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Congresswoman Ann McLane Kuster

Representing the 2nd District of New Hampshire

Walking to Battle Cancer

May 19, 2014
Catching up with Annie

Hi All!

I hope you all had a terrific weekend.  Last week, I walked in the Rock ‘N Race to help fight cancer and visited a number of businesses and nonprofits across the Granite State.  Spring has finally arrived in New Hampshire!

Walking with Steph Strong

On Thursday, I had the wonderful opportunity to walk in the 12th Annual Rock ‘N Race as a proud member of team Steph Strong.  Over 6,000 people participated in this 5K race through downtown Concord, which raises money for the Payson Center for Cancer Care at Concord Hospital.  It was an amazing event with local bands playing all along the route, and I was thrilled to be a part of it.

Team Steph Strong was formed by Lieutenant Colonel Steph Riley, an inspiring woman who I am blessed to call a friend. Steph is an Air Force veteran, a nurse, and a current member of the New Hampshire National Guard.  She beat breast cancer last year, and is now battling lung cancer. I was honored to join Steph Strong.

Discussing the Fight Against Drug Abuse in Newport

On Tuesday, I met with a group of local law enforcement officials, medical providers, and other community leaders to discuss efforts to solve the drug abuse epidemic facing the Claremont and Newport area and New Hampshire as a whole. The discussion built upon the drug abuse forum held last month in Claremont, and gave the community a chance to share with me their efforts to address the epidemic at the local level.

Far too many families in Newport and across the state have been affected by the increasingly severe drug abuse epidemic.  We must come together to put a stop to the abuse, and ensure victims and their families can access the help they need to move forward on a better path.  I was so pleased to hear about the local efforts taking place, and I will continue to do everything I can on the federal level to support the community’s work and help New Hampshire families live healthy, happy lives free of drug abuse.

Innovative Manufacturing in Littleton

On Wednesday, I toured and met with workers at Genfoot, a small footwear manufacturing business in Littleton.  During the tour, I announced my recent action to protect jobs at Genfoot and other U.S. footwear manufacturing companies.  Genfoot is one of only a handful of footwear companies left that manufactures rubber and plastic footwear in the United States.  Genfoot employs approximately 100 workers in Littleton, but recently these jobs have been threatened by legislation that would provide an unfair advantage to foreign companies whose products compete with American-made goods like those made at Genfoot.  I filed a formal objection to this legislation on behalf of Genfoot and its employees.

We must ensure Congress does not inadvertently help their foreign competition, which could threaten these great Granite State manufacturing jobs.  I am proud to work against any such proposals in Congress on behalf of Genfoot, and I was so pleased to get a chance to tour the factory and hear from employees firsthand about other actions Congress can take to support their success.

Meeting with Women in the North Country

During my trip to the North Country, I continued my “Women’s Economic Agenda” listening tour with a roundtable discussion in Berlin about the issues facing women professionals across the Granite State.  During the discussion, I met with a diverse group of female business leaders to discuss my recently released Women’s Economic Agenda. Participants shared their own personal experiences with some of the issues outlined in my agenda, including pay equity, family leave time, and access to capital. Roundtable participants included representatives from the Women’s Rural Entrepreneurial Network (WREN), the executive director of the North Country Council, and a number of North Country small business owners.

During the discussion, I was so grateful to hear from inspiring New Hampshire women business leaders about how we can bridge the gender wage gap and address other issues I’ve outlined in my agenda.  Discussing everything from equal pay to college affordability issues, these women underscored the need for Congress to prioritize initiatives that will help level the playing field for New Hampshire women.

Working to End Human Trafficking

On Thursday, I hosted a roundtable at the New Hampshire Coalition Against Domestic and Sexual Violence to discuss local efforts to curb human trafficking and provide support for victims at home and abroad.  I discussed my recent efforts in Congress to fight back against Boko Haram, the terrorist group that kidnapped nearly 300 girls in Nigeria, and also announced a package of legislation that I’m cosponsoring in Congress to address human trafficking across the globe.

The horrific kidnapping of the female Nigerian school students has shocked the world. However, human trafficking is not just a foreign issue, and I heard from community leaders, law enforcement officials, academic researchers, advocates, and trafficking victims about the ongoing occurrences of human and sex trafficking – including in our own backyard. Roundtable participants shared their own stories with me, which underscored the need for Congress to better help prevent human trafficking and provide increased support for victims.

Visiting the Legal Advice and Referral Center

I also visited the Legal Advice and Referral Center (LARC) in Concord, where I met with staff and heard about the range of legal services that LARC offers to Granite Staters.  I highlighted my support for the Legal Services Corporation, which provides funding to LARC, and thanked LARC’s staff for the Center’s legal aid work with low-income individuals and families throughout New Hampshire.  The Legal Advice and Referral Center provides free legal aid services to low-income Granite Staters anywhere in New Hampshire.  Through a combination of education, coaching, and legal advice, LARC prepares over 3,000 clients a year to represent themselves in housing, benefits, and family matters.

The staff at the Legal Advice and Referral Center is doing critical work providing low-income Granite Staters with the legal services they desperately need.  For men and women who find themselves facing complex legal situations and don’t know where else to turn, LARC is an excellent resource.

Have an excellent week and thanks for everything you do to make New Hampshire such a wonderful place to live!