New Faces in Congress is a brand new diary series meant to highlight our new and diverse members of Congress in the Democratic Party. These 36 House freshmen range from political neophytes to seasoned legislative veterans. The series will run every Sunday morning, bright and early.
Last week, the New Faces in Congress series continued with a profile on Rep. Valerie Foushee of North Carolina’s 4th district. If you missed it, feel free to click on this link to read all about her!
The next entry in this series is about a new member of Congress who takes pride in being part of the Freethought Caucus. Before joining Congress, he was the Speaker Pro Tempore of the California Assembly, in which he helped shepherd 60 pieces of his own legislation into law, not to mention countless others.
When Rep. Jackie Speier decided to hang it up, this freshman was one of the many candidates who signed up for California’s Top 2 primary election. He advanced with Speier’s endorsement and had to face a fellow Democratic candidate in November. He won handily, and has quickly hit the ground running in Congress with the help of fellow neighbor Rep. Nancy Pelosi.
Today, the spotlight is on Rep. Kevin Mullin!
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Kevin Mullin (California-15)
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He has posted a concise biography on his campaign website. Here is what Rep. Mullin has to say about himself.
Congressman Kevin Mullin has served San Mateo County for over a decade as a South San Francisco city councilmember and Mayor, and as Assembly member since 2013. Kevin has gotten more than 60 of his bills signed into law during his tenure, including landmark legislation pioneering all vote-by-mail elections and combating dark money in state campaigns.
Kevin ran for Congress to fight for the future of our democracy and the planet. In the Assembly, Kevin fought for and won funding for wetlands restoration and climate resiliency - the largest resiliency investment in California history.
In Congress, Kevin will work to ensure the country follows California’s lead to end the sale of new gasoline motor vehicles by 2035 and to electrify public transit as CalTrain plans to do in its modernization plan.
Elections reform and strengthening our democracy have been Kevin’s top priorities in the Assembly. In Congress, he will continue to defend our democracy from those who ignore the will of the people and the rule of law.
He authored the first-in-the-nation DISCLOSE Act to put a stop to “dark money” and reveal the true funders of ballot measures and candidates. He passed universal vote-by-mail so every voter receives a paper ballot postage paid, resulting in record participation and turnout. He was also a co-author of the landmark law automatically registering Californians to vote.
In order to address the sky-high cost of housing, Kevin passed bills that prioritized local affordable housing for state housing funds and made it easier to build housing for teachers. In Congress, he will fight to increase funding for federal housing assistance and tax credits. And he will fight for real tax fairness where billionaires pay their fair share and an economy that works for all with equity at the center.
A 4th generation Californian and San Mateo County native, Kevin graduated from Junipero Serra High School, received a B.A. in Communications from the University of San Francisco, and a Master's degree in Public Administration (M.P.A.) from San Francisco State University. Kevin also completed the Harvard University's Kennedy School of Government Leadership for the 21st Century Program.
Kevin served on the South San Francisco City Council from 2007 - 2012, serving as Mayor in 2011. His background also includes serving as district director for then-State Senator Jackie Speier and as political director for his father, former State Assembly member Gene Mullin.
As an entrepreneur, Kevin created KM2 Communications—a multimedia production business in South San Francisco. He has produced numerous documentaries and public affairs programming seen on local television, and has hosted various programs on Peninsula-TV Channel 26.
He lives in South San Francisco with his wife, Jessica Stanfill Mullin, and their twin boys
There’s a little more about him in The Mercury News, a local California newspaper. This comes from an article announcing his campaign for Congress.
In his announcement, Mullin — who used to work for Rep. Speier and is the son of the late Assembly member Gene Mullin — said he wants to address climate change and astronomical housing costs if elected. As a state lawmaker, Mullin, who was elected to the State Assembly in 2012, pushed for mail voting in San Mateo County well before the pandemic made it the norm statewide, and he spearheaded legislation to make campaign finances more transparent. He is married to Jessica Stanfill Mullin, a longtime San Mateo County employee, and the pair have two young sons, twins Liam and Landon.
Although in its early days, the race is already well under way. Mullin, who in college worked as a DJ under the name Cutmaster Kevvy Kev, has already secured the endorsement of more than 30 officials, including California Attorney General Rob Bonta, Treasurer Fiona Ma, and Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon. He’s also backed by several of Canepa’s colleagues on the board of supervisors, including Dave Pine, Carole Groom and Warren Slocum.
Mullin, like every other freshman member of Congress, got a chance to introduce himself on CSPAN. Here’s what he had to say about both his background and his priorities during his interview.
His background as a leader in the California Assembly makes him well positioned to make an impact in the legislative realm. He will have to get used to being in the minority though, which he never experienced as part of the Democratic supermajority in his previous job.
Notable Media Headlines
While Rep. Kevin Mullin hasn’t made national headlines, he certainly has made an impact locally and there are several news articles about him in the Bay Area. It helps to have a nearby member of Congress such as Rep. Nancy Pelosi as a potential mentor!
In the previous month, he got the chance to visit his hometown in an official capacity. The visit was well received in the local paper Everything South City.
Congressman Kevin Mullin, representing California District 15 in the United States House of Representatives, is visiting cities in his district to meet with local officials. Among his stops: his hometown, the City of South San Francisco.
