Minutes from December 20, 2016 Open Board Meeting-U.S. Congressman Pete Aguilar

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Open Board of Directors Meeting

 San Bernardino Community College District
114 S. Del Rosa Drive
San Bernardino, CA 92408



Present: Patti Arlt, Don Averill, Deborah Barmack, Carole Beswick, Mike Burrows, Ken Coate, Jake Coin, Kevin Dyerly, Ashley Gaines, Louis Goodwin, Otis Greer, Jay Jimenez, Mark Kaenel, Al Karnig, P.T. McEwen, John Mirau, Tomas Morales, Cid Pindeo, Michael Rivera, Elizabeth Romero, Kristine Scott, Steve von Rajcs and Ray Wolfe. 

Guests: Matt Liebman, Boris Medzhibovsky, Arnold San Miguel and Bill Satti. 

Announcements: 1) The IEEP Annual Dinner and Awards presentation will be held on Wednesday, January 11, 2017.  Al Arguello from Bank of America will receive the Larry Sharp Inland Empire Leader of the Year and Loma Linda will receive the Education Partner Award.. 2) The third annual UCR Solar Conference will be held on Thursday, February 23, 2017 from 8a.m. to 4:30p.m. at the Bourns Technology Center, 1200 Columbia Ave., Riverside. 3) The 2017 State of the County-San Bernardino County: Where Vision & Opportunity Meet will be held on Wednesday, March 8, 2017 at the Citizens Business Bank Arena, Ontario.

M/S/P: Minutes from December 13, 2016.

Louis Goodwin introduced U.S. Congressman Pete Aguilar.

Congressman Aguilar expressed appreciation to the Inland Action group as he learned a great deal about advocacy and had many valuable experiences as a member representative, which have benefited him long term. He stated he is proud of the work done together.

As a member of the Armed Services Committee, he sits on the Strategic Forces and Emerging Threats and Capabilities subcommittees. He advocates for the thousands of military personnel and veterans in his district and across the nation, working to prevent cuts and make sure that services are available to our residents.  Cal State San Bernardino is nationally acknowledged as a training leader in Cyber Security.  This high demand field is a critical part of our national defense and the Congressman would like to see job opportunities available to keep those trained here to stay local.  He is a member of the Agriculture Committee and sits on the Nutrition and Commodity Exchanges, Energy, and Credit subcommittees, where he works with his colleagues to address all aspects of federal agriculture policy, from family nutrition programs to industry and jobs.  There are many needs in the Inland Empire. The Congressman has expressed interest in serving on the Appropriations Committee.

Congressman Aguilar sponsored 8 pieces of legislation and co-sponsored some 240 bills, many of which were from Republicans. He has brought some $2 million in benefit to our residents.  The Congressman stated that some of the most meaningful work comes from the individual assistance given to residents day to day.  These residents feel they have exhausted all options and it is extremely rewarding to make a real difference.  Whether it is navigating through V.A. benefits or Medicare he and his team have been an important resource for many.  And importantly, this is bipartisan work.

The anniversary ceremonies dedicated to honoring victims and survivors of the December 2nd attack in San Bernardino reassured us of strong county leadership.  He has been made aware that some victims/survivors are not receiving benefits as they should. The Congressman has written to the County Supervisors to assist in expediting these Worker’s Compensation claims.

San Bernardino County is classified as a Sanctuary County however the term is misleading and definition inconsistent among agencies. Our county, unlike many, fully cooperates with ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement).  The county operates with procedures they believe will protect them from costly litigation, like what was experienced in Oregon with claims of lack of due process.   The Congressman feels strongly that colleges and universities should not be put in a position to report to the federal government regarding immigration status of those enrolled.

The Congressman stated that no one is sure what will happen with the president-elect but he would be surprised if the Affordable Care Act (Obama Care) was not repealed quickly, as this was a strong and consistent message in the campaign. He guesses that it will not be replaced anytime soon and that the change will have a huge impact on I.E. citizens, but even more so on health providers.


The upcoming confirmation hearings should be very interesting. He expects there will be particularly heavy scrutiny regarding the appointment of the Attorney General and the Secretary of State.   It is interesting that some of the candidates for appointments have in the past have been very critical of the agencies they will lead; to the point of suggesting abolishment of those same departments.


His 2017 wish list contains a work force development bill and revisiting a reasonable change in the FHA loan limits. HUD Secretary Juan Castro is an advocate for FHA loan limits but the Inland Empire suffers from low limits due to the calculation base of the median income in the County.  Our County is vast and an out dated equation is pricing out first-time home owners and young families, in addition to negatively impacting construction.

A Q & A period followed.

Meeting was adjourned at 8:30 a.m.