Press Releases

Congressman Adam Smith (D-Tacoma) announced this week that the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s (HUD) office of Community Planning and Development has awarded the city of Auburn a grant for $478,000 to support their community development consolidated plan.

“This grant is very exciting for the city of Auburn and its citizens,” Smith said.  “The funding allows the city to solicit proposals from public and private non-profit agencies for construction or rehabilitation projects or social service programs that benefit low and very low income persons in Auburn. This is a tremendously needed boost for Auburn.”

The grant was awarded in support of Auburn’s community development Consolidated Plan which describes the city’s strategy to implement programs and activities which provide emergency shelters and transitional housing for the homeless; childcare; health care services; neighborhood revitalization; counseling for AIDS victims; removal of architectural barriers; and facility improvements.  At the same time, HUD released $32 million in funds for eligible program activities including transitional and permanent housing for the homeless and persons who area HIV positive, affordable housing, public services, and capital projects to support low and moderate income persons.

 

Congressman Adam Smith (D-Wash.) today announced that the Seattle Police Department has been awarded $450,000 for their Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force by the U.S. Department of Justice office of Justice Programs. 

“As policymakers and parents, we’re all concerned for the safety of children as they use the Internet and enjoy the benefits it has to offer,” said Smith.  “Currently 73 percent of American teens actively use the Internet.  By 2002, there will be an estimated 45 million children online. It’s absolutely shocking, but 20 percent of all children regularly online have had requests to engage in sexual activity in the last year alone. The Seattle Police Department has done an amazing job focusing on this critical area and today’s announcement will enable them to expand their efforts.”

In 2000 the Seattle Police Department received an 18 month, $300,000 grant from the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention for the funding to enhance, develop, and coordinate improved investigation and response to Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC).  This taskforce is one of 29 that have been developed nationwide.

The Special Investigations Unit of the Seattle Police Vice Section is the ICAC Task force for Washington State. The ICAC Task Force investigates any computer crime involving children anywhere in the state. These crimes can include: sexual exploitation of children, child pornography, child cyber-stalking, communication with a minor, and sexual assault of children.

Currently the Seattle Police Vice – Special Investigations Unit/ICAC Task Force works together with Federal, State and Local jurisdictions on ICAC cases. This multi-jurisdictional approach to law enforcement via the Internet has been quite successful. In 2000 ICAC Detectives opened 144 cases. This is an estimated increase in ICAC cases since 1999. This has also caused a significant increase in ICAC cases being prosecuted.

At a reception for the top 20 student submissions, Congressman Adam Smith (D-Tacoma) announced the winners of the Congressional Art Contest from the Ninth District.  Cedric McArthur of Tacoma School of the Arts was awarded first place for his untitled chalk pastel on paper, second place went to Laura Adams also of Tacoma School of the Arts for her untitled photo, and Bethel High School’s Ryan Davidson received third place for his “Just Another Day in Cloudy Paradise” tempera and pastel.

“It is always wonderful to see the art and creativity of the students of the Ninth District.  The Congressional Art Contest allows us to show off their talents to the rest of the county and to encourage them to strive for even greater heights with their art,” Congressman Adam Smith said.

Every year for the last 21 years, Members of the U.S. House of Representatives have held art competitions in their Congressional districts.  Members bring the winning piece from their district back to Washington, D.C. to be displayed in a corridor of the U.S. Capitol. 

This year, Congressman Smith convened a judging panel consisting of Bonnie Gallagher, President of the Hilltop Artist Association, Mayumi Tsutakawa, Wallace Arts Initiative Manager for the Washington State Arts Commission and Ann Darling, Community Arts Activist. 

In addition to having his submission displayed at the U.S. Capitol, first place winner Cedric McArthur will be flown to Washington, D.C. compliments of Southwest Airlines to participate in the opening of the 2003 Congressional exhibition.  In the past, representatives of the arts community participating in the opening celebration have included Tom Cruise, Dean Cain, Billy Baldwin and Sarah Jessica Parker.  Cedric will also receive a scholarship to the Savannah College of Art and Design, as well as a year’s membership to both the Seattle and Tacoma Art Museums.  His art teacher at the Tacoma School of the Arts will receive free admission to the Tacoma Art Museum. 

