A Question We Never Thought We’d Have To Ask: Is Your Southern California Member of Congress Safe?
After a pro-Trump mob forced its way into the Capitol on Wednesday, members of Congress were evacuated — not long before the President’s supporters breached the House and Senate chambers.
All members of the Southern California delegation sheltered in place in their offices or in other buildings near the Capitol. Most were advised by Capitol Police to not disclose their locations because of security concerns.
We have heard from:
- 33rd District Rep. Ted Lieu, a Democrat representing Santa Monica, West Los Angeles, the South Bay:
“I served on active duty the United States military, because I believe we are the most amazing country in the world — because of our democracy. And I just never thought I'd see a day like this. And I really hope that the country learns from this. I hope that people reject Donald Trump, who incited this mob to invade the Capitol.”
- 25th District Rep. Mike Garcia, a Republican representing Simi Valley, Santa Clarita and the Antelope Valley:
Garcia released a statement on Twitter around noon Pacific time:
“What is happening in the Capitol today is unacceptable and tragic to our nation’s Integrity. I call for those engaged in storming Congress to immediately cease your operations. Allow our Constitutional processes to proceed and allow our security guards and our staff to go home safely to their families. Overrunning the People’s House is not the way. Peaceful protest and meaningful debate on the floor is what is needed. We have neither right now. This behavior isn’t patriotism. It’s sedition.”
Garcia is among the Republican members of Congress who said they would vote to challenge the Electoral College results. Following today’s violence at the Capitol, LAist asked Garcia if he will still challenge the results. His office has not yet responded.
- 44th District Rep. Nanette Barragan, a Democrat representing Carson, Compton and parts of Long Beach:
"We cannot be intimidated. We cannot let this attempt to overthrow our government happen. I support us getting control and then going back to finishing the certification so that we can move on. If we don't I have a greater concern that the violence will continue."
- 34th District Rep. Jimmy Gomez, a Democrat representing east and northeast Los Angeles, including Boyle Heights:
Gomez was barricaded inside the House gallery for an estimated 30 minutes, along with several fellow House members and reporters.
"I could see the police moving chairs and benches to barricade the doors. We heard them [the mob] breaking the windows trying to get in. We were stuck, trying to keep our heads down in case shooting started."
Gomez said Democratic and Republican members of Congress were helping each other out during the siege. He added:
"I grew up in a place where I've seen gun violence and run from live gunfire. And when you can't run, that's even more terrifying.
- 39th District Rep. Young Kim, a Republican representing parts of Los Angeles, Orange and San Bernardino counties, including the cities of Chino Hills, Fullerton and Buena Park:
My team & I are safe. Thank you to our law enforcement who are putting their lives on the line.— Young Kim (@RepYoungKim) January 6, 2021
Peaceful protests are a First Amendment right & fundamental to our democracy, but violence is unacceptable.
The chaos & violence we're seeing at the Capitol must stop immediately.
- 27th District Rep. Judy Chu, a Democrat representing parts of Pasadena and the San Gabriel Valley:
"The President has incited these rioters. He gave the false impression that the election results were wrong. We know from the many legal cases that is absolutely the furthest from the truth. And yet he got these people to believe it.
“He got [his supporters] to the point of hysteria, so that they stormed the Capitol...went through offices and and actually cause violence. It's utterly unacceptable. [He] has to accept responsibility for this and stop it."
- 48th District Rep. Michelle Steel, a Republican representing coastal Orange County including Huntington Beach.
Steel, who was sworn in on Sunday, said in a statement she is quarantining due to a positive COVID test result:
“This morning I learned I had been in contact with an individual who tested positive for COVID-19. I have no symptoms, but out of an abundance of caution received a test through the Office of the Attending Physician this afternoon and tested positive. At the advice of the Attending Physician, and to protect the health of my colleagues, I will be quarantining.”