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 Maryland’s Eighth District. It remains a surpassing honor to serve as your Representative in Congress.

As always, I encourage all of my constituents across the Eighth District to connect with me on TwitterFacebook, Instagram and Threads. 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

Rep. Raskin’s July in Photos


Supporting Food Donations to Animal Shelters

In July, I introduced the "bi-paw-tisan" Bring Animals Relief and Kibble Act, or BARK Act, to incentivize pet suppliers to donate surplus pet food and supplies to animal shelters in need. For too long, shelters have struggled to find affordable food options for the animals in their care while pet stores have been forced to throw away perfectly good pet food because of outdated and overly stringent liability laws. Our legislation provides a straightforward fix to food donation law so that donating pet food is as easy as donating people food.

Commemorating Independence Day with Constituents


Greeting constituents along Maple Avenue, photographed by the Washington Post

This past month, I was honored to serve as Grand Marshal of the Takoma Park Fo­­urth of July Parade, where the Eighth District’s mosaic of cultures, communities and activities was on full display. The parade was a vibrant celebration of our nation’s founding principles of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. I had a wonderful time greeting the people of Maryland’s Eighth District at the Takoma Park Fourth of July Parade—and in Wood Acres, Somerset and Friendship Heights—and sharing the constituent services and resources our office can provide.

Spreading the Word About Passport Processing Delays


Constituents show off their renewed passports, secured with the help of my district team

With fall fast approaching, I want to remind all Marylanders that the State Department is still experiencing significant passport processing delays. Processing times are now 10-13 weeks for routine applications and 7-9 weeks for expedited applications. If you have travel plans for the rest of this year or early next year, submit your application ASAP on the State Department’s website.

Bolstering Our Mental Health Care Infrastructure

Last year, I was moved and honored to help lead the establishment of the nation’s first mental health crisis line, the 988 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline. After just one year, 988 has strengthened our national mental health care infrastructure, but Congress can build on the progress and invest in mental health crisis infrastructure, which is why Congressman Tony Cárdenas (CA-29) and I introduced the bipartisan 988 Implementation Act to raise awareness of this crucial resource and fund state programs for mobile crisis response teams and crisis stabilization centers.

I’m delighted to share that 988 launched Spanish language services in July. Users can now text or call 988 or visit the hotline’s English and Spanish website to access real-time support in both languages.

Ensuring Access to Federal Employment for Legal Marijuana Users

In July, I introduced the bipartisan Cannabis User Restoration Eligibility (CURE) Act, legislation to prevent prior or current marijuana use from becoming grounds for failing to receive a security clearance or for being found unsuitable for federal employment. Every year, qualified individuals seeking to serve our country are unable to secure federal jobs and security clearances because the federal government’s policies have not caught up with the widely established legal use of medical and recreational cannabis. This bill will bring our federal hiring practices and security clearance protocols up to date so that every talented American who has abided by their state and local medical and recreational marijuana laws can have an equal opportunity to serve in the federal government.

Introducing Legislation to Protect the Chesapeake Bay

The Chesapeake Bay is a natural treasure that needs our care and protection. In July, I joined my Maryland colleagues Senator Chris Van Hollen and Congressman John Sarbanes in introducing legislation to create a Chesapeake National Recreation Area that would provide more resources for Chesapeake environmental conservation and restoration efforts. You can read more about the bill here.

Preserving Public Trust in Our Elections

Our free and fair elections are the foundation of American democracy, not a game or profit venture. I join Marylanders who are deeply concerned about a proposal from a private company to create an online gambling system that allows individuals to bet on which party will win control of Congress before the election. I led a letter to the Commodities Futures Trading Commission with my friend and fellow Maryland Congressman John Sarbanes, to reject this proposal due to the dangers it presents to public trust in our election system.

Addressing Climate and the Threat of Extremism in the Military

As Congress considered the annual National Defense Authorization Act, I offered amendments that would mandate the Department of Defense to publicly disclose its total greenhouse gas emissions and come up with a plan to bring our military’s emissions in alignment with our commitments under the Paris Agreement on climate change. Independent experts have estimated our military’s total carbon pollution to be equal to a sovereign nation, making our national security establishment a key part of our climate solution strategy. I also offered an amendment that would have required the Pentagon to develop and implement training to address the threat of white supremacist recruitment from the military. While the House majority did not bring my amendments to the House Floor, I remain committed to advocating for the adoption of these necessary reforms.

Reducing Aviation Noise Pollution

Communities across Maryland’s Eighth District continue to experience disruptions from overhead flight paths and their resultant noise pollution. In July, I joined my National Capital Region colleagues to successfully prevent a change that would have increased the number of flights out of Reagan National Airport. An analysis from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) found that adding flights would worsen delays at DCA, which is the busiest airport in our country.

Honoring Local Heroes Across MD-08

We kicked off July’s Local Hero series with a pillar of our community, Montgomery County Fire and Rescue (MCFRS) Chief Scott Goldstein. Chief Goldstein has retired from MCFRS earlier this year after more than 35 years of service. It was an honor to speak with Chief Goldstein and celebrate his contributions to Montgomery County.

July is Parks and Recreation Month, and to celebrate, I sat down with Tamika Graham, who leads Black Women Hiking the DMV and serves as a NextGen Trail Leader with the Silver Spring-based American Hiking Society. Tamika and I discussed our love of the outdoors and Rock Creek Park, and she spoke about the importance of creating a community where people of all identities can appreciate the beauty of Maryland.

Following International Chess Day, I recognized fellow chess enthusiast Fernando Moreno for his work bringing the magic of chess to students across Montgomery County Public Schools. As a bilingual counselor for students at Montgomery Knolls Elementary School, Fernando has cultivated a collaborative environment that attracts students of all ages and genders and utilizes chess as a unique and effective teaching tool for perseverance in the classroom and in life.

To close out July, I had the honor of meeting Michael Sharp, a hair colorist and real-life Montgomery County superhero, who rushed to administer life-saving first aid to Dr. Paul Levine after Michael witnessed Dr. Levine being hit by a truck. Dr. Levine’s wife, Debbie, credits Michael with saving her husband’s life. A multi-talented Local Hero not only skilled in emergency response, Michael also hosts and produces a radio show by and for fellow members of the LGBTQ+ community in the DMV area.

Leading Democrats on the House Oversight Committee

It continues to be a surpassing honor to lead the Democrats on the Committee on Oversight and Accountability as Ranking Member. This past month on the Oversight Committee, we worked to:

Securing Federal Funding for Maryland

This past month, I joined members of our Maryland delegation to announce over $28.9 million in federal funding for Head Start programs across our state. Head Start is one of the crown jewels of our federal programs, connecting more than a million families nationwide with early learning, development, health services and more to promote family well-being. 

Maryland’s poultry farmers suffered terrible losses last year from a severe outbreak of the avian flu. As we see an increase in the potential for zoonotic diseases, viruses that spread between animals and humans, we must invest in prevention strategies to keep our communities safe. This month, members of the Maryland delegation and I announced over $665,000 in federal funding to inform wildlife management and planning in the Chesapeake Bay region, which will help control the spread of wildlife diseases and address outbreaks like the spread of avian flu.

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