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Newsletter: A Victory for the Middle Class


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On New Year's Day, the House passed the Senate's bipartisan legislation to make tax cuts for the middle class permanent, extend critical tax credits for working families, and avert the so-called "fiscal cliff". The bill is a victory for the middle class; permanently extending the middle class tax cuts for 98 percent of Americans and 97 percent of small businesses and promoting economic growth, while asking the wealthiest Americans to pay their fair share. More specifically, the bill:

Permanently extends the tax cuts passed under President Bush for individuals with a taxable income up to $400,000 and couples with a taxable income up to $450,000.

Ensures that the wealthiest Americans pay their fair share and cuts the deficit by $737 billion.

Extends Unemployment Insurance for 5 million people.

Ensures seniors' access to their doctors by blocking a scheduled 27 percent cut in physician payments by Medicare.

Averts a sharp rise in milk prices by extending parts of the farm bill through the end of the fiscal year.

Continues tax cuts for 25 million working families and college students.

$6 Million Grant for the Mission
There is no greater investment than our children. Recently, the Department of Education awarded a $6 million Promise Neighborhood implementation grant to San Francisco's Mission District and Mission Economic Development Agency (MEDA) as part of a five-year grant. In July, I was pleased to write to Education Secretary Arne Duncan in support of the Mission's grant application. By delivering support holistically in a linguistically- and culturally-competent manner, the grant will bridge together successful local nonprofits and public-private partners to work with kids and families: empowering the community, breaking cycles of poverty, and ensuring every child can reach their full potential -- from cradle to college to career. The grant victory reinforces the promise of the American Dream for San Francisco's diverse and vibrant Mission neighborhood and Latino community.

150th Anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation
On January 1, 1863, with the stroke of President Abraham Lincoln's pen, the arc of American history bent dramatically toward liberty and justice for all. With the implementation of the Emancipation Proclamation, our nation began to honor the vision set forth by our founders -- that "all men are created equal' -- and started to turn the tide of progress toward the promise of freedom for every American.

President Lincoln's bold action -- what he called an "act of justice' -- marked the first official step in the struggle for civil rights, and it still inspires us to this day. As we mark the 150th anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation, let us all reflect on its impact on our history and our society. Let us take heed of its lessons as an extraordinary act of political and moral courage and let us strive to live up to its legacy and renew the promise of a "new birth of freedom' in our time.

Please feel free to forward this information to your family and friends. To learn more about these efforts, to express your views, or to sign up for email updates, please visit my website. I am also on Twitter at

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