Press Releases

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October 14, 2016
WASHINGTON – Representative Sam Farr (D-Calif.) is pleased to host a naturalization ceremony at Pinnacles National Park on Tuesday, October 18, 2016 at 10:30 a.m. 
Eleven people are expected to take the oath to become America’s newest citizens at this special naturalization ceremony, held at America’s newest National Park during the National Park Service’s Centennial. Also attending the ceremony will be approximately 25 high school students from Santa Cruz and their parents, and singers from Hartnell College will perform patriotic songs. 
Rep. Farr authored legislation that was enacted in 2013 to elevate Pinnacles National Monument to Pinnacles National Park. There are more than 400 national park sites across the nation, but only 59 are designated as National Parks. As America’s newest National Park, Pinnacles is helping to drive economic growth through expanded tourism to the region.
U.S. Representative Sam Farr
City of Soledad Mayor Fred Ledesma
City of Greenfield Mayor John Huerta, Jr.
City of King Council Member Mike LaBarre
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services Field Office Director James Wyrough
Pinnacles National Park Supervisory Interpretive Ranger PT Lathrop
Citizenship ceremony
Tuesday, October 18, 2016
10:30 a.m. 
Pinnacles National Park – West Entrance Visitor Center
Please click here for a map and directions. 

October 12, 2016

WASHINGTON – Representative Sam Farr (D-Calif.), joined by U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Secretary Robert A. McDonald and Director of the Army Staff Lieutenant General Gary Cheek, will deliver the Major General William H. Gourley VA-DOD Outpatient Clinic to Central Coast Veterans, military retirees, active duty service members, and their families on Friday, October 14, 2016 at 10 a.m. 
“It’s been a lot of hard work over two decades to break down silos at the VA, federal and state governments to accomplish the delivery of this health facility,” said Rep. Farr. “Thanks to General Gourley’s vision and dedication to serving those who served our nation, this new health clinic will provide comprehensive care for our service members and their families throughout their career and into retirement.”
Rep. Farr secured federal funding to build the joint clinic and led the collaboration between the VA, DOD, and local governments to complete this project. Additionally, he authored legislation that was signed into law by President Obama in July 2014 to name the health center after General Gourley.
The Major General William H. Gourley VA-DOD Outpatient Clinic is the second joint health care facility in the nation and the first built specifically for jointness from concept to completion by the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) and Department of Defense (DOD). 
General Gourley, who passed away in 2008, was instrumental in the facility’s development. His interest in designating a section of Fort Ord as a joint clinic for Veterans and the retired military community, as well as active duty service members and their families began when the base closed in 1994. Because of his efforts, the clinic is expected to serve more than 80,000 people. 
Once fully operational in spring 2017, the clinic will deliver health care using the Patient Aligned Care Team (PACT) model. PACT delivers accessible, coordinated, comprehensive and patient-centered care by providing each patient with a team of care providers focusing on wellness, prevention and health promotion.
General Gourley’s family is scheduled to attend and provide remarks during the dedication ceremony. 
Members of the media are welcome to distribute this flyer, compiled by the VA to promote this dedication ceremony. 

September 29, 2016

WASHINGTON – Today, Representative Sam Farr (D-Calif.) is pleased to announce that he secured a change in federal rules to improve access to licensed marriage and family therapists for Veterans and $21.5 million for an emergency services center at Fort Hunter Liggett (FHL). The federal funding for FHL and rule change were included in the Military Construction and Veterans’ Affairs and Related Agencies Appropriations Act of 2017, which was signed into law by President Obama today.
“Working in Congress to ensure Veterans have the care they’ve earned has always been a priority of mine,” said Rep. Farr. “We know Veterans are returning home with a variety of needs and improving access to therapists will help them and their families. I’m also very pleased to deliver this federal funding for Fort Hunter Liggett, which will improve public health and safety on the base.” 
Despite many Veterans suffering from PTSD, TBI and other mental health issues, antiquated rules exclude about 95% of accredited marriage and family therapists in California from employment by the U.S. Department of Veterans’ Affairs (VA). In New York about 90% and in Florida about 50% of accredited marriage and family therapists are excluded from employment by the VA. The language Rep. Farr secured in the bill directs the VA to implement a new qualification process allowing for a wider range of qualified marriage and family therapists. There are 1.9 million, or 10% of the country’s, Veterans living in California, many of which may benefit from the change in law.
The emergency services center at FHL will consolidate base police, fire, crash rescue and EMT into a single, modern facility to improve response times and coordination. Currently, these departments are not centrally located, with the fire station having been built in 1915 and the police station only a temporary structure still in use nearly 20 years later. FHL is the Army Reserve’s largest training base with capability to conduct large-scale, year-round exercises for all branches of the US military, allied nations and interagency training.

October 7, 2016

WASHINGTON - Today, Representative Sam Farr (D-Calif.) released the following statement regarding President Juan Manuel Santos receiving the Nobel Peace Prize.

"Congratulations to Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos for receiving the Nobel Peace Prize. While I’m saddened that Colombian voters recently rejected the peace deal agreed to by the FARC and the Colombian government, I’m encouraged that President Santos remains committed to finding a path to peace. Colombia should be proud and the world needs to know that war and violence can be stopped through diplomatic means. The peace process suffered a setback earlier this week but I hope Colombia moves forward to begin healing wounds and creating a lasting peace. As a Returned Peace Corps Volunteer who served in Medellin from 1964 to 1966, I’ve maintained a deep connection to Colombia and look forward to the country’s peaceful future."

September 27, 2016

WASHINGTON – Today, Representative Sam Farr (D-Calif.) announced that the U.S. Department of Education awarded Hartnell College, UCSC, CSUMB, Cabrillo College and Gavilan College $27,554,365 over five years. The federal grants will allow these institutions to improve and expand STEM programs serving Hispanic and low-income students. 
“The Central Coast is home to world class colleges and universities that serve a diverse community,” said Rep. Farr. “A good education is the pathway to success and it’s critical that everyone has access to secondary education, especially STEM programs. I’m very pleased to support the U.S. Department of Education and I’m delighted to help bring home these important federal grants.”  
Hartnell College will receive $1,194,549 each year for five years.
UCSC will receive $1,142,309 each year for five years.
CSUMB will receive $1,129,739 each year for five years.
Cabrillo College will receive $1,096,785 each year for five years.
Gavilan College will receive $947,491 each year for five years.
This announcement comes days before Hartnell College will host a ribbon cutting ceremony for a new STEM Center. The new facility includes six lecture halls, 10 labs, an enhanced planetarium twice the size of the existing one, faculty and staff offices, and a student center. 
These grants from the U.S. Department of Education are made available through the agency’s Hispanic-Serving Institutions - Science, Technology, Engineering, or Mathematics (HSI STEM) and Articulation Programs. More information about HSI STEM is available here.