September 13, 2021

Dear Neighbor:

I wanted to take a moment to share a brief update about how my staff and I have been working for the people of the 8th District over the last month. It is a surpassing honor to continue serving as your Representative in Congress. 

As always, I encourage all 8th District residents to connect with me on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram. If you need help with a federal agency and want to request assistance, please complete the online request form here, and my District Office will be in touch.

All Best,





Jamie Raskin

Honoring Local Heroes of the Eighth District

The highlight of my week is honoring a community member of the Eighth District as a Local Hero. What began as a series recognizing the efforts of community members helping Marylanders during the pandemic has expanded to feature a wide range of MD-08 heroes who strengthen our district in myriad ways. To watch a compilation tribute to some of our past Local Heroes, click here.

We all owe a debt of gratitude to the nurses, doctors, medical professionals and healthcare workers guiding us through the COVID-19 pandemic. To recognize their ongoing service, I honored Tena Pennington, a nurse and ICU Case Manager at Frederick Health Hospital, as my first Local Hero of August. A lifelong Marylander, Tena has over 40 years of nursing service, the last 15 with Frederick County. You can watch our full discussion here.

Access to public green space and fresh produce is critical to the wellness of our community. As such, I was happy to honor Hannah Sholder, the deputy director of the Charles Koiner Conservancy for Urban Farming as my second Local Hero of the month. As a tribute to her late mentor Charles Koiner, Hannah helped to found the conservancy to preserve sustainable public land in Montgomery County. Click here to watch our full discussion.

This past year, our district's teachers have stepped up to the plate to navigate truly unprecedented challenges. Whether it's teaching kids how to separate fake news from the truth or instilling a lifelong love of learning, Carroll County’s 2021 Teacher of the Year and MD-08 Local Hero Dawne Dill does it all with a wonderful exuberance. You can watch our full discussion here.

Finally, I was humbled to honor civil rights activist Willie Mackey King as my last Local Hero of the month of August. As a member of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s executive staff of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, Mrs. King helped transcribe Dr. King’s famous “Letter from Birmingham Jail.” To watch our full discussion, click here.

Protecting Our Right to Vote

This past month, I was proud to vote for the John R. Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act, which passed the U.S. House of Representatives on August 24. This legislation will restore much of Section 4 of the Voting Rights Act of 1965 by requiring states and localities with a recent history of voter discrimination to seek approval from the U.S. Department of Justice before making changes to their election laws. This law is sorely needed—after the Supreme Court struck down certain provisions of the Voting Rights Act in the 2013 Shelby County v. Holder decision, bills proliferated at the state level restricting access to the ballot. The Brennan Center for Justice noted 18 states enacted such laws between January and July 2021 alone. A law that protects voting rights and confronts racial discrimination is a fitting tribute to Congressman John Lewis, a civil rights giant who dedicated his life to making ‘good trouble’ and serving the people of Georgia. I was proud to vote for this essential legislation, and I look forward to its full passage through the U.S. Senate. To read more about the John R. Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act, click here.

Advocating for Americans, Afghan Allies and Partners through the U.S. Withdrawal from Afghanistan

At the close of August, the last U.S. military planes left Afghanistan, ending a war of over two decades. My district staff have been hard at work connecting community members with family in Afghanistan with the U.S. State Department in efforts to evacuate their loved ones safely. In Congress, I’ve advocated to evacuate our Afghan partners and allies, called to raise the U.S. Refugee Admissions Program cap, supported legislation to resettle Afghan refugees in the United States, called for the expedited evacuation of at-risk Afghan women, asked for further information on the plan to evacuate Afghan partners and allies, requested funding to strengthen the Afghan Special Immigrant Visa program and more. I will continue to advocate for the safety and security of Americans and Afghan allies evacuating Afghanistan.

Delivering Federal Funding to Maryland

My Maryland Congressional delegation colleagues and I continue to advocate for robust federal investment in our state. This past month, I was proud to announce several federal funding initiatives that will help communities across our district: funding to help our state fight climate change, funding to launch a transit workforce center in Silver Spring, funding to support the state’s COVID-19 response and funding to support mental health and substance use treatment in Montgomery County.

This past month, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change released Climate Change 2021: The Physical Science Basis, a report which affirmed the urgent need for immediate action to address the civilizational threat of climate change. Maryland is already experiencing the effects of climate change, and I’m glad that our state will receive over $93 million from the Federal Emergency Management Agency to strengthen our ability to prevent and respond to climate change-related natural disasters. To learn more, click here.

Throughout the pandemic, our frontline transit workers have worked tirelessly to keep our country moving. A $5 million grant to establish and run the Federal Transit Administration’s first Transit Workforce Center in Silver Spring represents a critical investment in our essential transit workforce and in our community. Click here to read more about this project.

Additionally, our state received over $29 million in emergency federal funding to reimburse MedStar Health and Montgomery County Emergency Management for costs incurred during the COVID-19 pandemic. To learn more, click here.

The pandemic has taken a toll on communities across our state, especially with regard to mental health. I am delighted that our state will receive $1.9 million from the American Rescue Plan to bolster mental health and substance use treatment services in Montgomery County. You can read more here.

Confronting Racial Discrimination

I was disturbed to read this report from the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) alleging an emerging pattern of racial profiling from Michigan Customs and Border Patrol agents this past month. In response Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-MI) and I wrote a letter to Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas, requesting a briefing and information about the ACLU’s findings. No matter their race, gender, creed or zip code, every American is guaranteed due process under the law. Click here to read our full letter. 

Demanding Election Integrity

As I shared in last month’s newsletter, I sent a letter with Chairwoman Carolyn B. Maloney of the House Committee on Oversight and Reform to Douglas Logan, the chief executive officer of Cyber Ninjas, requesting documents that will help us understand the role this private company played in an “audit” of the 2020 election in Maricopa County, Arizona. Although the documents were originally due on July 28, 2021, Cyber Ninjas requested an extension until August 9, 2021, only to provide already publicly available material and lodge objections to the Committee’s requests. This past month, Chairwoman Maloney and I sent a second letter warning that we won’t rest until we have real transparency and accountability from this organization. You can read more about our efforts here. We will unceasingly defend voting rights and the integrity of our election process.

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