Voter's Edge California Voter Guide
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Tuesday June 7, 2016 — California Primary Election
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California State AssemblyCandidate for District 16

Photo of Catharine Baker

Catharine Baker

California State Assemblymember
71,906 votes (53.2%)Winning
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My Top 3 Priorities

  • Improve education: reform the rigid teacher tenure system, support children and great teachers, and put California students first in UC admissions.
  • Rebuild smarter infrastructure: stop High Speed Rail and the Twin Tunnels, and invest in roads and public transportation and smarter water infrastructure.
  • Require fiscal discipline: pay down debt and get our financial house in order, rather than go on a spending spree.



Profession:State Assemblywoman
Assemblywoman, California State Assembly — Elected position (2014–current)


University of California, Berkeley Juris Doctor (2000)
University of Chicago Bachelor of Arts, With Honors, Political Science (1993)


In her first term in the Assembly, Catharine has lived up to her pledge to be a different kind of legislator – one who works across party lines to get things done. She wrote legislation to better prevent child abuse in schools, to make the Bay Bridge oversight authority more transparent and accountable, and to offer veterans support in finding new careers when they return to civilian life. All these bills passed with unanimous, bipartisan support and were signed into law by Governor Jerry Brown. She has authored legislation to improve California’s transportation system and water infrastructure; modernize California’s schools so all children, regardless of the zip code they live in, can receive a great education; to make higher education accessible and affordable for California residents, and to make the state more accountable and financially disciplined with taxpayer funds. It’s no surprise the Contra Costa Times said, “Baker shows the Legislature there’s room for bipartisanship.”

An active parent leader in local schools, Catharine served on numerous local school improvement committees and on a preschool board. She is a Trustee with the Diablo Regional Arts Association, supporting arts education opportunities for families and school children. She is active in local Scouting with Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts, serving as an archery instructor and camp volunteer. As small business counsel at Hoge Fenton Jones & Appel law firm in Pleasanton, Catharine’s practice is helping local small businesses and non-profit organizations get started and succeed.


Catharine is a native Californian. She earned her BA degree from the University of Chicago, overcoming cancer her senior year to graduate Phi Beta Kappa. She earned her JD degree from UC Berkeley School of Law. Catharine is married to her college sweetheart, Dan, and they have two school-aged children, twins.

Who supports this candidate?

Elected Officials (67)

Questions & Answers

Questions from The League of Women Voters of California Education Fund and California Counts, a public media collaboration. (6)

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. 
Answer from Catharine Baker:

For more detailed information on the policy issues in my platform I invite you to visit my website at Please share with me any feedback or questions you have on specific policy issues or the information provided. 

Money in Politics

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?

No answer provided.
Minimum Wage

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. 

No answer provided.
Fiscal Priorities

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

No answer provided.
High Cost of Living

If elected, what solutions do you propose to deal with the high cost of living in the Bay Area?

No answer provided.
Traffic Congestion

What steps are needed to improve region-wide transportation planning and the growing traffic congestion?

No answer provided.

Who gave money to this candidate?


Total money raised: $3,417,884

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

California Republican Party
Farmers Insurance Group and employees
Employees of Sutter Hill Ventures
Republican Party of Tulare County
California Association of Realtors
California Dental Association

More information about contributions

By State:

California 93.17%
District of Columbia 0.94%
Texas 0.90%
Illinois 0.74%
Other 4.25%

By Size:

Large contributions (99.23%)
Small contributions (0.77%)

By Type:

From organizations (65.95%)
From individuals (34.05%)
Source: MapLight analysis of data from the California Secretary of State.

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