Hosting a Gun Violence Prevention Meeting
This week, I hosted a meeting with constituents, local leaders and gun violence prevention groups to hear their views on what more can be done to address the gun violence epidemic in Memphis and across the country, attended a Pre-K Summit to discuss how federal funding will be spent on Shelby County Pre-K programs, commemorated the 50th anniversary of James Meredith’s “March Against Fear,” remembered legendary Lady Vols basketball coach Pat Summitt, and sent a letter to FBI Director James Comey raising concerns about their use of animals for trainings. Keep reading to learn more about my week and follow me on Twitter and Facebook to see these updates as they happen.
Hosting a Gun Violence Prevention Meeting
Bringing Federal Dollars Home for Early Childhood Education
Commemorating the 50th Anniversary of James Meredith’s “March Against Fear”
Remembering Pat Summitt
Defending a Woman’s Right to Choose
Banning Firearms for Domestic Abusers
Honoring the 50th Anniversary of the Vietnam War
Celebrating the 104th Anniversary of Washington Chapel CME Church
Fighting to Raise the Minimum Wage
Protecting Our Animals
Bringing Congress to your Corner
On Wednesday, as part of a National Day for Action following the 26 hour sit-in by 176 Democratic members of Congress on the House floor, I hosted constituents, local gun violence prevention groups and city leaders in my District Office for a discussion on what more can be done on a federal level to prevent further instances of gun violence in Memphis and across the country. In attendance were representatives from Mayor Jim Strickland’s office; U.S. Attorney Ed Stanton’s office; the Memphis Police Department; District Attorney Amy Weirich’s office; the Regional One Trauma Center; the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives Nashville field office; Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America; the Mid-South Peace and Justice Center; the Freedom From Unnecessary Negatives; and members of the public.
It was an honor to hear from Memphians directly impacted by gun violence about their views on the debate in Congress and to exchange ideas on how to end the gun violence epidemic in our city. There were several good ideas that I will be taking back to Washington. I would like to thank all of those who attended and participated in the meeting, and I encourage anyone who has ideas to contact my office at any time. You can watch the meeting on my Facebook page here.
On Tuesday, I attended the Shelby County Pre-K Summit to discuss how a $7 million federal Pre-K grant for Memphis has been spent and where future grant money from the same program can be used to improve our Pre-K programs. Pre-K is critical for our children to get a good start in education to position them for success in the future. I was on WREG’s Live @ 9 on Wednesday morning to discuss the summit. You can watch my interview here.
On Saturday, I attended the 50th anniversary commemoration of James Meredith’s “March Against Fear” at Centenary United Methodist Church. After already making history at the University of Mississippi by being the first African American student admitted to the segregated school, James Meredith risked his life once again by organizing a march from Memphis to Jackson, Mississippi to encourage African Americans to register to vote. This was not long after passage of the landmark Voting Rights Act of 1965, and a march like this -- into the heart of Mississippi -- was anything but safe. Sure enough, Meredith was brutally shot and wounded.
Civil rights leaders quickly met at the Centenary United Methodist Church to plan a resumption of the march. They were aided by the church’s courageous Reverend James M. Lawson, as well as the Memphis chapter of the NAACP and civil rights leaders Maxine and Vasco Smith, Jesse Turner, Russell Sugarmon, and A.W. Willis, among others.
The next day, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Floyd McKissick, and Stokely Carmichael resumed the Meredith March Against Fear. By the time marchers reached Jackson, 4,000 African Americans in Mississippi had registered to vote. To recognize this great moment in the history of voting rights in our country, I plan to introduce a bipartisan resolution in the House of Representatives honoring James Meredith’s “March Against Fear.”
By cartoonist Bill Day
I was saddened to learn of the passing of legendary Tennessee Lady Vols Basketball coach Pat Summitt on Tuesday. Coach Summitt was an inspiration to us all, both on and off the court, facing her disease with courage and trying to help others along the way by raising money for Alzheimer’s disease research. My thoughts are with Coach Summitt and her family.
On Monday, I was pleased that the Supreme Court reaffirmed the constitutional right of women to make their own decisions about their health, bodies, families and lives. Read my statement about the ruling here.
Also on Monday, the Supreme Court upheld a broad federal firearm ban for domestic abusers. This decision underscores that the second amendment is not absolute. Read my statement here.
On Thursday, I attended the wreath-laying ceremony for the Naval Support Activity Mid-South Chief Petty Officer Association Vietnam War 50th Anniversary Commemoration. Vietnam Veterans went off to a war that was unpopular and remained unpopular when they came home, yet they were still willing to serve our country and make sacrifices for their families and communities. I have three staff members in my office in Memphis who are dedicated to helping veterans with constituent services. If you need assistance, please call my office at (901) 544-4131.
On Sunday, I attended services at Washington Chapel CME Church for their 104th anniversary event and 10th anniversary of being in their new sanctuary. Congratulations to Pastor Tilope Joyner-White and the Washington Chapel CME Church congregation.
On Saturday, I attended the Memphis Home Care Fight for $15 Campaign Barbecue-On-My-Budget event to discuss issues of income inequality and raising the minimum wage to $15 an hour. Throughout my career, I have always fought to ensure that hard-working Memphians can earn a living wage and won’t have to struggle to provide for themselves and their families.
I sent a letter FBI Director James Comey to raise concerns about the agency’s use of an abusive contractor and a controversial medical training method that involves harming and killing animals. You can read more about my letter here.
Over the summer, my office will hold two more “Congress on your Corner” events. Please mark these dates on your calendar. If you have questions or problems with Social Security, Medicare, FHA, the VA or any other federal agencies, my staff will be on hand to answer questions and provide assistance.
- Friday, July 15 from 12pm-2pm at the Ed Rice Community Center (2907 N. Watkins St)
- Friday, August 12 from 10:30am-12:30pm at the Whitehaven Branch Library (4120 Millbranch Rd)
Please visit my website at https://cohen.house.gov for more information on Congress on your Corner.
I hope everyone has a safe and happy July 4th holiday weekend.
As always, I remain.
Member of Congress