As the legislative session begins...
As the legislative session begins again in earnest this month, I wanted to update you on some of the exciting work that we’ve been able to get done for you in the recent days.
Providing Affordable Housing in West Marin
Working with Marin County Supervisor Steve Kinsey and the Community Land Trust Association of West Marin, I was able to secure passage of an important bill for West Marin as part of the Coast Guard Reauthorization Act, which President Obama signed into law this week. The Coast Guard will now be required to sell excess property in Point Reyes Station at fair market value to the County of Marin for affordable housing and other public benefits. This will be a win-win for the County of Marin and also for the Coast Guard and I look forward to seeing the county begin working with local partners on repurposing this property for the public benefit of affordable housing. We still have a long way to go to make sure that working families in places like Marin County and every place else have access to quality housing, but this bill is an important step forward. Learn more here.
Restoring the Klamath River
I was excited to announce a key new agreement between the federal government, California and Oregon, and power company PacifiCorp that will lead to the historic removal of four dams on the Klamath River that have blocked salmon and steelhead runs for far too many years. Tribal, fishing, and environmental communities have long fought to tear down these dams and bring the Klamath River back to life, and they worked out a settlement agreement to do just that with farming and other interests. Unfortunately, Republican congressional leadership in the House failed to introduce legislation to support the deals, which is why I’ve been working with the state and federal agencies to support a path around the congressional roadblock. Read more here.
Freeing a wrongfully imprisoned American
I’m sure you all saw the news that Jason Rezaian, Washington Post reporter and a Marin native, was safely released in January from the Iranian prison where he had been held for more than 500 days. In a perfect world, of course we wouldn't have to negotiate or make compromises to win the freedom of innocent Americans. But we do not live in a perfect world, and I commend Secretary Kerry and the Obama administration for concluding a deal that secured Jason's freedom through peaceful and diplomatic means without compromising our national security interests. I was fortunate to have a chance to travel and visit with Jason and his family after they were reunited. He was positive, energized, and humorous -- they clearly did not break his spirit, if that was their goal. Read more about Jason’s homecoming here.
Even in a divided Congress, I remain optimistic about our opportunities in the days and weeks ahead. I am constantly brainstorming new ideas on how to get things done and would love to hear from you! Together, we can make real progress and create more positive news for all of you in our home of the North Coast.
As always, you can contact me via Twitter, Facebook, email, or you can call one of my district offices and we will continue to help to the best of our ability.
With Best Regards,
Member of Congress