Good afternoon. I would like to provide you with a few updates about recent developments in Congress and share some important information.
Delivering Federal Funds for our Community Projects
First, I have some tremendous news to share: I’m pleased to announce that we were able to secure funding for all ten of our community funding projects for fiscal year 2022 The funding bills passed today and included a total of $13.5 million for our South Bay projects. Specifically, we will receive:
$1 million – All in Eats
- The funding would be used to retrofit an existing warehouse in Fremont, CA to offer commercial kitchens, a staging area for food distribution, and food recovery to prevent unnecessary waste.
$1 million – API Community Health Worker Pilot
- The funding would go toward training community health workers to provide culturally appropriate medical care in the Asian/Pacific Islander (API) community in Santa Clara County.
$1 million – Cupertino Library
- The funding would be used to expand the Cupertino Library, which serves everyone in the community regardless of economic, social, or political affiliation.
$500,000 – Fremont Housing Navigation Center
- The funding would provide substance abuse counseling, employment assistance & other support needed to transition individuals into permanent housing.
- The funding would allow the City of Sunnyvale to Implement pedestrian & Safe Routes to School improvements at two intersections near Columbia Middle School in the Sunnyvale Neighbors of Arbor Including LaLinda (SNAIL) neighborhood and at one intersection near Braly Elementary School in the Braly Corners neighborhood.
$1.5 million – San Jose Public Library
- The funding would provide professional training for family, friend, and neighbor (FFN) caregivers of children under the age of six. The additional support would enable the existing successful pilot program to continue and allow for expanded digital inclusion and technology support for caregivers to access virtual programming and additional resources to enhance the care they provide.
$2.7 million – Santa Clara Bicycle Projects
- The funding would complete traffic analyses, public outreach, design, and construction of bicycle facilities on three corridors (De La Cruz Blvd: Montague Expressway to Trimble Road, Lick Mill Blvd: Tasman Drive-Montague Expressway, and Scott Blvd: Calabazas Creek Trail to Saratoga Avenue).
$3 million – South Milpitas Boulevard Extension Bridge
- The funding would extend the bridge over Pennitencia Creek and provide transit area development residents direct pedestrian and bicycle access to the Milpitas Transit Center, a key transit hub in Santa Clara County.
- The funding would provide flood risk management for communities along the south Bay shoreline, improve and increase recreation, and restore the health of the Bay. These areas include thousands of residents, critical infrastructure, such as the Palo Alto Regional Airport (the fourth busiest airport in the Bay Area), U.S. Hwy 101, Moffett Field which includes the NASA-Ames Research Center, and a regional wastewater facility.
$300,000 – Student Wellness Center
- The funding would be used to open a wellness center at a Santa Clara high school so students can receive critical, time-sensitive prevention and early intervention services to address student mental health and trauma.
I’m thrilled that we were successful in ensuring that all ten of our district’s requests were included in the appropriations bills. Whether its mental health programs at Santa Clara high schools, culturally competent medical care, or building more bike lanes for a safer commute, these projects show our government works for the people.
Reintroduction of the 21st Century Jobs Act
I reintroduced my 21st Century Jobs Act to make the future of work accessible and sustainable for every American. Specifically, the bill allocates $900 billion in research and development funding for emerging technologies like cybersecurity, artificial intelligence, and biotechnology. It will also create up to three million good new jobs annually, administered by a newly created Federal Institute of Technology (FIT).
Additionally, the 21st Century Jobs Act includes:
- Funding for better and more widespread STEM instruction in public schools, specifically focused on Computer Science. Currently, only 19 states give high schoolers access to Computer Science (CS) courses. Under my plan, CS will be a mandated component of any public-school curriculum for all K-12 students nationwide.
- STEM scholarships for students left behind. Of the 331,000 STEM bachelor’s degrees conferred in the U.S. in 2016, nearly 218,000 went to white students, compared to only 57,000 for Black, Latinx, and Indigenous graduates combined. My bill will provide the funds to close that gap and bring more Americans into the technology revolution.
- Tax incentives for the federal government’s contractors to locate part of their workforce in rural and forgotten areas across America. Companies will be eligible to claim the tax credit by hiring a person who attended a FIT or received the rural/minority STEM scholarship.
- $8 billion toward teacher training in STEM fields. America has underinvested in the very educators needed to make this vision a reality. My plan lays out a pathway to train, certify, and expand development programs for educators working in both local and higher education.
No person should have to leave their hometown to get a job in the digital revolution. The 21st Century Jobs Act is intended to meet the need for a massive investment in science and technology and the spread of digital opportunities across the country. If we want to compete economically with China, we can’t have every job concentrated in Seattle, San Francisco, or Boston. People shouldn't have to move to work in tech. Those jobs should be available in every community in America, particularly in communities that have been left behind. I am proud to reintroduce this important legislation to bring our country one step closer toward a stronger global economy for the 21st century.
Reintroduction of the Farm System Reform Act
I partnered with Senator Cory Booker (D-MJ) once again to reintroduce our Farm System Reform Act. Our would create a level playing field for family farmers by cracking down on anti-competitive practices and corporate consolidation by large factory farms.
Our newest iteration of the Farm System Reform Act also places an immediate moratorium on large factory farms and phases them out completely by 2040. Plus, it would:
- Hold corporate integrators responsible for pollution and other harm caused by large factory farms
- Provide a voluntary buyout for farmers who want to transition out of operating a factory farm
- Protect family farmers and ranchers by prohibiting the use of unfair tournament or ranking systems for paying contract growers
- Protect livestock and poultry farmers from retaliation
- Create market transparency and prevent predatory purchasing practices
- Restore mandatory country-of-origin labeling requirements for beef and pork and expand it to dairy products, and
- Prohibit the United States Department of Agriculture from labeling foreign imported meat products as “Product of USA”
If Congress doesn’t act soon, we risk losing an entire generation of family farms to multinational farming corporations. The Farm System Reform Act offers the best path to ensure the American food system maintains fair competition, high animal welfare standards, and a dependable food chain. We must fix this broken system now.
Updates in the District
On my recent trip home, I had the opportunity to do site visits for some of our Community Funding Projects and I was filled with optimism. I believe these projects will transform our communities for the better. Furthermore, it is my hope that we can build on these projects by investing heavily in infrastructure. Investing in modern, green infrastructure is essential for CA-17 and our country.
Facebook Live Town Halls
Thank you to all who participated in this month’s Facebook Live town hall. In August, I will host a Facebook Live town hall on Thursday, August 12th at 2pm Pacific. Please be sure to follow me on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram @RepRoKhanna.
Undercounting Civilian Casualties
Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) and I sent a letter to Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin, III, regarding the Department of Defense's (DoD) June 2021 “Annual Report on Civilian Casualties In Connection With United States Military Operations in 2020.” In the letter, we urge Secretary Austin to review why significant undercounts of civilians killed and injured in U.S. military operations persist and why the DoD made zero condolence payments to grieving civilians last year despite authorization and funding from Congress. Stopping endless wars requires recognizing the humanity of the people we harmed, and that includes doing everything we can to prevent and respond to civilian harm.
Caseworkers in my Santa Clara office are available to help Silicon Valley residents navigate the bureaucracy of federal agencies and any other concerns during the COVID-19 crisis. My staff can help you solve problems with immigration, visas, Social Security payments and VA paperwork, among other areas. Please call my office at (408) 436-2720 between 9:00am and 5:00pm Monday-Friday if you need assistance. Your call will be promptly answered (remotely) by my staff. You can also contact me online at any time at Khanna.house.gov/contact. While we are unable to meet in-person, my staff is ready to help. Visit my website for more information.