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Democrat Sara Jacobs Wants To Change The Face Of Congress

April 23, 2018 1:42 p.m.

Democrat Sara Jacobs Wants To Change The Face Of Congress


Sara Jacobs, candidate, 49th congressional district

Related Story: Democrat Sara Jacobs Wants To Change The Face Of Congress


This is a rush transcript created by a contractor for KPBS to improve accessibility for the deaf and hard-of-hearing. Please refer to the media file as the formal record of this interview. Opinions expressed by guests during interviews reflect the guest’s individual views and do not necessarily represent those of KPBS staff, members or its sponsors.

>>> Our candidate interviews continue with the Democrat running in the 49th Congressional District. The 49th district encompasses northern San Diego County including Carlsbad and Oceanside. Into southern orange County including Dana and San Clemente. It is currently represented by Republican Congressman Darrell, he is retiring at the end of his term. Democrat Sarah Jacobs is running against a wide field of candidates. She most recently worked as a foreign policy advisor for the Hillary Clinton campaign, she is the granddaughter of cofounder Irwin Jacobs. Welcome to the program.
>> Thank you for having me.
>> We are beginning these interviews with a series of similar questions on issues with each candidate. Let me start. What are your qualifications for this congressional seat and why are you running?
>> I never thought that I would run for office, like many of the women that we are seeing a run across the country. I feel like we are at a critical moment for our country, we do not have time for the same politicians with the same ideas. I have always known that I was the beneficiary of a system that was unfair. I needed to use those advantages and opportunities we had to make the system fair and to make sure that everyone had access to opportunity. That is what led me into a career of public service. I joined the Obama and his Thracian State Department because I believed in his message that you do not have to wait for change and we didn't have to set -- we did not have to settle. I served as a foreign service policy advisor for Hillary Clinton. I was the CEO of a nonprofit and I work at UNICEF with technology to serve better -- to serve children. We need a different approach to politics, we need to send different people the Congress or we will never get a different result.
>> Congress has not Plast -- past a replacement for Dr. Will you have anything in place for that?
>> We need to Plast -- pass a clear dream act now. It is clear to talking to voters that whether you are a independent, Republican, Democrat, we all believes there is a pathway to citizenship for these young people who were brought here. It is pretty abhorrent that Republican leadership in Congress has not brought a bill to the floor. We have the votes to get it pass.
>> If you are elected what would your position on funding for the border wall be?
>> I do not believe a border wall is a good use it are resources. It will not make us safer, and will not make the border more secure, it is a waste of our taxpayer dollars. I think that there are some new technologies and border security programs we could put in place that would actually make it easier and faster to transit across the border. Which would be very good for our environment as well so we do not have cars sitting and idling for four hours at a time. I absolutely do not think that a border wall is the right way.
>> Many politicians on both sides of the aisle agree that the affordable care act needs some fix. Do you see problems with Obamacare and if so how would you fix them.
>> I believe that healthcare is a human right and we need to be doing everything we can to get to universal coverage. I have lived and worked in countries around the world and the best way to get to universal coverage is with a strong public role in the healthcare sector. I support Medicare for all approach. I believe that we need to be doing things during the transition that would help fill the gaps in the affordable care act like making sure drug companies are not charging high prices even for drugs that have been around for a while like insulin or the EpiPen. I do not think we should allow drug companies to market directly to consumers. There are other things we can do to bring out-of-pocket costs down. So it is easier for people to have access to health care that they need.
>> Would you support creating additional regulations on gun ownership?
>> I would. I have been so inspired by the young people across this country, and in my district who are really taking a stand. I believe it is because of them this time it will be different. We will actually be able to pass commonsense gun reform. I think we need to ban assault weapons and all military grade weapons from our streets. We need to close loopholes so everyone who buys a gun gets a background check. We need to be able to hold gun stores liable. And we need to study gun violence as a public health emergency.
>> Jacobs you have said you were a policymaker at the State Department under President Obama. The San Diego Union Tribune said that your job was actually as a junior employee for a State Department contractor. How you explained that?
>> I'm glad you asked and I am grateful for the opportunity to clarify. There are many different ways people are higher, different mechanisms that people are hired to the federal government. A complex system, and I was working in a new bureau, we have a lot of new challenges. I went to the State Department every day. Reported to State Department officials. I worked on U.S. policy in conflict zones in East and West Africa and all the -- on a presidential initiative. Making sure that it was important insecurity packages and assistance around the world. I think it is important that we have people in Congress who understand how the federal government works and have experience working in the policymaking process.
>> The area of the 49th district has been represented by Republicans for at least 25 years. What are you telling voters in the district, many conservative and with military background, why should they vote for you?
>> I think that, in talking to voters across the district it is clear that everyone is looking for something different and something new, they are looking for a new approach to our government. Even Republicans in our area are looking at what is going on in Washington and they do not want more of the same. Are looking for someone they can trust. I have met with a number of voters in our district, I had one woman who told me she was Republican, she voted for Darrell ISA all of these years, it's time she was supporting me because she knows that when I make decisions I am thinking about her kids and that is what matters to her. Especially the military and veterans community in our area, I think are very happy to have a potential representative who has a background in foreign policy who they know is not going to send them or their family into harm's way without thinking it out and through. I think that people are also realizing that our government is not representative. Right now women make up less than 20% of Congress. And now that Connor has been elected from Pennsylvania, we have six millennial's in Congress. I think that anyone who watched the Facebook hearings will tell you it is pretty clear we need the millennial generation to have representation so we can be adequately addressing challenges of the future.
>> Considering the makeup of the demographic of the 49th district, do you regret calling Doug a crusty old Marine? Your Democratic front runner?
>> I'm glad you brought that up, it was at a meet and greet, it was clear that what I was actually talking about in that room, it was someone who was asking the question in reference to himself that way, I was not referencing Colonel Applegate. We have both had a conversation, he knows that it was not about him as well. I have spent a lot of time talking to our veterans and military families in our community. Talking to them about the issues that matter to them, a lot of them are the issues that matter to our broader community as well, just more acutely. Here in San Diego County we have 35,000 military families who visit the food bank every month. Military spouses say that one of the biggest barriers to their ability to enter the workforce is not having access to affordable childcare. And not being able to take their credentials across state lines. We know we have a huge issue with homelessness in San Diego County. We have the fourth largest homeless population in the country, we know that that particularly affects the veteran community.
>> I have spoken with Sarah Jacobs, a Democratic candidate for the 49th cadastral -- congressional district.
>> Will be interviewing many more, for the complete interview with candidate Sarah Jacobs and all of our election coverage had to /election.