November 15, 2019

Working for Greener and Healthier Communities

Dear Friends,

As we approach Thanksgiving and the end of my first year in Congress, I am reflecting on how grateful I am to have the opportunity to serve as your Representative. Being home in the district reminds me how much we have done, just as being in D.C. reminds me how much we have yet to do! I am committed to making the most of my time in office by continuing to fight for the needs of Colorado's 2nd District just as hard now as I did my first day in office.

MAKING GOVERNMENT GREENER

I am proud to announce the launch of my latest policy initiative, which will begin transitioning the United States Capitol buildings to clean, renewable electricity sources. There has never been a more important time to focus on renewable energy, and I believe that higher environmental standards should apply to lawmakers as well as citizens. We are all responsible for maintaining this planet, which means we all need to do our part to eliminate waste and use cleaner energy.

The Green Government resolution recommends the use of 100 percent renewable electricity by 2032 in the U.S. Capitol complex, which is an extremely attainable goal. In Colorado, 14 cities and counties, including 7 cities and counties in Colorado's 2nd District, have stepped up to set ambitious renewable energy goals. This resolution follows the example they have set, as well as the example of local communities and cities across America, to address the climate crisis. We must be the generation that solves this.

HONORING OUR NATION'S VETERANS

This Veterans Day, I had the pleasure of attending the lighting of the Boulder star, to remember those who have given their lives for our freedom and safety. The Boulder Star has been lit every year since 1947 to honor our nation's veterans, so it was a special privilege to participate in this old tradition.

I also was grateful to meet with veterans in Loveland at the American Legion to honor the bravery and selflessness of those who have served our country. I got to meet some remarkable men and women who have made the ultimate sacrifice for our community and our families. To those who have put your lives on the line for our children's freedom: thank you for your outstanding service to our country.

PRIORITIZING MENTAL HEALTH

One of the components of healthcare that is less often discussed is mental health, but it is an incredibly important issue that affects a rapidly increasing number of Americans and Coloradans. That is why I am advocating for increased funding for life-saving mental health and suicide prevention programs in the coming fiscal year. I recently sent a letter to the committee chairs who handle budget appropriations to request "the highest level of funding feasible" for these programs so that we can address this crucial issue.

Growing rates of youth suicide across Colorado have caused tremendous grief and hardship in our communities. In the past three years, teen suicide in Colorado has increased by 58 percent and has become the cause of 1 in every 5 adolescent deaths in the state. While organizations across our state and college campuses work to provide needed mental health services and suicide prevention resources, we have to provide the funding necessary to equip our communities and address the stigma of mental health.

HEALTH RESOURCES FOR OUR COMMUNITY

This upcoming weekend, I will be hosting a Community Health Fair in Boulder to chat with constituents about healthcare resources in Colorado's 2nd District. We will also be offering free flue shots for uninsured community members ages 7 and up.

It is such a pleasure to engage with my constituents about this crucial topic that affects people and families on a daily basis! My office will conduct health screenings and assist with constituent services such as Medicare, Immigration, and Veterans Issues, among others. I encourage everyone to attend, particularly if you have questions about healthcare options or other ways in which our office can be helpful.

Events like this serve as a reminder that my number one priority is addressing the needs of my constituents. Everyone, no matter what political party or class, needs accessible, affordable healthcare. I will continue to fight for these resources until it is no longer a burden on families in Colorado.

Best,

Congressman Joe Neguse