I'm pleased to share some highlights of my recent work in Congress and our communities. I hope you find them informative. And if you haven't followed me yet on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube, be sure to do so today. See the online version of this newsletter here.
Protecting Our Workers:
Announcing the introduction of my Children's Act for Responsible Employment (CARE) at the U.S. Capitol.
I reintroduced the Children's Act for Responsible Employment (CARE) to protect child farmworkers. These children work at earlier ages, for longer hours, and in more hazardous conditions than other child workers. CARE will finally raise labor standards and protections for child farmworkers to the same level set for children in all other jobs. I thank all the advocates who joined me to announce the CARE Act at the U.S. Capitol, and I also thank actress Laura Dern and Justice for Migrant Women founder Monica Ramirez for writing an opinion column in support of my bill.
It was a privilege to vote to raise the minimum wage to $15, which will put more money in the pockets of tens of millions of hardworking Americans! Our Raise the Wage Act is a landmark victory in our House Majority's fight For The People.
Fighting for the Just Treatment of Immigrants:
Questioning ICE Acting Director Matthew Albence at my DHS Appropriations Subcommittee hearing.
I am doing everything in my power to stop the Trump Administration's horrifically cruel immigration policies. As Homeland Security Appropriations Subcommittee Chairwoman, I led the subcommittee's questioning of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Acting Director Matthew Albence. I told him that we will continue to fiercely oppose brutal and exclusionary immigration policies being pushed by the Trump Administration, while also continuing our work to keep Americans safe. At our subcommittee hearing with Border Patrol Chief Carla Provost, I spoke to her about the mistreatment of migrants in Border Patrol custody, and I questioned her about a deeply offensive Facebook group where Border Patrol agents made racist and sexist comments and joked about migrant deaths.
In addition, I’ve introduced the Help Separated Families Act and the HELP Separated Children Act to keep families together and to support kids torn from their families by Trump’s inhumane immigration policies. I've also introduced the Child Trafficking Victims Protection and Welfare Act to prohibit family separation at the border, to care for trafficking victims, and to help treat all children in Customs and Border Protection (CBP) custody with compassion, dignity, and respect. This bill will also mandate that children have access to basic necessities while they are in CBP custody – necessities like adequate food and drinking water, and a safe and sanitary place to stay. In addition, I wrote to the heads of the Departments of Homeland Security (DHS) and Health and Human Services (HHS) to ask how they are dealing with the threat that infectious diseases pose to migrant kids in their facilities, especially with flu season just a few months away.
I voted against the Senate border supplemental because Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell totally failed to do his job and did not include protections in the bill for the children at our nation’s borders. House Democrats’ border supplemental, which I supported, had strong standards of care for migrant children, and policies to process migrants humanely. McConnell wasn't interested. We must do more than provide funding to help migrant children and families – we must make sure we have rigorous standards in place that protect their health, safety, and dignity.
In July, I spoke out against President Trump's announcement of a supposed nationwide wave of ICE raids, which would have been yet another political stunt to please his anti-immigrant base. My Commerce office stayed open on the Sunday the raids were set to begin, so that my staff could help anyone who was affected by the ICE raids. Fortunately, no widespread national raids occurred that day.
I visited Florida's Homestead shelter for unaccompanied migrant children, and saw firsthand that it was a completely inappropriate place for kids. It was clearly being run more like a prison than like child-appropriate housing. Imagine the damage that this oppressive treatment is doing to the mental and emotional health of these children. At a Labor-HHS-Education Appropriations hearing, I argued that these children deserve much better treatment.
Celebrating Local Businesses:
Congratulating Laura Barajas on the opening of her new 40th District business, Maywood's El Cafecito.
I dropped by Maywood’s El Cafecito to congratulate owner Laura Barajas on her business’s recent grand opening, where she received a Certificate of Congressional Recognition from my office! During my visit, I also enjoyed some delicious cafe de olla and pastries. I'm grateful to our 40th District small businesses for helping to power our economy.
Protecting the Health of Newborns and Mothers:
Speaking in the House during the debate of my Newborn Screening Saves Lives Reauthorization Act.
As a mother, grandmother, and Maternity Care Caucus Co-Chair, I was thrilled that the House passed my Newborn Screening Saves Lives Reauthorization Act. Each year, 12,000 babies test positive for treatable medical disorders, including disorders that could cause disability or even death. My bill will help ensure all babies receive the comprehensive and consistent testing they need to live healthy and productive lives. Watch the speech I gave in the House just before the bill passed.
