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Laura Friedman: Why I’m running for Adam Schiff’s House seat

The legacy Adam Schiff leaves behind makes one thing abundantly clear: the diverse and vibrant communities of California’s 30th District deserve a representative who knows the unique needs and challenges of each neighborhood, and who is ready to hit the ground running.

As a current Assembly member and also when I was in local government, I have worked tirelessly to improve the lives of residents, and that’s why I’m running to be the 30th District’s next member of Congress.  I was raised in South Florida by a mom who took me canvassing door to door, and to march at rallies supporting the Equal Rights Amendment and abortion rights throughout my childhood. Despite her dream of me going to law school, I instead studied film and moved to the 30th Congressional District in 1992 to work at Paramount Pictures. I married my husband Guillaume a few years later.

While volunteering as a Glendale City Design Review Board Commissioner and for the L.A. Conservancy, I was unexpectedly diagnosed with breast cancer. I went through many of the same emotions as other people facing serious disease, including questioning the impact that I had made on the world. After my treatment I decided to run for the Glendale City Council, despite the city having had only five women on council in its nearly 100-year history. I won my race and was elected to the Glendale City Council in 2009, serving as mayor in 2012-2013.

During that time, I cast the deciding vote to finally put an end to Glendale’s long-running gun show from operating on city property, or near our schools, one of many accomplishments that I’m most proud of during my seven years on council. It was also during this time when we were blessed to have our daughter Rachel come into our lives through adoption.

In 2016, I was first elected to the Legislature, where I proudly serve today, representing Glendale, Burbank and large portions of Los Angeles that comprise roughly 60% of the 30th Congressional District.

In the wake of the workplace harassment revelations in Sacramento, I led a bicameral committee to address what had occurred, and then spent a year working with victims and my colleagues to craft what has been called the most powerful policy around workplace harassment in any state house. This policy guarantees that everyone would face consequences for their actions, and that the public would never again have misdeeds committed by their representatives hidden from view.

Additionally, I have served as chair of the Assembly’s Natural Resources Committee, and currently chair the Transportation Committee. My mission is to take on difficult and important challenges, and to successfully pass effective legislation on issues such as water conservation, climate change, wildfire resiliency, animal and wildlife protections, healthcare access and more.

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I’m running for Congress because I worry every day about the nation my 9-year-old child is inheriting. Because across our country, the polluters keep polluting, the rights of women and our LGBTQIA+ community members are being eroded and the growing economic inequality and a shrinking middle class make me wonder if my daughter will ever be able to purchase a home and retire with security. And like many in our community, it pains me that she might not have access to the reproductive rights my mother and I have fought for our whole lives.

I would like to get to know you better. I’m not running for Congress to represent special interests, and I will not take a penny of corporate PAC money. I’m running to represent you and our communities. It’s our relationship, my understanding of your experiences, perspective and values that I will be taking with me to Washington.

Laura Friedman’s website: LauraForCongress.com.

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