Second place winner Laura Adams and third place winner Ryan Davidson will have their pieces exhibited in Congressman Smith’s district office for one year after the event, where visitors from throughout the Ninth District will be able to view the art.  Both artists will also receive a year’s membership to the Seattle Art Museum.

Congressman Adam Smith (D-Tacoma) was pleased to announce today that the Department of Defense has included $19 million in their Fiscal Year 2004 budget amendment to complete the revitalization and renovation of McChord Air Force Base’s Mission Support Center (Building 100).  Smith is committed to making sure these funds are authorized and appropriated.

“This is a very exciting indication that the Defense Department recognizes the crucial role that McChord plays in the defense of our country and our ability to project power overseas,” Smith said.  “In recent military operations, airlift capabilities proved critical; this project enhances McChord’s ability to serve that key role. I’ve argued for years that we need to modernize our military and invest in tomorrow's technology, to ensure that America's fighting men and women have the tools and equipment they need to fulfill their missions.  Today’s announcement means that McChord will be better prepared to face the challenges of tomorrow and meet the tasks we ask of them – we’re giving them the tools they need to support missions and win.”

Many of McChord AFB's vital mission and community support activities, including the Mission Support Center which serves as the hub of all McChord AFB mission support activities, are in substandard, uneconomical and non-upgradeable WWII or Korean War wood frame facilities that were originally constructed as barracks. 

This project revitalizes 247,000 square feet of space, creates a consolidated customer service center, improves the quality of the workspace for more than 650 personnel and will modernize the facility's structural (seismic), electrical, water, sewer, communications and HVAC systems. 

Smith has worked with McChord on this much-needed project since coming to Congress in 1996.  In Fiscal Year 2002, he was able to get $15.8 million appropriated for Phase I of this project.  Today’s language inclusion will enable McChord to complete the project.

 

Today, the U.S. House of Representatives voted overwhelmingly to pass H.R. 1298, the U.S. Leadership Against HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria Act of 2003.  A bi-partisan bill, H.R. 1298 addresses the HIV/AIDS crisis in a truly systematic and comprehensive way, and increases the resources available to fight this growing threat.  Congressman Adam Smith (D-Wash.) was pleased to see the bill that he had helped shepherd through the House International Relations Committee pass by such a large margin.

“That today’s vote on final passage was so one sided, 347-41, indicates the large support for tackling this critical issue.  Over 22 million people around the world have died of AIDS already, and some estimates say the world will see 100 million cases in just four years,” Smith said.  “We succeeded today in protecting the bill from attempts to cut funding – every dollar in this fight matters.  The global AIDS epidemic is an extremely destabilizing and dangerous problem that can only be solved with strong U.S. leadership, broad international support, and scientifically-proven methods of prevention and treatment.  ”

“My only disappointment with today’s vote comes from the inclusion of Rep. Joseph Pitts’ (R-Pa.) amendment which takes away the flexibility offered to local AIDS preventions efforts and instead pushes a one-size-fits-all agenda that emphasizes abstinence instead of other scientifically-proven forms of AIDS prevention,” continued Smith.  “A multi-pronged approach to HIV/AIDS prevention works, and I believe that we should not lock up one-third of prevention money for abstinence-only programs.  Both Democrats and Republicans on the International Relations Committee defeated this measure when it came before us in Committee and it’s disappointing to see it pass the House.”

In addition, the U.S. Leadership Against HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria Act of 2003 supports the care and treatment of infected individuals, funds vaccine research and development, and supports the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria.  The bill establishes a comprehensive strategy to strengthen our capacity to respond effectively, and authorizes the resources necessary to dramatically expand our prevention and treatment efforts in the developing world.