From Jerry’s Desk, May 2014

June 2, 2014

I have been hard at work over the last few months, focusing on the issues that matter to you. Keeping you informed is important to me so that we can continue to work together on the important issues facing our nation.

Just a few weeks ago, I sent a letter to President Obama asking him to create a new federal task force to address the economic challenges faced by communities in the San Joaquin Valley. The task force would be made up of representatives from federal agencies who would partner with local leaders and the private sector. I am determined to make sure the residents and businesses in my district and the entire Valley can take advantage of every available federal resource to improve our region.  These resources will help make our community safe, improve education for our children, and create family-wage jobs.

Many of those future jobs will be in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) fields. It’s crucial that we encourage students, especially our young girls, to study and pursue careers in those areas. In April, I hosted a forum at the University of the Pacific with successful women working in STEM jobs, including my own daughter Windy, who is a neurobiologist. Many young women attended the forum, and I was truly inspired by their enthusiasm. At this event, I was excited to announce a new bill I introduced that would fund STEM programs for girls in elementary and middle schools.

I am proud to represent our nation’s veterans and I am committed to making sure their voices are heard and their concerns are addresses. That’s why I hosted a bipartisan town hall meeting for veterans late last month where we demanded answers from the Veterans Administration about the disability claims backlog and the delay in construction of a new medical facility in French Camp.

A quick update on the two water-saving bills I mentioned in my last email to you: You may remember that one bill rewarded consumers for buying water-efficient products, and the other made it easier for local water utilities to innovate and save water. I’m happy to say both bills will be considered in the Senate, bringing us one step closer to getting them signed into law.

I continue to work with my Democratic colleagues in the House on other issues that matter to you, like immigration reform and raising the minimum wage. A majority of Americans support a commonsense, comprehensive immigration plan, and a fair increase in the minimum wage. But the GOP leadership continues to bow to the most extreme wing of their party, and Speaker Boehner refuses to let either bill come up for a vote.

It’s so important that we continue working together to make sure the voices of reason prevail. You and I know we are on the right side of history on these issues. With your continued support, I will continue to fight on your behalf.