Saving Local News and Combatting Violence Against Women
Join us in 2 weeks as we continue our “Conversation on Race” town hall series. Nearly two-thirds of Americans believe racism is still a major problem in American society and politics. Since 2016, significantly fewer Americans are satisfied with the way immigrants, African Americans, Latinos, and Asians are treated. Let’s have an open and honest discussion about race in America and in our backyard.
Tuesday, April 23rd
Special Guest: Congressmember Karen Bass (CA-37), Chair of the Congressional Black Caucus and first African American woman to be Speaker of any state assembly in the United States
6:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.
Diablo Valley College Cafeteria
321 Golf Club Road
Pleasant Hill, CA 94523
Saturday, April 27th
Hosted With: Congresswoman Barbara Lee (CA-13)
12:00 p.m. to 1:30 p.m.
Black Repertory Group Theater
3201 Adeline Street
Berkeley, CA 94703
In addition to our upcoming town halls, there was a lot of exciting action in the House last week. Read more about that below.
Member of Congress
AT A GLANCE
In this week’s Digest, you will find information on:
- Mark’s efforts to protect local news;
- Defense of the Affordable Care Act and Violence Against Women Act; and
- Our work in the community.
STANDING UP TO PROTECT LOCAL NEWS
Mark Hosts Event on House Floor to Address Declining Local Journalism
Last week, Mark was joined by Representatives Diana DeGette (D-CO), David Cicilline (D-RI), and Zoe Lofgren (D-CA) in giving a series of speeches on the floor of the House of Representatives to bring attention to the troubling disappearance of local news organizations in our communities and around the country due to hedge funds buying up local papers and shrinking profit margins driving others out of business. The Bay Area used to have nearly 1,500 journalists and numerous publications serving the public and holding government officials accountable. Now there are only 300 journalists and one paper to serve 7 million Californians. Congressman DeSaulnier is working to address this problem and ensure that our communities have the in-depth local news coverage we deserve.
Congressman DeSaulnier Joins Introduction of Legislation to Allow More Competition for Papers
Last Wednesday, Congressman DeSaulnier joined with Congressmen David Cicilline (D-RI) and Doug Collins (R-GA) to introduce a bill that would promote competition in the news industry. As it stands today, local news organizations do not get a cut of financial benefits when their stories are shared via social media. This bill would allow news organizations to join together to negotiate with dominant online platforms like Facebook and Twitter to get a fair share of profits from online advertising. This new revenue will allow news organizations to improve the quality of their content and expand access to wider audiences.
Click below to see coverage from the San Francisco Chronicle on these efforts:
Mark Voted to Condemn the Trump Administration’s Campaign to Take Away Americans’ Health Care
It has been nearly a decade since the passage of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), which has enabled more than 20 million previously uninsured Americans to get affordable health care coverage. Since taking office, the President has actively worked to undermine the ACA without offering an alternative. Most recently, the Administration has supported lawsuits that argue the ACA is unconstitutional and should be eliminated. Mark supported a resolution (H.Res. 271), which passed by a vote of 240-to-186, to condemn the Administration for its attempts to take away Americans’ health care.
Congressman DeSaulnier Supports Violence Against Women Act
Last week, the House took an important step towards protecting against domestic and sexual violence by passing a reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act (H.R. 1585). This bill includes critical reforms that improve services to survivors, extends protections for the LGBT and Native American communities, and closes loopholes that allow people with stalking convictions or restraining orders to purchase guns. Mark supported this bill, which passed by a bipartisan vote of 263-to-158.
Mark Introduces Bill to Hold Companies Accountable for their Public Health Impacts
During National Public Health Week last week, Congressman DeSaulnier introduced the National Public Health Act to hold corporations accountable for products they make that contribute to public health crises, like the opioid epidemic, asthma, and obesity. For hundreds of years, corporations have been contributing to public health epidemics without paying their fair share. Prescription drug companies like Purdue Pharma marketed its drugs despite knowing they were addictive and were contributing to the opioid crisis – an epidemic that has taken more than 700,000 lives and costs the U.S. $78.5 billion annually. There should be consequences when companies earn private profits, but drive up public health costs.
Oversight Committee Votes to Subpoena Trump Administration on Security Clearances and the Census
A White House whistleblower came forward with the revelation that Trump political appointees have been overruling career staff recommendations on who should receive top-level security clearances. On top of that, Democrats in Congress are still concerned about the Administrations’ decision to add a citizenship question to the Census. In his role on the House Oversight and Reform Committee, Mark voted to issue subpoenas to the Administration on both of these matters.