Bakersfield, California– Congressman Kevin McCarthy held a meet and greet Saturday with seven local high school students who have accepted appointments to United States Service Academies.
“Today’s event was an excellent opportunity to celebrate and recognize the achievements of these hardworking students who have gone above and beyond, including in their pledge to serve our country,” said Congressman McCarthy. “I am very impressed by their accomplishments, and I look forward to hearing about their future successes. They make our community proud.”
Class of 2023 for the U.S. Service Academies pictured with Congressman McCarthy: Michael Stegeman, U.S. Naval Academy appointee from Frazier Mountain High School/ The Kiski School; Jessica Riggs, U.S. Naval Academy appointee from Tehachapi High School; Enrique Arjona, U.S. Air Force Academy from Lancaster High School; Congressman Kevin McCarthy, Ryan Aguilar, a U.S. Military Academy appointee from Liberty High School; Jonathan Parham, U.S. Military Academy appointee from Frontier High School; Isaac Bowers, U.S. Air Force Academy appointee from Garces Memorial High School and Nathan Jones, U.S. Military Academy appointee from Centennial High School.
Not pictured: Grant Snyder, U.S. Air Force appointee from Porterville High School/United States Air Force Academy Preparatory Academy; and Nathan Roodzant, U.S. Naval Academy appointee from Bakersfield Christian High School.
Yesterday, Congressman Kevin McCarthy met with Zach Skow, Executive Director of Marley’s Mutts – an organization that re-homes death-row dogs living in Kern County shelters. Zach came to Washington, D.C. to talk about the great success of Marely’s Mutts’ Pawsitive Change Prison Program.
Pawsitive Change connects California inmates with shelter dogs to create mutual, meaningful experiences. Through the course of the program, Pawsitive Change has seen inmates and dogs benefit from interactions, which ultimately could help reduce inmate recidivism.
Congressman McCarthy sits down with Cora Rose and Zach from Marley's Mutts.
“Marley’s Mutts and the Pawsitive Change initiative are not only reshaping the lives of California inmates and dogs, they are transforming our community for the better. Pawsitive Change has a 100 percent success rate – no graduates have returned to jail after completing the program and serving their time in prison,” said McCarthy.
Cora Rose takes a stroll around the office. In early 2018, Cora Rose had a broken pelvis and a bone infection in her front legs. Since then, she has recovered and is thriving with the help of Zach, his family, and the team at Marley’s Mutts.
“I have known Zach for several years and I am proud of what he’s accomplished from our own backyard of Tehachapi. I look forward to seeing the continued success of this great organization and am confident that Pawsitive Change is creating experiences that will last a lifetime,” said McCarthy.
“Additionally, I was proud to support the First Step Act which was signed into law last December. This critical criminal justice reform legislation includes pilot programs to expand recidivism reduction strategies - similar to Zach’s Pawsitive Change - in federal prisons," said McCarthy. "I applaud Zach for putting together such an innovative solution to fight recidivism and providing lessons that will last a lifetime.”
Popcorn poses for the camera.
Washington, D.C. – Today, Congressman and Congressional Valley Fever Task Force Co-Chair Kevin McCarthy, U.S. Senator Martha McSally (R-AZ), Congressman and Congressional Valley Fever Task Force Co-Chair David Schweikert (AZ-06), Congresswoman Karen Bass (CA-37), Congressman Greg Stanton (AZ-09), and U.S. Senator Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ), introduced H.R. 2858 and S. 1567, the Finding Orphan-disease Remedies with Antifungal Research and Development (FORWARD) Act. This legislation would address the short-term, medium-term, and long-term challenges to detecting, treating, and eventually eradicating Valley Fever.
“Valley Fever is a serious health problem that has affected our community for years. Since coming to Congress, I have worked with my colleagues to bring more national awareness to this infectious disease by hosting seminars and roundtables with local community leaders, doctors, and members of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the National Institutes of Health.
“The FORWARD Act takes a comprehensive approach to combating Valley Fever, focusing on short-term, medium-term, and long-term strategies to increase public awareness of this disease while enhancing and promoting the development of novel treatments and a vaccine. I am grateful to my colleagues for joining me in this effort and for their dedication to stamping out Valley Fever. I want to especially thank my good friend Senator McSally for working together with me and introducing the companion bill in the Senate, and my good friend and Representative Schweikert for his leadership and steadfast dedication to this issue throughout the years. I hope this bill will bring a continued and much-needed focus to combat Valley Fever,” said Rep. McCarthy.
