Rep. Lieu on the State of Our Miracle Mile

May 3, 2018
Opinion: Op-Eds

There’s nothing I love more than bragging about how great it is to be a Member or Congress in Southern California. Our community is home to some of our country’s brightest creators and innovators, and we remain a shining example of the power of progress and smart investments.

I believe that this nation is built on the idea that innovation flows when people are able to leverage their creative potential and make a living doing it. Few people do that better or with more gusto than our Los Angeles County neighbors. It’s been my privilege to support that effort in Washington where I’ve been championing the arts by improving our copyright system.  I’ve been working to ensure that the law keeps up with music and its changing forms. With the support of music publishers, artists, songwriters, and streaming services, the Music Modernization Act – of which I am a proud original cosponsor – will propel the music industry into the 21st century and beyond. For too long, we’ve had an outdated licensing system that hindered productive relationships and impacted how we listen to music. In my role on the House Judiciary Committee, I’ve worked with my colleagues to bring stakeholders together from across the industry to improve the mechanical licensing system – and this carefully crafted bill reflects the dedication of everyone involved.

Since taking office in 2015, I’ve been keen on making sure our district continues to thrive. That’s one of the reasons I’ve been so vehemently opposed to offshore drilling. It’s a move that wouldn’t just hurt our coasts, but our entire region. Many Californians remember that, in 1969, the Santa Barbara oil spill spewed 4.2 million gallons of oil into the ocean. That spill damaged the environment and ravaged tourism and fishing industries for years. That kind of devastation can have ripple effects throughout our community and I’m dedicated to fighting to prevent it from happening on our shores. 

I’ve heard from countless constituents with the same concern: Opening over 90 percent of the Outer Continental Shelf to new oil and gas leases threatens our economic security as well as the environment. Simply put, opening the Pacific to additional leases is another disaster in the making. That’s why, in the face of Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke’s National Outer Continental Shelf Oil and Gas Leading Draft Proposed Program, so many local leaders and residents of our coastal communities have been speaking out.

A thriving economy is critical to ensuring our community can continue to remain dynamic and innovative. As a big supporter of improving our country’s infrastructure, I have made the case for finding bipartisan solutions to fixing America’s crumbling infrastructure.  I developed an infrastructure package that fixes our country’s roads, bridges and schools, improves outdated energy systems and create jobs. So far, the plan has 153 Members signed on.

Additionally, one of the critical local issues I’m focused on addressing is veteran homelessness. I have been dogged in my commitment to supporting our veterans and have pushed the Department of Veterans Affairs to prioritize veteran homelessness. I authored H.R. 5926 to support the West Los Angeles VA campus revitalization project. Late last year, I had the opportunity to tour the new Veteran Family Wellness Center and Veteran Legal Clinic, which was formed in partnership with UCLA. It provides veterans and their families with comprehensive support including vocational training, parenting classes and legal counseling. This legislation will allow the VA to construct 1,200 units of housing for homeless Veterans and develop new, robust services like the Wellness Center. It’s an achievement that will help our vets and make our community a better, more inclusive place.

These diverse issues are just some of the many I’m committed to as your representative. I always love hearing from my constituents and will not stop advocating on your behalf. We can continue to make a difference together in our community. Don’t hesitate to call my office to let me know what matters most to you: (323) 651-1040.