Mike Levin

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Mike Levin
Mike Levin.jpg
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from California's 49th district
Assumed office
January 3, 2019
Preceded byDarrell Issa
Personal details
Born (1978-10-20) October 20, 1978 (age 40)
Inglewood, California, U.S.
Political partyDemocratic
Spouse(s)Chrissy
Children2
EducationStanford University (BA)
Duke University (JD)
WebsiteHouse website

Michael Ted Levin (born October 20, 1978) is an American environmental activist and politician from the state of California. A member of the Democratic Party, he is a member of the United States House of Representatives from California's 49th congressional district. The district covers most of northern coastal San Diego County, as well as a portion of southern Orange County. He was first elected in the 2018 election.[1]

Early life and education[edit]

Levin was born to a Mexican American mother and a Jewish American father,[2] and was raised in Lake Forest, California,[3] in South Orange County.[4] He attended Loyola High School in Los Angeles before attending Stanford University. While at Stanford, Levin served as president of the student body.[5] He attended law school at the Duke University School of Law in Durham, North Carolina, before returning to his native Orange County.

During World War II, his paternal grandfather, Ted Levin, served in the Pacific theater as a gunner with the 867th Bomb Squadron of the U.S. Army Air Forces.[6]

Nonprofit and clean energy work[edit]

Levin co-founded CleanTech OC, a clean energy trade association in Orange County,[7] and was profiled in an OC Metro "40 Under 40" piece for his work at FlexEnergy, a company that developed a technology to capture and use methane from landfills and wastewater treatment facilities.[8] He was the director of government affairs at FuelCell Energy from 2014 to 2017.[9][10] He also served as the vice president of Better Energy Systems, a consumer-facing cleantech startup based in Berkeley, California,[11] and on the board of directors of the Center for Sustainable Energy, an environmental organization based in San Diego.[12] In this capacity, Levin opposed the redevelopment of Encina Power Station, arguing that "the proposed Carlsbad plant contradicts the priorities that California has established to reduce pollution across our state as it will use combustion to generate power."[9]

In a commentary published on April 16, 2011, in the Orange County Register, Levin praised California's legislature for taking "bold steps to put our state ... in a leading position for investment and growth" by choosing a clean energy strategy. "There's clear evidence that clean energy drives job creation and investment even in the midst of a recession," he wrote.[13]

Earlier political career[edit]

Levin served as the executive director of the Democratic Party of Orange County.[12] He later served on the National Finance Committee for Hillary Clinton's 2016 campaign for President.[14][15][16]

U.S. House of Representatives[edit]

2018 campaign[edit]

On March 8, 2017, Levin announced his run for United States Congress in California's 49th congressional district to replace incumbent Representative Darrell Issa.[12] The district had historically been one of the more Republican districts in Southern California, but redistricting after the 2010 census cut out most of its heavily Republican inland portion, making it significantly more competitive. Issa had nearly been defeated in 2016 as Hillary Clinton carried the district.

At a town hall event that Issa held on March 11, 2017, Levin publicly confronted Issa and mentioned a book he had sent Issa in 2016 entitled Climate Change for Beginners. Levin charged that Issa's solution to climate problems "is to build more natural gas plants and to keep the nuclear energy plants online for longer.... I think that's an unfathomable proposal for a progressive and environmentally-friendly place like San Diego."[17][18] On January 10, 2018, Issa announced his retirement.[19]

Due to the lack of an incumbent, there were 16 candidates on the ballot in the primary.[20] The large number of candidates in the nonpartisan blanket primary led to fears that the Democrats would be locked out of the general election.[21][22]

In the primary election on June 5, Levin came in second in total votes to Republican State Board of Equalization chairwoman Diane Harkey and advanced to the November general election. This assured that the district would be represented by someone from the Orange County portion of the district, though the 49th is by weight of population a San Diego district. Levin is from San Juan Capistrano, while Harkey is from nearby Dana Point.

Barack Obama endorsed Levin as well as other candidates.[23] Levin was also endorsed by the League of Conservation Voters (LCV) Action Fund. He also received the endorsements of the Sierra Club and the National Organization for Women.[6][24][25] Levin went on to win the general election, becoming the first Democrat to represent this district since its creation in 1973.

