Welcome to my Blog Update, a newsletter for the constituents of California's 29th Congressional District. In addition to reading these weekly blog updates on Patch, you can sign up to receive this newsletter on a weekly basis in your email, and you can also always share your thoughts with me through Facebook and Twitter. I welcome hearing from you on these and any other issues, and hope that we can keep in touch.
Forest Service Will Begin Nighttime Fire Fighting
Almost three years after the devastating Station Fire, which destroyed nearly 160,000 acres of the Angeles National Forest (ANF) and killed two firefighters in August 2009, the Forest Service recently announced that it would immediately implement a new policy permitting it to fight wildfires at night using aerial assets. Rep. Schiff has led the charge for this change, especially after a Government Accountability Office (GAO) report in 2011 stated that the use of nighttime firefighting may have contained the fire early on.
After the announcement, Schiff said that "with temperatures hitting triple digits this summer, it's hard for California residents not to worry that another fire could sweep through and devastate our region once again. This step today by the Forest Service is long overdue, but will provide an important new line of defense against fires.”
Rep. Schiff Serves as Grand Marshall in Nisei Week Festival
Last week, Rep. Schiff served as the Grand Marshall during the 72nd Annual Nisei Week Japanese Festival Grand Parade and participated as a judge for this year’s Nisei Week Queen. Spanning 9 days, this year’s Nisei week celebrated Japanese and American heritage with the theme “Celebrating Global Unity,” aimed at commemorating the diversity of Los Angeles’ Little Tokyo area and the neighborhoods that surround it. Schiff was selected as Grand Marshall because of his work to honor the 100th Infantry Battalion and the 442nd Regimental Combat Team, widely known as the “Go For Broke” regiments, with the Congressional Gold Medal. Made up of Japanese-American servicemen, the “Go For Broke” regiments were one of the most decorated outfits during World War II serving in both the European and Asian Pacific fronts. Last year, President Obama signed the legislation into law awarding these Japanese-American heroes Congress’ highest civilian honor.
Please see some of the photos above.
Rep. Schiff Supports Childhood Arrivals Deferred Immigration Action
Allowing children who arrived in the country through no fault of their own before their 16th birthday, the Administration's new deportation policy has paved the way for good students and veterans to continue contributing to the fabric of the United States. Applicants of this action are eligible for deferred immigration action and work permits if they have graduated from high school or been honorably discharged from the U.S. Armed Forces. As a supporter of this initiative – like the Dream Act – Rep. Schiff believes this action will greatly benefit a number of students and service members who can and have made a substantial contribution to the United States. As the only country that these students and veterans know, they will have an opportunity to continue their education, serve our country, and add to the prosperity of this great nation. Forms and detailed instructions are available from the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services website at www.uscis.gov/childhoodarrivals.
Roundtable on Consumer Protection Held in Los Angeles
Earlier this month, Reps. Schiff, Xavier Becerra and Karen Bass had a chance to join the Director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Richard Cordray for a roundtable to hear about progress being made by the agency. After the economic collapse in 2008, reports of abusive practices by some financial institutions created a demand for a bureau to protect consumers and the economy from institutions that were too big to fail or were inadequately overseen.
During the roundtable, Schiff spoke of the need to have strong protections for consumers, citing the work Cordray is doing on behalf of millions nationwide. “Established as part of the 2010 Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform Act, the much-needed consumer bureau is charged with ensuring that a wide array of consumer financial products and services are responsibly regulated. Richard Cordray so far has done a brilliant job, and the work he and the agency he leads do is so important and must continue.” See a picture from the roundtable above.