Local representative Jared Huffman visits to speak with students regarding the current state of the government

Arjun Aujla

On Tuesday, Sept. 27, Congressman and District Representative Jared Huffman visited to speak with students regarding the current state of the country’s government and the upcoming election. The open conversation was organized by Advanced Placement (AP) U.S. History and U.S. Government teacher Lindsey Kornfeld, who wanted her students to learn more about Huffman’s role as a congressman. Students were allowed to ask representative Huffman various questions about his role and stances on issues facing our country throughout the 45-minute session.

Kornfeld has a connection with Congressman Huffman through a family friend, as she reached out to him two years ago to talk to her class via Zoom. This year, Kornfeld reached out to his liaison office and was able to bring him back. Prior to Huffman’s visit, Kornfeld emphasized that Huffman works for the people of his district and that he has our best interests in mind.

“The whole idea of government is that it represents us. The reason congressmen come home for so long is to figure out what the people in their district want them to do when they go to work for us. My hope was that during the town hall meeting the students got the real experience of how as citizens we impart change,” Kornfeld said.

Speaking to the audience, Congressman Jared Huffman addresses a student’s question during his recent visit. (Photo courtesy of Aanika Sawhney)

Kornfeld invited other teachers to bring their classes to the Q&A session as well. Many teachers thought that speaking with a congressman would be a great experience for their students, resulting in a large turnout for the interview. Questions varied from topics about homelessness to Huffman’s personal life and college background, with many students leaving the session more informed about Huffman’s responsibilities.

Senior Miles Grossman, who was in attendance, felt that Huffman did not provide a full response to one of his questions, steering away from important topics on the homeless and drug crisis in San Francisco. Grossman recognizes the density of the question but was hoping for a detailed answer instead of focusing solely on homelessness in a general context. 

“I was confused as to why he didn’t answer my question. He said that he wasn’t involved in San Francisco but it’s a pretty widely known topic. I didn’t like [how he addressed] it,” Grossman said. 

Senior and vice president of the Democrat club, Magx Auerbach, also attended the Q&A session. Auerbach, who is interested in the policymaking process, asked a question about Huffman’s stance on the Disclose Act, which failed to advance in the senate this year. 

“The Disclose Act would require large political donors to disclose themselves to the public so voters know who is supporting the candidates. I was hoping that Congressman Huffman was also in favor of the act and he was,” Auerbach said.

The Disclose Act would have ensured transparency in elections and magnified the large sums of money that politicians receive from various corporations and organizations. Huffman, who was in favor of the act, was disappointed following the release of the approval ratings. Going into the meeting, Auerbach was impartial towards Huffman, but they appreciated the strict environmental focus Huffman had.

“Going into it, I didn’t know much about him other than the fact that he was very focused on the environment. Which is good but I don’t think it’s the most important issue for our country at the moment. I think he is a good human and it seems like he is doing as much as he can,” Auerbach said.