Waters addresses key topics at Gardena meeting
By Gary Luster
Congresswoman Maxine Waters (CA-43) hosted a town hall meeting June 24 with residents of Gardena, Hawthorne, and Lawndale. The meeting, which was held at the Nakaoka Center, highlighted several important issues facing the 115th Congress and their effect on the 43rd Congressional District, of which, Gardena is part.
“I was thrilled to host a community meeting with residents of Gardena, Hawthorne, and Lawndale on Saturday,” Congresswoman Maxine Waters said. “The issues currently being debated in the U.S. Congress will have profound impacts on South Bay communities, and I enjoyed having an opportunity to hear directly from 43rd District residents and to share updates on the steps that I am taking in Washington to address their concerns.”
In addition to Congresswoman Waters, other elected officials present at the town hall included Gardena Mayor Tasha Cerda, who introduced Waters; Lawndale Mayor Robert Pullen Miles; Hawthorne City Councilmember Nilo Michelin; and members of Gardena’s City Council.
The town hall featured two panels of local policy experts who were on hand to discuss such issues as healthcare, housing policy, and the agenda of the Trump Administration.
The first panel, focused on the healthcare debate, included National Medical Association Former President Dr. Randall Maxey, Covered California Director of External Affairs Kelly Green, and Harbor/UCLA Hospital Chief Quality Office and Emergency Physician Dr. Clinton Coil, who discussed the recent efforts by Congressional Republicans to repeal the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and how it would affect health care in California.
The second panel placed its focus on housing policy and included remarks by Assistant Manager of the County of Los Angeles Housing Authority Andre Serrette; Pat Razzaghi, a Housing Specialist from the City of Hawthorne; and, Linda Jenkins, a Manager of the County of Los Angeles Community Development Commission.
In addition to the policy experts on hand at the town hall, Los Angeles Times Deputy Editorial Page Director Jon Healey discussed the L.A. Times’ six-part editorial series, “Our Dishonest President” which criticized Donald Trump’s inconsistencies on public policy and highlighted how the state of California could fight back.
The Gardena town hall was the second in a series of town hall meetings that Congresswoman Waters is hosting across her district to discuss local and national concerns such as the Trump Administration’s FY 2018 budget proposal, Republican efforts to repeal the Affordable Care Act, and the ongoing F.B.I. and Congressional probes into Russian interference in the 2016 election.
“I am so pleased that my constituents were able to attend a substantive meeting where they heard my analysis on what Democrats are working on in Washington and also gained insights from local experts on policy issues like housing and healthcare reform,” said Congresswoman Waters. “For many months, residents of the 43rd District have expressed concerns about the direction of our country, and due to space limitations they were given priority access to our community meeting over residents of other districts. Despite organized efforts by Donald Trump aligned groups to disrupt the meeting, Saturday’s town hall was a great success and I look forward to hosting more town halls in the 43rd District over the next few months.”
Congresswoman Waters has introduced the following legislation in the 115th Congress:
· Alzheimer’s Research Semipostal Stamp Act (H.R. 2973) Requires the U.S. Postal Service to issue and sell a semipostal stamp, with the proceeds helping to fund Alzheimer’s research at the National Institutes of Health.
· Alzheimer’s Caregiver Support Act (H.R.2972) Authorizes grants to public and non-profit organizations to expand training and support services for families and caregivers of patients with Alzheimer’s disease.
· Freezing Russian Sanctions Act (H.R.2935) To codify Executive Order 13694 (relating to blocking the property of certain persons engaging in significant malicious cyber-enabled activities) and to codify certain Executive orders imposing sanctions in relation to the situation in Ukraine.
· Deny Russian Access to Diplomatic Compounds Act (H.R.2934) To prohibit access to and use of certain Russian-owned diplomatic facilities and properties by the Government of the Russian Federation, and for other purposes.
· Ensuring Quality Education for Veterans Act (H.R.2744) To revise the 90–10 rule under the Higher Education Act of 1965 to count veterans’ education benefits under such rule, and for other purposes.
· 85/15 Rule Act (H.R.2743) To amend the Higher Education Act of 1965 to require that proprietary institutions of higher education derive not less than fifteen percent of revenues from sources other than funds provided under title IV of such Act.
· Minority Diabetes Initiative Act (H.R.2351) To establish an initiative to provide grants to community‑based organizations and health care providers for diabetes prevention, care, and treatment programs in minority communities.
· Court Legal Access and Student Support (CLASS) Act of 2017 (H.R.2301) Prevents any school receiving Title IV funds from the Department of Education from forcing students into arbitration or placing any restriction on students’ access to courts.
· Students Before Profits Act of 2017 (H.R.2300) Authorizes enhanced penalties on for-profit colleges and their executive officers if it is determined that the institution misrepresented its costs, admission requirements, completion rates, employment prospects, or student loan default rates.
· No Russia Exemption (REX) Act (H.R.2145) Prohibits the Trump Administration from providing special licenses to companies to engage in certain activities related to oil exploration and drilling in Russia.
· Ending Homelessness Act of 2017 (H.R.2076) Provides Americans who are currently homeless access to both housing and supportive services to help the homeless achieve safe, decent, and affordable housing as well as long-term, positive life outcomes.
· Stop AIDS in Prison Act of 2017 (H.R.1882) Develops a comprehensive policy to provide HIV testing, treatment, and prevention for inmates within the correctional setting and upon reentry.
· H.R.1641 – To amend the Small Business Act to clarify the responsibilities of Business Opportunity Specialists, and for other purposes.
· H.Con.Res.15 – Asserting that Congress should expend the resources necessary to investigate thoroughly the nature and extent of Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election, including whether there was collusion between persons associated with the Russian government and persons associated with the presidential campaign of Donald J. Trump to influence the outcome of the election.