We’re in the district working to protect workers from the harsh conditions created by wildfires and ensure timely delivery of the mail. Here are some highlights:
Securing resources to combat wildfire
As wildfires continue to ravage our state and threaten our communities, my heart goes out to those residents affected by these horrendous wildfires. I also extend my deepest gratitude for Firefighters and frontline workers putting themselves in harm’s way in their relentless pursuit to save lives and property. These heroes need our support.
I recently sent a letter to support California’s request for a federal disaster declaration due to the wildfires, resulting in new federal resources to bolster our efforts. I also sent a bipartisan letter to House Leadership urging them to include funding for firefighter needs in the next COVID-19 relief package. I’ll continue to work to ensure California has the resources it needs.
Providing assistance to our farmers and farmworkers is essential to our national security. I’m working to ensure they have the equipment they need to stay safe while working outside in dangerous air quality. I sent a letter to Vice President Pence urging the Administration to send N-95 masks to protect our agricultural workforce. Masks were sent. The Fresno County Farm Bureau reported distributing more than 180,000 masks to farmworkers and farmers.
Earlier this year, I successfully included key provisions in the Heroes Act to protect our farmworkers during the COVID-19 crisis and provide a safety net for American Agriculture, including:
Direct financial assistance to agricultural employers for the purpose of providing personal protective equipment, sick leave, family leave, and premium pay in line with support for other frontline workers included in our nation’s critical infrastructure, including $13 in premium pay above regular wages.
$25 million for CDC and OSHA worker safety guidance on farms and in food processing facilities.
$9 billion to support health care in underserved and rural areas so workers and farmers have access to proper health care and testing resources.
Protecting the Postal Service
For over a hundred million Americans, the United States Postal Service is a critical lifeline that delivers vital prescription drugs, Social Security benefits, paychecks, tax returns, and absentee ballots. I held a press conference speaking out against the President’s attempt to disrupt our mail service in the middle of a pandemic. This is about more than just voting; it’s about protecting the vital institutions enshrined in our constitution, which the President has repeatedly worked to sabotage. That’s why I cosponsored and voted to support the Delivering for America Act, which the House passed on August 22nd. I will continue to do everything in my power to protect the Postal Service and our democracy.
Shout out to hardworking students at the Jordan College of Agricultural Sciences and Technology at Fresno State for stepping up to produce hand sanitizer. As we continue to battle COVID-19, we continue to experience increased demand for goods like hand sanitizer. This is the kind of hard work and ingenuity that will help ensure our communities are protected during these difficult times.
The University is also partnering with the Fresno County Public Health Department to train lab technicians and help conduct and process COVID-19 tests in their Jordan Agricultural Research Center facilities.
Lyles College of Engineering students have also produced over 1,000 plastic face shields for distribution to hospitals in the Valley.
As a proud alumnus of Fresno State, we always appreciate the important contributions the University makes to our Valley.
Celebrating women’s equality
August 26th marks the 100th anniversary of the 19th Amendment granting women the right to vote. We honor the women, like Mary Butin from Madera, who came before us and fought so hard to secure women a seat at the table. As we commemorate this historic milestone, we are also reminded that our work is far from over. I will continue to fight for fair access at the ballot box so everyone’s voice can be heard.
Vote by Mail
Americans can take additional steps to make sure their vote will count:
One of my top priorities is ensuring your tax dollars come back to the district. I’m pleased to report that the Central Valley Opportunity Center received $2.2 million in grant funding for the National Farmworker Jobs Program from the Department of Labor. This grant will help farmers develop the skills they need to secure better wages and stable employment.
I’m also pleased to report that Golden Valley Health Centers received $149,999 in grant funding from the Department of Health and Human Services for HIV capacity development and planning. In addition, UC Merced received $178,505 from the National Science Foundation to fund project research on the physics of atomic Boson-Fermion mixtures.
Organic producers and handlers can apply for federal funding to assist with keeping and receiving organic certification through the Organic Certification Cost Share Program (OCCSP), a farm bill program I advocated for.