Activist community

Delivering $17.1 million in community projects in Memphis

Dear friend,

This week I voted and the House of Representatives passed spending bills containing nine community projects I requested for the 9th congressional district, totaling $17.1 million. There are more bills to come, but those bills included money for the Overton Park/Memphis Zoo parking lot, the paved landing along our river, and funding for other major projects and redevelopment (see full list below). I also voted for a ban on assault weapons; asked Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg about Memphis’ transportation priorities; voted for laws on respect for marriage and the right to contraception; appointed Special Representative on Political Prisoners by the President of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe; co-chaired a hearing on conditions in Ukraine under Russian occupation; presented a bill to improve our relations with Ukraine, Georgia and Moldova; planned Sunday’s induction into the Baseball Hall of Fame of my childhood hero, Minnie Minoso; and offered health advice on a new crisis intervention tool. Keep reading and follow me on Twitter, Facebook and instagram to see what I do as I go along.

Delivering $17.1 million in community projects in Memphis

Vote to Advance an Assault Weapons Ban

Ask Transportation Secretary Buttigieg about Memphis priorities

Vote for the right to contraception and respect for marriage laws

Be appointed OSCE Special Representative for Political Prisoners

Co-chairing the hearing on life in Ukraine under Russian occupation

Introducing the Euro-Atlantic Solidarity and Great Democratic Ally Act

Celebrating Minnie Minoso’s induction into the Baseball Hall Fame

Weekly Health Tip

quote of the week

Delivering $17.1 million in community projects in Memphis

On Wednesday, I voted in favor and the House passed a measure containing six spending bills including nine community projects I requested for the 9th congressional district worth $17,148,332. See my press release here. Community projects funded by the bills include:

  • $673,332 for 901 Entrepreneurs – Vibrant Memphis, Inc., DBA Epicenter
  • $3,000,000 for Porter Junior High Redevelopment – ​​MLK Transition Academy
  • $1,275,000 for Hospitality Hub Studio Village, in partnership with Sister Reach
  • $750,000 for South City VI, supporting the final phase of Foote Park redevelopment at South City Community Homes
  • $2,000,000 for Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC) Memphis
  • $1,250,000 for the Collins Chapel / Room in the Inn
  • $1,200,000 for the United Housing, Inc. (UHI) Homeownership Promotion and Preservation Program
  • $3,000,000 for Overton Park – Memphis Zoo Parking Solution Initiative
  • $4,000,000 for the Cobblestone Landing project

Vote to Advance an Assault Weapons Ban

After more than 12 hours of scoping out a common-sense measure to ban assault weapons and a lengthy debate over Republican amendments aimed at torpedoing the effort, late Wednesday night I voted in the committee judiciary to advance the ground measure for a full vote by the Loger. See my press release on this step here.

Ask Transportation Secretary Buttigieg about Memphis priorities

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On Tuesday, Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg appeared before the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee I sit on for a monitoring hearing on the implementation of the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA). from last year. I asked “Mayor Pete” about Memphis’ transportation priorities, including reducing traffic and pedestrian deaths through my Complete Streets Act that was included in the IIJA. I also asked him about funding for Memphis International Airport and a passenger rail line between Memphis and Nashville. See my press release, including our exchange, here.

Vote for the right to contraception and respect for marriage laws

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Twice this week, I spoke from the floor of the House before voting for measures necessitated by the Supreme Court’s recent reasoning in overturning Roe v. Wade, which threatens to erode other privacy rights. The Respect for Marriage Act would protect same-sex and interracial marriages and the Right to Contraception Act ensures that birth control remains available. See my releases here and here.

Be appointed OSCE PA Special Representative on Political Prisoners

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Margareta Cederfelt, President of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe Parliamentary Assembly, nominated me on Thursday to be the first-ever OSCE PA Special Representative on Political Prisoners. As Co-Chair of the US Helsinki Commission, I welcome the opportunity to serve as a voice for political prisoners in the OSCE region, which includes 57 nations. Every day we are witnessing more political arrests of political opponents, journalists, activists and civilians in Russia, Belarus and other participating States which suppress freedom of expression, freedom of the press and freedom of thought. Through this post, I pledge to work tirelessly to elevate the issue of political imprisonment as the gross violation of human rights that it is. In this new role, I will collect and share intelligence on political prisoners across the OSCE region, raise awareness among participating States with high rates of political prisoners, and advocate for the release of political prisoners.

Co-chairing the hearing on life in Ukraine under Russian occupation

On Wednesday, the Helsinki Commission held a hearing on conditions in Ukraine for people living under Russian occupation. Our witnesses were an American diplomat and two Ukrainian politicians. They have painted an ugly picture of what I and others believe to be a campaign of genocide. See my press release on the hearing here.

Introducing the Euro-Atlantic Solidarity and Great Democratic Ally Act

On Thursday, Helsinki Commission Ranking Member Joe Wilson of South Carolina joined me in presenting the Euro-Atlantic Solidarity Act and Major Democratic Ally in an effort to forge closer ties strong with Ukraine, Georgia and Moldova as they face an aggressive Russian threat. See our press release here.

Celebrating Minnie Minoso’s induction into the Baseball Hall of Fame

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On Sunday, my childhood hero, the late Minnie Minoso of the Chicago White Sox, known as “the Cuban Comet,” will be inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown. I wish I could be there for that, but I took the opportunity this week to remind my colleagues in Congress and the press of the need to treat Cuban baseball players like we treat other foreign players by passing my baseball diplomacy. See my release here.

Weekly Health Tip

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Last Friday, July 16, the new 988 Suicide Prevention and Crisis Lifeline went into effect nationwide. Authorized by Congress in 2020, the line routes distress callers or their loved ones to trained crisis intervention specialists in their area. Like 911 for police and fire emergencies, the 988 line operates 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Please note the number and consider letting others know of its availability.

quote of the week

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“The complaint against Donald Trump in these hearings is not made by witnesses who were his political enemies. Rather, it is a series of confessions by Donald Trump’s own appointees, his own friends, his own campaign officials, people who worked for him for years, and his own family. They came forward. And they told the truth to the American people. — Congresswoman Liz Cheney of Wyoming, vice president of the Committee on January 6, during the public hearing on Thursday evening.

As always, I stay.
More sincerely,

Steve Cohen
Congressman