Minutes from February 17, 2015 Open Board Meeting-U.S. Congressman Pete Aguilar

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Open Board of Directors Meeting

San Bernardino Community College District

114 S. Del Rosa Drive

San Bernardino, CA   92408



Present: Don Averill,Deborah Barmack, Carole Beswick, Tom Brickley, Ann Bryan, Mike Burows, Ken Coate, Jill Eaton, Louis Goodwin, Dick Hart, Matthew Isaac, Mark Kaenel, Al Karnig, Lowell King, Pam Langford, Bill Lemann, Temetry Lindsey, John Mirau, Bev Powell, John Prentice, Brian Reider, Susan Rice, Kristine Scott, Steve von Rajcs, Phil Waller, Hassan Webb, and Ray Wolfe.


Guests: Sheriff John McMahon, Jim Morris, Vicky Ostermann and Todd Warden.


Announcements:  1) Emeritus member Larry Sharp passed away on Monday, February 16, 2015 after a long fight with cancer.  Information of his services will be sent to the membership by e-mail.


M/S/P:  Minutes from February 10, 2015.


John Mirau introduced U.S. Congressman Pete Aguilar.


It has been a very busy time for Congressman Aguilar who was sworn in some 6 weeks ago.  The Congressman stated that he is building his staff and surrounding himself with knowledgeable people.  He expressed sincere appreciation for the support he has received from Inland Action members and the work the group does for the Inland Empire.


His Congressional freshman class consists of 58 electeds (39 republicans and 19 democrats).  Although Washington, D.C.,  is a very partisan town the opportunity to do “good” is clearly there. 


Relationships within Congress are very important especially in a “hyper” partisan town.  Unfortunately opportunities on a social level are extremely limited due to their heavy schedules.  The Congressman is enjoying his committee work which is very interesting but has also provided opportunities to get to know others better. He looks forward to participating in the monthly luncheons scheduled for his fellow freshmen class and will continue to reach out to others and establish relationships.


Congressman Aguilar is a member of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus and is serving on the following Committees:

House Armed Services Committee

Sub-Committee on Emerging Threats

Sub-Committee on Strategic Forces

House Committee on Agriculture

            Sub-Committee- Commodities Exchanges, Energy & Credit



He has already sponsored or co-sponsored 10 bills since being in office.  H.R. 344-will provide for the establishment of a pilot program to encourage the employment of veterans in manufacturing positions (a grant to fund job training program for veterans).  H.R. 232-Small Brew Act will help reduce federal excise tax on craft beer breweries leveling the playing field and increasing competition with large beer producers.  H.R. 160-Protect Medical Innovation Act of 2015 will amend the Internal Revenue Code to repeal the excise tax on medical device manufacturers and importers. 


The Congressman has signed multiple letters regarding the slow down at the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach encouraging both parties in the dispute to work to a resolution.   Additionally he has issued a letter to Speaker John Boehner, urging him to bring a clean Department of Homeland Security (DHS) funding bill to the House floor for a vote. The letter, signed by 119 Members of Congress, calls for a clean funding bill, one free of reckless anti- immigration riders that would roll back President Obama’s executive orders. If a funding bill is not passed in the next nine days, the Department of Homeland Security will face a shutdown.   


Although the current unemployment rate has dipped recently, job creation remains one of his top priorities.  The Congressman feels his job is to listen to his district and help find solutions.  He has already had meaningful dialog with San Bernardino County and is working with local jurisdictions. In the next few days he will hold roundtable discussions with employers, business, labor and community leaders in the county to discuss job creation, issues relating to regulatory difficulties, training people for important sectors of the Inland Empire economy and other concerns. 


Congressman Pete Aguilar will continue to vote for what is best for the district and his constituents regardless of party lines. 


A Q & A period followed.


Meeting adjourned at 8:30a.m.