Gov. Gavin Newsom at a March 4 press briefing on the coronavirus pandemic. (Photo: Rich Pedroncelli, AP)
This was supposed to be a big health care year for California. Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom in January unveiled ambitious proposals to help him achieve his goal of getting every Californian health care coverage. Though it was far less than the single-payer promise Newsom had made on the gubernatorial campaign trail, his plans, if adopted, would have expanded the health care system as no other state has.
Gov. Gavin Newsom addresses a January ADEM gathering in San Francisco. (Photo: California Democratic Party, via Bay City Beacon)
Few Californians are familiar with the state Democratic Party’s Assembly District Election Meetings, known as ADEMs. Even fewer – under 40,000 – vote in them. But as Democrats in 2019 wield nearly absolute power in state policy, the ADEMs – grassroots, internal elections held every two years designed to connect party insiders with the base – are gaining attention as a battleground between the party’s progressive and moderate blocs.