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Bay Area gun control events this weekend

With Organizing for Action (the revamped Obama campaign) having held its “day of action” today – a grassroots push urging Congress to enact universal background checks for firearm purchases – the Bay Area still has a few gun-control events on tap over the next few days.

Rep. Jackie Speier, D-San Mateo, will speak at a gun violence prevention rally at Palo Alto City Hall’s plaza, 250 Hamilton Ave., at 11 a.m. tomorrow, Saturday, Feb. 23. Also scheduled to speak are Vic Spicer of Silicon Valley Community Against Gun Violence; East Palo Alto Mayor Ruben Abrica; shooting survivor Mindy Finkelstein from the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence; and a representative from the Protect Our Children Initiative.

The rally will draw attention to a gun buyback being held by the police departments of East Palo Alto, Menlo Park and Palo Alto from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday in the parking lot at East Palo Alto City Hall, 2415 University Ave.

On Monday, Feb. 25, the Brady Campaign’s Contra Costa chapter will hold a candlelight vigil and bell-ringing for victims of the Newtown massacre and others killed with firearms, starting at 6:30 p.m. at Pleasant Hill City Hall, 100 Gregory Lane. Some local MoveOn.org chapters are participating as well, and Pleasant Hill Mayor Michael Harris is expected to attend.

Organizers say the event is in support of President Obama’s gun violence prevention proposals, including background checks on all gun sales, new laws to prevent anyone from buying guns for resale to criminals, and banning assault weapons and large-capacity magazines.

Posted on Friday, February 22nd, 2013
Under: gun control, Jackie Speier, U.S. House | 1 Comment »

Bay Area lawmakers react to SOTU

From Rep. Mike Honda, D-San Jose:

honda.jpgI applaud the President’s talk tonight regarding jobs and technology. We must ensure the resilience of the American worker, and the adaptability and innovation inherent in our economy, to keep us at the forefront of global competitiveness.

This is the Silicon Valley way of life and business, where the manufacturing sector employs 1 in 5 workers (more than twice the national average), where breakthrough ideas are cultivated, and where the world’s most successful visionaries and businesses call home.

If we renew our national commitment to winning the manufacturing jobs of the future, bringing Silicon Valley sense to Washington, and employ strategies that play to our nation’s natural strengths, we should see a new golden age of American manufacturing.

That is exactly why my legislative platform, introduced this week, will reinvigorate a critical component of our national economy by focusing on three components: Next-generation technologies, startups and small manufacturers, and re-shoring production lines from overseas.

• The Market Based Manufacturing Incentives Act empowers an apolitical commission of private-sector experts to designate the next generation of disruptive, market-changing technologies.

• The Scaling up Manufacturing Act, endorsed by the American Small Manufacturers Coalition, the American Chemical Society, and Silicon Valley’s own Applied Ventures, provides support to this nation’s entrepreneurs at the most critical stage of their business’s growth. This proposal stops offshoring before it ever starts, keeps our bourgeoning businesses here at home, and helps turns ideas into success stories.

• The Re-Shoring Bonus Deduction Act is a draft proposal aimed at promoting growth in domestic manufacturing among this nation’s most established and global enterprises. We should reward companies that bring jobs back to the United States and contribute to our nation’s economic growth by employing American workers.

Additionally, my STEM agenda for the 113th Congress supports Obama’s SOTU call for leadership in these fields. Science, technology, engineering and mathematics must be infused into our public school curriculum, emphasized within the clinical teaching preparation programs and applied into vibrant learning experiences in the classroom.

In order to keep Silicon Valley competitive and stocked with highly-skilled, creative workers, we must improve STEM education coordination on a national scale. For our nation to remain a leader in scientific advancement and technological innovation, this is what is required of us, nothing less. It is time to step up and STEM it.

From Rep. Mike Thompson, D-Napa:

Mike Thompson“The state of our union is getting stronger, but we have more work to do. Whether it’s creating jobs, getting our fiscal house in order, fixing our broken immigration system, or putting policies in place that respect the Second Amendment while also reducing gun violence, our nation faces big challenges. We won’t overcome these challenges as Democrats versus Republicans – we must meet them together as Americans.

“We need to put people to work fixing our roads, bridges, overpasses and waterways while also building an economy that can compete long-term by investing in new industries like clean energy. To get our fiscal house in order, we need a balanced approach that focuses on job creation, makes sure taxpayers are getting the most bang for their buck, and reforms our tax code so everyone pays their fair share. We need to avoid manufactured crisis that do nothing but hurt our economy. And, we need a bipartisan, comprehensive fix to our broken immigration system.

