Congressman Hank Johnson's E-Newsletter for August 28, 2019
I want to thank everyone who attended my first “Moving the Fourth Forward” town hall series at the Lou Walker Senior Center on August 13. We had a packed house and plenty of passionate thoughts and opinions. If you missed the town hall but would still like to watch, it’s available HERE. My next town hall will be in Snellville at City Hall on Thursday, Sept. 5 from 6-7:30 p.m. Please join us and have your voices heard, and please help spread the word. To RSVP, visit my event page HERE.
COVINGTON AIR CONCERNS: I’ve also been busy this month listening to constituents’ concerns about the ethylene oxide situation in Covington. I attended an August 5 town hall in Covington to hear residents’ thoughts and concerns. I’ve sent letters to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the state Environmental Protection Division (EPD) asking serious questions as to why they didn’t inform the public sooner and what steps are being taken to mitigate harmful emissions from the Becton Dickinson (BD) Bard plant. I plan to introduce legislation when I return to Washington that would require the EPA to inform Congress and the public immediately when dangerous chemicals are being used that could affect the health and safety of local residents. I’m also looking at requiring new permitting when chemicals such as ethylene oxide are reclassified as being more carcinogenic than previously understood and requiring environmental agencies to conduct air-quality testing around these plants at least twice a year. For more on this issue, click HERE.
JAIL VISIT: Earlier this month, I organized a visit of public officials, pastors, community leaders and activists to the DeKalb County Jail. We toured the facilities, spoke with inmates and got an inside look at operations. I want to thank Sheriff Jeff Mann and his staff for opening the jail to our group. We need volunteers and faith leaders to get involved. As a society, we can’t let the incarcerated slip through the cracks. It’s going to take all of us to uplift the community. For more, click HERE.
FIGHTING RACISM: The rise of racism, white nationalism, anti-Semitism and anti-immigrant sentiment is not just troubling and pervasive but it’s destroying and eroding our Democracy. That’s why I was honored to be the guest speaker at the Anti-Racism Rally & March in Atlanta on August 18. My message: Hate can’t drive out hate, only love can do that. I want to thank Gloria Moore of the National Anti-Racism Movement for inviting me and the following groups for participating: Atlanta NAACP, Gwinnett NAACP, March On Georgia, March for Our Lives-GA, GA Alliance for Social Justice, SONG, Atlanta Black Pride, Indivisible Georgia, Never Again Action Atlanta, New Sanctuary Movement, and New Georgia Project, among many others. For more, click HERE.
DOOR OF NO RETURN: I was fortunate to travel recently with Speaker Nancy Pelosi and a host of dignitaries from the Congressional Black Caucus, including Rep. John Lewis, to Ghana. In addition to holding high-level discussions with Ghanaian President Nana Akufo-Addo, Speaker Mike Oquaye and other senior government officials, the delegation also solemnly paid its respects at Cape Coast and Elmina Castles and the “Door of No Return,” to observe the 400th anniversary of the first enslaved Africans landing in America. For more, click HERE.
EARLY RETURN: I’m headed back to Washington earlier than scheduled to mark up and pass gun control/gun safety legislation out of Judiciary Committee in the wake of the mass shootings in El Paso and Dayton. Included in the package of legislation are bills banning high-capacity ammunition magazines, prohibiting people convicted of misdemeanor hate crimes from purchasing a gun, and the House version of red flag laws. I plan on supporting all the bills for passage. For more, click HERE.
NEW TAX CALCULATOR: The Internal Revenue Service has launched a new tax withholding estimator. The new estimator is a more user-friendly, step-by-step tool for effectively tailoring the amount of income tax individuals have withheld from wages and pension payments and will help anyone doing tax planning for the last few months of 2019. For more, click HERE.
As always, I appreciate your time and feedback. Please remember you can reach me on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram as well as e-mails, phone calls and letters. Thank you for allowing me the opportunity to represent you in Congress.