Congressman Steve Cohen

Representing the 9th District of Tennessee

Securing America's Elections

October 25, 2019
Enewsletters

October 25, 2019

Dear Friend,

This week, I questioned experts on election security to explore whether America is prepared to conduct accurate and fair elections in 2020. I also voted for the Voting Rights Advancement Act in the Judiciary Committee; held a “Congress On Your Corner” event for constituents at the South Branch Library; hosted a roundtable discussion on Complete Streets; paid my respects to the late Congressman Elijah Cummings; attended a delightful “roast” of distinguished Memphis journalist and educator Otis Sanford; participated in a hearing on the Pregnant Workers’ Fairness Act; inquired about eligibility for federal disaster assistance after Monday’s devastating storm in Shelby County; responded to two instances of extremely inappropriate presidential rhetoric; paid my respects to former Tennessee Representative Rufus Jones; offered U.S. Capitol Historical Society 2020 calendars; and provided a health tip about safely discarding unused prescription drugs. Keep reading to learn more about my week and follow me on TwitterFacebook and Instagram to see more updates as they happen. 

Questioning Experts at a Hearing on Securing America’s Elections 
Voting to Advance the Voting Rights Advancement Act 
Holding Congress On Your Corner 
Hosting Roundtable Discussion on Complete Streets
Paying Respects to the Late Congressman Elijah Cummings 
Attending “Roast” for Distinguished Journalist Otis Sanford 
Raising Fairness Issues for Pregnant Workers 
Remembering Former Tennessee Representative Rufus Jones and Former Tennessee Senator Reginald Tate 
Introducing the Putting Our Veterans Back to Work Act 
Reminding Constituents About ACA Open Enrollment 
Offering 2020 U.S. Historical Society Calendars 
Sign Up for “Congress on Your Corner” and this e-Newsletter 
Health Tip
Quote of the Week 


Questioning Experts at a Hearing on Securing America’s Elections 

On Tuesday, as a senior member of the House Judiciary Committee, I questioned top government officials about our election security. On Wednesday, I joined my colleagues in the House in passing the SHIELD Act, which takes decisive steps to fight foreign interference in our elections by strengthening reporting requirements, closing loopholes and deterring foreign activity in U.S. elections. See my release about the hearing, including my questioning of witnesses, here.

Voting to Advance the Voting Rights Advancement Act 

On Wednesday, I supported the Judiciary Committee’s passage of H.R. 4, the Voting Rights Advancement Act (VRAA) of 2019, which would restore the Voting Rights Act to its original strength. This bill has been one of my top priorities. As the Chair of the Subcommittee on the Constitution, Civil Rights and Civil Liberties, I held seven hearings this, including one at the University of Memphis Law School, year documenting current voting discrimination and the need for strong federal action including reinvigorating the Voting Rights Act’s preclearance process. See my release on the Committee passage of the bill here.   

Holding Congress On Your Corner 

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Earlier today, my staff and I held a “Congress On Your Corner” event at the South Branch Library to help constituents of the 9th Congressional District with federal agencies, programs and benefits. I also gave my constituents, who braved a rainy morning to be there, an update on my efforts to strengthen the Voting Rights Act, improve the FAA’s process for approving new aircrafts and hold Boeing to account for the fatal 737 Max crashes that have led to the aircraft’s grounding worldwide. 

Hosting Roundtable Discussion of Complete Streets

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Today, I hosted a roundtable discussion with critical stakeholders on the concept of creating “Complete Streets” at the FedEx Family House on Polar Ave. Memphis has a bad reputation and terrible record for being unsafe for pedestrians, bicyclists and transit riders and I wanted to bring the community of traffic experts, urban planners, safety advocates and elected leaders together to work on a solution for our ongoing and serious problem. Earlier this year, I introduced H.R. 3663, the Complete Streets Act, to create a program to pay for technical assistance and capital grants for projects such as sidewalks, bike lanes and bus stops to improve the safety and efficiency of transit. We had a great panel with talented representative from Memphis and national safety organizations. I want to particularly thank Mayors Lee Harris for taking the time to address Complete Streets issues. See my Complete Streets opinion editorial that ran in The Commercial Appeal on Tuesday here

