It was an honor to spend Memorial Day with the American Legion Post 77 family in Conyers on May 28.
The Day of Remembrance was a moving and inspirational program. I thank Commander Zeste Debro, Chaplain Dawn Duffin, Keynote Speaker Pete Mecca, and everyone involved with this great event.
It was good to see old friends and make new ones. As a member of the House Armed Services Committee, I'm inspired every day to work on behalf of all our military personnel and veterans. Ensuring quality services are being delivered to veterans and their families is one of my greatest missions as a public servant, and I can assure you that as long as I am in Congress, veterans and their families' needs will remain a priority for me and my staff.
WOMEN & HIV: This week, Congresswoman Barbara Lee (D-CA) and I sent a letter to the White House, co-signed by 50 of our congressional colleagues, concerning the rising HIV rates in the South and among women – particularly women of color. Black women are being stricken and dying at an outrageous rate while resources for treatment and prevention are totally inadequate – especially in the South. This epidemic needs urgent attention at the highest levels. To read the letter and for more information, click HERE.
WOMEN'S WELLNESS: State Rep. Pam Dickerson, in partnership with Rockdale Medical Center, Newton Medical Center and the Gwinnett, Rockdale and Newton County Health Departments, is hosting the Women's Wellness 2012 community service event on Saturday, June 23 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Salem High School in Conyers. Free screenings for breast cancer, glucose, lipid, blood pressure, HPV and more will be offered. For more information, call 404-656-0314.
ARABIA MOUNTAIN HS EARNS A GREEN RIBBON: I was pleased and proud to recognize Arabia Mountain High School at a reception in Washington, D.C., on June 4 as one of just 78 schools nationwide that were named “Green-Ribbon Schools” by the Department of Education and the Environmental Protection Agency. Arabia Mountain High School is a model for the country. Congratulations! You are a jewel in the Fourth.
Photo Above: I recognized Arabia Mountain Principal LaShawn McMillan, left, and Assistant Principal Tim Wells at the Green-Ribbon awards reception on Monday, June 4 at the Newseum in Washington, D.C.
FLOOD INSURANCE EXTENSION: Congress passed and President Obama signed into law the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP). This 60-day extension allows homeowners critical time to renew and purchase flood insurance policies, and complete new mortgage and loan transactions where flood insurance is required. For more, click HERE.
EXCELLENCE AT EMORY: Natasha Trethewey, a Pulitzer-prize winning Emory professor, was named this week as the 19th U.S. poet laureate at the Library of Congress. This is a very prestigious post. Congratulations Dr. Trethewey! I'm also pleased to report that Emory researcher Yijian Huang is the recipient of a $180,000 National Science Foundation mathematics award to research quantile regression with random censoring, which is used in advanced statistics and for measuring complex economic data.
JOB TRAINING FOR VETERANS: Since being announced just two weeks ago, more than 12,000 veterans have applied for this new program that enables eligible veterans to receive a year of educational benefits to prepare for high-demand jobs. The Veteran Retraining Assistance Program (VRAP) allows qualified veterans age 35 to 60 to receive up to 12 months of educational assistance. For more, click HERE.
SOUTH RIVER ALLIANCE WORKSHOP: As I reported May 5, the South River Watershed Alliance (SRWA) is holding a free restoration and environmental justice workshop on Saturday, June 9, from 10:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at Georgia Piedmont Technical College Conference Center at 495 North Indian Creek Drive, Clarkston 30021. To register, click HERE. To learn more about SRWA, click HERE.
GEORGIA HARMONIES: The Georgia Humanities Council (GHC) welcomes the Smithsonian Institution to Georgia. The traveling exhibit, "New Harmonies: Celebrating American Roots Music" will appear throughout Georgia, but will be in Madison, which is closest to our district, from June 2-July 14. The exhibit explores musical roots from Native Americans, sacred hymns, bluegrass, string bands, gospel, southern rock, modern country and the blues. This exhibit is part of the Smithsonian's Main Street Program, which is funded by Congress, State Humanities Councils and private donors. I'm proud to support this wonderful exploration of Georgia's rich musical culture. For more, click HERE.
MORE FORECLOSURE HELP: I was pleased to see so many homeowners proactively working to save their homes at President Obama's Making Home Affordable event June 1 & 2 at the Georgia International Convention Center. If you were not able to attend, there's still help available by calling 1-888-995-HOPE (4673) or click HERE.
FUNDS FOR KIDS: I'm pleased to announce that the Partnership for Community Action in Clarkston -- which serves the entire Fourth District -- is receiving a $1.5 million grant from the Department of Health & Human Services for Head Start programs.
ARC GRANT: The Appalachian Regional Commission announced this month a $225,800 grant for the Georgia Department of Community Affairs for community and economic development programs in eight Congressional Districts, including the Fourth District.
SCAM JAM 2012: DeKalb County law enforcement officials are holding their annual conference to fight back against scammers that take advantage of our seniors. Scam Jam 2012 is Thursday, June 14 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Manuel Maloof Auditorium in Decatur. Presenters include DeKalb District Attorney Robert James, DeKalb Solicitor General Sherry Boston, DeKalb Sheriff Thomas Brown and State Sen. Gloria Butler. For more information, call 404-298-8503.
As always, I appreciate your time and feedback. Thank you for allowing me the opportunity to represent you in Congress.
June 8, 2012
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