CHECK THIS WEEK'S NEWSLETTER FROM CONGRESSMAN CLEAVER!!!
In his EC From D.C. Newsletter this week Congressman Emanuel Cleaver II talks about helping constituents, Veterans Affairs and offers notes regarding his ongoing work to champion civility in Congress.
Read it for yourself . . .
CONGRESSMAN CLEAVER’S OFFICE HELPS LOCAL FAMILY GET KIDS HOME
I had the great honor this week of meeting the Sterling family in Blue Springs. Scott and Lauren have adopted 5 children, ages ranging from 9 to 17 years old, from an orphanage in Peru. The siblings have joined the Sterlings and their two children, Logan and Laney, to become one, very big, and happy family. My office first learned about the Sterlings when they were having trouble getting identification and a passport for their oldest, adopted son, 17 year old Yhonson. They ended up spending Christmas in a Peruvian hotel with the children, playing games and eating macaroni and cheese. A Christmas, I imagine, they will remember and cherish all of their lives.
We were able to assist them by reaching out to various agencies, verifying the necessary paperwork was completed, cutting through red tape, and getting them back to the United States. When they asked that I come to their home to meet the family – it was an invitation I simply couldn’t resist. Scott is an associate pastor at the Gateway Church in Blue Springs. As a Methodist minister, we have lots in common and had many stories to share. The Sterlings tell me their church community has been incredibly generous and supportive during their adoption experience. I am pleased my office was able to help – and wish the whole Sterling family the very best.
If you are a resident of Missouri’s Fifth District and would like help with a federal agency please visit my website for more information: http://cleaver.house.gov/
VETERANS HELPING VETERANS
I had the opportunity to meet with local veterans this week to talk about issues and concerns surrounding veterans and newly returning warriors. It often takes a long time to adjust to civilian life and to learn how to deal with mental and/or physical ailments. Many need assistance in asking for help.
The Veterans Focus Liaison Committee offers encouragement and helps veterans navigate the VA system. Sometimes another veteran is the best person to share information about what needs to be done.
Service Officers talked about unique problems that face our veterans, including challenges from limited available resources. A couple of the issues those in attendance brought up included a lack of funding for research and a concern about the amount of time it takes to get compensation for those suffering from traumatic brain injury.
Stumbling through a Dollar General store, looking for last minute gifts before the holidays, I came across a section that had Magic Stick-Em Glue. I thought, “Boy, if I can get some of this stuff, first I would glue the top of the kitchen trash container so our puppy doesn’t continue to cause trouble.” Then I thought, “I’ll use some of this glue to impress others with my handyman skills.” Finally I thought, “Maybe I can incorporate this when performing wedding ceremonies: instead of saying ‘until death do us part,’ I could say, ‘until the glue wears out.’”
There is glue that binds us together as Democrats, and glue that binds us together as Republicans, but the strongest glue is that which binds us together as Americans. We are one nation under God, indivisible -- that’s patriotic glue. We built this nation working together, and now we must stick together. It is only if we are sticking together that were able to address the many pressing problems facing this country. It seems we’ve forgotten the glue we once cherished: “E pluribus unum” -- out of many, one.
Today, caustic comments poison the body politic, just as the bite of a cobra can poison the human body. This is not a mere highfalutin complaint from a vociferously verbose Member of Congress. It is real and recent. In the last few weeks, the congressional campaign committees of both parties released materials denigrating the other side. These materials, a card and a kit, offered sarcastic suggestions but no serious strategies about how to legislate or lead. I wanted to share with you what I did with all of my House colleagues this week. I call it is a Statesmanship Card, offering a few ways to foster and forge our better selves. It is my hope that, in turn, it will help us serve all of our constituents, Republican and Democrat, to the best of our abilities.
Your Statesmanship Card entitles you to legislate by:
• working as coworkers and collaborators, not intimidators and instigators.
• aiming for deliberate discourse, not fact free debates.
• establishing relationships across the aisle with an open hand, not a clenched fist.
• recognizing that when we strive for rhetoric over results, nasty comments thrive.
• acknowledging that while we are all Democrats or Republicans, duty, diplomacy, and decency should come first for the benefit of all Americans.
Member of Congress 113th Congress
For more photos and a look at the e-mail version of the newsletter click this link.