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Congresswoman McCollum’s e-Newsletter

January 13, 2012

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Minnesotans to Celebrate the Civil Rights Legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
To commemorate Martin Luther King Jr. Day, Congresswoman McCollum will join Minnesotans at a community breakfast, rally, and parade on Monday, January 16. The rally and march will begin at 9:30 AM at Central High School in St. Paul.

"Darkness cannot drive out darkness. Only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate. Only love can do that."  -- Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., 1963

Congresswoman McCollum Travels to Bangladesh
Congresswoman McCollum returned this week from a fact-finding trip to Bangladesh to assess U.S.-funded initiatives that impact the health, education, and economic security of women and girls, especially efforts to prevent child marriage. Congresswoman McCollum was joined on the trip by Ambassador Melanne Verveer, U.S. Ambassador-at-large for Global Women's Issues.

Congresswoman McCollum is the author of legislation in Congress to protect girls from child marriage, the Child Marriage Violates the Human Rights of Girls Act of 2011 (H.R. 3357). Millions of girls in Bangladesh are vulnerable to child marriage. According to the medical journal The Lancet, "Child marriage robs girls of education, their health, their future, and sometimes their lives. It is also one of the biggest barriers to achieving the UN Millennium Development Goals."

While in Bangladesh, Congresswoman McCollum met with Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Mohamed Yunus, founder of the Grameen Bank, and visited the Asian University for Women in Chittagong to meet with young female leaders pursuing college degrees.

Consensus Can Still Be Reached on Stillwater Lift Bridge Proposal
In a Star Tribune opinion piece, Congresswoman McCollum voiced her concerns about the existing proposal to replace the Stillwater Lift Bridge. She expressed her desire to work with transportation officials, members of the Minnesota and Wisconsin Congressional delegation, and community leaders to develop a cost-effective, environmentally-sound solution. The current $700 million price tag for a replacement bridge over the St. Croix River would divert much-needed federal dollars from the over 1,160 structurally deficient bridges across Minnesota in dire need of repair.

"A new bridge for Stillwater needs to be built, but it should be fiscally responsible and appropriately scaled, and it should serve local transportation needs without inflicting added congestion on an already stressed Twin Cities transportation system," writes Congresswoman McCollum.

Constituent Newsletter: Jobs for Minnesotans, Transportation Projects, Voting Rights, and More
This month, Congresswoman McCollum issued her newsletter, which highlighted legislative efforts to reduce unemployment, strengthen America's middle class, improve Minnesota's transportation system, and much more. During the 112th Congress, Congresswoman McCollum has supported the American Jobs Act (H.R. 12), the Fairness in Taxation Act (H.R. 1124), the Fix America's Schools Today Act (H.R. 2948), and the Paycheck Fairness Act (H.R. 1519) – all of which help create jobs and improve our community.

National Unemployment Falls to 8.5 Percent; Economy Adds 200,000 Jobs
Last week, the U.S. Department of Labor announced that the economy added 200,000 jobs in December and unemployment fell to 8.5 percent. Private businesses added 212,000 jobs to the sector, making January 2012 the 22nd consecutive month of private sector job growth. House Republicans need to work with Democrats and pass legislation, such as the American Jobs Act, to ensure these positive trends continue.