Dear Neighbor:

I wanted to take a moment to share an update about how my staff and I have been working for the people of the 8th District. It remains a surpassing honor to serve as your Representative in Congress.

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

All Best,





Jamie Raskin

Celebrating 100 Local Heroes

In the early days of COVID-19, I began recognizing Marylanders helping Marylanders through the pandemic as ‘Local Heroes.’ Week by week, these community leaders have highlighted the tremendous talents and generosity of spirit in Montgomery, Frederick and Carroll counties. This April, we celebrated a dazzling milestone: 100 Local Heroes recognized! I hope you’ll watch my tribute to 100 Local Heroes here.

Our 100th Local Hero is Father Volodymyr Steliac of St. Andrew Ukrainian Orthodox Cathedral in Silver Spring. Father Steliac has provided steadfast spiritual leadership in our community for over twenty years, and has in recent weeks championed local relief efforts to Ukraine as it fights back against Russia’s brutal invasion. I’m holding the people of Ukraine, Father Steliac and our local Ukrainian American community in my heart during this painful time, and I encourage you to watch my discussion with Father Steliac here.

Fighting Book Bans and Academic Censorship


Preparing for a Civil Rights and Civil Liberties Subcommittee hearing on free speech, book bans and academic censorship

Last month, the American Library Association reported a record 729 challenges to remove nearly 1,600 books from school and public libraries in the year 2021. Efforts to cancel “objectionable” books should alarm every student, teacher, parent and American who holds the First Amendment dear. In April, I chaired a hearing in the Civil Rights and Civil Liberties Subcommittee to investigate this metastasizing academic censorship. We heard from brilliant witnesses like civil rights activist and author Ruby Bridges, whose book Ruby Bridges Goes to School has been the target of a ban on the grounds that the memoir forwards “critical race theory.” Other witnesses testifying highlighted the positive influence that access to diverse narratives can offer our students. You can read more about our hearing here and watch my opening statement here.

Investing in Community Projects Across Maryland’s Eighth District

This spring, I joined a broad bipartisan, bicameral legislative coalition to vote for our historic omnibus appropriations package. The measure, signed into law by President Biden, will fund the entire federal government for fiscal year 2022 and kickstart community projects across the nation, including exciting new ventures in Montgomery, Frederick and Carroll counties. I've enjoyed meeting with our partners and visiting project sites across Maryland's Eighth District to see the great work already underway.


Visiting the Muslim Community Center Medical Clinic in Silver Spring

In April, I toured the Muslim Community Center Medical Clinic in Silver Spring and saw how staff provides our uninsured and underinsured neighbors with compassionate, inclusive health care. I’m glad to report that with $250,000 in funding secured by Rep. John Sarbanes and me, the Center will be able to invest in its clinics and expand capacity to continue serving our community. To see more photos from my visit to the Muslim Community Center, click here.

Shannon Babe-Thomas, our first local hero of April, leads Community Bridges, an organization empowering young women, girls and their families across Montgomery County. Shannon and her team provide expert mentorship through the Community Bridges network and help their girls reach their full potential regardless of family income. I secured $80,000 for Community Bridges in the appropriations package, and I was delighted to join Shannon to discuss how this funding will help Community Bridges provide more support to young women and girls. Watch my full conversation with Shannon here.

To read more about MD-08 community project funding I secured in the appropriations package, you can visit my website or check out my Twitter thread here.

Working with Local AAPI Community Leaders


With Maryland State Senator Susan Lee and AAPI community leaders

In April, I was delighted to welcome Maryland State Senator Susan Lee and additional distinguished AAPI community leaders to my district office in Rockville to discuss issues important to our local Asian American and Pacific Islander community. We discussed additional support for small businesses as well as working together to effectively prevent hate crimes. I'm grateful for local partners like Senator Lee who are committed to making MD-08 an inclusive community that works for its people.

Securing Federal Funding for our District

I joined my Maryland Democratic congressional delegation colleagues in announcing several federal investments in our state this past month, including broadband expansion, school COVID mitigation, transit improvement and energy efficiency.

Maryland received $238,000 from the FCC’s Emergency Connectivity Fund to provide schools across the state with the tools and services they need to enhance internet connectivity. I was proud to vote for the American Rescue Plan last year, which established this fund, and am delighted to report that it has supported over 70 schools and libraries across Maryland and expanded broadband internet access for thousands of students, school staff and library patrons. You can read more about this funding and the Emergency Connectivity Fund here.

