Rep. Jayapal talks Gaza, island treatment center at Vashon speaking event

United States Representative Pramila Jayapal speaks to a full house Dec. 19 at Vashon Center for the Arts. (Alex Bruell photo.) U.S. Representative Pramila Jayapal held court at Vashon Center for the Arts on Tuesday, Dec. 19, where Islanders questioned her on local healthcare plans, roads, and her position on the growing humanitarian catastrophe in Gaza. The speaking event capped a whirlwind visit to the island for Jayapal, which included stops with the Vashon Food Bank, Seattle Indian Health Board (SIHB), and Vashon Island Fire & Rescue (VIFR). Jayapal, who chairs the House Progressive Caucus, praised what seems to be “a resurgence of the labor movement around the country,” and criticized her Republican colleagues in Congress — telling the crowd that Republicans have prioritized impeaching Joe Biden and pushing for anti-immigrant provisions at the U.S.-Mexico border — as well as the overall body’s relative lethargy in passing legislation. “I am very sad to say that I am part of one of the most unproductive Congresses that I can imagine,” Jayapal said. “… This has been a do-nothing Congress. … We still have not funded the appropriations bills. We are still under a continuing resolution.” Jayapal said she shares islander’s concerns over the state ferry system. Her work on that front includes pulling millions to the state for ferry construction through the infrastructure bill, securing $5 million to refurbish existing ferries, and advocating for workforce training on the Congressional Labor Committee, she said. Speakers brought up housing, childcare, energy, and myriad local and international issues. Two questioners shared concerns with Jayapal over the upcoming SIHB substance use treatment facility, for which Jayapal has secured $5 million in federal funding. The first shared support for treating addiction but said the island “does not have the resources” to support the facility, citing […]

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By Donato