Eric Bauman is a registered nurse, a grassroots activist, and a proven leader. He has been serving as Vice Chair of the California Democratic Party since 2009 and is the Chair of the Los Angeles County Democratic Party since 2000, the largest local Democratic Party in the nation.
Eric’s grandparents came to America because of religious persecution. As the son of a single mother, Eric watched her struggle with the burdens of working full-time as a nurse and juggling a son who could be quite a handful.
Eric followed his mother’s footsteps in becoming a registered nurse because he believes deeply that access to quality, affordable healthcare should be a right of every person. That is why he has been an advocate of single-payer healthcare for more than 30 years. And that is the primary reason why he became politically engaged.
Advocate of Single-Payer Healthcare
As a single-payer healthcare advocate, he has worked since the 1980’s to pass single-payer healthcare in California, working with then-Senator John Garamendi, then-Senator Sheila Kuehl, and then-Senator Mark Leno; even though several of these single-payer bills passed the Legislature, they were vetoed by Republican Governors. Under Trump, as Republicans attempt to roll back Obamacare, Eric is strongly advocating that California becomes a “healthcare sanctuary” state.
He is now working with Senators Ricardo Lara and Toni Atkins on their bill to bring single-payer healthcare to California once and for all. His longtime commitment and work to advance single-payer healthcare in California has earned him the support of every single-payer legislation in California: Rep. John Garamendi; LA County Supervisor Sheila Kuehl; and Senators Mark Leno (ret.), Ricardo Lara, and Toni Atkins.
During his many years in intensive care and trauma nursing, Eric became involved with organized labor, serving as the lead employee organizer in the campaign to successfully organize Hollywood Presbyterian Medical Center and became a member of SEIU Local 399, followed by working with the Local to organize the Tarzana Medical Center.
His commitment to improving the quality of life for working Californians led him to chair the Gay & Lesbian Taskforce against the 1993 School Voucher Proposition 174, lead the Gay & Lesbian Coalition against the 1998 anti-union Payroll Deduction Proposition 226, and raised $50,000 to enable the Democratic Party to have a ballot insert detailing their opposition to the 1998 Payroll Deduction Proposition 226.
Eric has been on the forefront of LGBTQI rights movement. Eric met his husband Michael when they were both working as ICU nurses, in the very first years of the AIDS epidemic. They lost many friends and people they loved, and lived through those terrible years when people openly said gay men deserved to die from AIDS.
As an activist, Eric became President of the Stonewall Democratic Club in Los Angeles, and was a founding member and President of the National Stonewall Democrats, working with activists nationally on advocacy and campaigns. As Stonewall Democratic Club President, the club membership grew tenfold.
In 2008, Michael and Eric formally married, during the brief window before Prop. 8 stripped away their rights: they received their marriage certificate on the very last day they could legally be issued.
Proven Party Leader
In 2000, Eric was elected Chair of the Los Angeles County Democratic Party – an unpaid, elected position – overseeing the largest local Democratic Party in the nation, representing 2.7 million Democrats across 88 cities. Eric has transformed it from a so-called “elected Democratic club” into a national award-winning political powerhouse with a proven record of electing Democrats. LACDP is the only local political party in the nation to receive such honors. Through building strong partnerships and innovative programming, he brought the local Party from a $50,000 annual budget and one half-time employee in 2000 to a $1.7 million annual budget and six full-time employees today.
Additionally, Eric is committed to engaging the red, rural, and purple areas of our state. For almost two decades, he has traveled to provide inspiration to local activists in the farthest flung corners of California. He brought urban legislators together with rural activists to successfully garner support for important needs and policies that never before received the necessary backing for adoption. In 2005, Eric launched the Red Zone Program at LACDP to deliver substantial campaign services to those who run for office in deeply Republican districts in LA County and elsewhere – who are all too often ignored, maligned, and under-resourced, and successfully picked up a historically Republican legislative seat in 2012.
In 2009, Eric was elected Vice Chair of the California Democratic Party. During Eric’s time as CDP Vice Chair, California Democrats won every statewide office, two cycles running. Even against the GOP takeover nationally in 2016, California Democrat held every Congressional seat and even secured two-thirds supermajority in both houses of the State Legislature.
Professionally, Eric is the Senior Advisor to California Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon and the Director of the Speaker’s Office of Member Services – Los Angeles (SOMS-LA). Prior to joining the Speaker’s office, Eric held various senior-level positions in California Government, including serving as Senior Advisor to Senate Majority Leader Dean Florez, Senior Advisor to Lieutenant Governor John Garamendi, California Deputy Insurance Commissioner – overseeing the Community Relations Branch of the California Department of Insurance, and as Special Assistant to Governor Gray Davis and Director of the Governor’s Los Angeles Regional Office.
Eric is a member of the NARAL Pro-Choice Privacy PAC, the Vice Chair of the LA County Insurance Commission, the Lead Chair of the California Democratic Party’s Organizational Development Committee, and serving on the advisory board of the Medical Reserve Corps of Los Angeles and the LA County Voting Systems Assessment Project Advisory Committee. Previously, he was on the board of Glendale Memorial Hospital and the Latino Coalition Against AIDS.