I’m also glad to report that FEMA will reimburse over $3.5 million to the Montgomery County Education Department for pandemic-related expenses incurred by Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS). Keeping students, teachers and staff safe through COVID-19 and reopening is no small feat, and I’ll continue working as a congressional partner to ensure our public schools have the support they need. To read more about this funding for MCPS, click here.

Federal investment in public transportation helps keep transit safe, reliable and energy-efficient. I’m delighted that Maryland will receive over $340 million in federal funding to strengthen our transit infrastructure across the state. This funding was made possible through the bipartisan infrastructure deal, also known as the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, which I proudly voted for last year. To read more about our efforts to bolster Maryland’s public transit infrastructure, click here.

Finally, over $45 million in federal funding will help Marylanders lower their utility costs with energy-efficient upgrades to their homes—also thanks to the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act. The funds will not only improve the health, safety and economic wellbeing of Marylanders, they will help households save on average $372 every year. You can read more about this funding to optimize Maryland’s energy efficiency here.

Standing Up for Press Freedom

In American democracy, a free press helps keep our people informed and holds power accountable. Since my first term in Congress, I’ve advocated for a federal press shield law that would protect journalists from being compelled to reveal confidential sources and prevent federal law enforcement from abusing subpoena power. Most states offer some form of press shield protections, but those protections vary and no federal protections exist. This has resulted in dozens of journalists serving jail time for refusing to reveal confidential sources, like my constituent Brian Karem, who was jailed four times in 1990 and ’91 for protecting confidential sources while working as a television reporter.

I’m delighted to report that after relentless advocacy, my federal press shield bill, the PRESS Act, passed in the Judiciary Committee this April with unanimous, bipartisan support! We are closer than ever before to affording our nation’s journalists meaningful legal protections as they report on the most consequential issues of our time. Please read more about my PRESS Act here.

Promoting a National Day of Reason

When the framers of the Constitution advanced a Bill of Rights, they knew that freedom of thought and reason would serve as the essential preconditions for progress in government and society. Last month, fellow Congressional Freethought Caucus chair Rep. Jared Huffman and I affirmed our commitment to these founding American values and introduced a resolution marking May 4 as the National Day of Reason in America. You can read more about our efforts to celebrate reason, science and Enlightenment values here.

Oversight of Big Tech's Role in the Auto Industry

Did you know that tech giants of social media, data collection and artificial intelligence are poised to enter the global auto industry? Companies like Google, Apple and Amazon stand ready to install their operating systems into new cars, manufacture their own vehicles and choke out competitors with troves of consumer data. This creeping capture stands to reshape the American auto market, and government must stand ready to play the antitrust role needed to protect consumers. Last month, I wrote a letter to Federal Trade Commission (FTC) Chair Lina Khan and Assistant Attorney General for the Department of Justice’s (DOJ) Antitrust Division Jonathan Kanter urging FTC and DOJ to increase scrutiny of Big Tech’s encroachment on the auto industry. You can read my full letter here and more about our efforts to hold Big Tech accountable in the auto industry here.

Celebrating the Local Heroes of the Eighth District

Alongside St. Andrew Ukrainian Orthodox Cathedral’s Father Volodymyr Steliac and Community Bridges director Shannon Babe-Thomas, our April Local Heroes further highlight the exceptional gifts and public spirit of Maryland’s Eighth District.

Community Health Nurse Megan Wilson serves more than 1,600 children at Magruder High School in Derwood with compassion and care. This lifelong Montgomery County Marylander first came to my attention when I learned she saved a student’s life in January, and her daily work promoting campus health is nothing short of heroic. You can watch my full conversation with Megan Wilson here.

Not only is Local Hero Howard Kohn a renowned journalist and author, with works like Who killed Karen Silkwood? having been adapted for the silver screen, he’s also a pillar of our Montgomery County community. I spoke with Howard in April about his model leadership of Takoma Park Youth Soccer, an egalitarian, wholly inclusive soccer league that instills in our kids a love of soccer, open-mindedness and friendship. You can watch my full discussion with Howard Kohn here.

Each year, I partner with local arts center VisArts in Rockville for my annual Congressional Art Competition and see firsthand their remarkable commitment to radically accessible visual arts for our people. Last month, I was proud to feature their VisAbility Art Lab Director Elaine Parks as my local hero. Elaine and the Lab empower artists with intellectual and developmental disabilities to share their beautiful artwork with the world. You can watch my conversation with Elaine here.

On the Floor: Protecting the People of Ukraine, Reforming Marijuana Policy and More

In April, I voted for legislation to defend Ukraine from Russian aggression, provide relief to small businesses and restaurants affected by COVID-19, reform federal drug policy, suspend normal trade relationships with Russia and Belarus and hold Peter Navarro and Dan Scavino in contempt of Congress for their refusal to comply with subpoenas issued by the January 6th Committee.

