News from Representative DeGette

       

Dear Friend,

It’s been one month since the horrific shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School that took 17 lives. Americans who are engaged in the fight to end gun violence marked the occasion this week with emotional tributes and continued advocacy.

On Tuesday, 7,000 pairs of children’s shoes were placed on the lawn on the U.S. Capitol to remember the young people lost to gun violence since the Sandy Hook Elementary school shooting. One pair instantly caught my eye: the worn but familiar sneakers placed in the memorial by my friend Tom Mauser, whose son, Danny, was killed in the Columbine High School shooting in 1999. I’ve seen Tom wear them on many occasions to honor the memory of his child – and my heart breaks every time, not only for the tragic loss of one parent, but for every person who has lost a loved one to this epidemic.

The next day, thousands more shoes were filled with marching feet as students in Colorado and across America participated in National Walkout Day to protest unacceptable inaction in the wake of endless mass shootings. I’m immensely proud of these kids who weren’t afraid to get into some “good trouble,” as my friend Congressman John Lewis would say, and I was honored to show solidarity with them at the “Enough is Enough” rally at the U.S. Capitol. They are demanding a very basic right – to feel safe in their schools – yet the struggle to ensure it has been exceedingly difficult. Powerful forces such as the NRA have blocked sensible gun safety legislation for far too long. Congress must finally reject these special interests and pass effective gun violence prevention measures. Young Americans, and people of every age, are counting on us; we can’t let them down.

I discussed this critical priority and many others with nearly 3,000 of you during a telephone and live-streamed town hall for aging adults and their caregivers on Monday afternoon. I really enjoy holding town halls in person and will continue to do so as usual, but this forum provides the chance to speak with many of you all at once from the comfort of your own homes or wherever you may be. Thanks to everyone who participated and asked thoughtful questions. We certainly covered a lot of ground, from Social Security to common-sense reforms to the Affordable Care Act to DACA to Medicare/Medicaid, and beyond. If you missed it, you can watch or listen to the entire event here.

You deserve to be informed about what’s happening in our government, but our current leaders in Washington are failing to meet this basic objective. This week was Sunshine Week, an annual observance originally founded to celebrate transparency in government. But this year, it provided an opportunity to further highlight the many ways Republicans are letting special interests run amok. To that end, I joined more than 100 of my colleagues this week in sending a letter to Republican and Democratic leaders of Congress opposing the GOP’s efforts to quietly place provisions in this year’s spending bill that would increase the influence of secret money. I’ve long worked to get big money and special interests of politics, supporting several bills to advance this goal, because government should be accountable to all people, not just the privileged few.

This Sunday offers another chance to discuss the local impact of events in Washington at my community forum. We’ll meet at the Local 720 Denver Union Hall from 3 to 4:30 p.m. I’m looking forward to hearing your ideas and observations, which help inform my decision-making at home and in DC. Help me and my team serve you better – come to this community forum, and feel free to encourage family, friends and neighbors to attend. RSVP here.

The week ended on a sad note with the news that my Congressional Pro-Choice Caucus co-chair and long-time colleague, Congresswoman Louise Slaughter, had passed away. This is a tremendous loss, personally and for the vast community of people with whom she worked. Louise was a warrior for all the issues she cared about. Her unmistakable Kentucky lilt masked a core of steel. As a champion of women's reproductive rights, she was especially proud to represent Seneca Falls, home to the first women's rights convention in the United States. I'll miss her wit and wisdom every day. 

As always, you can visit my website, where you can read my positions on issues and learn about the different ways my staff can assist you. While you’re there, be sure to visit the “Contact” page and send me an email about what matters most to you and your family. Finally, be sure to share this email with your friends, family, and neighbors so that they too can be a part of this important dialogue.

Sincerely,

Diana DeGette
Member of Congress

 

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