Weekly Newsletter 8.05.2019
It's been a trying time for our country as we've once again been confronted with gun violence and mass shootings, this time claiming the lives of 31 people in the communities of El Paso, Texas and Dayton, Ohio. These tragedies highlight how critical it is for us to fight to improve the lives of Americans everyday, including passing legislation to help keep guns out of the hands of the wrong people.
The House is adjourned for the August district work period and I will use this time to meet with community leaders and constituents from across the district to hear about their priorities and discuss the important work I'm doing in Washington on their behalf.
Fighting to Keep Americans Safe
On Wednesday, I joined more than 200 of my colleagues and sent a letter to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell asking he immediately call back the Senate to vote on two gun bills we passed in the House back in February; H.R. 8, The Bipartisan Background Checks Act and H.R. 1112, The Enhanced Background Checks Act. These bills have been sitting on Senator McConnell's desk for too long. Too many lives are being lost for us to sit on this important legislation, we need to act now! You can read my official statement on the shootings in Texas and Ohio, below:
Legislating to make a difference
Since the January, I've worked hard to introduce 63 pieces of legislation with my colleagues to achieve progress for California's 16th district and the rest of the country. Here are some measures I've co-sponsored that have passed the House:
- H.R. 1327 The 9/11 Victims Compensation Fund
- H.R. 3239 - Humanitarian Standards for Individuals in Customs and Border Protection Custody Act
- H.R. 1044 - Fairness for High-Skilled Immigrants Act of 2019
- H.R. 6 - American Dream and Promise Act of 2019
- H.Res.413 - Recognizing Importance of D-Day and its Service members
- H.R. 5 - the Equality Act
- H.R.7 - the Paycheck Fairness Act
- H.J.Res.46 - Terminating the National Emergency Related to the Border
Federal Money for the Valley
Congratulations are in order! It's always good to see federal dollars coming into the Valley to help boost programs that work to improve the lives of our residents and communities. The following grants were awarded this week to UC Merced, Ser-Jobs for Progress and the Central Valley Opportunity Center (CVOP).
Pushing to feed our families
In July, the USDA announced a rule to limit eligibility for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), denying 3.1 million Americans their SNAP benefits. In our district, 25% of constituents currently receive SNAP benefits. Hardworking families, seniors, students and children rely on this assistance to make ends meet each month. I submitted a letter with fellow members of the California delegation to urge the Administration to rescind the rule. I will continue to work with my colleagues on the House Agriculture Committee to fight this attack and ensure people in our district receive the support they need.
My office participates in the Library of Congress 'Surplus Books Program', in which we receive books the Library no longer needs for its own use and then donate them to organizations in need. This week we donated dozens of books to the City of Madera during National Night Out to help build their Community Library.
Schools and institutions can benefit from this program and help build their libraries by filling out this application. If selected, members of my staff will visit the library to pick out books on their behalf and facilitate delivery.
Honoring our fallen heroes
Gratitude for our men in blue, can't be shown enough. At the freeway dedication to Officers Walter Frago and Roger Gore, victims of the Newhall Incident, I submitted Extensions of Remarks to the Congressional Record to honor their sacrifice. My staff presented these Congressional Records to the respective families. We are grateful for the work law enforcement does to protect our communities and keep us safe, everyday. I will continue to fight to ensure that we pass legislation that protects officers around the country from the threat of gun violence.
Protecting Valley water
Nutria continue to threaten the operation of our waterways. Last month, I co-sponsored H.R.3399, with fellow Valley members to reauthorize funding to eradicate and control the population growth of nutria in California. I sent a letter along with other Valley members to request a hearing on this important legislation when Congress reconvenes in September.
Nonexistent or slow broadband connectivity in rural areas puts Americans who live in those communities at a severe disadvantage. I recently participated in National Broadband Day for a discussion how the lack of connectivity impedes innovation and competitiveness of rural businesses, productivity of farmers, access to rural healthcare services for communities and the quality of rural education. Access to high-speed internet is an issue that demands our attention.
Upcoming Events Across the District:
Parenting 101: Understanding Your Child:
All you need to know about the proper upbringing of children. A professional child psychologist will answer all possible questions and talk about the best methods of raising children. Click here for more information.
When: Friday 8/9/2019 6:30pm-8:30pm
Where: 1312 S. 7th St.
Los Banos, CA 93635
The library will hold a free 60-minute yoga class, taught by Linda Marie Hurst. The classes are for all ability levels, and students are encouraged to go at their own pace. Bring a mat if you have one. Some loaner mats will be available. If you would like to use a chair for stability come to the chair class at 2pm. The mat class follows at 3pm. Click here for more information.
When:Tue, August 13th at 2pm till 2:45pm, 3pm til 4pm
Where: Betty Rodriguez Regional Library, Fresno, CA
Fresno County Introduction to SEMS Course :
Introduction to the Standardized Emergency Management System(SEMS), incorporting the principles of ICS-100, ICS-700 and Emergency Preparedness.
*For County Employees*
When: August 13, 2019 – two classes provided (only need to attend one)
7th Annual VA Central California Mental Health Summit:
The purpose of the Mental Health Summit is to bring together key stakeholders in the community with the goal of enhancing access to mental health services and to address the mental healthcare needs of Veterans and their family members residing in Central California. Please register here.
When: Wed, August 21, 2019
Recent News Coverage:
- 8.05.2019 FRESNO BEE: Amtrak Bus Will Connect Madera to San Jose, What it Means for Passengers
- 8.05.2019 THE ARMENIAN WEEKLY: 89 US Reps Join ANCA in Fight Against Trump, Defunding Artsakh Aid
- 8.05.2019 GVWIRE - Rep Costa: When Will McConnel, Trump Protect Americans?
- 8.06.2019 UC MERCED NEWSROOM: UC Merced Makes Princeton Review 'Best Colleges' List
- 8.07.2019 SACRAMENTO BEE: Good News for California’s Ecosystem: Three Wolf Pups Were Born in the North State This Spring
Member of Congress
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