SBWPC Interview with Congressman Salud Carbajal – 2019

On October 25, 2019, Lucille Boss and Anna DiStefano of the SBWPC’s Legislative & Advocacy Committee met with Congressman Salud Carbajal to review and discuss his work during the past year. Congressman Carbajal began the meeting by sharing an eight-page summary of his legislative work this past year. The hour-long discussion that ensued was free-flowing, cordial, and frank.

The Congressman expressed pleasure with the diversity of his staff. Fourteen of 17 staff members are women, and 7 of those 14 women are women of color. He has an internship program both in his DC and district offices and those have many women in them.

In terms of legislative efforts, he pointed specifically to bills he has sponsored or supported regarding child care, the Violence Against Women Act, expanding Pell Grant eligilbilty and amounts, and supporting the ERA and the extension of the deadline for its ratification. He has cosponsored and/or voted for six bills in support of immigrants’ rights. He has visited the detention sites at the border and is in favor of modernizing guest worker programs. He was an original co-sponsor of HR 5: Equality Act and voted to pass it, extending civil rights protections to the LGBTQ communities. He has endorsed both Medicare for All and also Medicare for America. He has concerns about how to fund Medicare for All. He likes offering a public option through Medicare for America. He voted to reinstate the assault weapons ban and has sponsored “red flag” legislation. He supports low-income housing tax credits which he thinks ought to be “put on steroids.” He thinks there should be more options offered and teeth put into its enforcement.

As important as the 2020 elections are on every level, the Congressman suggests that the SBWPC pay particular attention to the 2022 races — especially if Democrats are successful in 2020. There are obvious problems and challenges with a “status quo” Senate right now that stands in the way of meaningful and needed changes.

Locally, he thinks the 3rd district supervisorial race is very important, with incumbent and SBWPC’s re-endorsed candidate Joan Hartmann opposed by Bruce Porter.

When asked how the SBWPC might best communicate with and influence his efforts, the Congressman said he found both organizational and individual expressions of support/opposition to both his district and DC offices very important. Such expressions are carefully recorded and summarized. He thinks the relationship with both DC and district staff is very important to maintain and nurture through regular contact.