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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 50

Photo of Scott Peters

Scott Peters

U.S. Representative
168,816 votes (62.8%)Winning
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My Top 3 Priorities

  • Enacting bipartisan, comprehensive climate and energy solutions.
  • Increasing the supply of housing to ensure everyone, everywhere has affordable housing options.
  • Creating a national economy that lifts everyone up and leaves no one behind.

Experience

Experience

Profession:U.S. Representative, CA-52
U.S. Representative, California's 52nd Congressional District, United States House of Representatives — Elected position (2013–current)
Commissioner and Chairman, San Diego Unified Port District — Appointed position (2009–2012)
City Councilman and Council President, San Diego City Council — Elected position (2000–2008)
Partner, Peters and Varco, LLP (1996–2000)
Deputy County Council IV, County of San Diego, Office of County Council (1991–1996)
Associate, Baker & McKenzie (1989–1991)
Associate, Dorsey & Whitney LLP (1984–1988)
Economist, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (1980–1981)

Education

New York University School of Law JD (1984)
Duke University BA (1980)

Biography

Scott Peters is a proven leader with a track record of working with everyone to achieve common sense solutions and get things done. Since becoming a member the U.S. House of Representatives in 2013, his priorities have been to enact comprehensive climate and energy solutions, create high-quality jobs that expand San Diego’s innovation economy, make our communities safer by reducing gun violence, keep our promises to our veterans, and make healthcare more affordable and accessible. He currently serves on the House Budget Committee and the House Energy and Commerce Committee, the Joint Economic Committee, and as a Regional Vice Chair for the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. Scott has made improving the quality of life in San Diego his life’s work, and he’s developed a solid reputation as someone who is willing to reach across the aisle and achieve bipartisan solutions to tough problems.

In Congress, his focus has been on serving San Diego, and battling climate change nationally. Recently, he brought home more than one billion dollars for military infrastructure, helped complete the $2 billion Mid Coast trolley extension, helped get a major new border crossing at San Ysidro, and more than $350 million to address cross border sewage contamination in the Tijuana River Valley. Scott has also become one of the most effective legislators in Congress on climate change. He’s been the lead or co lead sponsor on the three major climate bills that have become law since coming to congress: to control methane leaks, to invest in carbon capture research and deployment, and to eliminate hydrofluorocarbons as coolants which are a significant cause of global warming.

Before being elected to Congress, Scott served as chair of the San Diego Unified Port District – a major economic engine that produces tens of thousands of high-skill, high-wage jobs for San Diegans. The Port manages the state tidelands in and around San Diego Bay, which produces around $3.3 billion in direct economic impact to the region and supports middle-class jobs for around 40,000 San Diegans.

Scott served at the Port after completing two terms on the San Diego City Council, where he was San Diego’s first City Council President, elected to the role three years in a row by his colleagues. While at the City, Scott pursued greater accountability and efficiency in government, with a results-oriented approach. He led the creation of a new council/mayor form of government with an independent budget review function; created an independent audit function; hired the City’s first independent budget analyst; completed over $2 billion in downtown redevelopment including a new major league ballpark that generated more than 19,000 jobs; delivered an 80% reduction in sewer spills and beach closure days; set new standards for energy and water conservation in new development; and completed major district infrastructure, including Highway 56.

Prior to entering public service, Scott had a 16-year legal career in private practice, specializing in environmental law. He worked as an associate at large law firms, as a Deputy County Counsel for the County of San Diego, and then had his own small law firm for a number of years.

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 Scott Peters:

I have a proven record of supporting and enacting legislation to fight the effects of climate change, including bills to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. In February, the Biden Administration announced plans to boost clean manufacturing and strengthen our efforts to combat the climate crisis. My USEIT Act, which became law in 2020, will be implemented as part of these actions and will incentivize carbon capture and utilization research and development. It will help move us toward a clean energy economy by reducing dangerous emissions and encouraging the development of new technologies and uses for carbon. My POWER ON Act passed as part of the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act and the Department of Energy recently announced that the bill will be implemented as part of their “Building a Better Grid” initiative. It will help boost renewable energy usage by modernizing our national grid and building more transmission lines to get renewable energy from where it’s produced to where it’s needed. Additionally, following the IPCC’s recent report calling on us to accelerate carbon dioxide removal to reach net-zero emission goals, I co-introduced the Federal Carbon Dioxide Removal Leadership Act to accelerate the deployment of direct air capture and other carbon removal technologies. This legislation proves the U.S. is serious about leading the world on climate solutions, creating good-paying jobs in the clean energy transition, and developing essential next generation technologies. Finally, I introduced the Build More Housing Near Transit Act to encourage development of affordable housing in transit-oriented, walkable neighborhoods. Getting more people off the roads and onto accessible public transportation will help reduce greenhouse gas emissions, among other benefits.

