Tag Archives: representative adam schiff

Burbank’s Adam Schiff Introduces Mixed Earner Pandemic Unemployment Assistance Act

Monday  Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Burbank) and Rep. Judy Chu (D-Pasadena) introduced the Mixed Earner Pandemic Unemployment Assistance Act to ensure that workers who earn a mix of traditional (W-2) and independent (e.g. 1099) employment income are able to fully access the unemployment assistance provided in the CARES Act.

“For many workers, the relief provided by the CARES Act is making a crucial difference in helping make ends meet during this unprecedented period of disruption. Yet due to the nature of independent work, particularly in industries like entertainment, many workers are currently excluded from Pandemic Unemployment Assistance because they earn a living through a mix of self-employment and traditional W-2 jobs,” said Rep. Schiff. “Our bill will ensure that mixed earners are no longer excluded from this critical assistance because of the nature of their employment and income.”

“The coronavirus pandemic brought the economy to a halt for millions. Fortunately, we were able to quickly respond and through the CARES Act put support into the hands of workers who need it. But our traditional system of supporting unemployed workers was not set up for nontraditional workers with mixed-income, like the many artists and craftspeople in my district who supplement a W-2 with independent gig work,” said Rep. Chu. “There is no reason these workers should be penalized now for having a mixed-income. I’m proud to work with my colleague Rep. Adam Schiff to make this common-sense change to recognize the various ways our constituents earn a living and ensure they are rightly compensated for that during this crisis.”

The Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) program created by the CARES Act provides unemployment compensation to independent contractors, freelancers, gig workers, and others not normally protected by state unemployment insurance benefits. However, workers who earn a living through a mix of independent and traditional W-2 jobs are currently excluded from PUA even if they have lost a substantial portion of their income due to coronavirus-related disruption of their independent work. Due to the sporadic and unpredictable nature of independent work, many freelancers and self-employed workers in a wide variety of industries—and especially in music and entertainment—cannot access this crucial relief.

Schiff Introduces Legislation to Provide Free Cloth Masks to Americans to Reduce Spread of COVID-19

Today, Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) introduced the Masks Work Act to provide free cloth masks via United States mail to any American who requests one, as well as authorize a public service announcement campaign and further research into mask efficacy to reduce the spread of COVID-19.

“As many states, including California, experience a worrying climb in COVID-19 infection rates, it’s time to take seriously one of the most effective interventions we have – masks and face coverings. Simply put, masks work,” said Rep. Schiff. “Study after study has found that high rates of mask adoption impede the spread of the virus, and that countries where mask wearing is universal have been far more successful than the United States in preventing infection. It’s time for the federal government and our leaders to make crystal clear to the American people that wearing masks when you’re out in public and around others saves lives.”

There is a growing body of scientific research indicating that high levels of mask adoption by a population can reduce transmission of the virus, and may prevent asymptomatic or presymptomatic carriers from unknowingly infecting others.

The Masks Work Act would direct the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to establish a program to provide cloth face coverings to any American who requests one free of charge by USPS.

The legislation also directs the U.S. Centers for Disease Control to create a public service announcement campaign to inform Americans about the efficacy of cloth face coverings and why they are recommended by scientific and medical experts to reduce the spread of COVID-19.

The bill authorizes funds for the National Institutes of Health to conduct further studies on the efficacy of cloth masks and other facial coverings in reducing the spread of COVID-19.

Finally, the bill expresses the sense of the House of Representatives that masks and face coverings are an effective and cost-efficient step to control the spread of COVID-19, and that all leaders should encourage Americans to adopt them and model that behavior by wearing masks themselves.

