Anna's Weekly Report
October 21, 2022
This week we received wonderful news for Americans with hearing loss: hearing aids are now available over the counter without a prescription or exam. This is going to save patients an average of $3,000 per pair and will be a major relief for the nearly 30 million Americans with hearing loss. I first voted for this policy in 2017 and I’m overjoyed to see my constituents finally enjoy this important benefit.
Student Debt Relief
More good news: the federal application for student loan debt relief is now open. Pell Grant recipients can apply for up to $20,000 in student debt relief, and up to $10,000 for non-Pell Grant recipients. The application takes less than 5 minutes to fill out, and you don’t need an ID or upload any documents. More than 8 million Americans have already applied. Importantly, applications are due by December 31, 2023. Apply here: studentaid.gov/debt-relief/application
Visit to Stanford Linear Accelerator (SLAC) by Secretary of State
It was an honor to welcome Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi to our congressional district this week. We met for a tour of SLAC and were briefed by Director Chi-Chang Kao and his extraordinary team of scientists who are conducting cutting-edge research in areas critical to U.S. interests at home and abroad including climate change, health care, and microelectronics. Secretary Blinken spoke to the importance of maintaining America’s scientific leadership and its importance in advancing our country’s economic and national security. SLAC is home to four Nobel Prize winners, three in physics and one in chemistry.
We toured the Linac Coherent Light Source (LCLS), which is the world’s brightest x-ray laser and is used to observe materials and chemical reactions at the atomic level, and the Legacy Survey of Space and Time Camera (LSST), a component of the Vera Rubin Observatory under construction in Chile. It is the largest digital camera in the world, with 3.2 gigapixels – 260 times the resolution of the latest iPhone – and will help advance our understanding of dark matter and the formation of galaxies.
Santa Cruz County Celebrates “Congresswoman Anna Eshoo Day”
What an extraordinary day I had on Tuesday when the Santa Cruz County Board of Supervisors declared October 18th Congresswoman Anna Eshoo Day! With new lines having been drawn for all congressional districts, ours will no longer include parts of Santa Cruz County. It’s been one of the great honors of my life to represent the wonderful people in the beautiful San Lorenzo Valley and Scotts Valley. We formed enduring friendships over the years and were tested to the max during floods, landslides, and the catastrophic CZU fire. Through it all, we worked together to meet the challenges. It was one of the most meaningful days of my life and I am so grateful to the Board of Supervisors, Senator John Laird, Assemblyman Mark Stone, former Assemblyman Fred Keeley, and all the community leaders who offered such generous and kind remarks.
You can view the community’s comments on Congresswoman Anna Eshoo Day here.
The official proclamation and resolution establishing Congresswoman Anna Eshoo Day are below.
Medicare Town Hall Meeting
This week I held a Virtual Town Hall Meeting on Medicare with special guest Casey Schwarz, Senior Counsel with the Medicare Rights Center. Over 550 constituents participated as we discussed the new benefits Congress has put in place for Medicare beneficiaries and answered questions about Medicare open enrollment and the new benefits. You can watch a recording of the event HERE.
As a reminder, the Medicare open enrollment period has begun and lasts until December 7th. During this time you can make changes to your Medicare health plan or prescription drug plan. Any changes you make to your coverage will take effect January 1st. For help comparing your coverage options, you can go online to Medicare.gov, call 1-800-Medicare, or access free personalized health insurance counseling through the California Health Insurance Counseling and Advocacy Program (HICAP) at 1-800-434-0222.
Leadership Mountain View (LMV)
This week I joined Leadership Mountain View (LMV) for a conversation about my career in public service. LMV is a community leadership education program for professionals in Mountain View to learn about government, public safety, education, business, health and human services, arts, media, and diversity. It was an honor to meet with this year’s group which is a mix of private, public, and nonprofit leaders, including city employees, healthcare and tech experts, self-employed entrepreneurs, and educators.
Legislation Anna Cosponsored
Resolution Condemning the Iranian Government for the Death of Mahsa Amini
A month ago, Mahsa Amini was visiting her family in Tehran when she was arrested by Iran’s “Morality Police” for wearing a hijab improperly. She died three days later after being severely beaten in police custody. Ms. Amini’s brutal and tragic murder has brought thousands of brave Iranian women to the streets to protest state-sanctioned violence against women, political and religious repression, and rampant government corruption. The Iranian government responded by unleashing horrific violence against peaceful protesters, killing more than 200 people and arresting thousands.
The bravery of Iranian women who are putting their lives on the line to demand dignity and basic human rights has captured the world, and the U.S. must support them however we can. I’m proud to be a cosponsor of House Resolution 1397, which condemns the Iranian government for the murder of Mahsa Amini and their brutal crackdown on protesters. The Resolution also urges the Administration to impose additional sanctions against Iranian officials responsible for human rights abuses.
Covid-19 and Flu Vaccines
The FDA authorized the bivalent Covid-19 booster for children ages 5 years and older last week. This booster targets the highly contagious Omicron variant of Covid-19, as well as the original strain of Covid-19.
Those 5 years and older who got a Covid booster at least two months ago are now eligible for this new booster. For those who experienced a Covid-19 infection and it was at least three months ago, you are eligible for the new bivalent booster. You can sign up immediately for a free appointment at your county’s website below, and it’s very easy to do.
Flu season is upon us! The flu and Covid-19 vaccines are safe to receive together, and most vaccination centers will have both available. Learn where you can get your flu vaccine here: www.vaccines.gov/find-vaccines
In the Words of My Constituents
Every week hundreds of constituents call and write to me to express their concerns, share their passions, and ask questions regarding legislation and policies. Over 112,045 constituents have contacted me this year. I actually read every communication and every constituent receives a personal response to their specific questions and comments from me. This week, 1,951 constituents contacted me about issues including:
- 81 messages in support of the Environmental Justice for All Act
- 63 messages in support of the protests against repression in Iran
- 48 messages in support of the People Over Pentagon Act
Anna’s Work in the News
- Lawmakers Take Aim at Foreign Disinformation in Broadcasting—Bloomberg Government
- Composting waste pilot project gets nod from Santa Cruz County Supervisors – Santa Cruz Sentinel
- Spotted: Secretary of State Antony Blinken at SLAC in Menlo Park – InMenlo
- How to protect schools getting whacked by ransomware—Washington Post
- Racial disparities in neonatal mortality even wider with tools like IVF, study finds—STAT
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I close with this thought. Always know how deeply grateful I am for the trust you’ve placed in me to represent you. I work daily to live up to it.
Anna G. Eshoo
Member of Congress