In summary

CalMatters is the go-to election resource for California residents, from first-time voters to people who’ve never missed an election.

CalMatters brought millions of voters together for the 2022 election, united to use nonpartisan information for civic participation.

Our nonprofit newsroom has served voters since our founding seven years ago, and our audience grows with every election. Here are some quick highlights of how we met Californians’ needs in 2022:

Voter Guide

Our nonpartisan Voter Guide followed the success of the 2018, 2020 and 2021 guides. This year’s guide was available in English and, for the first time, fully translated into Spanish. It included our award-winning Props-in-a-Minute ballot measure explainers, the interactive Gimme Props game, candidate pages offering a perspective on candidates’ qualifications for each office, live campaign finance information and a frequently-asked-questions section.

We estimate that we reached at least 20 percent, maybe more, of the 11.1 million people who voted in the November election. Our Voter Guide was used by more than 2 million people, our proposition explainer videos were watched nearly half a million times on our site and YouTube, and our short radio and TV segments on election topics were broadcast across public radio and TV news stations, reaching millions of Californians. In addition, we had many more views of our work on the sites of our publishing partners across the state and on mobile platforms such as Apple News and MSN.

2022 Election

Your guide to the 2022 general election in California

Some member testimonials on the value of our election coverage:

  • “CalMatters is terrific – I always want to be an educated voter and don’t trust the TV ads and countless pieces of mail I get regarding various issues on the ballot. I enjoy your no-nonsense style!” – Diane, Los Altos Hills
  • “I’m always inundated when it comes to election time and oftentimes the propositions on the ballots are confusing. I appreciate how CalMatters lays it out in layman’s terms and is straight to the point so I can make my own informed decision.” – Jamie, Ventura
  • “This is the third election I’ve gone to Calmatters for help breaking down the candidates and propositions in an easily understandable and navigable site. It’s an indispensable resource!” – Chris, Orinda
  • “Your voter guide is a great resource I very much rely on and tell others about.  And your reporting on state issues is top notch, and not readily available elsewhere.” – Evan, Sausalito
  • “I rely on CalMatters for clear accounts of state news and issues, particularly ballot summaries.” – Daniel, Joshua Tree

Pizza & Politics

After hearing about a pizza and politics party at the Castro Valley Public Library with more than 100 people four years ago, we launched the concept statewide this year. .

The Pizza & Politics initiative inspired more than 2,500 people to participate across 52 parties, sharing 1,267 slices of pizza. And those are just the ones who told us about their gatherings.  View the full database of parties here. Here are some examples:

  • Drip Espresso hosted a community conversation in partnership with Sacramento Sister Circle to examine which candidates and measures would advance the agenda of Black women. Panelists included CalMatters’ California Voices editor Yousef Baig, and discussion included the hotly contested District 8 state Senate race; Props. 26, 27, 29 and 30; and several local races and ballot measures.
  • CalMatters, YubaNet and the Miners Foundry hosted a Pizza and Politics event in Nevada City. About 80 folks signed up for the event and 30 pizzas from Miner Moes and Three Forks were provided.
  • Students studying government at El Dorado High School in Orange County gathered for a discussion described as “wonderfully thoughtful, reasoned, and civil discourse about our local races as well as the propositions (for which the CalMatters explainer videos were wonderfully clear and helpful!). It was inspiring and impressive to see young adults from our community exchanging great ideas and insights and modeling how to disagree without being disagreeable and share divergent perspectives to enhance common understanding. We enjoyed it so much that we held a followup, second discussion to work through all the things up on the fall ballot.”
  • Parkside Community Church in Sacramento gathered about 30 people after services, with pizza, to talk through the ballot propositions. “Generally we were a group of well-educated, civically-aware, experienced voters who still struggled to get to the substance of the ballot proposals and their real impact on our community,” they wrote. “The CalMatters Voter Guide was very helpful in cutting to the chase.”

Libraries & Classrooms

CalMatters launched two initiatives in the fall to educate even more Californians.

We partnered with California State Libraries to help library staff share CalMatters’ nonpartisan election information. We developed a guide for library staff on how to use the Voter Guide with patrons, along with printable information in English and Spanish for the many people who rely on the state’s 13,000 public libraries for information access. 

  • “Your resources were tremendously useful to our library staff and community.” – Theresa Campos, Adult Services Library Program Coordinator, Santa Clara City Library
  • “People didn’t know what to expect, and after we went about the program [CalMatters Voter Guide] everyone wanted to know when the next session would be, because they wanted to let their neighbors and family members know.” – Sonia Bautista, MLIS, Senior Librarian, City of Commerce Library
  • “The Election Resources are so clean and accessible!  It’s going to be a great resource for my library’s librarians and my community.” – Erik Berman, Teen Services Coordinator, Alameda County Library
  • “We loved the Implementation Tips for Librarians you guys put together about the Voter Guide. I shared it with all the librarians here in Long Beach.” – Cynthia Bautista, Youth & Family Services Senior Librarian, Long Beach Public Library

We also partnered with iCivics to produce English and Spanish material available at multiple reading levels for middle and high school students. The material included in-class course learning modules, interactive games and discussion starters.

  • “[Now that I know about CalMatters] I’ve been definitely reading it more and recommending it to people. It’s my go-to resource now. I also use iCivics quite a bit when looking for content on the foundations of the Constitution, the Declaration and the enlightenment philosophers; my colleagues use it too, and even my husband, an English teacher, who also teaches media literacy.  [Our discussion] wouldn’t have been as nearly as comprehensible and understandable for them as it was when we used the CalMatters videos.” – Dori LaMar, U.S. History Teacher, Oak Hills High School, Oak Hills (San Bernardino County) 
  • “When I teach voting and elections, I like to give students a chance to vote and play iCivics. This choice board included the game as a way to show their understanding of the content. In terms of conversations, the choice board provided multiple opportunities for questions and comments and reflection on ballot measures. Students had an opportunity to think about the choices and ask questions to get a deeper understanding. Students can work independently and create wonderful products with detail and accuracy!” – Brianna Davis, Instructional Specialist, Social Science, Oxnard Union High School District
  • “I used your proposition videos with my students. We watched all of them. At the Pizza & Politics party, we had mostly my AP Government students, and we did not have time to investigate the propositions in that class. The students seemed interested and had side conversations about the propositions.” – Brett Dobson, Social Science Teacher, Centennial High School, Pescadero (San Mateo County)

We want to hear from you

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Sonya builds bridges between the community and CalMatters as director of membership and engagement. Previously she managed engagement, fundraising, marketing, digital storytelling and UX at Voice of OC,...