Your Voice Counts

Welcome to "Your Voice Counts" – the Boxer Updates feedback page. Here you can read what Californians are saying in response to my recent messages on issues facing Congress and the nation. If you would like to join the conversation, please click here. To start receiving periodic email updates from Senator Boxer, click here. To browse past Boxer Updates, please click here.

Climate Change

Californians respond to my message on Lessons from the Senate's Climate Change All-Nighter:

Thank you for the follow up on your climate change all-nighter.  I went looking on your website the next day for news in case you posted something there, and then got busy with life and I am embarrassed to say it slipped my mind. I am most grateful for your follow up email.
I appreciate the effort, passion and integrity you and your colleges invested in the program of the all-nighter. I am strengthened and encouraged to know that you have done this valuable thing, that you all have such knowledge of climate change and its effects on each of your states, our country as a whole, and our country's contribution to climate change within the global framework.  I wholeheartedly concur with you all that we must not wait for other countries to take the lead. The United States is responsible to take the lead for two reasons: One, because we are responsible for such a large share of the total global carbon production. Two, because we can. And, yes, without a doubt the solutions for climate change are good for the economy and the country--I am all for rapid movement toward sustainable energy sources and all other matters mitigating climate change. Thank you for having the Climate Change All-Nighter. And thank you for your communications about it.
Mary, Newport Beach

Thank you for taking a lead on climate change and participating in the all-night event. The Op-Ed in the Huffington Post was also very good-- concise and clear. It is extremely important to keep the focus on this issue and to take tangible steps toward a low carbon economy. The article wisely emphasized that environmental protection can create job and in the medium and long term is the best economic choice. Appreciate your hard work on this issue. Please keep the momentum going.
Sharon, Fresno

Thank you for your continued efforts to move congress toward action on climate change. As a wildlife biologist charged with protecting our nation's natural resources, I am well aware of the significant threats climate change poses to these resources. Your recent "opt-ed" is right on target. Keep up your good work - hopefully this will lead to the action we so seriously need.
Chris, Barstow

Thank you so much for hosting the "all-nighter" re climate change. Your four points in the summary proved the sad effects of human made pollution. And the national feed-back is so hopeful. Now, hopefully, the nay-sayers will get off their duffs and join the solution makers. This includes senators & representatives, like the Republicans, to start earning their salaries and pass solution type legislation. Great work to all who participated in the all-nighter and thank you again. May God bless you.
Sister Patricia, Los Angeles

I strongly and respectfully disagree with your stand on so-called global warming. It's just not the hysterical priority that you and your Senate colleagues are making it out to be and is a deflection to more serious and pressing problems facing the Country at present. My belief is that we should be focusing on repealing the ACA and fixing our economy by creating meaningful legislation that unleashes our industries and puts people back on the payroll.
Joseph, San Clemente

Thank you so much for participating in #Up4Climate. It was an important wake-up call to Congress and the American people. I also read your follow-up Huffington Post article with great interest. We have an extremely limited time to address climate change in order to prevent true disaster. Please take a few minutes to watch this interview with IPCC chairperson, Rajendra Pachauri discussing, among other things, the devastating impacts climate change will have on agriculture:  I appreciate your efforts to address climate change and encourage you to make this a central issue in your work in the Senate. After all, a ruined climate ruins everything else - including (if not especially) the economy. Thank you for your service to our state and our nation.
Colleen, San Francisco

Thank you for the review of the all-nighter. It's really satisfying to me, to have the good guys standing up so well. No mealy mouthing, just a straight "this is happening, and this caused it". And a nice review, too. Almost as if we were there. Thank you again, for the action and the report.
Jon, Los Alamitos

I appreciated getting your email about climate change. I agree that the planet, as well as our economic security and prosperity, rests in large part upon addressing this issue. I very much support reduction of subsidies and use of fossil fuels, and building our of our alternative energy industries.
Kimberly, Yreka

Your op-ed is a nice summary of the climate change issues but what I'd like to know is whether any action items came out of the all-nighter. What is the next step? What is the US going to do to lead the way? Without a clear starting point and plan, we'll just keep talking about it and hoping someone else will step up and do something. As you indicated in your op-ed, we can't wait for another country to take charge. The US is known for taking the lead on important global issues and I hope that you can ignite the fire of change under the right people to start taking the initial steps towards mitigating and hopefully stopping climate change.
Pamela, San Diego

I just wanted to thank you for the email with the link to Huffington Post overview of the important meeting. You have no idea how much I appreciate knowing that my lawmakers are finally headed in the right direction ... I have been SO worried about climate change for years and until now had pretty much given up on all of you folks in Washington DC. Please keep up the great work. Again, thank you for keeping me in the loop.
Bill, Altadena

The recent Senate all-nighter hopefully has changed a few climate change deniers' minds. As a 4 year survivor of nonsmokers lung cancer, air pollution is of grave concern to me. Keep up the good work!
Sandi, Orange

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Californians respond to my message on Up All Night for Climate (3/10/2014):