“Valley fever poses a critical health risk in Arizona, with nearly two-thirds of all cases nationwide occurring in our state. The FORWARD Act aids in research, treatment, and most importantly, prevention of Valley Fever to deliver assistance to our communities in need. We need to take this seriously and ensure that resources are invested in the fight against this disease,” said Senator McSally.
“Every year, our community sees increased rates of Valley Fever. This legislation pushes for a breakthrough in research, it also introduces the first blockchain pilot program for collecting data for fungal diseases. As scientists are getting closer to a cure for valley fever [soon a vaccination for our pets], I look forward to seeing how the critical resources provided in this legislation will positively impact the southwest. We are extremely hopeful that a cure is in our near future,” said Rep. Schweikert.
“I’m proud to join my colleagues on this bipartisan effort to combat Valley Fever. The impact this disease has had on communities in Southern California and the greater Southwest region of the country will be significantly mitigated by advancing treatment and vaccine development. As a former health professional, I’ve seen lives saved by scientific research, which is why I hope Congress can come together to pass this good piece of legislation,” said Rep. Bass.
“No family wants to learn a loved one has been infected with Valley Fever and that there is no known cure—but it’s a reality that nearly 7,000 Arizonans faced in 2017. That number is on the rise, but we can do something about it. This is a common-sense, bipartisan bill that will make it a priority to find a cure and develop a vaccine.” said Rep. Stanton
Additionally, leading Valley Fever researchers, health professionals, and patient advocates are in support of the FORWARD Act.
“Congressman Kevin McCarthy continues to be a tireless champion in the fight against Valley Fever. His efforts continue to increase awareness of Valley Fever and bring critical funding to Kern County - where it is needed the most. As Medical Director for the Valley Fever Institute at Kern Medical, I am honored to lead our clinical team as we continue our mission to increase education and awareness for the public, patients and health care providers; provide the best patient care available and promote research that includes epidemiology, clinical drug development, prevention, immunology and immunizations. I fully support the FORWARD Act and know this is a crucial step forward in combating Valley Fever.” – Dr. Royce Johnson, Medical Director of the Kern Medical Valley Fever Institute and Chief of Infectious Diseases at Kern Medical
“For the Americans at risk, Valley fever is every bit the biothreat that polio was before there was a polio vaccine. Even though regional, the population at risk for Valley fever is growing and the number of infections is on the increase. The FORWARD Act is a step towards addressing this major regional public health problem for the people who live or visit the Southwest. At the University of Arizona Valley Fever Center for Excellence, there are both potential cures and preventative vaccines ready for testing if only the funding for these breakthroughs was available. The FORWARD Act will help to produce the progress we need.” - Dr. John Galgiani, Director, University of Arizona Valley Fever Center for Excellence
“As someone who has been living with the most serious form of Valley Fever for more than seven years, I have seen the damage this disease does to patients and their families. I have also seen the amazing passion of my doctors at the Valley Fever Institute and other doctors and researchers. New research, drugs and vaccines are desperately needed to mitigate the effects of this disease. The bipartisan effort of the House and Senate in introducing these sister bills offers a light at the end of a very long and often dark tunnel for patients and their families dealing with Valley Fever.” - Rob Purdie, Patient and Program Development Coordinator at the Valley Fever Institute
The FORWARD Act is designed to advance sustained efforts to combat Valley Fever in the short, medium, and long-term. Specifically, the FORWARD Act would in the:
WASHINGTON, D.C. –Today, the U.S. Department of Transportation’s (DOT) Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) terminated the FY10 Cooperative Agreement with the CA High-Speed Rail Authority (CHSRA). The FRA found that the CHSRA had violated the terms of the agreement on the high-speed rail project. The FRA will rescind nearly $929 million in unspent federal funds from California’s failed high-speed rail project.
"The California high-speed rail project has been inherently flawed from the very beginning – timelines have not been met, ridership projections have been exaggerated, and the budget has ballooned by tens of billions of dollars,” said Congressman McCarthy. “Today’s announcement ensures that we move on from the failed boondoggle and focus on actual solutions that help Californians, like desperately-needed water storage and infrastructure projects. With this decision, I urge Speaker Pelosi and the entire California delegation to help schedule the RAILWAY Act for a vote on the House Floor, so that we can ensure this federal money can come back to California and strengthen our water storage infrastructure."
"Administrator Batory has been thoughtful in the decision-making process, and I applaud him for protecting hardworking Americans," McCarthy stated.
To view the FRA letter, click here.Read More
Washington, D.C. – Today, Congressman Kevin McCarthy introduced legislation H.R. 2695 to rename the Success Dam, located in Tulare County, after local businessman and longtime Tule River Water Master, Richard L. Schafer.
