Dear Friend,

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 TwitterFacebookInstagram, and YouTube, be sure to do so today.  See the online version of this newsletter here.


Read the New Edition of My Student Resource Guide:

If you are a high school or college student looking for help to pay for college, I encourage you to read the 2019-2020 edition of my 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!


Promoting Higher Education Opportunities for Our Children:

Speaking to students and parents during my annual Service Academies Workshop at Downey City Hall.

Thanks to all who took part in my annual Service Academies Workshop at Downey City Hall!  I was glad to welcome students and parents for this terrific informational session on how to apply to America’s service academies.  Special thanks to two Downey academy attendees, West Point 1st Class Cadet Viviana Gonzalez and Annapolis 3rd Class Midshipman Katerina Kennedy, and their parents, for sharing their insights about the application process and academy life.  Thanks also to the academy representatives who provided invaluable information of their own about the academies.

It is my privilege to nominate young 40th District residents to attend our U.S. service academies.  If you are a high school senior living in the 40th District and are interested in applying for a nomination from me, please visit my Service Academy Nominations page to learn how to secure a nomination.  You can also read this Downey Patriot article, where I share more information about the application process.  Applications for an academy nomination are due to my office by October 30, 2019.  

I also visited the Commerce to College Fair, where local students and parents explored higher education opportunities and attended workshops on the college application and financial aid process.  As your congresswoman, and as vice chair of the House Labor-HHS-Education Appropriations Subcommittee, I’m fighting to help our local students get the great education they need in order to excel in the 21st century economy.  That is why I recently helped lead the successful effort in Congress to restore year-round Pell Grant funding, which helps grant recipients finish their degrees faster and at a lower cost.


Fighting for the Just Treatment of Immigrants and Refugees:

With attorneys and others who volunteered their time to answer residents’ immigration questions at my Citizenship and Immigration Workshop in East LA.

I recently held a Citizenship and Immigration Workshop in East LA, at the Social Justice Leadership Academy at Esteban Torres High School.  Attendees were able to receive assistance with citizenship and fee waiver applications, “Know Your Rights” information was offered, and attorneys were available to answer immigration questions.  All services were offered free of charge, in both English and Spanish.  Thanks to all those who helped make this event possible.

As DHS Appropriations Subcommittee Chairwoman, I have continued my conversations with leaders and advocates in and around our district about the humanitarian crisis at our southern border, and the critical importance of protecting the rights and dignity of all migrants and refugees who come to America.  My thanks to Los Angeles Archbishop José H. Gomez, CHIRLA, CARECEN, L.A. Voice, CLUE: Clergy and Laity United for Economic Justice, and many others for sharing their views with me on these vital issues.

In a letter to Acting DHS Sec. Kevin McAleenanI expressed my strong opposition to the Trump Administration's effort to transfer and reprogram urgently needed DHS funds so that it can pay for more ICE detention beds and for hearing facilities to support its inhumane Migrant Protection Protocols program.  In an appropriations hearing, I questioned Health and Human Services (HHS) officials about the hundreds of migrant children in HHS care who are being put on psychotropic drugs by our government, with no possibility of parental consent.

More broadly, I've continued to speak out against the Trump Administration's proposals of senseless, cruel, and inhumane immigration policies, including announcing a "public charge" rule that forces families to choose between putting food on the table and staying with their loved ones; trying to gut the Flores settlement in an effort to detain migrant families indefinitely; denying visas to people who can't afford health insurance; slashing America's yearly cap on refugees; failing to provide enough feminine care products to young menstruating immigrant girls in detention; and taking money away from the care and education of children of servicemembers to build the president's costly and ineffective vanity wall at the border.

I joined House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and other House colleagues on a bipartisan delegation to Central America’s "Northern Triangle."  Most migrants who leave this region to come to the U.S. are escaping gangs, poverty, and lack of economic opportunities in their home countries.  During our delegation, I was pleased to meet with civil, humanitarian, and business leaders in these nations to discuss how migration from the Northern Triangle can be reduced by making the region safer, more stable, and more prosperous.  It is clear that U.S. assistance to these countries will be essential to that effort.  Our delegation also traveled to McAllen, Texas, where we visited the local Customs and Border Protection station to review its use of funds directed to improve conditions for migrants. We also met with migrants about their journey to our country and the conditions they have faced.

I gave a House speech in strong support of the U.S. Border Patrol Medical Screening Standards Act, which will help ensure migrants get appropriate medical care while in U.S. federal custody.  The smart, simple steps in this bill can save the lives of innocent migrants in America's care.


Supporting an Impeachment Inquiry Into President Trump:

President Trump's blatant pressuring of foreign powers to investigate one of his political opponents has reaffirmed my support for an impeachment inquiry, and I will continue to support the work of the six House committees investigating the president’s behavior. ‬ Seeking foreign help for personal political gain is unethical, unconstitutional, unpatriotic, and impeachable, regardless of whether it is done on a conference call, behind closed doors, or on national TV.


Celebrating Our Communities, Workers, and Businesses:

Checking out a fire truck at Bellflower's Los Angeles County Fire Museum.

