Weekly Update from Rep. Denham - January 11, 2013
This week has been a productive week of meeting many people in the 10th Congressional District. A particularly special treat was visiting with many of our future leaders in our local elementary schools where I had the privilege of reading to them from some of the books my office collected from the Library of Congress Surplus program and donated to their school libraries. This week I visited Sinclear Elementary School in Ceres and Salida Middle School. Donating these books is a simple way to help our local schools stock their shelves and replace older books. If your school would like to request books from the surplus collection at the Library of Congress, please contact my Modesto Office at 209-579-5458 to find out more information.
As a fellow veteran myself, it was such an honor to present Vietnam combat veteran and Turlock native Rufino “Joe” Centeno with seven awards and decorations earned for his distinguished service during the Vietnam War in 1968 on Wednesday. Mr. Centeno is a distinguished American who waited far too long to receive his Combat Infantry Badge, and I’m pleased our office could help secure due acknowledgment for his heroism during combat in Vietnam. I always enjoy being at the Modesto Vet Center, which is an outstanding resource for the thousands of veteran heroes in our community. I invite you to reach out and discover ways you can support veterans in our neighborhood by contacting the Modesto Vet Center at 209-569-0713.
As new city councils, school boards and other local elected officials across the Valley commenced this week, I had the privilege of attending several swearing-in ceremonies in San Joaquin and Stanislaus Counties. I welcome the new and returning members and look forward to working together to get our economy back on track, create jobs, and remove impediments to business growth.
It was a pleasure to stop by Jake's Coffee, Tea, and Sandwiches to meet with newly sworn-in Ripon City Council Member Jake Parks at his cafe. It's encouraging to see small business owners and entrepreneurs putting their innovative minds to the task of city planning and development. Congratulations to Jake and all other members of our local city councils.
In addition to city council meetings, the Tracy Chamber of Commerce meeting, and visiting small businesses, I had several valuable and informative meetings with local industries and services. I attended the Hispanic Leadership Forum, met with Patterson Joint Unified School District Superintendent Philip Alfano, sat down with farmers on the west side, and also toured Del Puerto Health Center in Patterson to discuss how I can best represent all of their diverse needs in the new 113th Congress. I look forward to helping people find work, creating an environment where small businesses can thrive, and assisting our educators in developing young people to be productive and thoughtful members of our community.
January is Human Trafficking Prevention Month and is a chance to rededicate ourselves to putting an end to one of the greatest human rights abuses of our time. I would like to take a moment to thank Without Permission and everyone who attended the “Walking Without Permission” event on Thursday for supporting this worthy cause. As the parents of two young children, my wife Sonia and I truly empathize with this cause. The sexual exploitation of young Americans needs to stop, and I applaud Without Permission's efforts to prevent human trafficking while offering support to survivors and their families here in the Valley. Today and every day, I encourage everyone in our community to work together to join the cause and help raise awareness. I recorded a video greeting for the event, which you can watch here: http://youtu.be/EbEOUXAi6h8.
With the advent of the cold and flu season, I got my seasonal influenza shot, which the Center for Disease Control (CDC) calls 'the first and most important step in protecting against flu viruses.' I encourage you visit http://CDC.gov/flu for resources that will help with your decision to get vaccinated and information on ways to protect yourself and others from contracting the flu.
I look forward to continued opportunities to meet with constituents and businesses in the district talking about significant issues such as water, education, housing, job creation and community service. Please continue to let me know your thoughts and concerns about issues facing our community, and also feel free to forward my weekly newsletter to your friends, family and neighbors. You may also visit my website, Facebook, and Twitter.