Voter's Edge California Voter Guide
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October 3, 2017 — Special Election
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California State AssemblyCandidate for District 51

Photo of John Prysner

John Prysner

Warehouse Operations Coordinator
232 votes (1%)
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My Top 3 Priorities

  • Dismantling white supremacy (ending mass incarceration/aggressive policing/deportations, full rights for all immigrants).
  • Universal healthcare (single-payer - SB562, full reproductive rights for all).
  • Full housing (gentrification and the crisis of homelessness).



Profession:Warehouse Operations Coordinator
Warehouse Operations Coordinator, FedEx Ground (2016–current)
Sound Mixer / Composer, The Empire FIles (2016–current)
Music Producer / Engineer, World Famous Studios (2013–2016)


Full Sail University Bachelors of Science, Music Production (2014)
Florida State University Bachelors of Science, Studio Art (2009)

Community Activities

Volunteer, A.N.S.W.E.R. Coalition - Los Angeles (Act Now to Stop War and End Racism) (2016–current)


John Prysner is running for the California State Assembly in the 51st district as the candidate for the Peace and Freedom Party and the Party for Socialism and Liberation.

John has been a musician and warehouse worker for the past 10 years and is a dedicated community organizer and activist often involved in anti-war and anti-racism efforts. He is actively involved in building the mass movement which is the most powerful force to successfully resist white supremacy, Islamophobia and all forms of racism and bigotry.


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

Political Beliefs

Political Philosophy

John believes the recent rent increases have endangered the stability of many households, leading to growing homelessness. The current rent control laws are too few and weak and lack necessary enforcement. In the past year, 8,044 Los Angeles residents were experiencing homelessness for the first time and with a projected rent increase of 5% over 2,000 more will join them.

Big developers and landlords buy up properties at close to nothing, only to turn around and drastically inflate rent prices to higher income people, which drive out generational renters. John demands an end to this gentrification which has continuously added to the displacement and increased homelessness of Angelenos and has helped contribute to the more than 28,000 homeless individuals in the city of Los Angeles alone. The high number of homeless individuals increase the chances of interactions with LAPD, with many instances ending in excessive police force.

Police brutality especially affects people of color including immigrants, LGBTQ people and working class people of all ethnicities. Harassment by LAPD, ICE, and agencies working with the racist, sexist Trump administration have led to an increase in deportations, too often separating families and loved ones. John stands for an end to police brutality and deportations, and for full rights for all immigrants.


John calls for every person to be guaranteed the right to a decent paying job with the right to form a union and for full healthcare, housing, and education. LGBTQ people and women must have equal rights in every area of life, and full reproductive rights including the right to abortion.

Position Papers

ACLU Candidate Survey


Assembly District 51 Candidate Survey

for October 3, 2017 Special Primary Election


The ACLU of Southern California, in consultation with Asian Americans Advancing Justice – Los Angeles, California Nurses Association, California Partnership, Drug Policy Alliance, Californians United for a Responsible Budget, and Inner City Struggle, has crafted the following survey on some of the most pressing issues of social justice facing Californians.  We intend to distribute your responses along with an evaluation of all candidates’ answers to more than 5,000 of our members and activists who reside in Assembly District 51, to help ensure that voters can ensure that the next Assemblymember for District 51 is a champion for social justice.


Below contains sample of answers only, full text can be found at:






Our campaign calls for fully free healthcare, including all reproductive healthcare, HIV/AIDS, abortion, gender reassignment services, and public education programs. We say that all people have a fundamental right to free, accessible, high-quality healthcare, regardless of citizenship status, age, ability, race, ethnicity, or medical need. We call for universal healthcare or a single-payer system. Every other industrialized country in the world provides universal healthcare and yet here in the richest country in the world, we have millions of people who go underinsured or uninsured. The leading cause of bankruptcy is emergency healthcare costs. Meanwhile, insurance companies, pharmaceutical companies, and healthcare profiteers like Martin Shkreli are enjoying rich bottom lines like never before. We would reorganize healthcare to be based on people's need over the profit-driven medical, insurance, and pharmaceutical industries.




