Congressman Carson is now accepting submissions for the 2013 Congressional Art Competition. The competition highlights the artwork of high school students in Indiana’s 7th District, with the winning piece going on display at the U.S. Capitol Building. Click here for more info.
In addition to his legislative duties in Washington, D.C., Congressman Carson can assist 7th District constituents with a variety of other issues, including troubleshooting with federal agencies. Click here to learn how Congressman Carson can help.
Rep. Carson Announces Half a Million Dollars in AmeriCorps Grants for Indianapolis Organizations
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congressman André Carson announced today that Public Allies, Inc. and Indiana Habitat for Humanity have received more than half a million dollars in AmeriCorps grants from the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS). Public Allies, Inc. was granted $390,000 and Indiana Habitat for Humanity received $154,420.
The grants will support 42 AmeriCorps members who will work to address low education attainment in local communities, alleviate housing and economic disparities, and provide organizations with support for staffing and volunteer recruitment.
“Our nation is truly set apart by citizens who are willing to take time and serve their communities in a powerful way,” said Congressman Carson. “These AmeriCorps members will meet pressing local needs and strengthen our communities as they develop civic and leadership skills that can last a lifetime. I congratulate Public Allies and Indiana Habitat for Humanity for receiving these grants and thank all those who have answered the call to service by joining AmeriCorps.”
In addition to grant dollars, CNCS is setting aside funding to pay for Segal AmeriCorps Education Awards for individuals who will serve in positions funded by these grants. After completing a full term of service, AmeriCorps members receive an education award of $5,550 that they can use to pay for college or to pay off student loans.
The current year’s AmeriCorps grant cycle was highly competitive, due to the strong and growing demand by organizations seeking AmeriCorps resources.
The grants focus AmeriCorps resources on six key areas: strengthening education, fostering economic opportunity, preparing for and responding to disasters, improving health, meeting environmental and energy efficiency needs, and assisting veterans and military families.
AmeriCorps is a national service program that engages Americans of all ages and backgrounds in service to meet critical needs. Its members serve through thousands of nonprofit and faith-based organizations in rural and urban communities throughout the nation. Among other activities, AmeriCorps members tutor and mentor youth, expand health services, build affordable housing, run after-school programs, help veterans access employment and other services, respond to disasters, and recruit and train other volunteers.
AmeriCorps, which is administered by the Corporation for National and Community Service, engages 80,000 people each year in intensive, results-driven service through more than 14,000 organizations across the country. Since 1994, more than 775,000 Americans have provided more than 1 billion hours of service to their communities and country through AmeriCorps. Among other accomplishments, AmeriCorps members last year mobilized 3.4 million community volunteers, and tutored, mentored or served more than 3.5 million disadvantaged youth. Interested individuals can learn about available opportunities and apply online by visiting AmeriCorps.gov.
House Armed Services Committee Passes FY2014 Defense Bill, Advances Carson Legislation
WASHINGTON, D.C. – The House Armed Services Committee today passed H.R. 1960, The National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2014, by a bipartisan vote of 59-2. The legislation includes a number of provisions introduced by Congressman André Carson, including the Military Suicide Reduction Act, which ensures active duty service members receive mental health screening and treatment during deployment in combat zones. The NDAA will be considered by the full House next week.
"I am pleased with the work the House Armed Services Committee has done on this legislation, and I'm honored to have made some significant contributions that ensure we better serve our military and protect jobs in Indiana's 7th Congressional District," said Congressman Carson. "This is important work, and I commend the committee leadership for promoting a spirit of non-partisanship to address some of today’s most serious national security issues. While there were areas of disagreement, we came together wherever possible to support our men and women in uniform and their families."
H.R.1960, The National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2014, includes the following measures:
In addition, Congressman Carson was able to add the following measures to the final bill:
Congressman Carson Proposes Bill to Make Child Care Facilities Safer, More Accountable
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congressman André Carson (IN-7) has introduced the Child Care Criminal Background Check Act of 2013, legislation that would require states to administer a comprehensive criminal background check on all licensed child care providers before they can begin working with children. The bill closes dangerous gaps in both federal and state law that have resulted in child endangerment, negligence of child development best practices, and inadequate training of child care professionals.
More than seven million children under the age of five currently participate in some sort of child care arrangement each week, yet throughout the nation, countless so-called licensed facilities function without common-sense standards and safety precautions in place. According to a nationwide poll conducted by Child Care Aware, 95 percent of Americans support a background check for child care providers, yet some states hold no such requirement.
“Child care providers serve a critical role in the safety and development of our young children,” said Congressman Carson. “We have to hold these facilities and their employees to a higher standard; administering background checks and requiring minimum levels of training are not too much to ask, and it ensures our kids are getting the very best service.”
In addition to requiring criminal background checks, Congressman Carson’s bill also requires that child care providers receive a minimum amount of annual training in CPR, first aid, child abuse recognition, basic safety and health, and child development. The bill also calls for routine facility inspections to ensure children are being cared for in safe environments.
