BERKELEY'S NEWS • SEPTEMBER 26, 2022

UC Berkeley freshman Josh Lewis elected as delegate for California State Assembly District 5

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JOSH LEWIS | COURTESY

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JANUARY 29, 2019

UC Berkeley freshman Josh Lewis has been elected as a delegate for the California 5th State Assembly district at the state Democratic party level.

Lewis is the youngest delegate out of the 12 candidates in the District 5 Progressive Environmental Labor slate. He received 216 out of the 218 votes cast, according to fellow candidate John Savage.

“My ultimate goal as a delegate from the 5th district is to make sure that rural progressive voices and ideas are heard at all levels of the party,” Lewis said in a Facebook message.

District 5 consists of Alpine, Amador, Madera, Mariposa, Mono, Calaveras, Eldorado, Placer and Tuolumne counties, all of which are mostly rural regions in California.

According to Lewis, who is a member of UC Berkeley’s Model United Nations and a representative of Amador County for the Progressive Environmental Labor slate, though rural issues are serious, they receive less attention at the state level of the party.

“I hope that by contacting Democrats in the 5th, listening to community leaders, and doing research, I’ll be able to accurately represent the liberal and progressive voices in the fifth,” he said in a Facebook message.

As a delegate, Lewis will serve two years before he is up for re-election. As a representative, he will participate in voting for candidate endorsements, setting party rules and procedures, choosing party leadership and passing resolutions that speak for the party.

Lewis first became politically active after co-founding the Young Democrats club at his high school. He then moved on to volunteering for campaigns and field organizing.

According to Lewis, when assembly district election meetings took place, he and his party regional director decided to cooperate and form the California Progressives slate. Prospective candidates began to join his network and the slate grew to 12 candidates for election day.

“I think the state needs more people like Josh to listen to younger people and hear the issues facing them,” said Daniel Stephenson, co-founder of the Young Democrats club with Lewis. “The people who are activists tend to be older.”

Stephenson added that because of his age, Lewis will be able to push issues to the Democratic Party that are more relevant to the younger demographic, especially issues related to student housing and debt.

Candidates within the slate also expressed their support for Lewis.

“I loved hearing his perspective on things,” Progressive Environmental Labor slate candidate Elaine Hagen said. “We’re a much older population in our district — we desperately need to hear younger voices.”

Lewis said he thinks that voters want to see a young face with new ideas to represent them and that he wants to provide a youthful outlook to the progressive party’s politics.

“I think people in my area are tired of establishment party officials that don’t necessarily reflect their interests in an era where Democrats are increasingly shifting to the left,” Lewis said in a Facebook message. “I’m incredibly excited to get to work for the party.”

Clarifications: A previous version of this article may have implied that Josh Lewis was elected as the representative of the California 5th State Assembly district. In fact, he was elected as a delegate at the state Democratic party level for that district.

Contact Thao Nguyen at  or on Twitter

LAST UPDATED

FEBRUARY 01, 2019


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