|Member of the|
U.S. House of Representatives
January 3, 2001
|Constituency||49th district (2001-2003)|
53rd district (2003-present)
|Member of the California State Assembly|
from the 76th district
December 5, 1994 - December 4, 2000
Susan Carol Alpert
April 13, 1944
Cambridge, Massachusetts, U.S.
|Education||University of California, Berkeley (BA)|
University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill (MSW)
Susan Carol Alpert Davis (born April 13, 1944) is the U.S. Representative for California's 53rd congressional district, serving since 2001. She is a member of the Democratic Party. The district includes central and eastern portions of the city of San Diego, as well as eastern suburbs such as El Cajon, La Mesa, Spring Valley, and Lemon Grove.
Davis was born Susan Carol Alpert in Cambridge, Massachusetts, the daughter of Dorothy M. "Dora" (née Wexler) and Dr. George R. Alpert. All of her grandparents were Jewish immigrants from Russia. She has spent most of her life in California. She graduated from the University of California, Berkeley where she was a member of Delta Phi Epsilon sorority. She earned a master's degree in social work from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Her husband Steve Davis was a doctor in the Air Force during the Vietnam War. After returning to California, she became a social worker in San Diego.
Davis became active in politics through her membership in the local branch of the League of Women Voters, of which she became president in 1977. She was elected to the San Diego School Board in 1983. She served there until 1992, including two years as president of the body.
In 1994, she was elected to the California State Assembly, and was reelected in 1996 and 1998. In the Assembly, Davis chaired the Committee on Consumer Protection, Government Efficiency and Economic Development. She authored a state law giving women direct access to their OB/Gyn doctors without requiring a referral from their primary care physicians. Other legislation she authored established the right of a patient to obtain a second medical opinion and allowed frail senior citizens to remain in their homes while receiving state-funded nursing care. She introduced laws to reward high-achieving teachers and to establish after-school programs at public schools.
In 2000, Davis challenged three-term Republican incumbent Brian Bilbray in what was then the 49th District, winning with 50 percent of the vote. Her district was renumbered the 53rd District after the 2000 Census redistricting and made somewhat more Democratic than its predecessor. She has been reelected eight times since then without much difficulty. She is the first Democrat to represent what is now the 53rd district for more than one term in over half a century. The only other Democrat to represent this district since the Harry Truman administration, Lynn Schenk, was toppled by Bilbray in the 1994 Republican wave.
Davis introduced a federal version of the California OB/Gyn law she authored at the start of every Congress from 2001 to 2009. Provisions of her OB/Gyn bill were included in the health care reform bill enacted into law.
In 2011, Davis voted for the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2012 as part of a controversial provision that allows the government and the military to indefinitely detain American citizens and others without trial.
Davis is a member of the New Democrat Coalition and portrays herself as working across party lines. She serves on the House Armed Services Committee. She also serves on the Education and Workforce Committee, where she is the Ranking Member of the Subcommittee on Higher Education and Workforce Development.
In 2012, Davis filed a lawsuit to recover over $150,000 in campaign funds from her former campaign treasurer, Kinde Durkee. Durkee was later sentenced to eight years in prison for fraud after pleading guilty to stealing seven million dollars from more than fifty people.
On September 4, 2019, Davis announced that she would not seek re-election in 2020.
| Member of the California Assembly
from the 76th district
|U.S. House of Representatives|
| Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from California's 49th congressional district
|New constituency|| Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from California's 53rd congressional district
|U.S. order of precedence (ceremonial)|
| United States Representatives by seniority