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Public Statements

E-Newsletter 6/1/12


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$9 Million for Healthcare in San Diego, Imperial Counties

I announced last month that $9,398,738 has been designated for healthcare in the cities of San Diego, Brawley and Campo by Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Kathleen Sebelius.

The Affordable Care Act invests in our community health centers and helps make healthcare accessible and affordable. Close to $10 million for healthcare locally means new jobs and the ability to serve more patients.

The awards are part of a series of capital investments that are made available to community health centers under the Affordable Care Act, which provides $9.5 billion to expand services over five years and $1.5 billion to support major construction and renovation projects at community health centers.

The announcement is for awards from two capital programs for community health centers. One will provide funding to existing health centers across the country for longer-term projects to expand their facilities, improve existing services, and serve more patients. The local awards under this program include $2,545,278 for Clinicas De Salud Del Pueblo, Inc. in Brawley and $5,000,000 for Mountain Health & Community Services in Campo.

The second set of awards is for existing health centers to address pressing facility and equipment needs. Locally this means $495,000 for Family Health Centers of San Diego, Inc. in San Diego, $499,871 for San Diego Family Care in San Diego, $358,590 for Clinicas De Salud del Pueblo, Inc. in Brawley and $499,999 for Mountain Health & Community Services in Campo.

Overall, since the beginning of 2009, employment at community health centers nationwide has increased by 15 percent. And, through the Affordable Care Act and the Recovery Act, community health centers are serving nearly 3 million additional patients today and will serve an additional 1.3 million additional new patients in the next two years.

Mortgage Foreclosure Protection for Servicemembers and Their Families

As the Ranking Member on the House Veterans Affairs Committee, I joined top Democrats on the Oversight and Government Relations Committee and the Armed Services Committee in introducing legislation that provides important safeguards to protect servicemembers and their families from mortgage foreclosures and other important improvements to the Servicemembers' Civil Relief Act, a law that provides protections for our servicemembers and veterans.

Our servicemembers protect our country, our way of life and our homes. We can do no less to protect their homes against mortgage foreclosure. I applaud my colleague Representative Cummings for fashioning a bill making important improvements to the Servicemembers' Civil Relief Act and for including language from my bill, H.R. 1263 to extend protections to surviving spouses of servicemembers whose death is service-connected.

Continuing the Fight Against the Quail Brush Power Plant

I joined a diverse group of community organizations and elected officials to call on the San Diego Planning Commission and the San Diego City Council to oppose the proposed Quail Brush Power Plant due to the damaging impacts the power plant would have on the San Diego River, Mission Trails Regional Park and the surrounding communities.

What the backers of the Quail Brush Power Plant are asking for is to take away our parkland and diminish the health in nearby communities. The diverse coalition opposing this project has made it clear -- don't put a power plant in our park, next to our communities!

I joined Preserve Wild Santee, community groups and public officials in highlighting the significant adverse impacts including toxic air emissions, habitat loss for endangered species, noise and visual impacts, lower water quality and the industrial use of the land which is incompatible with the surrounding area. We wrote "These impacts need to be avoided -- not mitigated."

Other signers include former San Diego City Councilmember Donna Frye and Santee City Councilmembers Jack Dale and John Ryan. Attached is the joint letter.

$605,340 for Imperial Community College District

Last month, I announced that the Imperial Community College District has been selected to receive a five year Upward Bound grant from the U.S. Department of Education. The first year's grant award of $605,340 was also announced last month.

This grant will open doors for students who would normally be left behind by our education system. We must make sure all of our students have the opportunity to succeed!

The five year grant comes under the Department of Education's Upward Bound program which seeks to increase the rate at which participants complete secondary education and enroll in and graduate from institutions of postsecondary education.

Upward Bound participants must be potential first-generation college students, low income individuals, or individuals who have a high need for academic support in order to successfully pursue a program of education beyond high school.

Grand Prize winner of the 51st District Congressional Art Competition Announced

Last month, Wagner Humphreys of Olympian High School was selected to be the Grand Prize winner of the 51st District Congressional Art Competition! Wagner's art will be displayed in the Capitol and he will be flown to Washington, DC for a reception and art exhibition. A special thank you to our San Diego Emcee FOX 5's Chrissy Russo, our Imperial Valley Emcee KYMA's Rachel Elzufon and our Congressional Art Competition Judges Cynthia Gaddes, Mario Torero, and William Virchis!

Constituent Mail Bag

From Chula Vista:

I care about our national parks. National treasures like Yosemite, the National Mall, and Gettysburg are some of our most beautiful places and represent defining moments in our country's history. I urge you to work with our other elected leaders to help protect our national parks.

We must protect places like Shenandoah National Park from the effects of pollution. We must take action to address the effects of global warming on places like Glacier and Joshua Tree National Parks. We must reinvest in our historic and cultural sites like Valley Forge. We must preserve places like the Everglades, which is home to endangered species and natural wonders. And we need your help to restore the entire National Park System by providing the funding and protections necessary to preserve these special places for our children and grandchildren.

The National Park System is one of the best ideas America ever had. That vision for the national parks must live on, if we are to preserve these special places well into their second century. The time to work together is now.

Thank you for considering my views.

Congressman Filner replies:

Thank you for contacting me about our National Park System.

I wholeheartedly agree with you! We must ensure our nation's natural and cultural resources are preserved for future generations. Rest assured, I will continue to work with my colleagues to provide the funding necessary to preserve and improve our national parks.

I appreciate your advocacy for this important issue.

Useful Website: Travel Tips

With the busy travel season about to be upon us, the Transportation Security Administration provides a Traveler and Consumer Center on its Web site.

The website provides travel tips, passenger resources, and information about security conditions.

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