South San Francisco assemblyman seeks congressional seat | Local News

MP Kevin Mullin

South San Francisco Assemblyman Kevin Mullin, who focuses on electoral reform and climate protection, is running to represent the peninsula in Congress following the retirement of longtime U.S. Rep. Jackie Speier.

Mullin, the current interim president, has served in the Assembly since 2012, before which he served on the South San Francisco City Council for five years. Now, he said he hopes to build on his accomplishments at the state level with a bid to represent the 15th congressional district.

“I will continue my work on democracy and climate resilience, and the affordability crisis more broadly, building an economy that works for everyone,” he said in an interview this week. “We need federal leadership on all of these issues.

Also in the race are San Mateo County Supervisor David Canepa, Burlingame Councilwoman Emily Beach and Republican businessman Gus Mattammal. The Daily Journal has published profiles on each of the candidates and will follow up on coverage of the various issues in the race.

Mullin is a native of South San Francisco and the son of former South San Francisco Mayor and Assemblyman Gene Mullin, but he said he didn’t always have his sights set on a political career. After earning a communications degree from the University of San Francisco and DJing for the student radio station, he said his early aspirations included being a radio DJ or journalist.

“I’ve always been interested in public affairs, I grew up in a government teacher’s house, so I took civic affairs, but if you had asked me at university if I would be a candidate in Congress one day, I wouldn’t have believed you.” he said.

Mullin, however, would earn a master’s degree in public administration from San Francisco State University, and at age 23 he began working for Johann Klehs, then an East Bay Assemblyman. A year later, he got a job in the office of Speier, who at the time was a member of the state assembly. He served as her district manager when she was elected to the state senate and also worked as political director for her father’s office of the Assembly.

“I definitely caught the civil service bug once I worked in the Assembly, and I was really drawn to the government’s ability to help people’s lives,” he recalls. “I became addicted to helping people in the community I grew up in.”

In the Assembly, Mullin passed more than 60 bills, including a ruling requiring mail-in ballots to be mailed to all registered voters in the state, a law he said boosts voter turnout. youth and people of color. He has also worked to increase transparency regarding ballot initiatives and candidate funding.

“We’ve done amazing work in California on democracy, voting rights, voter access to the ballot, which is being suppressed in red states across the country and what that shows me is that we have need federal protections built into the law, the For The People Act, the John Lewis Voting Rights Act,” he said.

More recently, Mullin helped move $3.7 billion from last year’s state budget for climate resilience, some of which he said he hopes to bring to the district for bay restoration and wetlands. Mullin also drafted a bill establishing OneShoreline, the county’s new agency to combat sea level rise.

He said that while voter access would be the top priority, his first bill in the House would be tax exemptions for transit agencies to purchase electric buses.

“The habitability of the planet itself is threatened by climate change, we must switch to 100% clean energy,” he said. “America must lead, must follow California’s lead.”

While Mullin would have been kicked out of the Assembly in 2024, new district cards knocked him out of his district, barring him from seeking re-election this year given his home address. The announcement of Speier’s retirement followed shortly after draft maps indicated the boundary change.

“The timing was free when it came to this opportunity to go through Congress,” he said. “But, like most of her constituents, I’m sad to see her retire because she’s been an incredible champion for this peninsula. She’s nothing short of an icon, so these are huge shoes to fill, but I’m deeply touched and honored that she approves of me.

In addition to Speier, Mullin is backed by U.S. Representative Anna Eshoo, the California Democratic Party, the state Federation of Labor, Attorney General Rob Bonta, pro-Tem State Senate Chairman Toni Atkins and a crowd of other US Representatives and California Assembly members. and Senate.

“My record is set and that’s why I have the support of so many people,” he said. “When you talk about being the voice of the San Francisco Peninsula in Congress, you must have demonstrated your ability to be effective, to get things done in a partisan atmosphere like the one I had to deal with in Sacramento. “

A poll released by Mullin’s campaign this week shows him ahead of his competitors, at 31% against 17% for Canepa, 9% for Mattammal and 8% for Beach. The survey was reportedly conducted by interviewing 427 likely voters in the district.

His campaign reports raising more than $605,000.

The California primary will take place on June 7, narrowing the field to two candidates. General elections will be held on November 8.

About Michael S. Montanez

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