U.S. Rep. Jared Huffman answered Crescent Elk Middle School students’ questions on politics, his job and issues facing Del Norte County on Wednesday, then encouraged the students to be active members of our democracy.
A massive piece of construction paper reading “Welcome Congressman Huffman” graced the front of Sarah Elston’s classroom, where she has been teaching about U.S. government. Before Huffman arrived, she had her students take turns reading aloud the questions they had prepared for him.
Huffman, a Democrat representing California’s 2nd Congressional District, came to the school with no agenda other than to answer questions - which was good, because the students had many questions on a variety of issues. The first of which was on presidential impeachment proceedings.
“When I’m meeting with a school group like this, I’m not here to impose my politics on them, so I try to be very academic about it. I try to discuss it in a fair and balanced way, and I hope I did that for these young kids,” Huffman said.
He also answered questions about dams on the Klamath River, the most difficult aspects of his job, and the Last Chance Grade Project infrastructure plan.
Last Chance Grade is a collaborative effort to find a solution to U.S. Highway 101 landslides and instability. As this district’s representative, Huffman is one of the many lawmakers involved in the project. In fact, his primary purpose for visiting Del Norte County on Wednesday was to attend scheduled meetings on the Last Chance Grade.
In one of his early statements to the class, he said he believed they lived in one of the most beautiful areas in the world, to which one student indignantly responded, “What are you talking about? It‘s always foggy here!”
After a good laugh, Huffman agreed that fog was not his favorite climate condition, as his plane the night prior had to reroute to land in Medford because of fog, resulting in a two-hour bus ride to Crescent City.