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 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:

Greeting David and Suonghong Lobato of Downey on their recent visit to my Capitol Hill 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.


Leading the Fight to Protect Our Dreamers:

Announcing the introduction of the Dream and Promise Act at the U.S. Capitol.

As a co-author of the original Dream Act, I was proud to co-lead the introduction of the Dream and Promise Act (HR 6), which will protect and create a path to citizenship for Dreamers, as well as recipients of Temporary Protected Status (TPS) and Deferred Enforced Departure (DED), so they can stay in America and keep strengthening our great country.  I look forward to fighting for the passage of the Dream and Promise Act, and making it the law of the land.


Supporting Our Communities:

Addressing youth from the LA Conservation Corps during a community cleanup at South LA’s Pueblo del Rio housing development.

I met with members of the community at events across the 40th District.  At South LA’s Pueblo del Rio housing development, I took part in a community cleanup with residents and fellow volunteers.  In Huntington Park, I visited Parroquia Sagrada Familia and learned about its Sixth Station program to help the homeless.  I also attended a friendship mixer at East LA’s Designated Exceptional Services for Independence (D.E.S.I.), which helps empower people with developmental disabilities, and while there I accepted D.E.S.I.’s Friend of the Year award for my work to improve healthcare access.


Building a Government That Works for Every American:

Joining with my fellow House Democrats for our introduction of HR 1, the For the People Act.

Republicans have spent years attacking voting rights, rewarding wealthy donors and special interests, and leaving working families behind.  That is why I have proudly voted for HR 1, the For the People Act, which will restore Americans' voting rights, clean up corruption, get dark money out of politics, and end partisan redistricting.


My New Role in Defending Our Homeland:

My nameplate and gavel as chairwoman of the Homeland Security Appropriations Subcommittee.

I am privileged to serve as the new chairwoman of the Homeland Security Appropriations Subcommittee, and to be the first Latina ever to chair a House Appropriations Subcommittee.  In our subcommittee's early hearings, I have led discussions with the leaders of the Department of Homeland Security's Office of Inspector General, the Federal Emergency Management Agency, and the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency.

This is a pivotal moment for DHS: It faces urgent funding demands on many fronts, and the Trump Administration too often demands cruel, ineffective, and wasteful homeland security policies that simply do not help keep America safe.  I will fight to ensure DHS has the resources it needs to protect our country, and respects the dignity and humanity of every man, woman, and child.


Supporting and Protecting Our Workers:

Accepting a hummingbird pin from Sumedha Kailash, the wife of Nobel Peace Prize winner Kailash Satyarthi; they gave me this pin as a reminder that someone’s full effort, no matter how big or small, can make a difference.

It was exciting to meet with Nobel Peace Prize winner Kailash Satyarthi and his wife Sumedha Kailash to discuss my Children’s Act for Responsible Employment (CARE), which I'll be reintroducing soon to ensure adequate protections for children working in American agriculture.

I recently co-wrote a letter to the Labor Department's Inspector General urging him to review how the department decided to let 16- and 17-year-old hospital and nursing home workers operate power-driven patient lifts.  I am glad to hear he is reviewing the department's rulemaking process.

I am cosponsoring bills to promote better wages for our workers, including the Raise the Wage Act, which will raise the federal minimum wage to $15 by 2024.  And at a time when women still make just 80 cents for each $1 white men make – a wage gap that is even starker for Black and Latina women – I'm proud to be an original cosponsor of the Paycheck Fairness Act and to fight for equal pay for equal work.


Opposing the President's Irresponsible Spending Policies:

Joining Speaker Pelosi as she signed the bill to end the 35-day Trump Shutdown of our government.

During the president's 35-day shutdown of our government, I helped lead the House's passage of legislation to reopen the Department of Homeland Security and ensure DHS workers get their back pay.  The Trump Shutdown was a tragic and totally unnecessary assault on America and our federal workers – all because the president wanted more than $5 billion for his unneeded and ineffective border wall.

After the shutdown, I was a member of the conference committee that produced the bill to fund DHS and keep the government open.  We didn't win every battle in this compromise bill, but we made our immigration system more humane and we promoted many smart, effective border security priorities.

However, when we didn't give the president the money he wanted to build his ineffective and wasteful border wall, he declared a fake and unconstitutional emergency in hopes of getting that funding.  I swore an oath to defend our Constitution, and that is why I voted for our bipartisan resolution to terminate the president's emergency declaration and to stop him from diverting crucial funds from military projects in California and beyond.  Now that the president has vetoed our resolution, I look forward to voting to override his veto.


Standing Up for Our Youth and Our Schools:

Learning about robotics from students at Lucille Roybal-Allard Elementary School in Huntington Park.

I had a wonderful visit with students, parents, and staff at Huntington Park’s Lucille Roybal-Allard Elementary School.  I always love learning from our young people, and sharing with them some of my experiences as their congresswoman!

I helped lead the fight to secure the funding for the just-released groundbreaking report on child poverty from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine.  The report gives us new insight into the causes and consequences of child poverty, and lays out a path our government can follow as we work to cut child poverty in half in the coming decade.

