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Rep. Seth Magaziner ’06 talks abortion, extremism, TikTok at Brown Dems event

First-term House rep., alum makes first visit back to Brown since being elected

<p>Rep. Seth Magaziner expressed gratitude for the students who worked on his campaign, stating, “I would not be a member of Congress without the work of the Brown Democrats.”</p>

Rep. Seth Magaziner expressed gratitude for the students who worked on his campaign, stating, “I would not be a member of Congress without the work of the Brown Democrats.”

When former Rep. Jim Langevin unexpectedly retired in early 2022, the “first thing that came into …  mind” for Rep. Seth Magaziner ’06 was January 6th, Magaziner said at an event hosted by the Brown College Democrats on Tuesday. Magaziner told students that when running for office, candidates “need to have a reason. And that was my reason.”

Magaziner, who was running for governor of Rhode Island when the seat opened up, quickly shifted his candidacy to focus on the second district — moving from Providence to Cranston to establish residence in the district. Magaziner won a tightly contested election with former Cranston Mayor Allan Fung by under five percent of the vote, joining the Democratic House minority.

Cecilia Marrinan ’24, president of Brown Democrats, introduced Magaziner, who “was president of the Brown College Democrats” in his time at the University. 

While at Brown, Magaziner said that he “learned more from being a part of the Brown Dems than I did anything else.” 


“I would not be a member of Congress without the work of the Brown Democrats,” Magaziner noted, thanking them for their work on his campaign last fall.

At Brown — his first time back at the University since joining the U.S. House of Representatives — Magaziner discussed a litany of issues — ranging from abortion access and radicalization to TikTok and gun control.

In an interview with The Herald following the event, Magaziner said Republicans are “trying to ban abortion nationally. We can't let it happen.” He also expressed support for “codifying the right to an abortion nationally.”

“Despite what the Republicans will say,” Magaziner said at the event, “we know that their agenda is a national abortion ban that includes Rhode Island.” 

“That's what this crazy ruling out of Texas the other day was all about,” he said, referring to a Trump-appointed federal judge invalidating the 23-year-old FDA approval of mifepristone, a pill commonly used in medical abortions. The ruling is directly at odds with a separate ruling from Washington state that maintains the drug’s legal status.

At the event, Magaziner also discussed his focus on domestic extremism, noting that he requested to be placed on the Homeland Security Committee to “protect our democracy, particularly from domestic extremists.”

“I think the Republicans in Congress are nervous about having too much of a focus on far-right extremism because in some cases, they are personally complicit,” Magaziner said at the event. He cited the examples of Georgia Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene and Arizona Rep. Paul Gosar, calling them “complicit in stoking anti-democratic violence.”

When asked about the recent bomb threat against the Brown Muslim Student Association, which was motivated by Islamophobic sentiment, Magaziner said after the event that “people shouldn't have to live like this. It's not something that we can normalize, and not something that we need to accept.”

He also noted in the interview that law enforcement agencies need more resources to investigate “racially motivated and religiously motivated domestic extremism,” and advocated for increased availability of mental health services “so that we can help prevent people from being radicalized.”

At the event, Magaziner discussed recent congressional hearings about Chinese ownership of TikTok. “I think like with any industry, you have to find the balance between creating safe spaces for innovation and expression, but also protecting consumers,” he said. 


While undecided on an outright ban of TikTok in the United States, Magaziner expressed support for banning the app from government phones. “I understand that some of the concerns that people have about TikTok are very real concerns that the Chinese government or other bad actors could … access other data on other applications as well.”

Magaziner also touched on his hopes to address climate change, education and gun violence during the panel.

Noah Rosenfeld ’24, vice president of Brown Dems, said he hoped that attendees left “the event with a little bit more knowledge of what's happening in D.C., what it means to be a first-term congressman and what it means to campaign for Congress.”

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Owen Dahlkamp

Owen Dahlkamp is a Section Editor overseeing coverage for University News and Science & Research. Hailing from San Diego, CA, he is concentrating in political science and cognitive neuroscience with an interest in data analytics. In his free time, you can find him making spreadsheets at Dave’s Coffee.

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