“Finally, tonight President Obama once again called on Congress to pass legislation that will reduce gun violence. Last month the President acted by signing a series of executive actions that will have a meaningful impact on reducing gun violence. But as we know, the policies that would have the greatest impact require congressional action.

“Whether you’re an NRA member like Elvin Daniel, the guest I hosted at tonight’s State of the Union, a hunter and gun owner like me, or one of the millions of Americans who have never fired a gun, we can all agree that when thirty-plus people die every day from gun violence that it’s time for Congress act. My task force is already acting. Last week we released a comprehensive set of policy principles that both respect the Second Amendment Rights of law-abiding Americans and will prevent gun violence. We’re using these policy principles to develop and influence legislation in both the House and Senate and are working to get legislation based on these principles signed into law.

“But this can’t just be a Democratic effort. It’s time for our colleagues on the other side of the aisle to work with us and use the principles we developed to put laws in place that respect the rights of lawful Americans to own firearms and make our schools, neighborhoods, communities and country safer.

“As the 113th Congress moves forward, I will continue working to overcome the challenges we face. And I am confident that if we put the partisanship aside and work together then our nation has even better days ahead.”

More after the jump…
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Posted on Tuesday, February 12th, 2013
Under: Barbara Boxer, Barbara Lee, Dianne Feinstein, Eric Swalwell, George Miller, Jackie Speier, John Boehner, Mike Honda, Mike Thompson, Nancy Pelosi, U.S. House, U.S. Senate | 27 Comments »

Jackie Speier to co-host gun buyback tomorrow

A Bay Area Congresswoman serving on House Democrats’ gun-violence task force is co-sponsoring an anonymous gun buyback tomorrow.

Rep. Jackie Speier, D-San Mateo; San Mateo County Supervisor Adrienne Tissier and San Mateo County Sheriff Greg Munks will host the event from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 26 in the San Mateo County Event Center, 2495 S. Delaware St. in San Mateo. Anyone can surrender weapons, no questions asked, and receive up to $100 cash for a handgun, shotgun or rifle, or up to $200 cash for an assault weapon.

“Gun buybacks are a powerful tool to make our streets and schools safer,” Speier said in a news release. “There is no reason we need 90 weapons per 100 Americans, making the U.S. the most heavily armed society in the world. Buybacks are convenient opportunities for responsible gun owners to get rid of guns they no longer want. Fewer guns also mean fewer accidents and fewer chances for guns to fall into the wrong hands.”

Speier – who attended a gun-violence task force hearing Wednesday on Capitol Hill chaired by Rep. Mike Thompson, D-Napa – will also hold a town hall meeting with constituents from 1 to 2:30 p.m. tomorrow at Temple United Methodist Church, 63 Beverly St. in San Francisco.

Posted on Friday, January 25th, 2013
Under: gun control, Jackie Speier, U.S. House | 13 Comments »

Reactions to Obama’s gun control plan

From Rep. Mike Thompson, D-Napa, who chairs House Democrats’ task force on gun violence:

“The president and our task force agree that we need a comprehensive approach to reduce and prevent gun violence. Executive action can and should be part of the process, and many of the executive actions announced today will have a positive influence on reducing gun violence. Now it’s time for Congress to step up and do what needs to be done to save lives. Many of the policies that will have the greatest impact on reducing gun violence will require Congressional action.

“During the next several weeks our task force will examine the president’s proposals and the proposals of others. We will continue meeting with stakeholders on every side of this issue. And we will develop a comprehensive set of policy proposals that both respect peoples’ 2nd Amendment rights and help keep our communities safe from gun violence.”

From the National Rifle Association:

“Throughout its history, the National Rifle Association has led efforts to promote safety and responsible gun ownership. Keeping our children and society safe remains our top priority.

“The NRA will continue to focus on keeping our children safe and securing our schools, fixing our broken mental health system, and prosecuting violent criminals to the fullest extent of the law. We look forward to working with Congress on a bi-partisan basis to find real solutions to protecting America’s most valuable asset – our children.

“Attacking firearms and ignoring children is not a solution to the crisis we face as a nation. Only honest, law-abiding gun owners will be affected and our children will remain vulnerable to the inevitability of more tragedy.”

