|See the online version of this newsletter.
I would like to share with you some highlights of my work during the summer so far. I hope you find them informative. You can also follow me on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, 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.)
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.
|Fighting for the Just Treatment of Immigrants and Refugees:
Helping to introduce the American Hope Act at a Capitol press conference.
The young US-raised immigrants known as DREAMers are American in every way except for their immigration status. I was proud to stand up for them by joining with Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen to introduce the bipartisan DREAM Act of 2017! Our bill helps DREAMers to earn lawful permanent residence, and eventually American citizenship, if they meet certain criteria. In addition, I helped introduce the American Hope Act, which creates a path to permanent legal status and eventual citizenship for those covered under Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) and certain others who also arrived in the U.S. as children.
I joined staff and volunteers at a Paramount citizenship workshop held by COFEM in cooperation with my office. I also held a successful "Know Your Rights" workshop at Bell Gardens' Cesar Chavez Elementary. As your congresswoman, I am proud to educate constituents about their rights, to help constituents with open immigration cases, and to work in Congress to protect our immigrant communities. During Immigrant Heritage Month in June, I recorded a video honoring America’s rich history as a nation of immigrants.
I opposed two punitive, anti-immigrant bills that passed the House: H.R. 3003, the so-called “No Sanctuary for Criminals Act,” and H.R. 3004, the so-called “Kate’s Law.” These cruel and unnecessary bills help to convert Donald Trump's harsh immigration rhetoric into policy that threatens the safety of our country and our communities.
It was deeply disappointing, but not surprising, that the Trump Administration rescinded expanded DACA and Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents (DAPA). It is increasingly clear the administration has no interest in finding a way to keep immigrant families together. We need immigration laws and policies that protect our nation’s borders and at the same time honor our moral values and acknowledge the important contributions of immigrants to our country.
Advocating for the Well-Being of American Workers and Families:
Introducing an amendment to restore immunization and lead poisoning prevention funding in the FY18 Labor-HHS-Education Appropriations Bill.
As a member of the Labor-HHS-Education Appropriations Subcommittee, I voted against the FY18 Labor-HHS-Education funding bill, which underfunds vital programs that Americans need to ensure good educations, good jobs, and good health. During the bill's markup, I was disappointed that the committee majority opposed several of my amendments to protect Americans' well-being. These included amendments to:
• Restore funding to the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ), which produces the evidence, tools, and training needed to change what’s wrong and share what’s right in day-to-day health care delivery.
• Restore funding for the education of a more diverse group of healthcare professionals.
• Restore funding for our nation’s immunization infrastructure, and the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) Childhood Lead Poisoning Prevention Program.
• Ensure that sexual violence investigations on campuses will be fair, impartial, and equitable.
I have also reintroduced the Children’s Act for Responsible Employment (or CARE Act) to provide crucial protections for kids working in US agriculture. Agriculture is the only industry in which children as young as 12 are allowed to labor with virtually no restrictions on the number of hours they work outside of the school day. All of America’s children deserve to be protected equally under our laws, and no child should be discriminated against based on the work they do.
Read 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 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!
Keeping Our Country Safe:
Leading the House effort to keep border wall funding out of the so-called security “minibus” spending bill.
I was outraged at the GOP's addition of $1.6 billion of unnecessary and unwarranted border wall funding to a so-called security “minibus” spending bill, an effort that takes funds away from our nation’s real security vulnerabilities. It is unconscionable to tie frivolous wall funding to this minibus bill that helps protect our country and support our servicemembers. I was proud to lead the House effort to strip this border wall funding from the bill. Unfortunately, the bill ultimately passed the House with the wall funding included.
As Ranking Democrat on the Homeland Security Appropriations Subcommittee, I could not in good conscience support the FY18 DHS Appropriations Bill during its consideration in committee. The bill wastes money on an unneeded border wall and overspends on civil immigration enforcement. It tears apart immigrant families and traumatizes immigrant communities at the expense of dangerous criminal and terrorist threats. We should be investing our limited resources to address the real threats posed by dangerous criminal immigrants and those who seek to do our country harm. I hope to keep working with my Republican colleagues to develop a final appropriations bill both sides can support.
During consideration of the DHS Appropriations bill, I introduced amendments to make clear to the Secretary of Homeland Security that he has the authority to continue the DACA program, and to move some of the bill's border wall funding to fund Coast Guard polar icebreakers to help protect our sovereign Arctic interests from Russia. Sadly, the Republican majority opposed my amendments.
Advocating for a Los Angeles Olympics and Paralympics:
I am thrilled Los Angeles is on track to host the 2028 Summer Olympics and Paralympics! LA 2028 will reconfirm Los Angeles’s status as one of the world’s premier cities, and give us an eleven-year platform to showcase all the reasons why LA is a wonderful place to live, work, and play. I look forward to continuing my work alongside public officials, business leaders, advocates, and athletes to make LA’s 2028 Summer Games the most successful in Olympic and Paralympic history.
Celebrating and Standing Up for Our Youth:
Addressing a kindergarten culmination ceremony at Huntington Park's Lucille Roybal-Allard Elementary.
As the school year ended, I congratulated 40th District students and parents during June visits to schools including Fremont High, Dr. Maya Angelou Community High, Ánimo Jefferson Charter Middle, Ánimo Ralph Bunche Charter High, and my namesake school, Lucille Roybal-Allard Elementary! I hope students, parents, teachers, and staff throughout the district enjoyed a rewarding school year.
