In the California race for U.S. Senate, incumbent Dianne Feinstein and California state Sen. Kevin de León are rallying voter support for the upcoming November election.
At a panel discussion hosted by the Public Policy Institute of California, or PPIC, last Wednesday, the candidates agreed on many issues – including gun regulations, universal health care, immigration reform and addressing allegations against Supreme Court justice Brett Kavanaugh.
Feinstein has served as a U.S. senator from California since 1992 and has served on numerous committees, such as the Judiciary Subcommittee on Border Security and Immigration.
“I’m proud to fight for our state’s values of progress, fairness and opportunity for all people,” Feinstein said in an email. “In the Senate, I have consistently worked to advance progressive priorities, including working and middle class jobs, equal pay for women, protecting Dreamers, better education for our kids, more affordable health care and a sustainable future for all.”
According to Feinstein, her accomplishments include legislation increasing vehicle fuel economy standards, protecting amateur athletes from sexual abuse and improving common sense gun laws, such as the assault weapons ban.
At the PPIC panel, Feinstein suggested steps to increase health care coverage, including a voluntary public insurance option, lowering the age of eligibility for Medicare to 55 and allowing Medicare to negotiate drug prices.
As she prepares for the upcoming election, Feinstein said in an email that she will continue to reach out directly to voters and communicate her “positive vision for improving the lives of everyday Californians.”
Feinstein has been endorsed by former president Barack Obama and former vice president Joe Biden, outgoing governor Jerry Brown and numerous members of the House of Representatives and the California State Senate.
De León is a member of the California State Senate representing the 24th district, which encompasses much of Los Angeles. He served as as the state Senate president pro tem from 2014 to March 21, 2018. His main platforms include Medicare for all, clean energy, gun control, free public education, immigration reform and cannabis reform.
According to his campaign website, de León has been a global leader in sustainability and energy efficiency. This year, de León played a central role in crafting a bipartisan deal to extend California’s cap-and-trade program, using $1 billion of the generated revenue to curb diesel pollution and increase electrification of transportation.
De León has also passed legislation for immigration protection, such as the California Values Act, which prohibits state and local law enforcement agencies from using resources to investigate or arrest people for immigration enforcement.
De León characterized health care as a right at the PPIC panel and cited his leadership in expanding health care coverage by helping to create the Covered California plan.
“I wish Democrats in Washington would fight like hell for Dreamers, just the way Donald J. Trump and the Republicans fight like hell for their stupid wall,” de León said at the PPIC panel. “That lack of courage, always backpedaling every single time, is not the type of leadership that we need today in the country.”
De León was endorsed by the California Democratic Party as well as local Berkeley officials, such as Mayor Jesse Arreguín and Berkeley City Councilmember Sophie Hahn.
De Leon was also endorsed by Cal Berkeley Democrats, or Cal Dems. In a previous interview with The Daily Californian, former president of Cal Dems Caiden Nason said Cal Dems endorsed de León because he is the more progressive candidate.
Feinstein and de León beat out 30 other candidates in the June 5 primary election, earning 44.18 percent and 12.07 percent of the vote, respectively. The general election will be held Nov. 6.