Anna's Weekly Update
You are Invited to a Town Hall Meeting
On Thursday, February 20th I will be hosting a Town Hall Meeting on Election Security with my special guests Congresswoman Zoe Lofgren, California Secretary of State Alex Padilla, and President of San Jose State University Mary Papazian.
Date: Thursday 20 February 2020
Time: 4:00 p.m. to 5:30 p.m.
Place: Hammer Theatre at San Jose State University
101 Paseo de San Antonio (between 2nd and 3rd Streets), San Jose
The Town Hall Meeting is open to constituents of the 18th and 19th Congressional Districts on a first-come, first-served basis, and space is limited. Please RSVP in advance. Doors will open at 3:30 p.m., and if anyone requires special accommodations, please call Rep. Eshoo's Palo Alto office at 650-323-2984.
Highlights of What I Did in Congress This Week
Hearing on Women’s Access to Reproductive Health Care
As Chairwoman of the Health Subcommittee, I held the first legislative hearing in 20 years to protect women’s reproductive health and considered the Women’s Health Protection Act. This bill ensures that every American woman has equal access to comprehensive reproductive health care no matter where they live. Since 2011, states have passed more than 450 medically unnecessary restrictions on reproductive care. Today, 90 percent of counties in our country are without a single abortion provider, and six states have only one clinic.
The Women’s Health Protection Act creates a safeguard against bans and medically unnecessary restrictions. The bill also protects women’s freedom to make decisions about their own reproductive health care.
You can watch video of my opening statement HERE.
Voted YES on the Protecting America’s Wilderness Act
I voted for the Protecting America’s Wilderness Act, a package of six bills that protect public lands and waters in California, Colorado, and Washington. The bill designates approximately 1.3 million acres of wilderness, the strongest level of protection for federal land, and incorporates more than 1,000 river miles into the National Wild and Scenic River Systems (NWSRS). The legislation includes four key initiatives centered on protection for California landscapes and increased access to the outdoors:
- The Northwest California Wilderness, Recreation, and Working Forests Act
- The Central Coast Heritage Act
- The San Gabriel Mountains Foothills and Rivers Protection Act
- The Rim of the Valley Corridor Preservation Act
The legislation boosts recreation opportunities in California and preserves hundreds of thousands of acres of California wilderness, among other conservation initiatives to protect forests, habitats, and wild and scenic rivers. You can read detailed descriptions of the legislation here.
Voted YES to Remove the Deadline for the Ratification of the Equal Rights Amendment
The Equal Rights Amendment (ERA) simply states:
“Equality of rights under the law shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or any State on account of sex.”
The ERA would finally affirm women’s equality in our Constitution and strictly prohibit sex discrimination. The amendment passed the House and Senate with bipartisan support in 1971 and 1972, but it included a clause requiring ratification by 1979, which was later extended before it expired in 1982. At the time of expiration, 35 of the 38 required state legislatures had voted to ratify the ERA. Nevada ratified the ERA in 2017, Illinois in 2018 and, in January 2020, Virginia became the 38th state to ratify it. I voted to pass a resolution to remove the arbitrary 1982 deadline and take a critical step toward ensuring the ERA officially becomes the 28th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. Onward!
Legislation Anna Introduced and Cosponsored this Week
America’s Red Rock Wilderness Act
Our national parks and wildernesses are American treasures. Sadly, the Trump Administration continues their campaign to auction off these treasures to oil and gas corporations. The America’s Red Rock Wilderness Act will protect more than 8 million acres of Utah, including the Great Basin, Grand Staircase-Escalante, Moab-La Sal Canyons, Henry Mountains, Glen Canyon, San Juan-Anasazi, Canyonlands Basin, San Rafael Swell, Book Cliffs, and Uinta Basin. By designating these areas as wildernesses, wildlife will be protected, ancestral lands preserved, and access protected for future generations of hikers and environmental enthusiasts.
Housing Is Infrastructure Act
Rising housing costs continue to force more and more middle- and working-class residents to leave our region in search of affordable housing. This is unacceptable and threatens the composition and identity of our local communities. To address the affordable housing crisis, I cosponsored the Housing is Infrastructure Act which provides $100 billion for effective but underfunded federal programs to increase the supply of affordable housing.
Letters Anna Wrote this Week
Letter to FCC Chairman Ajit Pai Demanding Action on Russian Propaganda
This week I wrote my seventh letter to Federal Communications (FCC) Chairman Ajit Pai, urging him to investigate Russian state-sponsored media outlets broadcasting propaganda in the U.S. The U.S. Intelligence Community has concluded that Russian state-sponsored media meddled in our national elections when they pushed anti-U.S. messaging over American broadcast airwaves, and Russian state-sponsored media continues to air on American stations. The FCC is required to identify foreign propaganda on American airwaves, but under Chairman Pai’s leadership, the Commission has failed to enforce its own rules. The FCC’s continued inaction is a stunning abdication of its responsibility to protect Americans from malicious interference in our elections from a foreign adversary. As voters decide who we will elect to lead our country, it’s critical that we are not influenced by foreign propaganda. You can read my letter here.
Lyme Champion Award
It was a wonderful honor to receive the Lyme Champion Award from the Center for Lyme Action for my work to advance research and awareness for Lyme Disease. Through my legislation the Department of Health and Human Services has convened a working group of experts to review existing research and identify gaps in our understanding of tick-borne diseases. This has culminated in a report with recommendations for the federal government to address vector borne disease. Lyme disease is a debilitating condition and it’s one of the fastest growing infectious diseases in the United States with over 300,000 new cases diagnosed every year. Thank you to Center For Lyme Action co-founder Bonnie Crater of Portola Valley and all the Center’s advocates for your efforts to combat this terrible disease and for the generous award.
In the Words of My Constituents
Every week hundreds of my constituents call and write to me to express their concerns, share their passions, and ask questions regarding legislation and policies. Over 10,067 constituents have already contacted me in 2020. I actually read every communication and every constituent receives a personal response to their specific questions and comments from me. This week, 1,353 constituents contacted our office about issues including:
- 181 constituents wrote to me in opposition of fracking
- 61 constituents wrote to me in support of eliminating the time limit on the ERA ratification
- 50 constituents wrote to me in support of the Banning Toxic Pesticides Act
Anna's Recommended Reading and Watching
I frequently read articles or see videos that I think my constituents would benefit from.
Washington Post Opinion (2/13/2020) – “Health-care workers are the front-line warriors against coronavirus. We must protect them.”
Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy Director Michael Osterholm and Documentarian Mark Olshaker make the strong case to prioritize health-care workers and first responders when it comes to the distribution of protective health equipment. To minimize the threat of coronavirus, we must ensure our health providers are healthy enough to perform their duties.
U.S. Census Job Openings
The U.S. Census Bureau needs to hire more workers in the Bay Area for the 2020 Census. They have temporary supervisory, outreach, and recruiting positions available, the pay is competitive, and the work is critical to obtaining an accurate count for next year’s census. You can find more information on available positions here.