October 18th, 2017 | News

Making Strides for Our Valley

Dear Friends,

It has been another busy week in Washington D.C., working on behalf of the people I have the privilege of representing. With that in mind, I would like to share with you what I have been doing to help keep our Valley safe, grow our economy, and strengthen our vibrant agricultural system.

Protecting our Valley and the American People

As a Member of Congress, my first and most important duty is to protect the American people from all enemies, both foreign and domestic. The recent provocative actions by North Korea have been a cause for concern and must be taken seriously. Last week, I joined with the House Democratic Caucus National Security Task Force in sending a letter to President Trump urging him to adopt a strategic, steady, and comprehensive policy towards North Korea. Where appropriate and effective, our strategy towards North Korea must include economic sanctions, diplomatic efforts, and working with our regional allies. The rogue regime of Kim Jong Un must understand that we will defend our allies of South Korea and Japan against any attack.

Additionally, I also joined many of my colleagues in calling on President Trump to recertify the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) – a.k.a. the Iran Nuclear Deal – as long as there is verification of credible evidence Iran is following the terms of the agreement. Refusing to recertify the Iran Nuclear Agreement without clear evidence that Iran has breached the agreement will deeply damage our relationships with our allies, and it will weaken our credibility worldwide. In order for a comprehensive national security strategy of economic sanctions, diplomacy, deterrence, and working with our allies to be successful at making the world safer, countries around the world must know that the United States will keep its word. Failing to certify the agreement in the absence of a breach by Iran is just the opposite, and it would also send the wrong message to North Korea at the exact moment we need confidence in U.S. diplomatic efforts.

Commonsense Policy on the Endangered Species Act

Earlier this month, the House Natural Resources Committee passed out of committee the Listing Reform Act (H.R. 717), which would amend the Endangered Species Act of 1973 (ESA). This change would require a review of the economic impact resulting from adding a species to the list of threatened species. We in the Valley have felt the impact of the ESA for over 10 years, with water shortages brought on through a combination of natural drought and regulatory controls put into place to try to recover three threatened fish species within the Delta. These regulations have caused real harm to our area and to our economy, and it is far past time to make a serious effort to modernize the ESA to reflect today’s realities. I voted to move this bill forward because it takes the commonsense approach of allowing the federal government to balance the impacts to our economy with the needs of our environment. If the economic impacts are significant, it preserves discretion in whether a species will be listed under the ESA. It is my hope that the House will consider and vote on this bill soon.

Rep. Costa speaks on the need to modernize the ESA

Wildfire Prevention Efforts

This year, wildfires have ravaged more than eight million acres of land and displaced thousands of individuals in California and across other western states. In just the past two months, the Railroad, Mission, South Fork, and Pier fires have devastated our forests and our local communities in the San Joaquin Valley. Together, these four fires burned well over 55,000 acres. For years I have advocated for reform that will end the broken cycle that takes funding from forest management efforts that prevent wildfires to pay for the emergency efforts to suppress and fight wildfires. The U.S. Forest Service has already spent a record number of dollars – more than $2.3 billion – on putting out fires this year alone. This cannot continue, and we need reform now. That is why I am cosponsoring the Wildfire Disaster Funding Actwhich aims to fix the escalating cost of fighting wildfires that crowd out funding for forest management. Additionally, I sent a letter to Office of Management and Budget Director Mick Mulvaney, asking him to review a proposal that includes comprehensive forest management and budget process reforms. Congress and the Administration need to come together on this issue, and I stand ready to work with my colleagues and the Trump Administration in order to help protect the American people.

Supporting DREAMers

Last month, I expressed my concern and extreme disappointment after the Trump Administration’s September 5, 2017 announcement to terminate the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program (DACA). These DREAMers deserve and were promised better. Over 800,000 of these young people came to this country at the average age of 6 years old. America is the only country they have really known.

As I have been saying for years, America needs a long-term solution for our broken immigration system, which requires a deliberative policy process and a willingness to work together and compromise for the good of the country. While we work on bipartisan comprehensive immigration reform, it is also important that we stand with the young people previously protected by DACA. That is why I joined some of my colleagues in Congress in urging the administration to extend the deadline for DACA permit renewal to January 15, 2018 or until Congress has time to seriously consider a legislative solution. In addition, I am a cosponsor of the DREAM Act (H.R. 3440), and I signed the discharge petition that would bring the DREAM Act to the floor of the U.S. House of Representative for consideration. The Trump Administration has expressed a willingness to work with Congress on this issue, and it is my hope that we can come together to put into law protections for these young people.

