Opinion | Linda Harmon: Breathe a sigh of relief; Neguse is still your US representative | SummitDaily.com

Opinion | Linda Harmon: Breathe a sigh of relief; Neguse is still your US representative

Linda Harmon
Positive Progressive Thinking

There was a lot of concern earlier this year that QAnon believer and U.S. House of Representative member Lauren Boebert would be Summit County’s new congresswomen. Fortunately, a collective sigh of relief was heard in November, when the state Supreme Court approved the new U.S. congressional redistricting map, putting us back in the 2nd Congressional District, currently represented by Joe Neguse.

Why were liberals worried? Most recently, Boebert stated that she believes fellow U.S. Rep. Ilhan Omar is a terrorist. Additionally, this week she voted against awarding congressional gold medals to police officers who defended the U.S. Capitol from a violent attack Jan. 6.

She also sent out a Christmas card with her children holding assault weapons, only a few days after another high school mass shooting that killed four innocent students in Michigan.

Neguse is Boebert’s polar opposite. Since he was first elected in November 2018, he has done a tremendous job representing Summit County. He sits on two committees that are very important to Summit County residents: the Committee on Natural Resources and the Select Committee on Climate Crisis. Additionally, he’s the chair of the Subcommittee on National Parks, Forests and Public Lands; and the vice chair of the Subcommittee on Immigration and Citizenship.

During a time of great divisiveness in Washington, D.C., Neguse was awarded the Spirit of Service award from the McCourt School of Public Policy at Georgetown University and was ranked by The Center for Effective Lawmaking as one the most effective lawmakers in Congress for legislation on public lands.

If that isn’t enough to make you a big fan, in December, Neguse introduced legislation that would have very positive effects for addressing the mental health crisis. His legislation would expand mental health professionals’ ability to refer needed help for out-of-state services.

Remaining in the 2nd Congressional District is great news! I believe Summit County voters would rather be represented by a person with a great heart and one who is considered effective rather than heartless and mean. But more importantly, Neguse’s story is representative of the American dream that this country was founded on. He is the son of immigrants who emigrated from Eritrea, Africa, to the U.S. 40 years ago. His parents taught him to never take for granted the opportunities that come from being a U.S. citizen. As a result, Neguse had a deep sense for working in public service. This means his motivation for being a congressman comes from the heart, not for power and money. I am confident that in today’s world, this is the biggest difference between the Democrats and Republicans.

Neguse takes his job very seriously and has been a huge influencer in Congress. In 2019, he brought the House Select Committee on Climate Crisis to Boulder for its first field meeting.

He was intricately involved in the committee releasing the national climate action plan in July 2020. This is a comprehensive road map for Congress to address climate change and the first time this type of plan has been tackled by Congress.

Neguse also traveled to Madrid, Spain, with Speaker Nancy Pelosi for COP25 to assure the world of America’s commitment to climate action.

“It was an honor for me to go on this trip on behalf of my constituents,” Neguse told CPR. Not every freshman gets to go on a congressional delegation with the speaker of the house. As the only Coloradan on the delegation, he added, “It was important to have someone there to advocate for the state’s interests.”

Summit County and Colorado should be proud and feel very blessed to have such an amazing leader, who cares deeply about issues that are extremely relevant to county residents. He has shown he has the potential for an even greater future. Who knows what is next for this brilliant Colorado resident.

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