Congressman Ted Lieu ’91, who represents District CA-36 within the U.S. Home of Representatives, got here to Stanford on Wednesday to debate developments in Congress, from Asian American illustration to environmental points to challenges to democracy.
The occasion was held at Junipero, the Discover Power Home, and was moderated by Solomon Kim ’24 and Brennan Lieu ’25, who’s the congressman’s son. The speak was sponsored by the Discover Power Home, Stanford in Authorities (SiG), the Asian American Actions Middle (A3C) and the Public Service and Civic Engagement Home.
The dialogue started with remarks concerning the Asian American-Pacific Islander (AAPI) group and the rise of AAPI hate crimes through the COVID-19 pandemic. The congressman spoke concerning the historical past of racism towards Asian Individuals, citing the Chinese language Exclusion Act and the latest espionage accusations leveled by right-wing shops towards Congresswoman Judy Chu.
Nonetheless, the congressman stated he’s optimistic about mitigating hate crimes towards the AAPI group and reminded the viewers of the bipartisan COVID-19 Hate Crimes Act, which he co-authored, that supplied assets to state and federal governments to deal with hate crimes towards Asian Individuals.
“Asian Individuals are all being regarded as foreigners and never being loyal to the US,” he stated. “The excellent news is people have fought again. You may have seen quite a few demonstrations throughout America that rose up in response to hate crimes towards Asian Individuals. You may have bipartisan pushback.”
Local weather change and environmental regulation
In response to the congressman, Asian Individuals and marginalized communities are additionally disproportionately affected by local weather change. He stated that island communities with massive Asian American populations, resembling Hawaii, are significantly affected by local weather change, as coral reefs and miles of shoreline are degrading. Congress handed the Inflation Discount Act in 2022 to deal with this difficulty, he stated.
“The best way the Inflation Discount Act was designed, a part of it was to deal with environmental justice,” the congressman stated. “[The Inflation Reduction Act] creates the world’s largest pot of cash for local weather change tasks.”
The Inflation Discount Act enacts numerous subsidies for clear expertise, together with electrical autos and renewable power programs. When requested about carbon taxes, the congressman stated they is perhaps one other efficient technique to lowering greenhouse fuel emissions.
“I might assist just about something to take carbon out,” the congressman stated. “So I might assist each [carbon taxes and green energy subsidies], although it’s tougher to impose a tax or a charge than it’s to offer tax credit.”
The congressman stated that the U.S. can’t resolve the world’s local weather disaster alone. The U.S. emits the second-most carbon dioxide, second to China; nonetheless, the 2 largest emitters of greenhouse gases repeatedly disagree on quite a lot of points, resembling commerce and nationwide safety. When requested about how international locations with tense relationships, such because the U.S. and China, may work collectively on points like local weather change, the congressman responded that cooperation is perhaps potential.
“The atmosphere is a type of areas the place I feel you will get cooperation between each international locations,” he stated.
Democracy and civic engagement
Together with addressing the local weather disaster, the congressman stated that he believes the US must prioritize upholding democratic processes.
“Ensuring that we nonetheless have a democracy is probably the most urgent difficulty,” he stated. “I don’t worry Donald Trump profitable, I worry him dropping as a result of he may do the identical factor once more, and attempt to get his supporters to go take the streets.”
The congressman stated that, no matter latest challenges to democratic processes, he’s optimistic for the long run, even when he believes progress is probably not linear.
“Rosa Parks wouldn’t have been shocked by President Donald Trump; she skilled racism all through her life,” the congressman stated. “However she by no means may have imagined a President Barack Obama profitable the presidency, twice. So, it’s nonetheless good to consider how far America has come despite the fact that now and again we take some steps backwards.”
After the congressman’s remarks, the moderators gave the viewers an opportunity to ask questions, opening the ground for direct dialog. Dylan Vergara ’26, who attended the occasion, says that the speak broadened his information of particular coverage points and international affairs.
“I actually loved the occasion,” Vergara stated. “As a Southern California resident and likewise an Asian American, Ted Lieu represents the values I see inside my group, so I got here to listen to from him straight and ask questions. I feel that he delivered the speak I wished to see with our Congressman.”
Isaac Nehring ’26, one other viewers member, stated the congressman supplied nice perception into particular points that he had not delved into earlier than.
“It was a great way for college students to work together with a public servant,” Nehring stated. “I’m all in favour of each the environmental aspect and the extra basic method to what’s occurring within the federal authorities from the real-time perspective.”
Brennan, a resident of the Discover Power Home, supplied his perspective on internet hosting and moderating this occasion.
“The quantity of people that confirmed up right here who have been passionate with questions demonstrates how essential it’s for us to transition from fossil fuels,” Brennan stated. “It exhibits that we now have information right here at Stanford about sustainability. And I feel the Power Home being right here is a good instance of that.”