Congressman Carson Offers Plan to Address Military Suicide, End Stigma Associated with Mental Illness in the Armed Forces
Congressman André Carson (D-IN) introduced today two pieces of legislation that directly address increases in military suicide and the stigma associated with pursuing mental health treatment. The Military Suicide Reduction Act and the Military Mental Health Empowerment Act take steps to ensure deployed service members have access to quality mental health services, as well as comprehensive information about their privacy and how mental health records may be utilized by the armed forces.
In 2012, 349 of our brave men and women in uniform took their own lives, surpassing for the first time the number killed in combat in Afghanistan. This 15% increase over the year prior illustrates a well known fact—despite efforts at the Department of Defense to increase screening, counseling and awareness, the U.S. military continues to struggle with the stigma associated with mental illness. As a result, service members consistently resist treatment and hide warning signs, attributing underperformance in combat and difficulty readjusting to civilian life to less serious causes.
The Military Suicide Reduction Act expands on current pre- and post-deployment mental health screenings by requiring each service member to receive evaluations while deployed in combat zones. By mandating regular screening during deployment, when injuries and trauma are most likely to occur, the likelihood of early detection and treatment are significantly increased.
“We are quick to diagnose and treat service members who are injured in combat, with medics rushing to those who are struck by enemy IEDs or gunfire,” said Congressman Carson. “But when it comes to the mental health challenges placed on our service members, we abandon them through months of deployment to deal with post traumatic stress disorder, depression and suicidal thoughts.”
It is well documented that mental health issues, if left untreated, contribute not only to suicide, but to higher rates of domestic violence and substance abuse—especially when combined with financial and relationship difficulties that are common among deploying service members.
Congressman Carson’s second bill, the Military Mental Health Empowerment Act, ensures service members also receive comprehensive information about available mental health services, privacy related to their mental health records, and clarification that simply seeking help will not result in barriers to promotion or future career prospects.
“Seeking help shouldn’t be something our service members have to second guess; they shouldn’t have to fear drawing unwanted attention to themselves or derailing their careers,” Congressman Carson said. “We have a responsibility to bring this issue into the light and give our service members the support they deserve.”
Congressman Carson went on to say, “The invisible wounds of war are costing us gravely, but it is within our power right now to change that and start saving lives.”
Congressman Carson Now Accepting Submissions for 2013 Congressional Art Competition
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congressman André Carson today announced that his office is accepting submissions for the 2013 Congressional Art Competition. This national visual arts competition, held in conjunction with the Congressional Institute, highlights the artwork of high school students in Indiana’s 7th Congressional District, with the winning piece being displayed at the United States Capitol Building.
“Indiana’s 7th District is filled with incredibly talented young people,” said Congressman Carson. “This competition brings their work to the forefront and offers one of our students an opportunity to display their talents for nearly three million visitors over the next year.”
The Congressional Art Competition is open to local high school students and offers an opportunity to be recognized for outstanding artistic achievement. Students are encouraged to submit original artwork such as paintings, drawings, collages, prints, computer-generated art and photography. Once submitted, a local panel of qualified judges will select one piece of artwork that will be sent to Washington, D.C. This artwork will represent the 7th Congressional District of Indiana and will hang in the United States Capitol for the entire year.
The first place winner will also be invited to Washington, D.C. to attend a reception honoring artists from congressional districts across the country.
The deadline for submitting artwork is Friday, April 19, 2013 at 5:30pm. Interested students can find more information at http://www.house.gov/content/educate/art_competition/ or by contacting Andrea Scott at 317-283-6516 or email@example.com.
|Honoring the Life of Rev. Boniface Hardin -- March 28, 2012|
HONORING THE LIFE OF REV. BONIFACE HARDIN
On March 24, 2012, Reverend Boniface Hardin, one of the luminaries of the civil rights movement from the 7th District of Indiana, passed away. His commitment to education, compassion, and brotherly love left an indelible mark on the City of Indianapolis. It is with a heavy heart and profound sense of sadness that I express my condolences to the family and friends of Father Hardin. I want my constituents to know and those that knew Father Hardin that my thoughts and prayers are with you.
Rev. Hardin became a Benedictine monk in 1953 at the young age of twenty, was ordained a Roman Catholic priest in 1959, and received a master of divinity degree in 1960. While serving as an associate pastor at the Holy Angels Catholic Church in Indianapolis, he soon became a vocal advocate for racial and socio-economic equality during the Civil Rights Movement of the 1960s.
His spiritual commitment and dedication to self-improvement led to the foundation of the Martin Center in 1969 and later the Indianapolis Sickle Cell Center in 1977. Under his leadership, the Martin Center College became Martin University, a fully accredited institution offering undergraduate and graduate degrees to low-income and minority adult learners.
Rev. Hardin was designated a “Living Legend” in 2002 by the Indiana Historical Society. The City of Indianapolis is lucky to have had such a caring, giving person in our midst.
|Congratulating the Indiana Blood Center on Its 60th Anniversary -- March 23, 2012|
Congratulating the Indiana Blood Center on its 60th Anniversary
On its sixtieth anniversary, I am proud to honor an organization that has helped save hundreds of thousands of lives through volunteer blood donations and blood component distribution to more than 60 hospitals across the state.