Our 40th District is blessed with so many incredible small businesses.  I'm honored to represent them in Congress, and to visit them whenever I can.  Recently, I toured Bellflower's Los Angeles County Fire Museum, for which I was proud to secure early congressional support with an appropriations earmark grant in fiscal year 2009.  I also enjoyed my visit to the Assistance League of Downey’s Second Tyme Around Thrift Shoppe, where I helped put up some fun autumn and Halloween decorations and costumes.  I've visited a number of restaurants around our district, including Downey's Tacos Don Chente, Mambo Grill, and Pita GR, and Commerce's Fish O Licious.  Small businesses are essential to the growth and success of our CA-40 communities, and I thank them for all they do to keep us going every day!

I hosted a deeply informative roundtable discussion in Commerce with labor unions from throughout the LA region.  I appreciated our thoughtful exchange about the importance of the union movement, and the challenges it faces.  We must ensure unions can keep advancing workers’ rights in the 40th District and beyond in the years to come!  As vice chair of the Labor-HHS-Education Appropriations Subcommittee, and as a dedicated ally of America’s labor unions and their members, I am committed to protecting and strengthening our unions and the working families they serve.

It was humbling to receive the Felicitas & Gonzalo Mendez Award at InnerCity Struggle’s Adelante Awards. I salute InnerCity Struggle for all it has done to inspire local students to leadership, and to empower parents and whole communities to fight for social justice and opportunity.


Meeting with Community Members and Local Leaders:

At a meeting with Huntington Park community leaders to discuss my work in Congress and listen to their views.

I've had many wonderful meetings with constituents throughout the 40th District, including with Huntington Park community leaders from the Friends of the Huntington Park Library, the GFWC Women's Club Of Huntington Park, and the American Cancer Society’s Southeast Cities Relay for Life; members of Mujeres Unidas Sirviendo Activamente and citizenship class students in Paramount; attendees at the Bellflower Chamber of Commerce’s Monthly Morning Mingle; Eastmont Community Center members in East LA; and Courage Forward veterans in Downey.  I've been pleased to give updates about my work as our district's voice in Washington; we've also discussed many other important issues, ranging from the new public charge rule to the importance of ensuring our communities are counted in the 2020 Census.  The views I hear from residents at meetings like these are essential to informing my work representing you in Congress, and I thank all of you who have shared your perspectives with me.

At my Commerce office, I met with Cudahy Mayor Jose Gonzalez to discuss the city’s economic development plan, as well as its efforts to advance educational opportunities for young people, increase home ownership, and bring more union jobs to the city.  I look forward to working together to keep expanding opportunities for the people of Cudahy and all our Southeast communities.

In addition, I met with Mexico’s General Consul for Los Angeles, Marcela Celorio.  I'm so pleased to work with our Mexican neighbors on matters of mutual concern, including the migration crisis at the U.S.-Mexico border.  As the first Mexican-American congresswoman, serving a district that is home to many proud Mexican-American families, I will keep working with Mexico’s LA Consulate to foster the deep and longstanding ties between the United States and Mexico.

I have also appreciated meeting with many other organizations, including the Neighborhood Housing Services of Los Angeles County about its efforts to help more 40th District residents become homeowners; Citizens’ Climate Lobby members from Downey about our shared commitment to fighting the existential threat of climate change and my support for the Energy Innovation and Carbon Dividend Act; the American Jewish Committee Los Angeles about working together to promote anti-discriminatory policies; the Armenian National Committee of America, Western Region, about my support of H.Res. 296, which affirms the U.S. commitment to remembering the Armenian genocide; and UNICEF about their amazing work on behalf of children in America and around the world.


Fighting to Reduce Poverty and Hunger:

Getting briefed on the operations of the Downey Council PTA H.E.L.P.S. Program's emergency food pantry.

I visited the Downey Council PTA H.E.L.P.S. Program, which provides temporary emergency food to Downey residents and families of Downey Unified School District students.  Cheryl Juarez, Dorothy Pemberton, and Kim Sodetani briefed me on the pantry’s operations, and I thanked them for all that they and their program are doing to help fight hunger in our communities.

I spoke out against President Trump's proposed cuts to SNAP benefits, which would cut off food aid for 3.6 million Americans.  Those cuts aren't just morally wrong, they're unlawful: the president doesn't have authority to make these categorical changes, and he's directly contradicting the congressional intent of the Farm Bill.

I joined the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) in Downey for a discussion of the ongoing fight against child poverty.  I secured appropriations funding for NAS’s new “Roadmap to Reducing Child Poverty” study, whose findings NAS shared with local leaders at the event.  I was thankful that so many people from in and around the 40th District were on hand to hear how we can work together to meet the goal of cutting child poverty in half in the next ten years.


Supporting Emergency Preparedness in Our Communities:

Leading my emergency preparedness meeting in Commerce with first responders, 40th District emergency coordinators, and state and federal leaders.

