It’s hard to believe that it’s already December. It has been a very busy year for everyone I know, balancing work, family life, and all the activities that fill out lives.
I’m encouraged by the progress we’ve made as a country and the work I’m doing in Congress to improve the lives of my constituents back home.
Boosting our local economy and helping people get back to work has been one of my top priorities. To that end, I’ve introduced the Small Business Relief Act to give businesses the resources to hire people who were previously out of work, with an emphasis on businesses in regions that are still challenged by high unemployment rates.
This past year we’ve endured the effects of California’s fourth year of crippling drought. Most residents have stepped up their conservation efforts, but more needs to be done to boost our long-term resiliency against water shortages. This summer, I heard ideas from over 200 constituents and experts on ways we can solve the drought crisis. I pushed Congress to authorize more water recycling projects to increase our water supply. I also fought for new investments in our water infrastructure that were included in the highway-transportation bill recently signed into law. Moving forward, I will continue to work on a comprehensive solution focused on water and energy efficiency that will be introduced early next year.
I can’t mention the drought without thinking about climate change. We need to curb the carbon emissions that threaten our environment, contribute to drastic changes in our climate, pollute our air and water, and reduce the health of our communities. This fall, Pope Francis urged us to be better stewards of the environment. I believe are at a pivotal moment to join together to address the damage caused by climate change, and I will be advocating for legislation that encourages businesses to emit less carbon and provides individuals with resources to invest in a clean-energy lifestyle.
Ensuring accessible health care for our nation’s veterans has been a top priority. That’s why I’ve been asking the tough questions to top VA officials and holding them accountable to provide the benefits our service men and women have earned. I also spearheaded legislation to reform the construction process for VA medical facilities and fought once again to secure funding for the outpatient facility in French Camp that would serve 87,000 veterans across the Central Valley.
There are more items left unchecked on the to-do list, and I’m already preparing for what will be a productive 2016, both in Congress and on the campaign trail. I’m confident that with your continued support, we will build on our successes and continue to move our country forward.
All the best,