Mark Hosts 50th Town Hall Since Coming to Congress

October 23, 2017
DeSaulnier Digest

Dear Contra Costa Residents:

As the House of Representatives returns back to Washington, DC today after a week at home in our districts, below is a look back at our work across Contra Costa County over the last week.


MARK AROUND TOWN

As your Representative in Congress, I am continually impressed by the knowledge, engagement, and creativity of our district. At several events and meetings this past week alone, we directly interacted with more than 500 constituents and discussed a variety of topics including the Trump tax plan, gun violence, health care, the California wildfires, and much more. If you or your organization would ever like to invite me to an event in your neighboorhood, click here.

Take a look at some of the highlights from the week:

Walnut Creek Town Hall

We celebrated our 50th Town Hall and Mobile District Office Hour since coming to Congress in January of 2015, with a packed house at the Shadelands Art Center in Walnut Creek. For those who were unable to attend, you can watch a live stream of the town hall on our Facebook page and access copies of the slides I presented here.

Carr Ranch Grand Opening

I was proud to join the John Muir Land Trust, the Town of Moraga, and East Bay Municipal Utility District at the opening the 604-acre Carr Ranch in Martinez. This beautiful open space will provide improved access to public recreation, is a source of clean drinking water, and a natural habitat for wildlife. It is my hope to continue preserving land for East Bay residents to enjoy, and I am actively working in Congress with Senator Kamala Harris to pass our bill to add additional land to the John Muir National Historic Site.

Cub Scout Pack 248 Meeting

Before our 50th town hall and MDO I had a great meeting with Cub Scout Pack 248! It is always inspiring to see our young people civically engaged and interested in how our government works

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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 past week:

- 484 constituents expressed their opposition to the Republican Budget, which prioritizes decreasing taxes for the wealthy and throwing unchecked money at the Defense Department over providing for the needs of hardworking Americans.

- 192 constituents requested additional resources be deployed to help Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands recover from the devastating effects of Hurricane Maria.

- 56 constituents called for the passage of legislation that would fully fund the Child Health Insurance Program, which 24 percent of children in Contra Costa Country depend on for their health coverage. Republican leadership has been unwilling to bring this legsilation to the floor.  


LEGISLATION MARK RECENTLY SUPPORTED

Wildfire Disaster Funding Act (H.R. 2862)

Recent wildfires have torn through our state and devastated our communities. Because of bureaucratic budget rules, wildfires are not eligible for federal disaster funding the same way floods, hurricanes, or other natural disasters. This results in money being diverted from other crucial fire prevention programs to cover the cost of fighting these dangerous fires. This bill would change the way these fires are funded and would make them eligible for FEMA emergency disaster funding.

Title IX Protections Act (H.R. 4030)

Title IX of the Education Amendments Act of 1972 offers important civil rights protections to students on America’s college campuses. The Department of Education has rolled back Title IX guidance about how colleges should respond to incidences of sexual assault. This bill would restore important protections for survivors put in place by President George W. Bush to ensure that all students can call their college campus a safe place.


LETTERS MARK RECENTLY SENT

DeSaulnier Led Letter to the DEA requesting more information on its relationship with the pharmaceutical industry

Last week, The Washington Post and 60 Minutes reported that the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) has not prevented the largescale flow of opioids that posed an ‘imminent danger’ to communities across the country. This was due in large part to former DEA officials who left the agency, went to work for pharmaceutical companies manufacturing opioids, and launched a massive lobbying effort to slow DEA enforcement of these narcotics. I, along with several of my democratic colleagues on the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, sent a letter calling on DEA to produce information detailing its interactions with Congress and the Administration, and disclose all ‘revolving door’ relationships between DEA and the pharmaceutical industry over the last 10-years. To read our letter click here.

In a statement, Congressman DeSaulnier said:

"Congress has a duty and obligation to fully investigate what happened, and we are calling on DEA to produce information detailing its interactions with Congress and the Administration, and disclose all ‘revolving door’ relationships between DEA and the pharmaceutical industry over the last 10-years." To read the full release, click here.

Letter to Secretary DeVos requesting assistance to student loan borrowers in hurricane-affected Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands

In the wake of the devastation caused by Hurricanes Maria and Irma, residents of Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands have had their lives upended and are still working to restore basic functions like access to power, food, and water. I joined my colleagues in sending a letter to Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos to tell residents of these areas what their rights are to delay their student loan repayments during these trying times so they are not unnecessarily burdened or punished.