Friday, September 30, 2011

Hahn Happenings

Rep. Janice Hahn was named to the Small Business Committee on Sept. 22. The committee oversees the Small Business Administration and its programs in addition to matters related to small business financial aid and assistance, regulatory flexibility, and paperwork reduction. This is Hahn’s second committee assignment, following her appointment to the Homeland Security Committee.

Hahn testified on the House floor about the long-term infrastructure bill.

“In my home city of Los Angeles, we’re already pursuing innovative measures like the 30/10, America Fast Forward initiative to get the infrastructure we need to stay competitive tomorrow built today,” Hahn said. “That initiative promises to create 160,000 jobs in my area alone. Just think of what that good program could do for our country as a whole.”

“Keeping our nation competitive in the future requires vision and boldness in the present, and I urge my colleagues to pass a long-term surface transportation bill equal to the opportunity before us.”

SP to DC

One in an occasional series on a San Pedran working the Washington political machine

Jim Thebaut, a downtown San Pedro resident, recently spearheaded a major environmental conference at the United Nations in New York.

Through his South Bay-based think tank, Thebaut produces documentary films on domestic and international water policy and other related issues.

Thebaut’s Chronicles Group partnered with the Energy and Water Institute of New York to organize the International Water Forum at the United Nations on Sept. 16.

“The overall objective of the forum is to establish water as a critical focus of the UN delegates’ attention while educating the general public about the severity of water shortages, climate change, drought and their connection to energy, public health, poverty, hunger, groundwater and aquifer depletion, agriculture, food supply, population growth and ultimately international security,” said Thebaut. “This is a global crisis that will require the attention of the world community if a solution is to be found.”

Attended by more than 600 water experts and stakeholders, the forum was convened as the first step in a global, grassroots public education and awareness campaign to spur citizen activism towards policy solutions.

In introducing Thebaut at a Los Angeles City Council meeting, then-Councilwoman Janice Hahn referred to Thebaut as the “Al Gore of water issues.”

David Nahai, former head of the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power, was among the panelists at the UN forum. Nahai and Thebaut co-authored a LA Daily News commentary headlined, “Los Angeles has role to play in fixing global water crisis.”

David Nahai, left, and Jim Thebaut

Through his decades-long career as a political advocate, international humanitarian and documentary filmmaker, Thebaut has led and contributed to productions that have aired on CBS, ABC, HBO, the Arts & Entertainment Network and public television networks.

On Capitol Hill, he has collaborated with the late Sen. Paul Simon and other lawmakers to advance federal legislation on water issues. Last year, Thebaut held an invitation-only film screening and reception in the ornate Capitol Visitors Center, attended by members of Congress, private sector representatives and other leading figures.

Simon publicly praised Thebaut in a letter backing Thebaut’s films. “... I strongly favor creating a powerful documentary, under the experienced leadership of someone like Jim Thebaut, which can alert citizens in our nation and around the world to where we’re headed, and how relatively modest policy changes can avert disasters,” Simon wrote in 2001, while serving in academia following his Senate retirement.

This seven-minute video is a preview of Thebaut’s current film in progress.

All About Connections

San Pedro News will be establishing Facebook and Twitter accounts early next week and we look forward to connecting with you. Meanwhile, you may wish to friend and follow Hahn’s accounts, listed on the right-hand side here.

House committees have their own Facebook and Twitter accounts as well.

Stay tuned for a full article on Washington-style social media in an upcoming issue of San Pedro News.

Easterly Snapshot

In a New York state of mind – Last year, the New York Times published “The Waterfront, Covered,” a collection of annotated reader photos of the New York waterfront. Your San Pedro News editor just happened to be in Manhattan at the time and submitted some pictures of Roosevelt Island, two of which were included in the gallery – with a photo credit. Cool, eh? (If you’re so inspired, you can dig through the Manhattan gallery to see the captions and photo credit for yourself.)

Friday, September 16, 2011

Announcing San Pedro News, Washington Edition

Welcome to the premier issue of San Pedro News, Washington Edition. From our new headquarters on Capitol Hill, the news department (of one) will be reporting on federal issues that impact San Pedro. Every other Saturday, we’ll bring you news from Rep. Janice Hahn’s office, plus other insights and perspective relevant to the hometown.

Hahn Speaks Up at First Homeland Security Committee Meeting

Rep. Janice Hahn was appointed to the Homeland Security Committee and actively participated in her first committee meeting on Sept. 8. The meeting focused on the state of national security 10 years after the 9/11 attacks.

“It was especially fitting that my first Homeland Security hearing would come as we near the 10th anniversary of Sept. 11,” said Hahn. “I’m looking forward to working with my colleagues on the committee to strengthen the security of our communities and our critical infrastructure, especially the Port of Los Angeles and LAX.”

Hahn questions witnesses testifying before the committee.

Gov. Tom Ridge, former Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security, responds to Hahn’s question on port security issues. Photos courtesy of Rep. Hahn’s office.

People who Work (or Want to)

Between Labor Day and President Obama’s jobs bill, labor issues have been headline news this month.

In a statement following Obama’s address to Congress, Rep. Janice Hahn outlined the local angle to the national jobs bill, referring to three political leaders and constituents to illustrate the stakes and far-reaching impact of the proposal. Said Hahn:

“Tonight, the President reminded Congress and all Americans that regardless of party, we need to work together so people can get back to work.  I strongly support his efforts to invest in infrastructure and to improve our bridges and roads because dollars spent on these initiatives mean that we will be able to hire Americans to rebuild our country.

Investing in infrastructure is something that both Republicans and Democrats can agree upon. Just last week, I met with the Republican Mayor of Torrance, Frank Scotto, who encouraged me to back this kind of targeted spending.

I was pleased to hear the President announce a plan that will ‘create more jobs for construction workers, more jobs for teachers, more jobs for veterans, and more jobs for the long-term unemployed.’

I was also delighted that First Lady Michelle Obama invited Tamara Washington, a resident of Torrance, to attend tonight’s speech. Ms. Washington’s dedication to finding work to help support her family is the kind of unsung bravery and courage that millions of Americans demonstrate each and every day.

Finally my guest at this evening’s event, Matt McKinnon, the Director of Legislative and Political Action at the Machinists and Aerospace Workers (IAMAW), attended on my behalf as a reminder that whatever action we take in creating jobs, it must be directed at the hard-working men and women who have made this country strong in the past and are eager to get back to work.”

Speaking on the House floor on Sept. 14, Hahn called for passage of the jobs bill.

“The American people have waited too long for this Congress to put its focus where it belongs: on creating jobs and getting this nation back to work...,” Hahn said. “The American Jobs Act is good news for veterans, construction workers, teachers, firefighters, the long-term unemployed and … all Americans who can look forward to a stronger economy and a more competitive nation.”

Here’s a video of Hahn’s remarks.

(On a related note, here is a video of Hahn’s July swearing-in).

On the subject of working people, the Daily Breeze has posted a photo album from the annual Labor Day march and rally in Wilmington.

Easterly Snapshot

Maintaining a Nixon-era tradition, the White House gardens are open to the public in the spring and fall. Last October, there was a surprise celebrity appearance in the form of First Dog Bo. Being the gracious statesman, Bo indulged his admiring constituents and diplomatically posed for the citizen paparazzi.