District 37 —U.S. House of RepresentativesNovember 8, 2016 —California General Election
U.S. House of RepresentativesDistrict 37
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About this office
- Jobs and the Economy - Karen has worked to ensure that Congress is working for working families.
- Child Welfare - Karen has made improving the lives of all of America’s children her passion.
- Criminal Justice Reform - Karen believes that the criminal justice system must provide just punishment for people who commit crimes and also ensure released incarcerated people are rehabilitated so they have paths to employment and housing.
Karen Bass grew up with three brothers in the Venice/Fairfax area of Los Angeles and is the only daughter of DeWitt and Wilhelmina Bass. Watching the Civil Rights Movement with her father initially sparked Karen’s interest in community activism. It was at that time that she made a lifetime commitment to impacting social change in her community and abroad. She worked for nearly a decade as a physician assistant and served as a clinical instructor at the University of Southern California’s Keck School of Medicine Physician Assistant Program.
In 1990, in response to the crisis that was gripping inner city America, which in Los Angeles was crack-cocaine and gang violence, Karen started and ran Community Coalition, a community-based social justice organization in South Los Angeles that empowers residents to become involved in making a difference. Through her leadership at the Community Coalition, Karen worked to engage community residents in addressing the root causes of injustice.
Prior to serving in Congress, Karen made history when the California Assembly elected her to be its 67th Speaker, catapulting her to become the first African American woman in U.S. history to serve in this powerful state legislative role. Karen also served as speaker during California’s greatest economic crisis since the Great Depression. Under her leadership, the Assembly fast-tracked federal economic stimulus legislation that aided Californians who have been affected by the national economic crisis as well as jumpstarted billions of dollars of infrastructure projects. In addition to helping to navigate the state through a very difficult time, she championed efforts to improve foster care and quality health care for Californians.
For her leadership in California, Karen received the prestigious John F. Kennedy Profile in Courage Award.
Karen is now building on her leadership experience and community focus now in Congress.Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi selected Karen to serve on the prestigious Steering and Policy Committee, which sets the policy direction of the Democratic Caucus. Karen is also playing a leadership role in the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC), where she serves as Secretary for the 114th Congress.
Throughout her career, Karen has maintained a focus on the nation’s foster care system. In her first term, she created the bipartisan Congressional Foster Youth Caucus along with co-chair U.S. Rep. Tom Marino (R-Pa.), which aims to transform the foster care system in America.
Karen had one daughter, Emilia Bass-Lechuga and son-in-law Michael Wright. Karen continues to be inspired by Emilia and Michael’s passion for life. Emilia planned to follow in her mother’s footsteps working for social change. Karen also has four step children and two grandchildren.
Below are the top contributors that gave money to support the candidate(s).
- Lower Federal Taxes on Small Business. It is imperative that we ease the tax burden on those who create jobs and spur the economy.
- We need to provide Universal health care the same as every industrialized nation on this planet. It is a human right. I support Single Payer Healthcar
- No more trade deals, NAFTA has cost us jobs, and the TPP will have disastrous effects on middle as well as working class jobs.
Chris Wiggins holds a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from the University of North Texas. He has worked for Hulu and Disney as a Corporate Recruiter, and this has shaped his ideology on equal wages, more jobs, and a stronger middle class. Having grew up in military towns due to his step-father and aunt's military service, is a Southern California native, attended both primary as well as secondary education in Southern California, and he has been a resident of Los Angeles for 5 years.
- US Representative Tulsi Gabbard
- The Hispanic Institute
- USC College Democrats
- Nina Turner
- Bernie Sanders www.voteprogressiveca.com
- California Democratic Freedom Caucus
- Cal Poly SLO Students for Bernie Sanders
- Cal Poly Pomona for Bernie
- Brian Center- President and COO Far West Capital
The Federal Government plays a part in California water allocation and use through a variety of laws. What, if any, legislation would you support in an effort to handle water shortages caused by the current and any future drought?
I would fix the infrastructure starting with our pipes to ensure there are no massive leaks, and then upgrade where applicable. I think we all need to play a part in realizing that we have a hand in the drought, I would look at non essential foods i.e. almonds which use up a ton of water to mass market. These foods would have a legislative cap on how many are produced.
Should immigration laws be changed? What changes would you support? Please explain why.
I support the DREAM ACT and provisions up to and including Amnesty. Immigrants are paying some taxes, they want to pay the fair share as well, it saves us money
What, if anything, does the U.S. need to do in order to address national security and terrorism? Please explain your answer in detail.
We need to fund defense, but we cannot proceed going forward as the world police, that is not an effective method, and we are likely being attacked because we are constantly intervening. I fully support protecting Israel, as having a strong ally in the Middle East is important, but we cannot continue to deploy troops and nation build.
The political climate in Washington, D.C. has been extremely partisan in recent years. In that kind of atmosphere, what would you do to get things done while in office?
I would sit down with those on the Republican side and admit that my opinion is not automatically annointed to be right, but that can hold true for theirs as well, and I would commit to negotiating every time before any member of Congress left the chamber. I think that Congressmembers need to defend their jobs, that is why I am in favor of term limits, Congress has to act if they want to preserve a legacy, and if they are at risk of leaving office.
Chris has lived in Newport News, San Diego, Dallas, and Los Angeles. These are different areas of the country, with different cultural norms, his immersion into these areas has shaped his views. Chris has believed in the necessity of hard work since getting his first paying job early in high school, and working himself through college. This has guided him to the viewpoint that every check should be earned. Growing up in poor areas, with less than stellar healthcare, has led to his passion for access to quality and affordable care for all Americans. Having grown up in the shadow of large military bases, has taugh Chris patriotism but also made him respect other nations, and realize that what is good for America does not mean it should be forced on other countires.