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17 Nov
0

Building a Stronger Valley: Fighting for Tax Reform, Wildfire Prevention, and to end the Opioid Epidemic

 
Dear Friend,

As a member of Congress, I have the honor of representing California’s San Joaquin Valley. One of my top priorities in Congress is building a stronger and healthier Valley, and I wanted to share with you what we have been doing in Congress that directly affects our Valley.

Supporting Commonsense Tax Reform Proposals

As Congress works on tax reform, it is critical that any reform benefits hard working, middle-class families. That is why I wrote to House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Kevin Brady and Senate Finance Committee Chairman Orrin Hatch, urging them to make no changes to the state and local tax (SALT) deduction. The SALT deduction ensures the income of residents is not taxed twice, once by the state or local government and then again by the federal government. The deduction saved money for over 133,000 families in Fresno, Merced, and Madera counties in 2015. Under the new tax bill, those in our district who claimed a SALT deduction will see on average $7,517 less in the SALT deduction than they were able to claim in 2015. Any tax reform package should ensure that, if the SALT deduction is eliminated in order to simplify the tax code, other changes to the code be put in place to ensure that taxes are not raised on any middle-class families across our Valley and our country.

Additionally, the Child Tax Credit (CTC) has been incredibly successful in helping working families escape poverty and achieve greater self-sufficiency. In 2015 alone, the CTC lifted 2.8 million people – including 1.6 million children – out of poverty. It is critical that the CTC is protected in any tax reform package, and I sent a letter to House Speaker Paul Ryan and Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi urging them to reject any reductions to the CTC.

As I have long said, the tax code is too complex and limits incentives for businesses and individuals to invest in the American economy. I stand ready to work with my colleagues to reform the tax code to make it a fairer, simpler code that drives economic growth, makes sense for every American, and does not add to our national deficit. Today, America’s national debt is over $20 trillion. The House tax bill would add, at a minimum, $1.5 trillion to our national debt. Increasing our debt will slow wage growth and the growth of our economy as well as lead to fewer jobs and higher interest rates. We cannot saddle future generations with our debt. We must put our families, communities, farms, and small businesses first when considering any changes to the tax code.

Wildfire Prevention

Years of forest land mismanagement has contributed to the rise of catastrophic wildfires, the devastation of which we know all too well in California and other western states. The root of this problem is our inability to manage our forests due to complex congressional budgeting rules. These rules result in the money Congress directs to prevent wildfires through forest management to instead be spent to fight these fires. This leads to an endless cycle of neglected forests creating more destructive fires, which then further hampers the ability to use management tools to harvest trees and clear underbrush. The U.S. Forest Service has spent more than $2.3 billion on fire suppression in the 2017 fiscal year, the most ever spent in a single year to fight wildfires. Almost $576 million of this nearly $2.3 billion was originally designated for forest management activities. While not perfect, I voted in favor of the Resilient Federal Forests Act earlier this month to address some of the weaknesses in the current national forest management system, including this endless cycle caused by the current budgetary rules. More effective management will not only better protect our communities from these fires, it will also provide increased water supply reliability and improved water quality. It is my hope that we can work together to improve the legislation in the Senate, and that, with improvements, it will ultimately be signed into law.

Keeping Our National Parks Accessible to the Public

Our nation’s public lands are a precious resource for our communities, and they present remarkable opportunities for recreation and conservation activities. We in the San Joaquin Valley understand just how valuable these lands are and how important it is for all Americans to have affordable access to them. That is why I was disappointed to hear that the Department of Interior is considering steep raises in fees for 17 national parks, including our local gem and the crown jewel of the National Park System, Yosemite National Park. Under the proposal, peak season cost-per-vehicle could increase from $25-30 to $75, and per-person fees could increase from $10-14 to $30. While I support the goal of tackling the serious maintenance our parks need, shifting the cost to visitors is the wrong approach. Access to these parks needs to remain affordable for current visitors and for future generations, which is why I have asked Interior Secretary Zinke not to move forward with these proposed fee increases and instead support alternative proposals to address the serious maintenance backlog.

Fighting the Opioid Epidemic

The crisis surrounding opioid abuse and addiction has been wreaking havoc in communities across our nation for years. These powerful drugs have hurt far too many of our neighbors, families, and, especially, young people. From first responders, to local law enforcement, to elected officials, we all have a role to play in helping combat this crisis. That is why I voted with my colleagues in the House of Representatives to pass the bipartisan INTERDICT Act, which authorizes $9 million to give U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) the tools they need to screen for opioids that are being illegally smuggled into the United States. This bill will help save lives and ensure that CBP, as the first line of defense in this crisis, we need to keep our communities safe. It is my hope that the U.S. Senate will quickly pass this bill so it can be signed into law as soon as possible.

