Tag Archives: Congressman Adam Schiff

Schiff Circulating Letter Among Colleagues to Nominate Pope Francis for 2016 Nobel Peace Prize

Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Burbank) announced that he is circulating a letter among his colleagues addressed to the Nobel Committee to nominate Pope Francis as the 2016 Nobel Peace Prize Laureate.  The letter, which will be distributed to both Democratic and Republican Members of Congress before His Holiness’ address to Congress on Thursday, highlights the Pope’s commitment to peace, his leadership in taking on the challenges facing our planet, and his courageous stand for human rights, his pleas on behalf of refugees, and his condemnation of all genocides.

The full letter began circulating today, and is below:

Dear Nobel Committee,

As Members of the United States Congress and supporters of the historic mission of the Nobel Foundation, we write to nominate Pope Francis as the 2016 Nobel Peace Prize Laureate. With unsurpassed eloquence, humility and compassion, the Pope has used his pulpit to exhort people and nations around the world to conduct their affairs with spirituality, morality and integrity. Pope Francis is an articulate and effective voice for fundamental human rights and is highly deserving of recognition by the Nobel Committee.

Pope Francis has been a powerful advocate for peace, urging an end to conflict and support for constitutive ties among nations. He has called on the world to use diplomacy and discussion to solve disputes, rather than military force, coercion or intimidation. This commitment to nonviolence, which the Pope has put into practice every day through his words and actions, is at the core of the principles behind the Nobel Peace Prize.

Pope Francis has also worked to galvanize the international community to take on global problems, such as the changing climate and environmental degradation. Pope Francis has brought together at the Vatican policy makers from around the world to build support and consensus around the need for a global response to the challenges facing our planet. Through his stature as a spiritual figure, Pope Francis casts the issue of an unhealthy earth in religious terms, emphasizing our joint duty to care for the world and to pass on an unspoiled environment to future generations.

Finally, Pope Francis has distinguished himself through his courageous stand for human rights and his condemnations of all genocide, both past and present. Most recently, in condemning the persecution of Christians and other minorities in Syria and Iraq, the Pope has spoken out against the darkest chapters of human history made possible “by general and collective indifference.”

As the world struggles to cope with a flood of refugees not seen since the end of World War II, the Pope has emerged as perhaps the leading advocate for relief. The Pontiff has called on the international community to respond meaningfully to this unsurpassed humanitarian disaster. His compassion has also taken the concrete form of inviting a Syrian refugee family to reside in his residence at the Vatican.

For all these reasons and many more, we thank you for your consideration of our nomination of Pope Francis for the Nobel Peace Prize. The receipt of such an award would be a profound recognition of the Pope’s commitment to furthering the cause of peace around the world.

Congressman Adam Schiff Visits Muir Middle School

Congressman Adam Schiff recently stopped by Muir Middle school to talk to Lynn Rothacher’s  seventh  grade English class. Congressman Schiff then proceeded to Mustang Field where the graduating class was rehearsing for the days activities.

(Photo by Ross A. Benson)

(Photo by Ross A. Benson)

(Photo by Ross A. Benson)

(Photo by Ross A. Benson)

(Photo by Ross A. Benson)

(Photo by Ross A. Benson)

(Photo by Ross A. Benson)

(Photo by Ross A. Benson)

Adam Schiff Stops by Burbank High to Talk Government

Congressman met with government class at Burbank High School last Friday after receiving letters from students in the class. myBurbank Photographer Edward Tovmassian was on hand to capture the sights of the visit.

The Congressman addresses students (Photo By Edward Tovmassian)

The Congressman addresses students (Photo By Edward Tovmassian)

Richard Sarquiz Talks With Schiff (Photo By Edward Tovmassian)

Richard Sarquiz Talks With Schiff (Photo By Edward Tovmassian)

Marina Labeb, Heripsime Martirosyan and Rose Cowart applaud some comments (Photo By Edward Tovmassian)

Marina Labeb, Heripsime Martirosyan and Rose Cowart applaud some comments (Photo By Edward Tovmassian)

Government Teacher Richard Sarquiz asks Schiff to give his students some wise advise (Photo By Edward Tovmassian)

Government Teacher Richard Sarquiz asks Schiff to give his students some wise advise (Photo By Edward Tovmassian)

Ryan Khalaf asks about the Congressman's thoughts on the Syrian President (Photo By Edward Tovmassian)

Ryan Khalaf asks about the Congressman’s thoughts on the Syrian President (Photo By Edward Tovmassian)

