Interview With Candidate Brandon Mosely

running for Congress in California’s 41st District


Anthony Orrico, Writer


Representative Ken Calvert has been in Congress since 1992 and has represented the 42nd district in California since 2013. Brandon Mosely, a Riverside County native will oppose him in the 2022 midterm elections.

Mosely, the son of a pastor, stated, “When I went to church it was always about doing something for people and I really got hooked at the transformational idea of service and what it can actually bring and that’s been my north star my whole life, finding a passion for public service through the church.”

Mosely attended Cal State Dominguez Hills, the first in his family to attend college. He worked at Nordstrom to help pay for college until the Great Recession hit when the price of classes became more expensive.

“Nobody was buying shoes at Nordstrom any longer, so I found myself on the doorstep of poverty,” Mosely said, talking about the difficulties he faced while getting his education. He continued on to say, “I had to take out loans which I’m still paying for, and I was sitting in my apartment in Long Beach wondering how I’m going to pay for books and groceries. The most difficult part about school wasn’t the schoolwork, it was finding a way to pay for it.”

Mosely obtained his master’s degree at the University of Redlands and became an AVID teacher.

He said, “I didn’t want any kid to sit on the same doorstep of poverty like I did trying to figure out books or groceries in the wealthiest nation in the world. That makes no sense” 

Mosely was a teacher and chair of the Rancho Verde High School Social Science Department and helped develop the ethnic studies program at Val Verde Unified School District, leading them to adopt it as a requirement for graduation.

With so many members of Congress coming from wealthy backgrounds, Mosely believes they are detached from the realities facing many working-class people in this country. “The problem with a lot of people going to Congress is that they are not working-class people,” Mosely stated, talking about the disconnect between representatives and the people they represent. “They can give you lip service day in and day out, but they haven’t felt the pain of not being able to put gas in your car, or food on your table, or worrying about buying books.” 

Partisan rhetoric seems to plague all political discourse in modern times and much of it Mosely says is nothing more than culture wars that don’t have any bearing on the average person’s life. He believes the average person on either side of the aisle would find that they agree on most things when they have a chance to remove all the noise and really sit and talk with each other.

“I think entering every conversation with grace and letting people know I hear and once you get through all the minutiae you find out what they really want are the same things. We have more that unites us than separates us, we all want that American dream, ” Mosley stated.

Healthcare is an issue that affects all Americans. Nearly 30 million Americans are either uninsured or underinsured. The Affordable Care Act has provided many Americans with healthcare that previously were unable to obtain. Some people like Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders who say that the ACA does not go far enough in addressing the healthcare needs of this country, and we should move to a single-payer healthcare system as Canada has. 

Brandon Mosely talks to voters about his platform (Photo Courtesy of Brandon Mosely for Congress )

President Biden advocates for expanding the ACA and providing more funding to help lower deductibles and insurance premiums. Mosely was an intern for Representative Tammy Baldwin of Wisconsin’s 2nd district and was the first person in the office to pick up the ACA when it was first drafted in 2009. He said, “It was a heavy bill, and I was excited about it and to say from 2009 to now has done enough. The short answer is no, but the long answer is it has done quite a bit.”

Even though it is unlikely to make it into the final bill, the President’s Build Back Better bill began to attempt to address the rising costs of prescription drugs in which Americans pay more than any other developed nation. The part of the bill which was taken out was the ability for Medicare to negotiate prices with pharmaceutical companies which would in turn lower prices for all Americans.

“We have to have a better public offering that people can buy into, but if we can simply put more money in the program to help people and I know Biden has that all in the plan and the problem is just getting past the Senate,” said Mosel 

Mosely spoke of current Representative Calvert and specifically his recent no vote for President Biden’s infrastructure bill that passed. “Its infrastructure it’s the one bipartisan thing that is supposed to always work, better transportation, jobs crumbling infrastructure in Riverside County,” Mosely said. He went on to say that had he been the representative he would have voted yes on the infrastructure bill. 

Since the murder of George Floyd in 2020, the calls for criminal justice and police reform have been happening all over the country. Calls for many police departments to be defunded or even replaced have grown stronger throughout the Democratic party. Despite all that, the very police department, Minneapolis, whose officers were found guilty in the death of George Floyd, voted to not replace their police department with a department of public safety.

“Community policing and hiring within the community and a common baseline of police training throughout this country,” Mosely said. “Most of the cops who are involved in these heinous acts have a history that the community doesn’t know about,” Mosely spoke of establishing a national database to keep track of officers with a history of misconduct who aren’t able to just move around to different police departments if fired.

Mosely also spoke of police militarization and departments continuing to look like military outfits rather than local cops. “Imagine if the police department didn’t look like an outfit in a war-torn area.” He went on to say more money should be put into mental health specialists to go along with traditional officers to prevent many shootings that occur when someone is going through a mental health crisis.

Mosely also emphasized the best way to stop crime is to stop poverty. “You live in poverty, you’re 2 ½ times more likely to commit a crime. We have to ensure that these people have access to important resources.” He went on to say, “policing is an important job and I know amazing cops, but we need the standard to be amazing, we need to also make sure that if you’re African American or Latino that you don’t have a fear of the police.”

A typical argument made when talking about police reform is that society is asking police officers to do too much and that is a sentiment that Mosely shares. “We want them to be social workers, counselors, mental health specialists and they’re not trained for that.” Mosely also emphasized community policing as the best way to change the relationship between police and the communities they are serving. 

Being an off-year election and going up against an incumbent congressman who represents the current out-of-power party, Mosely faces an uphill battle in unseating Representative Calvert. He believes the redistricting from the 42nd district which is now known as the 41st district encompassing Eastvale, Corona, Lake Elsinore, Menifee, Canyon Lake, Palm Desert, and Palm Springs, will help his campaign’s chances.

“The bottom line is that voting matters, if voting doesn’t matter, they wouldn’t have tried for hundreds of years to stop people who look like me from voting,” he stated. “Getting more young people to vote is also a key thing for anyone running for office, especially 18-24 year old’s who are the least likely to vote of any demographic.”

Despite all the challenges, Mosely believes he and his team have a strong chance of winning this time around. In previous elections, Calvert defeated democratic challenger William O’Mara by 15 percentage points in 2020 and Julia Peacock by 13 points in 2018.

“It’s going to take all of us to do it, we definitely can do it if we engage with everyone and speak to the issues that are important to them, this is a winnable district for the first time in 20 years,” Mosely said. 

Mosely’s overall message that he wants to impart to the voters of the 41st  district is that he would go to Congress to serve them, and their families. “We have to make sure people have an equal footing to have everything they’re dreaming of and most people aren’t dreaming of anything insane, they’re dreaming to purchase a home, to have a couple of kids, and take a vacation once a year, if they’re willing to work hard and do the best they can they deserve that and people are being taken advantage of while we have millionaires making decisions and billionaires racing to space. We must send people to Washington who understand what it feels like to have your bills go up and worry about how you’re going to cover it. I understand and I feel it and I don’t want people to feel that any longer and that’s why I want to go to Washington D.C and go to work for them, I just want to get the job done.” 

If you would like to get involved in Brandon’s campaign you can go to:

***Writers note:  Ken Calvert was also contacted for an interview in the interest of balance and fairness, but neither he nor his office replied.   The Talon is in the process of contacting the other candidates running for this seat and updates or interviews will be forthcoming.

***** The Talon does not represent the opinions of Mt. San Jacinto College as a whole. Our students offer their own opinions, reserving their right to freedom of speech and freedom of press. We do our best to remain mindful of our readers and publish stories that are appropriate for everyone.