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 page and twitter account.

Sincerely,


Jim Costa
Member of Congress

Click here to subscribe to my e-newsletter

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17 Nov
0

See you at E-Board!


The Fresno County Democratic Central Committee has not endorsed any candidate in this race.


 

Alex Padilla

Democrats,

 

Secretary of State Alex Padilla is looking forward to seeing you at E-Board this weekend in San Francisco! Secretary Padilla is excited to hear from you while he’s there, and to tell you about the big week the campaign is having!

 

Leaders in California such as Governor Jerry Brown and Lt. Governor Gavin Newsom and a number of Labor Unions, including SEIU California, endorsed Secretary Padilla this week. These leaders and groups work tirelessly for California and California’s working families. We’re humbled and thrilled by their endorsements.

 

We’re also excited to announce so many endorsements from the California Democratic Congressional delegation!

 

These leaders have endorsed Secretary Padilla for reelection because they know that he is fighting for California. Join them in endorsing Secretary Padilla for re-election.

 

Secretary Padilla will be at the California Democratic Party’s Executive Board meeting this weekend because he’s invested in the future of the California Democratic Party. Will you be there?

 

Since 2015, Secretary Padilla has made remarkable strides in making it more convenient for eligible Californians to register and vote. He has aggressively promoted online voter registration, sponsored the New Motor Voter Act, sponsored the Voters Choice Act, and, this year, launched online pre-registration for 16- and 17-year-olds so that they can vote as soon as they turn 18. With Trump in office, we know that expanding voter rights isn’t always easy. But Secretary Padilla has been on the front lines defending the right to vote against attacks at the national level. Remember, he was quick to say, “No!” to the President’s Advisory Commission on Election Integrity when they requested the personal information for all California voters.

 

Here’s a list of those who have endorsed Secretary Padilla so far: Will you join them?

 

Members of Congress:

  • Congressman Pete Aguilar
  • Congresswoman Nanette Barragan
  • Congresswoman Karen Bass
  • Congressman Ami Bera
  • Congresswoman Julia Brownley
  • Congressman Salud Carbajal
  • Congressman Tony Cardenas
  • Congresswoman Judy Chu
  • Congressman Lou Correa
  • Congressman Mark DeSaulnier
  • Senator Dianne Feinstein
  • Congressman Jared Huffman
  • Congressman Ro Khanna
  • Congressman Ted Lieu
  • Congresswoman Zoe Lofgren
  • Congressman Alan Lowenthal
  • Congresswoman Lucille Roybal-Allard
  • Congressman Brad Sherman
  • Congressman Eric Swalwell
  • Congressman Mark Takano
  • Congressman Mike Thompson
  • Congresswoman Norma Torres

California State Leaders:

  • Governor Jerry Brown
  •  Lieutenant Governor Gavin Newsom
  • Attorney General Xavier Becerra
  • Controller Betty Yee
  • State Superintendent Tom Torlakson
  • Dozens of legislators as well as the California Legislative Latino Caucus joined them in the endorsement

Labor Unions:

  • Service Employees International Union (SEIU) California
  • California Professional Firefighters
  • Peace Officers Research Association of California (PORAC)
  • California Statewide Law Enforcement Association (CSLEA)
  • California Association of Professional Scientists
  • San Francisco Police Officers Association
  • Northern California Carpenters Regional Council

Thank you for your support,

 

Team Padilla

ADD YOUR NAME

 

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17 Nov
0

Friday, November 17 at Fresno City Hall

There will be a Rally and Protest this Friday at Fresno City Hall to advocate for transgender rights and safety – focusing on the Homeless No Camping ordinance.  The event will be at 4:30 p.m. and it would be great if you could come and show your support for this important cause.  Zoyer Zyndel, one of the organizers of the event, invited me to say a few words about how few shelter beds there are for the homeless and why that is a problem.

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17 Nov
0

Commissioner Suing the Commission


The Fresno County Democratic Central Committee has not endorsed any candidate in this race.


Alex Padilla

HTML tutorialProPublica | November 9, 2017

Did you hear what happened last week? Besides the Democratic electoral wins across the country, there’s reports that Trump’s voter fraud commission is being sued — again — this time by one of the members of the commission!

Why? The lawsuit alleges that the commission is violating federal transparency laws and intentionally excluding at least one commissioner, Maine Secretary of State Matthew Dunlap, from deliberations.

