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Voter's Edge California Voter Guide
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Tuesday November 8, 2022 — California General Election
United States

U.S. House of RepresentativesCandidate for District 49

Photo of Mike Levin

Mike Levin

US Representative 49th District
152,829 votes (52.6%)Winning
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My Top 3 Priorities

  • Accelerating Sustainable Energy and Environmental Protection - I will continue to work to put my district at the forefront of the accelerated job growth created by the clean technology industry.
  • Providing Affordable Healthcare Coverage for All - I will continue to work to achieve affordable healthcare options for all Americans, lower prescription drug costs, protect those with pre-existing conditions, and protect and strengthen Medicare.
  • Honoring Our Veterans - I have authored and passed 18 bipartisan bills in the House to support our veterans and their families. I will continue to work to make veteran homelessness an issue of the past.

Experience

Experience

Profession:U.S. Representative, 49th District
U.S. Representative, U.S. House of Representatives — Elected position (2019–current)
Director of Government Affairs, FuelCell Energy (2014–2017)
Director and Co-Founder, Sustain OC (2010–2017)
Vice President, Legal and Regulatory Affairs, FlexEnergy (2010–2014)
Environmental Attorney, Bryan Cave, LLP (2008–2010)
Executive Director, Democratic Party of Orange County (2006–2007)

Education

Duke University Juris Doctor (J.D.), Environmental Law (2005)
Stanford University Bachelor of Arts (B.A.), Political Science (2001)

Biography

Mike was raised in South Orange County, by a Mexican-American mother and a Jewish-American father. He is the grandson of Mexican immigrants on his mother’s side. 

Mike attended public elementary and junior high schools in South OC, and spent his high school years in Los Angeles at Loyola High. He went on to study at Stanford University, where he was honored to serve as student body president. After college, he served in the Coro Fellows Program and then attended Duke University School of Law. 

After law school, Mike served as Executive Director of the Democratic Party of Orange County, supporting a variety of local, state, and federal political campaigns and community organizations. 

In addition to his political activism, Mike worked as an attorney focused on environmental and energy regulatory compliance and government affairs. Mike is a passionate believer in clean energy and has over a decade of experience in the industry, helping to accelerate the transition towards more sustainable power generation and transportation options. Mike served for several years on the board of the Center for Sustainable Energy, based in San Diego, and co-founded Sustain OC in Orange County. 

Since his first term in Congress began in January 2019, Mike has established himself as a leader on climate action and clean energy, serving on the House Natural Resources Committee and the Select Committee on the Climate Crisis. He introduced legislation to transition the nation to zero-emission vehicles, expand renewable energy development, and prevent future offshore oil drilling.

Mike also serves on the House Veterans’ Affairs Committee and leads the Subcommittee on Economic Opportunity. He has introduced dozens of bipartisan bills to strengthen benefits and services for veterans, end veteran homelessness, and help veterans get through the COVID-19 pandemic. More than a dozen of those bills were signed into law in the 116th Congress, either as standalone bills or pieces of a larger legislative package. 

Mike lives in San Juan Capistrano with his wife, Chrissy, a graduate of the University of Arizona and Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania, and their two children.

Questions & Answers

Questions from League of Women Voters of California (4)

What legislation, if any, would you support to reduce American greenhouse gas production?  Please explain the reasons for your position.
Answer from Mike Levin:

As a longtime advocate for climate action and member of the House Natural Resources Committee and Select Committee on the Climate Crisis, I have led aggressive legislation to protect our planet for future generations. One of the first bills I supported in Congress banned new offshore drilling along our coast and protected the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. I also introduced the American Coasts and Oceans Protection Act to ban new offshore drilling activity along the Southern California coast. Following the October 2021 oil spill off the coast of Orange County, I led the effort to advance legislation ending new drilling and strengthening oversight of offshore drilling companies.

I know that we can protect our environment, combat the climate crisis, and grow our economy at the same time. California has proven it is possible and I have used our success as a model for action in Washington. I introduced legislation to transition America to zero-emission vehicles (ZEVs), expand charging infrastructure, and convert Park Service and Forest Service fleets to ZEVs so that we can reduce greenhouse gas emissions and manufacture the cars of the future right here in America.

I have also worked across the aisle on bipartisan efforts to combat climate change. I fought for the inclusion of provisions in the bipartisan infrastructure law to expand electric vehicle charging infrastructure, invest in the supply chain for batteries, provide $1.5 billion for clean hydrogen manufacturing, invest $550 million in the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant Program, and much more.

With two young children at home, I will always work to protect our planet for future generations.

Should immigration laws be changed?  What changes would you support?  Please explain why.
Answer from Mike Levin:

I was raised in South Orange County by a Mexican-American mother and a Jewish-American father. I am the grandson of Mexican immigrants on my mother’s side. Having not graduated high school themselves, my grandparents sent all five of their daughters to college. At age 50, my grandfather, Rosendo Bringas, became an American citizen, and it was among the proudest days of his life.