From Assemblywoman Nancy Skinner, D-Berkeley, who has introduced a bill to regulate ammunition sales in California:

“I applaud President Obama for presenting a comprehensive plan that will help reduce the gun violence ravaging our communities and, hopefully, stop the rash of mass shootings that have become an all-too-common occurrence.

“California has tough gun laws but our ability to address gun violence is undermined when one can bypass California rules by crossing state lines. Federal action is needed to ensure the effectiveness of our state laws.

“As public opinion shows, strong support for gun control exists nationally in favor of enforcement and regulations to bulletproof our communities from devastating gun violence.”

From Alan Gottlieb, chairman of the Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms:

“Suddenly Mr. Obama wants to get more criminal and mental health records into the NICS background check data base and get a permanent director for the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms. Where has he been for the last four years?

“Perhaps he was too busy during his first term, while his administration was running thousands of assault rifles, millions of rounds of ammunition and countless high capacity magazines to violent criminals and drug cartel thugs through his administration’s Fast & Furious program. Now he wants to take away our Second Amendment rights when he and his friends have put more assault weapons in the wrong hands than all of organized crime?

“These firearms have been used not only to kill a Border Patrol agent, but also hundreds of people including women and children. This policy has resulted in more deaths and carnage than all the mass shootings in the United States in last ten years.

“The measures being proposed by the president will not prevent a repeat of the Sandy Hook tragedy, and he knows it. The initials ‘B. O.’ stand for more than Barack Obama. They stand for the bad odor of his blame game.”

Lots more, after the jump…
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Posted on Wednesday, January 16th, 2013
Under: Assembly, Barbara Boxer, Barbara Lee, California State Senate, Dianne Feinstein, Eric Swalwell, George Miller, gun control, Jackie Speier, Leland Yee, Mike Honda, Mike Thompson, Nancy Skinner, Obama presidency, U.S. House, U.S. Senate | 30 Comments »

Thompson sets gun task force roster, hearing

Rep. Mike Thompson, the House Democrats’ point man on gun reform, has picked a dozen vice chairs – including another Bay Area member of Congress – for his task force and is planning a community forum next week in the North Bay.

Mike ThompsonThompson, D-Napa, was named last month by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to head a task force on gun violence prevention. He’s a Vietnam combat veteran, gun owner and avid hunter.

“Our vice chairs have a wide range of expertise, come from different backgrounds representing all corners of the House Democratic Caucus, and will bring unique ideas to the table as we work to reduce and prevent gun violence while also protecting the rights of law-abiding individuals without a history of dangerous mental illness to own legitimate firearms for legitimate purposes,” Thompson said in a news release today.

Among the 12 vice chairs is Rep. Jackie Speier, D-San Mateo, who survived being shot five times at close range in the 1978 assassination of her boss, Rep. Leo Ryan, on an airstrip near Jonestown, Guyana; she still carries two of the bullets in her body. Since then she has been a consistent advocate of gun control, and carried assault weapons ban legislation in California twenty years ago. She supports banning military-style assault weapons and large-capacity magazines, as well as closing loopholes in the background-check process.

Speier last month had noted California’s gun controls are among the nation’s strictest and should be a model for federal law – or perhaps exceeded.

“We’re way ahead of the curve,”’ she said, “but it still is not enough.”

The other 11 vice chairs will be Reps. Ron Barber, D-Ariz., who succeeded Rep. Gabrielle Giffords after she was severely wounded in an assassination attempt; John Dingell, D-Mich., a hunter who has carried background-check legislation before; Bill Enyart, D-Ill., the retired Major General of the Illinois National Guard; Elizabeth Esty, D-Conn., who represents Newtown, Conn.; Chaka Fattah, D-Pa., who created a “Groceries for Guns” buyback program in Philadelphia; Carolyn McCarthy, D-N.Y., whose husband was murdered and son critically wounded in a 1993 mass shooting ojn the Long Island Railroad; Grace Napolitano, D-Norwalk, the founder and co-chair of the Congressional Mental Health Caucus; Ed Perlmutter, D-Colo., who represented Aurora, Colo., during the July 2012 movie-theater mass shooting; David Price, D-N.C., the ranking member of the House Homeland Security Appropriations Subcommittee, which holds the pursestrings for first responders; Bobby Scott, D-Va., who has been active in juvenile justice issues; and Bennie Thompson, D-Miss., chair of the Congressional Sportsman Caucus.

The task force will hold meetings and hearings over the next month to identify the best policies to reduce and prevent gun violence, and will release a comprehensive set of proposals in early February.