I welcomed Paramount's Rebeka Martinez, the winner of this year's Lucille Roybal-Allard Student Art Competition, to the US Capitol for the opening of the student art exhibit featuring her winning artwork! Rebeka's graphite, charcoal, and acrylic piece, titled "Light That Never Goes Out," is now on display in the Capitol, where it will hang for one year alongside student art from across the country.
No child should grow up in poverty, no matter where they live, where they've come from, or who they are. For that reason, I was proud to help introduce the Child Poverty Reduction Act, which will help us pinpoint and push for evidence-based policies to prevent future generations of American youth from having to face the wrenching hunger, fear, and despair of poverty.
A strong early childhood education system is critically important to our children's long-term success. That is why I was so pleased to join the LA County Office of Education for the opening of their new Head Start facility in Downey! The site will expand services to more than 100 infants and toddlers, under the operation of Plaza de la Raza Child Development Services.
It was great to visit the East LA Rising youth club, where visiting representatives of England’s Manchester City Football Club were conducting a three-day youth leadership training for local kids! This year’s training project, “Healthy Habits for Life,” uses soccer to help teach kids about the importance of healthy decision making.
Fighting to Protect Our Environment:
I was concerned by funding cuts in the FY18 Interior Appropriations bill, especially a $528 million cut to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). That cut will hurt the EPA's ability to deal with environmental crises like the contamination in neighborhoods surrounding the Exide plant in our 40th District. It makes no sense for the majority to make it harder for our government to deal with environmental dangers.
Promoting an America That Is Fair for All:
Joining Leader Pelosi and other congressional colleagues to support the Voting Rights Advancement Act.
The right to vote is absolutely fundamental to our democracy. Four years after the Supreme Court gutted the Voting Rights Act of 1965 in Shelby County vs. Holder, I am proud to cosponsor the Voting Rights Advancement Act to restore the Voting Rights Act's full protections.
The House considered a bill, which my colleagues and I call the Wrong Choice Act, to roll back crucial Dodd-Frank reforms to our financial system. I voted against the Wrong Choice Act, which gives a handout to predatory Wall Street lenders while putting working families at greater financial risk. I will continue to stand up for consumers and reject any efforts to reinstate the risky and irresponsible policies that produced the financial crisis.
Advocating for the Humane Treatment of Animals:
Horse slaughter is inherently, undeniably cruel. This year, we mark ten years since the last US horse slaughterhouse was closed. I was proud to introduce an amendment in the Appropriations Committee to prevent the return of commercial horse slaughter facilities in the US. Unfortunately, the committee majority opposed my amendment. I will keep fighting to protect our nation’s magnificent horses!
Meanwhile, I was very pleased that several FY18 Appropriations bills include language I wrote to protect animals. My language encourages greater transparency about the welfare of dogs and other animals in VA research facilities; prohibits the Agriculture Department from licensing Class B animal dealers who sell “random source” dogs and cats for use in research; and directs the National Institutes of Health to come up with a plan to retire its lab chimps within five years.
Working with Local and International Leaders:
Swearing in LA City Councilman Curren D. Price, Jr. during his community swearing-in ceremony.
I was delighted to officiate the community swearing-in ceremony for LA City Councilman Curren D. Price, Jr.! In his four years on the Council, Curren has shown his commitment to improving the quality of life and business climate in the Ninth Council District. As he begins a new term, I look forward to working with him on behalf of our shared communities!
As a member of the Congressional Caucus on Armenian Issues, I was pleased to meet with Armenia's Ambassador to the US, His Excellency Mr. Grigor Hovhannissian. We discussed issues of importance to our two countries.
Supporting Local Transit Needs:
I spoke in support of an Appropriations amendment to fund the New Starts program, which is helping Los Angeles Metro strengthen our transit system! New Starts matches federal funds with local funds to build solid pieces of infrastructure that will reliably serve the American public for decades to come. I am very disappointed that a majority of my colleagues did not support this crucial amendment.
It was a pleasure to meet with Andre Colaiace, the Interim Executive Director of LA County's Access Services. We discussed the great work Access does to ensure transit mobility for our family members and neighbors with physical challenges.
Defending America's Tradition of Diversity:
Speaking with CNN's Ana Cabrera at The Hill Latina Leaders Summit.
At The Hill Latina Leaders Summit in DC, I had a wonderful discussion about issues important to Latinas with CNN’s Ana Cabrera. I hope the bright and involved Latinas who listened to our conversation will strive throughout their lives to make the world a better place.
I was overjoyed to record a video celebrating June as LGBT Pride Month! Thanks to the perseverance of the LGBT rights movement, progress has been made in recent years in achieving greater equality and in fighting back against those who wish to limit LGBT rights. I'm proud to fight in Congress for true and full equality for the LGBT community.
As part of this fight, I have helped introduce the LGBT Data Inclusion Act, which would allow federal surveys to collect more information on LGBT communities so we can learn more about the LGBT Americans we represent. As a representative of a wonderfully diverse district, I know the importance of equal representation. In the face of President Trump’s anti-LGBT agenda, we need this bill to help us fight discrimination against our LGBT constituents.
Paramount Conference Calls on Air Monitoring:
I want to remind members of the Paramount community about informational conference calls on the ongoing air monitoring. The calls are being held on the fourth Tuesday of each month at 6:30 PM. 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), keep 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.
If You Visit Washington, DC:
If you are a resident of California's 40th District and planning a trip to Washington, DC, I may be able to provide you with tickets to tour the Capitol and the White House, and to give you information on 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.
|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