August 21, 2019
Whether it's in Queens or Washington, Grace has been hard at work these past few months supporting working families and ensuring Democrats are on the path to victory in 2020. I wanted to pass along this brief update from Grace on everything she's accomplished since we last reached out. Please feel free to get in touch if you have any questions. And congrats to all the new state party chairs!
The Democratic Presidential Debates
For the first round of debates, my colleagues and I were voting in Washington, so I organized a debate watch party for us to cheer on the diverse slate of Democratic candidates. For the second round of debates, I was home in Queens and able to watch with my friends at the Ridgewood Democratic Club. I'm excited about everything the presidential race will bring.
Progress in the House
The House has passed over 250 measures this session. And in these past few months alone, we’ve had victories that will make a real, tangible difference in American lives. In the House, we passed the American Dream and Promise Act that offers a pathway to citizenship for DREAMers and TPS recipients. Additionally, after seemingly constant delays, we were able to pass a disaster relief bill and to send much-needed aid to Puerto Rico and states across the country suffering from natural disasters. As a New Yorker, I am especially proud to have co-sponsored the bill that will ensure heroic 9/11 first responders have the medical care and support they need from our government for the rest of their lives.
In June, I introduced my Community College Student Success Act, which will make sure community college students have all the necessary resources to succeed and graduate. Finally, I introduced the Stop Cruelty to Migrant Children Act to end the Trump administration's human rights abuses against the children and families at our border and to ensure government funds are not used to traumatize or harm these asylum seekers. I'm proud to have taken this necessary step to keep the kids in our care safe.
This August, I got the chance to join the Kansas Democratic Party at Demofest, their annual summer convention in Wichita. I spoke at the convention, as did Kansas Governor Laura Kelly and Lt. Governor Lynn Rogers, and I had the chance to connect with Democrats doing essential on-the-ground work for our party during this brief but meaningful visit. Thank you to the Kansas Democrats for welcoming me to their state!
Summer Executive Committee Meeting
It was great seeing so many of you in Pittsburgh last month. Thank you to Pennsylvania Democratic Party Chair Nancy Mills for hosting us! Pennsylvania Democrats didn't just pick up four Congressional seats last fall, but they also re-elected Governor Tom Wolf. Now, they've turned their sights towards taking back the state legislature. We also heard from Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey, State Representative Jordan Harris, and DNC Chair Tom Perez. Before adjourning, we held a moment of silence to recognize the recent passing of Frank LaMere of Nebraska. Frank was a dedicated DNC member and the Nebraska Democratic Party’s First Associate Chair, and he is sorely missed.
Asian American and Pacific Islander Outreach and LGBTQ+ Pride Month
May was Asian Pacific American Heritage Month, but my work to support the AAPI community didn't end there. Since May, I've helped secure a postage stamp that honors the Chinese laborers who connected our country through their work on the Transcontinental Railroad. I also worked with AAAJ-AAJC and other immigrant advocates to ensure an accurate count on the 2020 Census and to stop the Trump administration's citizenship question. Thanks to the work of activists across the country, their unconstitutional question has been struck down by the Supreme Court, but my work ensuring every community is counted in 2020 is far from over.
June was Pride Month. In May, the House passed the Equality Act, a bill I am an original cosponsor of that will amend the Civil Rights Act to prohibit discrimination on the basis of sex, sexual orientation, and gender identity. The DNC is committed to LGBTQ+ equality -- not just during Pride Month, but all year long -- and we were excited to celebrate it in June!
Sending Funds Exactly Where They Are Needed
It’s always an honor to serve on the House Committee on Appropriations, but I’m particularly proud of the work we’ve done over the course of the last few months. From this committee, we made the historic decision to fund gun violence research for the first time in more than two decades. Additionally, we've been able to direct more funds to vital programs including education, as well as the fight against the opioid epidemic.
Congratulations to the New DNC State Party Chairs
In June, we welcomed a new group of DNC State Party Chairs to the DNC family! It’s an honor to have such a talented and dedicated group of people fighting for the values our party holds dear. Congratulations and welcome to the new Chairs!
After a busy summer, I'm looking forward to seeing all of you at our Summer Meeting in San Francisco at the end of this month, where I know we'll continue to make more progressive gains for our party and country as we move into fall.Best wishes,