Dear Neighbor,

It has been another eventful week across our community, I remain committed to advocating for the needs of our district, and to sharing with you a summary of that work each week:

I was glad to partner with Congresswoman Sylvia Garcia to provide much-needed PPE and resources to the care providers at Legacy Community Southwest Clinic.  Legacy serves some of the most vulnerable communities in our district, and through the COVID-19 pandemic it continues to play an essential role in making sure people can get the care they need.  We distributed 3,000 N95 masks to help make sure frontline workers there remain safe as they do their work of keeping our community healthy.

I was also glad to visit with members of our community virtually and over the phone, including advocates for juvenile diabetes research, families sharing their personal immigration stories and concerns about the current system, business owners briefing me on the challenges of operating their small businesses during COVID-19.

This week our community also celebrated the 100th anniversary of the 19th Amendment with some special events, and I was glad to join the Greater Houston Women’s Chamber of Commerce at its State of Women some of the women leaders of our community today and to share my thoughts on the occasion with the San Jacinto Girl Scouts, having just visited with Girl Scout Troop 20281 on Zoom earlier in the week!

Greater Houston Women’s Chamber of Commerce State of Women 

On Friday, I chaired a hearing before the House Science, Space and Technology Committee Energy Subcommittee, where we heard from experts in biological research about how the Department of Energy research efforts have been and can continue to be leveraged to respond to COVID-19.  You can read my opening remarks here.  Our Transportation and Infrastructure Subcommittee on Railroads, Pipelines, and Hazardous Materials also held a hearing this week on how Amtrak is responding to and weathering COVID-19.

I also led a letter with my colleague from Maryland Congressman Anthony Brown and Senator Jacky Rosen of Nevada, calling on Congressional leadership to include a grant program from science, technology, and mathematics (STEM) education in Junior Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (JROTC) units in the final 2021 National Defense Authorization Act.  My bill to prepare JROTC students for careers in science and cybersecurity, the JROTC Cyber Training Act, passed the House of Representatives as a part of the NDAA.  As the Senate and House negotiate the final bill, our letter calls for leadership to keep this language and help prepare students for the growing needs of our workforce.  Our letter was signed by 36 members of Congress, and you can read the full text here.

Health experts continue to warn that the threat of the spread of COVID-19 continues, and all of us should remain vigilant with social distancing and wearing masks.  Our efforts to slow the spread have continued to work – fewer Texans are testing positive for the virus and hospitalizations are declining.  These positive signs come, however, as more than 192,000 Americans have died from COVID-19, including more than 1,500 individuals in Harris County.  These are stark and heavy reminders of the toll the virus has on our community and our country.  Community health depends on individual action, let’s all do what we can to stop the spread.

In the midst of the pandemic, we are also heading into cold and flu season.  Harris County Public Health has released the following helpful chart to differentiate between the different symptoms:

As always, my team and I are here to help you during this challenging time, and at all times.  If you have questions, need assistance, or just want to share your thoughts with me and my team, you can call my office at (713) 353-8680 or email me here.

Best wishes,