Original cosponsors of the legislation include: Tony Cardenas (CA-29), Andre Carson (IN-7), Sean Casten (IL-6), Steve Cohen (TN-9), Jim Cooper (TN-5), Debbie Dingell (MI-12), Ruben Gallego (AZ-7), Chuy Garcia (IL-4), Raul Grijalva (AZ-3), Deb Haaland (NM-1), Alcee Hastings (FL-20), Eleanor Holmes Norton (DC), Sheila Jackson Lee (TX-18), Marcy Kaptur (OH-9), Ro Khanna (CA-17), Barbara Lee (CA-13), Seth Moulton (MA-6), Donald Payne, Jr. (NJ-10), David Price (NC-4), Jamie Raskin (MD-8), Lucille Roybal-Allard (CA-40), C.A. Dutch Ruppersberger (MD-2), Mary Gay Scanlon (PA-5), Bobby Scott (VA-3), Terri Sewell (AL-7), Albio Sires (NJ-8), Darren Soto (FL-9), Rashida Tlaib (MI-13), Filemon Vela (TX-34), Susan Wild (PA-7).

To read the full text of the legislation click here.

Rep. Schiff Offers Reflections on Racism in America

In response to the murder of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and other Black Americans by police officers, and the widespread uprising of protesters demanding an end to police brutality, Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Burbank) released a video over the weekend offering his reflections on racism in America.

In the video, Schiff endorsed the broad legislative package in the House of Representatives to begin addressing a discriminatory system that continues to victimize Black Americans, with bills conceptualized and drafted by the Congressional Black Caucus. That legislation was introduced today, and Schiff is an original co-sponsor.

This is a most painful and difficult time in the life of our nation.

For months, in cities and towns across America, a virus – COVID-19 – has literally robbed us of our breath. When infected, we may be brought low, made feverish and struggle to fill our lungs with air. Without the help of a ventilator, and sometimes even with its assistance, we are robbed of our ability to breathe.

And although this virus can strike anyone and has infected the young and old alike, the powerful and the powerless, it is proving most devastating to communities of color and those in disadvantaged communities, and particularly black Americans.

This makes sense. A shocking, grim sense. Because while the virus itself does not discriminate, our system certainly does.

Doctors speak of co-morbidities, and for black Americans, COVID-19 has been made exceptionally lethal by the presence of another virus that long proceeded it. Only this second pathogen does not inhabit the patient, but sometimes his or her doctor or nurse, his neighbor or her employer, the local emergency department — or the local police department.

I speak, of course, of the virus of racism.

Racism is the original sin of our nation. Our ancestors brought it with them to the new world, where settlers stripped the native inhabitants of their land and a new government wiped out whole populations.

Racism fueled our drive to send ships to the West African coast and other destinations, turning precious human lives into cargo and making slaves of fellow human beings.

Throughout the course of our history, we have fought the virus of racism through a bloody civil war, a civil rights movement, generations of peaceful protest and progressive legislation. We have made progress, but only haltingly and at great cost.

For racism is always with us. Sometimes out in the open, sometimes not. But always present, changing and mutating, occasionally seeming to lay dormant only to recur with a frightful intensity.

And in Minneapolis on May 25, when a police officer put his knee on the neck of George Floyd and kept it there for 8 minutes and 46 seconds, racism was at the heart of that murderous depravity.

For almost six years, and before I entered politics, I served as a federal prosecutor in Los Angeles. As I entered the courtroom each day, I was proud to introduce myself as appearing on behalf of the United States. And although I helped to prosecute crooked cops and other corrupt officials, I believed most of law enforcement to be good, well-intentioned, and courageous people. I still do. It is heartening to see many law enforcement officers marching today, arm in arm with protestors, or taking a knee to express their solidarity with those calling for an end to racial injustice.

As President Obama recently said, these police officers are an important part of the conversation, and it is heartening, to quote the former President, that “so many young people have been galvanized and activated and motivated and mobilized.” That should make us all hopeful. We are witnessing a truly historic moment in which a diverse array of people from all walks of life are standing up, speaking out, and peacefully protesting for a desperately needed change in this country.

And yet, we have so far to travel. As a prosecutor, I was not naïve enough to believe that there wasn’t racism in our criminal justice system. But I believed that we were making real progress combatting discrimination. It is difficult for me to have that confidence now. Not today. There is so much work to be done.

The crushing and suffocating reality of police brutality against black Americans is, tragically, everywhere. On country roads and city streets, in the dead of night and in broad daylight. Cities across America have become synonymous with unspeakable violence against people of color and all genders, but predominately black men and boys. Cities like Ferguson, Decatur, Chicago, Memphis, Baltimore, Oakland, Miami, Dallas, Durham, Cincinnati, Tulsa, Los Angeles. And now Minneapolis.

