Constituent Service By Numbers

  • 117th Congress in Review

  • 1,880Constituent Cases Helped
  • 123,882Responses to Letters, Emails, Calls
  • 1,840,000Returned to Constituents
  • 3,380,015,690Money Invested

Torres Hears from Local Residents, Experts Ahead of New Congressional Session

December 18, 2020
Press Release
Lawmaker Kicks Off Listening Session Series with Events on Housing, Transportation & the Economy

POMONA – Congresswoman Norma J. Torres (CA-35) held two listening sessions this week to elevate the needs of local residents as the Inland Empire navigates past coronavirus and looks to rebuild in 2021.

The listening sessions – one of which focused on housing, and the other on transportation and the local economy – are just the first two in a series that will continue in 2021 as the 117th Congressional session begins.

Residents from across California’s 35th Congressional District joined Rep. Torres and community leaders from National Community Renaissance, the Los Angeles & Orange County (LAOC) Building Trades, the County of San Bernardino, the Building Industry Association, Pomona Hope, the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), Chaffey Community College, the Port of Los Angeles, California Manufacturers and Technology Association (CMTA), the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW), the Southwest Regional Council of Carpenters, Foothill Transit Agency and Metrolink.

Rep. Torres and event participants released the following statements:

“As we look to brighter days in 2021, I’m grateful to everyone who joined my listening sessions this week to discuss challenges and priorities for rebuilding our way of life,” Rep. Torres said. “Many of the hurdles we face in the Inland Empire existed long before this pandemic hit – addressing them properly in 2021 requires planning and coordination right now. From access to affordable housing, to public transportation that keeps our community on the move, to apprenticeship programs that supply both career opportunities for our youth and a stable talent pool for our trades, the vision we discussed will allow the Inland Empire to thrive in the year to come. I will fight in Congress to ensure our economy works for everyone and our recovery lifts small businesses, workers and families alike.”

“The Los Angeles/Orange Counties Building and Construction Trades Council, representing 140,000 skilled and trained men and women in our affiliated unions, looks forward to rolling up our sleeves and working alongside Congresswoman Torres,” Executive Secretary of the Los Angeles/Orange Counties Building and Construction Trades Council, Ron Miller, said. “We’re going to build desperately needed housing and transportation systems. When these projects are built with collective bargaining agreements and prevailing wage, we also create good middle-class careers in the construction industry for residents in local communities. This is the way to build prosperity and grow the local economy at the same time.”

“We’re grateful to Representative Torres for convening this important discussion,” Port of Los Angeles Deputy Executive Director of Stakeholder Engagement, David Libatique, said. “A third of the cargo that moves through the Port of Los Angeles is handled in Inland Empire warehouses, so it’s important we have strong alignment in fighting for a fair share of federal investment in the areas of infrastructure, clean equipment, and workforce development.”

“We thank Representative Torres for hosting listening sessions that bring attention to the need for affordable housing in our region,” President and CEO of National Community Renaissance, Steve PonTell, said.  “We look forward to working with her as we continue to create high-quality affordable housing that provides shelter for our most vulnerable populations and provides a platform for individual and community transformation.”

“Now more than ever, CMTA applauds any and all efforts to advance the debate about improving California’s economic future – especially this timely forum hosted by Congresswoman Torres,” California Manufacturers and Technology Association President and CEO, Lance Hastings, said. “From fragile energy infrastructure to affordable housing and job growth, and ultimately a challenging health/COVID environment, we all have an obligation to lean-in and pursue policies that help the economy and improve job opportunities for all Californians.”

“We are appreciative of Representative Torres’ partnership and support in these unprecedented times,” Metrolink CEO Stephanie Wiggins said. “Representative Torres has been particularly keen on ensuring Metrolink and the public transportation industry remain at the forefront of everyone’s mind as we contribute to the economic recovery from the effects of the global pandemic.”

“There is a natural tendency to consider the loss of jobs as a major indicator of an economic downturn but the growing absence of quality jobs is an even greater determination that we are actually facing a deeper employment crisis,” California Workforce Development Board Chair, Dr. Angelo Farooq, said.  “There are insufficient quality jobs for the number of people who need those good jobs. We know that business and communities thrive when workers have good wages and income security. We must focus on supporting good jobs in industries that are driving employment to properly grow the economy in our region. We have to ask - what do we want the Inland Empire to look like economically and socially not just today but 10 or 20 years from now.”

Video from Rep. Torres’ Housing Listening Session is available here.

Video of Rep. Torres’ Economy & Transportation Listening Session is available here.