This Week's Recap - 5/14/2021

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May 14, 2021

Dear friend,

As we gradually resume our normal lives, prioritizing our mental health is critical. This Mental Health Awareness Month, please know there are many resources to help you and your loved ones. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention offer information on mental health and crisis, healthy ways to cope with stress, and how to help others cope. You can access this information here.

San Diego County's vaccination efforts are now extended to children ages 12 through 15. Those in that age group are now eligible to receive the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine. Parental consent is required prior to vaccination for anyone under the age of 18. Click here for more details.

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.

This Week's Casework Success Story

Amy from Rancho Peñasquitos contacted the office in early March regarding an issue she was having with the U.S. Social Security Administration (SSA.) She's a permanent resident of the United States, but is also entitled to Canada Old Age benefits. The Canadian government required a record of her Social Security earnings as part of her application process and confirmed it had not received a response from the SSA in months. Our office sent an inquiry to the SSA Office of International Operations (OIO). By the end of March, the SSA OIO confirmed that the earnings records had been mailed to the Canadian Liaison office. A few days later, Amy informed my staff that she had received a letter of approval from Canada Service.

I just wanted to thank your office and especially your District Director who promptly attended to my frustrating issue with the SSA Administration and International Operations. With his assistance, the matter was resolved successfully in less than 3 weeks which also involved Canada Service with my Old Age Pension. I greatly appreciate your help.”

- Amy from Rancho Peñasquitos

Legislative Work


This week, the House approved the bipartisan Suicide and Threat Assessment Nationally Dedicated to Universal Prevention (STANDUP) Act to encourage schools to implement suicide prevention training for students. Rep. Gus Bilirakis (FL-12) and I introduced the bill which applies to grades 6 through 12. It would require states, schools, and Tribes to implement commonsense, evidence-based policies to prevent suicides to receive Project AWARE grants, which boost youth mental health awareness among schools and communities.

A return to the classroom means that we must prepare schools to meet their students’ growing mental health needs. The STANDUP Act takes a proactive, evidence-based approach by equipping students and educators with the skills they need to identify, intervene, and get help for those at risk of harming themselves or others.

Joint Economic Committee hearing: "Examining the Racial Wealth Gap in the United States"

jec hearing 5.12.21

During this hearing on Wednesday, I asked Mehrsa Baradaran, Professor of Law at UC Irvine's School of Law, about the success of federal Paycheck Protection Program loans set aside for minority groups and underserved businesses. I also posed a question about the importance of home ownership as a way to create generational wealth. Click here to watch this full exchange.

California Retired Teachers Association Annual Convention

cal rta screenshot award 5.14.21

Earlier today, I attended the California Retired Association's Annual Convention and received the "‘Friends of CalRTA" award. I thanked the organization for its partnership during my time in Congress and its tireless advocacy on behalf of retired teachers across California.

District Work

Commissioning of USS Miguel Keith

USS MIguel Keith

Last Saturday, I delivered the welcoming address at the commissioning ceremony for USS Miguel Keith at Naval Air Station North Island. USS Miguel Keith was built by San Diego’s own General Dynamics NASSCO and bears the name of Marine Corps Lance Corporal Miguel Keith who was killed in action while defending his platoon in Vietnam. We wish USS Miguel Keith, and all who sail upon her in service to our great nation, Fair Winds and Following Seas.

Honor Flight San Diego Seeks Veterans

Honor Flight San Diego, a non-profit dedicated to escorting San Diego County veterans to Washington D.C. to visit the memorials dedicated to their service, is seeking WWII and Korean War veterans to go on their Honor Flight. The next flight departs from San Diego and is scheduled for October. Veterans pay no costs for this three-day trip. For more information, click here.

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:

Yesterday, the CDC announced that fully vaccinated Americans can now gather with others without masks indoors and outdoors, even if some in their group are not vaccinated. Do you feel safe following this guidance from this point forward if you're fully vaccinated?

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: "President Biden continues to lay out plans for comprehensive legislation like the American Families Plan and the American Jobs Plan. How important of a role do you think bipartisanship and compromise in Congress should play to move these plans forward?"

Here are the results:

317 Responses: 22.7% Very important; passing big legislation should require the support of everyone. 34.4% Not all that important; passing big legislation needs to get done, with or without the support of both parties. 1.3% Not important; parties should not compromise.24.9% Bipartisanship is always important, whether or not big legislation is on the table. 16.7% 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.