Student endorsement: Alex Padilla for US Senate

Swasti Singhai, Final Focus Editor

We’ve seen many politicians with empty promises: grandiose plans, commendable dreams, powerful words. They advocate for causes that enable them to garner widespread popular support, regardless of their true convictions. 

This year, one seat in the U.S. Senate is up for election. That single Senator will speak for 19,620,000 Californians. It’s of utmost importance to elect a candidate who doesn’t merely speak, but someone who will act. Thus, I endorse incumbent Alex Padilla for U.S. Senate. 

Padilla was born and raised in California. He went on to attend Massachusetts Institute of Technology, majoring in mechanical engineering before returning to California. In 1994, he became involved in politics specifically to protest against California Proposition 187, which would deny public benefits to immigrants. As a son of immigrants himself, Padilla has advocated for immigration reform, serving as the chair of the Senate Subcommittee on Immigration, Citizenship, and Border Safety. 

In his first term as a senator, Padilla introduced the Citizenship for Essential Workers Act, which sought to help facilitate the process of gaining citizenship for undocumented immigrants who served as essential workers during the pandemic. This September, Padilla introduced Renewing Immigration Provisions of the Immigration Act of 1929, legislation that would allow immigrants to qualify for lawful permanent resident status, or a green card, if they’ve lived in the U.S. continuously for seven years and are “of good moral character.” According to, a reform-based bipartisan political organization, the undocumented individuals covered in the bill would contribute approximately $83 million to the US economy annually. 

Furthermore, Padilla has dedicated himself to protecting the environment. He sponsored the FIRE Act, which improved wildfire preparedness and response programs, as well as the Water Efficiency, Conservation, and Sustainability Act of 2022. He also introduced a bill that would help school districts transition to zero-emission electric buses. Prior to his role as a U.S. senator, Padilla was in the California State Senate, where he served as the  chair of the Committee on Energy, Utilities, and Communications. During that time, Padilla helped develop California’s renewable energy and climate policies. Throughout his time as a California state senator as well as a U.S. senator, Padilla’s priorities have earned my trust. 

Padilla has championed equity throughout the board, from voting rights to healthcare. During his time as California Secretary of State, he implemented same-day voter registration and expanded vote-by-mail. He also co-sponsored the Medicare For All Act and seeks to increase access to mental health care, introducing bills such as the Equal Healthcare for All Act and the Comprehensive Mental Health in Schools Pilot Program Act of 2021. 

Padilla’s opposition Mark Meuser was also born and raised in California. He earned his law degree at Oak Brook Christian College, initially working in Missouri before joining the Dhillon Law Group, the law office of Republican National committeewoman Harmeet Dhillon. 

Meuser’s beliefs are nearly a polar opposite to Padilla. As an attorney, Meuser challenged Governor Gavin Newsom’s executive order to mail every registered voter a ballot. He also challenged the state voter registration system, arguing—without any evidence—that it enables non-citizens to illegally vote.

On Ballotpedia, the sole ballot that Meuser supported is the Colorado Definition of a Person Initiative from 2008. He unsuccessfully co-led a campaign to change the Colorado state constitution to define a fertilized human egg as a legal person. The amendment ostensibly outlawed abortion, but it extended far beyond that. It would have enabled a complete ban on birth control methods like the pill, IUDs, and certain types of medical treatment that would pose a risk to the fertilized egg. 

Meuser also champions returning to a more traditional school system. He stated that “schools must focus on teaching core topics, like STEM, not indoctrinating our children.” He proceeds to provide little elaboration on so-called indoctrination, instead using blanket statements to portray a false sense of alarm. 

While Padilla similarly supports STEM curriculum, he has worked to provide funding to support teachers, school infrastructure, and student mental health. Time and time again, Padilla has shown that he acts in the people’s best interests. 

For this upcoming term, Padilla said that he’s looking to continue to prioritize climate action and voting rights. I have confidence in his abilities to do so. 

Actions speak louder than words and based on his prior success as a senator, I know that Padilla will act towards a more sustainable, equitable future. He has my support.