U.S. Congresswoman Susan Davis | E-Newsletter
February 2012 E-News Report
Website | Forward to a Friend | Share on:
TABLE OF CONTENTS:

I.           GOALS FOR 2012: ECONOMIC GROWTH AND TRUST IN GOVERNMENT
II.          PROTECTING THE CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHTS OF U.S. CITIZENS 
III.         REINING IN WALL STREET
IV.        A VICTORY FOR EQUALITY
V.         FIGHTING AGAINST RESTRICTING WOMEN'S HEALTH OPTIONS
VI.        STANDING UP FOR FEDERAL EMPLOYEES
VII.       SIGN UP FOR MY NEXT TELEPHONE TOWN HALL
VIII.      KEY LEGISLATION FROM 2011
IX.        2011 CONSTITUENT SERVICE RECAP 
X.        MARINE CORPS FELLOW JOINS MY D.C. OFFICE 
XI.       COMMUNITY SNAPSHOTS 

I.  GOALS FOR 2012: ECONOMIC GROWTH AND TRUST IN GOVERNMENT


                                  Strengthening the Economy

Bolstering the ongoing economic recovery to keep the American Dream alive is my top priority. San Diego’s gross domestic product increased 3.4% in 2011 and the unemployment rate declined to 8.9%. As the recovery continues, I know the federal government can do more to achieve stability and prosperity for the middle class.

Long-term economic growth and job creation will accelerate if we invest in our San Diego community.  I will continue to seek out opportunities to:

Support Innovation especially in San Diego’s growing biotech, green technology, defense and manufacturing sectors.

Make Home Ownership Affordable and Attainable by holding banks accountable, supporting efforts to help underwater home owners refinance and by giving first time home-buyers the tools and education they need to make smart investment decisions.

Fund Transit and Infrastructure that facilitates commerce, reduces traffic, and provides new construction jobs.

Make Education Work for All Our Kids by removing the disconnect between how we are preparing our students and the jobs that are available.  Bolstering science and math education, giving incentives to high-quality teachers and continuing to remove barriers to higher education by making college more affordable. 

                               Restoring Trust in Government

I feel that Congress must earn the confidence of the American people by leading by example and serving with integrity. Already in this Congress I have:
  • Cosponsored and voted for the STOCK Act which bans insider trading and increases financial disclosure for Members of Congress and their staffs
  • Voted to cut my office budget by 11% over two years
  • Fought at every turn to decrease the influence of special interests in political campaigns
  • Voted to freeze pay on Members of Congress
II.  PROTECTING THE CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHTS OF U.S. CITIZENS

The right to due process is guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution and a right I consider my duty to protect.  Two provisions included in the FY 2012 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) change the rules for how non-U.S. citizen detainees held in American military custody are handled in a narrow range of circumstances.  Recently, I have heard from constituents who are concerned that these provisions threaten due process rights of American citizens.  While I understand these concerns, I would never have voted for the NDAA if doing so threatened the constitutional rights of my constituents.

These provisions may not be ideal, but they do include specific exemptions for American citizens.  Even so, I felt it was necessary to reassure my constituents that these provisions do not apply to U.S. citizens.  That is why I cosponsored H.R. 3676, bipartisan legislation that explicitly states no United States citizen may be detained without all the rights of due process.  I sincerely hope that the majority party in the House of Representatives quickly takes up this measure.

III.  REINING IN WALL STREET

Letting Wall Street write its own rules caused the economic situation we are in. We need to do more to protect Americans’ savings from risky investment practices. With this in mind I signed onto the Return to Prudent Banking Act (H.R. 1489). This bill would reinstate the separation between commercial and investment banking that was first written into law in 1933 known then as the Glass-Steagall Act. 

IV.  A VICTORY FOR EQUALITY

I was very pleased with the recent decision from the Federal Court of Appeals stating that Proposition 8 is unconstitutional. As the Court aptly stated, "Proposition 8 served no purpose, and had no effect, other than to lessen the status and human dignity of gays and lesbians in California." This is a great victory for freedom and equality.

V.  FIGHTING AGAINST RESTRICTING WOMEN'S HEALTH OPTIONS

Susan G. Komen and Planned Parenthood

Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure Foundation recently reversed its decision on funding for Planned Parenthood. The funding allows Planned Parenthood to provide hundreds of thousands of breast exams and mammogram referrals. I was very pleased with the reversal of their decision, especially on such an important medical service for women, as early detection is the key to survival.

Protecting a Woman's Right to Contraception

Recently, I spoke out on the House Floor to urge the Administration to protect women's access to birth control.  I'm glad the Administration heard the voices of women and religious leaders from across all faiths and stood firm in its commitment to ensuring that all women have access to birth control, at no extra cost.  The decision reached strikes a balance between protecting the religious freedom of religiously-affiliated institutions and protecting women's health.  The new policy will exempt religious institutions from directly providing or paying for these services, but requires that insurance companies give women the opportunity to have birth control coverage with no co-pay.  This is an essential health care benefit that will ensure women basic preventative care that they can count on.

VI.  STANDING UP FOR FEDERAL EMPLOYEES

Due to the approximately 46,300 people living in San Diego County who work for the federal government, I voted against H.R. 3835 which would freeze their pay. These dedicated public servants did not cause our debt problems and they and their families should not be punished for it.

