Friday, December 22, 2017
Kansas City Congressman Cleaver Considers 2017 Accomplishments & The Year Ahead ...
Holiday season reflection from Kansas City's man in D.C. - Checkit:
I Have Listened
It’s nearing that time when we reflect on this last year and usher in the new. The year 2017 is but a flickering flame that will soon blow out and a new year of opportunities and growth awaits. I want to thank each and every one of you for your support, your comments and your time throughout these last twelve months. Together, we have accomplished much. You have made your wishes known and as your U.S. Representative, I have listened.
In 2017, I was able to fight for equality and diversity in the tech industry. I called on the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau to investigate online financial technology, also known as “fintech” companies, to make sure small business owners were protected against discriminatory loans and unfair pricing. I tackled the promotion of racism, hatred and violence on social media platforms, and giants like Facebook and Twitter listened. I held a town hall meeting with student loan borrowers about their struggles to pay back their loans and discussed ways to improve the process. I called on federal loan servicers to tighten up their act and better serve consumers who are dealing with the overwhelming burden of student loan debt. I introduced a teen suicide prevention bill that will help staff and teachers recognize the signs of suicide in our young people and give them the tools and resources to act and save lives. I also urged private prisons to reform the criminal justice system and one of the largest private prisons, Core Civic, responded positively to making changes within its company.
What a joy to be able to see Kansas City placed in the national spotlight with the World War I Centennial Commemoration this year. The 100-year anniversary of the U.S. entry into World War I was recognized and remembered in remarkable fashion at the National WWI Museum and Memorial in Kansas City. I was pleased to be a part of it. I can also add, my push for the WWI Commemorative Coin and U.S. Postal Stamp honoring WWI to the list of great things that happened in 2017.
One of our largest and most well attended events this year, was the town hall on immigration held in Kansas City in February. Over 1,100 people attended the town hall to hear information regarding the recent changes to the nation’s immigration and refugee policies.
And while it hasn’t been easy to push back against the Administration and those in the majority in Congress who want to roll back consumer protections, environmental safeguards and affordable healthcare, I still believe in civility and respecting one another. We have work to do in 2018 and we can do it without vitriol and divisiveness.
Next year, I will continue to fight the rescinding of DACA to protect our young dreamers. Protecting healthcare for all Americans and addressing wealth inequality remain top priorities. I will continue pursuing safe and affordable housing for all Americans despite the devastating cuts proposed to housing programs and other federal departments which provide services to millions of Americans.
In January 2018, when we go back into session for the second half of the 115th Congress, we will have the opportunity to start anew. We can learn from our mistakes and make better choices for our country. Now, more than ever.
Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to all!
Emanuel Cleaver, II
Member of Congress