Press Releases

WASHINGTON, DC- Congressman Adam Smith (WA-09) today made the following statement recognizing African Immigrant Health and Heritage Month. This year, the theme for African Immigrant Health and Heritage Month honors those African immigrants who have served in our Armed Forces:

 

“I am proud that Governor Christine Gregoire has recognized September as African Immigrant Health and Heritage Month, highlighting the tremendous contributions millions of African immigrants have made to our nation. As the Ranking Member of the House Armed Services Committee, I have had the opportunity to see firsthand the contributions that African immigrants make to our national security.  Their commitment, courage and honor are commendable, and we should take this month to remember and appreciate all that these fine men and women have done for our nation.

 

“It is also imperative that we use African Immigrant Health and Heritage Month to bring attention to the health challenges this community currently faces.  In addition to infectious diseases, African immigrants are generally vulnerable to chronic illnesses such as coronary artery disease, diabetes, hypertension, and cancer. By raising awareness, we can improve health services and networks to confront health disparities, serve the African immigrant population in a comprehensive way, and promote lifesaving preventative measures.”

 

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Tonight, I was thrilled to hear Jason will be released.  The Granada appeals court has annulled Jason’s case and ordered his release.  For too long, Jason has been languishing behind bars as the result of a flawed conviction.  I am extremely pleased to hear that the situation will soon be rectified when the release orders are carried out.  I look forward to seeing Jason released from prison and on his way home shortly. 

House Armed Services Committee Ranking Member Adam Smith made the following statement in observance of the 11th anniversary of the September 11th attack:

“Today marks the 11th anniversary of the September 11th  attacks on the United States.  As we reflect on this tragic day in our history, my thoughts and prayers are with the innocent Americans who died, the heroic first responders who sacrificed their lives to save others, and the families who lost loved ones as a result of the senseless acts.

“This anniversary also serves as a reminder of the perils our nation still faces from terrorists.  Our brave men and women in the Armed Services continue to fight to protect and secure our country from these threats.  We must honor and recognize their sacrifice and hard work.”
Congressman Adam Smith (WA-09) made the following statement on Jason Puracal's hearing in Nicaragua, that began today.
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Congressman Adam Smith (WA-09) made the following statement on Jason Puracal's appeal hearing that began today in Nicaragua,:

“In August 2011, American citizen Jason Puracal was convicted of drug trafficking, money laundering, and organized crime. I am deeply concerned about the clear flaws in the prosecution of Jason’s case and his deteriorating condition. I’m not the only one paying attention. Jason’s situation has generated increasing international attention including a report by the United Nations, a congressional letter to President Ortega from a group of 43 lawmakers, and a petition made up of hundreds of family and friends in the US. 

“My heart goes out to Jason’s family as we continue to fight for Jason to get a chance at a fair trial. Continued vigilance for respect of international law in Jason’s case and awareness of Jason’s circumstances are vital as we urge the Nicaraguans to reach a just resolution. Unfortunately, Jason’s appeal has faced continual delays and I would urge Nicaraguan authorities as the hearings start today to ensure his appeal is heard in an impartial manner.  Despite the injustice of Jason’s original trial, I am hopeful that a fair ruling can be achieved in his appeal.”

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Secretary of Defense Leon E. Panetta and the Office of Economic Adjustment (OEA) today announced the approval of a $5.7 million grant for the City of Lakewood to improve the Freedom Bridge overpass near the Madigan Army Medical Center Gate to alleviate congestion and improve public safety along the Berkeley street corridor.
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Secretary of Defense Leon E. Panetta and the Office of Economic Adjustment (OEA) has announced the approval of a $5.7 million grant for the City of Lakewood to improve the Freedom Bridge overpass near the Madigan Army Medical Center Gate to alleviate congestion and improve public safety along the Berkeley street corridor.

Improvements will include an additional eastbound ramp to the bridge, a second left turn lane to the I-5 southbound off-ramp, upgrades to traffic signs and additional pedestrian facilities for increased public safety.

Funding for the project is provided under the Department of Defense and Full-Year Continuing Appropriations Act of 2011 and will be completed as a joint effort between the State of Washington Department of Transportation, the City of Lakewood and the Command at Joint Base Lewis-McChord.

"Knowing that the DOD recognizes how critical investments are to addressing these issues affirms its commitment to this community and to the people affected by the immense growth on and around the base," said Congressman Smith. "I'm proud to have been a part of the efforts to secure this funding and look forward to working with my colleagues to ensure proper coordination so the improvements can be completed within a timely manner. Making sure we have the infrastructure in place to improve access and ease congestion around Madigan Gate and I-5 continues to be at the top of our agenda."

"These necessary improvements will benefit everyone because they will increase safety and help alleviate congestion," said Pierce County Executive Pat McCarthy, a co-chair of the South Sound Military and Communities Partnership (SSMCP). "This is another success for the Partnership's collaboration of communities with the Department of Defense to serve our service members, veterans and neighbors. I look forward to working with the City of Lakewood and the Washington State Department of Transportation to get these critical projects moving."

"The residents of the South Sound are very pleased the DoD and OEA have provided $5.7M in critical access and improved traffic flow project funding along the I-5 Corridor," said Mayor Doug Richardson. "WSDOT and the City of Lakewood worked together as members of the SSMCP to apply for these vital infrastructure dollars and they will provide substantial steps forward in addressing congestion and safety in the South Sound region.

Earlier this year, South Sound stakeholders were successful in securing nearly $7 million in the Washington State budget for Interchange Justifications Reports (IJR) to examine potential impacts from Marvin Road in Thurston County to SR 512 in Pierce County. Without these studies, securing federal funds for this project would not have been possible.

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