|Mid-City Neighborhood Day at Garfield Elementary
Please come share your ideas, ask a question, and get an update about what’s happening in Congress at this town hall style event on Monday, July 21. Detailed information is below. I hope to see you there!
Monday, July 21, 2014
7:00 pm – 8:00 pm
Garfield Elementary School
4487 Oregon Street
San Diego, CA 92116
Limited parking is available in the campus lot. Street parking is also available.
Space is limited, so please RSVP here.
For more information, please contact my San Diego office at (619) 280-5353.
Letter of the Month- What do you think?
"I am writing to you as a recent graduate of UC San Diego and a member of the San Diego community who is deeply affected by the recent shooting in Isla Vista. As someone with many friends who attend UC Santa Barbara, it is difficult to process that something so awful could happen in this community of students to which I belong. I am appalled at the easy access this man had to semi-automatic weapons and 400 rounds of ammunition. I am appalled that someone who had contact with police and multiple mental health professionals was able to access a weapon to begin with. I am appalled at the increasing frequency of gun violence at schools and in our communities at large. I am absolutely appalled at the increasing level of gender-based violence, at the hatred towards women, and at the horrible, horrible violence that occurs because of misogyny. Please take a stand. This affects us all."
What do you think about ways to prevent gun violence? Click here to take a poll on this issue or here to send me an e-mail.
FY2015 National Defense Authorization Act
On May 22nd the House passed the Fiscal Year (FY) 2015 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), for the 53rd year in a row. As the most senior Democrat on the Military Personnel Subcommittee, I worked hard to include a number of provisions to support military personnel and their families in this year’s NDAA. In addition to authorizing force levels, new ship construction, and programs that support projects throughout San Diego, the FY 2015 NDAA (H.R. 4435) includes:
· A 1.8% pay raise for military personnel
· Impact Aid authorization for schools for an additional year
· An increase in funding for university grant programs
I also voted for two amendments that constituents in the 53rd District have expressed to me as important. First, an amendment to allow the Obama Administration to close the Guantanamo Bay, Cuba detention facility by December 31, 2016. Second, I once again supported an effort that, if passed, would have repealed sections of the FY2012 NDAA that dealt with issues of indefinite military detention. H.R. 4435 now awaits action in the United States Senate.
Reforming the Department of Veterans Affairs
VA reforms moved forward in the House this month, including new authorities for hiring more doctors and letting the VA use non-VA facilities to cut wait times. The VA will also begin monthly site inspections to review scheduling practices. Click here for more information on why I supported this measure.
Reducing Student Loan Debt
To lessen the burden of crushing debt, President Obama rightly acted to make student loans more affordable for over 5 million borrowers. My bill, the Student Loan Fair Prepayment Act, would help students who are able to pay down their debt faster do so and not get penalized. According to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, one of the chief complaints made by borrowers relates to how their student loan payments are processed. Instead of applying prepayments towards the loan principal, as the borrower likely expects, loan-servicers will often credit the balance towards future monthly payments. H.R. 4236 would ensure that extra payments are applied first to the principal of the highest interest-rate loan, unless the borrower requests otherwise. This technical change would save borrowers a significant amount and help them pay off their loans more quickly.
Visiting Normandy on the 70th Anniversary of D-Day
I joined in an official Congressional delegation to Normandy for the anniversary of the D-Day invasion. In commemorating the "Longest Day" of war on June 6, 1944, we observed a day full of gratitude to those who sacrificed so much 70 years ago. It was an overwhelming honor to see many veterans, including my friend Jack Port who was recently featured as one of San Diego's attending heroes. What was so impressive in meeting them as they have reached or are approaching their nineties is to acknowledge that most of them had not reached their twenties on that epic day. I will never forget how much I learned in Normandy, and the emotions with which I was overcome. I wish I could have shared it with my dad who served as a medic throughout the war but like so many of his brothers in arms, he moved on with his life and never spoke about his experience. Click here to read more about my trip in the Uptown News.
Sexual Assault Roundtable
The sexual assault roundtable I held at my Adams Avenue office this month was an opportunity to hear from college students about the educational, social, and cultural impact of sexual assault on college campuses. The participants were on-campus advocates who focus on mental health issues. Each spoke from a different perspective that varied from public policy, reporting issues, and the need for a cultural paradigm shift on college campuses to effectively combat sexual assault on college campuses. I plan to share this information with my colleagues and keep the discussion going about how we can increase safety on campus.
Preventing Workplace Discrimination
I took to the House floor recently to speak in favor of President Obama’s decision to protect LGBT federal contractors from workplace discrimination. In a bicameral letter to President Obama earlier this year, I joined 174 of my colleagues asking the President to issue this executive order to prohibit federal contractors from discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity. This is a great step, but it's past time for Congress to step up and extend these protections to every American.
Reducing Air Pollution
Earlier this month, the Environmental Protection Agency released a proposed rule to cut carbon pollution from existing power plants. We have a responsibility to our children to leave them a planet with cleaner air. The President’s proposed goal of a 30 percent cut in carbon pollution emissions will mean the air we breathe will be cleaner, resulting in a reduction in pollution-related health risks, a healthier planet, and a stronger economy. You can read more about the EPA’s proposal here.
Free Museum Access for Military Families
This summer, military families can get free access to museums in San Diego and across the country. I hope our men and women in uniform take advantage of this great opportunity! For more info, visit the National Endowment for the Arts website.
| El Cajon America on Main Street
||It was a beautiful day to kick off El Cajon's inaugural America on Main Street celebration with local leaders and residents. The city's patriotism and appreciation for diversity was on full display for this great event!
| Recognizing Asian Pacific American Heritage
|Our nation has benefited economically, socially, and culturally since the first Asian Pacific Islander (API) families immigrated to the United States. As May was Asian-Pacific American Heritage Month, I joined in celebrating the API community's contributions to our great nation.
| Leadership East County
|I spent the evening of Friday, June 13 with graduates from the Leadership East County program, sponsored by the San Diego East County Chamber of Commerce. The event, held at the St. Madeline Sophie’s Center, honored graduates from their 2014 program for their work and dedication to serving East County.
As Ranking Member of the Armed Services Subcommittee on Military Personnel, I spend a lot of time focused on the needs of our military, especially our men and women in uniform and their families. Since I get questioned about how defense and veterans policies coming out of Washington will impact San Diego County, I have started sending out a periodic E-News for anyone who is interested in defense and veterans issues (click here for my latest edition). I will only be sending this information to people who sign up to receive these updates, so please click here to be added to the list.
Interested in an Internship?
Interns gain valuable legislative and public service experience by assisting with constituent inquiries, public events, casework, and other special projects. Internships are a minimum of 10 hours per week and qualify for credit at some colleges. If you are interested in interning in the San Diego office, please submit a resume and cover letter to CA53DOInternapp@mail.house.gov. If you are interested in an internship in my Washington office please submit a resume and cover letter to CA53DCInternapp@mail.house.gov.