Local Politics: Bryan Caforio for United States Representative

Jong Hak Won, Column Editor

As entertaining (and often times horrifying) as this election’s antics are, it’s important to remember that there are going to be other people on the ballot other than Clinton and Trump. In fact, local elections are arguably more important than the presidential race seeing as these are the people who are going to directly affect your home and your life. For instance, West Ranch students in all likelihood live in the 25th Congressional District, one of California’s 55 seats in the House of Representatives. Running to challenge the current Congressman Steve Knight is Southern California attorney Bryan Caforio. As a Democrat in a famously Republican district, he has built his campaign on a promise to curb corporate greed and protect the middle class if elected.

  Having been endorsed by numerous local Democratic clubs and the state Democratic party, Caforio has created an agenda that focuses on preserving entitlements like Social Security by having those with high income pay more into the system, ending wage discrimination based on gender, and ensuring a legal pathway to citizenship for undocumented immigrants.

     At a debate between Caforio and Knight at the KHTS station on Oct. 3, the Paw Print was able to interview Caforio and ask him the following questions:

  1. Why should young people vote for you?

I am a millennial. I know the issues that matter. I’m going to be in there fighting for equality. Regardless of who you love, we need to make sure that you’re able to hold a job. We’re able to have laws in place that protect you from discrimination. I believe in the science about climate change. I understand how we need to take steps now in order to protect our environment for younger and future generations. I recently went to school, had mountains of debt, understand the uncertainty you feel about entering the workplace and to be able to pay that off. I released a proposal about reducing student debt, making sure that all young people today have an opportunity to enter the economy after they’re graduated.

I’m going to be in there fighting for equality. Regardless of who you love, we need to make sure that you’re able to hold a job.”

— Bryan Caforio

  1. Young people are consistently the ones with the lowest voter turnout numbers. What do you think can be done to increase voter turnout?

That’s a hard question, one that people have been dealing with for decades. We just need people to engage and understand that this matters. On an issue like Social Security, for example, it’s easy for people 17, 18, and 25 to think, “Oh, this isn’t something that affects me for 50 years. Why should I care?” But the only way this program is going to be there in 50 years is if young people today are electing representatives who are looking out for their interests. I think with social media and all different types of engagement, we can do everything possible to get a higher voter turnout so that more diverse views are considered by our elected officials.

  1. How do you respond to the people who have labeled you a “carpetbagger” or someone who moves only to run for a political seat?

She supports the campaign. My wife and I moved to Santa Clarita last year for the same reason a whole bunch of other families do. Because it’s got great schools, more affordable housing, it’s a safe community, and it’s a wonderful place to live. This is where Lisa and I are going to raise our family. I’ll tell you what. After I’m elected, the people of this community are going to get tired of seeing me because I’m going to be home every single weekend talking to people about what really matters to the people of this community. And I’m proud to actually have more endorsements, local endorsers, who are appointed or elected officials than

Congressman Knight. I really think that the talk about who has local support or not is really overblown. You can look at the information and we’re very proud to have the support that we have.

  1. There are now more Democrats than Republicans in the 25th District. How do you intend to mobilize this advantage in numbers?

That’s wonderful. We just need to getting out and speaking to as many people as possible. That’s why I spend as much time as I have talking to voters from Lancaster, Palmdale, the Antelope Valley, Santa Clarita, all the way down to Simi Valley. Getting out talking to people, knocking on doors, making phone calls, and making sure people understand this isn’t just a presidential election that is taking place. It goes all the way down the ballot, and the only way we’re actually going to have the laws passed that people really care about and want is if we get those members of Congress, those state representatives who are really going to help push that legislation through.

  1. How do you plan to account for the fact that you have no experience in elected office?

I haven’t run for office. What I saw while practicing as an attorney, taking on some of the biggest banks and corporations is a system that is totally corrupted. A system where these Washington politicians write rules that look out for their biggest donors instead of for people in this community. And that’s why I’m running because I’m not beholden to wealthy special interests I’m fighting for people in the community instead of those big donors.

  1. How do you plan to take on the big banks?

Let me be clear. I don’t want to take down the big banks. I want to build them up fairer so that you know mortgage prices you saw these policies in place where some of the biggest lenders out there had really out of control policies and were taking advantage of people, so they made a profit very quickly, and it didn’t matter to them if those mortgages could be paid off. That’s the type of stuff we need to rein in. Banks are still going to exist. We just need to make sure there’s oversight, regulations, and policies to make sure we’re always looking out for people in our communities and not just the big banks.

Bryan Caforio for Congress

This year’s race will be especially close. Steve Knight has been labeled “the most vulnerable incumbent in California” by Cook political report, meaning Caforio is one of the most likely to change a congressional seat from Republican to Democrat this year. Caforio, while relatively unknown inside of Washington, is making a serious run for the seat, challenging Knight in ways that are unprecedented for a heavily Republican district.

Remember Cats, no matter what your beliefs may be, your voice does matter, and your vote can make a difference, especially in local and state elections like this one. Be sure to check our website for more features on local and state candidates. Also, click here to see a feature on Steve Knight to read more about the current congressman.