Advocating for Children, Families, and Workers

June 24, 2019
DeSaulnier Digest

We kicked off last week with over 450 people attending our town hall in El Cerrito. It made for a great start to a busy week that I’m happy to share updates with you on below.

Mark DeSaulnier
Member of Congress


In this week’s Digest, you will find information on:

  • Mark’s four amendments that passed in the U.S. House;
  • He was the only Democrat in Congress to win the Democracy Award for Transparency, Accountability, and Innovation for 2019; and
  • Highlights from our town hall


Mark Passes Measures to Help Children, Families, and Workers

Last week, four provisions that Congressman DeSaulnier authored were included in the Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, Defense, State, Foreign Operations, and Energy and Water Development spending package (H.R. 2740) that passed in the U.S. House of Representatives by a vote of 226-to-203. These amendments provide services and improve programs that will benefit children, families, and workers. DeSaulnier successfully included more amendments to this section than any other Member of Congress.

  • Studying Ways to Improve Doctor-Patient Communication: While medical treatments and research have advanced significantly over the last few decades, the fundamental interaction between a doctor and his or her patient is critical to the understanding of treatment and the mental health of the patient. This amendment supports a National Cancer Institute (NCI) study on how to improve communication between cancer care providers, cancer patients, and survivors to improve outcomes.

  • Increasing Access to Mental Health Services in Schools: Thirteen percent of children aged 8 to 15 experience a severe mental disorder at some point. Yet only about half of children with a mental health condition receive the services they need. This amendment would improve access to mental health support for children by setting aside $5 million in Children’s Mental Health Services Grants funding to be used in school-based mental health programs to meet students’ needs on site.

  • Evaluating Labor Trends: Currently, data on job loss due to automation is anecdotal. The real implications of the job impacts of automation cannot be ignored and should be seriously studied so we can help protect those who may get left behind. This amendment directs the Bureau of Labor Statistics at the Department of Labor to collect data on job loss due to automation; job loss due to shifting employees to contractors; and the causes of mass layoffs.
  • Improving Statewide Family Engagement Center (SFEC) Program: Due to an error at the Department of Education, last year’s SFEC grantees were going to be forced to reduce their budgets by 9%. This amendment would make them whole, ensuring that students and families continue to get the services they need.

Mark Introduces Bill to Spur Innovation in America’s Transportation System

Today’s transportation problems – increased congestion, pollution, and infrastructure in disrepair – need innovative and tailored solutions. Smart technologies will allow the efficient and safe movement of people and goods while reducing congestion and improving public health. To help tackle that problem, Congressman DeSaulnier introduced the Moving and Fostering Innovation to Revolutionize Smarter Transportation (Moving FIRST) Act (H.R. 3388). The bill creates a competitive grant program for large and medium-sized cities as well as rural communities to seek federal grants for the creation of efficient, creative and innovative transportation projects. A companion bill was introduced in the Senate by Senators Catherine Cortez Masto (D-NV), Richard Burr (R-NC), Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ), and Cory Gardner (R-CO).


Mark was awarded the Democracy Award for Transparency, Accountability, and Innovation for 2019 by the nonprofit, non-partisan Congressional Management Foundation. The award recognizes offices that employ unique or innovative methods to continuously enhance their constituent interactions, provide clear and relevant information on their work and performance, and publicly acknowledge metrics for performance. He was the only Democrat in Congress to win this award this year. To learn more, check out the video below.



We welcomed over 450 people to our “Protecting our Democracy and The Mueller Report” town hall at Harding Elementary School in El Cerrito.

The 16th Annual Unity in Community Festival in Bay Point brought community-based and public organizations together to share resources with East County communities while promoting positive family activities.