue to fight the Governor’s proposal to build tunnels to transport our water south.




What programs or strategies would you suggest to meet the educational needs of the youngest and most poverty stricken Californians?
Answer from Jim Cooper:


I would continue to use the budgetary and legislative process when and where appropriate to restore funding to K through 12 to levels at least equal to what they were when California public schools ranked near the top in the nation. I also want to ensure that there is sufficient funding for key programs to ensure academic success for our low performing, at-risk students, including remediation and after school programs. I supported both legislative and budgetary efforts to provide at-risk students with those services and programs.


I would like to freeze and eventually roll back tuition at California's three systems of higher education. I also would like to ensure greater access to financial aid. I have supported numerous legislative and budget proposals to provide greater funding for higher education and increase financial aid options.


Who gave money to this candidate?


Total money raised: $1,463,111

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

California State Association of Electrical Workers
Northern California Carpenters Regional Council
State Building & Construction Trades Council of California
California State Pipe Trades Council
Farmers Insurance Group

More information about contributions

By State:

California 69.15%
District of Columbia 5.19%
Texas 3.86%
Maryland 2.45%
Other 19.35%

By Size:

Large contributions (99.98%)
Small contributions (0.02%)

By Type:

From organizations (98.32%)
From individuals (1.68%)
Source: MapLight analysis of data from the California Secretary of State.

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