Santa Cruz Good Times

Thursday
Feb 11th
Text size
  • Increase font size
  • Default font size
  • Decrease font size

Town Hall With Rep. Sam Farr

SamFarrNewWhy did the Violence Against Women Act expire, and what is the status of its reauthorization?

One of the first pieces of legislation I supported as a freshman member of Congress in 1994 was the original Violence Against Women Act. I am appalled that during the last session of Congress the Republican House majority allowed the act to expire for the first time in 19 years despite protest from myself and other Democrats.

While rape crisis centers, women’s shelters and other programs created by the 1994 act and subsequent reauthorization acts have continued to receive funding, the future of these crucial establishments is in limbo until we pass a new version of the bill.

Last week, the Democratic Senate majority passed a reauthorization act, just as they did during the last session of Congress, that ensures members of the LGBT community, immigrants and Native Americans have access to help if they experienced domestic violence, sexual assault or stalking—provisions were absent from the Republican’s version in the House during the last session of Congress. Despite the work of Senate Democrats, House Republicans may once again kill the bill by failing to bring the bill to the floor for a vote.

I am proud that Democrats are again making women’s rights a priority. I strongly support the new bill because I believe every woman living in the United States of America deserves justice regardless of the community they identify with, their background or heritage. This bill enables all women to seek physical and emotional help, and encourages them to testify against their attackers if they are subjected to domestic violence, sexual assault or stalking.  

We must remember that immigrants, Native Americans and members of the LGBT community are real people who bruise, bleed and emotionally scar if they are beaten by their significant other or are sexually assaulted or stalked. In the United States of America justice and safety is a basic right, not an advantage one group should hold over another.  

I hope my colleagues in Congress will also realize that all women should have the same resources that we want for our own wives, sisters, daughters and granddaughters.

In light of President Barack Obama’s late-january speech on immigration reform, where does the debate stand in Congress and how likely is it that action will be taken this year?

The President made it clear that immigration reform is a top priority this year and members of Congress are ready work with him. Our immigration system has been broken for far too long, and Democrats and Republicans must finally come together to fix it.

Progress has been made already. Last month, a bipartisan group of Senators laid out a framework for real reform that is similar to the proposals put forth by the President. Both plans call for increased border security and create a level playing field for hiring employees. They require responsibility from everyone—the people who are here illegally and the employers who hired them. By creating a provisional working status for those who are already here, the proposals would bring 11 million people out of the shadows, allowing them to work here legally, pay taxes and contribute to our communities.

The sticking point has become whether those here illegally should be offered a path to citizenship. The two plans differ in details but both call for illegal immigrants to go to back of the line before applying. However, there are still many on the far right who reject that notion and it remains to be seen if that is enough to derail any efforts.

For too long now our immigration system has been left broken. We cannot let hard-line ideologues prevent us from achieving a bipartisan compromise. Now is the time for comprehensive reform so that the American dream promised to immigrants throughout our nation’s history can be achieved by this generation.

Comments (2)Add Comment
...
written by Pat Kittle, February 27, 2013
Sam,

You are as disingenuous as the Republicans.

You talk "sustainability" but you slander anyone & everyone who advocates SUSTAINABLE immigration rates.

How is endlessly massive population growth remotely sustainable?

It's not, and YOU KNOW IT'S NOT!
UM....
written by Don Honda, February 23, 2013
With all due respect, I think you mean: For too long our immigration policies have not been enforced...

Write comment
smaller | bigger

busy
 

Share this on your social networks

Bookmark and Share

Share this

Bookmark and Share

 

Heart Me Up

In defense of Valentine’s Day

 

“be(ing) of love (a little) more careful”—e.e. cummings

Wednesday (Feb. 10) is Ash Wednesday, when Lent begins. Friday (Feb. 12) is Lincoln’s 207th birthday. Sunday is Valentine’s Day. On Ash Wednesday, with foreheads marked with a cross of ashes, we hear the words, “From dust thou art and unto dust thou shalt return.” Reminding us that our bodies, made of matter, will remain here on Earth when we are called back. It is our Soul that will take us home again. Lent offers us 40 days and nights of purification in preparation for the Resurrection (Easter) festival (an initiation) and for the Three Spring Festivals (at the time of the full moon)—Aries, Taurus, Gemini. The New Group of World Servers have been preparing since Winter Solstice. The number 40 is significant. The Christ (Pisces World Teacher) was in the desert for 40 days and 40 nights prior to His three-year ministry. The purpose of this desert exile was to prepare his Archangel (light) body to withstand the pressures of the Earth plane (form and matter). We, too, in our intentional purifications and prayers during the 40 days of Lent, prepare ourselves (physical body, emotions, lower mind) to receive and be able to withstand the irradiation of will, love/wisdom and light streaming into the Earth at spring equinox, Easter, and the Three Spiritual Festivals. What is Lent? The Anglo-Saxon word, lencten, comes from an ancient spring festival, agricultural rites marking the transition between winter and summer. The seasons reflect changes in nature (physical world) and humanity responds with social festivals of gratitude and of renewal. There is a purification process, prayerfulness in nature and in humanity in preparation for a great flow of spiritual energies during springtime. Valentine’s Day: Aquarius Sun, Taurus moon. Let us offer gifts of comfort, ease, harmony, beauty and satisfaction. Things chocolate and golden. Venus and Taurus things.

 

The New Tech Nexus

Community leaders in science and technology unite to form web-based networking program

 

Making Dreams

Coen brothers salute vintage Hollywood in sly comedy ‘Hail, Caesar!’
Sign up for Good Times weekly newsletter
Get the latest news, events

RSS Feed Burner

 Subscribe in a reader

Latest Comments

 

Pub Watch

Mega gastro pub-in-progress at the Old Sash Mill, plus the best pasta dish downtown

 

How do you know love is real?

When you feel the groove in your heart and you’re inspired to dance. Becca Bing, Boulder Creek, Teacher

 

Temple of Umami

Watsonville’s Miyuki is homestyle cooking, Japanese-style

 

How would you stop people from littering?

Teach them from the time that they’re small that it’s not an appropriate behavior. Juliet Jones, Santa Cruz, Claims Adjuster