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18 Most Liberal Cities in California in 2023

Most Liberal Cities in California

California is considered to be one of the leading states in liberal policies and progressive thinking. Among the attributes of this state are its vivid culture, advanced technology, varied ethnicity, and huge cities that attract people.

However, with 482 cities in California, you may wonder which ones really represent a spirit of liberalism. In this article, we will discuss the most liberal cities in California, starting with number 18 to our top selection at number 1.

For the most conservative cities in California, read this article

Interactive Map of the Most Liberal Cities in California

18. Stockton

Located in the heart of the Central Valley, Stockton could be categorized as a city with agricultural heritage, but it has a progressive attitude. It holds a high concentration of Democratic voters and many active grassroots organizations that deal with social justice and green environmental protection.

For example, “Reinvent Stockton” is a local group working to improve the socio-economic status of residents through liberal-minded policies showing the city’s commitment to progress.

17. Oakland

The city of Oakland is quite activist and can be one of the most diverse cities in the state. Its policies on immigration, LGBTQ+ rights, and environmental reform show its forward progression.

For example, Oakland was one of the first cities to develop a “Zero waste” policy which shows its commitment to sustainability.

16. Long Beach

Long Beach, home to one of the largest LGBTQ+ communities in the U.S., exemplifies California’s liberal spirit. 

Long Beach is committed to sustainability not only through programs such as the “Long Beach Clean City Initiative” but also through regular events that promote diversity and equality, like the annual “Long Beach Pride Festival.” This is also an ideal place to live for young adults.

15. Irvine

Irvine is officially on the conservative side of Orange County but is generally considered to be a liberal city. Its growing technology industry, young population with an influx of immigrants, and a unique quest for sustainability have created this new liberal climate in Irvine.

For instance, Irvine rezoned a military training site into a cemetery for veterans in 2018. This was because of its progressive stance on social issues.

14. Santa Cruz

Santa Cruz has been referred to as a progressive city with a liberal population. This city has been known for its commitment to organic farming practices and sustainability. There is an incredibly proactive approach towards affordable housing issues and homelessness, as seen with the formation of the “Santa Cruz Homeless Union.”

13. San Jose

The tech-savvy population of San Jose leans toward the Democratic Party, as it is the heart of Silicon Valley. The initiatives undertaken by the city council reflect its liberal values within the hustling city of San Jose.

12. Pasadena

Next on the list of the most blue cities in California is Pasadena. Although Pasadena is located in Los Angeles County, which a variety of political viewpoints has long characterized, the city seems to be predominantly liberal at heart. Notably, championed efforts like “Pasadena Green Space” and the “Affordable Housing Services” project represent its dedication to environmental and social issues.

11. Sacramento

Being the state capital, Sacramento is unquestionably a haven of liberal politics. The city’s Democratic mayor and city council concern themselves with progressive problems such as climate change, affordable housing, and immigration.

10. Santa Monica

Santa Monica is known for its liberal local voters and plans. The city is heading to a green future with the “Sustainable City Plan,” and it has a Human Rights Division dedicated to equality and justice.

9. Santa Barbara

Santa Barbara is known for its progressive policies, especially with regard to the environment. The city signals a committed relationship to cutting carbon emissions, safeguarding natural resources, and supporting sustainable practices that emphasizes its liberal identity. Santa Barbara is also an amazing for families to live in California.

8. Davis

Davis is home to one of the top public universities in the country. It’s a liberal city with a young, educated population. Progressive values make it attractive for those who live there since it advertises it as being environmentally sustainable and bicycle friendly.

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7. Palo Alto

Palo Alto is in Silicon Valley, where liberal lean tech employees tend to congregate. The city has notable progressive policies on the environment, affordable housing, and diversity; such initiatives include the “Palo Alto Green Energy” program.

6. Mountain View

Mountain View is renowned for being a liberal city in Silicon Valley. This reflects the fact that its policies towards progressive decisions like the “Renter Protection Ordinance” are also mirrored by making initiatives on sustainability.

5. West Hollywood

West Hollywood is ranked among the one hundred most liberal US cities and enjoys a big LGBTQ+ community and progressive city council. The city was amongst the first in the nation to allow same-sex marriage and continues to lead in defending LGBTQ+ rights.

4. Santa Clara

Santa Clara, the core of Silicon Valley, is recognized as a politically progressive city. Its commitment to sustainability and affordable housing means that liberal values are well-cultivated here.

3. San Francisco

San Francisco, with its liberal movement of the 1960s, remains one of the progressives’ strongholds. The city’s standards reflect those progressive values, from measures against such phenomena as homelessness and LGBTQ+ rights to patterns like sustainability in environmental policy.

2. Los Angeles

Los Angeles, which is the most populous city in California, is considered one of the most liberal cities politically. From gay rights to environmental initiatives like the “Green New Deal L.A.”, its progressive record should come as no surprise.

1. Berkeley – Most Liberal City in California

Coming in at number one, Berkeley is the most liberal city in California. Its legacy dating back to the Free Speech Movement, its liberal stance on social issues, and progressive nature of its people make it the ideal embodiment of the spirit of liberalism in California.


You can see from the above list that California has many cities with a liberal mindset. Many of these cities are into progressive policies. The cultures are also very diverse in most cities, and in some cases, they have organizations dedicated locally whose mission promotes liberalism values.

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