“We must keep our promises to seniors.”
Generations of Americans built the Social Security system out of a shared belief that if you work hard your whole life, you should be able to count on a retirement you can live on. TJ strongly supports this model.
When TJ was a boy, his father was tragically killed in a car accident, and Social Security’s Survivor Benefits for Children helped TJ and his family in their time of need.
TJ is committed to protecting Medicare and Social Security so that seniors and families in the Central Valley receive the full benefits they have been promised — and he will stand up against any attempt to privatize or cut these programs.
“We need a system that works for our families and our economy.”
As the son of immigrants, TJ knows and appreciates the value and contributions immigrants make to our communities and our country, and believes everyone working here in the United States deserves a pathway to legal status.
Immigrants in the Central Valley and beyond should be valued for their contributions to their community and the local economy. For the Valley’s businesses to thrive, we need an immigration system that actually works.
TJ’s proudest moment in Congress was his vote for the American Dream and Promise Act, which protects DACA recipients who came to America as children and offers them a pathway to citizenship without fear of deportation.
“Central Valley families deserve access to affordable care.”
The Covid-19 pandemic has only highlighted the need for healthcare reform both in the Central Valley and across the nation. We must ensure affordable and accessible healthcare for all Americans.
Before being elected, TJ secured hard-to-get funding for community health clinics across the Central Valley. His efforts have brought health care access to rural communities so that hardworking families can see doctors, dentists, and other medical professionals when they need to — and in their own communities. He has funded clinics in Fowler, Mendota, Parlier, and Sanger, creating over 250 local health care jobs and serving over 40,000 residents here in the 21st District.
In Washington, TJ has offered amendments that increased the Affordable Care Act’s outreach and education to areas of high unemployment. He also supported the Lower Drug Costs Now Act that will force drug companies to lower their outrageous prices so that people can get the prescriptions they need without having to worry about the cost.
Here in the Central Valley, we suffer from respiratory illnesses like Valley Fever and asthma at much higher rates than other places around the country. Thirty percent of all cases of Valley Fever occur locally in Kern County. In Congress, TJ introduced the End Valley Fever Now Act as well as four bills to help people in the Valley who suffer from asthma and COPD. TJ also serves on bipartisan committees in Congress that focus on finding solutions for people who suffer from diabetes as well as substance abuse.
TJ advocates for expanding tele-health services, particularly for people living in rural communities far from hospitals or other treatment centers. He introduced legislation that would increase funding for these services in rural areas, which is now even more essential in the time of the Coronavirus pandemic.
TJ is committed to the fight for fair & equitable healthcare access in the Central Valley.
“We need to jumpstart and sustain our economy.”
TJ knows how to come up with innovative and creative solutions to create jobs in our communities. Before being elected to Congress, TJ was the founder of the Central Valley’s most successful community development entity. TJ has created more than 2,000 jobs, built businesses from the ground up, and developed job training programs that prepare Central Valley residents for 21st century jobs — all right here at home. TJ doesn’t just create jobs; he creates careers that pay a living wage and offer benefits.
As founder of a nut processing plant in the Valley, TJ knows firsthand that agriculture drives our Central Valley economy. In Congress, TJ’s plan to provide critical relief to more family farmers during the agricultural downturn became law. As a member of the Agriculture Committee TJ has ensured that California’s farmers and ranchers have a seat at the table and that they have the support they need to continue supplying the world with fresh produce, dairy and meat.
In Congress, TJ will continue his work in creating health care, agricultural and other good-paying jobs. He will work to create and foster new agricultural businesses,protect and expand export markets, fight for fair trade deals, and invest in job training. While we are facing unprecedented levels of unemployment, you can count on TJ to put more Americans back to work.
“Nothing is more important than investing in our children’s future.”
In the 21st century, curriculum focused on STEM and career readiness is essential, yet many rural school districts lack access to these opportunities. TJ introduced the INSPIRES Act in Congress, which will build STEM classrooms and labs in rural public schools as well as provide for high-speed internet access for students.
