April 14, 2006
On Monday April 24th I am hosting a community meeting at the Elihu Greenwood School, located at 612 Metropolitan Avenue in Hyde Park. It will take place from 6:00 - 7:30 PM. I hope you can join us.
I recently met with representatives from the New England Service Station & Automotive Repair Association (NESSARA) to update them on H.R. 2211, a bill I am sponsoring. This legislation seeks to offer service station dealers some protection from liability if they accept used oil from the public, and the company they hired to transport and recycle their used waste oil then disposes of it improperly. H.R. 2211 would offer a defense from liability as long as the service station owners followed all of the rules and regulations in place at the time of the transactions. I appreciated the opportunity to visit with NESSARA and discuss what might be done to move this legislation forward.
This week I met with activists who are concerned that local control will diminish under pending telecommunications legislation. Currently, any company wishing to offer cable television service in a community must negotiate a franchise with that community. This ensures that local officials can maintain control over their public rights-of-way. Additionally, it allows municipal officials an opportunity to negotiate the best deal for their community, which often includes funding and equipment for public access channels. Viewers of these channels can watch local city council or school committee meetings and programming featuring their school system. It gives residents greater access to their local governments and offers young people an opportunity to learn about the field of television production. The current legislation proposes a national franchise, allowing companies to bypass negotiating directly with municipalities. It recently passed in subcommittee.
Irish American Partnership
On Thursday I joined the Irish American Partnership at an event introducing Ambassador Mitchell Reiss, Special Envoy of the President and the Secretary of State for the Northern Ireland Peace Process. Ambassador Reiss talked about his background and his experiences thus far. He also talked about his relationship with Sinn Fein and some of the difficulties he has encountered. It was an informative and interesting discussion.
This week I met with a group of constituents, including members of the Old Baptist Church in Cambridge, to talk about the war in Iraq. They are concerned about our ongoing involvement in the region and the President's apparent unwillingness to focus on troop withdrawal. We talked about the status of a number of resolutions currently pending in the House, including measures to establish a committee to investigate the pre-war intelligence as well as Rep. John Murtha's resolution to immediately reduce the number of troops in Iraq and redeploy them to the horizon.
What's Up For Next Week
The House District work period continues next week. Votes are scheduled to resume on Tuesday April 25th.