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Congressional Spotlight: Congresswoman Michelle Steel (R-CA)

Each month The Nonprofit Alliance (TNPA) introduces you to a member of Congress who is a leader on legislative matters important to our TNPA community, with representation from both parties.

Headshot of Congresswoman Michelle Steel (R-CA). Cropped. Resized.

Q&A with Congresswoman Michelle Steel

TNPA has worked closely with Congresswoman Michelle Steel of California and had the opportunity to ask the Congresswoman a few questions, and share them here:

What is your favorite sports team?

I love to go to Lakers and Dodgers games with my family. We had season tickets for ten years.

Which American political figure has most inspired you?

Ronald Reagan is my favorite President, primarily due to his optimism. He also believed, as I do, that this is the greatest country in the world. He believed in freedom and limited government, and he fought to restore economic opportunities and protect our national security so that Americans could achieve success and prosperity in peace. That legacy is an example to me as I work in Congress to improve the lives of hard-working Southern California families.

What was the moment you realized you were serious about getting into public service?

I first became interested in public service at an early age when I watched my single working mother struggle to fight an unwarranted tax bill from the California State Board of Equalization. As an immigrant who owned a small business, my mother lacked the resources she needed to appeal to the state agency and reluctantly agreed to the board’s demands. That’s when it became clear to me that the government was failing the people that needed it most.

Describe your life in six words.

Fighting for opportunities for future generations.

More About Congresswoman Michelle Steel

TNPA has worked closely with Congresswoman Michelle Steel.

The Congresswoman is a genuine American success story! She was born in South Korea and raised in Japan, then immigrated to the United States to build her own American Dream. She is one of the first Korean American women to ever serve in Congress. Once in the United States, her family opened a clothing store in downtown Los Angeles. After seeing how difficult it was for her non-English speaking mother to navigate the tax laws and state regulations, she ran for the California Board of Equalization – the nation’s only elected tax board – where she represented more than nine million residents, including all of Orange County. At the time, she was the highest-ranking Korean American elected official in the country.

Michelle later served her community as a Supervisor and Chairwoman of the Orange County Board of Supervisors. She continued her work fighting for California taxpayers, while working to protect the Orange County coastline, and helping families and businesses confront the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic. In 2020, she was elected to the US House of Representatives. In the House she serves on three committees: Education and the Workforce, the Select Committee on Strategic Competition Between the US and the Chinese Communist Party, and the Ways & Means Committee – the House’s tax-writing committee where her long history on tax policy has been a real plus!

We at TNPA know Michelle best for her strong leadership on H.R. 3435, the Charitable Act. This bipartisan legislation of which she is one of the four principal sponsors would provide a tax deduction for all taxpayers – regardless of their level of income – when making a charitable contribution. With only 9% of taxpayers itemizing their taxes and thus eligible to claim a deduction when supporting a charity, the other 91% of taxpayers receive no tax benefit when supporting charitable causes. Already a bipartisan group of 59 House members have signed on to the Congresswoman’s legislation.

TNPA looks forward to continuing to work closely with Congresswoman Michelle Steel of California.

Mark Micali
Author: Mark Micali

Mark Micali is Vice President, Government Affairs for The Nonprofit Alliance and has spent his career on Capitol Hill.  You can reach him at

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