Last night, our Federation hosted a debate between Los Angeles Deputy District Attorney Elan Carr and California State Senator Ted Lieu, who are running to represent California’s 33rd Congressional District, replacing Henry Waxman who is stepping down after 30 years. Topics the candidates were asked to address included their stances on raising the federal minimum wage, immigration reform, the U.S. relationship with Israel, taking care of war veterans, abortion rights, and how to handle the escalating situation with ISIS.
The debate was jointly presented by KPCC Southern California Public Radio and the Jesse M. Unruh Institute of Politics at the University of Southern California. Moderators Larry Mantle of KPCC and Dan Schnur of USC guided the discussion.
The event kicked off with opening remarks by Jesse Gabriel, a Federation board member, as well as pre-taped message from Tel Aviv by Federation President & CEO Jay Sanderson who is leading our L.A. Community Solidarity Mission to Israel. KPCC produced and live streamed the debate on their website, but you can watch it now and see how the candidates answered questions posed by moderators, as well as community members.
While Carr is running as the Republican candidate and Lieu as the Democratic candidate, they were not diametrically opposed on many of the topics. For instance, they both believe in the importance of a strong relationship between Israel and the United States, as well as taking a strong stance against the BDS (Boycotts, Divestments, Sanctions) movement against the Jewish state. Carr’s take, “The BDS movement is anti-Semitism, plain and simple.” Lieu expressed, “I believe the BDS movement is disgusting and factually wrong.”
Regarding the issue of raising the federal minimum wage, the candidates were on opposite sides of the topic, with Carr against it as he believes it will increase unemployment rates as businesses won’t be able to hire more employees. On the other hand, Lieu shared that he has voted in the California State Senate to increase our state’s minimum wage, and would do so on the federal level if elected to Congress. Watch the debate and find out where the candidates stand on many other subjects.
In addition to community members who came out to learn about the candidates’ viewpoints, we were joined by USC students who had the opportunity to ask questions.
For more information, contact Barri Worth Girvan, Federation’s Director of Community Engagement Programs and Government Affairs, at BWorth@JewishLA.org.