Patch sent questionnaires to the candidates running in the 53rd Congressional District. Incumbent Susan Davis will face off against Iraqi War veteran Nick Popaditch in Tuesday's primary election.
Patch: I’m 52 and own a greeting card shop, and this economy is still killing me. Why should I vote for you?
Susan Davis: I hear this so many times from small business owners. I have met with dozens of small businesses in regular ‘walkabouts’ in neighborhoods throughout San Diego. They all say the same thing: “We need more customers walking through our door.” That’s why the top priority of Congress needs to be job creation.
There is a transportation bill languishing in Congress that we need to pass immediately. What does a transportation bill have to do with bringing in more customers? Well, enactment of the transportation bill will save or create about 2 million jobs and about 200,000 of those will be in California. More San Diegans with jobs translates into more potential customers walking through doors. This bill is not only about millions of jobs but it means safer roads and a stronger infrastructure which companies use to move goods. While the Senate passed the transportation bill with a strong bipartisan vote of 74-22, the majority party in the House has refused to bring it to a vote.
I am also a cosponsor of the American Jobs Act, which will create another 1.9 million jobs. So we have the potential to create nearly 4 million jobs with these two bills if only Congress will act.
Patch: I’m 45 and have been out of work for 14 months. I’m well-educated, but employers won’t even let me in the door. Why should I vote for you?
Davis: Priority No. 1 for Congress should be job creation. It certainly has been for me. I am a cosponsor of the American Jobs Act to will create 1.9 million jobs. I have held a number of job fairs in my district to give my constituents access to experts on how to find a job in a repressed job market that exists today.
Patch: I’m 81, and my grandchildren are joining the Navy. I fear another needless war will take them away. Why should I vote for you?
Davis: As a mother and grandmother, I know exactly what you are feeling. Votes to send men and women into harm’s way are the hardest I have ever faced. I voted against the Iraq war because l felt it distracted us from what we are trying to accomplish in Afghanistan.
While I voted against the Iraq war, I felt it was important that, once sent to war, that our service members had the equipment and resources necessary to protect themselves and do their jobs. I certainly understood the message that would be sent by voting against funding for the wars and grappled with these decisions each time they came before the House.
As a member of the House Armed Services Committee, I believe we must learn from our past and understand that there are many more options before us than the military to confront our national security challenges.
Patch: I’m 44 and my commute to work is close to an hour. So these gas prices really pinch. Why should I vote for you?
Davis: Independent analysis has pointed to Wall Street speculators as a culprit for the rise in gas prices. Sadly, we've heard this story before: Wall Streeters gaming markets to make big bucks at the expense of consumers.
There is also nothing truly competing against gasoline. Prices will go down when there are alternative fuels and real transportation choices to compete with oil.
There are two things that Congress can do to relieve the pain at the pump: an innovative 21st-century approach to our energy problems, and we need to tame the speculative markets.
Patch: I’m retiring in 10 years, but I see little chance of Social Security lasting my lifetime. Why should I vote for you?
Davis: It is critical that we ensure that Social Security is there for future generations. There will no doubt need to be adjustments to the program down the road just like there were in years past. Reducing our national debt and improving the economy and creating jobs will help bring revenue into the Social Security trust fund.
Patch: I’m 39 and worried about our country’s moral fabric, since it is moving toward gay marriage and marijuana legalization. My church is my main source of strength. Why should I vote for you?
Davis: I know that change and the acceptance of same–sex marriage is difficult for many people. However, as someone married for 46 years, the tradition of marriage is about love, commitment and family and we should allow every American to experience the joys that come with these experiences. That there are so many friends and neighbors who are seeking marriage equality does not take away from my marriage.
Patch: I’m a 47-year-old musician, but singing a sad tune. I’m losing my house to foreclosure. Why should I vote for you?
Davis: I hear stories like this everyday. In Congress, I have been active in solving the foreclosure crisis that has hit San Diego harder than other communities. My congressional office has help hundreds of San Diegans with refinancing and loan modifications.
In Congress, I have supported legislative efforts to make it easier to refinance government-back loans. I am sponsoring legislation to give homeowners another tool to avoid foreclosure and the subsequent damage to the their credit rating. The Short Sale Transparency Act will require Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to disclose the minimum asking price they are willing to accept for a short sale if the first offer is rejected.
So many homeowners are willing, even eager, to work with banks to get out from under the mortgage and protect their credit rating. But far too often, they find themselves in a guessing game as to what dollar amount will complete the sale.
Patch: I’m a 67-year-old rancher, and illegals use my yard to relieve themselves. The border is still wide open. Why should I vote for you?
Davis: In Congress, I have supported increasing funding for border security, more border patrol agents, and the tools for them to secure our border. We need to secure our border but recognize that there is a large amount of commerce that flows back and forth generating significant economic activity for our region.
Patch: I’m 35 and see nothing happening in Sacramento or Washington to solve my problems. All I see are the extreme wings of both parties blaming each other and getting nothing done. Why should I vote for you?
Davis: I have always tried to work as a bipartisan consensus builder in the House of Representatives. The American people want us to work together. Sadly, there is an element within the Majority Party that sees inaction as good and bipartisan as a bad thing. Despite this, I have reached out to those on the other side of the aisle willing to work together and have spearheaded a number of bills.
It is my hope that bipartisanship is not lost and Congress will put the American people first and come together to solve this nation’s pressing problems.