Voter's Edge California Voter Guide
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Tuesday June 7, 2022 — California Primary Election
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State of CaliforniaCandidate for Lieutenant Governor

Photo of David Fennell

David Fennell

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My Top 3 Priorities

  • Write Economic Plan to Keep Jobs in California. (Note: Lt. Governor authors Econ plan for California).
  • Fight Crime & Fraud.
  • Land Resource Management to Prevent Forest Fires & Create Water Storage for Farmers. (Note: Lt. Governor is Chair of the State Lands Commission).



Senior Partner, Media Bay Ventures (2012–current)
Founder, FNL Ventures (2009–current)
Chairman - Neighborhood Crime Prevention Council, Oakland Police Department — Elected position (2015–2016)
Founder, (2002–2008)
Director of Economic Development, Center for International Development (1996–2001)
Marketing and Sales Consultant, Icore International Limited (1991–1993)


Center for the Pacific Rim, University of San Francisco Masters of Arts, Asian Studies, Emphasis in Transitioning Economies (1996)
Beijing Language and Culture University Certificate in Mandarin Chinese (1995)
Leavey School of Business, Santa Clara University Bachelor of Science in Commerce, Marketing Degree, Research focus in antitrust regulatory law. (1991)

Community Activities

Food Aid Monitor - Pyongyang, North Korea, United Nations Development Program / Mercy Corps International (1996–1999)
Education Volunteer, Volunteers in Asia: Hanoi, Vietnam (1992–1993)
Sales Associate, Computer Attic / NeXT Computers (1991–1993)
Financial Analyst Internship, Dataquest / Gartner International (1991–1991)
Eagle Scout, Boy Scouts of America (1979–1986)

Who supports this candidate?

Questions & Answers

Questions from League of Women Voters of California (3)

The Lieutenant Governor sits on the UC Board of Regents and the CSU Board of Trustees.  What are your ideas for the future of higher education in California public universities and colleges?
Answer from David Fennell:

California has historically had one of the greatest public university systems in the world.


However, costs, corruption and an imbalance between the job market needs and what is being taught have darkened a once great system.


Thousands of Californian’s have escaped poverty by rising from nothing to having great jobs which were made available by attending California’s public colleges.


My Vietnamese Immigrant wife received her undergraduate degree in Biotechnology at UC Davis after her family arrived in the US with nothing, but thankful they had been rescued at sea by the U.S. Navy after escaping communism and waiting their legal turn to come to the US.


She has lived the California dream.


The dream of working hard, getting a world class education, and being rewarded with a job and career she loves.


But, she earned her degree in the year 2000.


However, today in 2022 we see Starbucks baristas with Masters Degrees that don’t match the job market and being burdened with crushing debt.


There are 3 things that David Fennell will do as Lieutenant Governor:

  • Work with Universities to better match education with job market.
  • Provide paths to college graduation while limiting college debt.
  • Auditing educations systems for waste and free speech violations.

It should be noted that in addition to the UC Board of Regents and the CSU Board of Trustees the Lt. Governor also sits on the Board of Governors of the California Community Colleges system.


There are 115 accredited Community colleges in California that serve over 2 million students and provide a path for students to inexpensively earn undergraduate requirements before transferring to UC or State schools. 


In addition, community colleges and trade schools can provide training and certificate programs that can lead to jobs that often pay higher wages than some Masters degrees. The other reality is not every high school graduate wants to or should go to college, and given the high costs should be able to pursue jobs and careers better suited for their skills and goals. 


It is also clear the University system still has a black eye after it was exposed that they had a secret fund of millions of dollars which they hid from the public, and there needs to be an audit of all accounts. 


Finally, higher education should be a place that challenges the student with all ideas and points of view and there have been too many stories that certain viewpoints are not being heard or considered at top Universities. This is unacceptable.


David Fennell has earned his Undergraduate and Master's Degree from California Universities and has the experience to guide California’s public schools into a cost effective education that is suited for the jobs of the future. 

The Lt. Governor is chairman of the Commission for Economic Development.  What would you do in that role to try to improve the economies of the poorest parts of California?
Answer from David Fennell:

David Fennell has spent three years making at least 5 trips to all of California’s 58 counties.


The poorest communities in California are not only in select regions of the inner cities but increasing in rural and remote areas where citizens are priced out of their hometowns and forced into long distance commutes.

