The End to Government Shutdown and Interviews on Near-Miss Incidents at Airports Like SFO

January 29, 2018
DeSaulnier Digest

Dear Contra Costa Residents:

Following a busy week both in Washington, DC and at events throughout Contra Costa County, I am pleased to announce that our office will be hosting a series of 4 town halls across the district in the month of February. Details for our town halls are listed below. We hope you will consider joining at one of these upcoming events or a future event in your neighborhood.


UPCOMING TOWN HALLS

Martinez Town Hall with Congressman Mike Thompson (CA-05)
Thursday, February 1, 2018
6:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.
Martinez Junior High School
1600 Court Street
Martinez, CA 94553

Conversation on Race with Congresswoman Barbara Lee (CA-13)
Saturday, February 3, 2018
2:00 p.m. to 3:30 p.m.
Contra Costa College
John & Jean Knox Performing Arts Center
2600 Mission Bell Drive
San Pablo, CA 94806
(Theater on the corner of El Portal Drive and Castro Drive)

Seniors Town Hall in San Pablo
Thursday, February 8, 2018
10:30 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.
San Pablo Senior Center
1943 Church Lane
San Pablo, CA 94806

Pleasant Hill Town Hall
Monday, February 12, 2018
6:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.
Diablo Valley College, Cafeteria
321 Golf Club Road
Pleasant Hill, CA 94523

To confirm your attendance, please RSVP online at https://desaulnier.house.gov/ town-hall-rsvp or call my Walnut Creek office 925-933-2660 for more information or to request ADA accommodations.


MARK AROUND TOWN

Speaking to 8th graders at Diablo View Middle School
It was inspiring to speak with 8th graders at Diablo View Middle School about our government and what we do in Washington, DC. It is always encouraging to see students engaged in our community and our government at such an early age.


Updating the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce
Thank you to the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce Contra Costa for hosting me at their Concord Power Hour. As a former Conc ord business owner, I know firsthand that small businesses are the backbone of our community, and I enjoyed discussing issues of importance to businesses and families in our area.


OPINIONS FROM THE DISTRICT

Hearing directly from you not only informs my work in Congress, but also is my favorite part of being your Representative. To share your opinions with me you can either email me or take our survey.

Below are some of the top issues you shared with me over the last week:

- 1,288 constituents contacted me to express concern about the FCC’s decision to undermine Net Neutrality.
- 123 constituents wrote in to me supporting a permanent solution to allow Dreamers to remain in the United States.
- 81 constituents wrote in support of continuing the Temporary Protected Status (TPS) program for people from Haiti and El Salvador.


LETTERS MARK RECENTLY SENT

Letter to Oversight Chairman Gowdy regarding documents on Russian election interference
The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) informed 21 states that they were victims of cyber attacks from the Russian government during the 2016 election. In order to learn from these incidents and fulfill its mission, the Oversight Committee (OGR), which is responsible for oversight of the entire federal government, needs access to the information proving the interference. However, DHS has so far refused to provide OGR with these documents. I joined my Democratic colleagues on the committee to request that Chairman Trey Gowdy subpoena this information to help prevent future cyber attacks.

Letter to US Olympic Committee and USA Gymnastics regarding necessary reforms
In light of the horrific crimes of sexual abuse committed by USA gymnastics doctor Larry Nassar against over 100 gymnasts, it is essential that the US Olympic Committee and USA Gymnastics take immediate action to make reforms that prevent crimes like this from happening again in the future. I joined my colleagues in calling on these organizations to provide details on how they will make reforms and provide oversight to ensure that these mistakes are not repeated.

Letter to the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) & Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) regarding the detention of immigrant rights activists
The recent frenzy of immigration enforcement actions and detentions is very troubling. Among other concerning actions, there have been many reports of ICE targeting immigrant rights leaders across the United States who share a common commitment to foster a more humane immigration system. I joined my colleagues in requesting a meeting with the Secretary of DHS and the Acting Director of ICE to discuss the intent of current enforcement actions against these leaders.

Amicus brief challenging President Trump's order banning transgender people from military service
The President’s impulsive decision to ban transgender people from military service violates the tenets of our democracy and the Constitution’s equal protection clause. We also should be concerned that this ban undermines the readiness and effectiveness of our armed forces. I am proud to join this amicus brief to be filed in several suits pending in federal district courts challenging this ban.

Letter to Interior Department calling for public meetings in California on the National Oil and Gas Leasing Program
This week I joined Senators Harris and Feinstein and 21 of my California colleagues in the House of Representatives in calling on Interior Secretary Zinke and Bureau of Ocean Energy Management Acting Director Walter Cruickshank to hold two public meetings in California to allow more opportunity for Californians to express their views and concerns on the Trump Administration’s plans to expand oil and gas drilling off the coast of California.


MARK'S RECENT STATEMENTS

Congressman DeSaulnier’s Statement on Funding the Government through Feb. 8th

“This shutdown was completely unnecessary and avoidable. While I am pleased it is over, the three-week Continuing Resolution was not enough of a compromise for me to support it. Republican Leadership is continuing to deprive Members, on both sides of the aisle, of the opportunity to vote on must-address issues like permanent funding for the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) and community health centers, disaster relief, and a solution for the nearly 800,000 Dreamers. Trust remains the coin of the realm in politics, and it is now up to the Republican Leadership and the Trump Administration to keep their word and address these issues in a timely and efficient manner, so in three weeks we are not here again.”


MARK IN THE NEWS

Following the recent near-misses at airports in San Francisco, Atlanta, and Pullman, Washington, Mark has been actively working to preserve cockpit voice recorders and address gaps in passenger safety before an accident occurs. Below is recent coverage of Mark’s efforts:

- East Bay Times: The mystery at Pullman airport: Plane lands on taxiway but was key evidence inspected?

Congressman Mark DeSaulnier, D-Concord, is someone who also wants to make sure critical evidence is kept. When aviation and airline officials failed to collect evidence from the three SFO incidents and others across the country, DeSaulnier pushed the Federal Aviation Administration to find a way to capture more of the recordings and for a public hearing on the issue.

“We need to get to the bottom of these,” DeSaulnier said. “We need to understand what the standards are, if they are followed and do they need to be strengthened.”

- The Mercury News: ‘It’s a cover- up from the FAA at the highest level’: Cockpit voice recording can’t be used in investigation, source says

U.S. Rep. Mark DeSaulnier, D-Concord, has been lobbying for improvements to how aviation and airline officials collect and save the cockpit recordings, which are often lost if not immediately pulled because the audio will overwrite itself. After three alarming SFO incidents and others across the country, DeSaulnier wrote the FAA and pushed for a public hearing on the issue.

“Oh man,” DeSaulnier said by phone Friday. “What are they hiding? Why aren’t they being more forthcoming?”

The congressman said his office was in the process of crafting a letter to the FAA asking for details about the Pullman incident.