ADD YOUR NAME

It’s bad enough that this voter fraud commission is playing partisan politics with our voting rights. These commissions are supposed to be bipartisan, but commissioners who support Trump’s voter suppression agenda have worked to exclude democrats from the process.

This is unacceptable.

This commission has only met twice but has already been sued eight separate times.

You know and I know this commission is a sham. We know it was only created to legitimize efforts to suppress the vote. We must continue to demand transparency from this commission, so we can hold them accountable.

Add your name now to my petition urging this commission to be transparent with all its members, Congress, and the American people. Send them a message that we will not allow them to keep us in the dark while they conspire behind closed doors.

We must resist and we must persist — our voting rights depend on it.

Thank you,

Alex Padilla
California Secretary of State

ADD YOUR NAME

 

 

 

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17 Nov
0

progressive victories (more to come)


The Fresno County Democratic Central Committee has not endorsed any candidate in this race.


 

On Nov. 8, 2016, Donald Trump and Republicans swept into office on a platform of division and fear-mongering the likes of which many of us had never seen before.

 

But on Tuesday, Nov. 7, 2017, we saw a different vision of America. Across the state and the country we saw progressive candidates elected from City Council to Governor. It’s been one week since then and the excitement is still just as palpable as it was on Election Day last Tuesday. We’ve got to keep going.

 

Will you stand with me and help us build on the gains progressives saw across the country last week?

 

When I got in this race, I vowed to bring the fight to Washington — and that includes ridding our political discourse of divisiveness and our government of the dysfunction that Donald Trump and Republicans have made all the worse. If that sounds like something we could use now more than ever, please join me.

 

If you’ve saved your payment information with ActBlue Express, your donation will go through immediately:

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I’m vowing to keep fighting. I’m vowing to build on the results of last week. And I’m vowing to take the fight to Washington and expand the California Dream for all.

 

I hope you’ll join me.

 

Thank you,

Kevin

 

 

 

 

 

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17 Nov
0

My biggest student and Democratic Party endorsements yet


The Fresno County Democratic Central Committee has not endorsed any candidate in this race.


 

Yesterday the California Young Democrats voted overwhelmingly to endorse me for State Superintendent of Public Instruction!

 

I am honored to receive the endorsement of an organization that represents the next generation of California’s leaders.  The California College Democrats also endorsed me – the biggest student endorsement in this race yet!

 

Young Democrats are fired up – they know what’s at stake, and they are ready to fight for public education that serves every California student.

 

Are you ready to stand with us to oppose Betsy DeVos and her agenda to privatize public education?  

 

 

Our campaign will be up against millions of dollars in campaign spending from billionaires who believe that they know more about education than students, teachers, and parents.  Will you help us fight back for democratic, public education by making a contribution today?

 

Together, we will work to eliminate the achievement gap, by investing in early education, expanding STEM education, making higher education more affordable, and supporting students and teachers.  Together, we will work to make California’s public education system #1 in the nation once again.

 

Thank you for your support,

 

 

Tony Thurmond

 

P.S. This weekend our campaign will be at the California Democratic Party meeting in Millbrae. Are you available to volunteer? Click here to send an email to my team for more details on volunteering this Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. Thanks!

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17 Nov
0

KEY STATEWIDE PUBLIC SAFETY ORG PICKS SEN. HERNANDEZ FOR LT. GOV


The Fresno County Democratic Central Committee has not endorsed any candidate in this race.


MEDIA RELEASE

For Immediate Release

November 14, 2017
Contact: Dave Jacobson, (818) 943-2348
Maclen Zilber, (510) 508-9142
Jacobson & Zilber Strategies
KEY STATEWIDE PUBLIC SAFETY ORG PICKS SEN. HERNANDEZ FOR LT. GOV

 

California Statewide Law Enforcement Association (CSLEA) Joins Peace Officers Research Association of California (PORAC), Other Public Safety Groups in Endorsing Senator Hernandez for California Lieutenant Governor

LOS ANGELES COUNTY, CA — Continuing to secure widespread support from public safety organizations as he campaigns to be California’s next Lieutenant Governor, today State Senator Dr. Ed Hernandez earned a major endorsement from the California Statewide Law Enforcement Association (CSLEA).