Rep. Costa advocates for Protection of DREAMers and Bipartisan Immigration Reform

Thank you for taking the time to read this newsletter update. As always, please do not hesitate to contact me regarding any federal issues of your concern. To stay up-to-date on the work I am doing in Congress, please visit my website at costa.house.gov and sign up for my e-newsletter here. You can also follow my work and events in our Valley on my Facebook pageand twitter account.

Sincerely,

Jim Costa
Member of Congress

 

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October 18th, 2017 | News

Devastating

Kamala Harris

Fresno County, the wildfires in Northern and Southern California have been devastating.

Many lives have been lost, hundreds of people are missing, and tens of thousands of Californians have been ordered to evacuate. It’s being called “one of the worst disasters in California history.” This situation is gut-wrenching and we have to act.

The people of California need us to step up for them, which is why I’m asking you to make a contribution to support two local nonprofits that are working to help those who have been displaced and hurt by these fires. 

Can you make a contribution to help our brothers, sisters, and friends in California who are affected by these wildfires? Your donation will make a real difference in the lives of so many.

DONATE TO SUPPORT WILDFIRE VICTIMS

It’s been a difficult year for our country, where so many communities—from Houston to Puerto Rico—have faced historic and unimaginable tragedies.

Throughout every single natural disaster, we have seen Americans rise up to push past the issues that divide and help our neighbors and friends. Team Kamala members like you have contributed nearly $600,000 to support hurricane victims over the last several weeks, and once again we’re being called on to act:

Please make a contribution of $100, or whatever is meaningful and possible for you, to support victims of the wildfires in California. 

Thanks for all you do.

Kamala Harris
U.S. Senator, California

CONTRIBUTE

 

 

October 17th, 2017 | News

Your Weekly CDP Update

CDP

This has been another productive week for the CDP. See below for a recap of the week’s activities.

Fire Relief
The wildfires in Northern California are continuing to cause enormous devastation and human suffering. This is the deadliest series of fires in California history, and the death toll is still climbing. Tens of thousands are still under evacuation orders. Thousands of homes and businesses have been destroyed.

This is a horrific tragedy, and our entire CDP family joins in mourning for the victims and praying for the survivors. Our state has experienced disasters before, and we’ve always come through them because of the spirit of compassion and generosity that makes California such a wonderful and inclusive place to live.

Please take a moment and make a donation to any of the following relief funds that have been set up to support the victims of this tragedy—this is their hour of need, and as Democrats, we must stand with them.


Rules Committee Executive Board Meeting Update
At the August 2017 CDP Executive Board Meeting, the CDP Rules Committee recommended Bylaw amendment proposals for consideration at the November 2017 CDP Executive Board Meeting, November 17-19, 2017, at Westin San Francisco Airport.

Please click here to view the Bylaw amendment proposals for consideration and click here to view a memo on Bylaw amendment proposal regarding platform.

Please click here to visit the CDP Rules Committee webpage for other information.

Platform Committee Requests Your Input
The CDP adopts a platform every two years. The CDP Platform Committee is currently working on drafting the new platform, which will be considered and adopted at the California Democrats State Convention in 2018. We welcome your input and participation through the drafting process. Please note that all testimony and language proposals must be submitted in writing. The deadline to submit written testimony and language proposals is Friday, November 17, 2017, at 5 PM. To submit written testimony and language proposals, please visit the CDP Platform Committee webpage at www.cadem.org/platform. Please feel free to share the information with your contacts.

Regional Meetings
CDP Regional Meetings are held across the state prior to the November 2017 CDP Executive Board Meeting and are currently underway. For information on the Regional Meeting in your area, please visit the CDP Events webpage.

Endorsement General Information
The CDP Endorsements webpage is live at www.cadem.org/endorsements. Please visit the Endorsements webpage for information on the 2018 CDP endorsement process. The webpage will be updated periodically.

In Case You Missed It
CDP Political Director Clark Lee shared the latest news from the Josh Newman Campaign about Republican efforts to silence the victims of voter fraud.

Chair Eric C. Bauman attended the Tri Counties Democratic Club’s fundraiser and presented an award to Sen. Josh Newman.

