Highlights from District Work Period Events and Meetings

May 7, 2018
DeSaulnier Digest

Dear Contra Costa County Residents:

Over the past week, we were busy at events and meetings across Contra Costa County, working on some of the most pressing issues facing our community. Below is a snapshot of the events and meetings we attended.


MARK AROUND TOWN

Celebrating Our Diversity:
In the Bay Area we celebrate our diversity and history as a nation of immigrants.

Cinco de Mayo Celebration in West County
This Cinco de Mayo we gathered in West County to celebrate the countless contributions made by Mexicans, Mexican-Americans, and all Latino immigrants to our local communities. Throughout our history, members of the Latino community have helped the U.S. to become more diverse, vibrant, and dynamic.

Fighting for Housing Affordability and Improving Transportation:
The Bay Area boasts the highest level of patent generation in the nation, our economic productivity is almost twice the national average, and it is home to some of the world's most iconic companies. In order to maintain our competitive edge, we must tackle the issue of affordable housing and apply innovative improvements to our transportation systems and infrastructure. Failing to do so could diminish our quality of life, which has attracted so many to our region. This week we met with organizations across Contra Costa to discuss affordable housing and transportation.

Grand Opening of Affordable Housing Complex in North Richmond
As part of its 25 year mission to provide affordable housing resources to Richmond, the Community Housing Development Center opened its doors for the groundbreaking of its new Heritage Point affordable housing complex. Heritage Point is the first affordable housing site in North Richmond in 15 years, and it will provide much needed support to low-income residents and families. 

Meeting with National Association of Home Builders
Bob Glover of the National Association of Home Builders Bay Area chapter provided us with an update on the financial challenges facing first-time homebuyers and ways to expand housing opportunities for Bay Area residents.

Meeting with East Bay Leadership Council
I met with Kristin Connelly, President of the East Bay Leadership Council (EBLC), and the EBLC Transportation Task Force's Edward Beccaro to discuss ways to use innovative methods to solve the Bay Area's transportation challenges.

Encouraging Students and Workforce Development:
Young people across the country are helping inspire change, and their engagement is making the U.S. more just and fair. As the next generation prepares to transition into the workforce, we should do everything possible to set up our students for success. This week we met with local students and organizations to help strengthen that transition.

Meeting with De La Salle High School Student
Ben Maier, a student at De La Salle High School in Concord, interviewed me about public service and our current political environment as part of a Boy Scout project. Ben is working to achieve a more equitable country through his studies and scouting. 

Helping Graduate Students Pursue a Career in Behavioral Health
With an average $130,000 of student loan debt facing psychology students, we are seeing less people pursue behavioral health services at a time when the demand for care is increasing. I met with the American Psychological Association to discuss this concerning trend and our work to allow students to refinance their student loans.

Promoting Peace in the Middle East:
At a time when tensions are high in the Middle East, maintaining diplomatic relations with our allies and partners is critical to ensuring long-term prosperity in the region.

Meeting with the Israeli Consul General
It was a pleasure to meet with Consul General of Israel to the Pacific Northwest Shlomi Kofman to discuss the strong relationship between America and Israel, political challenges facing the Middle East, and the Israeli economy.


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:

  • 206 constituents wrote in regarding the upcoming reauthorization of the Farm Bill, which contains programs like SNAP and agricultural subsidies.
  • 128 constituents wrote in support of improving and expanding the U.S. international development financing system.
  • 43 constituents called for the impeachment of Scott Pruitt as the EPA Administrator, something that I continue to support.

LETTERS MARK RECENTLY SENT

Letter to the Senate opposing Gina Haspel as CIA Director due to her involvement in the George W. Bush-era torture program and efforts to destroy videotapes recording the horrors the program produced.

Letter to EPA Secretary Pruitt calling for additional time to comment on the use of scientific research in EPA's policy decisions.


MARK IN THE NEWS

Interview on Near Miss Incidents at SFO:
This week the National Transportation Safety Board released alarming new footage of the July 7th near miss at SFO, which put roughly a thousand lives in danger. Mark spoke with ABC7 News about what he is doing in Congress to prevent a catastrophe before it happens, including the four safety measures he included in the FAA reauthorization bill to help prevent runway accidents.