by Enedina Perez
“I believe in giving young people opportunity and older people security,” said David Levering, Democratic challenger to Rep. David Dreier (R-San Dimas) for the 28th District, expressing one of the goals that he plans to achieve if he is elected into the 105th Congress.
Levering, a former college history professor, finds this election to be important because it involves many serious issues, including those relating to health, education and the environment.
“We have had two years of the Gingrich/Dreier slash and burn assault on 60 years of social policy,” said Levering. “I am very disturbed with the direction that Congress has taken since 1994.”
Levering would like to strengthen programs like Social Security and Medicare, protecting environmental programs that ensure clean air and clean water, wanting a living wage for full-time employment, as well as providing a cushion for displaced workers who must retrain, a new emphasis on corporate responsibility and favoring the preservation of the ban on assault weapons.
“I would like to play a role in trying to achieve important objectives in the issues discussed,” said Levering.
His most important issue yet, and the one that he says he is considering as his first proposed bill in Congress, relates to education.
“I am passionately devoted to education,” said Levering.
This is why he calls for tax credits for college tuition, direct student loans and full funding for the Head Start and Goals 2000 to set world class standard for American schools.
“I hope and pray that most folks want to increase the investment in education,” said Levering.
While Levering has his own ideas on bills, he opposes most of Dreier’s propositions, including the facilitation of a nuclear waste dump 18 miles from the Colorado River, tax cuts for the rich and cuts in education.
Due to his views, he feels secure about where he stands in this election.
“I am confident because I represent the majority of the San Gabriel Valley residents through my sentiment and value on education, health, environment and wages of working conditions,” said Levering.
“We need to provide health insurance for all of our citizens, to educate our young and ease the transition of workers who have been laid off or downsized to other productive work,” he said.
Levering has a well rounded professional background that makes him feel electable.
Besides being a long time resident of the San Gabriel Valley, Levering, who was born in Redlands, attended Alhambra High School. He received his bachelor’s degree from the University of Redlands and later received his master’s and doctorate degrees in history from the Claremont Graduate School.
His professional experiences, include teaching four years at the University of California, Riverside, and 28 years in the History Department at Cal Poly Pomona.
Levering worked seven years for World University Service, a cooperative effort sponsored by Protestants, Catholics and Jews to fund self-help projects in university communities in war-damaged or underdeveloped areas.
He was appointed to the California Commission for Teacher Credentialing, where he served for seven years, the last two as chair.
“Our focus involved improving curriculum and developing a greater sense of common purpose,” said Levering.
He was also a member of the State Advisory and Drafting Committee for the preparation of the California History-Social Science Framework.
Levering mentioned that he also has a record of activism in the community.
Some of this community service projects include being a founding member, and later president, of the Cal Poly Pomona local of the American Federation of Teachers, participating as a member of the Advisory Committee of the California International Studies Project, the Sierra Club and the Claremont Meeting of the Society of Friends (Quakers).
Levering feels that by challenging Dreier, he is bringing new issues to the forefront of the campaign and may have the opportunity to contribute, even in more positive ways, to the community.
“It is a chance to give something back after my long career of studying the system and sharing the knowledge with young people,” he said.
Levering also has a positive outlook on Democrats making up the next Congress.
“If President [Clinton] keeps doing well, Democrats could take the lead, even in the Senate,” he said. “I want to help make it happen.”
Levering added, “If our society is to survive and prosper, we must stop looking for scapegoats, and come together to begin addressing the very substantial problems that face us.”