News from Washington

Introducing Rep. Judy Chu

I’m Congressmember Judy Chu and I am so pleased to now be representing parts of Crescenta Valley. I’ve been in Congress since 2009 and, in that time, I have represented Pasadena, the San Gabriel Valley and the San Gabriel Mountains.

Though I’ve been in Congress a while, my roots are in local government. I started my public service career on the Garvey School Board. Then I ran for the Monterey Park City Council and served as mayor three times. Using the lessons I learned in the City Council, I was elected to the California State Assembly and after that California’s elected tax board, the State Board of Equalization. In 2009, President Obama announced his selection of Hilda Solis, at the time the congressmember for much of the San Gabriel Valley, as his Secretary of Labor. It opened up a congressional seat I ran for and won, becoming the first Chinese American woman in history elected to Congress.

Since that time, I have focused on issues like supporting our veterans and small businesses, lowering health care costs, and protecting the beautiful public lands in our backyard. Even though I am a member of the powerful Ways and Means Committee, I have remained a member of the House Small Business Committee throughout my time in Congress. That’s because I know how critical small businesses have been to the livelihoods of so many in our community, and I want to ensure that these businesses are successful.

But I was shocked when I came to Congress and learned there were no federal Small Business Administration resource centers in our area. So I worked hard to bring two Small Business Development Centers, or SBDCs, to the San Gabriel Valley. One is at the University of La Verne and the other is at Pasadena City College. SBDCs help small business owners create a business plan, find financing or do market research. And the price is right: it’s free!

In 10 years, the Pasadena SBDC has served over 5,800 clients, helped start 300 new businesses, supported almost 16,500 jobs, and supported $7.5 million in increased revenue for small businesses in our region. So if you or someone you know is starting or expanding a business, SBDCs can be a lifesaver.

I feel very strongly about supporting our veterans. When I came to Congress, I also learned there was no Veterans Healthcare Center in the San Gabriel Valley. This forced veterans to spend their whole day going to places like West LA in order to get treatment. Finally, I was able to get one located in Arcadia. It is a lifesaver for many veterans and I am so glad that now there are plans to build an even larger healthcare veterans facility nearby.

I am also proud of bringing federal dollars back to our community. Three years ago, Congress started the Community Project Funding process, which allows us to direct funding to specific projects. In the last Congress, I was able to secure over $50 million for local governments and nonprofit organizations across my district. That includes securing $7 million over two years for the San Gabriel Valley Regional Housing Trust’s Affordable Housing Project Pipeline, which is addressing one of our region’s greatest challenges by funding shovel-ready affordable housing development across our entire area.

And then there is the issue of water contamination in the San Gabriel basin, which is an incredible local water resource that has suffered from pollution for decades. In partnership with Representative Grace Napolitano, I secured another $20 million for the San Gabriel Basin Restoration Fund. Now, Congress is preparing to undertake the Community Project Funding process for this coming fiscal year, so I encourage local governments and organizations in the Crescenta Valley to visit for information on how to apply.

I am also working hard to better protect one of our most treasured local resources: the San Gabriel Mountains.

Unfortunately, Los Angeles is among the most park-poor regions of the country despite the natural treasures right here in our own backyard. I’ve worked for years to bring better protections and more resources to the Mountains and in 2014 President Obama heeded my call, designating the San Gabriel Mountains National Monument in the eastern Angeles Forest.

The monument designation, however, left critical parts of the forest unprotected, including thousands of acres of forestland above the Crescenta Valley. That is why I have worked for many years on legislation that would extend the National Monument to include more than 100,000 acres of the western Angeles National Forest and protect 30,000 acres of new and expanded wilderness in the Mountains. In fact, Senator Alex Padilla and I have officially called on President Biden to use his authority under the Antiquities Act to expand the Monument boundary in line with our legislation.

As you know, this area includes some of our busiest and most visited trails, but they lack the same resources and protections as areas in the existing Monument. This designation will help us leverage additional federal resources in the same way the existing Monument allowed me to secure $1.75 million in federal funding for an LA-San Gabriel Mountains Urban Shuttle System from the Gold Line to Mt. Wilson that is currently in development. And I am so pleased to announce that the Department of Agriculture recently visited the area and held public listening sessions to prepare for a potential designation.

I’m guided in all my work in public service by the following principles: delivering results, connecting constituents with federal programs to support them, and writing legislation that benefits our district and communities around the country. I encourage anyone in the 28th congressional district to reach out by phone, email, or mail to my office if they have issues related to federal programs or thoughts about what’s happening in Washington. I have a skilled casework team that can help constituents or small businesses that are having issues with federal agencies — like issues involving visas and passports with the Dept. of State, tax issues related to the IRS, mail or postal issues with USPS, and benefit issues with the Social Security Administration, Veteran Affairs, Citizenship and Immigration Services and more. 

My door is always open, and I encourage all constituents to visit to learn how I can help you.

Rep. Judy Chu