Calling for More Department of Justice Election Observers
This week, I sent a letter to Attorney General Loretta Lynch expressing concern over DOJ’s decreased number of election observers for the November 8th election, commended President Obama for commuting the prison sentences of more non-violent, low-level drug offenders, celebrated the opening of Big River Crossing, urged the Tennessee General Assembly to increase funding for the HOPE scholarship program, attended the Facing History and Ourselves Memphis Benefit Dinner, gave remarks at the Wolf River Greenway and Shelby County Natural Disaster Resiliency Grant Award ground breaking ceremony, met with local Memphis recording artists, and spoke on renewable energy to the Tennessee Chapter of the American Associations of Blacks in Energy. Keep reading to learn more about my week and follow me on Twitter and Facebook to see these updates as they happen.
Calling for More Department of Justice Election Observers
Commending Presidential Commutations for Non-Violent Drug Offenders
Celebrating the Big River Crossing Opening
Fighting for College Affordability
Attending the Facing History and Ourselves Dinner
Protecting Shelby County from Flooding
Meeting with Memphis Recording Artists
Promoting Renewable Energy
2016 Federal Procurement Fair for Small Business Owners
8th Annual Veterans Day Luncheon
Food Insecurity Nutrition Incentive (FINI) Grant Program
Weekly Health Tip
2017 U.S. Capitol Historical Society Calendars Are Available
On Wednesday, I sent a letter to Attorney General Loretta Lynch expressing concern about the U.S. Department of Justice’s announcement that, as a result of the Supreme Court’s decision in the Shelby County v. Holder case, it would be severely limited in the number of election observers that it can deploy nationally to observe the November 8th election. Read more here.
On Thursday, I commended President Obama for announcing his decision to commute the sentences of 98 largely non-violent, low-level drug offenders incarcerated in federal prisons, including one Memphian. I encourage President Obama to continue to commute more unjust sentences during his remaining time in office. You can read more about my work on commutations here.
In case you missed it, I sent out an email blast earlier this week on the Big River Crossing Grand Opening. The weather is supposed to be fantastic this weekend, so I encourage everyone to head downtown to check it out. You can read the email blast here.
On Thursday, I again urged the Tennessee General Assembly to restore the funding for the HOPE Scholarship Program that has been diverted towards Tennessee Promise. In an article in the Memphis Daily News, Sam Stockard highlights a student at MTSU who is struggling to cope with the skyrocketing cost of college tuition and burdensome debt. The Tennessee General Assembly has not amended the HOPE Scholarship to keep up with rising tuition costs and now, after the implementation of Tennessee Promise, the HOPE Scholarship is providing even smaller scholarships. Read more here.
On Monday, I attended the Facing History and Ourselves Dinner. I was proud to hear from many students there who have benefited from the Facing History and Ourselves program. Facing History and Ourselves also unveiled their Memphis Upstanders Mural to be placed at the National Civil Rights Museum. The mural includes Maxine and Vasco Smith, Rabbi James Wax, Bishop Carroll Dozier, John T. Fisher, Ida B. Wells, Reverend Frank McRae and others who fought against discrimination and injustice throughout the 19th and 20th centuries.
On Thursday, I gave remarks at the Wolf River Greenway and Shelby County Natural Disaster Resiliency Grant Award ground breaking ceremony. In October a wrote a letter to HUD expressing my strong support for Shelby County’s grant application and in January, Shelby County received this $60 million grant. The federal funds will help address unmet recovery needs in Memphis and Shelby County from the 2011 floods and protect Memphians from future flooding disasters by developing new greenways and nature areas. I would like to thank Program Manager for the Mid-South Regional Greenprint & Sustainability Plan John Zeanah, Executive Director of the Wolf River Conservancy Keith Cole and all others who worked to make this grant possible.
On Wednesday, I met with members of the Memphis Chapter of the Recording Academy for their annual “GRAMMYs in My District Advocacy Day.” We discussed several issues before Congress of importance to the music and recording industry.
On Monday, I gave remarks on the importance of clean and renewable energy to the Tennessee Chapter of the American Associations of Blacks in Energy for their “Energy Matters” seminar. I also had the pleasure of introducing Federal Energy Regulatory Commissioner and 1992 University of Memphis graduate Colette Honorable who was appointed as a FERC Commissioner by President Obama in 2012. Commissioner Honorable is a very impressive woman who makes the University of Memphis proud.
On Monday, November 7th from 9:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at the FedEx Institute of Technology at University of Memphis, I will be hosting my 2016 Federal Procurement Fair for Small Businesses. During this time, small businesses will learn about doing business with the federal government as well as network with other small businesses. Please RSVP at firstname.lastname@example.org by Friday, November 4th if you would like to attend the event. Visit my website for more information.
On Friday, November 11th from 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. at BRIDGES, I will be hosting my 8th annual Veterans Day BBQ Luncheon to honor our veterans in Memphis. I will also discuss my work as your Representative in Washington, DC to help improve the lives of veterans, including my support of programs that assist our veterans who are homeless or who are on the verge of homelessness. Please RSVP at 901-544-4131 by Wednesday, November 9th if you would like to attend. Visit my website for more information.
The United States Department of Agriculture is seeking applications for grants to increase purchases of healthy fruits and vegetables by low-income families participating in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). The federal funding will be awarded to eligible nonprofits and governmental organizations that demonstrate a successful track record of nutrition programs and develop innovative systems that can be replicated by other underserved communities. For more information on this grant program, click here.
Each week, I will be suggesting a health tip in the hopes of promoting a healthy lifestyle for residents of the 9th Congressional District. As always, it’s best to check with your doctor before making any changes to your diet or exercise routine.
According to the Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2015-2020, a healthy eating plan should include a diet that emphasizes fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and fat-free or low-fat milk and milk products. Learn more on how you can improve your diet here.
My office currently has a limited number of 2017 U.S. Capitol Historical Society calendars available. If you would like to receive a calendar, please complete this form on my website. Due to the rules of the House, I am only able to mail calendars to residents of Tennessee’s Ninth District. Please feel free to share this email with other residents of the Ninth District who may be interested in receiving one but who do not receive my eNewsletter.
As always, I remain.
Member of Congress