Tricounty dem club dinner.jpg

And he applauded the news that Governor Brown has signed legislation by Sen. Ed Hernandez to prevent pharmaceutical companies from suddenly raising the cost of lifesaving prescription drugs:

“Pharmaceuticals are uniquely susceptible to the kind of price gouging made infamous by Martin Shkreli, the notorious ‘pharma-bro’ who announced a massive increase in the cost of a lifesaving drug with no warning to patients, caregivers or the general public. With today’s signing of SB 17 into law, patients and caregivers across California can breathe a sigh of relief because this kind of extortion by unscrupulous pharmaceutical executives is now illegal in California.

This is one of the most important consumer and patient protection laws in decades. The California Democratic Party made this bill an urgent legislative priority, and more than a thousand people added their name to our letter urging approval of SB 17. I want to thank Governor Brown and Senator Ed Hernandez for being true champions for California’s patients and caregivers.”

One week closer to 2018!

— CDP Update

October 17th, 2017 | News

Sabotage

Kamala Harris

Hi, Fresno County —

Since taking office, Donald Trump has sabotaged the Affordable Care Act in a callous and desperate attempt to force Congress to repeal the law. In recent weeks, he has gutted funding for recruitment, deleted publicly available information about how Americans can get care, and even reversed birth control coverage requirements.

Late last night, Trump took his assault on our health care one step further by canceling funding that reduces the cost of health care for millions of lower-income Americans.

This decision is devastating. Millions will lose access to affordable health care, plunging ACA markets into chaos — and risking insurance even for those who don’t require assistance.

The good news is there is something we can do about it. Congress has the authority to compel the federal government to make these payments and stabilize the health care markets. That’s why I’m reaching out today to ask you to take action:

Sign my petition telling Congress to prevent Trump from canceling ACA funding for lower-income Americans.

There is so much work we have to do to guarantee health care as a right for every single person in this country. But with Trump in the White House and the Republicans in control of Congress, we have to focus all our energy on preserving the progress we’ve made.

I have never seen an elected official so cruelly sabotage a law (and let’s not forget that Congress has still not renewed the funding for CHIP, which provides care for millions of our kids.)

The sad truth is that this will not be the last time Trump undermines the ACA and endangers health care for our friends, family, and neighbors. We have to be ready to make our voices heard and fight back with everything we’ve got — no matter what heartless and awful decisions this president and his advisors come up with next.

Add your name: Tell Congress to stop Trump from canceling these critical ACA payments.

Thanks for all you do.

Kamala Harris
U.S. Senator, California

SIGN THE PETITION

 

 

“Freedom is never really won. You earn it and win it in every generation.”
– Coretta Scott King

 

October 17th, 2017 | News

BREAKING: New executive order sabotages the ACA

Join us.

Trump’s latest executive order guts Obamacare.

I’ve had it.

The Trump administration just announced its latest attempt to sabotage our health care system — a new executive order allowing businesses to purchase bare-bones insurance plans that undermine protections put in place by the Affordable Care Act.

Millions of Americans from every state have rallied, signed petitions, and made phone calls to share their stories and let Republicans know how helpful access to affordable care has been to them and their families.

But Republicans keep ignoring us. And after repeated failures to repeal our health care, the GOP has decided to forego our checks and balances in favor of Trump’s recklessness.

This White House has purposely cut funding for advertising efforts to promote Obamacare’s next open enrollment period. They’ve attacked women’s rights by rolling back the ACA mandate that requires employers to cover birth control.

Now, they’re working to undermine our health care system by creating markets that only healthy people can afford — leaving millions of Americans with pre-existing conditions out in the cold.

Trump considers undoing anything with President Obama’s name on it a win — but health care is not a game. It’s a right for every American.

Let’s show this White House and Republicans in Congress what happens when they decide to ignore the majority of Americans and gut Obamacare.

Thank you,

Tom

Tom Perez
Chair
Democratic National Committee

October 17th, 2017 | News

20,000 people have been ordered to evacuate

Kamala Harris

The wildfires in Northern and Southern California have been devastating.

Many lives have been lost, hundreds of people are missing, and more than 20,000 Californians have been ordered to evacuate. It’s being called “one of the worst disasters in California history.” This situation is gut-wrenching and we have to act.

The people of California need us to step up for them, which is why I’m asking you to make a contribution to support two local nonprofits that are working to help those who have been displaced and hurt by these fires. 

Can you make a contribution to help our brothers, sisters, and friends in California who are affected by these wildfires? Your donation will make a real difference in the lives of so many.

DONATE TO SUPPORT WILDFIRE VICTIMS

It’s been a difficult year for our country, where so many communities—from Houston to Puerto Rico—have faced historic and unimaginable tragedies.

