Porter talks consumer protection, capitol riots with OCC students

Congresswoman Katie Porter speaks in OCC Professor Fred Judd’s Business Law class on Monday.

Congresswoman Katie Porter made an appearance at Orange Coast College on Monday to speak with students from Business Professor Frederick Judd’s Business Law Course. 

“I think it’s really important to reinforce to students that there are people who want to listen,” Porter said. “I write back to every student who writes to me.” 

Porter was reelected for the 47th District Congressional seat in the 2022 midterm elections. Before running for Congress, Porter worked as a law professor at UC Irvine

Judd spoke highly of the impact that Porter’s appearance may have on his students’ future goals and aspirations. 

“I want the students to be inspired to go and do something important in this world,” Judd said. “I think that having their leaders show up here is a way to do that.” 

While speaking to OCC students, Porter emphasized how the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is a crucial resource in protection from predatory lending. 

“Part of the problem during the recession in 2008 and 2009 was there was no one agency in charge of writing rules for figuring out how to make safe loans, and so Congress created the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau,” Porter said. 

The congresswoman encouraged students to rely on the resources available from the CFPB, which regulates the terms of auto loans, home loans and mortgage loans. One such resource is that the CFPB helps those who have suffered from predatory lending from banks and other financial institutions. 

“Cheating people is one of the oldest and most profitable professions,” Porter said. “Companies are counting on you not having enough time, not knowing what to do, not knowing who to ask, figuring you’ll never get anywhere, and they are making money on that business model.” 

Following her financial advice to students, Porter recounted her experience during the United States Capitol attack on Jan. 6 as a member of Congress who was in the Capitol Building at the time of the attack. 

“Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez came to my office to stay and we spent six hours barricaded in my office and the Capitol police never checked up on us,” Porter said. 

The congresswomen were told to not speak and turn off all of the lights during the attack. Porter was able to see television news coverage of the attack and heard loud shouting from the hallways during the riots. 

While detailing her first-hand experience in a high-scale act of political violence, Porter noted that members of Congress like herself are towing a thin line between trying to be engaged with their community while also protecting themselves from risks of violence. 

“How do we keep our promise to be engaged while also keeping our constituents safe? It’s something we’re really still trying to figure out,” Porter said. 

Porter concluded her message to students by briefly notifying them of the paid internship opportunities available to them in her district office in Irvine as well as in Washington, D.C. 

Students such as Political Science major Anahi Santana spoke appreciatively of what it meant to her for the congresswoman to come and speak at Orange Coast College. 

“I love Katie Porter,” Santana said. “I love what she stands for and the fact that she wants to interact with students and wants our voices to be heard.” 

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