This past month, I was sworn in as the Representative for the newly drawn 28th Congressional district, which includes all or parts of Atwater Village, Burbank, East Hollywood, Echo Park, Elysian Valley, Glendale, Griffith Park, Hollywood, Hollywood Hills, La Cañada Flintridge, La Crescenta, Los Feliz, Montrose, Pasadena, Shadow Hills, Silver Lake, Sunland, Tujunga and West Hollywood. While residents remain just as committed to good schools, the environment and open space, and many other quality of life issues, there are new challenges and new priorities, and I need your help.
The best way for me to be effective is to maintain constant communication with you, indeed, I can't do my job without that. It is your priorities I want to advance, your challenges I want to help address, your children and families I want to serve. So please stay in touch with me, by Facebook, Twitter, townhalls, email, snail mail or by stopping by my office. Here are just a few of the electronic ways to reach me:
It’s my hope that we can work together on both sides of the aisle to tackle some of our country's most pressing challenges – restoring jobs and the economy, cutting our debt and deficit, finding commonsense solutions to gun violence, addressing climate change, reforming our immigration system, passing campaign finance reform and bringing an end to the war in Afghanistan.
Let me tell you a little about my recent work on one of these important issues. This past month, I have taken a leadership role on gun control by introducing two gun violence prevention bills. First, I introduced legislation to ensure that the victims of gun violence are allowed to have their day in court and that the gun industry – manufacturers, sellers and interest groups – is not shielded from liability when it acts with negligence and disregard for public safety. Good gun companies don’t need special protection from the law, and bad gun companies certainly don’t deserve it.
Second, I introduced a bill to crack down on “straw purchasers” of firearms – low-level offenders who then sell or traffick firearms to gangs, cartels or other criminals. We need to go after those who are buying weapons with the express purpose of providing them to those who can't pass a background check. Straw purchasing is not a “paperwork violation” – it’s a serious crime that has led to a horrendous increase in criminal access to firearms.
Apart from my legislative responsibilities, my focus will always be on helping constituents in our district. My office has assisted constituents with a diverse array of matters – from helping to secure a passport for a last-minute trip, to uniting families through immigration, to getting back benefits that are owed from the Veterans Administration, to getting needed healthcare services under Medicare. These issues are not ones that constituents often think to contact their Congressman about, but they are a vital part of my job.
I’m hosting an “Open House” for constituents to come and meet with me and my staff on Thursday February 21 from 4:30 – 7:00 pm at my new Burbank office – located in downtown Burbank at 245 E. Olive Ave., Suite 200. My staff will be on hand to assist and discuss issues relating to the federal government. If you’d like to attend, please RSVP by calling (323) 315-5555. And in the near future, we will be opening a small office in Hollywood, in an effort to make our services as accessible as possible. I hope to see at one of our two offices -- or in your neighborhood -- very soon.