FEBRUARY IN REVIEW

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Dear Friend,

I would like to share with you some highlights of my work in February.  I hope you find this informative.  For all the latest news about my work in Congress and in the 40th District, you can also follow me on TwitterFacebookInstagram, and YouTube.

Constitutional rights for our immigrant families and neighbors: Read this information about immigrants' rights under the law.  (Lea este información sobre los derechos de los inmigrantes bajo la ley.)

Student resource guide: If you are a high school or college student looking for help to pay for college, I encourage you to read information I have compiled in my Student Resource Guide, which lists scholarships, internships, fellowships, and websites to help you meet your college expenses.  Please feel free to circulate it!

Reading blood test and soil sample results near Exide: If you live, work, or go to school within three miles of the Exide plant, I encourage you to get a free blood lead test.  For details, visit bloodleadtesting.com or call (844) 888-2290.  If you need help reading your blood test or soil sample results from areas around Exide, the Department of Toxic Substances Control (DTSC) and Los Angeles County Department of Public Health will be able to assist you at upcoming events in and around the 40th District. Take a look at this list of dates and locations to find an event near you.  For information on the Exide Cleanup Project, visit exidecleanup.org or call (844) 225-3887.

Paramount conference calls: I want to let members of the Paramount community know that informational conference calls are being held on the second and fourth Tuesdays of each month at 6:30 PM.  The calls provide updates on the ongoing air monitoring activities related to hexavalent chromium, a toxic air contaminant that has been detected by air monitors in a particular Paramount neighborhood.  To listen to the call in English, call (866) 244-8528, using the passcode 4063768.  To listen to the call in Spanish, call (888) 394-8197, using the passcode 9891238.  The South Coast Air Quality Management District (SCAQMD) is conducting these calls.

Immigration form update: If you are filing forms with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), bear in mind that USCIS is now only accepting the latest versions of its forms.  You can visit uscis.gov/forms to download these new forms for FREE.  You can also request paper forms from USCIS by calling (800) 870-3676.  To file these forms, you must pay the current fees.  New fees are listed at uscis.gov/forms/our-fees.  If you do not include the new fees, USCIS will reject and return your filings.

Help with tax preparation: Need help with federal tax filing?  I want to alert you that Free Tax Prep Los Angeles (FreeTaxPrepLA.com) offers FREE tax preparation services to low-to-moderate income households, and can help you claim federal tax credits!


Fighting for the Just Treatment of Immigrants and Refugees:

Co-chairing this year's first meeting of the Congressional Women’s Working Group on Immigration Reform.

As we begin a Congress in which the needs of immigrant women and children will be a prominent issue, I could not be prouder to be co-chairing the Congressional Women’s Working Group on Immigration Reform.  I will work with my co-chair, Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal, and our fellow members of the Women’s Working Group to ensure these women and children are treated with compassion and care.  

Unfortunately, we have already seen the Trump Administration release executive orders on immigration which will have serious negative consequences, not just for women and children, but for our entire nation.  These orders will rip apart families and cripple our economy.

In a meeting with Acting Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Director Thomas Homan, I was alarmed and deeply troubled by his explanation of how President Trump’s executive orders would impact the immigrant community.  In effect, every undocumented person in America is now vulnerable to arrest and removal as a result of the president’s orders.

I have been very concerned by the recent ICE arrests in Southern California.  I will continue to do everything in my power to help our nation’s immigrants know their rights, including the rights listed here.  Immigrants throughout our history have done much to strengthen and enrich the United States, and I will keep working with my constituents and the immigrant community to ensure they have the latest information.

As we work to reform our broken immigration system, the government must focus on removing those who pose a real threat to our country, not on those who are contributing members of our communities.  Comprehensive immigration reform must keep our country safe while keeping families together, and creating a pathway to legalization and eventual citizenship.


