This e-newsletter is designed to provide you with the latest information on the work I'm doing as your elected Representative in Washington. It also keeps you up to date on what I'm doing in and around the District.In addition to the newsletter you can also follow me on Twitter for timely updates on what's happening in Congress. Also, be sure you checkout my Facebook page to stay informed on what's happening in Congress and for event notifications in your area. I've moved in the mobile communication arena and now have an iPhone app, it's free. On my YouTube page you'll find my floor speeches and media appearances. Check it out you might be surprised by some of my opinions. And of course visit my website where you can find information on my sponsored and co-sponsored legislation, policy positions and latest news.
PASSING OF CONGRESSMAN WILLIAM H. GRAY
The people of Philadelphia and all across America have lost a great friend and advocate in the death of Congressman William H. Gray. He served with extraordinary distinction in the Congress. For that reason, I led out in a moment of silence on the House Floor, followed by Special Orders where Members were able to honor his life and his legacy. There is no question that Congressman Gray's dedicated leadership benefited the people of Philadelphia. He never lost sight of the needs of those in the urban community. Congressman Gray was instrumental in developing housing for low and middle residents and he was committed to making sure that Philadelphians had access to quality, reliable transportation. Amtrak's 30th Street Station is one of the best, most efficiently run train facilities in the nation because of Gray's commitment to investing federal resources in America's infrastructure.
Bill Gray was my friend -- he was the very embodiment of how to turn the power and platform of the House of Representatives for true public service. Bill was a man of unshakeable faith, a towering spiritual leader for Philadelphians through his lifelong commitment to the Bright Hope Baptist Church. His strong, powerful and influential voice will be missed in Philadelphia and around the nation.Our prayers go out to Bill's wife Andrea and his children as they mourn their sudden loss.
PHILADELPHIA FIREFIGHTER GRANTS
I'm pleased to announce that the Philadelphia Fire Department (PFD) is the recipient of two federal grants totaling $18.4 million from the Department of Homeland Security. Philadelphia has some of the finest firefighters in the nation and they put their lives on the line everyday to protect our neighborhoods. For that reason they must have what they need to carry out their duties and ensure the protection of our residents. These grants will do that by making sure there are enough firefighters and EMS personnel who are fully trained and have the proper equipment to respond when emergencies occur.
ANNUAL NCEEP/GEAR UP CONFERENCE
On Monday, July 15th, I will speak to some 1500 education and business professionals at this year's NCCEP/GEAR UP Annual National Conference in San Francisco, California. Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs (GEAR UP) is a federally funded, research-based initiative aimed at helping schools, colleges, universities, and community-based organizations encourage students to stay in school, take rigorous classes, enter college, and gain a postsecondary degree without remediation. Since its inception, GEAR UP has served more than 12 million students in 49 states, the District of Columbia and three territories. Almost $4 billion in federal funds has been appropriated to the GEAR UP program. Conferees will attend workshops on ways to help new and experienced GEAR UP professionals effectively meet their projected goals and objectives through developmental and strategic planning activities.
NATIONAL LABORATORY VISITS
While in California I'll take some time to visit three national laboratories; the Lawrence Berkeley National Lab, the Lawrence Livermore National Lab - where I'll visit the National Ignition Facility - and the Sandia National Lab at its Livermore Campus to take a look at the National Combustion Research Facility. As one of the co-founders of the bipartisan House Science and National Labs Caucus I've introduced H.Res.44 calling 2013 the "Year of the Federal Lab" to emphasize the continued need for U.S. investment in research through Federal laboratories. These labs play an essential role in keeping our nation as the world's economic and innovation leader. I'll continue my work to make certain the labs receive the federal funding necessary to continue their pioneering work.