At Bell Gardens' Garfield Elementary School, I helped teach children about emergency preparedness in an American Red Cross Pillowcase Project presentation.  The children learned about personal and family preparedness, local hazards, and basic coping skills.

I had informative meetings with many education leaders, including University of California President Janet Napolitano and members of the LA Unified Board of Education.  I appreciated our wide-ranging discussion about how to meet the needs of our students and schools.


Promoting the Health and Welfare of All Americans:

Giving a speech in the House introducing my Seniors Have Eyes, Ears and Teeth Act.

As the new Congress gets underway, I have reintroduced my Seniors Have Eyes, Ears and Teeth Act, which will allow Medicare to cover vision, hearing, and dental care for seniors.  Closing these gaps in Medicare coverage will help our seniors enjoy health and happiness in their golden years.

I have also reintroduced my Security and Financial Empowerment (SAFE) Act, which empowers survivors of domestic violence, sexual assault, and stalking by giving them the economic tools they need in order to escape their abuse.  I am also cosponsoring legislation to reauthorize the Violence Against Women Act so it can continue its vital work to end domestic violence and sexual assault in America, and to help and protect survivors.

I am proud to serve as the new vice chair of the Labor-HHS-Education Appropriations Subcommittee.  In the subcommittee's recent hearings, I have discussed topics including effective and humane alternatives to the Trump Administration’s family detention and separation policies, and gaps in firearm research.

As founding co-chair of the Congressional Caucus on Maternity Care, I was glad to speak with the Association of Maternal & Child Health Programs (AMCHP) about my efforts to ensure every mother and child has maternity care that is evidence-based, high-quality, and cost-effective.  Read my interview here.

I had a great meeting to learn about the latest accomplishments of Adventist Health White Memorial’s Center for Hispanic Health, which is prioritizing health equity for underserved communities and providing culturally competent evidence-based care to the Latino community.

Our House Majority is working to address the terrible consequences of gun violence in our communities.  As part of this effort, I recently voted for HR 8, our majority's commonsense bipartisan bill to expand background checks for gun sales and transfers.


Celebrating Local Businesses:

Touring the rPlanet Earth plastic-recycling facility in Vernon.

I'm always glad to visit some of the amazing businesses that help power our 40th District’s economy, and to exchange views with local entrepreneurs on the issues of the day.  I recently toured Vernon’s rPlanet Earth, a groundbreaking plastic-recycling facility.  In Huntington Park, I stopped in at La Monarca Bakery and Cruzita's Deli and Cafe.  I also joined local businesspeople at Stevens Steak and Seafood House Restaurant for the Commerce Industrial Council Chamber of Commerce Installation Gala.  I will keep fighting in Congress for policies to strengthen our small business climate throughout our 40th District.


Building a Smithsonian for the Next Generation and Beyond:

I am excited that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has appointed me to serve as a member of the Smithsonian Institution’s Board of Regents.  It will be an honor to help the Smithsonian continue its historical, cultural, and scientific missions – and pursue new ones, including the long-awaited development of the National Museum of the American Latino.


Fighting for Change in a New Congress:

Being sworn into the 116th Congress by Speaker Pelosi.

On January 3rd, I was honored to be sworn in for a new term representing California's 40th Congressional District, as part of a new House Democratic Majority that will work For The People.  As your congresswoman, I'll keep fighting to create jobs and increase paychecks; lower the cost of health care and prescription drugs; make a good higher education accessible for everyone; enact comprehensive and humane immigration reform; and clean our communities' air, land, and water.


Championing LGBTQ Rights:

To our LGBTQ community: It is a privilege to fight in Congress for your rights and dignity.  I'm honored to serve in the Congressional LGBT Equality Caucus, and recently received a 100% score from Equality California for my support of pro-equality legislation.  With 30 states still putting LGBTQ individuals at risk of being fired, evicted, or denied services, I am also cosponsoring HR 5, the Equality Act, to guarantee federal protections for America's LGBTQ community under our civil rights laws.


Advocating for the Humane Treatment of Animals:

As an animal lover, I was excited to introduce my HEARTS Act to prioritize the use of non-animal testing methods in the National Institutes of Health (NIH) review system.  These non-animal testing methods are more humane, and often more accurate and less costly, than increasingly outdated and wasteful inhumane animal research methods.


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.


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.


Financial Aid for Students:

CALIFORNIA STUDENTS: Need financial aid for 2019-20?  Fill out the federal FAFSA form at fafsa.ed.gov.  Don’t wait, apply TODAY!


Ayuda Financiera para Estudiantes:

ESTUDIANTES DE CALIFORNIA: ¿Necesitan ayuda financiera para el año escolar 2019-20?  Completen el formulario federal FAFSA en studentaid.ed.gov/sa/es/fafsa.  No esperen, ¡apliquen HOY!


Rights Under the U.S. Constitution for Our Immigrant Families and Neighbors:

Read this information about immigrants’ rights under the law.


Derechos Bajo la Constitución de los Estados Unidos Para Nuestras Familias y Vecinos Inmigrantes:

Lea esta información sobre los derechos de los inmigrantes bajo la ley.


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 exidecleanup.org 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.


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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