My Reaction to the President's Address to Congress:

I attended the president’s address to Congress this week, because it was important for me to hear his plans for the American people, including my constituents in the 40th District.  In his address, President Trump talked about unity, but unfortunately, so much of what he said was divisive and destructive.  His demonization of immigrants and his continued assault on the Affordable Care Act continue a pattern of moving our nation down the wrong path.  And after the administration's first 40 days filled with hateful rhetoric and destructive actions, the words of consensus and conciliation he offered were just that – words.  The eyes of the nation, and of the world, are upon our president.  Will he move us toward fact-based, bipartisan policies that make our country greater?  Or will he keep working to divide our people, to put Wall Street ahead of working families, and to turn his back on immigrants and refugees?  The choice is his.


Defending America's Tradition of Diversity:

Listening to Khizr Khan address a Capitol forum regarding the president's Muslim ban.

I was grateful to be able to address Khizr Khan and other witnesses during a Capitol forum about the president's Muslim ban.  I told Mr. Khan and the other witnesses that I will fight in Congress to make America a welcoming land again.

It was a privilege to record a video celebrating Black History Month.  February is a time for us to reflect on the countless contributions that African Americans have made to our nation, and recommit ourselves to building a better, brighter, and more equitable tomorrow.

I met with members of AJC Los Angeles to discuss our shared commitment to strengthen bonds between the Latino and Jewish communities.  At a time when Jews and many of our nation's other minorities are the target of threats and attacks, we must keep up the fight to crush bigotry in all its forms.

Unfortunately, we have a long way to go before we eradicate bigotry from our society.  That was all too clear when the Trump Administration attacked the civil rights of transgender students.  We must protect trans kids, not rob them of their dignity and safety.


Fighting to Protect Americans' Health:

Co-hosting an Affordable Care Act town hall with Congresswoman Judy Chu.

We had fantastic turnout for an Affordable Care Act town hall I co-hosted with Congresswoman Judy Chu!  We held a detailed discussion with health experts and constituents about the vital health coverage that the ACA provides to Americans each and every day.  As your Congresswoman, I'll keep fighting every day to preserve and strengthen the ACA for the 40th District's families.

In a House speech, I shared my strong opposition to Republicans' resolution threatening health care access for millions of low-income Americans who rely on Title X clinics.  I'm very disappointed that the House majority voted to pass this misguided resolution.


Supporting Our Students and Our Schools:

Holding a discussion at Santee Education Complex with Santee parents and Principal Martin O. Gomez.

I was proud to join Congresswoman Linda Sánchez to introduce the ACCESS Act, which will reauthorize year-round Pell Grants.  Education can help many of our student constituents reach the middle class, but right now just 21 percent of America’s low-income students get their bachelor’s degrees by age 24.  Reauthorizing year-round Pell Grants will help more of these students complete their higher education and graduate faster and with less debt.

Thanks to Santee Education Complex parents, and to Santee Principal Martin O. Gomez, for welcoming me to the school for a Q&A session!  In addition to taking questions, I described the services my office provides to constituents; you can read about those services at roybal-allard.house.gov/constituentservices.  In the wake of the recent ICE arrests across our country, I also shared information about immigrants’ rights under the law.

As the congresswoman for the 40th District, I will fight against any policy that jeopardizes the ability of students to receive an excellent education.  That is why I voted against H.J.Res. 57 and H.J.Res. 58, two pieces of legislation which threaten the right to a high-quality public education, particularly for minority and vulnerable children.

I congratulated Downey Unified School District leaders on their district's recognition as an exemplar school district by the Partnership for 21st Century Learning.  This CA-40 school district is one of only seven in California to receive this designation, which celebrates the district’s success in implementing 21st century learning practices, training students to excel in the classroom, in the workforce, and in life.


Advocating for the Humane Treatment of Animals:

Meeting an adorable dog at an ASPCA event on Capitol Hill.

