Advocacy meetings in Washington D.C.

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While attending the National Association Counties (NACo) Legislative Conference in Washington, D.C. this week, I had the opportunity to meet with federal officials to discuss local issues. President Trump also spoke at a conference general session on a variety of important topics facing our communities. Addressing more than 3,000 officials from counties around the country, the President advocated for more funding for mental health solutions and encouraged tax breaks for projects in low-income census tracts. He also praised County health departments for their quick response to the Coronavirus and shared that approximately $8.3 billion in bipartisan emergency funding was being considered for local hospitals to combat the virus.

It was a privilege to talk with Dr. Robert Marbut about challenges and potential solutions to homelessness here in San Bernardino County. Dr. Marbut was appointed by President Trump as the Executive Director of the U.S. Interagency Council on Homelessness. I look forward to continued conversations with Dr. Marbut this year.

I also had the opportunity to meet with the U.S. Forest Service and the White House Council on Environmental Quality to communicate the importance of fire mitigation in our national forests. By proactively managing our forests, there is less fuel to burn in the event of a wildfire. County Supervisor Janice Rutherford and I also advocated for assistance with speeding up the permitting process, which can take up to three years just to get clearance to clear portions of the forest, and also for more USFS staff and support services to accommodate winter crowds in our mountain communities.

I look forward to the positive outcomes from our advocacy efforts as we strive toward an efficient and effective approach to the issues that our County faces.