Paying Respects to the Late Congressman Elijah Cummings 

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On Thursday, I paid my respects to the late Elijah Cummings, my colleague and friend, who was honored at a ceremony in the National Statuary Hall of the Capitol Building. Chairman Cummings was a giant in Congress, a Civil Rights hero and a champion of Baltimore. He was a man of honor and principle who led a remarkable life with dignity and grace. Earlier this week I participated in a CBC special hour commemorating Chairman Cummings. See my remarks here

Attending “Roast” for Distinguished Journalist Otis Sanford 

On Thursday night, journalists, public officials and old friends from around the country gathered at the University of Memphis to “roast” and toast Otis Sanford, the consummate Memphis political commentator, author, educator, journalist and raconteur. Otis is one of our city’s greatest treasures, a wise man of integrity whose serious study of our community and its politics is admired by all. I delivered some remarks, dubbing Otis our North Star and noting that it’s important that we have journalists who will write, criticize and praise when appropriate. Otis found a way to do that with grace, and we can hope he will continue to for many years.

Raising Fairness Issues for Pregnant Workers  

On Tuesday, I participated in an Education and Labor Subcommittee hearing on the Pregnant Workers’ Fairness Act (H.R. 2694). I referenced the experience of an employee at an XPO Logistics warehouse in Memphis who suffered a miscarriage as a result of being denied accommodations for her pregnancy and how the Pregnant Workers’ Fairness Act would protect workers like her. See my release on the hearing here.  

Introducing the Putting our Veterans Back to Work Act 

On Wednesday, I introduced the Putting Our Veterans Back to Work Act to help reduce veteran unemployment and train our nation’s heroes for good-paying, high-demand jobs. Veterans put their lives on the line to secure our freedom and our safety. We must do all that we can to repay their sacrifices and help them get back on their feet when they return home. Read my release on the bill here

Remembering Former Tennessee Representative Rufus Jones and Former Tennessee Senator Reginald Tate

I was saddened to hear of the passing of my friends and former colleagues Rufus Jones and Reginald Tate. I served with Rufus for 14 years in the Tennessee General Assembly. He was a respected leader who brought people together on many issues, particularly ones for the good of Memphis. He was a leader of the Shelby delegation and of the legislative Black Caucus and was an ally of mine on many legislative issues. I served with Reginald for two years. He represented Memphis during difficult time and had a talent for reaching across the aisle.

Reminding Constituents about ACA Open Enrollment  

The 2020 Open Enrollment Period runs from Friday, November 1 to Sunday, December 15, 2019. If you don’t act by December 15, you can’t get 2020 coverage unless you qualify for a Special Enrollment Period. Plans sold during Open Enrollment start January 1, 2020. Make sure you are ready to apply for coverage. Find more information here.

Offering 2020 U.S. Historical Society Calendars 

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My office will have a limited number of 2020 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 can only 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 e-Newsletter.   


Sign Up for “Congress on Your Corner” and this e-Newsletter    

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I enjoy meeting regularly with constituents in the district and helping get answers for them to questions about dealing with federal agencies. If you are interested in attending one of my “Congress on Your Corner” events, you can sign up here to receive a notification as soon as the next event is scheduled.  

For those who haven’t participated in a telephone town hall, it’s easy to sign up for them by using this form.     

If you would like to receive this weekly e-Newsletter, or share it with others, you can do that with this form.  


Health Tip  

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Saturday is the Drug Enforcement Administration’s “RX Take Back Day,” an opportunity for Americans to prevent prescription medications – such as opioids – from getting into the wrong hands. The DEA encourages people to clean out their medicine cabinets and turn in unused, expired and unneeded prescription drugs at one of 6,258 collection sites. To find a site near you, and to learn more about “Take Back Day,” see the DEA’s guidance here.

 
Quote of the Week 

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“…I have loved Memphis for as long as I can remember. This once barbarous city atop the Chickasaw Bluffs overlooking the Mississippi River has had a profound and positive impact on my life as a journalist. But that’s not the sole reason I love Memphis. The city has a pace, a character and a history that I have long respected and admired.” – Otis Sanford, From Boss Crump to King Willie: How Race Changed Memphis Politics, 2017.

As always, I remain.
Most sincerely,

Steve Cohen
Member of Congress