Santa Cruz Good Times

Saturday
Jan 31st
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

 

Throwing It All Away

Everybody’s for recycling, right? So why are we all doing it wrong? Our reporter gets down and dirty to uncover 10 secrets that will finally make the recycling process make sense

 

Aquarius Calling, Humanity Rising

Aquarius (11th sign after Aries) is the sign of service—serving one another, building community. Aquarius is fixed air, stabilizing new ideas in the world. When new ideas reach the masses the ideas become ideals within the hearts and minds of humanity. Air signs (Gemini, Libra and Aquarius) are mental. They think, ponder, study, research, gather and distribute information. For air signs, education and learning, communicating, writing, being social, tending to money, participating in groups and creating sustainable communities are most important. One of the present messages Aquarius is putting forth to the New Group of World Servers is the creation of the New Education (thus thinking) for humanity—one based not on commodities (banking/corporate values) but on virtues. Humanity and Aquarius Aquarius is the sign of humanity itself. We are now at the beginnings of the Age of Aquarius, the Age of Humanity (rising). The “rising” is the Aquarian vision of equality, unity, the distribution and sharing of all resources and of individual (Leo) creative gifts for the purpose of humanity’s (Aquarius) uplifting. This is the message in the Solar Festival of Aquarius (at the full moon) on Tuesday, Feb. 3. We join in these visions by reciting the World Prayer of Direction, the Great Invocation.Tuesday’s solar festival follows Monday’s Groundhog Day, or Imbolc (ancient Celtic fire festival) the halfway mark between winter solstice and spring Equinox). The New Group of World Servers (NGWS) during these two days are preparing for the upcoming Three Spring Solar Festivals: 1. Aries Resurrection/Easter Festival (April); 2. Taurus Buddha/Wesak Festival (May); and 3. Gemini’s Festival of Humanity (June). Aquarius and the new and full moons together are the primary astrological influences behind all of humanity’s endeavors. The NGWS are to teach these things, calling and uplifting humanity. Join us everyone. (301)

 

The New Tech Nexus

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

 

Job Insecurity

Woman fights for her job in thoughtful, life-sized ‘Two Days One Night’
Sign up for Good Times weekly newsletter
Get the latest news, events

RSS Feed Burner

 Subscribe in a reader

Latest Comments

 

Jeffrey’s Restaurant

Why quick and friendly service matters at a local diner.

 

If you didn't live in Santa Cruz, where would you be living?

I would live in Kauai because the water is warmer, and I just love it there. Maureen Niehaus, Santa Cruz, Dental Assistant

 

Clos LaChance Wines

Pinot Noir 2012

 

Striking Gold

A taste of Soquel Vineyards’ five gold medal-winning Pinots