This week's recap - 4/16/2021

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April 16, 2021

Dear friend,

If you haven't received a COVID-19 vaccine yet, all Californians over the age of 16 are now eligible to get it. County officials recommend checking in first with your healthcare provider to receive a vaccine. If you can't get one from a provider, the County and its partners are offering vaccinations. Click here to schedule an appointment.

We continue making progress as more than one million San Diego County residents have received at least one vaccine dose. I'm grateful for all of our volunteers and health professionals who are moving this operation forward. Let's honor their work by wearing masks, practicing social distancing and washing our hands frequently.

This week, I continued my work from Washington, D.C. Below is another update on some of the work my staff and I have done this week to serve you.

Legislative work

Reintroduction of the Build More Housing Near Transit Act, Build for Future Disasters Act of 2021 and the TRUST Act

This week, I reintroduced three bills: one to help tackle the country's housing crisis; another to discourage costly development in regions prone to flooding; and a third to prevent the insolvency of trust funds that support critical programs such as Medicare and Social Security.

  • The updated, bipartisan Build More Housing Near Transit Act encourages the construction of low and middle-income housing in transit-served, walkable locations. This bill would maximize federal investment in transit and increase housing options for Americans amid a shortage of affordable and available homes, especially for those who routinely spend more than half of their incomes on rent. This legislation also boosts efforts to protect the environment by getting more cars off the road and growing transit ridership.
    • Click here to watch my remarks on this bill during the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure Members' Day hearing.
  • The Build for Future Disasters Act of 2021 would end the costly system of building, flooding and rebuilding perpetuated by the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP.) Federal taxpayer money is currently subsidizing the rebuilding of structures in some areas prone to flooding, and this bill would instead encourage regional resiliency planning as we prepare for future climate crisis-induced disasters.
  • The Time to Rescue United States’ Trusts (TRUST) Act is bipartisan and bicameral legislation that would create a process to rescue federal trust funds from the threat of insolvency. Last September, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) found that four of the major trust funds will exhaust their reserves within the next 11 years. Some of our most important federal programs are financed through dedicated revenue sources and managed through trust funds. By addressing key structural issues behind the debt, Congress can put our major federal programs on stronger footing.

Joint Economic Committee hearing: “Vaccinations and the Economic Recovery”

On Wednesday, I took part in the Joint Economic Committee's hearing on the role vaccinations play in our economic recovery. I serve as one of only six Democratic House members on the bicameral committee in which members of both the Senate and House of Representatives participate. This was my first hearing on the committee since being appointed by Speaker Nancy Pelosi in March

We discussed the barriers involved with vaccine access, the importance of continued testing including the development of home testing and confidence in vaccine efficacy, among other topics.

Interview with the Evangelical Environmental Network

screenshot Evangelical Environmental Network

On Tuesday, I spoke with Rev. Mitch Hescox, President and C.E.O. of the Evangelical Environmental Network. This organization is a ministry that educates and mobilizes Christians to get involved in regions impacted by pollution, and advocate for policies that honor God and protect the environment. I spoke about my personal beliefs and how they're connected to my efforts to tackle climate change. We also discussed the need to address fugitive methane released from the oil and gas industry, and how a carbon fee and dividend can incentivize all economic actors--from middle-income families to large corporations--to reduce carbon emissions. 

Livestream event on the pragmatic plan to tackle climate change with the Neoliberal Project

twitch neoliberal project screenshot

On Wednesday, I spoke to Colin Mortimer from the Neoliberal Project on Twitch, a livestreaming platform. Our discussion on climate change covered a wide range of topics including the value of a carbon fee, building housing near public transit, and the development of clean energy sources. While we know we can't make meaningful changes overnight, I believe practical solutions should bring us together in our fight against climate change. If you missed this event, you can watch it here. 

San Diego Workforce Partnership board meeting

SD Workforce Partnership Board Meeting

On Thursday, I spoke at the San Diego Workforce Partnership's board meeting. This local nonprofit connects job seekers and employers throughout San Diego County. I discussed my role as part of the Joint Economic Committee, how the American Rescue Plan Act invests in our recovering workforce, and the need to keep investing in quality training programs for workers. We also spoke about the push to raise the federal minimum wage and how there can be a compromise in Congress to make this happen.

Participate in our weekly poll!

We've recently introduced a new section in our e-newsletter for readers to weigh in on a relevant topic. Thank you to everyone who has participated so far. Here's this week's question:

Economists and scientists agree that putting a price on carbon is a vital step to combat climate change. A bill I recently cosponsored, the Energy Innovation and Carbon Dividend Act, would price carbon at $15 per metric ton of CO2e and increase the price by $10 every year. In turn, 100% of the net revenue would be given back as a rebate to American families.

Do you support a carbon fee and dividend as part of a national strategy to curb carbon emissions?

Click here to submit your answer via Google Forms. We'll share the results in next week's e-newsletter. Last week's question was: "Do you agree with San Diego's role to support federal officials as they work to process large numbers of unaccompanied minors at our southern border?"

Here are the results:

417 Responses: 63.8% Yes 22.5% No 13.7% Other

If you have any questions, comments, concerns, or need assistance with a federal agency, reach out to us through our website or by calling the district office at 858-455-5550.

To stay updated on my work throughout the week, you can also follow my social media accounts by clicking on the icons below.