Thompson also has announced he’ll hold a forum from 7 to 8:30 p.m. next Wednesday, Jan. 9 at Vallejo City Hall, 555 Santa Clara St., to bring together law enforcement, school and local elected officials; mental health experts; community members and other stakeholders for a discussion on how to reduce and prevent gun violence.

Posted on Friday, January 4th, 2013
Under: gun control, Jackie Speier, Mike Thompson, U.S. House | No Comments »

Reactions to the Newtown school massacre

From House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-San Francisco:

“No words can console the parents of the children murdered at Sandy Hook Elementary School or describe the pain and shock of such an unspeakable tragedy. No words can comfort the loved ones of those brutally taken from us today. All Americans share our prayers and our grief over these horrifying events.

“We are all stunned, shocked, and distraught by this tragic shooting, by this violent act, and by the loss of so many young children. Our hearts go out to the families and friends of the students, teachers, and educators killed and wounded in Newtown, Connecticut. The entire nation will continue to stand as a source of support to this community in the days and weeks to come.”

From Rep. Mike Honda, D-Campbell:

“Earlier today, another horrific gun tragedy struck our nation as innocent men, women, and children were senselessly shot at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut. My prayers are with the victims, their families and friends, and the communities impacted by today’s terrifying events.

“As an educator for 30 years, I know firsthand the importance of making a school a safe place where children can grow and learn. Having that sense of safety ripped from us, again, is both shocking and jarring. It is difficult to imagine what it feels like to be a parent that has outlived their child or to be part of a family inexplicably left with a gaping hole in their hearts. While exact details still remain unclear, there is no doubt that today is a somber day. A close-knit community, like countless communities all around our country, was violently attacked, and we will continue to feel the shocks of this violence for some time.

“This event, much like the numerous other shootings earlier this year, will undoubtedly lead to difficult discussions about safety, public policy and emergency preparedness. This self-reflection is natural, and it is my hope that we can finally take action to address the root causes of these horrific tragedies together, as a nation.”

From state Sen. Leland Yee, D-San Francisco:

“My thoughts and prayers go out to the children and families of Newtown. In a year with so many appalling acts of gun violence, this is the most shocking of such tragedies. While we do not have all the details behind this senseless and unconscionable massacre, it is a sad and horrific reminder of what is possible when guns get into the wrong hands. We must limit access to weapons that can result in such catastrophe and mass murder.”

From U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif.:

“I am horrified and incensed by today’s tragedy in Connecticut. These massacres don’t seem to stop—they continue on and on.

“When senseless mass shootings reach into our kindergartens and elementary schools, one has to question what is happening to America. Gun violence took the lives of more than 8,000 Americans last year, and today claimed the lives of at least 18 children.

“As I have said many times before—and now repeat in the wake of yet another tragedy—weapons of war don’t belong on our streets or in our theaters, shopping malls and, most of all, our schools.

“I hope and trust that in the next session of Congress there will be sustained and thoughtful debate about America’s gun culture and our responsibility to prevent more loss of life.”

“But today we mourn for those who have been killed and the families that have been devastated.”

From U.S. Sen. Barbara Boxer, D-Calif.:

“My heart breaks over this senseless tragedy that took so many innocent lives. My prayers go out to their families and to all those who were injured.

“This touches us all so deeply, and it is long past time that we enacted sensible gun laws and school safety legislation.”

From Gov. Jerry Brown:

“We all mourn the heartbreaking loss of those killed at Sandy Hook Elementary. We pray for their families and loved ones.”

From Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom:

“For those calling for the postponement of any discussion of gun and mental health policy in America – you are wrong.

“Just WRONG!

“We postponed after the President and his press secretary, James Brady were shot more than 30 years ago. We postponed after the tragedy in Columbine 13 years ago. We postponed after Virginia Tech five years ago. We postponed after Representative Gabriel Giffords was shot in 2011. We postponed in July when a mentally disturbed James Eagan Holmes opened fire in a crowded movie theatre. And earlier this week, people said it was too soon to talk about gun and mental health policy when a gunman opened fire at a crowded mall in Oregon.

“Today, President Barack Obama addressed the nation from the White House briefing room named for James Brady and now we turn to our political leaders to finally and decisively act.

“Prayers are important. We are a nation that always prays at times of great tragedy. But prayer is not enough as we learn in James 2 14-26, ‘What does it profit, my brethren, if someone says he has faith but does not have works…Faith without works is dead.’