The problem is the Commission for Economic Development has not held a meeting in years.


As stated as of May 7, 2022, on the Office of California of Lieutenant Governor website:


“In addition, under state statutes, the Lieutenant Governor chairs the California Commission for Economic Development, which provides support and guidance to the Governor, Legislature and private sector regarding the development of Californias economy. The Commission is composed of appointees from the Legislature and the Governor and currently does not have a quorum needed to meet.”


This is crazy.


California is suffering from inflation, high gas prices, jobs leaving the state and the Office of Lieutenant Governor is stating on their website that they don’t even have a quorum to meet?


So, the first thing David Fennell would do as Lieutenant Governor is meet with the leaders of California’s 58 Counties and 482 municipalities to write a new Economic Plan for the State as is required as part of the role as Lt. Governor.

As David Fennell travels the state he has met with county and city leaders who have plans to bring jobs and prosperity to California’s poorest communities, but they need help from Sacramento and the complaint is that none of the current administration has ever visited their struggling region.


Many of the jobs that are leaving the expensive and regulatory burdened Californian areas such as Silicon Valley, San Francisco, Los Angeles, etc should not be outsourcing jobs to Texas, Florida and Tennessee but should be “insourcing” to some of our poorer urban and rural communities.


However, many of these communities lack the resources and regulatory guidance to keep and attract new jobs. 


In addition, numerous rural mountain communities are being destroyed by forest fires due to mismanagement, and farmers are struggling to water their crops due to lack of water - which leads to job loss in the agricultural industry.


California feeds the world, and we innovate the tech, movies, and music which is used and watched around the planet which is creating the world's largest number of billionaires of any region.


However, every day we hear of jobs leaving the state and the poorest members of our community being out of work and falling through the societal cracks created by mismanagement in Sacramento.


Furthermore, massive fraud and corruption is burdening our poorest communities.


California, we can return to the shining star of all the states but we need new leadership.


David Fennell has lived and worked in the poorest parts of California and he know what it takes to improve our most challenged parts of the state.



What are your benchmarks for measuring your success in this office?
Answer from David Fennell:

The Lieutenant Governor is perhaps the most powerful position in California politics that few voters actually understand.


Perhaps aside from being President of the State Senate the most important roles of Lt. Governor is chairing or sitting on the boards of the most critical agencies in Sacramento including State Lands Commission, Commission for Economic Development, Board of Regents of the University of California, Board of Trustees of the California State University system, Board of Governors of the California Community Colleges system, California Ocean Protection Council, California Coastal Commission, etc.


Historically, the Lt. Governor has had the option of taking on these critical roles or deferring them to other government officials such as the pro Tempore of the State Senate.


Many of these important agencies have not actually met in years and have not had a quorum to  decide on critical issues facing the state. The current website for the Office of Lieutenant Governor openly states the California Commission for Economic Development “currently does not have a quorum needed to meet.”


One of the Benchmarks for measuring success would be actually showing up to work in Sacramento and doing the job and holding much needed meetings of agencies such as Chairing the California Commission for Economic Development where the Lt. Governor is put in charge of writing the Economic Plan for the State of California.


At this time when jobs are leaving the state and prices are on the rise, forest are on fire, and farmers can’t get water it is a critical time for the Lt. Governor to write a comprehensive State economic plan to guide the state’s 58 counties out of this critical economic period.


In addition, there needs to be an audit of the UC California and State schools given that the The University of California hid $175 million from the public in secret funds while its administrators demanded more money from the state.


The California Employment Economic Development Agency (EDD) paid out more than $20 billion to criminals in the form of fraudulent COVID unemployment benefits yet the California Commission for Economic Development failed to even meet or provide the slightest hint of suggested oversight during the pandemic.


As Benchmarks for David Fennell’s Lieutenant Governor administration he would ensure that all of the committees actual met and that all agencies were audited for waste and fraud and that the Commission for Economic Development issue the Economic Plan for the State of California that includes input from all of California’s 58 counties and 482 municipalities.


The California Lieutenant Governor is the 2nd highest governing position in the state and under the proper leadership can guide our 40 million residents out of the current economic crisis.


David Fennell will do the job.

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Source: MapLight analysis of data from the California Secretary of State.

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