Susan Davis (politician)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Susan Davis
Susan Davis Cropped.jpg
Member of the
U.S. House of Representatives
from California
Assumed office
January 3, 2001
Preceded by Brian Bilbray (49th)
Succeeded by Darrell Issa (49th)
Constituency 49th district (2001–03)
53rd district (2003–)
Personal details
Born Susan Carol Alpert
(1944-04-13) April 13, 1944 (age 74)
Cambridge, Massachusetts, U.S.
Political party Democratic
Spouse(s) Steven Davis
Education University of California, Berkeley (BA)
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (MSW)

Susan Carol Alpert Davis (born April 13, 1944) is the U.S. Representative for California's 53rd congressional district, serving since 2001. She is a member of the Democratic Party. The district includes central and eastern portions of the city of San Diego, as well as eastern suburbs such as El Cajon, La Mesa, Spring Valley and Lemon Grove.[1]

Early life, education and career[edit]

Davis was born Susan Carol Alpert in Cambridge, Massachusetts, the daughter of Dorothy M. "Dora" (née Wexler) and Dr. George R. Alpert. All of her grandparents were Jewish immigrants from Russia.[2] She has spent most of her life in California. She graduated from the University of California, Berkeley where she was a member of Delta Phi Epsilon sorority.[3] She earned a master's degree in social work from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Her husband Steve Davis was a doctor in the Air Force during the Vietnam War. After returning to California, she became a social worker in San Diego.[4]

Early political career[edit]

Davis became active in politics through her membership in the local branch of the League of Women Voters, of which she became president in 1977. She was elected to the San Diego School Board in 1983. She served there until 1992, including two years as president of the body.[5][6]

In 1994, she was elected to the California State Assembly, and was reelected in 1996 and 1998. In the Assembly, Davis chaired the Committee on Consumer Protection, Government Efficiency and Economic Development. She authored a state law giving women direct access to their OB/Gyn doctors without requiring a referral from their primary care physicians. Other legislation she authored established the right of a patient to obtain a second medical opinion and allowed frail senior citizens to remain in their homes while receiving state-funded nursing care. She introduced laws to reward high-achieving teachers and to establish after-school programs at public schools.[6]

U.S. House of Representatives[edit]

Susan Davis marching in the 2014 San Diego LGBT Pride Parade

In 2000, Davis challenged three-term Republican incumbent Brian Bilbray in what was then the 49th District, winning with 50 percent of the vote. Her district was renumbered the 53rd District after the 2000 Census redistricting and made somewhat more Democratic than its predecessor. She has been reelected eight times since then without much difficulty. She is the first Democrat to represent what is now the 53rd district for more than one term in over half a century. The only other Democrat to represent this district since the Harry Truman administration, Lynn Schenk, was toppled by Bilbray in the 1994 Republican wave.

Davis introduced a federal version of the California OB/Gyn law she authored at the start of every Congress from 2001 to 2009. Provisions of her OB/Gyn bill were included in the health care reform bill enacted into law.

In 2011, Davis voted for the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2012 as part of a controversial provision that allows the government and the military to indefinitely detain American citizens and others without trial.[7]

Davis is a member of the New Democrat Coalition[8] and portrays herself as working across party lines. She serves on the House Armed Services Committee. She also serves on the Education and Workforce Committee, where she is the Ranking Member of the Subcommittee on Higher Education and Workforce Development.

In 2012, Davis filed a lawsuit to recover over $150,000 in campaign funds from her former campaign treasurer, Kinde Durkee.[9] Durkee was later sentenced to eight years in prison for fraud after pleading guilty to stealing seven million dollars from more than fifty people.[10]

Earlier photo of Davis

Committee assignments[edit]

Committee on Education and the Workforce

Committee on Armed Services

Caucus memberships[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "District 53" (PDF). California Redistricting Commission certified map. Healthy City. Retrieved 5 January 2013.
  2. ^
  3. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2011-07-19. Retrieved 2010-08-23.
  4. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2009-10-08. Retrieved 2015-11-08.
  5. ^ "Politics, accidentally". San Diego Jewish Journal. January 2, 2015. Retrieved 26 March 2018.
  6. ^ a b "Bill Text - HR-68". House Resolution, California Legislature. Retrieved 26 March 2018.
  7. ^
  8. ^ "Members". New Democrat Coalition. Retrieved 2 February 2018.
  9. ^ McCutcheon, Michael; Barone, Chuck (2013). 2014 Almanac of American Politics. The University of Chicago Press.
  10. ^ Campaign treasurer get 8 years for fraud Archived 2015-09-10 at the Wayback Machine.
  11. ^ "Membership". Congressional Arts Caucus. Retrieved 13 March 2018.
  12. ^ "Our Members". U.S. House of Representatives International Conservation Caucus. Retrieved 1 August 2018.
  13. ^ "Members of the Veterinary Medicine Caucus". Veterinary Medicine Caucus. Retrieved 12 October 2018.
  14. ^ "Members". Afterschool Alliance. Retrieved 23 March 2018.
  15. ^ "Members". Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus. Retrieved 17 May 2018.

External links[edit]

California Assembly
Preceded by
Mike Gotch
California State Assemblywoman, 76th District
Succeeded by
Christine Kehoe
U.S. House of Representatives
Preceded by
Brian Bilbray
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from California's 49th congressional district

Succeeded by
Darrell E. Issa
Preceded by
District Created
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from California's 53rd congressional district

Succeeded by
Current U.S. order of precedence (ceremonial)
Preceded by
John Culberson
United States Representatives by seniority
Succeeded by
Sam Graves