Weekly Update from Rep. Jeff Denham - August 24, 2012
At a time when unemployment levels are unacceptably high, helping people in the Central Valley get back to work is a top priority of mine. Wednesday's Job Fair in Turlock was a huge success and provided an opportunity for individuals in our community who are looking for work to meet with 47 local employers looking to fill almost 500 vacant job openings. I was very encouraged by the turnout of the job fair – we had over 2,000 participants total throughout the day – and it was especially great to see the event catered to job seekers of all ages and professions. We couldn't have done it without the partnership of the Stanislaus Alliance. Thanks go to them and to all the businesses and organizations that made the event a phenomenal success.
We’ve heard great feedback from many of you who attended the job fair, and I want to continue helping make the job search process easier by hosting more events like this one to provide an opportunity for job seekers to meet face-to-face with employers looking for new hires in the Valley. I'm also working very hard on the Washington side as well to assure that the federal government helps, rather than hurts, our local economy and small businesses. That’s why I’ve supported over thirty bipartisan solutions in the House of Representatives to encourage our small businesses, entrepreneurs and employers to grow by eliminating red tape and cutting federal budgets.
Following last week's field hearing in California on emergency preparedness and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), this week I took a tour of the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta. The tour was coordinated by the San Joaquin Farm Bureau and was an excellent opportunity to learn more about this important waterway. Part of the tour included visits with Mary Hildebrand at her family’s ranch and Susan Dell’Osso at the River Island at Lathrop. Both stops included discussions on the San Joaquin River, water rights, and flood protection the ongoing Lower San Joaquin River Regional Flood Bypass Project. Ensuring the region has proper levee and flood protection infrastructure is important for our community and one of the main areas of focus with the Transportation & Infrastructure Committee I sit on. I appreciate the San Joaquin Farm Bureau for arranging the tour and the discussions I had throughout the tour listening and seeing the issues first hand.
We concluded Tuesday’s tour of the Delta at the Port of Stockton, which is a valuable means of domestic and international trade, carrying goods and products grown in California's Central Valley and shipping them out to other ports both domestically and abroad. This important port is integral to the livelihood and job creation power of the entire Central California region. I have voted multiple times this Congress to increase free trade and help America export more products on the international market, which creates more jobs for us at home.
The Delta includes over 1,000 miles of waterways and 1,100 miles of levees, and it is critical that we ensure we have a plan in place to mitigate and recover from any disaster that might occur to protect our local communities. This Congress, I authored H.R. 2903, the FEMA Reauthorization Act, which would not only reauthorize FEMA and key emergency management programs such as the Urban Search and Rescue System, but would help streamline and reduce costs to disaster assistance programs, ensuring communities can recover more quickly following a disaster.
Next month (September) is FEMA’s National Preparedness Month, which highlights the importance of disaster preparedness for our whole community. As a Representative from California, my constituents and I know very well how important it is to plan and prepare for disasters. From earthquakes to floods to wildfires, good planning and preparedness saves lives and mitigates damages. That is why as Chairman of the House Transportation Subcommittee with jurisdiction over FEMA and emergency management, I am working to ensure that all levels of government are working together to plan for and prepare for any hazards and disasters. I’m honored to serve as Co-chair of this year's National Preparedness Month and will continue my efforts to help turn awareness into action in our homes, businesses and communities.
On Wednesday, I met with the Western United Dairymen in Modesto to discuss developments in the 2012 Farm Bill reauthorization which could be considered in the House of Representatives later this year. It is critical to hear how federal agriculture policy affects our state’s significant dairy and poultry industries, as well as the large variety of specialty crops. As you know, the agriculture industry contributes significantly to the economy in the Central Valley and as a farmer I want to approach the Farm Bill reauthorization fully aware of the specialized needs of various sectors of our agriculture economy.
This week’s Intern Spotlight featured Jonathan Oatman, who completed his summer internship in my Washington, D.C., office today. You can read more about Jonathan on my Facebook page here. Jonathan is one of the interns who have been working hard to assist me in my efforts to represent you in Congress. These bright and talented students are dedicated to serving the constituents of the 19th Congressional District. You can find the weekly Intern Spotlight highlighting one of our outstanding interns from our Washington, D.C., and District offices on my Facebook page at www.facebook.com/RepJeffDenham. For more information on Congressional Internships opportunities, please visit my website here.
It’s been extremely helpful to travel throughout the district these fast few weeks to participate in the many tours, events and constituent meetings to hear directly from you the concerns and issues which impact the Valley. Listening to what our citizens have to say, and sharing with them what I’m doing both in Washington and in the district is an honor and a privilege. 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, where you can find regular updates about my work at home in the Valley and in Washington.