Voter's Edge California Voter Guide
Get the facts before you vote.
Brought to you by
League of Women Voters of California Education Fund
November 3, 2020 — California General Election
Invest in unbiased information

With your support, we can reach and inform more voters.

Donate now to spread the word.

California State SenateCandidate for District 15

Photo of Ann M. Ravel

Ann M. Ravel

Public Interest Attorney
Use tab to activate the candidate button. Use "return" to select this candidate. You can access your list by navigating to 'My Choices'.
For more in-depth information on this candidate, follow the links for each tab in this section. For most screenreaders, you can hit Return or Enter to enter a tab and read the content within.
Candidate has provided information.
Thank candidate for sharing their information on Voter's Edge.

My Top 3 Priorities

  • Ensuring economic prosperity by equal access to childcare and equal education for all children.
  • Building affordable housing for all, including workers, educators, seniors and first responders.
  • Ensuring a humane life for the homeless through urgent short term solutions and permanent supportive housing.



Profession:Public Interest Attorney
Director, Project on Digital Deception, MapLight (2018–current)
Of Counsel, McManis Law (2018–current)
Of Counsel, Renne Public Law Group (2019–current)
Commissioner and Chair, Federal Election Commission — Appointed position (2013–2017)
Chairperson, California Fair Political Practices Commission — Appointed position (2011–2013)
County Counsel, Santa Clara County — Appointed position (1998–2009)
Board Member, Judicial Council, State of California — Elected position (2002–2005)
Board of Governors, State Bar of California — Elected position (1996–2000)


University of CA, Hastings Juris Doctor, Law (1974)

Community Activities

Advisory Board Membert, American Leadership Forum (2008–current)
Executive Board Member, iCivics (2013–current)
Board member, Markkula Center for Applied Ethics, Santa Clara University (2017–current)
Hispanic National Board member, Hispanic Bar Association (2006–2009)
Board, Next Door Solutions for Domestic Violence (1990–2008)


Ann Ravel has dedicated her life to public service and to the fight for justice and equality. A leader shaped during the Civil Rights era, Ann’s commitment to public service and fighting for justice at every turn was cemented at an early age.

Ann was raised in Chile by her Brazilian mother and her American father, and they came to San José when she was eleven years old. While attending Willow Glen High School, Ann worked in the Salinas Valley picking fruit and on an apricot assembly line at a fruit cannery in San José, where she saw firsthand the issues of racial inequality and gender wage disparity.

She graduated from UC Berkeley at the height of its activism, and later, she worked her way through law school at UC Hastings by waiting tables. Ann organized her fellow waitresses to unionize, and everyone involved was fired. She filed a complaint with National Labor Relations Board, and further fueled her commitment to fairness and workers’ rights.

A tireless advocate for women and marginalized communities, Ann was the second chair in the pioneering affirmative action case for women in the workplace (Johnson v. Transportation Agency) – the only U.S. Supreme Court case on this issue.

Ann served as the Santa Clara County Counsel for eleven years. During her time as the county’s top attorney, Ann took on Big Tobacco; protected consumers and children from lead paint companies; challenged Prop 8 in court to defend marriage equality; created the Educational Rights Project to support at-risk foster youth; and created the first-in-the-country program that protected seniors from financial abuse.

As a Deputy Assistant Attorney General in the U.S. Department of Justice, she held oil giant BP’s accountable after the Gulf of Mexico oil spill. She stood up to pharmaceutical companies who were breaking the law and taking advantage of the vulnerable.

As Governor Jerry Brown’s appointment to Chair the Fair Political Practices Commission, she led the first-in-the-nation fight against the Koch Brothers network when they used dark money to try to pass Proposition 32, the paycheck deception ballot measure. Her work – and her integrity – earned the attention of President Barack Obama who nominated her to the Federal Election Commission. Ann received unanimous consent of the United States Senate, and continues to advocate for fair elections.

In 2014, she was named a California Attorney of the Year by California Lawyer magazine for her work in Government law, and in 2007, the State Bar of California named her Public Attorney of the Year for her contributions to public service.

And now, Ann is again fighting for women in the workplace as one of the lead counsels in a case to hold Silicon Valley companies accountable to shareholders for their actions around sexual misconduct and retaliation against female employees.

Ann and her husband Steve are residents of Los Gatos, and they are proud to have raised their three children in this district. Her experience and accomplishments are deep-rooted in true, honest leadership that our community needs in Sacramento. Ann will fight every single day for a brighter future for all of California’s families.

Questions & Answers

Questions from League of Women Voters of California (4)

To reach a goal of carbon neutrality by 2045, as set forth in a 2018 executive order what, if any, proposals, plans or legislation would you support?  Please be specific.
Answer from Ann M. Ravel:

I would provide incentives to purchase old cars from low income individuals, and provide incentives for the purchase of electric vehicles.

I would also create an investment by the state with industry in order to encourage technological solutions to retain more wind and solar power. This work would ideally be done in low income communities to be able to provide alternative jobs of those involved in the fracking industry.  



Describe what proposal(s) you would support to alleviate the shortage of affordable housing for all income groups in California?
Answer from Ann M. Ravel:

I support the usage of excess state and local properties to be used for affordable housing.  I support the use of tax increment financing in order to finance affordable housing projects.  I support encouraging the use of more prefabricated homes in order to provide housing more quickly.  

I also support greater enforcement of consequences for all local agencies that do not provide the amount of housing necessary, and I support having a state agency to oversee CEQA issues with the mandate to enforce the purposes of the act - in order to assure that CEQA is not being used for delay of housing projects solely, rather than for the purposes of the Environmental Quality Act 












According to the California Legislative Analyst’s Office, we spend over $81,000 per individual who is incarcerated.  Other than incarceration, what ways can the State address safety and justice?
Answer from Ann M. Ravel:

The State must also provide better reentry programs, as well as drug and alcohol, and mental health programs to assist those who can be released earlier into the community.  

What programs or legislation would you support to meet the water needs of all Californians?
Answer from Ann M. Ravel:

I agree with the need to look at Agriculture and how the water is being used to benefit the state.  I believe in desalinization and the use of recycled water as solutions, and would work with water agencies and the state to encourage the implementation of these solutions.

Who gave money to this candidate?


Total money raised: $1,278,241

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

Employees of n/a
Employees of Cotchett, Pitre & McCarthy, LLP
Northern California Carpenters Regional Council Small Contributor Committee
Ann M. Ravel
Employees of Santa Clara County

More information about contributions

By State:

California 89.54%
District of Columbia 2.43%
New York 1.06%
Illinois 0.89%
Other 6.08%

By Size:

Large contributions (96.21%)
Small contributions (3.79%)

By Type:

From organizations (27.50%)
From individuals (72.50%)
Source: MapLight analysis of data from the California Secretary of State.

Political Beliefs

Political Philosophy

I deeply believe that government transparency and integrity is essential. I have devoted my career to the public good through public service and believe that our elected officials should be responsive to the very people they represent – and should listen. 

My track record of holding the powerful accountable, fighting the corruption of money in politics, and working on behalf of the people demonstrates what I will do in the California State Senate to continue the fight for social justice and economic opportunity for all Californians.

For further detail on my political philosophy on specific issues critical to the state of California and Senate District 15, please go: 

Who else is running?

Please share this site to help others research their voting choices.