The weekly newsletter is a great way to stay up-to-date on the work I’m doing on behalf of our Valley. I use this as a venue to tell the story of how the work I’m doing in Washington and in the district impacts you. Each week I will highlight important pieces of legislation I’m working on, show you how I’m engaging with constituents on the issues, and tell you about upcoming events in the district. This week I’m back in Washington working on important legislation to improve public access to water in the Valley. Here are some highlights:
Fighting for water
Water is the lifeblood of our Valley. Farmers need water to feed the world and life becomes near impossible for residents who lack clean drinking water.I introduced a billto provide funding for necessary repairs to the Delta-Mendota Canal and the California Aqueduct. These waterways are critical to supporting our Valley’s water needs, yet they are decades old and showing their age. We need to invest in our water infrastructure now, for the future sustainability of our state.
Expanding healthcare access
California is expected to face a massive shortfall of primary care doctors in the next 15 years, especially in rural and low-income communities. I recently introduced theExpanding Medical Education Actto increase our supply of doctors by providing funding for additional medical training in diverse and medically deprived communities, like the San Joaquin Valley. At this year’s State of the Union, I invited one of our local dedicated Valley health professionalsto be my guest: Enid Picart. A fourth year medical student at UCSF-Fresno, Enidhas chosen to dedicate her career to improving healthcareforSan Joaquin Valley residents. We need more passionate people like Enid, who know our communities, to stay and commit to our future. With an investment in them, we can ensure every Valley resident has access to the healthcare they deserve.
Rep. Costa with State of the Union guest Enid Picart.
Honoring a hometown hero
I introduceda resolutionto honor a pioneer in the Latino community and Fresno native, Tom Flores, and urge he be inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Coach Flores was recently passed over for the honordespite his noteworthy achievements in the sport. As the first Latino starting quarterbackand head coach to win two Super Bowls with the Raiders, and first Latino head coach and general manager of the Seattle Seahawks and in professional football history,his accomplishments on the gridiron prove he is more than deserving of this honor.
Improving Valley infrastructure
I’m pleased to announce that Merced County is opening Phase II of Campus Parkway and breaking ground on Phase III. When completed, this vital infrastructure project will connect UC Merced to both Highway 140 and Highway 99, improving traffic circulation, and providing better access to health services and economic opportunity. Working together in a bipartisan effort is key to improving our Valley’s infrastructure.
Supporting global women’s health
As a strong supporter of reproductive rights throughout my career, I believe it is critical for the United States to fund programs that improve the lives of millions of women around the world. In a Foreign Affairs Committee hearing, we discussed the Global Gag Rule and other policies of this Administration to restrict access to family planning tools. Many of these policies have undermined the United States’ commitment to global public health and resulted in economic and physical harm to women around the globe.
Pushing for responsible forest management
One of my top priorities is to see our taxpayer dollars come back to the district. I’m pleased to report that the Fresno Regional Workforce and Development Board (FRWDB) secured an important CalFire grant to improve the health of our forests. Wildfires in California continue to have devastating impacts on our economy and air quality in the Valley. This new partnership will create 100 new skilled forestry jobs to help alleviate these effects. If we are to combat these growing threats, we need to bolster our efforts to responsibly manage our forests.
Other work on behalf of our Valley:
Voted to advancea billthat would provide funding to counter the damage Nutria are doing to our waterways in California.
It’s always a pleasure to meet with United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres. This year at the United Nations Holocaust Observance,we had a productive discussion about building the relationship between the UN and our government in Washington, the UN’s role in combating the climate crisis, and working to improve collaboration with our transatlantic partners. Iwill continueworking with the UN and other nations around the world to promote global peace and prosperity.
Upcoming Events Across the District:
AARP Foundation Tax-Aide
Free tax help for those with low- and moderate incomes, with special attention paid to those aged 60 and over. Please bring all relevant tax information, including last year’s income tax returns, identification for dependents and individuals. This event is first come, first serve.
Join strong discussion about Merced’s economic development, homelessness, public safety, infrastructure and many other topics, giving the people of Merced the opportunity to learn best how to capitalize on the opportunities of their city.
Six Madera wineries are hosting a variety of activities over the weekend, including tours, live music, shopping local handcrafted ornaments and scenic views. Importantly, the award-winning wines of the Madera area are on sale. There is a $30 fee for entry to this event.
Join the Fresno Chamber of Commerce in celebrating the 2020 Valley Business Awards, in association with the Zinkin Family and ValleyPBS. Presented to the community by the Central Valley Community Bank & Fresno Chamber of Commerce.
A night for High School students, their families, school administrators and counselors to gather and listen to speakers from the academies to learn about academy life and pick up application materials. Representatives of the Academy will additionally be available for questions.
Where: 3rd Floor Board Chambers
2222 M Street
Merced, CA 95340
When:Monday, February 24, 2020,
6:00 PM-7:30 PM
For more information contact Gabe Hulbert at Congressman Jim Costa’s Merced Office.