A Day in the Life of Judy

As a Member of Congress, I make a point to be as accessible to my constituents as possible. Whether I’m shopping at the grocery store, out at a meet-and-greet, or speaking somewhere in our community, I want to hear from you.  I love discussing the latest policy debates but interestingly enough, the question that I get the most is simply what it’s like to be a Member of Congress.  So here’s a snapshot of what I did on July 19, 2012 so you can see a typical day in my life in Congress.

 

8:00AM -   The “Keeping the Promise to our Children” press conference: 

I started my day by joining a wonderful organization called Children Uniting Nations to push for better physical education, better solutions for bullying in America and better educational opportunities for children in foster care.  It was great hearing from Mary Jo Sariscsany from the National Association for Sport and Physical Education and my longtime friend Daphna Ziman, the founder of Children Uniting Nations. But the highlight was meeting Nikki Blonsky from the movie Hairspray who spoke about how she was bullied as a kid.  She’s gone on to do wonderful things, and sets a great example for kids being bullied today.

 

10:00AM - House Judiciary Committee: Oversight Hearing on the Department of Homeland Security:
I am a member of the House Judiciary Committee, which is responsible for protecting the constitutional and civil rights of all Americans and writes our nation’s immigration and criminal laws. On this day, the Committee held an oversight hearing with Secretary Janet Napolitano of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). She testified about DHS’s immigration enforcement efforts and the need for Comprehensive Immigration Reform.

When it was my turn I commended Secretary Napolitano for her work combating intellectual property theft.  I also praised her for deciding to not deport DREAM students brought to the U.S. by their parents without documents, through no fault of their own.  I then asked her about the incredibly lengthy immigration courts backlog and what DHS was doing to reduce the backlog to ensure the highest priority cases can get before a judge in a timely manner.  I also got to ask her about the historical precedent for immigration prosecutors to use their discretion to prosecute higher priority cases over less critical cases.

Check out this video of our exchange:

 

12:00PM – Speech on the House Floor
My next stop was to deliver a short speech on the House Floor about the DISCLOSE Act, which would stop the corrupting flow of anonymous corporate money into our political system. With 435 Members of Congress, allowing everyone an opportunity to speak about issues that matter means we have to keep our remarks fairly brief! Watch my speech below.

I try to give speeches on the most important topics of the moment once a week.  Subscribe to my YouTube channel to see the latest on what I'm working on.

 

1:30PM - Meeting with South El Monte City Council Member
After my speech, I headed to my office to meet with South El Monte City Council Member Joseph Gonzales.  Joseph and I go back quite a ways, and it’s always pleasure to work with him on local issues.  We discussed how best to move forward with the Gold Line East Side Extension.  There are two proposed routes for the upcoming extension, and one of them brings the Gold Line Metro from East LA down the SR-60 right into South El Monte, bringing improved public transportation and transit oriented development – with new stores and restaurants popping up around the station.  I bet you can guess which route I’m in favor of! 

 

2:00PM - Meeting with Shannon Lee
Later in the afternoon, I joined Congressman Mike Honda as he presented Bruce Lee’s granddaughter, Shannon, with a copy of the House Resolution (H.Res. 654) we introduced commemorating Bruce’s life and achievements.  It was the 39th anniversary of Bruce’s passing, and a wonderful moment to remember and honor such a memorable American icon.

 

3:30PM – Interview with Reporter from the Washington Post
Laura Stepp, a reporter at the Washington Post, was doing a story about the progress made by young, professional working women over the years since the Women’s Equality Movement.  Ms. Stepp had selected my Legal Counsel, Kellie Adesina, to be featured in her article.  We spoke at length about Kellie’s work in my office, what women like Kellie think about the glass ceiling, and how women have progressed in the workplace.  I know something about breaking the glass ceiling in politics and I am so proud of Kellie and all the women who work for me forging their own paths to success.  I can’t wait to read the article when it comes out!

 

6:15PM – Votes on the House Floor
After hours of debate on amendments to a bill to fund the Defense Department for Fiscal Year 2013, votes were called.  We voted on 11 amendments, including an amendment for the swift and orderly withdrawal of our troops from Afghanistan which I supported. I also voted in favor final passage of the bill to send it to the Senate because it included critical funding for our troops and anti-hazing language that I had drafted to protect our service members from military abuse at the hands of their fellow soldiers.  For more information about my work to eliminate military hazing, click here.  To see how I voted on all the amendments that day, click here.

I also tweeted about the amendment I supported to end the War in Afghanistan, which is below.  And click here to see my blog post from that day on why I oppose the war.  You can follow me Twitter to always get the latest updates on how I'm serving you!

 

7:30PM - Ramadan Reception
I ended my day with a reception in honor of the holy month of Ramadan.  I was asked to speak for a few minutes and I used the opportunity to reflect on how we can support, not denigrate, the American-Muslim community which has contributed so much to this great nation.

As Chair of the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus, or as we call it CAPAC, I have made fighting anti-Muslim bigotry one of our top priorities.  From five Homeland Security hearings on supposed radicalization, to the NYPD’s domestic spying antics, to biased FBI trainings, to an outrageous DOD elective course, and finally to unfounded attacks on Secretary Clinton’s Deputy Chief of Staff and Congressman Ellison, it is clear to see that the Muslim community has been under siege this past year.

So I was so honored to have had the opportunity to speak out about how we can support the America-Muslim community that evening.