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Legislative Wrap-Up: Gun Violence, Energy Credits, Immigration Bill

Some of the items involving East Bay legislators this week in Washington, D.C., and Sacramento

The state Capitol in Sacramento
The state Capitol in Sacramento
Rep. Mike Thompson (D-Napa) joined other congressional representatives in an "act of kindness" to remember the victims of the December 2012 Newton, Connecticut, school shootings.

Thompson and the other elected officials volunteered Friday at Martha's Table, a Washington, D.C., organization that provides healthy meals and education programs to 300 children.

Thompson also unveiled a report on guns, public health and mental illness.

The study contained federal policy recommendations on gun violence prevention and mental health.

Rep. Mike Honda (D-San Jose) held an "Hour of Code" in his Washington office on Thursday.

The event was part of Computer Science Education Week.

Honda sat with a diverse group of high school students and programmed code for the "Angry Birds" smartphone game.

Honda will also speak Saturday at a gun buy-back event in San Jose.

The program begins at noon at Our Lady of Guadalupe Church, 2020 E. San Antonio St.

Rep. Barbara Lee (D-Oakland) announced $2 million in energy tax credits for Natel Energy of Alameda.

The credits will help the firm expand their capacity for clean energy manufacturing.

Natel Energy makes low-head, high-flow hydroelectric turbines for new, distributed, utility-scale hydro-power projects, as well as for retrofitting dams and irrigation canals.

Lee will also host an immigration and citizenship fair in Oakland on Saturday.

The event begins at 10 a.m. at Saint Anthony's Church, 1500 E. 15th St.

Rep. George Miller (D-Martinez) and Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-Dublin) joined a fast this week to urge passage of an immigration reform bill that includes a path to citizenship for 11 million undocumented workers.

The protests were part of the "Fast For Families" movement.

The House recessed on Thursday for the remainder of the year without voting on the immigration legislation.

State Sen. Mark DeSaulnier (D-Concord) announced the formation of a new legislative caucus focusing on poverty and inequality in California.

The mission of the Ending Poverty and Inequality in California Caucus is to reduce the number of people living in poverty and to increase economic opportunity for all Californians.

“The California Dream remains a reality for many from the Silicon Valley to the Hollywood Hills, but there is another California that can no longer be ignored,” DeSaulnier said. “Nearly one in four of our fellow Californians live in poverty, one-third of the 6 million impoverished Californians are children, and California is home to nearly one-third of the nation’s chronically homeless individuals."

State Assemblywoman Nancy Skinner (D-Berkeley) called on the Victim Compensation and Government Claims Board to repeal a regulation prohibiting financial assistance to sex workers who have been victims of rape.

The board voted on Thursday to get rid of that particular regulation.

Before the vote, Skinner said:

“I strongly side with victim advocates, law enforcement officials, and other stakeholders who believe this rule is discriminatory and sends a dangerous message that some victims – indeed some people – are not as worthy of protection from rape as others. This regulation deprives rape victims of crucial treatment and services to assist their recovery."


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