“It was great to spend my second Day in the District in South San Francisco. It was amazing to get a closer look at all the projects underway and in the planning stages. City staff and the Council are working hard to address the many challenges facing cities today and are totally committed to making sure that South San Francisco continues to be a great place to live, work and play. I’m so proud to call it home,” says Congressman Kevin Mullin.
Congressman Mullin was in town last week, and he started his day with a surprise visit with high school students enrolled in Youth in Government Day, a co-sponsored program of the City and the South San Francisco Unified School District. It was a particularly moving visit since Congressman Mullin’s late father, Gene Mullin, a government teacher, commissioner, Councilmember, Mayor, and Assembly member, was co-founder of the Youth in Government program 40 years ago. Congressman Mullin himself participated in the program as a high school senior.
Here is an event he hosted in San Carlos about seniors avoiding being scammed. It didn’t make the headlines, but it is exactly the type of event that should make the news as a positive impact in the lives of people.
There was a profile of his first days in office in the San Francisco Chronicle.
A huge storm hit the area while the tempest about who will be the Speaker was raging inside the halls of Congress. Here is an excerpt
As the Bay Area braced for a “bomb cyclone,” Rep.-elect Kevin Mullin, D-San Mateo, walked into a different kind of storm Tuesday: his first day as a member of Congress.
Like any new lawmaker, Mullin got lost in the basement of the U.S. Capitol building, its winding hallways and dim lighting delaying his path to being sworn in. There ended up being a much bigger impediment, though, as House Republicans were unable to coalesce around a candidate for speaker, delaying any further actions in the chamber.
That meant that in the meantime, there were officially no members of the House of Representatives, causing additional confusion for districts in transition.
“Clearly from a procedural standpoint, there’s a gap, which illustrates the problem here. But we are treating this as if we are representing the district,” Mullin told The Chronicle. “While I may not officially be representing the area, there are plenty of constituent needs that need to be met and we want to make sure that there’s not a gap. So we are acting as if this is imminent.”
Hopefully, Rep. Kevin Mullin will continue to be successful locally, while also growing his profile nationally.
Bills and Legislative Priorities
This introductory ad from Rep. Kevin Mullin’s first campaign highlights some of the legislative priorities he came to Congress to try and wrestle with. It is only :30, so it is worth a quick watch. He wants to focus on expanding access to elections and the insane cost of housing.
Rep. Kevin Mullin is a part of the Science Committee and the Natural Resources Committee in the House of Representatives. These two committees rarely draw headlines, but their work is still critical to this nation. Here, he is commenting on the risks of AI after a hearings on the topic recently.
And here is what he shared with the committee during the hearings.
He is a member of the Progressive Caucus, in addition to his membership in the Freethought Caucus. His campaign website makes clear he supports progressive legislative priorities such as Medicare for All.
In the Assembly, Kevin Mullin has been a leader on protecting access to quality and affordable health care for all, passing bills that expanded health care access to all Californians regardless of immigration status, funded innovative approaches to behavioral health care, and made public employees’ spouses and children eligible to enroll in long-term care plans.
Kevin has been a strong voice for single-payer health care to ensure every family has equal access to the highest standard of medical and mental health care and treatment. Kevin supported AB1400, so California could pursue a government-run universal health care system in California and get profits out of health care. Kevin recognizes that care cannot be interrupted during any transition to a universal care model and will ensure that not-for-profit health care systems such as Kaiser Permanente continue to provide care during any future transition period.
In Congress, he’ll do the same thing, and get behind a federal Medicare for All law to expand and improve Medicare and guarantee that every American has access to the preventative or lifesaving care they need regardless of ability to pay, and prioritizing access to mental health care.
He is especially concerned about climate change, and is a supporter of the Green New Deal. His perch on the Natural Resources Committee and the Science Committee will give him a chance to help craft such legislation, if we ever get a trifecta again.
On the Bipartisan Debt Ceiling Deal, Mullin was a yes. He just couldn’t live with the ramifications of a default, even though the bill was far from perfect.
Of course, his legislative priorities and accomplishments don’t end here. While it is hard to get anything done as a part of the minority, constituent service and hearings are where he can still make an impact. Follow him on Twitter to see what he is up to! He needs the followers, as he right now is sitting at around 1k followers.
Rep. Kevin Mullin brings a secular and scientific viewpoint to Congress in a political world where such things have sadly lost value in comparison to bluster and bravado. He definitely has the experience to craft and help pass legislation from his days in the California Assembly. His work ethic and experience will make him a key player once he gets seniority and the Democratic Party gets a majority again.
Mullin already has local recognition going for him, but like many new members of Congress is struggling to garner national media attention. He clearly has the ability to be a media contributor based on his prior experiences in KM2 Communications, but he will need to be patient and wait for the right opportunity to make his name better known — if he so chooses. There’s nothing wrong with shying away from the glare of the spotlight!
Mullin definitely has the chance to build seniority in Congress, and with seniority comes opportunity to make a critical impact. Congress needs more thoughtful people like Rep. Kevin Mullin.
Next Sunday, I will profile Rep. Delia Ramirez from Illinois’ 3rd district. See you then!
Kevin Mullin (California-15)
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Please help our Democratic freshmen in the 118th Congress raise more funds with the New Faces in Congress Fund. Until election day in 2024, we plan to regularly add new names to our list of recipients. Please share a link to this site on your social media!