At Commerce’s Lucille Roybal-Allard Emergency Operations Center, I hosted an emergency preparedness meeting with first responders and 40th District emergency coordinators, along with Mark Ghilarducci, Director of the California Governor’s Office of Emergency Services, and Robert J. Fenton, Jr., Region IX Administrator for the Federal Emergency Management Agency.  Later that day, I visited the LA County Emergency Operations Center with Director Ghilarducci and Administrator Fenton, where we were briefed on the center's work, as well as on the emergency management programs of LA County and the cities of LA and Downey.  The day's discussions brought together local, state, and federal leaders to discuss emergency preparedness for our communities in the event of natural disasters.  As DHS Appropriations Subcommittee Chairwoman, I’m fighting to ensure that communities in our 40th District and across America are ready to meet a range of threats.

On a visit to All Peoples Community Center in South LA, I joined representatives from the American Red Cross to teach children about emergency preparedness.  The presentation was part of the Red Cross’s Pillowcase Project education program, in which children learn about personal and family preparedness, local hazards, and basic coping skills.  I also met at my Commerce office with leaders from the American Red Cross LA Region about the importance of having emergency preparedness plans for our 40th District communities.  Thanks to CEO Jarrett Barrios and Chief Strategy & External Relations Officer Norma Vega for an excellent discussion of this critical issue.

I visited Downey's Emergency Preparedness Fair, where I met with Downey emergency officials.  Fairs like these are excellent reminders to all of us to make sure we have a plan in place to stay safe in the event of disaster.  Visit ready.gov/plan to make a plan for you and your family today.


Promoting the Well-Being of All Americans:

Touring the National Institutes of Health with colleagues from the Labor-HHS-Education Appropriations Subcommittee.

As Labor-HHS-Education Appropriations Subcommittee Vice Chair, I enjoyed my visit to the National Institutes of Health (NIH) alongside my subcommittee colleagues.  NIH Director Francis Collins and his team showed us some of their agency's innovative efforts to treat cancer, sickle cell disease, depression, and neurofibromatosis.  Later, at our subcommittee's hearing with Director Collins, I urged him to name a highly qualified nurse scientist to run the National Institute of Nursing Research, so we can ensure this institute produces the best research possible.

I continue to fight vigorously against the Trump Administration's assaults on the Affordable Care Act and other crucial, lifesaving elements of our health care system.  Sadly, the administration's sabotage has already caused the number of uninsured Americans to rise by 1.9 million.  Now, the president is wreaking further healthcare havoc by suing to end preexisting condition protections.  I will continue to do all I can to stop him.

At another Labor-HHS-Education Appropriations Subcommittee hearing, I questioned NIH National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences Director Christopher Austin about his organization's research on new diagnoses and treatments to help newborns with rare diseases.  As the proud author of the Newborn Screening Saves Lives laws, which support state efforts to detect and treat diseases in newborns that otherwise could result in lifelong disability, I am very excited about the center's research to protect our newborns.

It was a joy to be at Southern California Resource Services for Independent Living's 40th anniversary dinner in Downey to salute its tireless support and advocacy for local residents with disabilities.  I presented the organization with a Certificate of Congressional Recognition to commemorate its 40-year history.  I was also surprised and humbled to receive an award from SCRS-IL in recognition of our work together over the years, including my success in securing a congressional appropriations earmark that it used for its computer lab.

The work of the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) is essential to improving American health outcomes and reducing healthcare costs. I’m glad to fight for AHRQ funding as a Labor-HHS-Education appropriator, and was honored to receive a Health Services Research Champion award from AcademyHealth for my AHRQ funding efforts.

As Public Health Caucus Co-Chair/Co-Founder, I was glad to see the success of the Capitol Hill Public Health Fair, our caucus's premier annual event.  I tested a virtual reality program on traffic safety, and stopped by the Association of Maternal and Child Health Programs booth as well.


Celebrating America’s Latinos:

With my fellow Congressional Hispanic Caucus members outside the U.S. Capitol.

I wish you a happy Hispanic Heritage Month!  Our Latino community is diverse, dynamic, talented, and hardworking.  They are central to America's history and essential to America's greatness.  As we fight to build an America that works for all our residents, including Latinos, I want every American, regardless of their race or ethnicity, to have access to a good job, a fair wage, a first-class education, and affordable health care.  As DHS Appropriations Chairwoman, I'm fighting to fix our broken immigration system and ensure every migrant is treated humanely.  I've also led the House's passage of my Dream and Promise Act to protect our nation's Dreamers; now the Senate needs to join us and pass my bill.


Advocating for the Humane Treatment of Animals:

I have written a letter to NIH Director Collins urging him to publicly count and reduce the number of animals NIH uses in biomedical research, so we can monitor NIH's progress.  I strongly support reducing animal testing, so that we can spare animals from suffering and improve the accuracy of research.


Supporting an Accurate Census Count:


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.


Thanking some of California's U.S. Army personnel for their service.


Announcements and Notices:

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.


If You Visit Washington, DC:

Greeting Downey’s Frank Hurtado, joined by his mother Martha Leticia Hurtado and his son Franco Azul Hurtado, on their visit to my Washington, DC office.

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.


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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