Throughout every single natural disaster, we have seen Americans rise up to push past the issues that divide and help our neighbors and friends. Team Kamala members like you have contributed nearly $600,000 to support hurricane victims over the last several weeks, and once again we’re being called on to act:

Please make a contribution of $3, or whatever is meaningful and possible for you, to support victims of the wildfires in California. 

Thanks for all you do.

Kamala Harris
U.S. Senator, California

CONTRIBUTE

 

 

October 14th, 2017 | News

October 11th, 2017 | News

Governor Signs Salas’ Bill to Help Bring Clean Water to Severely Disadvantaged Communities

October 11th, 2017 | News

Costa Joins House Democratic National Security Task Force in Calling for a Strong & Comprehensive Strategy Toward North Korea

FROM THE OFFICE OF CONGRESSMAN

JIM COSTA

Representing California’s 16th District
Fresno County · Merced County · Madera County

 

 

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                     CONTACT:       Claudia Larson

October 4, 2017                                                                                              202-570-5195

 

Costa Joins House Democratic National Security Task Force in

Calling for a Strong & Comprehensive Strategy Toward North Korea

 

WASHINGTON, DC – Today members of the U.S. House of Representatives – led by the House Democratic Caucus National Security Task Force – sent a letter to President Trump, urging him “to adopt a strong, strategic and steady policy toward North Korea.” The letter provides five principles those who signed the letter assert should guide the U.S. strategy toward North Korea, including increasing economic pressure through sanctions, enhancing diplomatic efforts, strengthening relationships with allies in the region, and maintaining U.S. military deterrence and defense efforts.

 

Congressman Jim Costa (CA-16), who joined 67 of his House colleagues in sending the letter, said, “North Korea’s continued development of nuclear arms and refusal to obey U.N. Security Council Resolutions is a very serious cause of concern, and it must be taken seriously. We must be strategic, we must work with our allies, and we must be steadfast in our resolve.”

 

The letter notes that North Korea’s “rapidly advancing nuclear and missile capabilities threaten the United States and our allies,” and that the U.S. can successfully navigate this increasingly critical security situation with a strong and comprehensive strategy. The House Democratic National Security Task Force is co-chaired by Representatives Seth Moulton (MA-6), Stephanie Murphy (FL-7), and Jimmy Panetta (CA-20).

 

The full text of the letter is below and the signed letter can be found here.

______________________________________________________________________________

 

Dear Mr. President,

 

We write to urge you to adopt a strong, strategic and steady policy toward North Korea, whose rapidly advancing nuclear and missile capabilities threaten the United States and our allies.

 

We acknowledge two fundamental points. First, North Korea’s dangerous and destabilizing actions, in defiance of U.N. Security Council resolutions dating back to 2006, are the root cause of tensions between North Korea and the international community. Nevertheless, we believe your rhetoric in response has been counterproductive, escalating an already-dangerous situation. Second, while North Korea has been described as “the land of lousy options,” we believe the U.S. can maximize the chance of success by charting a careful course that avoids capitulation to, or catastrophic war with, North Korea.

 

In our view, U.S. strategy toward North Korea should be guided by the following principles.

 

  • Increase Economic Pressure on North Korea Through the Imposition and Effective Enforcement of Sanctions

 

U.S. and international economic sanctions on North Korea should be calibrated to make it harder for North Korea to import the technology and acquire the hard currency necessary to advance its nuclear and missile programs. They should also be tailored to produce sufficient economic hardship, particularly among the regime’s elites, to cause Kim Jong-un to conclude that the cost of these programs outweigh their benefit and—accordingly—to choose negotiation over aggression. While U.S. and U.N. sanctions were recently strengthened, we believe there is room for more serious and sustained economic pressure on North Korea in an effort to change its strategic calculus.

 

While multilateral agreement to impose sanctions requires a significant diplomatic commitment, effective enforcement of sanctions involves even more time and resources. Far more should be done to ensure that other nations, including but not limited to China, are fulfilling their legal obligations. If a country has the will but not the ability to enforce sanctions against North Korea, the U.S. should offer technical or financial assistance. Conversely, if a country possesses the capacity but not the desire to implement sanctions, American officials should make clear to that country that it risks a fundamental breach in our bilateral relationship. The U.S. intelligence community, the Department of the Treasury, and the Department of State should monitor, address and—where appropriate—penalize non-compliance in accordance with U.S. sanctions law.

