Weekly Update from Rep. Denham - February 1, 2013
It was another eventful week meeting with many of you back home in the Valley. We hit the ground running with a San Joaquin Regional Rail Commission management and leadership team meeting on Tuesday to discuss the opportunity for more effective and innovative approaches to passenger rail service and touring their new maintenance facility, which is due to be completed this year. As the newly appointed Chairman of the Rail Subcommittee for the 113th Congress, I plan to make passenger rail reauthorization programs, which include systems like ACE Train, Amtrak and high-speed rail, a top priority as Congress looks for ways to promote economic development and generate American jobs here in the Valley.
Water remains the most important factor for job creation in the Central Valley, and as your representative, I have made it a priority to maintain a steady focus on water policies impacting California. On Wednesday, I had the opportunity to speak before the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to express my concerns regarding the hydroelectric relicensing of Don Pedro Reservoir, which is where both the Modesto Irrigation District and the Turlock Irrigation District store water for irrigation, power generation and municipal water supplies. I also discussed the importance of MID’s and TID’s continued water deliveries to the Valley, keeping energy costs low for families through the generation of renewable hydropower, and encouraged the reduction of burdensome environmental and governmental regulations.
In an effort to improve the health of our district, I also met with several San Joaquin and Stanislaus County leaders at the Kaiser Community Leader Forum in Modesto to discuss new approaches to improving community health by focusing on education, access to healthy food, and access to health care.
As immigration reform takes the forefront on our national stage, I remain committed to hearing thoughts and ideas from all parties involved to ensure issues facing our Valley farmers, businesses and families are addressed.
This week, I met with Congregations Building Communities and several local Latino leaders on the impact of immigration laws in the Central Valley. It’s so important to be able to discuss the real-life impact these policy decisions will have on us here at home and I plan to let me colleagues in DC know what is workable for Valley families.
A special thanks goes to Joean Agaj and Davood Soheilabady for welcoming me into their home to take part in their Naturalization of Oath Ceremony earlier this week. It was an honor to witness the culmination of the naturalization process in their Oath of Allegiance to the United States and to once again see the pride and joy our nation’s values bring so many around the world.
I was thrilled to see so many of you at my office’s Open House in Modesto Wednesday evening. We had over 200 of our constituents show up, and I had the pleasure of meeting many new faces as well as visiting with many familiar faces from the Stanislaus and San Joaquin communities. Pictures from the Open House are on my Facebook pagehere. My staff and I are here to assist you, and there are a variety of constituent services we provide. For more information on any of these items, you can visit my website’s “Serving You” section or call my Modesto office at 209-579-5458. READ MORE
Lastly, I’m pleased to report the Senate passed my Federal Emergency Management Agency reform bill Monday and the Presidentsigned it into law on Tuesday. My reforms will streamline FEMA, save money, shave critical hours and days off recovering times, allow communities more say in how recovery happens, and respond to threats before disasters occur. The measure was the culmination of two years of work as Chairman of the subcommittee overseeing FEMA and I’m happy these much needed reforms are now law. READ MORE
In the coming months, I look forward to our continued meetings back home and in D.C. on the issues that are most important to our community. Please continue to let me know your thoughts by emailing me through my website or visiting my facebook and twitter. My priorities are the Valley’s priorities, and I am honored to be able to bring our voice to Washington, D.C.
Have a great weekend,