It should not have been a revelation to me. I should not have needed to see it with my own two eyes, these terrible images from cell phones and body cams over more than a decade, of men like Ahmaud Arbery, shot while jogging, women like Rekia Boyd gunned down in a park or like Breonna Taylor in her own home, or men like Eric Garner and George Floyd, struggling to breathe until choked to death by bigotry in a uniform. And so, so many more.

The virus of racism persists in part because we can never fully understand what it is like to stand in someone else’s shoes. I can never fully understand what it means to be stopped while walking down the street, or while driving, just because of the color of my skin. I can never fully understand what it means to have a talk with my child about how to survive a police encounter. We see each other but dimly, even with both eyes open.

And yet, we must try. We must not turn away. We must acknowledge our own implicit biases. We must join together, not stand apart or stay silent. And use our voices to lift up, rather than divide.

For more than two decades I have been a legislator. I believe in the power of corrective action through collective action, in the ability of the law to address injustice, and the courts to effectuate it. I believe in the power of oversight in Congress, in our state legislatures, through police commissions and through public inquiry and protest.

Many Americans, including those who cannot breathe and live in fear of the police, do not see these levers of power as protecting them, or even representing them. And rightfully so. The same offices that can be used for good, can and have been used to oppress. That must change.

We can and must do better for those suffocating on our city streets whether under the knee of a racist cop or from a system of justice that has perpetuated inequality and injustice.

And we must do so with a sense of urgency. Because Black Lives Matter. It shouldn’t be difficult for white Americans to say so, such a fundamental truth. Black Lives Matter. Period.

What can Congress do to help, and not hurt? To lift up, and to combat systemic bias and racism?

Soon, we will be introducing a broad legislative package in the House to begin to address a discriminatory system that continues to victimize black Americans, with bills conceptualized and drafted by the Congressional Black Caucus.

But changes in the law are not enough. Changes in procedure and training alone will not do. Changes in how we address each other will not suffice.

We must dig deeper if we are to understand and combat this plague. Last week, we witnessed a miracle of human achievement as America once again launched its astronauts into space with a massive and controlled explosion. At times it seems we can conquer the heavens, and yet there is still so much on the ground that we are incapable of achieving or even understanding. For these answers, we cannot look to the unfathomable distances between the stars, but to the uncomfortable truths within and the sometimes unbridgeable distances between each of us here on earth.

I believe in America. I believe in its ideals and its future. Even at times like this. If black Americans who have had to endure so much, have never given up hope, if they believe that America can be a more perfect union and are willing to fight for that future, as they have shown time and time again as they take to the streets, then who am I to lose faith? And for those who have lost hope, how can we, together, restore it?

My job now is to lift up, and do what I can to help heal. In times like these, we often turn to those who have led our nation in the past, to those who have spoken to our better angels and to our highest ideals.

At the time of another unfathomable act of hatred and death, the bombing death of four little children in the Sixteenth Street Baptist Church, Martin Luther King, Jr. imagined what those four angels might have to say to a divided and grieving nation:

“They say to each of us,” he said “black and white alike, that we must substitute courage for caution. They say to us that we must be concerned not merely about who murdered them, but about the system, the way of life, the philosophy which produced the murderers. Their death says to us that we must work passionately and unrelentingly for the realization of the American dream.”

Amen. And let us do so, with the fierce urgency of now.

Here is the video:


Rep. Schiff Announces Annual 2017 Student Art Competition

Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Burbank) announced that he will host the annual Congressional Art Competition Forum & Exhibit for the 28th District, featuring students’ artwork from the 28th Congressional District, on Thursday, May 11, 2017. The Congressional Art Competition receives submissions from all across the country. The winner from each Congressional District has their work displayed in the U.S. Capitol for one year. This year, 54 students from 24 schools located in the 28th District participated in the competition.

In addition, for the last several years, Rep. Schiff hosts a “People’s Choice” award, which will be decided through an online vote. To vote for the “People’s Choice,” constituents should go to Rep. Schiff’s website under Art Competition. Voting will be open Wednesday, April 26 through Friday, May 5, 2017.

