U.S. Congresswoman Susan Davis | E-Newsletter
January 2014 E-News Report
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Dear Friend,

Earlier this week, we heard the President call on Congress to pass measures that will strengthen the economy for all Americans. We should start by increasing access to Pre-K, extending unemployment insurance, providing livable wages, and expanding training opportunities for workers. These are not only benefits for the unemployed or low-wage workers, but programs that offer real economic benefits to a wide range of Americans.  As the 2014 legislative cycle begins, I am hopeful that the House Majority will work with us to promote these policies and other key measures that benefit the middle class.

In this edition of my E-News, I would like to update you on what I have been working on in Washington and in the District over the past month. Please do not hesitate to contact me.

Warm Regards,

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TABLE OF CONTENTS:
  1. Increasing Access to Pre-K
  2. Extending Unemployment Insurance
  3. Approving the National Defense Authorization Act
  4. Securing Funds for the San Ysidro Port of Entry
  5. Commemorating the Panama-California Exhibition at Balboa Park
  6. Community Snapshots
  7. Defense News
  8. Interested in an Internship?
I. Increasing Access to Pre-K

Prior to the end of the first session of the 113th Congress, I introduced legislation to expand access to Pre-K (also known as preschool) education. The EARLY Act (Expanded Access to Real Learning for our Young Act), H.R. 3778, would establish a competitive grant program where states could receive federal funding to make Pre-K education available to families with a combined income of up to 400% of the federal poverty line.  This would significantly increase access for middle class families who earn too much under the current threshold. You can view my latest floor speech on Pre-K access here.

Today, only 69 percent of 4-year-old American children are enrolled in early childhood education programs. That troubling statistic places the United States near the bottom (26th out of 34 advanced countries) in terms of access to preschool. In our modern global economy, that means many American children start their education behind their global peers. As a senior member of the House Committee on Education and the Workforce, I believe the argument for universal Pre-K is not just a moral imperative, but also good science and economics. H.R. 3778 has been endorsed by the National Centers for Families Learning and the National Association of Elementary School Principals and is currently awaiting action in the House Committee on Education and the Workforce.

II. Extending Unemployment Insurance

Economic experts and San Diegans impacted by the loss of emergency long-term unemployment insurance (UI) joined me at my Adams Avenue office for a roundtable discussion and press conference on why these benefits need to be continued. View my floor speech on why we should extend UI benefits and click here for media coverage from the roundtable.


III. Approving the National Defense Authorization Act

As the top Democrat on the Military Personnel Subcommittee, I included a number of provisions to support military personnel and their families in this year’s National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). Signed by President Obama in late December, this bill will benefit San Diego County and create jobs in our region. The NDAA includes:

  • A 1% pay raise for military personnel
  • Provisions designed to help small businesses compete for Department of Defense (DOD) contracts
  • Federal education funding for military children
  • Transition assistance for members leaving the service
  • Increased funding for university grant research programs
  • An amendment I offered to protect $25 million of the Afghanistan Security Forces Fund for the specific goal of recruiting and retaining women in the Afghan National Security Forces.

I also led an effort to include many of the proposed changes addressing sexual assault in the military. For far too long our society has turned a blind eye to this crime. Now, DOD has the opportunity to lead the way in ridding our military of these perpetrators.

IV. Securing Funds for the San Ysidro Port of Entry

After months of working together with my San Diego delegation colleagues and the business community, we were able to secure funds for Phase III of the San Ysidro Land Port of Entry infrastructure project. Adding more lanes at the border crossing has been something San Diegans and local business leaders have long told me is a top priority for our region, which is why I am pleased members of the current delegation (pictured here alongside San Diego Regional Chamber of Commerce CEO Jerry Sanders) were able to build on our prior efforts to make additional lanes a reality.

Funding for the project has been the top regional priority for the San Diego Regional Association of Governments (SANDAG) and the San Diego Regional Chamber of Commerce. In addition to $128.3 million in direct Fiscal Year 2014 appropriations, the project will receive $97.7 million in reprogrammed funds from prior Government Service Agency (GSA) resources. The total, $226 million, is the estimated cost necessary to complete the project. According to SANDAG, San Ysidro is the world’s busiest international land crossing, handling more than 11 million passenger vehicles, 68,000 buses, and 8 million pedestrians in 2012. SANDAG also estimates that delays and inefficiency at the border annually costs the region $7.2 billion in lost output and 62,000 jobs.

V. Commemorating the Panama-California Exhibition at Balboa Park

As an integral part of the lives of San Diegans, Balboa Park is a crown jewel in the heart of San Diego. In advance of the 2015 centennial celebration, I introduced a resolution requesting the Citizens’ Stamp Advisory Committee to issue a postage stamp commemorating the 100th anniversary of the 1915 Panama-California Exhibition at Balboa Park. This stamp would honor the Panama-California Exhibition and would provide an opportunity for San Diego to once again show off Balboa Park to the rest of the world.

VI. Community Snapshots
Adams Avenue Business Association Annual Meeting

Small business fuels San Diego's economy. I joined the Adams Avenue Business Association as they reelected members of their board and talked about economic issues impacting San Diego. Always a pleasure to speak with my Mid-City neighbors!

San Diego Association of REALTORS

The San Diego Association of REALTORS has been a major proponent for the growth and access of home ownership for San Diegans. It's always fun joining SDAR as they recognize the outstanding contributions of their outgoing leadership team and welcome the new leadership team.

Hmong New Year Celebration in San Diego

 

Happy New Year! Nyob Zoo Xyoo Tshaib! to California’s Hmong community who came together for the 38th Annual Hmong New Year Celebration in San Diego.


 

Recognizing Ovarian Cancer Survivors

Volunteers of the Ovarian Cancer Alliance's "Survivors Teaching Students" program were recently recognized at my Adams Avenue office. This program brings survivors into healthcare classrooms to raise awareness of ovarian cancer.

San Diego's New Central Library

The San Diego Central Library is truly an intellectual and architectural masterpiece, offering a teen center, professional development and resume writing workshops, a performance space, a literacy program, and breath-taking views. I hope all San Diegans visit this downtown treasure!

San Diego School of Creative and Performing Arts Visit

I had the opportunity to visit 12th grade social studies students at the San Diego School of Creative and Performing Arts. I spoke about the positive impact that the arts has on cultivating a creative, collaborative, and innovative educational environment in schools.

VII. Defense E-News

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 frequently get questions 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. 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.

VIII. 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.

Website | Contact
U.S. House of Representatives
1526 Longworth House Office Building
Washington, DC 20515
Phone: (202) 225-2040
Fax: (202) 225-2948
2700 Adams Avenue
Suite 102
San Diego, CA 92116
Phone: (619) 280-5353
Fax: (619) 280-5311