“Richard Schafer is a titan in our community and has worked for years to help ensure that Porterville, Tulare County, and the Central Valley have uninterrupted access to water,” said McCarthy. “I am proud to introduce this bill to name the Success Dam after him. Considering that Schafer helped spearhead the enlargement of the Success Reservoir, which will double flood protection for Porterville and other communities below the dam once complete, it is only fitting that the dam should be named in his honor.”
Success Dam is located east of Porterville, California, and is operated and maintained by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.
Richard Schafer, who served our country in World War II, is a registered civil engineer and the sole proprietor of R.L. Schafer & Associates.
For 56 years, Schafer has served on numerous water boards and is Water Master on the Tule River. Working to ensure that citizens’ water rights are protected, he has garnered the respect and admiration of his neighbors and community.
Schafer and his wife, Dorothy, called Porterville home for years. He continues to live in Tulare County with current wife, Mary. Schafer has two daughters and sons-in-law: Shelley and Ed Loescher and Sue and Michael Tharp.
Washington, D.C. — The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) recently announced the official launch of a pilot program created by the Veteran Employment Through Technology Education Courses (VET TEC) Act, legislation introduced by Congressman McCarthy and enacted into law in 2017. Veterans interested in taking non-traditional technology courses to further their careers can now apply to participate in the VET TEC pilot program HERE.
“I am thrilled to see the VET TEC program’s official launch. VET TEC will help empower our nation’s heroes by providing them with the technical skills needed to ensure a smooth transition into today’s evolving workforce,” said McCarthy. “After visiting Udacity in 2017, I was immediately struck by the potential of non-traditional education courses and how they can empower America’s veterans by equipping them with invaluable training they can use in their post-military careers. I encourage all interested veterans to apply to the VET TEC program, and I look forward to hearing about their experiences.”
Today, Congressman Kevin McCarthy announced the winners of the 38th Annual “An Artistic Discovery” Congressional Art Competition for high school students in our congressional district. Winners and participants were acknowledged during a reception at the Metro Galleries in Bakersfield.
“The annual art competition is an exciting way to celebrate emerging artists and recognize creativity in our community. This year's entries were fantastic, and I thoroughly enjoyed hearing the stories behind the pieces - every participant displayed extraordinary work," said McCarthy. "A special congratulations to the winner, Octavian, whose photograph will be showcased at the U.S. Capitol where it will undoubtedly be one of the best. He has made our community very proud!"
Octavian Crofton, Overall Winner's - photograph titled "Lost in Grey." Photo couresy of John Harte.
The overall winner, Octavian Crofton, is a 12th grade student at Ridgeview High School. Under the guidance of his art teacher, Claire Miller, Octavian created his photography piece, “Lost in Grey.”
Octavian has been invited to attend the exhibit opening of “An Artistic Discovery” in Washington, D.C., on Monday, June 24, 2019. His artwork will be displayed in the corridor leading to the U.S. Capitol for one year. As the overall winner, he will also receive two round-trip tickets to the exhibit opening, as well as a cash award which was presented at the district reception.
Students who placed first, second, third or received honorable mention in all other medium, photography, and computer art categories, also received awards.
Congressman McCarthy received 134 entries from 16 schools in the 23rd Congressional District this year, which includes parts of Kern, Tulare, and Los Angeles Counties.
Winner photographed with Rep. McCarthy. Photo courtesy of John Harte.
Listed below are the winners:
All Other Medium Category
1stPlace– Hannah Hurst, Stockdale High School, “Gears”
2ndPlace– Rachel Phelps, Quartz Hill High School, “Representation of Joy”
3rdPlace– Adan Vasquez, Bakersfield High School, “My Favorite Chair”
Honorable Mention– Brissa Pimentel, Independence High School, “Citrus Fruit”
1stPlace– Octavian Crofton, Ridgeview High School, “Lost in Grey”
2ndPlace– Daniel Rodriguez, Ridgeview High School, “OPEN OCEAN”
3rdPlace– Daniel Rodriguez, Ridgeview High School, “Victor”
Computer Generated Art Category:
1stPlace– Tara Forrest, Tehachapi High School, “Girl in Orange”
2ndPlace– Cora Sweeney, Valley Oaks Charter School, “Small Things”
3rdPlace– Gemma Thomas, Tehachapi High School, “Behind the Shadow”
Honorable Mention– Meagan Williams, Tehachapi High School, “Tony Stark”
Today, Congressman Kevin McCarthy presented students from Kern County with the 23rd Congressional District of California Merit Award.
Congressman McCarthy hosts this annual event to recognize students and teachers from the 23rd Congressional District who display excellence in and out of the classroom.
Students pose with their nominated educators.
