Update from Rep. Huffman
This month, I am back in my beautiful congressional district travelling up and down the coast from Marin to the Oregon border after a busy few weeks in Washington. As always, I am grateful for all of the feedback and community engagement I get on the issues of the day, from climate change to health care to the Senate’s confirmation hearings on Brett Kavanaugh. Here’s an update on what else I’ve been working on, both locally and back in Washington.
In the Second District
- Fighting Climate Change: I recently joined North Coast leaders to discuss strategies for maintaining forward progress in the fight against climate change. As a community, and a state, we must do everything we can to protect our earth. From abandoning the 2016 Paris Climate Accord to rolling back protections so corporate polluters can leak more methane into the air our kids breathe, the Trump administration regularly puts polluters over people. It was a productive discussion with community leaders and an amazing fellow panelist, Christiana Figueres, an architect of the Paris Climate Accord, about the power of state, local, and non-governmental organization leadership and the importance of accelerating our work to confront what I believe is one of the greatest environmental, economic and moral imperatives of our time.
- Hearing From You at Town Halls: Town halls are an important time for me to answer constituent questions and share my policy perspectives, and the response to the dozens of town halls we’ve held over the past two years has been remarkable – more than 13,000 constituents have participated (with additional participants joining us online). Most recently, I held a town hall in Marin on Holding the President Accountable with special guests, Audrey Cooper, Editor-in-Chief of the San Francisco Chronicle, and Melinda Haag, Former U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of California, as well as a town hall in Petaluma, where I got to answer your questions about a range of issues from the status of Judge Kavanaugh’s nomination to Special Counsel Mueller’s investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 election. This week, I’ll be heading to two more in Mendocino County on fire recovery and other topics. If you haven’t been able to attend one of our recent town halls, don’t worry – we’ll keep them coming! I hope to see you at a community event soon.
- Visiting Schools Across the District: One of my favorite parts of being a Representative is getting the opportunity to talk with students and visit schools throughout the district. Since school started, I have visited a number of schools including Fort Bragg High School, Miller Creek Middle School in San Rafael and San Antonio High School in Petaluma. I enjoyed the wide ranging dialogue with these young, intelligent and civic-minded students about how their government works, current events, and some of my policy work in Congress. I also shared information about opportunities like the Veterans’ History project, Congressional App Challenge, and Congressional Art Competition.
Back in Washington
- I urged a postponement of Brett Kavanaugh’s nomination proceedings: I joined 65 of my colleagues in sending a letter to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell in response to the allegations of sexual assault and misconduct against Supreme Court Nominee Brett Kavanaugh. In this letter, we urged a postponement of further nomination proceedings in response to the allegations of sexual assault and misconduct against Judge Kavanaugh. While the Constitution is clear that the review and approval of Supreme Court nominations are the responsibility of the Senate, I have expressed my strong opposition to Judge Kavanaugh -- both in my role as an elected member of the House of Representatives, and as an American.
- I sent a letter advocating for the preservation of our public lands: I sent a bipartisan letter to Speaker Paul Ryan and Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi urging that the Land and Water Conservation Fund be permanently reauthorized and fully funded before it expires. Over the past 50 years, the Land and Water Conservation Fund has helped preserve public lands here in California and across the country and provided outdoor recreation opportunities for generations of Americans.
- My bipartisan bill authorizing long-term leases for historic ranches and dairies in the Point Reyes National Seashore passed the House!: I introduced H.R. 6687 to reaffirm Congress’ longstanding intent to continue authorizing historic ranches and dairies in a portion of the Point Reyes National Seashore, consistent with all environmental laws and public planning processes. This honors a policy directive from former Interior Secretary Ken Salazar six years ago to provide long-term permits so that multigenerational ranching families have the certainty and clarity they need to continue operating. The bill is supported by the Marin County Board of Supervisors (unanimous vote), Marin Agricultural Land Trust, and Marin Conservation League, among other groups, and has received very positive editorials from the North Bay’s two largest newspapers, the Marin Independent Journal and Press Democrat. For more information on the bill, click here.
- I secured two key wins for rural air service and pilots on the North Coast: The bipartisan Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Reauthorization Act of 2018 will provide vital long-term funding for aviation safety, improve passenger experience, and will set in motion critical reforms to FEMA’s disaster response and recovery programs to better prepare the North Coast for disasters. In addition to these national gains, the legislation includes provisions I authored to improve rural air service for small community airports like the California Redwood Coast - Humboldt County Airport and increase the equitable treatment of forestry and fire protection pilots.
- I introduced the Northwest California Wilderness, Recreation, and Working Forests Act: After hearing from countless constituents and stakeholders on my draft legislation to address these issues, I introduced this carefully developed bill to protect the communities and lands we value the most. This bill will guard communities against wildfires, provide local jobs, restore lands impaired by illegal marijuana growing operations, and protect many of Northwest California’s spectacular wild places and pristine streams.
Please don’t be a stranger. Contact me via Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, email, or call one of my district offices and we will continue to help to the best of our ability. And check out my Off the Cuff w. Rep. Huffman podcast to hear my longer take on pressing policy questions.
With Best Regards,
Member of Congress