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(L-R) Hawthorne City Council Member Olivia Valentine; Hawthorne City Council Member Nilo Michelin; Hawthorne City Council Member Alex Vargas; Gardena Mayor Pro-Tem Daniel Medina; Torrance City Council Member Pat Furey; Congresswoman Maxine Waters (CA-43); HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan; Lawndale Mayor Harold Hofmann; Hawthorne Mayor Daniel Juarez; Lawndale City Council Member Robert Pullen-Miles; and Inglewood City Council Member George Dotson. (Photo by Valerie Goodloe)
Congresswoman Maxine Waters hosted a meeting on Monday, July 29 with U.S. Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Secretary Shaun Donovan and local elected officials from the cities of Gardena, Hawthorne, Inglewood, Lawndale and Torrance for a discussion about the ongoing impact of sequestration on local communities. The meeting was held at the Grant Nakaoka Center in Gardena, CA.
"I was pleased to host U.S. Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Secretary Shaun Donovan for a meeting with local officials and key stakeholders of the 43rd District to discuss the effect of sequestration on Community Development Block Grants (CDBG), the Housing Choice Voucher Program (Section 8), homelessness prevention programs and the closure of multifamily HUD offices,” Waters said.
“All of these programs are critically important in my district and throughout the country. Since going into effect on March 1, sequestration has been a serious roadblock to the growth of our economy. Our military, children, seniors, and natural disaster preparedness are all threatened by the $85 billion in across-the-board budget cuts brought on by sequestration.”
"The budget shortfalls have already caused 650,000 civilian employees at the Department of Defense to be furloughed, and these employees are struggling with the uncertainty caused by sequestration. There are families that have faced eviction because of cuts to federal housing programs. And, according to a report released by the White House, it is estimated that some 125,000 families across the nation could lose assistance from the Housing Choice Voucher Program due to the sequestration cuts.
"It was important for Secretary Donovan to join with me and these key stakeholders to further discuss the potential local impacts of sequestration. Many cities and counties in California could be confronted with reduced funding from state and local grants that support first responders, and cuts in federal housing assistance and Head Start if sequestration continues.
"For the sake of working Americans, our national security, and our local economy, I will continue to urge my colleagues to reach a balanced budget agreement that will end sequestration and put our nation on a sound fiscal path."