|Member of the U.S. House of Representatives|
from California's 49th district
|Assumed office |
January 3, 2019
|Preceded by||Darrell Issa|
Michael Ted Levin
October 20, 1978
Inglewood, California, U.S.
|Residence(s)||San Juan Capistrano, California, U.S.|
|Education||Stanford University (BA)|
Duke University (JD)
Michael Ted Levin (born October 20, 1978) is an American politician serving since 2019 as the U.S. representative from California's 49th congressional district, which covers most of northern coastal San Diego County, as well as part of southern Orange County. A member of the Democratic Party, he was elected to the House of Representatives in 2018 and reelected in 2020.
Levin was born in Inglewood, California, and raised in Lake Forest, California, in South Orange County. His mother is Mexican-American and his father is Jewish. Levin was raised in both the Jewish and Catholic faiths. He attended Loyola High School in Los Angeles before attending Stanford University. At Stanford, Levin served as president of the student body. He attended law school at Duke University School of Law before returning to Orange County.
Levin co-founded CleanTech OC, a clean energy trade association in Orange County, and was profiled in an OC Metro "40 Under 40" piece for his work at FlexEnergy, a company that developed a technology to capture and use methane from landfills and wastewater treatment facilities. He was the director of government affairs at FuelCell Energy from 2014 to 2017. He also served as vice president of Better Energy Systems, a consumer-facing cleantech startup based in Berkeley, California, and on the board of directors of the Center for Sustainable Energy, an environmental organization based in San Diego. In this capacity, Levin opposed the redevelopment of Encina Power Station, arguing that "the proposed Carlsbad plant contradicts the priorities that California has established to reduce pollution across our state as it will use combustion to generate power."
Levin served as the executive director of the Democratic Party of Orange County. He later served on the National Finance Committee for Hillary Clinton's 2016 campaign for President.
On March 8, 2017, Levin announced his candidacy for United States Congress in California's 49th congressional district to replace incumbent Representative Darrell Issa. The district had historically been one of Southern California's more Republican districts, but redistricting after the 2010 census cut out most of its heavily Republican inland portion, making it significantly more competitive. Issa had nearly been defeated in 2016 as Hillary Clinton carried the district.
At a town hall event that Issa held on March 11, 2017, Levin publicly confronted Issa and mentioned a book he had sent Issa in 2016, Climate Change for Beginners. Levin charged that Issa's solution to climate problems "is to build more natural gas plants and to keep the nuclear energy plants online for longer.... I think that's an unfathomable proposal for a progressive and environmentally-friendly place like San Diego." On January 10, 2018, Issa announced his retirement.
Levin campaigned with a platform focused on energy and environmental issues.
Due to the competitive character of the race as well as the absence of an incumbent, there were 16 candidates on the ballot in the primary. The large number of candidates in the nonpartisan blanket primary led to fears that Democrats would be locked out of the general election.
In the June 5 primary, Levin came in second to Republican State Board of Equalization chair Diane Harkey and advanced to the general election. This assured that the district would be represented by someone from the Orange County portion of the district, though the 49th is a San Diego district by weight of population. Levin is from San Juan Capistrano, while Harkey is from nearby Dana Point.
Barack Obama endorsed Levin as well as other candidates.
He won reelection in 2020 with 53.1% of the vote against Brian Maryott.
Levin is running for reelection to the district in the 2022 election.
As of October 2022, Levin had voted in line with President Joe Biden's stated position 100% of the time.
Levin has a 100% rating from NARAL Pro-Choice America and an F rating from the Susan B. Anthony List for his voting record on abortion-related issues. He has emphasized his support for "a woman's right to a safe, legal abortion".
Levin has made climate change a priority, and for this reason, national media focused on energy and environmental issues cited his 2022 reelection bid as one of the top races to watch. He voted to pass the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022, the largest climate policy ever passed by Congress.
Levin supports the Green New Deal.
Levin supported the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022.
Levin voted for the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, a bipartisan piece of legislation that authorizes spending to rebuild U.S. infrastructure and fund new initiatives related to climate resilience and broadband infrastructure.
Levin supports relocating the railway line off of the coastal bluffs of Del Mar to a more secure location. He plans to continue advocating for more funding from the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act to complete a rail tunnel under Del Mar by 2035.
In 2022, Levin voted for H.R. 1808: Assault Weapons Ban of 2022. He also voted for the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act, which CNN called "the most significant new federal gun safety measure in decades."
Levin voted for the For the People Act, a bill intended to expand voting rights.
Levin lives in San Juan Capistrano with his wife, Chrissy, and their two children.