I want to preserve the values and aspirations of so many immigrants like my grandparents, who dream of the uniquely American opportunity for self-improvement. I believe that immigrants should be treated with dignity and respect.

I proudly cosponsored the American Dream and Promise Act to protect DACA recipients, many of whom serve in our military, on the frontlines of the COVID-19 pandemic, or make incredible contributions to our country in other ways.

I worked to prevent the Trump Administration’s hateful immigration policies throughout my time in office. I cosponsored several pieces of legislation to prevent family separation at the border and help families who had been separated reunite, including the Keep Families Together Act, the Reuniting Families Act, and the REUNITE Act.

I also cosponsored the Dignity for Detained Immigrants Act, the Humanitarian Standards for Individuals in Customs and Border Protection Custody Act, and the Homeland Security Improvement Act. I opposed efforts to ban entry into the United States on the basis of race or religion and co-sponsored the NO BAN Act.

I support more funding for smart border security technology, but I know that a wall from sea to shining sea along our southern border isn’t going to make us any safer – it’s a waste of taxpayer dollars. I have been to the border, toured ports of entry, and met with immigration officials. I know that what they need is 21st Century infrastructure and better technology, and I voted several times to provide funding for modern technology.

Ultimately, I believe that members of both parties need to come together on comprehensive immigration reform, including a path to citizenship. 

As Congress Member what, if any, policies or legislation would you support to preserve democracy for all US residents?
Answer from Mike Levin:

Our country is strongest when everyone can participate in our democracy, which is why I have always been a strong advocate for strengthening voting rights and expanding access to the ballot box. 

One of the first bills I supported in Congress was the For the People Act, which would expand voting rights, secure our election system against foreign interference, and remove the corrupting influence of “dark money” from American politics. I also signed on to legislation to restore the Voting Rights Act of 1965, make elections more transparent, and make sure every eligible voter can participate in our elections.

I also strongly believe that for our democracy to succeed, we must strengthen accountability and transparency in government and campaigns, protect the truth, and put our country over our political party.

Since I began campaigning in March of 2017, I have not accepted a dime of corporate PAC money. I also cosponsored the No Pensions for Corrupt Politicians Act to exclude Members of Congress from receiving retirement benefits if the member is convicted of specified campaign finance violations relating to the use of campaign funds for personal use, including conspiracy to commit such an offense. And I am a proud member of the End Corruption Caucus. As I have demonstrated, I will always support efforts to increase transparency and accountability in government.

I believe that Congress has a responsibility to secure our election systems against foreign interference and prevent further attempts by foreign powers to influence the results of our elections. I supported $425 million that was allocated in the 2020 appropriations package for election security and will continue to fight for more transparency and accountability in Washington.

The Federal Government plays a part in California water allocation and use through a variety of projects and laws.  What, if any, new programs or projects or reforms to existing programs and projects would you support in an effort to handle water shortages caused by the current and any future drought?
Answer from Mike Levin:

California is already experiencing the devastating effects of climate change, including the historic drought that has struck our state. This drought threatens our environment, our economy, and our health, which is why I have secured funding and advocated for policies to strengthen emergency preparedness and improve our supply of clean, usable water.

I secured more than $10 million for the South Coast Water District’s Doheny Desalination Slant Well Project to increase the water supply here in the 49th District. I worked across the aisle to introduce the Desalination Research Advancement Act to spur new investments in environmentally-responsible desalination technology. I was also proud to help secure $250 million in the bipartisan infrastructure law for desalination projects, as well as $1 billion for water recycling projects. These investments are similar to my Desalination Development Act, which raises the funding authorization for desalination projects and creates new environmental safeguards for the funded projects. Ultimately, these investments will promote innovation, expand our water supply, and protect our state against future droughts.

But even as we work to address the current drought, we must step up our fight against climate change in order to prevent future crises as well. That is why I introduced legislation to transition our nation to zero-emission vehicles (ZEVs) and ban new offshore drilling off the coast of California. It is why I fought to make sure the bipartisan infrastructure law made investments to combat the climate crisis and why I will continue to use my office to promote sustainability and reduce emissions.

Who gave money to this candidate?

Contributions

Total money raised: $3,372,051

Top contributors that gave money to support the candidate, by organization:

1
Employees of Royal Business Bank
$20,300
2
Employees of Google
$18,692
3
National Association of Letter Carriers
$15,000
4
Employees of Sunrun
$13,200
5
Employees of Sanderson J. Ray Development
$11,600
5
Employees of Schusterman Family Philanthropies
$11,600
5
Employees of Twilio
$11,600

More information about contributions

By State:

California 63.66%
District of Columbia 13.25%
New York 5.53%
Massachusetts 3.87%
Other 13.69%
63.66%13.25%13.69%

By Size:

Large contributions (93.10%)
Small contributions (6.90%)
93.10%

By Type:

From organizations (23.75%)
From individuals (76.25%)
23.75%76.25%
Source: MapLight analysis of data from the Federal Election Commission.

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