I made some new animal friends on the Hill during an American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) event!  I'm honored to fight in Congress for the well-being of animals. That is why I helped lead a letter to the president urging the Department of Agriculture to restore online access to crucial information about animal welfare.  After we wrote our letter, the department began putting the info back online.  I was glad to hear this, and I hope they'll restore all of the info immediately!

Also, I’ve helped to introduce the Federal Accountability in Chemical Testing (FACT) Act to increase transparency about government agencies’ animal tests, so Congress and taxpayers will know if these agencies are meeting their mandate to replace animal tests with more effective and humane test methods. Read my release on the bill.


Standing Up for the Safety of the American People:

At a Capitol press conference, describing how the Trump Administration's actions have made us less safe.

I have been very concerned that the Trump Administration's actions are making the U.S. less safe.  I explained how during a press conference with House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi and other members of our Democratic Caucus.

Later in the month, as ranking member on the Appropriations Subcommittee on Homeland Security, I met with Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly to discuss the security of our nation, immigration enforcement practices, and other issues important to our country and the 40th District.


Protecting and Helping Our Seniors:

As a vice chair of the Congressional Task Force on Seniors, I have been fighting in Congress on behalf of older Americans.  That is why I recently joined my task force colleagues to hear some of America’s seniors talk about how Congress can address their needs.  Those of us on the task force know that seniors won't be silent if anyone attacks the benefits seniors have earned and depend on.  We'll be standing right alongside our seniors, demanding care, not cuts, for them.


Supporting Local Veterans:

Speaking during a meeting of the Elected Officials Council on Veterans.

It was a privilege to join many of my fellow Southern California leaders at Congressman Ted Lieu's meeting of the Elected Officials Council on Veterans.  The council brings together elected leaders from all levels of government who have an interest in serving our region's veterans.  I am excited to work with my colleagues to better leverage and pool our resources to improve delivery of veteran services and reduce veteran homelessness.


Continuing My Efforts to Reduce Underage Drinking:
 
At a forum held by Community Anti-Drug Coalitions of America (CADCA), I joined several congressional colleagues to discuss our shared fight to prevent substance abuse.  CADCA was an invaluable partner in my successful effort to get my STOP Underage Drinking Act reauthorized by Congress last year.  While the STOP Act has been reauthorized for the next five years, we still have much more to do to combat and curb alcohol and drug addiction.  I look forward to continuing to partner with my friends at CADCA in this important work.


Defending Victims of Violence and Abuse:

Sharing my support for the Violence Against Women Act with a group led by East LA Women's Center Exec. Dir. Barbara Kappos (left).

A group led by East LA Women's Center Executive Director Barbara Kappos visited me at my Commerce office to discuss the future of funding for the Violence Against Women Act.  I will fight to preserve VAWA’s funding and protections in this new Congress, and I am glad to know that local institutions like the East LA Women’s Center are standing with me in that fight.


Protecting Our Environment:

It was wonderful to learn that I received a 100% score on the League of Conservation Voters’ 2016 National Environmental Scorecard!  As your voice in the House of Representatives, I have fought to curb climate change; to ensure you have clean air to breathe and clean water to drink; to promote clean energy; and to save endangered species.  I’ll keep up my efforts to protect our environment for today's families, and for future generations who will inherit the planet from us.


If You Visit Washington, DC:

If you are a resident of California's 40th District and planning a trip to Washington, DC, my office may be able to provide you with tickets to tour the Capitol, the White House, and many of the area's other distinguished landmarks.  You can submit your tour requests here.  Please contact my office with at least 8-12 weeks advance notice whenever possible.


Contacting You About the Issues That Matter to You:

If you live or work in the 40th Congressional District and you would like to specify the issues that particularly interest you, please fill out this form.
 

Sincerely,


Washington, DC Office
2083 Rayburn HOB
Washington, DC 20515
Phone: (202) 225-1766
Fax: (202) 226-0350
District Office
500 Citadel Drive, Suite 320
Commerce, CA 90040
Phone: (323) 721-8790
Fax: (323) 721-8789
 

 
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