Weekly Newsletter 10.15.2019

Dear Friend,

We are in Washington after a busy couple of weeks back in the district. This week the House is working on important legislation regarding keeping American jobs at home, increasing transparency in investing, and condemning the recent actions in Syria. Here are some highlights from the week of 10/15:

Improving local infrastructure


Throughout my career representing the San Joaquin Valley, I have fought to improve Highway 99. I'm happy to report that despite recent reports, work on Highway 99 in Madera will continue. The California Transportation Agency and Governor Newsom have assured me they remain committed to partnering with our local agencies to help advance other segments of the Highway 99 project. Continuation of this important work will have important benefits for the Valley, including relieving traffic congestion and improving our air quality. I welcome the opportunity to continue working with State leaders on this project.  


Protecting Valley agriculture


As Chairman of the Subcommittee on Livestock and Foreign Agriculture, I hosted a briefing with U.S. Trade Ambassador for Agriculture Gregg Doud on a range of trade issues impacting our farm and food families nationwide.Trade is so important to farmers here in the Valley and consumers around the country. While the recent agreement with Japan is an important step, I have concerns with the proposed initial Chinese agreement. I will continue to push the Administration to resolve this swiftly and completely. At the end of the day, no one wins a trade war because everyone has leverage. 

We also discussed how we're working diligently in the House to address lingering concerns with the United States Mexico Canada Agreement (USMCA), so we can hold a vote by the end of the year.

In observance of World Food Day, I also released an opinion editorial with fellow chairwoman Marcia Fudge, to underscore the importance of opposing the Administration's sweeping cuts to key programs like SNAP. Food security is related to national security and we need to continue to work to address the millions of food-insecure Americans living in this country.  


Standing with survivors


October is Domestic Violence month, so I held a listening session with domestic violence advocates about the impact domestic violence has on our friends, family and even the community. As co-chair of the Congressional Crime Survivors and Justice Caucus (also known as the Victims' Rights Caucus), I am always looking for ways to support survivors of domestic violence. It was a productive meeting and it was helpful to hear from these important voices.  


Urging responsible foreign policy

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Turkey’s continuing actions against the Kurds in Northern Syria are appalling and unjustifiable. I cosponsored bipartisan legislation to confront the Administration and Turkey on this important issue. H.J. Res. 77 expresses Congress’ opposition to the Administration’s abandonment of our Kurdish allies. I will also support bipartisan legislation to impose sanctions on Turkey for their aggression. Though Turkey is a NATO ally, we cannot stand by in the face of this reckless and irresponsible behavior. Last week, I submitted a letter demanding explanation for the Administration's decision to withdraw troops from Syria. I will continue to push to limit further damage that has been done to the  United States' integrity as an international partner. We must keep our word. 


Supporting democracy


The House passed a package of measures, which I cosponsored, regarding the human rights situation in Hong Kong. H.R.3289 - Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act of 2019H.R.4270 - To prohibit commercial exports of certain nonlethal crowd control items, and H.Res.543 - Recognizing Hong Kong's bilateral relationship with the United States demonstrate to the people of Hong Kong that we support their democratic aspirations and condemn these violent attempts to stifle their fundamental freedoms. 


Honoring a local leader

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Last week we lost an influential voice and a local leader. Guddi Sidhu was a beloved member of the Sikh community. I spoke on the House Floor to pay tribute to her impactful life and career in our community. Guddi's loss will be felt by many. In addition, we recognized the 550th anniversary of the Sikh religion and the important values it has instilled in the Sikh community everywhere, and in all of us. 


Valley lands big dollars


Our office always works to see that your taxpayer dollars come back to the district. I'm pleased to report that Merced and Madera received $1,471,533 from the California Department of Housing and Community Development California Emergency Solutions and Housing (CESH) program to combat homelessness. Homelessness continues to be an issue in our Valley and I'm glad that we are receiving support to address it. 

In addition, I'm pleased to announce that a new electric vehicle fast-charging station will be installed in Madera to support electric vehicle users. I helped advocate for installation last year and I'm glad this work is paying off. 

Upcoming Events Across the District:

Image  ZooBoo 2019

This popular event is back for 2019. The entire Fresno Chaffee Zoo will be decorated for four nights. Activities will include trick-or-treat through the Zoo at dusk, educational programs with the Zoo’s Educational Animal Ambassadors and dancing to kid-friendly music. 