“Today is a clarion call to all leaders, regardless of political party, to act purposefully. Senseless gun violence is not simply about gun control. It must also include meaningful discussion of mental health policy in America. Political parties must be realistic – Democrats can’t draw the line in the sand at banning all guns and Republicans can’t dig in on the status quo.

“The NRA and the gun lobby are not supportive the President and now is the time for him to give them a real reason. The President must call the question. Put the gun lobby on the bench. Call on every member of congress to step out from behind the money and power of the gun lobby and act before we are lulled back into a false sense of security and forget to have the conversation again until the next tragedy. There are families in Connecticut, Oregon, Virginia, California, Arizona, Colorado, Wisconsin and every other state that have suffered loss due to gun violence and they do not want a postponement this debate any longer.

“How many more people have to die before we decide the time is right to have this debate and take action? Now is a time for prayer…and leadership.”

Lots more, after the jump…
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Posted on Friday, December 14th, 2012
Under: Barbara Boxer, California State Senate, Darrell Steinberg, Dianne Feinstein, George Miller, gun control, Jackie Speier, Jean Quan, Jeff Denham, Leland Yee, Mike Honda, Nancy Pelosi, U.S. House, U.S. Senate | 9 Comments »

Act now for tickets to Obama’s re-inauguration

Bay Area members of Congress are offering their constituents chances to win free tickets to President Barack Obama’s re-inauguration Jan. 21 in Washington, D.C., but one lawmaker wants applicants to sing for their supper.

“Please write a paragraph of at least 5 sentences, submit a video, or draw a picture suggesting an innovative idea either to put Americans back to work, or ensure that each and every child has access to a quality education,” Rep. Mike Honda, D-Campbell, asks 17th Congressional District constituents seeking tickets.

Entries (only one per person) must be posted as responses on the congressman’s Facebook page by Thursday, Jan. 3.

Other local members are doing it on a more straightforward lottery basis; you can apply only through your own House member, or through either of California’s U.S. Senators.

Rep. John Garamendi, D-Fairfield: Call 202-225-1880

Rep. Mike Thompson, D-Napa: Email here or call 202-225-3311 or 707-226-9898

Rep. Jerry McNerney, D-Stockton: Call 202-225-1947 or 209-476-8552

Rep. George Miller, D-Martinez: Apply here

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-San Francisco: Call 202-225-4965

Rep. Barbara Lee, D-Oakland: Apply here

Rep. Jackie Speier, D-San Mateo: deadline already passed

Rep.-elect Eric Swalwell, D-Dublin: available in January

Rep. Anna Eshoo, D-Palo Alto: deadline already passed

Rep. Zoe Lofgren, D-San Jose: Call 202-225-3072

Rep. Sam Farr, D-Santa Cruz: Join stand-by list here

U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif: Apply here

U.S. Sen. Barbara Boxer, D-Calif.: Apply here

If leaving a voice-mail message, be sure to include your full name, address, city, phone number, e-mail address and number of tickets requested.

Posted on Tuesday, December 11th, 2012
Under: Anna Eshoo, Barbara Boxer, Barbara Lee, Dianne Feinstein, George Miller, Jackie Speier, Jerry McNerney, John Garamendi, Mike Honda, Obama presidency, U.S. House, U.S. Senate | No Comments »

Miller steps down as Dem policy committee’s chair

Rep. George Miller is stepping down from his decade-long chairmanship of the House Democratic Steering and Policy Committee, a post in which he was a top advisor to House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi.

Miller, D-Martinez, said in a news release Tuesday that it’s been an honor to serve under Pelosi’s direction, and before that under Democratic Leader Dick Gephardt. “I thank the leader for her confidence in me and I look forward to working with Steering and Policy as a member of the committee in the 113th Congress.”

Pelosi, D-San Francisco, said Miller “has been an extraordinary, dedicated, valued member of our Democratic leadership team, and we will continue to rely on his counsel, energy, and wisdom as we work together to move our country forward in the next Congress.”

Rep. Rosa DeLauro, D-Conn., and Rep. Rob Andrews, D-N.J., will co-chair the panel in the new Congress.

“The leaders and members of the Steering Committee reflect the diversity, energy, bold ideas, and creative thinking of all House Democrats, and embody our Democratic commitment to create jobs, strengthen the middle class, and grow the economy,” Pelosi said in her release. “With Congresswoman DeLauro and Congressman Andrews at the helm, this committee will play a central role in addressing the challenges facing our families, small businesses, and communities nationwide.”

