Santa Cruz Good Times

Saturday
Apr 18th
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

 

Smells Like Team Spirit

The organizers of TEDx Santa Cruz don’t just talk about this year’s theme, ‘radical collaboration’—they live it

 

Pluto Retrograde, Aries New Moon, Lyrid Meteor Showers

As the Lyrid meteors, radiating from the star Vega in the Harp constellation, begin showering heaven and earth with light, Pluto, planet of transformation (or die) turns stationary retrograde (Thursday, April 16), 15 degrees Capricorn. Retrogrades have purpose, allowing humanity time to review, reassess, research and reinvent while returning to previous situations. Retrogrades are times of inner activity, seeds sown in bio-dynamically prepared soil. Pluto retrograde is the most serious and resolute of retrogrades—a pure tincture, or, as in homeopathy, a “constitutional” touching the essences of all that matters. Pluto offers deep insight into confusion or puzzlement and areas where transformation is still incomplete. It’s valuable to have one’s astrology chart to follow what area of life the major planets— especially Saturn, Uranus, Neptune and Pluto—are influencing. These outer planets have long-term and lasting effects on our psyche, inner/outer life events, how people see us and how we see and process our world. Pluto, retrograde for five months (until Sept. 24) offers deep earthquakes of change, awakens humanity to the task of building (Capricorn) the new culture and civilization, flailing our inner world about, deepening us until we transform and do things differently. Pluto is an unrelenting teacher. New moon (29 Aries) is Saturday, April 18. With the personality-building keynote, “Let form again be sought.” Mars anchors the new creative fires of Aries into our world. The New Group of World Servers participates together in the new moon festival, while also preparing for the Taurus Wesak, Buddha Full Moon Festival (May 3). Join us everyone.

 

The New Tech Nexus

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

 

Film, Times & Events: Week of April 17

Santa Cruz area movie theaters >
Sign up for Good Times weekly newsletter
Get the latest news, events

RSS Feed Burner

 Subscribe in a reader

Latest Comments

 

Mighty Leaf

Radicchio from Dirty Girl Produce, wine etiquette fail, and a treat from Gayle’s

 

What would you like to see a TED talk about?

Hydrogen-gas cars that are coming this summer. Scott Oliver, Santa Cruz, Professor

 

37th Parallel Wines

I visited the Capitola Mall recently to check out the newly launched Third Fridays Walking Art Tour, and was surprised to find an impressive assortment of artwork from local artists.

 

New Bohemian Brewery

New Santa Cruz brewery focuses on European style lagers