VAWA and NAFTA dis­cussed at Mccarthy mo­bile of­fice meet­ing

Porterville Recorder - - LOCAL - By ALEXIS ESPINOZA ae­[email protected]­villere­

A group of nearly twenty lo­cals gath­ered Fri­day morn­ing in a con­fer­ence room on the top floor of the Porter­ville Cen­ten­nial Plaza to meet with Cole Karr, a field rep­re­sen­ta­tive for Con­gress­man Kevin Mccarthy, at this year’s fi­nal mo­bile of­fice meet­ing.

The Mccarthy mo­bile of­fice meet­ings are held the first Fri­day of ev­ery month, and of­fer the pub­lic a chance to voice their con­cerns about gov­ern­men­tal poli­cies and pro­ce­dures. This month’s meet­ing ad­dressed a wide range of top­ics.

To be­gin the meet­ing, Karr up­dated the group on things that have been hap­pen­ing in the Mccarthy of­fice over the past month.

Karr be­gan by in­tro­duc­ing Chloe Gra­ham, a re­cent Berke­ley grad­u­ate who found a po­si­tion as a staff as­sis­tant in the Con­gress­man’s Bak­ers­field of­fice work­ing on non-profit outreach. Fol­low­ing Gra­ham’s in­tro­duc­tion, Karr briefed the group on what has been hap­pen­ing with Mccarthy.

Af­ter the re­cent elec­tion, the House ma­jor­ity will be shift­ing, and Mccarthy has been elected as the mi­nor­ity leader for the House. Mccarthy’s goal for the next two years as the mi­nor­ity leader is to re­unite the coun­try for more to­geth­er­ness.

Karr an­nounced that the House is work­ing on in­clud­ing an ex­ten­sion for the Wa­ter In­fra­struc­ture Improvements Act in the ap­pro­pri­a­tions bill for the fis­cal year of 2019. Mccarthy is work­ing on a seven year ex­ten­sion that could po­ten­tially dou­ble the au­tho­riza­tions for wa­ter stor­age projects and de­salin­iza­tion (re­mov­ing salt) of wa­ter.

Af­ter his up­dates were given, Karr opened the floor for pub­lic com­ments and con­cerns.

First to speak was Annabelle Goebel, who asked Karr if he knew any­thing about the progress of the task force for bal­lot fraud.

“The Pres­i­dent has that task force,” said Karr. “I am not sure of any­thing that is mov­ing for­ward just yet on that.”

Mickie Man­ning, a mem­ber of the Zonta Club of Porter­ville, asked about the sta­tus of the Vi­o­lence Against Women Act (VAWA). Sev­eral mem­bers of Zonta were in at­ten­dance at the meet­ing, stress­ing the im­por­tance of VAWA.

“We want Kevin Mccarthy to know how im­por­tant it is, not just to our com­mu­nity, but to the cen­tral val­ley, as far as re­cer­ti­fy­ing the act,” said Man­ning.

Karr re­sponded to Man­ning by say­ing that the act looks like it is go­ing to lapse, as it has not moved for­ward in to the House from the com­mit­tee phase. This means that the act was not in­cluded in ex­ten­sion for the ap­pro­pri­a­tions bill, and that VAWA had ex­pired. Karr stated that Mccarthy has sup­ported the act in the past and his po­si­tion on VAWA has not changed. He also in­formed the group that Mccarthy will be push­ing the act to pass out of the com­mit­tee phase be­fore the end of the year.

Toni Du­mont, the ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor for the Fam­ily Cri­sis Cen­ter and mem­ber of the Zonta Club of Porter­ville, said the ser­vices of­fered at the shel­ters and the cri­sis cen­ter would be nonex­is­tent with­out the fund­ing VAWA pro­vides. Du­mont also shared that the home­less­ness rate in the area has gone up, and a sig­nif­i­cant amount of the in­crease in the home­less pop­u­la­tion is women flee­ing from do­mes­tic vi­o­lence.

Other mem­bers of the group sup­ported the reau­tho­riza­tion of VAWA, and stated the funds are used re­spon­si­bly. Karr stated that he would pass this in­for­ma­tion on to the Con­gress­man.

As the dis­cus­sion about VAWA came to a close, Melody Gille­spie ex­pressed her con­cerns about the in­stal­la­tion of a 5G in­ter­net net­work in Porter­ville. Gille­spie said that an ex­per­i­ment in the Nether­lands caused hun­dreds of birds to drop dead af­ter the 5G in­ter­net had been switched on. Gille­spie stated that ex­pos­ing peo­ple to the high pow­ered in­ter­net ser­vice could po­ten­tially have dev­as­tat­ing health im­pacts, as long-term ex­po­sure to the al­ready im­ple­mented 4G in­ter­net has been proven to cause cancer.

Gille­spie wasn’t solely con­cerned with 5G in­ter­net how­ever, and re­layed to Karr that she also was very wor­ried about the new NAFTA agree­ment.

“In the mid­dle of the treaty, there is a part that gives Ap­ple, Google, Twit­ter, Face­book and other big tech or­ga­ni­za­tions im­mu­nity for the rack­e­teer­ing and giv­ing away of tech­nol­ogy that Amer­i­cans pay for to China,” said Gille­spie.

Karr re­sponded to Gille­spie by telling her that the NAFTA agree­ment has al­ready been signed by the ex­ec­u­tive au­thor­i­ties with­out any changes be­ing made to the treaty, and the agree­ment was al­ready in use.

As the meet­ing wrapped up, Karr an­nounced that the ten­ta­tive date for the next mo­bile of­fice meet­ing is Jan. 4 at 10 a.m. in the con­fer­ence room on the sec­ond floor of the Porter­ville Cen­ten­nial Plaza. These meet­ings are open to the pub­lic, and lo­cals are en­cour­aged to at­tend.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.