Each student awarded had an opportunity to nominate an educator for the 23rd Congressional District of California Inspirational High School Educator Award. Those educators were also acknowledged during the ceremony.
“I am glad to recognize local students and teachers for setting the bar high,”said McCarthy. “The students have demonstrated a passion for learning, both in their classes and extracurricular activities. Their nominated teachers are also paving the way for local educators in the area. Congratulations on their impressive accomplishments!"
Students photographed with their 23rd Congressional District of California Merit Award.
Yesterday, Rep. Kevin McCarthy presented Blaine Hodge, a local hero, with the 2019 Citizen Honors Award from the Congressional Medal of Honor Society. In September of 2018, Blaine heroically jumped in to save a woman who was being chased by a machete-wielding attacker.
When Blaine was having a meeting at a local Starbucks, a woman ran into the store in a clear panic, screaming for help. She ran behind the counter. Her boyfriend immediately followed, chasing her with an 18-inch-long machete and threatening to kill her. She feared for her life.
That’s when Blaine stepped in. He ran behind the counter, throwing the violent aggressor — who was mid-attack — off of the woman. The man then turned his attention to Blaine and began stabbing and hitting him with his machete. In the scuffle, Blaine sustained severe injuries to his forearm, thigh, and chest. Thankfully, both Blaine and the woman survived their wounds, and Blaine has made a near-full recovery in just seven months.
Blaine wears his 2019 Citizen Honors Award from the Congressional Medal of Honor Society.
"Fight or flight - we all question what we would do in a frightening situation. But we all wouldn't wonder what Blaine would do," said McCarthy. "He acted swiftly and bravely, two qualities that no doubt helped to save the survivor and all of those in the immediate area that day.”
McCarthy also directed to have a flag flown over the U.S. Capitol in Blaine's honor.
“What I find most impressive about Blaine is his great attitude throughout this whole ordeal - his positivity is infectious. I hope that we never find ourselves in a similar circumstance, but if we do, may we all fight as valiantly as Blaine Hodge, a true hero,” stated McCarthy.
Blaine explains how events unfolded that fateful day with Rep. McCarthy.
2421 Rayburn HOB
Washington, DC 20515
Congressman Kevin McCarthy represents the 23rd District of California, which spans Kern, Tulare, and Los Angeles counties. First elected in 2006, Kevin is a native of Bakersfield and a fourth-generation Kern County resident. He is committed to policies that give small businesses and entrepreneurs the confidence they need to hire, expand, invest and innovate. After the 2010 midterm elections, Kevin was elected by his colleagues to serve as Majority Whip of the United States House of Representatives.
Kevin started his own small business before the age of 21. He built Kevin O’s Deli from the ground up, even enlisting his father’s help in building the deli’s counter in their garage. He worked hard, hired employees and enjoyed success in his community. That’s also where he first encountered government overregulation. The countless frivolous and redundant rules, as well as the taxes small businesses like his were burdened with, spurred Kevin’s interest in public service. When Kevin sold his business, he used the profits to put himself through college and graduate school. He received both his undergraduate degree and his Masters in Business Administration from California State University, Bakersfield.
During college, Kevin accepted an internship with then-Congressman Bill Thomas, and soon became a member of Congressman Thomas’s staff. Kevin won his first election in 2000 as Trustee to the Kern Community College District. In 2002, McCarthy was elected to represent the 32nd Assembly District in the California State Assembly. As a freshman legislator, he was selected unanimously by his Republican colleagues to serve as the Assembly Republican Leader, becoming the first freshman legislator and the first legislator from Kern County to assume the top Republican post in the California State Assembly. Kevin worked with his colleagues in the Assembly and Senate and with the Governor to reduce California’s budget deficit, overhaul the state worker’s compensation system and enhance California’s business climate to create more opportunities for California workers and businesses until he ran for Congress in 2006.
Kevin brings his personal experience as a small business owner and as an effective leader in the statehouse to Washington D.C. In his role as Majority Whip, Kevin leads the effort in Congress to advance common sense policies that will put America back on the path to prosperity. Since gaining control of the House in November 2010, Kevin and his Republican colleagues have blocked the largest tax increase in American history, cut out-of-control government spending by historic levels and passed numerous pieces of legislation that will help create jobs in America. These bills reduce the burden on small businesses, increase our nation’s energy security by promoting domestic energy production, knock down barriers for small business owners to access capital and help increase certainty for the private sector.
Kevin will continue to fight to get Washington’s fiscal house in order while promoting policies that empower the private sector to invest and create jobs.
When Kevin is not in Washington fighting for the constituents of California’s 23rd District and for the future of America, he is home in Bakersfield with his wife Judy and two children Connor and Meghan.
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