With so much action on San Diego’s local political scene, it is easy to forget about the people who represent La Jolla in other levels of government. Brian Bilbray and Susan Davis at the federal level, Christine Kehoe and George Plescia in state politics, and Pam Slater-Price at the county level all serve the people of La Jolla in addition to other communities.
Bilbray, a Republican, was elected to serve as Congressman for California’s 50th District last year, making a return to Congress after first serving from 1994 to 2001. His latest turn in Washington has been marked by a committment to illegal immigration reform, the issue that Bilbray has said propelled him to return to Congress. Bilbray has been a staunch opponent of granting citizenship or related rights to illegal immigrants.
“What part of ‘illegal’ in ‘illegal immigration’ do people not understand?” Bilbray said. “While we may be a nation of immigrants, we are also a nation of laws and it is absolutely absurd for anyone who has broken our laws to demand rights such as citizenship.”
Bilbray is also serving on the subcommittee created by President Bush in the wake of the scandal at Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington, where it was revealed that combat veterans were receiving inadequate care and facilities were far below acceptable standards. Bilbray and his colleagues on the committee will visit military medical facilities across the nation.
“I look forward to working with my colleagues to see to it that these weaknesses within the department are addressed, so that the men and women who served our country will have the quality of care worthy of the sacrifices they have made.”
As 50th District Congressman, Bilbray represents part of the Village and Mount Soledad. He has supported keeping the cross on Mount Soledad and was present when President Bush signed legislation transferring the monument to the federal government.
As 53rd District Congresswoman, Democrat Susan Davis represents the Torrey Pines Mesa/UCSD area, La Jolla Shores and Bird Rock. She has served in Congress since 2001. She placed the war in Iraq at the top of her list of the most pressing issues in Congress.
“My colleagues and I in Congress have been working to provide oversight and accountability of the administration’s policies,” she said.
Davis voted in favor of the recent war funding bill that requires the President to begin withdrawing troops from Iraq by fall. She is also working hard on the issue of global warming and has called for the nation to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by 80 percent by 2050.
In local issues, Davis supports protecting the harbor seals that have inhabited the beach at Children’s Pool.
Democrat Christine Kehoe represents La Jolla in the California State Senate. In late 2006 she introduced legislation that would reform the San Diego County Regional Airport Authority, which last year placed a measure on the ballot to attempt to use part of Marine Corps Air Station Miramar as a civilian airport. The measure was defeated by voters, so the Airport Authority has gone back to the drawing board to discuss how to deal with increased traffic at Lindbergh Field.
Kehoe’s legislation, which is pending, would attempt to make the authority more accountable to voters. Currently, only two of the authority’s membership are elected officials - her legislation would require that all authority members be elected officials from within the county. It would also eliminate the two-tier pay scale that results in three of the authority members earning six-figure salaries while others are paid only per-meeting fees of roughly $100.
Kehoe appeared in San Diego at the State Democratic Convention last week, where she endorsed Hillary Clinton in the upcoming race for president.
State Assemblyman George Plescia was elected as Assembly Republican Leader in March 2006, having served in the Assembly since 2002. He has made easing traffic gridlock and improving transportation infrastructure his top legislative priorities.
He has introduced a bill in the State Assembly that he says would close a loophole in state Proposition 42, which requires that the state place revenue from gasoline sales tax into a fund for transportation projects throughout the state. Legislators can take money out of that fund with a two-thirds vote - Plescia’s bill would prohibit that practice.
Pam Slater-Price represents La Jolla on the San Diego County Board of Supervisors. In that post she heads a community projects grant program, through which she has recently supported “The Map” project in La Jolla Shores and the study to create a long-term plan for Scripps Park.
She also oversees the allocation of hotel tax funds, which she doles out to organizations that promote tourism. Her office has allocated thousands of dollars in these funds to organizations in La Jolla including Promote La Jolla, La Jolla Music Society, Birch Acquarium and the Museum of Contemporary Art.