Hello and Happy New Year!

I hope this note finds you happy and healthy. I wanted to share a few thoughts with you as I look forward to working for you in the coming year.

State of the Union

Along with many of you, I watched President Obama give his State of the Union speech last week. The president shared a lot of good news that I was happy to applaud: our national economy is improving, and U.S. troops are concluding their mission in Afghanistan. Also, the success of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) means more Americans have health insurance than any time since the 1990s. The ACA is also allowing us to finally get the costs of health care under control.

Middle Class

While I am proud of these successes, for many of the middle class families I represent, times are still pretty tough. Folks are working hard, often in more than one job, and still have trouble making ends meet. Wages simply haven’t kept up with the cost of living.

You sent me to Washington to look out for everyone, not just an elite few. That’s why I will continue to support policies that hold the Wall Street banks accountable, keep healthcare costs down, and defend the right to a fair, livable wage. I’m also going to be working on solutions for homeowners still dealing with the aftereffects of the housing crisis.

The Delta

I will also continue to look out for the health and well-being of the California Delta. I led the charge last year to oppose the BDCP and its destructive tunnels. We have the opportunity to work toward solutions to our state’s water issues that benefit everyone in the long term, and I’ll be working with my colleagues on these challenges throughout this year.

Keep the VA accountable

As many of you know, nothing is more important to me than our veterans. I’ll continue to work this year to hold the VA accountable for fixing the problems with delayed care that were uncovered last year in Phoenix and other places. And I will keep pushing the VA to build a medical facility in French Camp as they’ve promised to do – I even wrote a bill that would make it easier for the VA to expedite construction of the facility by working with private companies that can do it much more efficiently.

Working for you

Our nation, our state, our cities, and our families need real solutions, not just partisan talking points and political ads. I’m honored that you sent me to Washington to work on these tough problems. I’m known in Washington for working with Democrats and Republicans on practical solutions, and I’ll keep doing that. Let’s continue to work together to come up with solutions that benefit everyone.



P.S. Click here to see my ‘State of the District’ speech from the Lodi News-Sentinel article.