Statement on Proposed Toll Increase for East Bay Commuters
Dear Contra Costa County Residents:
As the House of Representatives returns to session this week, below is a snapshot of our recent work in Washington, DC and at home in Contra Costa County.
RECENT KEY VOTES
Agriculture and Nutrition Act (Farm Bill, H.R. 2)
Since its creation in 1933, the Farm Bill has been a bipartisan effort to provide assistance to the agriculture industry. It has also since grown to contain nutrition programs that provide millions of Americans with essential food benefits through programs like the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). This week, Republicans brought a lopsided, partisan bill to reauthorize the Farm Bill, that would have kicked thousands of people off the SNAP program. I opposed this bill and in a rare victory for American families in this Republican-controlled Congress, H.R. 2 failed by a vote of 198-to-213.
MARK'S LEGISLATIVE ACCOMPLISHMENTS
Mark led a group of 11 Members of Congress in writing to top auto executives calling on them to clarify their positions on existing standards for emissions reductions and fuel efficiency of motor vehicles. The Trump Administration has signaled its intent to roll back these standards, undermining progress on reducing emissions and increasing fuel efficiency as well as the competitiveness of America's auto industry. The Administration's moves could also set up a scenario in which automakers would have to make two sets of vehicles--one for California and the states that have adopted California's standards, together representing one third of the country's auto market, and one for the rest of the country. Mark plans to continue fighting against any attempt by the Administration to take away California's authority to set its own standards that are at least, if not more, protective of public health.
MARK AROUND TOWN
Honoring Our Veterans on Armed Services Day
On Armed Services Day, we honored the sacrifices of our nation's heroes who have courageously put country before self to protect our democracy at the Phillips 66 Refinery and Carbon Plant's 10th Annual Walk of Honor for our Veterans at the Alfred Zampa Memorial Bridge.
Congratulating Newly Sworn-In Members of Our Military
The decision to serve in the United States military takes courage, bravery, and love of country. It was an honor to congratulate the newly sworn-in recruits at the Veterans Memorial Building in Danville. We are proud of and thankful for their service and sacrifice.
Celebrating Richmond's Culture
We joined members of the community at St. Luke Missionary Baptist Church for the Santa Fe Neighborhood Council Annual Pancake Breakfast to celebrate the active, vibrant, and diverse culture of the Santa Fe neighborhood in Richmond.
OPINIONS FROM THE DISTRICT
Below are some of the top issues you shared with me over the last week:
- 117 constituents continued to write in asking that the Farm Bill (described above) protect our most vulnerable Americans.
- 47 constituents reached out in support of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, and protecting participants from the Administration's threat of deportation.
LETTERS MARK RECENTLY SENT
Letter to House leaders urging increased funding for safety in highway improvement projects
Letter to Oversight Committee Chairman Gowdy requesting that he issue a subpoena to the Department of Justice for documents related to the addition of a citizenship question on the 2020 Census
Letter to Department of Education Secretary DeVos regarding concerns about the lack of activity at the Office of Civil Rights, particularly on issues with website accessibility affecting students with disabilities
Letter to the Department of Justice opposing the proposed removal of sexual orientation and gender identity questions for 16 and 17-year old respondents on the National Crime Victimization Survey
MARK IN THE NEWS
Regional Measure 3
After spending time on the Contra Costa Transportation Authority, Metropolitan Transportation Commission, chairing both transportation committees in the California Legislature, and now as a member of the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee in the U.S. House of Representatives, Mark knows that the Bay Area can do better than Regional Measure 3. Regions like Seattle, Los Angeles, Portland, and San Diego are addressing their transportation issues with more innovative, efficient, and accountable approaches. The Bay Area deserves better.
East Bay Times: Traffic or $9 tolls? Bay Area voters to decide which is worse
ABC7 Bay Area News: Ballot Measure would raise Bay Area bridge tolls $3