Teacher Richard Sarquiz, David Madden, Nicole Castellanos, Ryan Leonard, Nune Hakobyan all listen (Photo By Edward Tovmassian)

Teacher Richard Sarquiz, David Madden, Nicole Castellanos, Ryan Leonard, Nune Hakobyan all listen (Photo By Edward Tovmassian)

Aven Misiryan listens as Schiff talks about the Armenian Genocide (Photo By Edward Tovmassian)

Aven Misiryan listens as Schiff talks about the Armenian Genocide (Photo By Edward Tovmassian)

Zoe Martin, Andy Khalaf and Alec Agana Listening (Photo By Edward Tovmassian)

Zoe Martin, Andy Khalaf and Alec Agana Listening (Photo By Edward Tovmassian)

Principal Michael Bertram (L) welcomed Congressman Adam Schiff along with  Government Teacher Tina Fahad (Photo By Edward Tovmassian)

Principal Michael Bertram (L) welcomed Congressman Adam Schiff along with Government Teacher Tina Fahad (Photo By Edward Tovmassian)

Even a Congressman can get into the selfie mode as he takes an Oscar Style Selfie with Burbank Students (Photo By Edward Tovmassian)

Even a Congressman can get into the selfie mode as he takes an Oscar Style Selfie with Burbank Students (Photo By Edward Tovmassian)

Congressman Schiff Endorses Rogers

Press release sent by the Will Rogers Campaign:

Representative Adam Schiff (Burbank, 28th District) has endorsed Burbank City Council candidate Will Rogers in the upcoming Burbank municipal election.

Schiff, a former federal prosecutor who has held offices representing Burbank since 1994, cited his lengthy experience with Rogers.

“I have known Will for over 20 years as a columnist, activist and friend. I know that he will fight for open, honest and accountable government and we would be fortunate to have him on the City Council,” Schiff said.

“Adam Schiff has earned the respect and bi-partisan support of his district by keeping his word, and by aggressively looking after the interests of his constituents,” Rogers said.  “I’m enormously proud to have his support.”

“I look forward to working as a council member with Adam to address the many issues Burbank has that involve interaction with and cooperation from the federal government,” Rogers stated.  “These run the gamut, from airport issues to job development.”

Schiff, a Burbank resident, is Ranking Member of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, and has become a high-profile member of Congress on issues related to National Security and Intelligence.  He has also been extremely active on issues of heightened concern to constituents in Burbank, including having authored bills to impose mandatory curfews at Burbank’s Bob Hope Airport and the Van Nuys Airport.

Schiff has also been a champion of Southern California’s entertainment industry, including working to combat intellectual property theft and piracy.  He is a founder and co-chair of the Congressional International Anti-Piracy Caucus, a bipartisan group of House and Senate lawmakers.

With Rogers’ record as an investigative journalist, the two men share another priority:  Schiff co-founded the Congressional Caucus for Freedom of the Press, a bipartisan, bicameral caucus which is chaired by Schiff. The Freedom of the Press Caucus aims to advance press freedom around the world by creating a forum to combat and condemn media censorship and the persecution of journalists around the world.

Congressman Schiff ‘Takes His Leave’ With Leonard Nimoy

Friday, Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Burbank) submitted a continuation of remarks to the congressional record in the U.S. House of Representatives:

“I rise today to celebrate the life of Leonard Nimoy of Los Angeles, California, who passed away on the morning of February 27, 2015, at the age of 83.

“Leonard Nimoy, best known for his iconic role as Mr. Spock in the popular science fiction television series and motion picture franchise Star Trek, was born on March 26, 1931 in Boston, Massachusetts, to Dora and Max Nimoy, Orthodox Jews and Ukrainian immigrants.

“Leonard began his acting career at 8 years old performing in local plays and continued acting through his high school years.  After coming to Hollywood, he landed small parts in the movies Zombies of the Stratosphere, Queen for a Day and Rhubarb and in 1952, had his first starring movie role with Kid Monk Baroni.  During the early 1950’s, Mr. Nimoy enlisted in the United States Army Reserves where he spent nearly two years, writing, narrating, and emceeing shows for the Army Special Services branch.

