Weekly newspaper of Three Rivers, California, and Sequoia-Kings Canyon National Parks

Course of Action: Meeting with Rep. Kevin McCarthy’s (R-Bakersfield) representative (second from left) on Wednesday, Jan. 25, were Three Rivers Action Group members (from left to right) Carol Berryhill, Rachel Katz, Shivon Lavely, and Helen Bauer.

Three Rivers Action Group meets with McCarthy rep

 

Thirty members of the Three Rivers Action Group met with Cole Karr, the field representative for Congressman and House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, on Wednesday, Jan. 25, at the Three Rivers Arts Center in order to voice their concerns about Donald Trump’s agenda. The Action Group, formed in the wake of the November election, is a nonpartisan group of 75 local residents concerned about how Trump’s actions will affect the local area. This was the first time anyone from McCarthy’s office has visited Three Rivers since the town was redistricted into the 23rd Congressional District.
 
Using the peaceful and focused strategies outlined in the Indivisible Guide, widely circulated online, the 3R Action Group members related their personal stories to an attentive Karr. Each member of the group tackled a different issue, from women’s reproductive rights to health care to air quality to immigration to defense spending to the federal hiring freeze. 
 
A local woman with a chronic health issue described what trying to get insurance was like before the Affordable Care Act was enacted. An educator described the hardworking, undocumented students who now fear deportation. 
 
A senior expressed concern over planned cuts to Medicare and Social Security. A mental health professional spoke out about the effect of the hiring freeze on the military personnel.
 
Karr, who took notes throughout the meeting, said that he would relay the group’s concerns to McCarthy’s office in Washington, D.C. He said that opening a field office in this area is a possibility, given the two-hour distance from McCarthy’s Bakersfield office. 
 
Karr added that the most effective way to continue to express ideas and concerns about upcoming legislation is to call the Congressman’s Washington office at (202) 225-2915.
 
When asked about McCarthy’s stances on Trump’s agenda, Karr said that McCarthy will vote to defund Planned Parenthood. He said that the Congressman is “cautiously supporting” immigration reform and is aware of the effect deportations would have on his own district. 
Karr did not provide clear details about health insurance.
 
The 3R Action Group does not have formal leadership, instead embracing the collective power of individual passion, as demonstrated at the recent Women’s March on Saturday, Jan. 21. Those interested in joining the group may email 3RActionGroup@gmail.com.
 
Article contributed by Three Rivers Action Group.
 
 
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