“We must protect the lifeblood of the Central Valley.”
TJ knows that water is the lifeblood of the Central Valley. Unfortunately, the Valley has been particularly susceptible to extreme weather patterns in California, including both long droughts and periods of heavy precipitation. As one of the nation’s largest agricultural centers, we need reliable water sources and storage to combat these volatile weather patterns.
As an engineer, TJ understands the necessity of water storage and conveyance systems here in the Valley. That’s why TJ fought for $150 million in funding for these projects in his first year in Congress. As a member of the Natural Resources Committee he introduced and advocated for legislation that will restore the water carrying capacity for conveyance facilities that have been impacted by land subsidence, like the Friant-Kern and Delta-Mendota canals.
“Our veterans sacrificed for us, now we must support and protect them.”
Veterans from all across the Central Valley have served courageously to protect our freedom. It’s our turn to honor them by ensuring they have access to their well-deserved benefits, quality healthcare and any other services they may need.
TJ introduced the Caring for Survivors Act of 2020 to support the family members of veterans and ensure they are receiving the benefits they deserve. This bill will expand the benefits offered by the Dependency and Indemnity Compensation Fund at the VA. Previously, veteran survivor benefits were not on par with other federal retirement programs. The least we can do to honor our courageous service-members and their families is to ensure that they are entitled to adequate benefits.
Many of our veterans suffer from trauma after their time in service. In Congress, TJ passed an amendment that provided $10 million in funding for traumatic brain injury and post-traumatic stress research within the Department of Defense. TJ also honored the brave servicemen in the U.S. Military Assistance Advisory group who were not receiving benefits they were entitled to by introducing the Forgotten Vietnam Veterans Act, extending their wartime veteran benefits. In rural communities like the Central Valley, many veterans live far away from their healthcare providers. To help increase veterans’ access to care, TJ introduced legislation that would offer grants to transport veterans to their healthcare facilities, regardless of where they live.
TJ will continue to honor our brave veterans by passing legislation in Congress that protects them and ensures they receive the benefits they’ve earned.
TJ agrees that access to safe, clean drinking water is a human right. The State of California declared this back in 2012, but there are still more than 300,000 Californians who lack access to clean water. Over half of these people live in Fresno, Kings, Tulare, and Kern countries that make up California’s 21st Congressional District. That’s why TJ has made it his mission to fight for clean water in Congress. He introduced the Disadvantaged Community Drinking Water Assistance Act, which would establish a grant program to close gaps in access to safe drinking water for residents of the Central Valley.
TJ understands that the lack of water storage capacity and access to clean drinking water is a public health emergency in California, and it is one of his top priorities to solve this crisis as your representative.
The Covid-19 pandemic has only increased our reliance on technology for education. TJ has written numerous letters to House and Senate leadership requesting funding for rural STEM infrastructure and help for educators in rural communities to teach online during these times.
In CA-21, only 8 percent of residents have a college degree. TJ believes in lowering the cost of college for students, holding universities accountable for student success, and helping students graduate on time and ready to join the workforce.
Prior to being elected to Congress, TJ funded local community college facilities and programs here in the Central Valley, including the West Hill Community College Farm of the Future. In Washington, TJ introduced the Remedical Improvement Act, which would help students receive federal financial aid to finish their studies and graduate on time.
TJ will continue to spend his time in Congress working to close the educational gap that exists between rural and urban communities by increasing funding for STEM-based programs and modern infrastructure for Central Valley schools.
TJ also helped create a workforce solution for the agriculture industry here in the Valley, which relies on the contributions of immigrants, through the Farm Workforce Modernization Act. TJ has been a strong advocate for humanitarian standards for those in border control custody, and he has worked to protect DACA students from discrimination in colleges.
You can count on TJ to continue the fight against President Trump’s cruel and senseless immigration policies in Congress. TJ doesn’t see the diversity of our nation as a problem, but as our promise.