With 7,000 members, the California Statewide Law Enforcement Association represents public safety officials in 180 different job classifications. Their affiliates, who also are endorsing Senator Hernandez’ Lt. Governor bid, include:

  • Association of Special Agents-Department of Justice
  • California Association of Law Enforcement Employees
  • Association of Deputy Commissioners
  • Fire Marshal and Emergency Services Association
  • Association of Criminalists for the California Department of Justice
  • California Association of Fraud Investigators
  • Association of Conservationist Employees
  • California Association of Regulatory Investigators and Inspectors
  • Association of Motor Carrier Operation Specialists
  • California Highway Patrol Public Safety Dispatchers Association
  • Association of Motor Vehicle Investigators of California
  • California Organization of Licensing Registration Examiners
  • California Alcoholic Beverage Control Agents
  • Hospital Police Association of California
  • California Association of Criminal Investigators
  • Resource Protection Peace Officers Association
  • California Association of Food and Drug Investigators

In making their endorsement public, Alan Barcelona, President of the California Statewide Law Enforcement Association released the following statement:

“The California Statewide Law Enforcement Association is proud to endorse Senator Dr. Ed Hernandez for California Lieutenant Governor.  Senator Dr. Ed Hernandez has a known, proven track record on public safety and neighborhood security issues, which is why, on behalf of our 7,000 front-line law enforcement, public safety and consumer protection professionals, we have worked with and supported Senator Dr. Hernandez for years.  He has been a champion and leads the charge to ensure our peace officers and public safety professionals have the tools and resources they need to keep the state and public safe. We are honored to support his campaign for Lieutenant Governor and ask that you vote for him in the 2018 June Primary and November General Elections.”

Responding to news of the endorsement, Senator Hernandez remarked:

“I’m proud to receive this important endorsement from the California Statewide Law Enforcement Association (CSLEA).  CSLEA represents 7,000 peace officer, public safety and consumer protection personnel, who work tirelessly on the front lines to keep us safe in California.  From special agents and investigators to firefighters, dispatchers and those who coordinate emergency response services, this group of public safety professionals is critical to protecting Californians. I am grateful for the support of CSLEA and look forward to continuing to join forces with them to expand public safety and enhance neighborhood security for the people of California.”

Previously Senator Hernandez has collected public safety endorsements from:

  • Peace Officers Research Association of California (PORAC)
  • San Jose Police Officers Association
  • Sacramento Police Officers Association
  • California Reserve Peace Officers Association
  • El Monte Police Officers Association

In recent days, Senator Hernandez’ campaign has been on a roll, securing a wave of new grassroots support, as well as a series of high-powered endorsements from working families, including the International Longshore & Warehouse Union (ILWU) Locals 13, 63 and 94, along with the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) California State Council and the California Teachers Association (CTA). Beyond today’s news, Senator Hernandez has raked-in endorsements from over 50 labor unions.

Significantly, recently California Governor Jerry Brown signed Senator Dr. Ed Hernandez’ groundbreaking drug transparency bill, SB-17, into law.  Senator Hernandez’ latest digital video ad, titled, “Life or Death,” features a moving testimonial from Kendall Renee, who is allergic to more than 95% of foods and carries at least four EpiPens with her at all times. Renee highlights Senator Hernandez’ efforts to combat skyrocketing drug costs in the ad.

To view Hernandez’ “Life or Death” spot, click on the screen shot below:


Unshaken by big moneyed special interests, Hernandez not only has taken on Big Pharma but also fought Big Tobacco, as the architect of California’s landmark law to raise the state’s smoking age to 21.

In addition to today’s news, as of the June 30, 2017 fundraising deadline, Senator Hernandez had raised over $2 million for the statewide effort and has locked in far-reaching support across California.
To view Senator Hernandez’ “Record of Progress,” digital video ad, click here or on the screen shot below.

 

Several months back, Senator Hernandez released his first digital video, titled  “A California Story,” which can be viewed by clicking on the screen image below:

 

 

Beyond today’s announcement, Senator Dr. Hernandez’ campaign has released an expansive list of over 500 endorsements from grassroots activists, community leaders, federal, state and local elected officials, public safety groups and over 50 labor unions.

A husband, father, grandfather, practicing optometrist, and local businessman, “Dr. Ed” (as he is known to his patients) has spent his life bringing quality eye care to predominantly low-income communities.  As a health care provider, the need to improve access to health care for all Californians is what first drove him to run for office.

Since being elected to the Assembly in 2006 and the Senate in 2010, Dr. Ed Hernandez has been a leader on the implementation of federal health care reform – helping expand access to affordable health care, control costs, and improve the network of providers so people can actually get quality care when they need it. Dr. Ed has been a champion by expanding educational opportunity to qualified students overlooked by our public schools and universities, as well as a major proponent for government reform, including fixing a broken initiative system too often hijacked by billionaires and wealthy corporations. Dr. Ed Hernandez is running to take this experience, leadership, and vision to the next level by serving the people of California as their Lieutenant Governor.

For more information, please visit www.edhernandez4ca.com.

*Titles for Identification Purposes Only.

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