“After leaving the military, he returned to California, and achieved wide visibility appearing on television shows such as Rawhide, Perry Mason and Wagon Train, until he landed the role in 1966 of the half-Vulcan Mr. Spock in Star Trek, for which he garnered three Emmy nominations.  It was in this role that he became a folk hero, helping create Vulcan culture such as the Vulcan salute and Vulcan neck pinch.  The incredibly popular original series spawned an animated television show, various new television series, movies and sparked a devoted following of Star Trek that exists to this day.  After the original Star Trek series ended in 1969, Leonard continued acting in movies and television, performed voice-over work and acted in stage plays.  In 1979, he returned as Mr. Spock in the movie Star Trek: The Motion Picture and in 1982’s Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan, directed the movies Star Trek III: The Search for Spock and Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home and appeared in the 2009 and 2013 Star Trek movies.

“In addition to being an actor, producer and director, Mr. Nimoy was also a prolific poet, writer, photographer and singer, who often lent his talents to charitable organizations.  He and his wife, Susan Bay-Nimoy were generous supporters of the arts, educational programs and public astronomy.  They provided substantial assistance to the Hammer Museum in Los Angeles through their Leonard and Susan Bay-Nimoy Family Foundation, the esteemed The Thalia Theater in New York was renamed the Leonard Nimoy Thalia Theater, and they were major supporters of the Griffith Observatory in Los Angeles’ historic 2002-2006 expansion, where the Leonard Nimoy Event Horizon theater shows the Leonard Nimoy-narrated documentary film The Once and Future Griffith Observatory about the history, recent renovation, and future of the Observatory.

“Leonard is survived by his wife, actress and director Susan Bay-Nimoy, his children, Adam and Julie Nimoy, stepson Aaron Bay Schuck, six grandchildren, one great-grandchild, and his brother Melvin.”

Schiff Announces Earthquake Early Warning System to be Funded

Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) and Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Burbank) announced that President Obama had included $5 million for the West Coast Earthquake Early Warning system in his Fiscal Year 2016 budget released this week.  This is the first time that the President has requested a specific funding amount in his budget, thereby recognizing the importance of the West Coast Earthquake Early Warning System. The Earthquake Early Warning system is being developed by Caltech, UC-Berkeley and the University of Washington in conjunction with the U.S. Geological Survey. It can provide users with seconds to even a minute or more of warning before shaking hits, depending on the distance to the epicenter. A limited system already been deployed for test users has proved that the early warning technology is sound.

“The next West Coast earthquake is a question of when, not if, and an earthquake early-warning system is necessary to save lives, reduce property damage and protect critical infrastructure,” said Senator Feinstein. “The Obama administration has now expressed its support for this project by requesting additional funds to build it. I will work with my fellow West Coast senators and representatives this year to secure federal funds and hope to see the state and private sector step up and contribute their fair share.”

“A fully-built out West Coast earthquake early warning system is critical to saving lives and protecting infrastructure by giving us a heads up before the next ‘big one’ hits,” said Rep. Schiff. “By including an additional $5 million in funding from last year’s initial federal investment, President Obama is acknowledging that this is something that cannot wait any longer. We couldn’t agree more. Through the appropriations process, we will work to make sure that we secure this additional funding, so residents have a critical advanced warning to seek cover, automatically slow or stop trains, pause surgeries and more.”

In December 2014, Congress passed a funding bill for FY2015 which included an additional $5 million specifically for the Earthquake Early Warning system, bringing the total funding for the system for FY2015 to $6.5 million. This was the first time Congress included funds specifically allocated for the system in a spending bill. That $5 million in funding allowed those developing the statewide system to begin purchasing and installing additional sensors, build new stations, speed up the ShakeAlert system, and come closer to deploying comprehensive early earthquake warning coverage throughout earthquake prone regions of the West Coast.

In October 2014, Senator Feinstein and Rep. Schiff were joined by 35 other members of Congress in sending a letter to the President urging him to provide funding for an earthquake early warning system in his FY2016 budget request. Schiff and Feinstein are pleased that President’s budget, for the first time, allocated funds specifically for the system and overall funding for the system was increased.  In the letter, the Senators and Members wrote:

As you prepare your Fiscal Year 2016 Budget for the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), we strongly urge you to request increased funding for USGS’s earthquake-related programs, including an additional $16.1 million for the development and operation of a West Coast Earthquake Early Warning (EEW) System.

After the recent magnitude 6.0 earthquake in Napa, California that killed one person, injured more than 300 people, and caused an estimated $300 million in damages, as well as the September magnitude 4.0 earthquake that struck the Puget Sound region, we are once again reminded of how important it is that the United States has a robust earthquake early warning system.

Earthquake Early Warning is proven technology that is already fully operational in countries like Japan and Mexico. USGS, in conjunction with the California Institute of Technology, the University of California, Berkeley, the University of Washington, and the University of Oregon, is currently working to adapt the technology for the West Coast of the United States and has developed a prototype system for test users along the West Coast.

