A couple of weeks ago, U.S. Representative Norma J. Torres traveled to several communities in and around the Inland Empire to ensure the needs of local residents are reflected in the Congressional Hispanic Caucus (CHC) budget. As Chair of the CHC Budget Task Force, Torres has been instrumental in crafting a budget that offers an alternative to the harmful cuts in the Trump Administration’s Fiscal Year 2019 budget. On her tour, Torres highlighted advancements made in veterans’ care, the need for greater investment in infrastructure and public safety upgrades, and a permanent solution for the nation’s Dreamers—priorities that align with the CHC’s mission to advance the Hispanic community and improve the lives of all citizens.
In Redlands, Torres visited the new Ambulatory Care Center (ACC) within the VA Loma Linda Healthcare System. The ACC features equipment and technology that make healthcare more accessible and affordable for the area’s veterans. In addition to preventative care, the ACC also provides veterans with mental health care and resources to combat the opioid crisis.
“It’s our responsibility to make sure that our veterans have access to quality and timely healthcare when they return home,” Torres said. “It’s great to see the strides the VA Loma Linda Healthcare System has made in providing the innovative and cutting-edge care and services California veterans deserve.”
In Ontario, Torres met with representatives from the California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) to discuss funding upgrades and relieving congestion along the 71 Freeway. She also held a public safety funding roundtable with fire and police chiefs in Chino to address concerns regarding the Staffing for Adequate Fire & Emergency Response (SAFER) Grants program. The need to strengthen the capability of California’s 911 system to receive text messages and respond to cyberattacks was also discussed.
“Upgrades to our infrastructure should go hand in hand with meeting our public safety needs. Unfortunately, the President’s infrastructure proposal makes it harder for my district and our state to fund these much-needed upgrades,” Torres said. “It was important to hear firsthand from local transportation officials and emergency responders about the challenges they face. We need commonsense policies that move us in the right direction towards modernizing our infrastructure and 911 systems.”
At Cal Poly Pomona, Torres convened a meeting with more than 30 Dreamers representing area colleges, school administrators, and supporters to talk about the need for a permanent solution for the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program.
“I am inspired by the bravery and perseverance of our Inland Empire Dreamers. The Trump Administration has unfairly thrown the futures of these bright young people into a state of uncertainty,” Torres said. “I will keep fighting for a permanent legislative solution that protects our Dreamers from deportation and extends benefits to all Dreamers.”