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Public Statements

Riverside County, California, Land Conveyance

Location: Washington, DC

RIVERSIDE COUNTY, CALIFORNIA, LAND CONVEYANCE -- (House of Representatives - July 19, 2004)

Mr. HAYWORTH. Mr. Speaker, I move to suspend the rules and pass the bill (H.R. 3874) to convey for public purposes certain Federal lands in Riverside County, California, that have been identified for disposal, as amended.


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Mrs. BONO. Mr. Speaker, it is truly rewarding when we, as Members of Congress, can move a bill that will make such a positive impact in our own communities. This bill, H.R. 3874, does just that.

As we all know, no matter how well our economy does, there will always be a segment of our population in need of a safety net. H.R. 3874 takes a step in the right direction as it relates to helping those less fortunate in our society.

This legislation conveys 44 acres of BLM land, which is already on the disposal list, to Father Joe's Villages. Together, with a local charity called Martha's Village and Kitchen, the plan is to build a residential center for the homeless, a job training center and 100 units of affordable housing.

Many would be surprised to learn that even Palm Springs and its surrounding community have numerous people in dire need of a helping hand. But my community, much like everyone else's, unfortunately has a need for shelters, worker training and other forms of assistance.

Father Joe's, located in San Diego and part of Congresswoman SUSAN DAVIS's district, and Martha's Village and Kitchen, which is headquartered in my district, are two very reputable and successful organizations. That is why Congressman DAVIS and I want to help them make this village a reality.

Thanks to the most generous individuals I know, Mr. Tom Martin and his wife Rita, much of the money to build this project is secured. Mr. and Mrs. Martin have helped Martha's Village and Kitchen and have again put themselves on the front line of fighting for compassion by getting involved in this effort. Furthermore, we have the energy and enthusiasm of Father Joe Carroll to run this project. We are ready to go.

Our contribution of this land will enable new workers to enter the workforce, provide shelter and assume other functions that will take the burden off the local, State and Federal governments. The relative cost of this land will come back to us tenfold. In short, this is a perfect example of how a private-public partnership can work for the betterment of so many.

So while I fully realize H.R. 3874 does not create new broad sweeping national policy, it helps people I really care about the people I really care about and that is reward enough.

Mr. Speaker, I would like to offer a very special thank you to Chairman RICHARD POMBO who is responsible for this bill being on the floor of the House today. My heartfelt thanks go out also to Chairman RADANOVICH and Ranking Member RAHALL for shepherding this legislation through committee. These three gentlemen showed great care and dedication in moving this bill through the process. And thanks also to their very able staff, especially Rob Howarth, as well as my staff, Linda Valter, for their help on this important piece of legislation.

I look forward to your support of this bill.

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