I was also proud to introduce the bipartisan Midwives for MOMS Act, which will expand educational opportunities for midwives. America’s mothers and babies deserve the best possible care, and midwives are essential to providing them with that excellent care. If we can expand mothers’ access to midwives’ evidence-based, holistic, and woman-centered care, we will improve maternity care outcomes for mothers and babies, and reduce maternity care costs for America’s families and for our state and local governments.
Helping Local Seniors:
Visiting with seniors at the Maywood Senior Center.
My staff and I were glad to speak with seniors at the Maywood Senior Center about how my office can help them with their questions and disputes about Medicare, Social Security, and other federal programs! As congresswoman for our 40th District, and as vice chair of the House Democratic Caucus Task Force on Aging and Families, I’m working day and night to protect our seniors’ benefits and advocate for their needs. I’m also proud to have introduced the Seniors Have Eyes, Ears, and Teeth Act, which would clear the way for seniors on Medicare to get the vision, hearing, and dental care they need! We must do all we can to ensure a healthy and comfortable future for our seniors.
Standing Against the Threats of Guns and Bigotry:
I join Americans nationwide in mourning the victims in Dayton, in El Paso, in Gilroy, and in every American community that has faced the horror of gun violence. Our House Majority has passed sensible, bipartisan gun safety legislation to help end this violence, and I have signed a letter urging Senate Majority Leader McConnell to call the Senate into session immediately to pass these lifesaving bills.
Furthermore, the anti-Latino shooter in El Paso reminds us of the dire threats that white nationalism and white supremacy pose to the safety of communities throughout our nation. As Homeland Security Appropriations Chairwoman – and as the first Latina in that role – I am committed to fighting this bigotry.
And let's be clear: President Trump's words and actions have encouraged and empowered white nationalism and white supremacy. When he demands policies against immigrants and Muslims, when he calls for congressmembers to "go back" where they came from, when he attacks Congressman Cummings and the city of Baltimore, he is demonstrating that he is incapable of leading this country in a way that reflects our American values. I am proud to have voted for the House's bipartisan condemnation of the president's racist tweets, and I will keep speaking out against his hate.
Promoting the Well-Being of Families and Children:
Greeting mothers and families at East LA's Via Care Community Health Center.
In East LA, I celebrated National Health Center Week with a wonderful visit to the fast-growing Via Care Community Health Center. I thanked the staff for their work in the community, and I spoke to patients and their families about their concerns, including the importance of reducing the costs of healthcare and prescription drugs – a key priority of our new House Majority.
I'm also fighting to ensure women, infants, and children in our 40th Congressional District eat well, keep active, and stay healthy. As part of that work, I toured the Huntington Park WIC Center, where I spoke with the center's leaders about its Special Supplemental Nutrition Program services for local families. I also toured a Los Angeles Regional Food Bank summer meal site at Commerce’s Bristow Neighborhood Library. This site helps local children get the food they need in order to grow up healthy and happy. Library staff were giving away free books to the kids who came by – what a wonderful way to help them learn to love summertime reading!
As vice chair of the Labor-HHS-Education Appropriations Subcommittee, I'm thrilled that House Democrats passed a package of four crucial funding bills, including our Labor-HHS-Education bill to end years of underinvestment in programs that help meet America’s health care, education, and workforce needs.
Supporting Our Coast Guard:
Touring Coast Guard facilities with some of my fellow Homeland Security appropriators.
I'm proud to oversee U.S. Coast Guard funding as DHS Appropriations Chairwoman. As part of my assessments of the USCG's missions and needs, I recently visited a range of Coast Guard sites, including Base Ketchikan, Air Station Kodiak, and the cutters Healy and John McCormick. I was briefed on the Coast Guard's Arctic missions, including its efforts to perform emergency rescues and save lives, and was glad to be joined by U.S. Coast Guard Commandant Admiral Karl Schultz.
I've also welcomed a Coast Guard fellow to my DC staff for the next two years! LCDR Anna Hart was previously stationed in Massachusetts, where she commanded a 55-person Deployable Specialized Forces unit. Her expertise and contributions will be invaluable to my office.
Celebrating the Artistic Talent of Our Students:
With Lucille Roybal-Allard Student Art Competition winner Melissa Moreno of Downey and her winning artwork at the U.S. Capitol.
