Sunday, November 12, 2017

Ro Khanna Veterans Day Town Hall Meeting at Newark Memorial High School

Veterans Day Town Hall Meeting 2:00 pm at Newark Memorial High School

2:02 Alan Nagyy, Newark mayor--leads the Pledge of Allegiance--and quickly introduces  Ro Khanna

Ro recognizes 3 WWII vets (includes Purple Heart Fil-Am vet)

Short poem for Vets Day "Awakening"

Good News: Ro talks about the passing of a bi-partisan bill to give training to vets to enter the private sector

2:14 Ro's opening remarks

Q1: Extended public Thank You for Ro's bill H.R.1889 - Udall-Eisenhower Arctic Wilderness Act .  How do we stop Trump's terrible attack on the environment?
RK1: I have seen any administration so blatantly disregard science. Call out Sec. Pruitt dismantling his dept. We must build coalitions to protect the environment. (20 GOP reps support climate change science). Strengthen state and local law. Trump does not speak for us on environment. Dems cannot compromise on the environment--basic form of humility in keeping with religious traditions.
Q2: What is the status on the 7500 dollar tax credit on electric vehicles?
RK2: Ro supports the credit. Will check on the status.

Q3: How to stop gun violence?
RK3: Ted Lieu says "No more moments of silence--we must act!" We want bipartisan support of 5 day waiting period to buy guns; no action on weaponized guns. We need massive pressure on Congress to. Act; not a single bill on gun control have even come to the floor.

Q4: Ban on Syrian refugees and others
RK4: Confusion on extreme vetting, Refugees are already vetted. Profiling these counties are antithetical to our values.

Q5: We have ceded tax conversation to the GOP; Dems need to take the conversation back.
RK5. Comments about the GAIN Act. We don't care about revenue neutrality; We need to give tax relief to the middle class who will spend in their local community (thereby creating more jobs); investor class moves money our of the country. Anti-Trump msg is too easy.

Q6: Why is there so much partisanship?
RK6: Personal relationships across party lines help heal the divide. Why hyper-partisanship? We need to actively look for commonality (Congressional members reflect their communities). Partisanship maintains current leadership in power. People must demand cooperation.

Q7: Investment in DSL and Hi-speed fiber--not everyone is connected
RK7: Break up fiber monopolies. Fiber to the last mile; support net-neutrality; demand investment in fiber infrastructure

Q8: Concern about the exodus from the State Dept. How do we retain expertise?
A8: It's a bipartisan concern.   We are are not preserving expertise. We need ideas how to retain our diplomatic staff.

Q9: Thanks for HR392. There's a huge Green Card backlog.  What's happening?
RK9: having people continually on H-1B depresses American wages because the employer maintains the power; Cultural damage due to mixed msgs to DACA kids--they MUST belong (or we erode the American Dream).

Q10: How can we support Social Security? 
RK10: GOP wants tax cuts and cuts to SocSec such as a later retirement.  Problems with labor displacement; prosperity should be shared--we can afford it. SocSec is not an economics question--it's a moral question.

Q11: Question about China's (and Trumps????) initiative to eliminate poverty.
RK11: I need to see the initiative before I comment on it.

Q12: Federal Board job?
RK12: Yeah, Trump's not going to pick me. I love my job because I can speak my mind and my values matches the my district.

Q13: Thanks for honoring vets. Concern about ADA and funding education for the Disabled.
RK13: Ro links Trump recent comment in China about "winning" with Trump's disregard for the disabled (and vulnerable). Trump's comment in China. “I don't blame China. After all, who can blame a country for being able to take advantage of another country for benefit of their citizens? I give China great credit.” Ro response: winning is not the only thing that matters; we must expose Trump's Darwinian world view as false.
Follow-up comment: please pursue bi-partisanship. Ro responds, Yes, I will pursue bipartisanship to protect the disabled--give me your contact info.

Q14: Concern about cuts to Medical Deductions and Alzheimer's funding
RK14: (Thanks questioned for raising his consciousness about Alzheimer's) Want to save money? Close loopholes on corporate tax breaks INSTEAD of cutting medical deductions

Q15: Please share in a day in a life of Ro Khanna in Wash DC
RK15: It's like high school; bells, entice people with free food to come mtgs; hand out flyers to come to mtgs; meet people (not enough visit people from CA-17--c'mon!).

Q16: Voting interference from other countries?
RK16: documented systematic voter suppression in minority communities is a bigger concern; We need bipartisanship inquiry/action on foreign influence, etc not to litigate (the) 2016 (election) but make sure that interference never happens again.

Q17: Why does the Dems do the will of their donors instead of following the will of its people (Bernie, single-payer etc)
RK17: Celebrate the recent Dem wins. There is a lot to be optimistic about. DNC has a biased towards insiders--we need to open up (the party) to competition. 2020 candidate must have grass root support.

Q18: Legal immigrants' children will age out of status; Can they be included in Durbin's DREAMER bill?
RK18: We will check--it may be an oversight; inclusion is reasonable.

Q19: Thanks for supporting the Clean Air Act
RK19: We need need to maintain vigilance

Q20: Corporate interest deduction?
RK20: We need to close this loophole for larger companies so we don't have to cut taxes for the middle class.

Ro Khanna closing remarks: Thanks for the civil discourse; It is more a reflection of out community than your regard for me.

Town Hall ended at 3:32 pm.  Many stayed for follow up chats, photo ops, and to thank the WII vets for their service.

notes and annotations made by Jennifer Gagliardi who attended this Town Hall mtg. Thanks!

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