During the earthquake in Napa County, test users at UC Berkeley received ten seconds of warning, and those in San Francisco and San Jose received even more. This is enough warning to take steps necessary to prevent casualties and mitigate destruction, including slowing or stopping trains and cars; turning off supplies of oil, natural gas, and chemicals; securing large manufacturing equipment; stopping elevators and opening their doors; and securing sensitive computer data.

The effectiveness of EEW largely depends on the number and placement of sensors to ensure that there is adequate coverage wherever an earthquake may hit—and this requires additional resources. Congress recognizes the value of this system and has demonstrated its commitment to providing additional resources for EEW by including additional funding in the House and Senate Fiscal Year 2015 Interior Appropriations bills.

Therefore, we urge you to request in your Budget at least an additional $16.1 million for the development of this system so that the West Coast will be prepared for the next catastrophic earthquake. This is proven technology that will save lives and reduce the economic impact of an earthquake; it simply needs to be properly funded.

That letter can be found here.

Schiff Announces 2015 Local Nominations to U.S. Service Academies

Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Burbank) announced that he has nominated three local students from the 28th Congressional District to U.S. service academies for the class of 2019.  Four of the five United States service academies require a Congressional nomination in order to receive an appointment.

“Each one of these students has compiled an outstanding resume of accomplishments, excelled in extracurricular activities and sports, and demonstrated excellence in academics,” said Rep. Schiff.  “These students are deeply committed to serving our country, and I am extremely proud to have nominated these young men and women for our U.S. Service Academies. I’m confident these students will be among the future leaders of our country.”

Below is a list of the local students Rep. Schiff has nominated:

·         John Howe (Burbank resident, John Burroughs High School) – Air Force Academy

·         Michael Ospina (Burbank resident, John Burroughs High School) – Naval Academy

·         Thomas Wilson (Burbank resident, John Burroughs High School) – Naval Academy

The four academies requiring a Congressional nomination are the Air Force Academy, the Merchant Marine Academy, the Military Academy at West Point, and the Naval Academy.  The fifth service academy, the U.S. Coast Guard Academy, does not require a Congressional nomination. All five academies offer young men and women a free college education at a highly-ranked, nationally-recognized academic institution, while preparing them for an officer’s commission in the armed forces.

Students interested in applying to a Service Academy for the Class of 2020, should call Congressman Schiff’s District Office at 818-450-2900 or 323-315-5555,  or visit http://Schiff.house.gov to obtain an application form.  The application deadline for next year’s class is November 20, 2015.

Schiff Tapped as Ranking Member of House Committee

Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) was named by Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi as the new Ranking Member, or top Democrat, of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence (HPSCI). The Committee oversees the activities of the Intelligence Community.

“I feel very honored to have been named as Ranking Member of the Intelligence Committee and I am deeply grateful for the trust placed in me by Leader Pelosi and the Democratic Caucus. The Committee has one of the most important and difficult tasks in the Congress – keeping our country safe and overseeing the many agencies within the Intelligence Community.  As the tragic events of the last 24 hours make clear, the work of our intelligence agencies and our relationships with allies will continue to be of unsurpassed importance in protecting our nation and values. There will be no shortage of issues to come before Congress in this session, from addressing new threats of terrorism at home and around the world, to reforming our surveillance capabilities and oversight, as well as securing and reinforcing our nation’s cybersecurity.

“I want to thank our outgoing Ranking Member Dutch Ruppersberger for his tremendous leadership over the past four years, and I will continue to rely on his considerable expertise in many areas of intelligence and particularly regarding cybersecurity – an issue he has long and effectively championed. I also look forward to working closely with Chairman Nunes and the other members of the Committee to ensure strong and bipartisan oversight as we maintain the security,  privacy and values of the American people.”

In a statement naming Schiff as the Ranking Member, House Democrat Leader Nancy Pelosi said: “Today, it is my privilege to name Congressman Adam Schiff as the Ranking Member of the House Select Committee on Intelligence.  Congressman Schiff has impeccable national security credentials, having previously served on the House Foreign Affairs Committee, the State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs Appropriations Subcommittee, and the House Select Intelligence Oversight Panel of the Appropriations Committee. As a senior member of the Intelligence Committee, Congressman Schiff has been a vital voice on the most pressing national security challenges of our time, including counter terrorism efforts and challenges in the Middle East.  He has proven himself to be a capable leader and a proponent of surveillance reforms.