Rep. Barbara Lee, D-Oakland, is among the regionally elected members of the committee – representing Northern California, Hawaii and Alaska plus American Samoa, Guam and the Northern Mariana Islands – while Rep. Jackie Speier, D-San Mateo, joins Miller among the appointed members.

UPDATE @ 3:06 P.M.: Miller says he now wants to turn his full attention “to working with the chair and members of the Education and Workforce Committee on the growing backlog of legislation near and dear to my heart and that are critical to growing our economy – for example, the reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, the Higher Education Act, the Workforce Investment Act, raising the minimum wage, and protecting miners’ safety and health. The American people are counting on Congress to work in a bi-partisan manner to move these policies forward.”

Posted on Tuesday, December 4th, 2012
Under: Barbara Lee, George Miller, Jackie Speier, Nancy Pelosi, U.S. House | 2 Comments »

Speier: End LGBT ‘conversion therapy’ for kids

A resolution introduced today by Rep. Jackie Speier would encourage states to act, as California already has, against so-called LGBT conversion practices that seek to change a child’s sexual orientation.

The Stop Harming Our Kids (SHOK) resolution, cosponsored by Reps. Ted Deutch, D-Fla., and David Cicilline, D-R.I., goes hand-in-hand with Speier’s investigation of whether federal funds have been spent on such practices, which have been rejected as scientifically invalid by the American Psychiatric Association and other mental health groups for decades.

Jackie Speier“Being gay, lesbian, bisexual, or transgendered is not a disease to be cured or a mental illness that requires treatment. Any effort to change sexual orientation is not medicine, it’s quackery, and we should not be supporting it with taxpayer dollars,” Speier, D-San Mateo, said in a news release.

“California led the nation on this issue when Governor Jerry Brown signed SB 1172, a law that prohibits state licensed mental health professionals from engaging minors in these harmful and abusive therapies,” she said. “Governor Brown did the right thing and I am urging all states to consider similar laws.”

Brown signed the state law in late September; conservatives filed a federal lawsuit a few days later, and a motions hearing is scheduled for Friday morning in federal court in Sacramento.

“This law places the state between the client and the counselor,” said Mat Staver, founder and chairman of Liberty Counsel, which is representing the plaintiffs. “This law intrudes on a client’s fundamental right of self-determination to seek counseling that aligns with his/her religious and moral values. This law forces counselors to overrule the will of their clients who choose to prioritize their religious or moral values above unwanted same-sex sexual attraction.”

Speier’s SHOK resolution encourages each state to take steps to protect minors from efforts that promote or promise to change sexual orientation or gender identity or expression, based on the premise that homosexuality is a mental illness or developmental disorder that can or should be cured.

Speier also is probing whether federal taxpayer dollars have been spent on conversion therapy with minors through Medicaid or TRICARE reimbursements. Her initial inquiries found “two additional instances of so-called mental health professionals that advertise these services and appear to be eligible for federal dollars,” she said. “This morning, I sent letters of inquiry to Medicaid and TRICARE to determine if these instances reflect systemic weaknesses that allow federal taxpayer dollars to go to harmful, illegitimate medical services.”

Speier was joined at a press conference this morning on Capitol Hill by Sheldon Bruck and Jerry Spencer, who were subjected to this “conversion therapy;” Laura Booker, a licensed clinical social worker; Christine Sun, the Southern Poverty Law Center’s deputy legal director; Ashland Johnson, policy counsel with the National Center for Lesbian Rights; and Brian Moulton, legal director of the Human Rights Campaign.

Posted on Wednesday, November 28th, 2012
Under: Jackie Speier, U.S. House | 7 Comments »

Want tickets to Obama’s re-inauguration?

With the presidential election only a week behind us, members of Congress are starting to take requests for free tickets to President Barack Obama’s second-term inauguration on Monday, Jan. 21, 2013 in Washington, D.C.

Some – including Reps. Barbara Lee, D-Oakland; George Miller, D-Martinez; Anna Eshoo, D-Palo Alto; and Jackie Speier, D-San Mateo – already have pages on their websites at which you can request tickets in a lottery system. The rest of the Bay Area’s delegation will have similar pages up soon; you must request tickets from your House member, or from one of your state’s two U.S. Senators.

Posted on Tuesday, November 13th, 2012
Under: 2012 presidential election, Anna Eshoo, Barack Obama, Barbara Lee, George Miller, Jackie Speier, U.S. House | 29 Comments »