 

  • Enhance U.S. Diplomatic Efforts, Especially Crisis Management Channels

 

Tough, principled diplomacy with North Korea is not a concession or sign of weakness. President Reagan negotiated with the Soviet Union at the height of the Cold War. Whether North Korea is prepared to negotiate an enduring and verifiable suspension of its nuclear and missile programs in exchange for sanctions relief is up to Pyongyang.  But the United States should always be ready and willing to talk without preconditions.

 

In the interim, the U.S. must establish effective crisis-management channels with North Korea to clarify intentions and minimize the risk of miscalculation.  When the U.S. communicates clearly and consistently to an adversary, it makes it less likely that the adversary will intentionally or inadvertently begin a conflict.

 

  • Strengthen, Don’t Subvert, Alliances in East Asia

 

At his confirmation hearing, Secretary of Defense James Mattis stated: “History is clear: nations with strong allies thrive and those without them wither.” We are concerned that U.S. alliances in East Asia, particularly our security and economic partnership with South Korea, are being mismanaged. After North Korea’s latest nuclear test, we were discouraged to see you accuse South Korean President Moon of “appeasement” toward North Korea, a claim as untrue as it is unhelpful.

 

Furthermore, while we have a range of views on the 2012 U.S.-Korea Free Trade Agreement, we believe that now is the wrong time for the administration to engage in loose talk about unilateral withdrawal from the agreement. Kim Jong-un seeks to undermine the relationship between the U.S. and South Korea and to cause South Korea to question the credibility of our commitments. We should stand steadfast with our allies, not further Kim’s efforts to divide us.

 

  • Recognize that Personnel is Policy

 

We are disappointed that, eight months into your tenure, key policymakers needed to craft and carry out U.S. strategy in East Asia are not in place.  At the Department of State, you have yet to nominate an individual to serve as Assistant Secretary in the Bureau of East Asian and Pacific Affairs, U.S. Ambassador to South Korea, or Under Secretary for Arms Control and International Security. At the Department of Defense, you have not nominated an individual to serve as Assistant Secretary for Asian and Pacific Security Affairs or appointed an individual to serve as Deputy Assistant Secretary for East Asia. These are self-inflicted wounds. We urge you to swiftly nominate or name qualified individuals to these critical positions.

 

  • Maintain Deterrence and Defense

 

For nearly 65 years, U.S. leadership, military presence, and engagement with allies has prevented another devastating conflict on the Korean peninsula. While Kim Il-Sung, Kim Jong-Il, and now Kim Jong-un have acted aggressively, each has concluded that a direct attack on the U.S. or our allies would produce unacceptable consequences for the regime. The U.S. must continue to impart this message to North Korea through a variety of means, including by enhancing defensive systems and bolstering defense cooperation and intelligence sharing with South Korea and Japan.

 

Rather than using reckless rhetoric and sending muddled messages to our allies, the U.S. should pursue a comprehensive strategy toward North Korea that consists of economic pressure, strong and steady diplomacy, and credible deterrence and defense.

 

Sincerely,

 

###

 

October 11th, 2017 | News

California Wildfires: How You Can Help the Victims

CDP

Wildfires are burning out of control across the state. These are already some of the most destructive and deadly fires in recent memory. At least 15 people have already lost their lives, and thousands of people have been forced to evacuate their homes.

Our hearts go out to those who have lost homes, livelihoods and loved ones. Please join us in supporting our brothers and sisters in this difficult moment — relief organizations are on the ground providing support for the victims, and they need help. Please consider making a donation or signing up to volunteer to help the victims of these terrible wildfires.

Many of our brothers and sisters are facing a long and difficult road of rebuilding and recovering from the fires, and we must stand with them in their hour of need.

In Solidarity,

The CDP Team

 

1035 U Street
Fresno, CA 93721
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Events Calendar:


Thanks to Our 2017 Fund-Raiser Sponsors

Jim Costa for Congress Committee
The Rios Company

Sponsors:
Fresno-Madera-Tulare-Kings Central Labor Council
Iron Workers Local Union 155
Northern California Carpenters Regional Council
Laborers International Union of North America Local 294
Professional Engineers in California Government
United Food & Commercial Workers
Service Employees International Union (SEIU) Local 2015

Patrons:
Assembly Member Joaquin Arambula
Fresno City Council Member Esmeralda Soria/State Center Community College District Trustee Miguel Arias
Loren Fenton
United Healthcare Workers
Service Employees International Union (SEIU)-United Healthcare Workers