Indiana Blood Center was founded in 1952 and is headquartered in my district in Indianapolis. This esteemed non-profit community service organization delivers more than 700 components of blood each day and provides other vital assistance to modern medicine through specialized blood typing for organ transplants, viral marker testing, transfusion recipients, and the National Marrow Donor Program. The Center also serves as a vital link in the state’s life science and healthcare infrastructure in the areas of prostate cancer treatment, pharmaceutical research, stem cell and bone marrow donation. It is the largest independent blood center in the state and ranks among the top 20 nationally. Indiana Blood Center is a member of America’s Blood Centers, North America’s largest network of community-based, independent and non-profit blood centers – which, coincidentally, is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year.
Every two seconds, someone, somewhere will need a transfusion and one out of every seven patients entering a hospital will need blood. Indiana Blood Center depends on the good people of Indiana and the nearly 4,000 organizations that host blood drives annually to meet the constant demand to serve the citizens of Indiana. I would like to recognize this valuable contribution to our community and congratulate Indiana Blood Center for its 60 years of faithful and dedicated stewardship of Indiana’s blood supply.
|Recognizing Gilbert Holmes, Executive Director of the ACLU of Indiana, For a Life of Public Service -- March 22, 2012|
STATEMENT FOR THE RECORD
RECOGNIZING GILBERT HOLMES, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR OF THE ACLU OF INDIANA, FOR A LIFE OF PUBLIC SERVICE
On the occasion of his retirement, I would like to congratulate Gilbert Holmes for a lifetime of trailblazing leadership and devoted public service.
Upon leaving the service, Gil applied his organizational acumen with venerable Hoosier organizations, including the Indianapolis Museum of Art, Methodist Hospital, and Lincoln National Corporation.
From 1989 to 1996, Gil rendered distinguished public service as Commissioner of the Indiana Bureau of Motor Vehicles, and later, as President and CEO of IndyGo.
Gil’s career culminated in his selection as executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union of Indiana, where he served ably for three years as both steward and advocate.
Gil has spent his life combating prejudice, proving skeptics wrong, and empowering those with whom he works to achieve great things. On March 31, 2012, Gil will retire, leaving behind a legacy of lives bettered by his mentorship and leadership. On behalf of the 7th Congressional District of Indiana, I wish him well in his retirement and extend to him our gratitude for his commitment to the advancement of civil rights for all and to his fellow Hoosiers.
|Honoring the Life of Congressman Donald Payne -- March 6, 2012|
STATEMENT HONORING THE LIFE OF CONGRESSMAN DONALD PAYNE
From my first days in Congress, I always considered Donald Payne to be a mentor and friend.
He took me and others under his wing and showed us what it means to truly be a Member of Congress—not just a politician.
He showed me, like he showed so many in this Chamber, how much more we accomplish through humility and cooperation than through bravado and partisanship.
He was brilliant and put thought into every word that he said—and because of that, Madam Speaker, his words carried weight on both sides of the aisle and in both chambers.
Most recently, I was privileged to serve under his leadership on the board of the Congressional Black Caucus.
I was able to see up close how he brought together the diverse personalities and opinions of our caucus to achieve a greater purpose.
Donald Payne made our caucus strong and united and while we will attempt to fill the gap he leaves behind, I know we will never have another leader like him.
Madame Speaker, learning to serve in the House is truly an honor—but it is also a challenge. As a young member, I am continuing to grow and find my place amongst my distinguished colleagues.
But I feel just a little more confident because I had a mentor and a role model in Donald Payne.
And as long as I am given the privilege to serve in this House, I look forward to carrying the legacy that he started—to fight for the underprivileged, to bring attention to critical issues that don’t make the front page.
I want to extend my deepest sympathies to his family and to his staff, who know, like I do, how great a Member and how great a man he truly was.
I’m reminded of a passage of a conversation that Jesus had with his disciples in the Book of Matthew, and they were dealing with this notion of leadership.
And Jesus said very succinctly and very clearly and very wisely, and prophetically to them, when he said: ‘‘He who wishes to be chief among you shall first be your servant.’’
Let us remember and honor Donald Payne, a true public servant.
|Protecting Medicare Beneficiaries -- February 14, 2012|
In 2010, the Affordable Care Act delivered a $250 check to seniors in my District who were struggling to cover the gap between the cost of their prescription drugs and their Medicare coverage.
In 2011, these same seniors benefitted from an average savings of $648 on their medications. For my Republican colleagues who say health reform is hurting Medicare beneficiaries, I ask them to imagine spending 2 and 3 times that amount on prescription drugs per month. For most seniors, $648 is significant savings—and it is just the beginning.
The Affordable Care Act will provide more efficient care by bundling Medicare services, investing in our health care workforce, and focusing on quality. Replacing Medicare with vouchers would erase the progress we’ve already made toward prescription drug coverage and lead to fewer choices for beneficiaries.
I encourage my colleagues to work with me on solutions that guarantee continued access to health care for our seniors.
|Congressman Carson Discussing the Importance of Financial Literacy with Chairman Bernanke|
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