“Protecting American families is the greatest responsibility of Congress.  The House Select Committee on Intelligence is responsible for providing intelligence professionals with the resources and tools needed to preserve our national security while protecting the civil liberties and privacy of Americans.  Congressman Schiff has my full confidence that he will represent the priorities of our Caucus and the values of the American people.”

The Ranking Member is the senior-most member from the minority party and places Schiff in the important “Gang of Eight,” which refers to the four top members of the House and Senate Intelligence Committees along with the Senate Majority Leader, Senate Minority Leader, House Speaker and House Minority Leader. By law, the President must keep the Gang of Eight informed of our country’s most secret intelligence activities to maintain proper oversight.

Schiff has served for seven years as a member of the Committee after being named by the Leader to the committee in 2007, and has served for the past two years as the ranking member of the Tactical and Technical Subcommittee, which oversees the country’s space-based intelligence, cybersecurity and signal intelligence agencies.  He is also a co-founder and chair of the Democratic Study Group on National Security.  Schiff is a former federal prosecutor, having served as an Assistant U.S. Attorney in Los Angeles.

Schiff Sworn Into Congress for New Term

adam schiff

Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Burbank) was sworn into Congress for his eighth term to serve California’s 28th Congressional District.  Schiff also announced that he will continue to serve on the powerful House Appropriations Committee and House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence.

“Over the next two years, we have the opportunity – both Democrats and Republicans – to work together to accomplish some much-needed goals,” said Schiff. “We need to modernize our nation’s crumbling infrastructure, bring manufacturing back to America, reform our complex tax code, and provide economic certainty by avoiding fiscal cliffs or government shutdowns. It’s my hope that we can put the destructive partisan battles of the past behind us and really get to work this session.”

Rep. Schiff will continue representing the 28th District in Congress, including all or parts of Atwater Village, Burbank, East Hollywood, Echo Park, Elysian Valley, Glendale, Griffith Park, Hollywood, Hollywood Hills, La Cañada Flintridge, La Crescenta, Los Feliz, Montrose, Pasadena, Shadow Hills, Silver Lake, Sunland, Tujunga and West Hollywood.

Prior to serving in the House of Representatives, Schiff completed a four-year term as State Senator for California’s 21st State Senate District, chairing the Senate Judiciary Committee, the Senate Select Committee on Juvenile Justice and the Joint Committee on the Arts.  He led legislative efforts to guarantee up-to-date textbooks in the classroom, overhaul child support, and pass a patient’s bill of rights.  Before serving in the Legislature, Schiff served with the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Los Angeles for six years.

Schiff Calls for Forceful Response Against North Korea

Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Burbank), a senior Member of the House Intelligence Committee, released the following statement:

“The North Korean government’s outrageous act of cyberterrorism against Sony demands a forceful response and I hope that President Obama will ensure that Kim Jong Un and his regime are held to account for an act of economic and political aggression against the United States. I applaud the work of the Intelligence Community and the FBI for their work in tracing the attack to its source. The DPRK, as does any country, has the right to express its displeasure over The Interview  through proper diplomatic channels, but never by  engaging in a sustained cyberattack combined with threats to physically harm American citizens who choose to watch a movie.  Pyongyang’s  power to stifle free speech and artistic freedom must be universally condemned and the Kim regime must be made to understand that acts such as these will only deepen its diplomatic and economic isolation.

“The Sony hack is also a  wake-up call to America and the west, who have been far too complacent in the face of the demonstrated and growing cyber threat posed by Russia, China, and Iran, as well as North Korea.  Our national security is not only dependent on physically safeguarding the American people, but also developing the means to prevent a rogue nation or a terrorist group from launching a cyberattack that results in hundreds of millions of dollars in damage or the loss of life. As a member of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, I have been working with my colleagues to address the cyber threats posed by state and non-state actors.  When the 114thCongress convenes in January I expect that our committee will intensify its efforts to safeguard our critical infrastructure and economy.  This must be a top priority.

“I am proud to count much of the entertainment industry as my constituents and I know how much this attack has hurt them  and I pledge to do everything possible to ensure that we close vulnerabilities and work to ensure that this never happens again. I am deeply concerned by the precedent of this cyber attack preventing the distribution of a film and hope that it can be widely disseminated in the near future — this would be the most powerful repudiation of North Korea’s belligerent cyber attack. I would also hope that the media would exercise restraint in publishing the private details of personal emails stolen by North Korea — doing otherwise merely intensifies the harm done by this illegal act.”