California Common Cause Announces “Democracy Heroes” Honors to Mark 50th Anniversary

On April 7, 2022, California Common Cause will celebrate the organization’s 50th anniversary and honor “Democracy Heroes” who have played vital roles in the fight to strengthen democracy in California. The event will also celebrate the former staff and board members who helped make possible the organization’s accomplishments over the past five decades while laying the groundwork for our next 50 years.

“These Democracy Heroes have devoted decades of their lives to strengthening our democracy and helping to ensure that every Californian has a voice in the decisions being made in Washington, in Sacramento, and at the local level,” said California Common Cause Executive Director Jonathan Mehta Stein. “Their greatest achievements did not come easily, and they did not come quickly, but what they have accomplished in Common Cause’s first 50 years will continue to bear fruit in the 50 years to come.”

Honorees for the event include:

  • Policy Heroes:Kathay Feng, for being the architect of redistricting reform in California and for many years of policy leadership in our field, and Bob Stern, for being the father of California’s Political Reform Act and the Fair Political Practices Commission.
  • Philanthropic Heroes: Amy Dominguez-Arms and Catherine Hazelton, for being foundation leaders who invested mightily in protecting and advancing democracy, including fair redistricting, voter protection, and civic engagement.
  • Elections Heroes: Neal Kelley, retiring Registrar of Voters for Orange County, and Gail Pellerin, former Santa Cruz County Clerk, for being leading elections officials in the state and nation and demonstrating that our elections can be accurate, secure, transparent, and accessible.

The event will feature an armchair conversation with the honorees: What Does the Future Hold for Democracy in California and the Nation? The discussion will be moderated by Mindy Romero, the founder and director of the Center for Inclusive Democracy (CID) at the University of Southern California and California Common Cause’s board chair.

Actress Helen Slater, who played Supergirl, will present awards. The anniversary celebration will be co-chaired by Lenny Mendonca, Senior Partner Emeritus of McKinsey & Company and Lauren Scott, Special Projects Director for the City Ballet of San Diego. The event will be held at the historic Ebell Club in Los Angeles

For safety reasons during the pandemic, Common Cause will be requiring masks and proof of vaccination and using an outdoor garden space for food/drink. The program will be held in an indoor space ringed by a number of large, open archways.

The organization is also encouraging supporters to submit brief videos explaining, “I joined Common Cause because….” Many of the submissions will be shown on screen at the event, posted on the California Common Cause website, or disseminated via social media platforms.

Reporters interested in attending in-person or virtually, depending on the pandemic, should contact Helen Grieco at

For more information on the event and the honorees, click here.