California Congresswoman campaigns on campus

California  Congresswoman campaigns on campus

Elizabeth Wirtz

Congresswoman Linda Sánchez is running for re-election in the House of Representatives. On Oct. 17, Sánchez — who represents the 38th district of California — spoke at Whittier College about her campaign platform and history in politics. 

Sánchez was born in Orange, California and currently resides in the city of Whittier. Sánchez discussed her family history —how she is the daughter of immigrant parents from Mexico and has six siblings. She is motivated by her upbringing to advocate for immigrants in America, whose rights she believes are threatened by the current administration. 

Sánchez’s father, who passed away this August, was a key figure in her life. He supported her and her sister’s dream, and was the only father to ever have two daughters seated in Congress. Loretta Sánchez, Linda Sánchez’s sister, represented the 46th District of California in the House of Representatives until 2016, when she ran for Senate. Linda Sánchez said she believes that all seven of her and her siblings went to college because of her hard-working immigrant parents. 

Sánchez’s blue-collar background has, in her view, helped her bring a new perspective to the Senate Ways and Means Committee, which oversees tax and financial legislature. Every year, Congress files financial disclosures, and because of law school loans, Sánchez was one of the poorest members of Congress. Her lived experiences help her identify with the types of issues and stances important to her constituents, specifically, working-class and low-income individuals and families. Sánchez recounted that knowing firsthand what being in substantial debt is like has helped her become a better lawmaker, because she is more in touch with the issues that her constituents face every day.

Sánchez spoke about the #MeToo Movement and Justice Brett Kavanaugh’s confirmation to the Supreme Court. She feels this is a low point for . . . 

. . . her in the public service of government.  Sánchez believes the narrative that Justice Kavanaugh’s reptation has been tarnished is detrimental to future victims of sexual assault. As a woman, Sánchez feels it is going to be difficult to have a man accused of sexual assault sitting on the Supreme Court, serving for life, and making decisions about issues, such as women’s reproductive rights.

In 2009, Sánchez advocated for a section within the Affordable Care Act (ACA) that stated insurance companies cannot charge women more for health insurance solely because of their gender. Based on the current political climate, certain members in Congress threaten to repeal that portion of the ACA. If it is repealed, there will be no federal law stating insurance companies cannot charge women higher rates for health insurance because they are female. Sánchez said that it is issues like this that beg for more representation of everyday citizens in Congress. 

Women make up 51 percent of the population, yet hold less than 20 percent of elected offices. Sánchez believes it is critical to have a Congress whose makeup resembles the people of the nation, and she thinks that women and young people are greatly underrepresented in political offices.

The talk was hosted by Assistant Professor of Political Science Sara Angevine at Whittier College. Her Women and U.S. Politics class was in full attendance, as well as an additional 30 students and some professors. Fourth-year Keelin Bettridge, a student in the class, said, “I believe that it is important for students to know who their representatives are, both on the state and local levels. Having the opportunity to see Congresswoman Sánchez provides students with the opportunity to see their representative in action and hopefully will create a larger sense of community in connection to politics.” 

In total, around 60 people attended the talk to hear about Congresswoman Sánchez’s platform for the upcoming election. For more information on Sánchez, visit her website, See page 4 to read about Joshua Scott, a Republican House of Representative candidate who visited Whittier this past week.

Congresswoman Linda Sánchez.

Congresswoman Linda Sánchez.