As Southwest Washington's representative in Congress, I want to keep you up-to-date on my work to improve life in our region. If you have any questions or ideas to share with me, I welcome you to send me a direct message here.
Supporting our region's law enforcement
As crime continues to spike in Portland amidst their "defunding" craze – which has an impact on us here in Southwest Washington – I wanted to get an on-the-ground update from our region's law enforcement. That's why I recently joined a roundtable with the Ranking Member of the Homeland Security Committee and Portland and Vancouver law enforcement to discuss the challenges facing their departments.
I was struck by what I heard during the roundtable with these law enforcement officials. For example, Portland Police Bureau Patrol Officer Krute Aroonsuck said: "Morale is absolutely down right now. I would say it's attributed to essentially being underfunded, understaffed, and under-supported."
Do officers need better training? Definitely. Reforms? Yes. But let's support our law enforcement and drop the insane notion that defunding and treating them like the enemy will make us safer. I'm going to continue supporting and defending our law enforcement in Congress so they're able to carry out their duties and protect our families and communities.
Ensuring our firefighters are equipped and supported for wildfire season
Click the video above to watch my interview on supporting our firefighters.
In Southwest Washington, we know all too well the danger wildfires pose to our communities. And though it's clear that science-based forest management must become a bigger priority to reduce the scope of wildfires, we also have to make sure our brave firefighters are being put in the best possible position to battle blazes to protect our families and businesses.
When I received the news that federal hotshot crews were understaffed or sidelined due to cost issues and clerical errors in paperwork –I stepped in and urged the U.S. Forest Service to address these issues and make sure our firefighters are adequately compensated.
As temperatures soar and we enter a wildfire period, we cannot risk having our response capabilities compromised. I'll continue working on the federal level to ensure our firefighters have the resources they need to protect our communities.
I've proudly helped introduce legislation in Congress, the Veterans in Parks Act, which will give our military members, Gold Star families, and veterans free access to our national parks and public lands free of charge.
While we can never fully repay our brave men and women for serving our nation, this small token of appreciation will ensure they are able to freely visit our beautiful national parks that they so bravely fought to defend.
Tackling the opioid crisis in Southwest Washington
Long before COVID exacerbated the issue, the opioid epidemic was touching every corner of Southwest Washington. That's why I'm helping introduce legislation in Congress, called the IMPROVE Addiction Care Act, which will provide prescribers with the information they need to help protect patients who have suffered from a nonfatal overdose, improve provider education on the risks of prescribing opioids, and connect addiction survivors to treatment options.
I'm pleased to work with my colleagues on this bipartisan legislation to advance our goal of ending the destruction caused by opioid addiction.
I’m thrilled to once again host the Congressional App Challenge for our Southwest Washington students! This is a great opportunity for students to build upon STEM skills and design new, innovative apps.
The winning apps will be eligible to be displayed in the U.S. Capitol Building and featured on the House of Representatives official website.
For more information and how to enter the competition, please click here to visit my website.
It's an honor to serve you in Congress. If you have a comment, question, or an idea for me, please send me a direct message here. As always, please let me know how I can assist you.