I want to thank you and the other Senators that are sacrificing to make a proactive stand against climate change. I hope the No Keystone decision by the administration is being supported in this all nighter, and I hope a fracking moratorium is being supported also. We need to get serious about limiting the removal of more fossil fuels from the earth and concentrate on using what has been extracted more efficiently and developing other energy technology. Thank you again.
Jeannie-Kay, King City

I really do appreciate that you and the other Senators are bringing this issue to the attention of others. I have 2 sons aged 6 and 7. I am very concerned about the future problems they will have to face. I really hope that organized nationwide plans can be eventually developed so all citizens can feel commitment to participate in solutions for our children's sake. Thank You!
Eddie, Lake Elsinore

Thank you and the Senators who are bringing Climate Change to the Senate floor tonight.
As a graduate student in Biology and as a citizen it is difficult to find the words that can motivate politicians to action on this overwhelming threat to our survival. Oil will do us no good if we lack clean air, water, and contaminate our land. Poisoning our environment will not improve the economy. I hope you and the group of Senators on the senate floor tonight begin to make the important public policy links between cleaning up the air, waterways, and land and good jobs.
Those of us becoming scientist are focused on the impacts of climate change in our everyday lives. The evidence is clear and visible.
Hali, Sacramento

I hope you will have all the lights off.  I would not think you would be using them if you really cared about the earth. Have you heard about the ice on the Great Lakes. Did Obama give them a waiver on this terrible climate change/ global warming. What do you people really want?  Everyone living in huts with no lights or heat?
Richard, Santa Clarita

We're about your age and know that all-nighters are difficult at our age. Thank you for taking a stand to do something about climate change. It is so important and so neglected a subject.
Thank you, thank you!
Kim and Alexandra, La Crescenta

We greatly appreciate that Democrats in our Senate are acknowledging science and the fact we are heading for the 6th Extinction, this time caused by human GREED aided by politically useful idiots. But what about a Democratic-lead series of legislative efforts to get us off the fossil fuel energy dead end?????  If President Obama approves Keystone XL, the party will lose millions of Democrats as there will be little else of great consequence to set us apart from the plutocratic Republicans as our planet hurtles toward self destruction.
Sheila, Newbury Park

Thank you for spearheading this 24 hour climate change event in Senate. I listened to about 3-4 hours and was amazed at the many effects throughout the United States. Frankly, I have been disappointed in how invisible the Democrats have been on many issues. I hear and read so much about what the obstructionist TPers/Repubs are doing and very little from the Democrats. Stand up and be heard on the ideals that the Democrats have been known for. Fight more visibly for the Presidents Health Care plan, immigration reform, campaign reform, minimum wage. Where there is political will, there will be change. Thanks for all you do.
Ali, Petaluma

We're sweltering here and we're running out of water. The Republicans want to improve the economy, they can do so by creating long term jobs that will ensure a sustainable climate. Andrea and James, Sunland

I want to first thank you for your never-ending dedication and hard work for all of us in the State of CA and for America on a whole. Secondly, I have been watching and listening very carefully to the “all-nighter” on the Senate floor to urge action on climate change- in your own words. I am overwhelmed with the amount of compassion, urgency, the graphs and words of proof for the devastation that we are experiencing now and even worse of what's to come in the future.  I support you, Senator Sanders and the other Senators and House members 100% in your amazing efforts to reign in the toxic effects of fossil fuels, and implementing a clean energy future for all of us. Please thank every Senator who spoke, tonight. I bow to all of you in honor, and thank you for speaking on behalf of the majority of Americans, and doing what you can to reduce our output of global warming additives.
Diane, Santee

While you work to draw attention to global warming and climate change, sadly, the GOP just continues to plunder our water sources and environment - claiming it’s all in the name of "growing our economy" and creating jobs. :(
Marlene, Irvine

Thank you so much for using this clever vehicle to demonstrate the urgent need to do significant legislative work in the area of climate change. My immediate response was a bit of relief that others are literally losing sleep over this issue too. I hope that your effort and that of your colleagues gets things moving in the direction you envision. As always, I am proud that you represent the citizens of our Golden State.
Michelle, Portola Valley

I'm glad about the all-nighter; I just hope it leads to good legislation! How can ALL the Republicans deny the science??!! I think the only thing that will move them is showing them definitively that it is beneficial, even essential, for the economy that we take care of the environmental crisis, complete with numbers showing how much money could be saved by good environmental actions. TAKE IT TO THE PEOPLE! EDUCATE!! Thank you.
Aline, Saint Helena

Thank you, Senator Boxer for your efforts and those of your worthy colleagues for not shying away from the very real issue of climate change, notwithstanding the renegade deniers "out there." Paradigm change, in this case the ways and means of energy policy, and the need to change the daily habits of millions of us, represents an obvious challenge to an individual's ethos and that of entire legislative bodies. Our successors may certainly prevail as a result of those who remain keen on Truth and action in an increasingly irreverent plutocratic setting.
John, Santa Monica

It is very commendable what you are doing, however, without the rest of the world (in particular China) participating we are just a drop in the bucket. The news was just discussing this event on the TV, and it was reported that you Senators have no agenda in this regard, so I ask, what is your purpose?
Carol, Yucaipa