When: 5:00-8:00PM, October 18, 19, 25, 26

Where: Fresno Chaffee Zoo, 894 W Belmont Ave, Fresno, CA

(CLICK HERE for more info)

Friday Night Block Party at The Fairgrounds

In Madera, this fall’s Friday Night Block Party will include food trucks, drinks, music from local DJs and seating as the sun sets along with specialized monthly activities. 

When: 5:30-9:30PM, Friday October 18

Where: Madera District Fairgrounds, 1850 W. Cleveland Avenue, Madera, CA 93637

(CLICK HERE for more info)


Fresno State Gibson Farm Market Fall Festival

At the annual Gibson Farm Market Fall Festival, you’lll be able to pick up your pumpkins, take pictures and learn about the agricultural programs at Fresno State.

When: 10:00AM-4:00PM, Saturday October 19 

Where: Fresno State Gibson Farm Market, 5368 N. Chestnut Ave., Fresno, CA 93740

(CLICK HERE for more info)

Household Hazardous Waste Collection

This Hazardous Waste Collection Event in Merced will accept various yard, home, and garage waste. This event is hosted by the Regional Waste Authority. Call (916) 396-1505 for more information.

When: Saturday, October 19

Where: Highway 59 Landfill, 7040 N Highway 59 Merced, CA 95348


Fulton Street Party and Food Truck Fest

The Fulton Party celebrates the ongoing revitalization happening in downtown Fresno. This year’s party will include more than 30 local food trucks, pop-up shops, a Mariposa outdoor bar, Downtown Ale Trail beer tastings, wine tastings, local live music and a craft marketplace.

When: 12:00-11:00PM, Saturday October 19 

Where: Tioga Sequoia Brewing Company Beer Garden, 745 Fulton St, Fresno, CA

(CLICK HERE for more info)

Free Family Halloween Open House

Autism Learning Partners organizes this event to celebrate the opening of their new ALP Center for Autism in Merced. This event is for parents and caregivers who have children diagnosed with autism disorder. It will include activities, sensory friendly stations, refreshments, trick-or-treat, painting, balloons and tours around the new center.

When: 11:00AM-2:00PM, Saturday October 19 

Where: 3313 G St Suite B, Merced, CA 95340

CLICK HERE for more info


Downtown Merced Art Hop: 

This event will showcase art, music, performers and other art related activities for the Eleventh Year Anniversary of the Art Hop.

When: 5:00-9:00 PM, Saturday, October 19

Where: West Main Street, Merced, CA

(CLICK HERE for more info)


Farm Fest 2019 Dinner Celebration:

This event is sponsored by the Chowchilla Chamber of Commerce and will celebrate the the Ag Industry. General admission: $35

When: 6:00 – 11:30 PM, Saturday, October 19

Where: Eastman Hall Chowchilla Fairgrounds

(CLICK HERE for more info)


VA Veterans Town Hall:

This event in Los Banos will have Representatives from the Veterans Benefits Administration, VA Central California Health Care System, and the National Cemetary Administration. Topics will include the Mission Act, Patient Experience, Employee Satisfaction, Community Care, Facility Planning, and Parking. Open to all Veterans and those who support Veterans.

When: 5:00 – 7:00 PM, Thursday, October 24

Where:Veterans Memorial Building, 615 E. Street, Los Banos, CA 93635

Family Fall Festival:

Hosted by LifeBridge Community Church in Fresno, the Family Fall Festival will include games, inflatables, food, candy and music. This free event requires previous registration.

When: 1:00-4:00PM, Saturday October 26

Where: LifeBridge Community Church, 5125 North Gates Avenue, Fresno, CA 93722

(CLICK HERE for more info)


City Grub Food Festival

This event will feature an International food festival held at Manchester Mall, hosting local restaurants and food trucks.

When: 11:00 AM-8:00 PM, Saturday, October 26

Where: Manchester Center – 1901 East Shields Avenue, Fresno, CA 93726

(CLICK HERE for more info)

Harvest Funfest: 

This event will feature child related activities that is free for the community to attend to. The event is sponsored by New Beginnings Church.

When:5:30-8PM, Thursday, October 31

Where: 821 West L Street, Los Banos, Ca

(CLICK HERE for more info)


Current Legislation:


Recent News Coverage:


Jim Costa
Member of Congress

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