This week, as Chair of the House Judiciary Committee’s Subcommittee on the Constitution, Civil Rights and Civil Liberties, I presided over a Memphis field hearing on “Discriminatory Barriers to Voting,” held at the Historic Moot Courthouse at the University of Memphis School of Law on Front Street. I also introduced Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler to the National Civil Rights Museum and to The Peabody. I attended the AFL-CIO Labor Council and AFSCME barbecue on Labor Day; announced millions of dollars in research grants for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital; publicized the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives Gun Crime Tip Line; advertised my Small Business Procurement Fair on September 16; and offered the latest Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidance on e-cigarettes and vaping. Keep reading to learn more about my week and follow me on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram to see more updates as they happen.
Presiding at Memphis Field Hearing on Barriers to Voting Rights
On Thursday, as Chairman of the House Judiciary’s Subcommittee on the Constitution, Civil Rights and Civil Liberties, I presided over a hearing on “Discriminatory Barriers to Voting,” noting that many of those barriers have historically existed in, and remain in, our region. I was pleased to welcome House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler and Texas Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee to Memphis for the hearing, both of whom admired the way the University of Memphis has transformed the old Memphis Customs House and Courthouse into a extraordinary law school. Former Shelby County Commissioner Steve Mulroy was among the impressive panel of witnesses, who discussed current discriminatory practices and how the Supreme Court’s recent decision in Shelby County, Alabama v. Holder made it more difficult to enforce the Voting Rights Act. See my release about the hearing and my opening statement here.
Visiting the National Civil Rights Museum with Chairman Nadler
After Thursday’s hearing, I invited Chairman Nadler to the National Civil Rights Museum where we were given a tour by its President Terri Freeman. It was clear that the visit had a strong and emotional impact on Chairman Nadler.
Attending 150th Anniversary of The Peabody Hotel
I saw my friend and Memphis icon Cybill Shepherd Thursday afternoon at the celebration of The Peabody’s 150th anniversary. Cybill was being inducted into the Duck Walk Hall of Fame. She was thrilled to meet Chairman Nadler and praised the work of the Judiciary Committee in conducting oversight of the Trump Administration. Chairman Nadler was fascinated by the Peabody ducks’ march from the fountain to the elevator for their ride to the rooftop duck palace. I believe Chairman Nadler left Memphis with a great appreciation for our city.
Attending the AFL-CIO Labor Council and AFSCME Labor Day Events
On Monday, I celebrated Labor Day at a barbecue organized by the AFL-CIO Labor Council and AFSCME. At the event, I spoke with good friends and public officials, including State Senators Raumesh Akbari and Katrina Robinson. On Thursday, I joined my Democratic colleagues in writing to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and House Appropriations Committee Chair Nita Lowey asking that they continue to support and protect the collective bargaining rights of federal employees. As the Trump administration tries to roll back those protections, we must stand up for federal employees and their right to organize. See that letter here.
Speaking at Cummings K-8 Digital Inclusion Rally
Congressman Cohen with Jackie Joyner-Kersee and Shelby County Schools Superintendent Dr. Joris Ray
Earlier today, I spoke at the Cummings K-8 Digital Inclusion Rally and met with legendary athletes Jackie Joyner-Kersee, a six-time Olympic medal winner in track at four Olympic Games, and the ice twin hockey stars Monique Lamoureux-Morando and Jocelyne Lamoureux-Davidson, part of the U.S. Gold Medal-winning Olympics team in 2018. I encouraged the students to work hard this school year and to realize the importance of digital literacy. It was an inspiring event.
Attending Announcing more than $3.4 Million in Federal Grants to St. Jude
This week, I announced three significant research grants that totaled more than $3.4 million to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital to continue the life-saving work its scientists are doing every day. See those releases here and here.
Calling Attention to U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives Tip Line
Last month, I met with officials with the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives to talk about gun crime in Memphis and the creation of a strike force to address it. I also told the officials that I would call attention to the bureau’s Gun Crimes Tip Line in my newsletter to constituents. Call (888) ATF-TIPS – (888) 283-8477 -- if you have a tip for these dedicated law enforcement specialists.
Announcing Small Business Procurement Fair on September 16
On Monday, September 16, I will host a Federal Procurement Fair at the FedEx Institute of Technology at the University of Memphis to give Memphis small business owners an opportunity to learn more about the federal government contracting process. Participating agencies include the General Services Administration (GSA), the Small Business Administration (SBA), the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA), the Department of Transportation (DOT), the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the Tennessee Small Business Development Center and the Minority Business Development Center. If you would like to participate, please contact Jeremy Jordan at Jeremy.Jordan@mail.house.gov or (901) 544-4131.
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Weekly Health Tip
An outbreak of severe pulmonary disease linked to e-cigarette use has triggered investigations by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), and state and local health departments. The CDC has posted a webpage that will be updated with the latest information on the response. Last week, the CDC released a Health Advisory and a joint statement with the FDA warning of severe pulmonary disease associated with e-cigarettes, which are inhaled flavored-liquid-and-nicotine delivery systems. See that here.
Quote of the Week
“The right to vote is precious, almost sacred. It is the most powerful nonviolent tool or instrument in a democratic society. We must use it.” – Georgia Congressman John Lewis, July 26, 2016.
As always, I remain
Member of Congress
167 North Main Street,
Memphis, TN 38103
Phone: (901) 544-4131
Fax: (901) 544-4329
House Office Building
Washington, DC 20515
Phone: (202) 225-3265
Fax: (202) 225-5663