Committee assignments[edit]

Caucus memberships[edit]

Issues[edit]

Levin has said that his leading priority as a candidate for the House is "Accelerating Sustainable Energy and Environmental Protection". He wishes to put his district "at the forefront of clean energy economic growth". He believes "strongly in the overwhelming scientific consensus that climate change is driven by human activity". His other priorities include "Holding Washington Accountable", "Providing Affordable Healthcare Coverage for All", and "Achieving World-Class Education". He opposes efforts "to privatize public education", supports expansion of bilingual instruction, and promises to "advocate for solutions like the College for All Act, which aims to eliminate tuition and fees at public four-year colleges and universities for students from families that make up to $125,000 per year, and would make community college tuition-free for all income levels".[6][26][27]

He has also emphasized his support for Planned Parenthood, "which provides essential preventative and reproductive health care services like cancer screenings, STD testing and low-cost birth control to millions of American women", and for "federal legislation that specifically bans sexual harassment". In addition, he supports an assault weapons ban and "a path to citizenship for law-abiding undocumented immigrants".[6][26]

Personal life[edit]

Levin lives in San Juan Capistrano with his wife, Chrissy, and their two children.[3][25]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Mike Levin". Ballotpedia. Retrieved June 16, 2018.
  2. ^ "Meet Mike Levin" (PDF).
  3. ^ a b Wisckol, Martin. "Democratic activist Mike Levin joins race against Rep. Darrell Issa". Orange County Register. Retrieved September 23, 2018.
  4. ^ Levin, Mike. "About Me". Mike Levin for Congress. Retrieved June 25, 2018.
  5. ^ Brown, Alice (April 18, 2000). "Levin and Mills reflect on past year's accomplishments, regrets". The Stanford Daily. Retrieved June 25, 2018.
  6. ^ a b c d "Priorities - Mike Levin". mikelevin.org. Retrieved September 23, 2018.
  7. ^ Hsu, Tiffany (November 18, 2010). "Orange County hits pay dirt with clean-tech industry". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved June 25, 2018.
  8. ^ "40 Under 40". Retrieved June 25, 2018.
  9. ^ a b Levin, Mike. "Proposed Carlsbad Energy Plant Contradicts State Priorities". Center for Sustainable Energy. Retrieved June 25, 2018.
  10. ^ "Mike Levin - Myths vs. Facts". mikelevin.org. Retrieved September 23, 2018.
  11. ^ Levin, Mike (March 19, 2010). "Congressional Inaction Is Cleantech's Biggest Stumbling Block". Environmental Protection Online. Retrieved June 25, 2018.
  12. ^ a b c Quach, Hoa (March 8, 2017). "OC Attorney to Challenge Rep. Darrell Issa in 2018". Times of San Diego. Retrieved June 25, 2018.
  13. ^ Levin, Mike. "Reader Rebuttal (Mike Levin): Clean energy drives job creation". Orange County Register. Retrieved September 24, 2018.
  14. ^ Johnson, Ted (August 23, 2016). "Hillary Clinton Continues Fundraising Swing at Home of Justin Timberlake, Jessica Biel". Variety. Retrieved June 25, 2018.
  15. ^ Strause, Jackie (August 2, 2016). "Hillary Clinton's Stop at Leonardo DiCaprio's House Highlights Two-Day, Big-Bucks Hollywood Fundraising Tour". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved June 25, 2018.
  16. ^ Bellantoni, Christina (August 3, 2016). "Essential Politics: Republican defections and crying babies". Los Angeles Times.
  17. ^ Combs, Seth. "Mike Levin enters stage left". San Diego City Beat. Retrieved September 22, 2018.
  18. ^ Black, Lisa (March 13, 2017). "Congressman Darrell Issa Finally Agreed to Two Town Halls that Went Badly For Him". OC Weekly. Retrieved June 25, 2018.
  19. ^ Mai-Duc, Christine; Wire, Sarah (January 10, 2018). "Issa becomes second California Republican to announce retirement as Democrats look to reclaim House". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved June 25, 2018.
  20. ^ "California's 49th Congressional District election, 2018". Ballotpedia. Retrieved June 25, 2018.
  21. ^ Heller, Nathan (June 4, 2018). "A Tight, Chaotic Primary Race in California's Forty-Ninth District". The New Yorker. Retrieved June 25, 2018.
  22. ^ Bowman, Bridget (June 1, 2018). "Democratic Poll: Mike Levin Ahead in California's 49th District". Roll Call. Retrieved June 25, 2018.
  23. ^ JENNEWEIN, CHRIS. "President Obama Endorses Levin, Campa-Najjar in San Diego House Districts". Times of San Diego. Retrieved September 23, 2018.
  24. ^ Burke, Holly. "LCV Action Fund Endorses Mike Levin for Congress". League of Conservation Voters. Retrieved September 23, 2018.
  25. ^ a b "Mike Levin" (PDF). Orange County Registrar of Voters. Retrieved September 23, 2018.
  26. ^ a b "49th Congressional District candidate Mike Levin on the issues". The San Diego Union-Tribune. Retrieved September 24, 2018.
  27. ^ Cabrera, Marissa; Cavanaugh, Maureen. "Democrat Mike Levin Aims To Champion Clean Energy, Health Care And Education". KPBS. Retrieved September 24, 2018.

External links[edit]

U.S. House of Representatives
Preceded by
Darrell Issa
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from California's 49th congressional district

2019–present
Incumbent
U.S. order of precedence (ceremonial)
Preceded by
Andy Levin
United States Representatives by seniority
387th
Succeeded by
Elaine Luria