Letter to the Editor: Impressed With Our Energetic and Productive Representatives

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Cottie Petrie-Norris and Harley Rouda are so busy seeking positive legislation for their districts, that they have not had the time or inclination to get involved in negative political battles with their opponents. Both of them tout impressive lists of legislative conquests and have been overly generous with the time they have devoted to meeting their constituents face to face at town-hall locations and at numerous public events.

Cottie’s latest legislative achievements have been directed against fighting homelessness in Orange County. She is trying to increase the number of emergency shelters, working with local leaders to open a new mental health treatment and housing facility to get people who need help into treatment and off the street, and is leading a working group that she has established in the legislature on Substance Abuse Treatment.

She is approaching the homelessness situation with a “services-first” approach while also supporting laws that protect sensitive areas, public parks, and neighborhoods. To that effect, during her first term in the State Assembly, she has supported providing more that 650 million dollars in funding to assist local cities in addressing the crisis. Finally, in another effort to help the homeless population, Cottie secured $2.9 million dollars to provide housing for homeless veterans in Orange County-money that will be in a program led by United Way.

Homelessness is not the only issue that has caught Cottie’s attention. She authored a new bill which has already been signed into law, which invests in green infrastructure along the California Coast to combat sea level rise, and she secured a state grant of $4.5 million to finance a 150-day program called FIRIS which would provide a potential tool for wildfire combat.

As if that were not enough for a freshman state assembly person, Cottie also authored two other bills, AB 469 and AB 558 — both signed into law by the governor. The first bill improves transparency and preserves sensitive information, the second provides pro-bono legal services for active military members.

Harley has also captured the imagination of many of his constituents in Orange County with his amazing energy and accomplishments during his first term in Congress. To the gratitude of many of his constituents, Harley has promoted bipartisanship, common sense and duty toward those he serves.

He has been the most legislatively productive freshman member of Congress, introducing 28 measures and cosponsoring 279. Of those, 16 of his personally sponsored measures were passed by the legislature. He has chaired several hearings, held two town halls and over 1000 meetings, sent numerous responses to constituents, scheduled almost 1000 tours of Congress, and secured close to $20 million in grant funding.

Harley is most proud of his efforts at bipartisanship while addressing Orange County’s unique problems: Climate change which has already affected Orange County’s coast, prevention of wildfires and storms which are becoming more extreme, cleaning up our air and drinking water, and properly managing spent nuclear fuel at the San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station.

The accomplishments of these two amazingly energetic freshman representatives is very impressive. It is comforting to know that Orange County is being so well served in Sacramento and Washington D.C. by such conscientious and positive leadership.

Lynn Lorenz
Newport Beach

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