Despite the major victory of marriage equality, it is still well within the law to discriminate against LGBTQ people at school, in the workplace, and many other key areas. Trans people are particularly vulnerable to and are far more likely to experience homelessness and violence. Trans people must have the same equal and protected rights as any other people. We support SB 396 insofar it encodes workplace discrimination protections for trans individuals. Likewise, we support any measure which ensures protections for trans people, recognizing that the struggle for legal protections is a result of many years of trans people’s struggles, such as in yearly Pride Marches. In the final analysis, anti-trans bigotry, whether committed by individuals, businesses, or organizations, must be rooted out from society. Public education campaigns should aim to undo patriarchal norms imposed by capitalism. The city of Los Angeles and the state of California must fully fund and provide for unrestricted services to trans people. Trans people must be guaranteed the right to all healthcare services, including gender confirmation surgery.



The modern American far-right movement—really more fascist in character than “alt-right”—gained its strength and grows emboldened by the unadorned bigotry of Donald Trump, which brought previously-fringe positions based off of white supremacy and bigotry into the mainstream. Trump’s election to the White House amplified the fascist movement’s gains. History shows that fascism can be defeated only through mass action to confront and oppose fascism. I support and join with the anti-racist and anti-fascist organizers and activists who have courageously hit the streets in defense of people under threat of bigoted violence, of deportation, and oppression by other means. I have participated in numerous anti-war and anti-racist mobilizations and plan to participate in and organize more.  Los Angeles is a fast growing majority-minority city. Oppressed communities possess the power of numbers, although we don't have corporate money or resources. Recent anti-fascist mobilizations in Boston, the Bay Area, and across the country, demonstrate that the fight against white supremacy requires the united mobilization of the people. Tens of thousands of people in the streets is the required response to defeat the forces of fascism and reaction.

As a candidate, I can say definitively that the support of elected officials for the anti-fascist movement has been lukewarm at best: there are no politicians currently who truly represent the anti-fascist movement past paying lip-service to those injured or killed after the fact. The tragedy in Charlottesville was made all more tragic by the fact that it was a preventable crisis.

Mass incarceration and police terror are a central feature of white supremacy in this country. Concrete policy measures to demilitarize the police and replace aggressive policing with community self-defense programs like the NEAR Act are literally matters of life and death. I fully and unapologetically support comprehensive police reform and replacement with community self-defense as real steps towards dismantling institutions fundamentally bound up with white supremacy.

Our campaign supports the formation of anti-racist educational campaigns for schools, universities, and neighborhoods. White supremacy and fascism depend on the division and scapegoating of oppressed people: White supremacist and fascist ideologies label people of color as social pariahs, but through genuine education and anti-racist organizing, our communities can unite, regardless of nationality, ethnicity, age, ability, or race.




Police operate with far too much power in our society—with each incident of excessive force or brutality, the evidence of police impunity is evident. The Police Officer’s Bill of Rights must be immediately rescinded. We must monitor the activity of police departments through the mechanism of community-controlled oversight committees. All cops who are guilty of abuse and murder must be immediately punished to the full extent of the law. Racial profiling and violence is a profound issue in police departments across California and the United States. Profiling must be completely uprooted from policing. We support any transparency and records access laws that would enable us to hold police officers and their departments accountable.




Police officers should only use lethal force in the most extreme cases, when all other options have been exhausted. Police violence—especially on the scale taking place in California and Los Angeles—is completely unacceptable. Murder at the hands of police reflects the inextricable relationship of white supremacy to the evolution of modern policing and capitalism in the United States. The police serve in lieu of adequate mental health services, too often with deadly results.  Police rely on brutality and excessive force as a matter of course, and make little to no attempt to deescalate their contact with civilians. We should institute and normalize de-escalation and non-lethal interventions. The police claim to serve the people and should be held to that standard, rather than acting as a mechanism for brutality and oppression. Communities of color and working-class people are made unsafe by over-policing, militarized, and racist policing. We support the defunding and dismantling of the prison-industrial complex, the demilitarization of the police, and de-escalation training. We are long past due for the creation of community-controlled police.




Our campaign vigorously and publicly supports universal healthcare provision. The veto of the Healthy California Act, SB652, by a lone Democratic Party state senator, was an infuriating insult to working people in this state. We understand that beneath the veneer of social equality and progress, the Democratic Party is not democratic and in fact is just as hollow as the Republican Party. The travesty which befell SB652 adds to a long history of spurious betrayals by the Democratic Party, notably also the manipulation of the 2016 Democratic Party primary. What the SB652 scandal does show is that despite the immense popularity of the single-payer healthcare model, Democratic politicians are ultimately subservient to pharmaceutical and other big-money donors. Our campaign unreservedly supports SB 562 and free healthcare for all, and we will continue to struggle and fight for it.




