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Represent!

Represent!

By Steven Boyd Saum

Familiar and Fresh: (from left) Zoe Lofgren J.D. ’75, Jimmy Panetta J.D. ’96, Ro Khanna, and Pat Conroy, S.J., M.Div. ’83. View full image. Illustration by Sean McCabe

ZOE KNOWS IMMIGRATION

Zoe Lofgren J.D. ’75 has represented Silicon Valley’s 19th District since 1995 and earned respect for her work on patent reform, copyright, and net neutrality. Unlike nearly every other member of Congress, Lofgren has in fact practiced and taught immigration law—as well as legislated it. One lesson she learned from Santa Clara Law connected to immigration: “If you are going to give dignity to the individual, you actually have to meet with those individuals … see them personally, hear their stories—so it’s not just an intellectual exercise, it’s a visceral understanding of your obligation to help bring justice.” In 2011 she was declared a “Hero of the Internet” for her role in preventing the passage of the Stop Online Privacy Act.

FRESHMAN WITH A BRONZE STAR

Jimmy Panetta J.D. ’96 is a first-term representative from California’s 20th District on the Central Coast, a seat held until last year by Sam Farr, who attended SCU law and announced in 2015 that he would not be seeking re-election. Jimmy, age 47, is the son of Sylvia Panetta and Leon Panetta ’60, J.D. ’63, whose most recent government service included director of the CIA and secretary of defense for President Obama. Along with earning his stripes as a prosecutor and deputy D.A. in Alameda and Monterey counties, Jimmy Panetta served eight years in the U.S. Navy Reserve. In 2007, he volunteered for active duty and was deployed to Afghanistan, working with Special Forces units. For his service in a combat zone, Panetta was awarded the Bronze Star. He has been appointed to House committees on agriculture and natural resources.

A PHILADELPHIA STORY

Ro Khanna, another newcomer, represents California’s 17th District, which cuts a swath through Silicon Valley from Santa Clara (including the Mission Campus) up to Fremont (where Khanna lives). Proportionally, this is the highest Asian-majority district in the country. Khanna previously taught law at SCU as adjunct faculty. He’s no stranger to D.C.; he served 2009–11 as deputy assistant secretary at the U.S. Department of Commerce. Son of immigrants from India, he was born in the City of Brotherly Love in 1976. In January, Khanna said he was willing to go to jail to defend the rights of immigrant families. Jail time is something Khanna learned from his grandfather— who was imprisoned four years for supporting Gandhi’s struggle for India’s independence. A practicing Hindu, Khanna took his oath of office on a bicentennial edition of the U.S. Constitution. His first speech in the House went after political action committees and lobbyists.

FATHER PAT

Jesuit School of Theology grad Pat Conroy, S.J., M.Div. ’83 returns to service as chaplain of the House of Representatives. He delivers the opening prayer of each day. The February 2 prayer included: “May all they do be done in humility and charity, knowing that we are all earthen vessels through whom Your Spirit might shine forth.” Amen.

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