VII.  SIGN UP FOR MY NEXT TELEPHONE TOWN HALL

On Wednesday, February 29th at 7:00 pm, I will be hosting another Telephone Town Hall to hear from you on the issues and concerns that are most affecting you and your families. Telephone Town Halls are a great way for me to stay in touch with all of you while allowing you to ask me any question from the comfort of your home. I value your thoughts and feedback and I hope you will be able to join us. If you’re interested in participating, please click here.

VIII.  KEY LEGISLATION FROM 2011

Veterans Home Loan Refinance Opportunity Act – H.R. 834

Alaska, California, Oregon, Texas, and Wisconsin provide former service members a state benefit of lower interest-rate mortgage loans to encourage home ownership through the federal Qualified Veterans Mortgage Bond (QVMB).  The Veterans Home Loan Refinance Opportunity Act (H.R. 834) would allow veterans in these states to refinance into the QVMB program.  Currently, veterans may only purchase a primary residence through the program – not refinance. 

The STELLAR Act of 2011 - H.R. 1368

Teachers play a significant role in a student’s development and as our nation builders, which is why it is so important to give teachers the opportunities to grow as educators. Many school districts, however, lack a method to give teachers and principals the feedback they need.  That's why I introduced the STELLAR Act (H.R. 1368) to require the implementation of evaluation programs. This bill is key to ensuring that teachers and principals have the tools they need to help our children reach their fullest potential.

Supporting Afghan Women

I offered an amendment to the FY2012 National Defense Authorization Act that would prevent 25% of the funds from the Afghan Infrastructure Fund from being used until the Secretaries of Defense and State certify that women are playing a greater role in the Afghan government’s reintegration efforts.  I strongly believe that improving the social, economic and political wellbeing of Afghan women is necessary for progress to be made in Afghanistan. 

The Smoke-Free Federal Buildings Act - H.R. 3382

According to the U.S. Surgeon General, an estimated 50,000 Americans die from exposure to secondhand smoke each year.  As a way to protect the federal workforce and visitors to federal facilities,
President Clinton issued an Executive Order prohibiting smoking in most federal workplaces.  While a great first step, this policy, however, contained exceptions for designated smoking areas within a building. It’s time to take the next step and eliminate all smoking in federal buildings. That is why I introduced the Smoke-Free Federal Buildings Act.  This legislation would completely ban smoking in most federal buildings across the nation.

IX.  2011 CONSTITUENT SERVICES RECAP


Mail Received

I value hearing from constituents and the 53rd District is certainly outspoken on a variety of issues.  In 2011, I received a 20% increase in mail from 2010! 

What were the top issues people were writing to me about?

1) Economy
2) Environment
3) Health Care
4) Military/Defense
5) Animal Rights

Which communities in San Diego wrote to me the most?

1) North Park: 3,070         
2) Hillcrest: 2,866
3) Kensington: 2,638
4) SDSU/College Area: 2,139
5) La Jolla: 1,977

Please continue to stay in touch with me on the issues that are important to you.  Visit my website at www.house.gov/susandavis and like me on Facebook at www.facebook.com/repsusandavis.

Casework Performed

I have caseworkers in my San Diego Office who can help constituents who are having problems with federal agencies.  In 2011, my office handled over 1,000 cases!  The top issues constituents requested assistance with were:

1) Armed Services/Veterans  - 15 %
2) Immigration  - 14%
3) Social Security  - 10%
4) Home foreclosures  - 8%

If you are a constituent and having problems with a federal agency, please contact my San Diego Office at (619) 280-5353 and ask to speak to a caseworker.  We would be happy to assist you.    

X.  MARINE CORPS FELLOW JOINS MY D.C. OFFICE

I am pleased to add Marine Corps Captain Brian O’Shea to my Washington, D.C. office.  Brian will spend 2012 as a Marine Corps Fellow working on a range of defense issues.  Brian graduated from Fordham University with a B.A. in History and was commissioned in 2004 as a Second Lieutenant in the Marine Corps.  He spent more than six years in the 1st Marine Division at Camp Pendleton.

Brian has deployed to both Iraq and Afghanistan as a Military Advisor to the 1st Iraqi Army Division, as an executive officer of a civil military operations unit, and as a platoon commander conducting personal security operations. He has been awarded multiple Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medals, the Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal, and the Combat Action Ribbon. Brian is originally from Staten Island, New York but he considers San Diego his second home. I am pleased to have Brian on our team!

XI.  COMMUNITY SNAPSHOTS

Society of American Military Engineers (S.A.M.E.) Small Business Event

 

I joined Navy Facilities Command leadership and members of the Society of American Military Engineers (S.A.M.E.) to discuss the state of small business and how to get more local firms involved with government construction projects. S.A.M.E. is an organization that brings together professional engineers and those in engineering-related fields to improve and increase the engineering capabilities in the nation.

Affordable Housing Groundbreaking Event in Lemon Grove

 

I was pleased to join Lemon Grove Mayor Mary Sessom and other officials at the groundbreaking ceremony for Citronica One, Lemon Grove’s newest affordable housing complex. When complete, Citronica will feature 3,650 square feet of retail space and 56 affordable housing units, 15 of which will be transitional housing for youth who are aging out of the foster care system. The project is expected to open in Spring 2013. 
 
Website | Contact
U.S. House of Representatives
1526 Longworth House Office Building
Washington, DC 20515
Phone: (202) 225-2040
Fax: (202) 225-2948
2700 Adams Avenue
Suite 102
San Diego, CA 92116
Phone: (619) 280-5353
Fax: (619) 280-5311