City ordinances that ban camping and sleeping in cars are trending upward. These laws target and criminalize the homeless. The ordinances are designed and enforced not to end homelessness, but to shield gentrifying cities from homeless people. These policies as well as police harassment of homeless people must end. Homeless people have not only a right to exist and live just like everyone else but have a right to housing as well. There are more empty apartments and houses then there are homeless people. The absurd logic of capitalism dictates that while people live on the streets, and while homes and apartments remain empty, big landlords and developers reap profits in the hundreds of thousands and millions of dollars. We are in a state of emergency: there are about 60,000 people homeless right now in Los Angeles alone, and this number is growing rapidly. Billions of dollars are wasted on tax breaks for the rich, on incarcerating young people and immigrants, on the police, and on the military. These wasted billions must be used for what the people need, including a massive campaign to eradicate homelessness.

To reduce homelessness in California, we should work to overturn the Ellis Act and the Costa-Hawkins Law. The Ellis Act allows landlords to evict tenants regardless of any rent control or other protections, if the owner removes their property from the rental market. Frequently this happens through condo conversions. Landlords that invoke Ellis Act have displaced and evicted thousands of people in California from Los Angeles to San Francisco—Ellis creates and adds to housing instability. The Costa-Hawkins state law prohibits the institution of rent control on new developments, and prevents statewide vacancy control. If we are serious about addressing California’s crisis of homelessness we must start by an immediate repeal of Ellis Act and Costa-Hawkins.




We believe that criminal and traffic court fines and fees should be waived for low-income and working-class people. Court administrative costs should not be user-funded. User-funded justice and fee-based court administration is regressive in character, since fees are disproportionately paid by people who can least afford them. The “justice” system along with police and prisons in practice serve only to punish working-class people, mostly for petty crimes such as traffic and non-violence drug offenses. This is why white-collar criminals who can afford top lawyers seldom suffer the same punishments as poor, working-class, and/or people of color in the courts. Hundreds of thousands of people sit in prison today in California for unpaid fees, unaffordable bail, or petty crimes, yet a bank that gives out fraudulent loans and then forecloses on thousands of people never sees any proportional punishment. The justice system is completely lopsided against working and poor people.




In 1978, when California voters passed Proposition 13, the measure was pitched as protective of individual homeowners, and thus voters indicated their strong approval for the measure. In fact, the proposition was a multi-billion dollar giveaway to real estate and land developers. The effect was a devastating divestment from California’s public education, which has rippled all the way out to what we now recognize as the school-to-prison pipeline. The state and its municipalities have tried to patch the corporate property tax funding shortfall through regressive tax measures that are inequitably distributed to the working-class. We are in full and vigorous support to close the commercial property loophole in Prop 13, and to tax commercial and industrial properties at the current market value, and to restore funding to California’s public education system.




We support the reduction of prison sentences without reservation. We cannot tackle mass incarceration without reducing punitive sentencing. We should redirect resources to provide for the basic needs of working people as well as reduce social crime by meeting people’s basic needs. Aggressive, racist, militarized policing must be dismantled, and replaced with community-self defense and rehabilitation services.




California, like many areas across the United States, suffers from a school-to-prison pipeline. The school system seeks to contain and discipline children for the workforce rather than nurturing, educating and helping our youth grow into well-rounded and responsible adults  Children are held in overcrowded classrooms without resources or creative and artistic development. Alternatives to suspensions that are grounded in community mediation should be instituted. Schools should not be the start for young people to go to prison. We should not act punitively toward young people and instead should reinvest our resources into public education for literacy, arts, and sports.





We demand full rights for all immigrants, and an end to deportations. The Trump Administration’s open racism and attack on DACA indicate that ICE’s campaign of terror against immigrant communities will only intensify. Now more than ever we need people in office who are willing to obstruct and fight against these attacks by any means necessary. We support any measure that prevents the collaboration of ICE and other federal agencies seeking to criminalize immigrants with local law enforcement, or any other public institution.



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