San Jose Rep. Zoe Lofgren earlier this month joined San José Spotlight for an exclusive Q&A webinar as part of the San Jose Speaks series. The congresswoman fielded questions from the community about a variety of topics including police reform, the coronavirus pandemic and the upcoming presidential election.
When it comes to decisions related to the coronavirus, Lofgren said she will continue to heed the advice of doctors and scientists.
“I think that most people think that protecting the health (of the community) has to come first,” she said.
Lofgren said she believed those who can work virtually should continue to telecommute. She encouraged residents to wear face masks to prevent the virus’ spread and said she was disappointed that some now view face coverings as a partisan issue.
“It’s just a matter of science and medicine; It has nothing to do with politics,” she said. “…I think people have been manipulated in some cases into thinking this is some kind of political statement.”
When asked what actions Congress had taken to help the country recover from the pandemic’s financial hit, Lofgren explained that the House passed the Heroes Act in May. Among other provisions, the Heroes Act would provide a second round of direct payments to families, as well as $1 trillion to local and state governments.
The November election
Lofgren voiced support for all-mail elections. She said polling indicated that it wasn’t a partisan issue, and that most Republicans, Democrats and Independents wanted the choice to vote by mail.
When asked if she had concerns about whether President Donald Trump would refuse to step down if he lost the election, Lofgren said he wouldn’t be given a choice. But the congresswoman added that she didn’t believe it would be an issue.
“We have a very important tradition in this country of the transition of power being peaceful,” she said.
Lofgren said George Floyd’s death at the hands of Minneapolis police has sparked unprecedented demands for police reform.
“It was shocking and there is a strong sense that now, finally, we need to take some action,” she said.
Lofgren said the House has since passed legislation — spearheaded by the Congressional Black Caucus — that would ban the use of chokeholds, mandate the use of body cameras, prohibit no knock warrants in drug cases, end qualified immunity for police officers and create a national database to record police misconduct. But when it comes to fixing systemic racism, she acknowledged that the nation has a long road ahead.
“We are at the beginning of our journey, not the end,” Logren said.
Watch the full conversation below.
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