Saturday, October 29, 2011

Hahn Happenings

Second from left, Rep. John Conyers (D-Mich.) cheers Rep. Hahn’s message. Standing to Hahn’s right are Reps. John Olver (D-Mass.), David Cicilline (D-R.I.) and Rosa DeLauro (D-Conn.)

Rep. Janice Hahn defended Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security in light of recent proposals to cut the programs. Hahn joined fellow congressmembers and activists at an Oct. 26 press conference to denounce proposals coming out of the so-called Supercommittee. At the Capitol Hill press conference led by Rep. John Conyers (D-Mich.), speakers urged the Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction to protect medical and retirement benefits. “Let’s remember these aren’t giveaways,” said Hahn. “Social Security and Medicare benefits have been earned by people who have worked decades paying into the system.”

In partnership with Rep. Ted Poe (R-Tx.), Hahn formed the bipartisan Ports Opportunity, Renewal, Trade and Security (PORTS) Caucus to promote port-related economic and national security issues. Shortly after announcing the caucus’ formation, congressmembers from Washington state, Florida, Louisiana, Hawaii, Illinois and Missouri joined the caucus, according to Hahn.

Hahn criticized the Transportation Security Administration for its handling of the recent incident at LAX involving a loaded gun in checked luggage.  In a letter to the TSA administrator, Hahn wrote, “I was especially disturbed to hear the spokeswoman for the Transportation Security Administration tell the Los Angeles Times that it is not the TSA’s responsibility to screen checked baggage for guns.  As reported on October 23, TSA spokeswoman Laurie Dankers said, ‘It’s the airline and passenger’s responsibility to ensure that firearms are transported correctly.’” Claiming the TSA has “abdicated responsibility,” Hahn wrote, “I would like to know, if the TSA is not enforcing its own regulations about loaded firearms in luggage, who is?”

On matters of foreign policy, Hahn issued brief statements about the withdrawal of U.S. troops from Iraq and the release of Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit.

District Business

In speeches to area Chambers of Commerce, Hahn updated local business leaders on her efforts to harness federal resources for the district.

Hahn singled out infrastructure, education and business reforms as the three catalysts to a stronger economy.

“I’m particularly eager to give small businesses the tools they need to succeed,” said Hahn, who serves on the House Small Business Committee.

“I want to keep in place tax credits that make it easier for small businesses to hire new employees, especially veterans. I want to cut the red tape small businesses must contend with and am working to create person-to-person contacts within the government to help you.

“I’ve been meeting with the Small Business Administration to free up capital for the small businesses in our region,” Hahn said at a San Pedro Peninsula Chamber of Commerce luncheon on Oct. 28.

Hahn addressed similar issues in her State of the Region speech to the Torrance Area Chamber of Commerce on Oct. 19.

Electronic Democracy

New forms of online communication to send a message to Washington

Engage with the White House

The White House this week launched a one-stop website of opportunities to express opinions and access information about federal policy. Among the most hands-on aspects of is Open for Questions, White House Office Hours and Advise the Advisor – all vehicles for direct and/or real-time communication with senior officials.

These initiatives and others are detailed on the Get Involved page. We the People is where the public can create and sign petitions. The Latest News page includes a calendar of live phone calls, video conferences and other ways to tune in and speak up.

Vote Nov. 8

The special election for the 15th District Los Angeles City Council seat vacated by Rep. Hahn is Tuesday, Nov. 8. At presstime, the latest Daily Breeze headline indicates “Furutani has largest war chest in 15th District race.” 

Polls are open from 7 am to 8 pm. The deadline to apply for a vote-by-mail ballot is Nov. 1. Additional election information can be found on the LA City Clerk website.

Easterly Snapshot

The Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial was dedicated on Oct. 16, with remarks by President Obama (text/video) and a star-studded assembly of speakers and entertainers. San Pedro News took these pictures on the fateful morning of Aug. 23. At the time, commemorative events were underway ahead of the original dedication set for Aug. 28. DC Mayor Vince Gray held an Aug. 23 press conference to designate DC Day, envisioned as a special day for DC residents to preview the memorial. Hurricane Irene forced the Aug. 28 dedication to be rescheduled. And Aug. 23 is when the historic earthquake sent monumental shock waves through the Eastern Seaboard. (Right now, as San Pedro News is typing at midday on Sat., Oct. 29, freezing rain is falling outside our Capitol Hill newsroom. It’s a windy 36° and snowing elsewhere. Hurricanes, earthquakes and now a rare pre-Halloween snowfall – evidently, Mother Nature is in quite the mood).

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Hahn Happenings

Rep. Janice Hahn took positions on abortion rights, labor policy, free trade agreements and other legislation in recent weeks.

In a Small Business Committee hearing, Hahn energetically defended the generic workplace posters that advise employees of their National Labor Relations Act rights.

“While small businesses call out to Congress for the help they need to hire and grow, Republicans are wasting time with their anti-union obsession,” said Hahn. “With millions of unemployed Americans depending on the Small Business Committee to create jobs, Republicans thought it was more important to debate a poster.”

Following a meeting with more than 50 local businesses, Hahn also voiced their concerns to the Small Business Administration. Arguing that businesses are hindered by bureaucratic paperwork and cumbersome procedures to apply for loans, Hahn called for reforms to expedite the loan process and invited the SBA administrator to visit the district.

Saying “I will not vote to fill the coffers of foreign governments at the expense of hard-working Americans,” Hahn voted against free trade agreements with Korea, Panama and Columbia.

The legislation passed the House and Senate on Oct. 13. According to the Washington Post, “the South Korea deal is widely hailed as the most consequential trade pact since the North American Free Trade Agreement was ratified in 1994.”

Hahn introduced an amendment to a piece of Republican environmental legislation that lessened restrictions on industrial boiler emissions. Hahn’s amendment would have upheld hazardous emissions standards for industrial boilers in the most polluted regions of the US.

Hahn’s amendment was defeated and the main EPA Regulatory Relief Act of 2011 (H.R. 2250) passed the House on Oct. 13. Authored by Rep. Morgan Griffith (R-Va.), the bill now goes to the Senate.

Images of ‘Occupy DC’

Two cooperating groups are occupying DC as part of the national protest running from Wall Street to San Pedro.

Under the rallying cry of “Stop the Machine! Create a New World,” a grassroots group called is occupying Freedom Plaza along Pennsylvania Avenue, just blocks from the White House. Occupy DC is camping in a park on K Street, a downtown thoroughfare synonymous with lobbyist power.

On Oct. 7, protesters staged a march to the White House and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, weaving past monuments and along busy K Street.

Marching towards the U.S. Chamber of Commerce with the White House and Washington Monument in the background.

In the course of the following week, they’d intersect with the adjoining Taste of DC food festival, for which they posted a sign reading “Join Us – Democracy Tastes Good.” They’d protest at museums, a Senate office building, the main train station and other high-profile locations around DC, resulting in a pepper-spray incident and arrests at several sites.

In response to questions about the movement’s agenda, DC organizer Kevin Zeese said protesters’ goal is to “end corporate rule.”

Our new Facebook page features a photo gallery of the Oct. 7 march through downtown DC.

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