Congratulations to Downey's Melissa Moreno, the 2019 Lucille Roybal-Allard Student Art Competition winner, whose winning entry is now on display at the U.S. Capitol! Melissa's gel pen and gold leaf artwork, titled "Golden Pirouette," will be exhibited at the Capitol for a year alongside other student art from across America. Melissa and her cousin Cecilia Garcia came to Washington, DC for the exhibit's opening.
Supporting an Accurate Census Count:
I am glad the Supreme Court successfully turned back President Trump’s unconstitutional attempt to add a citizenship question to the 2020 Census. The president was eager to silence the voices of vulnerable populations in our communities, and was hoping a Census citizenship question would lead to a dramatic undercount of these populations. While it is very good news that he has abandoned the citizenship question, our House Majority will stay vigilant, and fight any further efforts to sabotage the Census. An accurate and complete Census is essential to ensuring our communities receive the federal funds we need for countless critical programs, including Medicare and Medicaid, school lunches, highway funding, housing assistance, and more. I urge you all to participate in the Census and be counted when the Census begins in March 2020.
Meeting with National and State Officials:
Discussing the Smithsonian's mission with Smithsonian Secretary Lonnie Bunch.
As a new Smithsonian Regent, I enjoyed my conversation with Smithsonian Secretary Lonnie Bunch! We discussed ways to make the Smithsonian more accessible to ALL families across the country, and to share the many educational resources the Smithsonian has to offer.
It was also a pleasure to meet with State Senator Lena A. Gonzalez, who represents California's 33rd Senate District. I look forward to working together in the fight to strengthen our Southeast communities.
Announcements and Notices:
Citizenship and Immigration Workshop:
SAVE THE DATE: My district office will hold a citizenship and immigration workshop on October 5th in East Los Angeles. Contact my district office at (323) 721-8790 for more information.
Taller de Ciudadanía e Inmigración:
GUARDE LA FECHA: La oficina de mi distrito tendrá un taller de ciudadanía e inmigración el 5 de octubre en el Este de Los Ángeles. Comuníquese con la oficina de mi distrito al (323) 721-8790 para obtener más información.
Help with Federal Agencies:
If you need assistance with a federal agency, you can speak to a caseworker from my office on the second Tuesday of every month, from 10 AM to 12 PM, at Barbara J. Riley Community & Senior Center at 7810 Quill Drive in Downey. You can also call my district office at (323) 721-8790 between 9 AM and 5 PM Monday through Friday, or visit my office during the same hours at 500 Citadel Drive, Suite 320, in Commerce's Citadel Outlets.
Ayuda con Agencias Federales:
Si necesita ayuda con una agencia federal, puede hablar con una trabajadora de casos de mi oficina el segundo martes de cada mes, de 10 AM a 12 PM, en Barbara J. Riley Community & Senior Center en 7810 Quill Drive en Downey. También puede llamar a mi oficina en el distrito al (323) 721-8790 de 9 AM a 5 AM, de lunes a viernes, o visitar mi oficina localizada en 500 Citadel Drive, Suite 320, en los Citadel Outlets de Commerce durante las mismas horas.
Rights Under the U.S. Constitution for Our Immigrant Families and Neighbors:
Make sure you know your rights under the law! Watch this video and read this card to be prepared if you are approached by an ICE agent or other official.
Derechos Bajo la Constitución de los Estados Unidos Para Nuestras Familias y Vecinos Inmigrantes:
¡Preparese y conozca sus derechos bajo la ley! Vea este video y lea esta tarjeta para estar preparado por si se le acerca un agente de ICE u otro funcionario.
Blood Testing and Soil Sampling 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 live within 1.7 miles of Exide, you can also sign up for soil testing. For more information, visit dtsc.ca.gov/residential-cleanup or call (844) 225-3887. Please also feel free to share this general information Exide flyer in English and in Spanish with any friends and family living in the affected area.
Read My Student Resource Guide:
If you are a high school or college student, or the parent of a student, and are looking for help to pay for college, I encourage you to read the current edition of my annual Student Resource Guide. The guide includes information about scholarships, internships, fellowships, and websites to help you meet your college expenses. Please feel free to circulate it!
If You Visit Washington, DC:
If you are a resident of California's 40th District and planning a trip to Washington, DC, I can provide information on many of the area's 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.
|Washington, DC Office
2083 Rayburn HOB
Washington, DC 20515
Phone: (202) 225-1766
Fax: (202) 226-0350
500 Citadel Drive, Suite 320
Commerce, CA 90040
Phone: (323) 721-8790
Fax: (323) 721-8789