I’m back in Washington after spending the last month traveling throughout my Congressional district and meeting with many of you. We have a lot of work ahead of us. We need to determine what the United States will do in Syria, we still have no federal budget, immigration reform and the farm bill are unfinished, and we face an upcoming showdown on the federal debt ceiling.
We'll get to all that in my next newsletter, but for now I wanted to update you on my month in California:
Affordable Care Act Forums
I hosted several forums on the Affordable Care Act (also known as “Obamacare”) across the North Coast, with a focus on getting small businesses ready for October 1, when key benefits of the law will become available, including the opening of the health insurance marketplaces in California.
If you couldn’t attend our forums and have questions about the Affordable Care Act, please contact me here.
Environmental Damage From Trespass Marijuana Growing
Illegal trespass marijuana grow operations are a major problem across the North Coast, and the environmental damage they cause is devastating. They threaten endangered wildlife, contaminate fragile streams, and make forests unsafe for work and recreation.
With bipartisan support, I introduced bill called the “PLANT Act” to crack down on these trespass grow operations. It proposes new penalties for causing environmental damage while cultivating marijuana on public lands or while trespassing on private property (more information HERE).
Last month, I was honored to join legendary journalist Dan Rather for a law enforcement briefing and a helicopter tour of illegal trespass marijuana grow operations in Humboldt County. Our flight and subsequent studio interview will be featured in an upcoming segment on his show, “Dan Rather Reports.” I’m hoping that this will shed more light on the problem so that my colleagues in Congress can work with us to solve it.
I also met with groups across the North Coast:
On Labor Day, I met with workers to talk about the need to keep fighting together for middle class jobs, fair treatment in the workplace, equal opportunity, and comprehensive immigration reform.
I met with leading North Coast employers and their employees to report on my work in Congress and spoke to engineers, architects, and contractors about green building, California’s new Benefit Corporations law and how we can make progress in our fight against climate change AND create jobs. And I met with the Army Corps of Engineers about critical North Coast Projects, including dredging needs from Humboldt Bay, to Noyo Harbor, to the Petaluma River, to Marin County.
I participated in a gleaning at Bloomfield Farms and harvested organic food that went to low income families and seniors, served lunch to students at Loma Verde Elementary School in Novato, and congratulated a local business, Fire and Light Originals in Arcata, on their sustainable practices.
So, that’s a small look at what I did this August.
I always enjoy my time in and around the district, but I’m looking forward to Congress getting back to work on a mountain on unfinished business. More on that in my next newsletter…