April 2017 Report
Greetings Contra Costa board mates,
Below please find my report on April 2017 legislative affairs activity. On Monday May 1 I’ll be attending the USCGC Bailey Barco reception at USCG Sector San Francisco, and as such will be unable to make our May board meeting.
Departing from my usual reporting routine, this month’s report has been sent to the entire council membership email distribution list because of the entire council’s participation in legislative affairs activity recently. That participation is reflected in items 1 & 3 below.
Item #1, first and foremost: A big thank you to the Contra Costa Council membership for their active participation in the Navy League’s Voice to Congress email program. Here’s what’s new: on April 25th I received from Navy League National Legislative Affairs the first actual count of email messages sent to Congressman Mark DeSaulnier’s office (CA-11 is our assigned congressional district). From September 2016 through April 2017 CA-11 has received 73 emails on the various topics from 52 people. Those dates correspond to our council’s promotion of the Voice to Congress program to our board and members, and you turned out in typical Contra Costa Council fashion by getting on board and taking care of business. Email topics in that period of time included opposition to cutting the Coast Guard’s budget and support for training ships for state Maritime Academies throughout the United States. This Legislative Affairs stuff is always a team effort, and our council makes a terrific team. Well done, Contra Costa!
Interestingly, a result of the Council’s increased activity with the email Voice to Congress program, several of the Council’s members report receiving acknowledgment correspondence from Sen. Diane Feinstein’s office and invitations to CA-11 town hall meetings. It appears that our efforts have gotten us on some sort of congressional radar.
Item #2 involves Coast Guard Sector San Francisco. The Sector’s personnel have been living with a burdensome transportation issue that affects their coming and going to the base, which may in turn have an effect on readiness (we know the Coast Guard is Semper Paratus, but from time to time real-world issues do arise). Through the collaborative efforts of our council’s liaisons to Sector, Sally and Lorin Andersen, and our legislative affairs team, we were able to raise the matter to Congressman DeSaulnier’s staff. While a resolution to the issue may be a bit complex involving different government agencies, we feel the Congressman’s attention to the matter may be beneficial. One interesting aspect of this aside from the issue itself is the teaming up of the Council’s adopted unit liaison and legislative affairs team. This is our second recent successful pairing of unit liaison and legislative affairs, the first being with Pete Gates and the Concord Marines last July when we conducted a briefing for one of the Congressman’s staff at USMC Reserve Center Concord. We’re developing quite an expertise with this type of thing, here’s to more of the same in the future.
Finally item #3, our council’s Sea Services Awards dinner on April 19 at Zio Fraedo’s in Pleasant Hill. My thanks to all who were able to join us, it was a lovely evening. Attending from Congressman DeSaulnier’s staff was military affairs liaison Ryan-Thomas Brown, who not only secured congressional certificates for the awardees, but also lent a hand in physically presenting the awards. Also attending was Pleasant Hill city councilmember Matt Rinn. Photo below from the event was taken by our own Al Romine. Left to right in that photo are Matt Rinn, Ryan-Thomas Brown, CAPT Anthony Ceraolo USCG Sector San Francisco, and yours truly.
April was a big month for us in the Contra Costa Council’s legislative affairs program, and it wouldn’t have been that big without you. Thanks for your continued support, it’s greatly appreciated and its making results.
Vice President, Legislative Affairs
Contra Costa Council
Navy League of the United States