Here is my interview with Congresswoman Susan Davis, which she was kind enough to answer important questions pertaining to San Diego‘s health in a slowly recovering economy; issues that she is advocating for San Diegans; and personal ones including why she got involved in Washington Politics.
“What do you do? And how long you’ve been doing it?
I see myself as a resource for people – to be a voice for my constituents in the U.S. House of Representatives – carry their thoughts and ideas to Washington. My office also acts as a liaison for people to the federal government, especially when constituents are having difficulty with federal agencies. I have been honored to serve my constituents in this capacity for over 12 years.
What district you represent? Family, Etc.
I am proud to be the Representative for the 53rd Congressional District in the U. S. House of Representatives. The 53rd includes parts of San Diego, Chula Vista, the cities of Lemon Grove, La Mesa, and El Cajon.
I have been married for over 40 years to Dr. Steven Davis. We have called San Diego home for four decades and have two children and three wonderful grandchildren.
What made you choose to be involved in Washington politics?
As a former social worker, I see public service as an opportunity to help people. Having termed-out after six years in the California State Assembly, I saw Congress has a way to continue to make a difference in people’s lives.
As a member of the House Education and Workforce Committee, I believe education is key if we are to remain globally competitive. It should be the bipartisan issue of our time. I’m focused on supporting local school districts and teachers, including new funding for early childhood education. We need the best and brightest for our children, which means recruiting and training new teachers and principals.
Military families and our men and women in uniform face unique challenges and make numerous sacrifices in keeping us safe. As Ranking Member of the House Armed Services Subcommittee on Military Personnel, taking care of our service members is an honor for me. Along with ensuring quality pay and benefits, I have been proud to focus on transitional apprenticeship programs for active duty personnel to provide training and guidance on getting a job after they leave service. Working with my colleagues on both sides of the aisle, we have put in place education opportunities and flexibilities for veterans to start and further their education.
We are in a recession and jobs are big issue in San Diego. What ways are you doing in Congress to help lower our country’s deficit, and help our fellow San Diegans from losing jobs or homes?
As we come out the recession, we are seeing positive signs but we certainly have a lot of work to do. San Diego’s unemployment rate is down to 7% from 8.6% one year ago, but that is still too high. We need to take the appropriate steps to keep our economy moving forward and promote middle class prosperity. Infrastructure not only creates jobs but also gives us a structural foundation to grow our economy for future generations. Long waits at the border equal lost economic opportunity. I am working with local officials to get critical funding to finish the final construction phases for the San Ysidro Port of Entry expansion project. This will increase cross-border commerce generating billion of dollars in economic activity and create jobs.
I regularly meet with local small businesses to listen to their ideas on how to help small businesses and our economy grow. These efforts have also included small business forums and job fairs.
Education is, of course, a key component of our economic future. Making college more affordable and more accessible has always been a priority for me. We need to keep interest rates on student loans at levels that won’t saddle college graduates with burdensome debt.
While housing is also beginning to rebound, my office continues to work with homeowners on modification and refinancing possibilities through the Making Home Affordable program. We need to keep the American Dream of owning a home alive. Section 8 vouchers are critical to helping San Diego families afford decent housing, which is why I continue to fight to bring this assistance to our region.
What are your future plans? Any town hall meetings? Campaigns? Anything else that you want fellow San Diegans to know about?
One of the best parts of my job is being out in the community and meeting and listening to people. Just recently, I held a Neighborhood Day in South County. More than 50 people attended this town hall style meeting and we had a great discussion of federal issues. There are definitely plans for more of these events in the future, including telephone town halls and open-air office hours where people can get help with a federal agency.
In your own words, “What makes Susan Davis so interesting?”
I was a social worker wanting to help people and was drafted into politics. My social work, time as youth mentor in San Diego and my experience as a military spouse helped develop a deep commitment to improving my community and country.
Have you seen Anchorman? And if you have, would Ron Burgundy make a good campaign manager for your next campaign.
My busy schedule makes it hard to see as many movies as I would like. But Ron Burgundy and I do share one sentiment: Stay classy, San Diego!