Rep. Jared Huffman visits Ukiah Friday
Rep. Jared Huffman, (D - San Rafael), had lunch with the Ukiah Valley Democratic Club Friday in what he said was a long-delayed visit.
“I owed you lunch, because I was unable to meet with you on Labor Day, two years in a row now,” Huffman said, adding that he hoped to make it on Labor Day at least once.
Huffman opened with some words of encouragement for the crowd, which had quickly filled all the available chairs.
“If you find yourself yelling things at the television and feeling like the crazy folks are winning, I urge you to step away from C-SPAN, (because) we actually had a productive week in Congress,” he said, explaining that lawmakers were able to pass a budget deal that raises the debt ceiling and “should provide us with two years of stability, without a shutdown. I did not expect this kind of an outcome two months ago.”
When it comes to his party, Huffman said he was even more encouraged.
“I think there has never been a better time than now to be a Democrat in this country,” he said. “We are on the right side of history across the board now, for issues such as marriage equality, social justice and climate change.”
When it came time for his audience to ask questions, many wanted to know why he had chosen to endorse Hillary Clinton instead of Bernie Sanders, while proudly pointing out that they were wearing Sanders’ shirts.
“I respect Sanders, his message and those who support him, and my endorsement of Clinton is by no means a vote against Sanders,” he said. “But I think that winning an election, then being successful in the White House, will be an uphill battle for him. That’s just my educated opinion.”
In addition, “I do see things about her I like, such as her stance on climate change. (If she wins), I think we’re actually going to get some leadership in that area.”
Asked if any progress were being made toward improving broadband access for the area, Huffman said he had scheduled a summit to discuss the issues on Nov. 12, which will be held in Willits.
“Mendocino County is sort of the poster child for better rural Internet access,” he said. “It’s obvious, the big communications companies are not stepping in to serve us, even though some of them accept federal money that comes with the stipulation that they serve rural communities. So at some point, we need to find a way to move forward without them.”
At the end of the hour, 2nd District Mendocino County Supervisor John McCowen joined the rest of the group in thanking Huffman for his visit.
“I never fail to be impressed by your grasp of the issues, your accessibility and your frankness,” McCowen said.