Rep. Hank Johnson's E-Newsletter for Sept. 21, 2012

From U.S. rep. Hank Johnson: Congress' unfinished business; Voter Registration; Reach out & Read; DeKalb Chamber of Commerce;  Senior Entrepreneurs; New U.S. Citizens; Veterans.

Dear Friends,


It’s been a busy few weeks since I last wrote, and I have a lot to cover.


On August 29, I launched a redesign of my website – I hope you find this new site informative, helpful and easy to navigate. We still have all the features of the previous site, such as the jobs center, news releases and federal resources – but in a more user-friendly platform. Please consider  your online Congressional office. Please don’t hesitate to give us your feedback. To e-mail me or my staff, click HERE. To report a problem with the website, click HERE.


UNFINISHED BUSINESS: With so much unfinished business in Washington, I think House members need to stay in Washington and do our jobs instead of taking the next two months off to campaign. American families are hurting and they are looking for Congress to lead.


Instead of wasting what precious little time we have left this year on legislating Grover Norquist’s extreme agenda or attacking President Obama’s efforts to put more people back to work, we should be buckling down and getting to work addressing the long list of important business facing the nation. From the President’s jobs bill to the middle class tax cuts, the looming fiscal cliff and responsible deficit reduction, there’s plenty of things we could be doing right now to help the millions of Americans. I want to be part of a do-something, not a do-nothing Congress. This recess is ridiculous.


NATIONAL VOTER REGISTRATION DAY: This Tuesday, Sept. 28 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., I’m taking part in an event at the state Capitol for National Voter Registration Day. Studies show that voter ID laws created across the country – including here in Georgia – could disenfranchise millions of students, the elderly, the disabled and the poor.


That’s why we have to redouble our efforts to ensure that all eligible voters are registered and have the proper ID. Join me, Reps. John Lewis and David Scott, the Georgia League of Women Voters and others as we help Georgia voters prepare for Nov. 6. For more, click HERE.


REACH OUT & READ: On Aug. 28, I visited Decatur Pediatric Group in Clarkston to promote reading to children at an early age. I was pleased to be a part of such an important organization as Reach Out and Read, which helps promote early childhood literacy.


Reach Out touches more than 63,000 kids and their families in Georgia and helps them get an early start on reading – setting the stage for success in the classroom and in life. For more, read about it in CrossRoadsNews HERE.


DEKALB CHAMBER: On Thursday, Sept. 28, I’m meeting with and listening to members of the DeKalb County Chamber of Commerce and the business community to discuss jobs, the economy, Congress and the legislation I’ve proposed to help entrepreneurs.


Creating jobs and supporting American entrepreneurs should be our No. 1 priority in Congress. We must put party bickering aside and make it easier for Americans to start small businesses.


In his letter of support for my Help Entrepreneurs bill, DeKalb Chamber of Commerce President Leonardo McClarty said the bill “encourages small business growth” and would mean “more job opportunities for a robust and talented labor pool.” For more, read about it in On Common Ground HERE.


ENTREPRENEUR DAY: If you are tired of punching the clock for someone else, but think you can’t find another job at your age, join the SBA-AARP-SCORE Atlanta for an event tailored for entrepreneurs over 50. The Atlanta Encore Entrepreneur event is on October 2 from 9:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the SBA Georgia District Office, 233 Peachtree Street, Suite 1900, Atlanta, Georgia 30303. This event is FREE, but registration is required. For more, click HERE.


HEALTH FAIR-LIBRARY BRICK: On Aug. 25, I was pleased to attend the Atlanta Urban League’s 2nd Annual Community Health Town Hall Meeting & Expo. Held in conjunction with the Morehouse School of Medicine, the program dealt with health disparities, the Affordable Care Act and living a healthier lifestyle.


I also attended a brief ceremony at the Salem-Panola Library in South DeKalb, where I had a brick dedicated to my mother Christine Callier. The brick was purchased in her honor to help fund library operations. My mother, a retired school teacher, fostered my interest in reading. She is a huge supporter of libraries and this was a perfect opportunity to say ‘Thank you Mom!’


ROCKDALE COUNTY CAREER FAIR: Rockdale County is holding its 2012 Career Fair, “Jobs + Preparedness = A Stronger Rockdale,” on Friday, Oct. 12 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Rockdale Career Academy, 1064 Culpepper Drive, Conyers 30094. The goal of the free event is to connect job seekers, those who are under-employed or are simply looking to make a career change with employment and career training opportunities in Rockdale County and the surrounding areas. For more, click HERE.


GEORGIA PIEDMONT TECHNICAL COLLEGE: Congratulations to Georgia Piedmont Technical College (GPTC) – formerly DeKalb Tech – on receiving a $3 million Department of Labor grant in the second round of the Trade Adjustment Assistance Community College and Career Training program. I had the pleasure of meeting with a number of GPTC students last week while they were visiting Washington, D.C.


BECOMING CITIZENS: I’m pleased to announce that the Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Atlanta was awarded a $159,428 grant from the Department of Homeland Security to expand citizenship preparation services available to permanent residents, help immigrants become citizens and foster their integration into American society.


GWINNETT DRUG GRANTS: The Gwinnett Coalition for Health and Human Services was awarded a $125,000 Drug Free Communities Support Program grant for 2012 by the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy and the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration to prevent and reduce youth substance abuse.


NEWS FOR VETERANS: The Department of Veterans Affairs has approved more than 36,000 applications for the Veterans Retraining Assistance Program (or VRAP) – a new training program that helps veterans upgrade their job and employment skills. For more, click HERE.


President Obama and the Department of Veterans Affairs are working to end veteran homelessness. Veteran homelessness dropped 12% in 2011, but much work remains. In July, I announced $1.3 million is coming to Atlanta to fight veteran homelessness, which is part of $10 million in grants to 151 community agencies. We must continue to support our veterans, even after they come back from combat, serve abroad or fulfill their duty here at home.


ROCKDALE SCHOOLS: Congratulations to Rockdale County Public Schools for being one of nine winners of the competitive Innovation Fund grants through Georgia’s Race to the Top plan. Way to go Rockdale Schools! For more, read it in The Rockdale News HERE.


As always, I appreciate your time and feedback. Thank you for allowing me the opportunity to represent you in Congress.




About This E-Newsletter
















My Staff


Arthur D. Sidney, Chief of Staff

Kathy Register, District Director




Shy Armstrong

Peter Butts

Betty Dixon

Eric C. Hubbard

Ray Khalfani

Carole Mumford

Naomi Nishio

Andy Phelan

Dori Scales

Paulette Suggs


Washington, D.C.


Scott Goldstein

Glenn Miles

Mark Perkins

Oliver Spurgeon, III

Sascha Thompson


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