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

Since coming to Congress, I have supported efforts to reform our broken immigration system and have worked to ensure our southern border is viewed as an opportunity, not a threat. Today, we continue to need federal legal protections for immigrants living, working, and going to school in the U.S. We need to invest in smart, targeted border security and efficient border infrastructure to reduce wait times and ensure economic and emotional needs are met in cross-border traffic. We need to reform the process for recruiting and retaining highly skilled immigrants, in addition to evaluating the labor needs of all our economic sectors in the midst of a nationwide labor shortage. In March of 2020, the House passed the American Dream and Promise Act to provide legal protections for immigrants under the (DACA) program, (TPS) or (DED) status. It would also provide a pathway to citizenship for up to 2.5 million immigrants, including roughly 45,000 Dreamers in San Diego. The House also passed the Farm Workforce Modernization Act to create a program for agricultural workers, their spouses and minor children to earn legal Certified Agricultural Worker (CAW) status through continued agricultural employment. Immigrants continue to be our hard-working friends, neighbors and coworkers who have paved a future for themselves here and contribute to our economy. We must keep America’s promise that if you work hard and play by the rules, we have a place for you. Additionally, I introduced the Temporary Family and Visitation Act to establish a new B-3 visa category allowing family members of U.S. citizens or permanent residents to visit the U.S. temporarily after demonstrating specific plans and financial support. This will help families reconnect for important events like births and weddings, while also boosting tourism and our local and national economies.

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

Free and fair elections are the bedrock of our democracy and every citizen with the right to vote deserves access to a ballot. In January this year, I voted to help the House pass the Freedom to Vote Act and the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act. The Freedom to Vote Act would set national standards for voting access by ensuring safe, secure, and accessible elections for all Americans, among other provisions. The John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act updates and restores key aspects of the 1965 Voting Rights Act. I also voted for the For the People Act in 2021, which would expand automatic voter registration and same-day registration, enhance election security from foreign and domestic interference, end partisan gerrymandering by requiring states to adopt independent redistricting commissions, and more. Lastly, I voted for the Protecting Our Democracy Act to reinforce our system of checks and balances, prevent future presidential abuse, and prohibit foreign interference in our elections. I also support overturning Citizens United and establishing a constitutional amendment to limit money in politics and return to a government of ‘We the People.’

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 Scott Peters:

I have been a long-time advocate of science-based water supply solutions, and I believe water recycling is key to combatting the worsening drought conditions caused by climate change. I am working with local elected officials and leaders to support San Diego’s Pure Water Project. The Pure Water Project will reduce waste water flowing into the ocean, create good paying jobs, and serve as a model for addressing water shortages. Phase One broke ground in 2021. My Ocean Pollution Reduction Act II, which I reintroduced this session of Congress, will give certainty to the future of the Pure Water project and work to further ensure water resources are protected, without weakening environmental standards. My bill will simplify the City of San Diego’s required permitting process to operate the Point Loma Wastewater Treatment Plant, solidify the region’s water security, and further cut the amount of wastewater that flows into the ocean from the plant. The rest of the San Diego Congressional Delegation have all joined as original cosponsors of my bill because they understand our need to deploy cost-effective technology to protect our region’s water sources. I also regularly engage with the community on this issue, including a recent meeting with the San Diego County Water Authority to discuss the drought in California, our region's efforts to maintain sufficient levels of water supply, and new clean energy opportunities.

Who gave money to this candidate?

Contributions

Total money raised: $1,840,491

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

1
AMERICANS FOR ACTION ON CLIMATE FUND
$20,000
2
Pfizer and employees
$18,300
3
Sempra Energy and employees
$16,400
4
American Clinical Laboratory Association and employees
$16,000
5
Amgen and employees
$15,800

More information about contributions

By State:

District of Columbia 34.21%
California 26.03%
Virginia 9.90%
Massachusetts 3.77%
Other 26.09%
34.21%26.03%9.90%26.09%

By Size:

Large contributions (98.30%)
Small contributions (1.70%)
98.30%

By Type:

From organizations (67.81%)
From individuals (32.19%)
67.81%32.19%
Source: MapLight analysis of data from the Federal Election Commission.

Political Beliefs

Political Philosophy

Scott Peters is a civil rights Democrat on immigration reform, veterans’ rights, LGBTQ rights, gun safety reform, the ACA, and he supports Democrats’ plans to reform politics. He is focused on translating activism into legislation in Congress, and making sure that what’s important in San Diego is elevated and addressed in Washington. Scott has introduced and passed bills to reform student loan debt, has become a nationally recognized leader in the fight to reduce gun violence, has been a strong voice for our nation’s military, and is one of the most effective legislators in Congress on tackling the climate crisis.

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