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Congresswoman Tsongas's E-Newsletter - Get Involved Every Week

Statement

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Location: Unknown

Dear Friend,

Last week, I announced the beginning of Third District Thursdays, a social media initiative aimed at introducing constituents to the communities that make up Massachusetts' Third Congressional District.

Throughout the day on July 4 I highlighted various people, places and things from the Third District on my Facebook and Twitter pages. I used the #3DThursday on both Twitter and Facebook, to talk about all the great things our region has to offer.

We will be continuing Third District Thursdays each week. I encourage you to Follow and Like my Twitter and Facebook pages to get the updates.

I also encourage you to get involved yourself and participate by adding your own favorite fun facts, photos and events related to your community. Just use the #3DThursday in your own posts to join the conversation every Thursday. I'll be sure to share some of your posts.

Since I came to Congress, I have made it a priority to ensure accessibility and communication are hallmarks of my Congressional office. We have seen a great response to our social media pages, utilizing Facebook and Twitter to engage on the important issues facing our state and country, and to make sure the voices of Third District residents are heard. Now with Third District Thursdays, we will be letting the world know about the extraordinary people and places that make up our corner of America.

I am excited to get this initiative going and hope you will follow along and participate.

Don't forget, Like my Facebook page and Follow my Twitter handle so you can you're your Third District pride and participate in this great new initiative!

As always, I hope that you continue to provide me with your thoughts, feedback, and opinions any day of the week via my website or also on Facebook and Twitter.

Please be sure to scroll down to read more information on some of the other topics on which I have been working.

Sincerely,

Niki Tsongas

DOMA: SUPREME COURT DECISION

Last week, the United States Supreme Court ruled the Defense of Marriage Act unconstitutional and returned marriage equality to the state of California.

In the past year, I joined my House colleagues in three "friend of the court" briefs challenging the constitutionality of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), which prevented federal recognition of same sex marriage. I am also an original cosponsor of the Respect for Marriage Act of 2011, which sought to repeal DOMA outright.

I believe our nation is stronger for its commitment to defending the rights and human dignity of all people and the Supreme Court ruling is a victory for equality and a victory for the American family. Marriage equality is reflective of the individual liberty and freedom that our nation was founded upon and the Supreme Court reaffirmed those basic American rights.

Massachusetts played a pioneering role in bringing this issue into the national spotlight and I want to congratulate all of the activists in our home state, in California and across the nation who have been so committed to advancing this important cause.

SAFER OFFSHORE OIL DRILLING

More than three years after the BP Deepwater Horizon disaster, Congress has not enacted any legislation to reform or improve the safety of offshore drilling. In fact, the successor to the BP Spill Commission recently gave Congress a D+ on its legislative response to the spill.

On Tuesday, June 25, I proposed an amendment to H.R. 2231, the Offshore Energy and Jobs Act, to address these major safety concerns. The amendment codifies safety standards implemented by the Department of the Interior and recommended by the BP Spill Commission. The amendment would also protect jobs and make sure oil companies, and not the American people, are held fully accountable for the costs of their spills.

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THANK YOU ED MARKEY

For decades, Ed Markey has been a champion for the Commonwealth. He has one of the most productive and impressive track records in Congress and has played a leading role in advancing issues important to Massachusetts families and businesses.

I've seen firsthand how effective he can be by serving with him on the Natural Resources Committee. No one was tougher on the oil companies following the horrific oil spill in 2010 in the Gulf of Mexico, and his commitment to protecting the environment is unmatched. With President Obama's announcement last week focusing on addressing environmental issues, Ed's expertise will be a major advantage toward making progress on Capitol Hill.

As a United States Senator, Ed will continue the legacy of effective legislating and leadership laid out by his predecessors. Respect for him runs deep on both sides of the aisle, which will enable him to hit the ground running and make an immediate impact on the major issues facing our nation.

DEVENS FIRE DEPARTMENT

The Devens Fire Department has been awarded $200,134 through the Assistance to Firefighters Grant (AFG) program. Devens Fire Chief Joe LeBlanc said his department will use the federal funding to purchase 21 state-of-the-art breathing apparatus kits and protective clothing for all Devens firefighters.

The total project cost is $210,667, with the federal share being supplemented by a $10,533 match from Mass Development.

Given the constraints on state and local budgets, competitive grant funds such as these help to maintain public safety in our communities and provide first responders access to the resources they need to save lives. Our volunteer and career firefighters sacrifice a great deal to protect our communities and it is our duty to provide them with the equipment and training they need to keep their departments running safely and efficiently.


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