The Ukrainian people continue to resist Vladimir Putin’s brutal and illegitimate invasion with stunning resilience. In April, I managed debate on the House Floor for S.3522, the Ukraine Democracy Defense Lend-Lease Act, which will expedite shipment of weapons, ammunition and other equipment to Ukraine. President Franklin Delano Roosevelt first created the Lend-Lease program in World War II, mobilizing unified American resistance to fascism abroad and helping turn the tide of the war in Europe. Our Lend-Lease bill passed both chambers of Congress with wide bipartisan support and was recently signed into law by the president. In April, we also passed a bill to suspend normal trade relations with Russia and Belarus (Senate Amendment to H.R. 7108) and legislation to ban the import of Russian oil and other energy products to the United States (Senate Amendment to H.R. 6968). 

Did you know that a majority of states have reformed our nation’s draconian, obsolete and discriminatory marijuana laws? It’s time for the federal government to catch up and craft policy that works for our people. That’s why I proudly cosponsored and voted in favor of H.R. 3617, the Marijuana Opportunity Reinvestment and Expungement (MORE) Act this past month. This bipartisan legislation decriminalizes marijuana at the federal level and includes essential restorative justice provisions to undo decades of harm caused by the war on marijuana, particularly on communities of color. I will continue to advocate for effective and restorative drug policy, including ending counterproductive laws that deny and rescind federal security clearance status based on past marijuana use. Click here to watch some of my remarks on marijuana reform on the House Floor.

Our Select Committee to Investigate the January 6th Attack on the United States Capitol remains laser-focused, speaking with overwhelmingly cooperative witnesses who help us understand how a sweeping violent assault on our democracy manifested on January 6th, 2021. However, a handful of close Trump allies, including former aides Dan Scavino and Peter Navarro, refuse to comply with lawfully-issued Congressional subpoenas, and last month, the House of Representatives voted to hold these two men in contempt of Congress for their open disregard of the rule of law. You can watch my remarks about Dan Scavino and Peter Navarro on the House Floor here.

Defending Student Religious Freedom


Speaking out for the separation of Church and State at a press conference with students and religious leaders in front of the Supreme Court

No public school student should ever have to choose between their religious freedom and playing on a sports team. Last month, I led 10 of my congressional colleagues in filing an amicus brief in Kennedy v. Bremerton School District, a case pending before the Supreme Court in which Bremerton High School football coach Joseph A. Kennedy publicly prayed at the 50-yard line after school football games, allegedly making students feel pressured to join. A truly inclusive constitutional democracy necessitates that the government cannot endorse religion or compel young people to participate in sectarian exercises in any way. In my brief, I argue that the Constitution stands firmly on the side of the students and the school district. To read more about my amicus brief in Kennedy v. Bremerton School District, click here.

In Committee: Strengthening the IRS, Electrifying the Postal Fleet

Last month, my House Oversight Committee colleagues and I held a hearing examining the benefits of electrifying our United States Postal Service (USPS) fleet of delivery trucks. Altogether, USPS’s fleet of 215,000 vehicles burn about 200 million gallons of gasoline each year. At the hearing, witnesses testified that electrifying the USPS fleet of trucks is a commonsense way to reduce costs and emissions for our sustainable future. The climate benefits of electrifying the USPS fleet are significant, and major delivery companies are already moving to adopt all-electric delivery fleets. USPS should be leading by example, rather than locking us into decades of dirty emissions from antiquated delivery trucks. That is why my colleagues and I have introduced legislation to stop the USPS from replacing its entire fleet with outdated gas-powered vehicles. You can read more about our efforts and watch our full hearing here.

For many taxpayers, the 2021 tax season was one of the most challenging ones yet. At a recent Government Operations Subcommittee hearing examining challenges facing the IRS, the National Taxpayer Advocate Erin M. Collins testified thaout of 282 million total calls made to the IRS, only 11% were answered. Funding cuts and partisan attacks on the IRS have resulted in the agency losing nearly 20,000 employees from 2010 to 2020. A diminished IRS workforce directly affects the quality of customer service for our constituents. I know that when my constituents struggle to reach live staff at the IRS, they may not receive duly-owed benefits and they may have difficulty troubleshooting any issues that occur with their tax returns. I’m committed to giving the IRS the resources to deliver on its promises to the American people. You can watch our full hearing, which includes a personal story from MD-08 constituent Meighan Stone, here.

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