“I am continually blown away by the talent and creativity displayed in the artwork that is submitted from students around the District each year, and this year is no exception,” said Schiff. “I look forward to seeing all of these incredible entries in person and welcoming artists and their families to celebrate their accomplishments. I am equally excited to see who our community members choose as their own ‘People’s Choice’ pick – so don’t forget to visit my website and vote!”

The Congressional Art Competition began in 1982 to provide the opportunity for Members of Congress to encourage and recognize the artistic talents of their young constituents. Since then, hundreds of thousands of high school students have participated in the nationwide competition.

The first place winner’s artwork will hang in the U.S. Capitol for one year, the piece awarded second place will be displayed in the Congressman’s Washington, D.C. Office for one year, the piece awarded third place will hang in his Burbank District Office for one year and the “People’s Choice” winner’s artwork will be displayed in Rep. Schiff’s Hollywood District Office
The winners of the contest will be announced at the 28th Congressional Art Competition Forum & Exhibit on Thursday, May 11, 2017. All student participants will receive a Congressional Certificate of Recognition. The exhibit will be held at Descanso Gardens in La Cañada Flintridge at Van de Kamp Hall located at 1418 Descanso Drive, La Cañada Flintridge, CA 91011. Parking and admission to Van de Kamp Hall are free. Exhibit viewing will begin at 5:00 pm and the Forum and Awards Presentation will take place at 7:00 pm. Light refreshments will be served.
To RSVP, please contact Teresa Lamb Simpson in Rep. Schiff’s Burbank District Office at (818) 450-2900 or (323) 315-5555.

Rep Schiff Discusses the Impact of Sequestration

On the eve of automatic spending cuts threatening to slash funding for everything from national parks to The Pentagon, every American is asking the question “why can’t our elected officials pull this together and solve this problem?”

On Thursday BurbankNBeyond posed the same question to Representative Adam Schiff (D) from California’s 28th Congressional District.

BurbankNBeyond: Can you give us a bit of information on how we got into this mess, and why Americans shouldn’t be absolutely furious at the current situation?  What is going to happen next?

Rep. Schiff: Well Americans should be furious about the result, as this is a man-made injury.  Our economy is poised to finally recover, and we keep getting in the way with these artificial financial crisis.

We do have a deficit and debt problem, and that has to be addressed.  But it has to be addressed in an intelligent way, where we reduce spending, where we raise revenues, and where we do this in a phased-in manner that doesn’t cause us to shift jobs and bring about a second recession.

The sequester is an across-the-board cut that cuts the good with the bad equally, and that’s the last thing we ought to be doing.

So it is excruciatingly frustrating that we are at this impasse yet again.  I think it is reflective of the decision be the house leadership to go into the sequester as a way of managing the expectations of some of the GOP members, particularly the Tea Party members.

But it is an awful price to make the country pay just for the purpose of their own internal political problems.  I hope the come to the conclusion very quickly that they need to abandon the sequester and come back to the negotiating table.

BurbankNBeyond: Do you believe this is going to change the perception of people outside of the United States, how the United States government is managing its own affairs, or is that even important for us to consider at this point?

Rep. Schiff:  I think it is important in the sense that we’re part of a global economy.  And to the degree people lose confidence in America’s ability to govern itself, and take economic steeps it needs to take for its own prosperity has a big impact on the faith in our currency, and the faith in our political system.

But it is also very important right here at home.  We saw a downgrading of our credit rating by agencies in the last fiscal crisis.  And we’ve once again proven incapable of governing.  We could see another downgrade, and that has far-reaching consequences.

So this is something to be avoided at all costs.  And gain the result will be a loss of jobs.  Our highest priority right now should be the creation of jobs, not the loss of jobs.

If all we are concerned about is reducing the deficit and debt, sure – we can do that overnight.  We can do it to a radical degree.  But there is no question it will lead us into a recession.

We ought to reduce the deficit and balance the books in a responsible way that leads to job growth and doesn’t throw our recovery off track.