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Public Statements

Rep. Hank Johnson's E-Newsletter: June 28, 2013

Statement

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Dear Friends,

This past week, the Supreme Court engaged in historic overreach, ignoring their own precedents and disregarding evidence of ongoing discrimination at the polls when they invalidated Section 4 of the Voting Rights Act.

A call for strong, swift action by the Congress is now front and center.

I will work with all my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to ensure voters have every necessary protection. In 2006, during the last renewal of the landmark Voting Rights Act, Congress conducted more than 21 hearings with nearly 100 witnesses and amassed a 15,000-page record documenting the ongoing discrimination against minority voters.

This is occurring not only in states with a history of discrimination. Most recently, we have seen an uptick in attempts to disenfranchise voters in other jurisdictions around the country. The Voting Rights Act is as necessary today as it was almost 50 years ago. Congress must act quickly to strengthen it. For more, click HERE.

DOMA: Also this week, Supreme Court declared The Defense of Marriage Act or DOMA unconstitutional and properly discarded it in the dustbin of history. On this front at least, our nation is now one small step closer to realizing the Constitution's promise of equality for all Americans. As President Obama said: "When all Americans are treated as equal, no matter who they are or whom they love, we are all more free" -- I agree.

FAMILY FUN DAY TO SAVE YOUR HOME: To celebrate June as Homeownership Month, HUD-approved counseling agency D&E is hosting a Family Fun Day on Saturday, June 29 at the Community Achievement Center -- 4522 Flat Shoals Parkway -- in Decatur from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

The event will feature an education information session about homeownership, and establishing or re-establishing credit. The educational session will be sponsored by D&E, Freddie Mac, and other housing experts. There will also be food, music, and face painting. My office will be there to help homeowners prevent their homes from being foreclosed. For more information, please visit www.depower.org or call 770-961-6900.

CONSTITUENT SERVICES: Since taking office in 2007, my staff and I have worked to help secure more than $22 million for constituents seeking help with federal agencies. Helping constituents solve seemingly intractable problems is what my office does every day. I'm proud that my staff has been able to help so many constituents receive the money and benefits due them from the federal government. Taking care of home first is my number one priority. For more, click HERE.

HIV TESTING DAY: Thursday, June 27 was National HIV Testing Day. I was pleased to address the DeKalb Community Service Board's National HIV Testing Day event. I fully support the DeKalb Community Service Board's efforts to squash the perceived social stigma of not only getting tested but of also being affected by HIV.

Too many struggle for access to the care they need to control the disease and prevent new infections. This situation demands that we address how discrimination, stigma, and where one lives contribute to this public health crisis. Fortunately, DeKalb County Board of Health and others are working hard to solve this problem, and I am proud to join with them in this effort.

PRIVACY & IMMIGRATION REFORM: As the House Judiciary Committee takes a piecemeal approach to comprehensive immigration reform, I ensured this week that the Legal Workforce Act (H.R. 1772) will include language to prevent government surveillance or use of data for any purpose other than employment verification or preventing discrimination or abuse. For more, click HERE.

As always, I appreciate your time and feedback. Thank you for allowing me the opportunity to represent you in Congress.


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