Official photo of Susan

Brief Bio of Susan

Congresswoman Susan Davis has proudly represented California's 53rd Congressional District in the U.S. House of Representatives since 2001. The 53rd includes

central San Diego, La Mesa, Lemon Grove, Spring Valley, and parts of El Cajon and Chula Vista.

Her interest in public affairs and service grew out of her experiences as a social worker, parent, youth mentor, and military spouse. Through these life experiences, Susan developed an understanding of and deep commitment to improving her community and country.

In Congress, as she has throughout her public service, Susan has approached legislating as a bipartisan consensus builder focusing on education, election reform, military family and veterans support, women’s empowerment, civil rights, and health care.

Susan is Chair of the Subcommittee on Higher Education and Workforce Investment of the House Education and Labor Committee. She is also a senior member of the House Armed Services Committee and the Committee on House Administration. 

Improving education and creating opportunities for young people have been constant themes throughout Susan’s public service. In her role as Chair of the Higher Education and Workforce Subcommittee, she is working to make college more affordable, ease the debt load for millions of students and graduates, and expand apprenticeships programs. 

On the education and labor front, she is also fighting to increase access to a college degree, ensure equal opportunity in education and the workplace, improve student safety, and emphasize career and technical training – especially for women.

As a senior member of the House Armed Services Committee, Susan helps write the annual defense bill, known as the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). In past NDAAs, she has protected survivor benefits for military widows, improved family leave and childcare services for military families, and put policies in place to prevent sexual assault in the ranks and to prosecute these crimes, while protecting the rights of sexual assault survivors.

Susan’s bills that have become law have expanded homeownership opportunities for veterans and helped veterans and servicemembers obtain higher education degrees. Three bills included in the landmark Affordable Care Act gave women direct access to their OB/GYN, expanded access to diabetes prevention programs, and made Medicaid payments available for women who choose to use birthing centers to give birth.

Most recently, Susan created a program to give schools the ability to train school staff to spot the signs of human trafficking. 

Through her service on the House Administration Committee, Susan directly impacts election reform efforts. The House has passed her legislation on multiple occasions to prohibit a state’s top election official from participating in a federal election campaign. Her bill to end restrictions on voting by mail has also passed the House more than once. 

Leading on LGBTQ equality, Susan passed her bill to prohibit Americans from being removed from a jury because of their sexual orientation or gender identity. She also led the fight in Congress to repeal Don’t Ask Don’t Tell and contines to fight  to protect the right of transgender Americans to serve in the military. 

Susan prides herself on serving as a resource for her constituents, ensuring that constituent service is a top priority in her office. Her office has helped thousands of constituents cut through red tape to recoup millions of dollars in benefits owed to them. She has responded to hundreds of thousands of emails, letters, and phone calls. She has held dozens of town hall meetings in neighborhoods throughout the 53rd District. 

As a result, Susan was picked to receive the highly competitive Congressional Management Foundation “Best in Congress” award for both her constituent service and creating a positive workplace environment in her congressional office. 

Susan created her signature Global Policy Series to give her constituents access to experts on the hot issues of the day. Past GPS events have covered U.S. relations with Russia, China, and North Korea. Climate change and cyber security were also past topics.

Susan grew up in northern California where she attended public school. She graduated from UC Berkeley with a degree in sociology. An early sign of her commitment to service came immediately after college when she traveled to Israel and worked with at-risk youth and lived on a kibbutz. 

Susan returned to the United States and earned her master’s degree in social work at the University of North Carolina. When her husband Steve was stationed in Japan for his military service, Susan and their sons, Jeff and Ben, joined him.  

The Davis family later settled in mid-city San Diego in 1972 and Susan and Steve have lived in the same house ever since. Today, Susan and Steve are the proud grandparents of Henry, Jane, and Theo.

Prior to Congress, Susan served in the California State Assembly and was a member of the San Diego Unified Board of Education, where she served as its Vice President and President. She was also the Executive Director of the Aaron Price Fellows program designed to teach multi-ethnic high school students leadership and citizenship skills.


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