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Saturday, March 2, 2024

‘I don’t do Washington the way other people do:’ Congressperson Katie Porter holds campaign event on campus

Following her announcement to run for Senate, Representative Porter discusses corporate PACs, abortion access and other issues facing California 

 

By CHRIS PONCE  — city@theaggie.org

 

On March 15, Democratic Congressperson Katie Porter, who represents California’s 47th District (CA-47), held a campaign event at the UCD Alumni Center. The event was hosted by the Davis College Democrats (DCD). Rep. Porter is one of three declared Democratic Representatives campaigning to replace long-time Sen. Dianne Feinstein following her decision to retire in 2024.

DCD President Frances Haydock introduced Rep. Porter to those in attendance, welcoming her to Davis. Porter, who was a law professor at UC Irvine, talked about her experiences with Davis.

“This is my second trip to UC Davis,” Porter said. “And I’m going to tell you what I thought after my first trip, which I’m reminded of. Davis is like a little slice of heaven. It’s just a little slice of heaven, so it is really wonderful to be back here and be with you all. And I won’t comment on the Anteaters vs. Davis.”

Rep. Porter  began by introducing herself, touching on her title from the San Francisco Chronicle as “Congress’s single mom and watchdog.” Porter spoke about how her background impacts her candidacy and ability to fight against issues that are affecting Californians.

“It is not good enough that we have to worry that we are not going to be able to stay in California and raise our families in California because we can not afford the cost of housing,” Porter said. “It is not good enough that when we go to a church or to a school or to a movie theater we have to worry about the threat of gun violence. […] There are real challenges that we are facing in California and those battles and those solutions are going to be fought in the U.S. Senate.”

During the 2022 election cycle, Porter’s campaign received the largest sum of donations for a Democrat candidate running for the House of Representatives that year — and her campaign did this without accepting donations from Corporate PACs. Porter discussed her grassroots campaign strategy and talked about how it separates her from other candidates in the Senate race.

“I ran [for the House] in 2017 and got elected for the first time in 2018,” Porter said. “I’ve never taken a dime of corporate PAC money and I am the only candidate in the race who can say that and I am very, very proud of it. I am one of 11 members of the 435 people in the House of Representatives who do not take contributions from federal lobbyists. You cannot have your hand out for a contribution check at six o’clock at a reception and turn around and help the American people — expect the American people to believe you’re voting in their best interest — the next morning.”

Following her speech, Porter opened the rest of the meet-and-greet to take questions from students and those in attendance. The Porter campaign event came one day after Turning Point USA (TPUSA) held an event on campus, and Porter was asked about it.

One person in attendance asked Porter, “A lot of people that were [at the TPUSA event] are people that we’re going to be in class with, our peers. Some people that we might have considered friends, how do we come to terms with those people being around us?”

“This is a question you have to think about when the elevator opens and the person you’re going to have to ride with is Marjorie Taylor Greene,” Porter said. “We have to value and we have to respect free speech, but we also have to be willing to call out and fight against and hold people to account for hate speech. That is a line we have to be willing to draw. And we have to make sure that our institutions, including our educational institutions, are not hiding behind free speech to facilitate hate speech. We have to try to reach across the aisle when we can, but you don’t compromise your values to do it.”

Another attendee asked Porter about the push to codify Roe v. Wade and the Equal Rights Amendment: “that was my mother’s fight, and now our fight, and now my daughter’s.”

“Make no mistake, Republicans will enact a nationwide abortion ban so we need to codify Roe v. Wade,” Porter said. “We’re stuck, the number of Democratic women in the Senate has actually gone down. The only reason the number of women hasn’t gone down is because Republicans [have been] elected. We are not making forward progress. California’s tradition of elected female leaders is amazing, and I’m proud to walk in those footsteps. That is a trail they have made for people to follow. I’m really proud to be following in it and I commit to all of you to widen that trail for others whose voices need to be heard and are often ignored in Washington.”

 

Written By: Chris Ponce city@theaggie.org