Mark Attends State of the Union with #MeToo Survivor & Hosts Conversation on Race
Dear Contra Costa Residents:
Following a busy week both in Washington, DC and at events in our district, I am pleased to announce we will continue our series of town halls in February. Details for our town halls are listed below. We hope you will consider joining us at one of these upcoming events or a future event in your neighborhood.
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
Space is limited at these events. To confirm your attendance, please RSVP online at https://desaulnier.house.gov/ town-hall-rsvp or call my Walnut Creek office at 925-933-2660 for more information or to request ADA accommodations.
RECENT KEY VOTES
Funding for the Department of Defense for Fiscal Year 2018 (H.R. 695)
The House voted on a bill that would recklessly increase funding for the Department of Defense – even above what the Pentagon requested. This bill is a symbol of our skewed priorities and blind support for defense spending above all else. Taxpayers deserve better, especially since a buried report identified $125 billion in wasteful spending at the Pentagon and the DoD is only now starting its first-ever audit. This was the third attempt by Republican Leadership to increase the DoD’s budget this year. I voted against this bill. Today, it was uncovered that the Pentagon lost track of over $800 million worth of spending, and while it is not surprising, it gives more evidence that the DoD’s budget is a mess. I have called for hearings to investigate DoD’s spending practices and introduced legislation to help clean up waste within the Department.
MARK AROUND TOWN
Town Hall with Congressman Mike Thompson in Martinez
Congressman Mike Thompson and I hosted a joint town hall in Martinez. Thank you to everyone who joined us for a robust discussion on the state of our nation and the Bay Area.
A Conversation on Race in San Pablo with Congresswoman Barbara Lee in San Pablo
During Black History Month we hosted our first in a series of town hall discussions on race. The event explored the history of race in America and the Bay Area, the challenges we face in our current political climate, and where we go from here to build a more just and equal society. A special thanks to Congresswoman Barbara Lee, our expert panelists from UC Berkeley, and everyone in the audience who joined us to make this event a success. If you were unable to attend, watch our discussion here.
The State of the Union
Last week, I had the pleasure of hosting Master Sergeant (MSG) Linda Ray, retired U.S. Army Reserves and sexual assault survivor as my guest for the State of the Union. MSG Ray is a strong and committed member of our community. Her dedication to our military and Contra Costa County, including mentoring and supporting students and service members as a member of my Military and Veterans Advisory Board, has helped improve the lives of many. Read more about her story here, or watch our interviews with NBC Bay Area and CBS San Francisco below.
On the day of the State of the Union I joined my fellow Democratic colleagues in raising awareness about confronting sexual assault in all areas of our society including the highest levels of government, military, sports, Hollywood and everyday workplaces by dressing in black.
OPINIONS FROM THE DISTRICT
Below are some of the top issues you shared with me over the last week:
- 1,374 constituents contacted me to express concern about the FCC’s decision to undermine Net Neutrality.
- 193 constituents wrote in to me supporting legislation to protect Special Counsel Mueller, especially in the wake of the negative comments about the investigation by the President.
- 110 constituents contacted me in support of a solution that would permanently allow Dreamers to stay in the United States, and renews Temporary Protected Status for vulnerable communities.
- 107 constituents wrote to me in support of releasing the Nunes memo, which was released to the public on February 2nd.
LEGISLATION MARK RECENTLY SUPPORTED
AI JOBS Act (H.R. 4823) – takes the important first step of having the Department of Labor produce a report analyzing the growth of artificial intelligence and its impact on the American workforce.
RAISE IT Act (H.R. 1458) – raises the gas tax by 15 cents per gallon to help fund the transportation and infrastructure improvements that we urgently need.
International Decade for People of African Descent (H.Res. 713) – after the President’s deplorable “sh*thole” comments, I joined a resolution supporting the “International Decade for People of African Descent” to combat racism and xenophobia.
Free Credit Freeze Act (H.R. 3878) – in the wake of data breaches like the one at Equifax last year that left millions of Americans vulnerable to identity theft and credit card fraud, I supported this bill that allows consumers to put a freeze on their credit free of charge.
LETTERS MARK RECENTLY SENT
DeSaulnier-led letter to Oversight Chairman Gowdy requesting a hearing on social media bots, which have recently been reported to have played a role in undermining the 2016 Presidential election.
Letter to Leadership and House Appropriators regarding funding to combat the opioid epidemic as the United States suffers through one of the worst drug epidemics we have ever experienced.
MARK'S RECENT STATEMENTS
“Bot accounts can spread false information for deceptive purposes, such as altering public opinion to sway elections, with superhuman veracity. It is essential that we understand how companies like Devumi operate in order to prevent these bot accounts from destabilizing the public’s trust in our nation’s elections and undermining our national security.”
MARK IN THE NEWS
CBS San Francisco: On Sunday, Mark joined Phil Matier with CBS San Francisco to discuss the declassification of the Nunes memo. Tune in below:
San Francisco Chronicle: Trump’s infrastructure plan cheered, but funds short
Mark, who sits on the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, called President Trump’s infrastructure plan a “con job” during an interview with the San Francisco Chronicle. Read more below:
“A kind way would be to describe it as unrealistic and unfeasible, and a more direct way would be to say it’s a con job,” said DeSaulnier, who worked on infrastructure issues for years in the Legislature before entering Congress in 2015.
DeSaulnier said Trump’s plan relies on “voodoo financing” that “doesn’t begin to address the $1.5 trillion we need,” while trying to “privatize as much of infrastructure as possible.”