Welcoming SGOTUS Emhoff and Labor Secretary Walsh
This week, I welcomed the Second Gentleman of the United States (SGOTUS), Doug Emhoff, and the Secretary of Labor, Martin Walsh, to our city and participated with them in a roundtable discussion of the American Jobs Plan and the American Families Plan. I let them know that the Biden-Harris administration’s efforts in addressing the pandemic and its economic fallout are making a real difference, and I appreciate them including Memphis in the “Getting America Back on Track” tour. I also spoke out and later wrote a letter to Attorney General Merrick Garland after reading a ruling by a federal judge on Monday that established the previous attorney general, William Barr, lied to Congress and the American people about President Trump’s obstruction of the Mueller investigation. I announced a virtual forum for this coming Monday on the FBI’s notorious COINTELPRO program. I was pleased to announce a significant grant to the Memphis and Shelby County Port Commission for a study of a marine multi-modal facility at McKellar Lake in southwest Memphis. I also expressed my appreciation for Arnold Perl, a fine civic leader whose work helped transform our city, who passed on Tuesday. Plus, I offered a health tip about getting COVID vaccines. Keep reading and follow me on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram to see what I’m doing as it happens.
Congressman Cohen and the Second Gentleman of the United States
The Biden-Harris administration is conducting a “Getting America Back on Track” tour, making the case for major investments in infrastructure and in the lives of working families. On Thursday, Second Gentleman of the United States Doug Emhoff and Labor Secretary Martin Walsh visited Memphis and held a roundtable discussion with me, Mayor Strickland and representatives of the Benjamin L. Hooks Jobs Center. I pledged to work hard to get the American Jobs Plan and the American Families Plan enacted. It was a very productive visit.
On Monday, a federal judge in Washington ordered the Justice Department to turn over documents that demonstrate the former Attorney General, William Barr, deliberately misled Congress, the courts, and the American public when he said there was insufficient evidence to pursue charges against President Trump for obstructing Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation of Russian interference in the 2016 election. I spoke out at a Judiciary Committee hearing, urging Chairman Nadler to join me in asking the new Attorney General, Merrick Garland, to comply with the ruling rather than appeal it. See that statement here. I later followed up with a letter to Garland. Read that here.
On Monday, I will host a virtual forum on the FBI’s COINTELPRO programs that targeted dissidents and Black leaders from the 1950s into the 1970s. Representatives Bobby Rush of Illinois and Barbara Lee of California will co-host and we expect to hear from experts and those adversely affected by the programs. The forum will provide additional insight into events like those portrayed in the Academy Award-winning film “Judas and the Black Messiah” which tells the story of the COINTELPRO-orchestrated assassination of Black Panther leader Fred Hampton in 1969. You can watch the forum live on my Facebook or via Zoom on Monday, May 10, at 1 p.m. Central time.
I announced Wednesday that the Department of Commerce has provided a major grant to underwrite a study of a marine multi-modal freight terminal south of McKellar Lake in southwest Memphis. See my release here.
On Tuesday, the civic leader and labor and employment lawyer Arnold Perl passed. I paid my respects with a statement to the press and remarks in The Congressional Record. His work as Chair of the Memphis and Shelby County Airport Authority and overseeing construction of the FedEx Forum transformed our city. He will be missed.
We are making progress against this pandemic, but it’s important for each of us to do our part to get life back to a semblance of normal. That means going to one of the free vaccination centers and rolling up your sleeves. The surge in vaccine distribution capacity created by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has resulted in quick in-and-out appointments with no lines. Do it for yourself, your family, friends, and community.
Walk-ins are welcome at the Pipkin Building at the old Mid-South Fairgrounds between 2 p.m. and 7 p.m., Monday through Saturday. Appointments are available there between 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Also, a new walk-in vaccination clinic opened on Monday at 3230 Jackson Avenue. It is open Monday through Friday,9 a.m. to 6 p.m.
To make an appointment at the Pipkin Building or other sites or to schedule an appointment for a homebound individual, go to https://covid19.memphistn.gov/ or call (901) 222-SHOT (7468).
“The response to the American Rescue Plan is universal. As we all know, it’s just a start… We really need fundamental investment in our workforce. We can’t just sit on our hands and expect everything to be O.K.” – First Gentleman Douglas Emhoff, speaking at a roundtable on the American Jobs Plan at the Benjamin L. Hooks Jobs Center in Memphis on Thursday.
I want to wish all mothers a Happy Mothers Day.
As always, I remain.