Thank you, thank you, thank you Senator Boxer for helping to spearhead this urgently needed discussion about climate change in the U.S. Congress, which has been lagging behind public opinion for years now on the need for action. Please convey my thanks to the other participants in the all-night debate. Personally, I have become convinced that a carbon fee and dividend is the best policy to pursue, and I am grateful to you and Senator Sanders for your bill on the subject.
Grace, Anaheim

REALLY appreciate you drawing attention to climate change as the crucial issue that it is. so important that we try to stave off the worst effects before it’s too late. as a father of a three year old, THANK YOU for the event last night!! now if we can just get republicans on board.
James, Los Angeles

I just wanted to say thank you to you and the other Senators working with you, for your commitment to getting the word out about climate change. ..........We as Americans cannot afford to be complacent about this and you and the other Senators are helping to bring this subject front and center.....thank you.
Carolyn, Laguna Beach

You are so wrong senator. The science of climate change is still developing. For any group to arbitrarily proclaim "the science is settled" is preposterous. This is nothing but a scam for environmental wacko's who seek more control over the activity of our citizens, and a new way to tax another productive activity so that government can afford itself, and of course create more hair brained regulations that it will have to enforce. Bigger government equals less freedom for our citizens. Wake up please, you are sending all of our manufacturing to other places in the world and the USA is diminished in econommic strength and opportunity.
John, Covina

Kudos to you and other Senators who spoke on climate change - now take action!
California is a leader in this, please get the rest of the country to follow. The drought in California this year has been really scary, and only the beginning of things to come.
Jill, Santa Monica

Thank you for spearheading last night's all night event on climate change. I watched much of it, some with my fifteen year old son. It was a brilliant thing to do. I particularly liked your speech. Hearing from senators from various states and the particular challenges that their states face due to climate change put a very specific face on the crisis. Often, it is simply perceived as a general disaster.
Lisa, Venice

While participating in the all-nighter, why don't you discuss the energy companies impact on the environment and climate change. If the Senate and Congress were serious about preventing climate change energy companies would not be exempt from the Clean Water Act or the Clean Air Act, would be required to report all chemicals they are using, proprietary or not, and would legally be held responsible. These are not companies with ethical practices and unfortunately too many in our government have been bought off with constant lobbying. We CAN live without their fuel. It may make life a bit more inconvenient until technology infrastructure for CLEAN energy sources are more completely developed. But, we can live without them. We CANNOT live without clean soil, food, air and water! Our government needs to protect the people, the land and the environment, NOT MAKE CONCESSIONS FOR THE CORPORATIONS!!!! Reverse their exempt status and make them accountable to the people for the damage they are causing and their part in climate change.
Crystal, Ontario

Thank you for sending the link for this historic night -- I won't be able to stay up and watch it all, but it's fascinating! And very inspiring -- I have more hope that we will finally do something meaningful to address this critical issue. I hope many more than the 125,000 viewers Sen. Whitehouse noted on so many different websites right now will see at least the key elements. I also hope Sen. Schatz's optimism, that there are a few Republicans who may be ready to partner with us on the issue, proves true. Thank you for continuing the fight to bring reality back into governance!
Elizabeth, Sherwood Forest

It is reassuring to know that there are people in Congress willing to take principled stands on climate change, the environment, women's issues, health care, etc. I am sorry that there aren't more senators willing to stand for what is right. Sometimes it seems as though only a monumental disaster is capable of moving people to act. Will it take a large oil spill, or the poisoning of an aquifer or river, or some accident of that sort, to start people thinking and taking control of the world around them?
George, Santa Clarita

The repubs don't believe there is going to be a tomorrow. They just believe in profit$ for now. Your and my grandchildren must not live in a tainted world. We must stop exploitation based on personal profit and save the world for future generations..... starting with Keystone pipeline
Bo, Daly City

I am heartened by the resolve to keep climate change on the minds of a diverse constituency both in the Congress and otherwise. However fossil fuels will be a continuing part of America's economy and the notion that we will be on "renewable" energy by some specified date is unlikely and self-defeating. I do oppose the Keystone Pipeline because it does not seem to be about jobs. Rather it is transhipment of a toxic, malicious sludge for refinement and sale on world markets. The US would bear an unreasonable amount of risk with insignificant jobs. Better odds in Vegas. I so support strongly Fracking. It is needed and welcome. Even as a San Franciscan it should not be blithely assumed that everyone is against it. It is a bounty that MUST be leveraged. Common sense regulation is the best medicine. Sadly the upshot of all the talk about climate change is that no one is really doing anything about it. If you can't monetize this in some fashion no country, state, or industry will realistically do anything as it presently is structured as a zero-sum game.
Edward, San Francisco

I am watching CSPAN 2 and I'm so grateful that you are a part of the Climate Change all nighter on the Senate floor. This is the most important issue of our time. If we don't act NOW, none of the other very important issues will matter. I know how difficult it is to turn this Titanic around...but the time is right now. Our children and grandchildren are at stake. Fracking is a huge problem and I hope we can hear some real truth about that issue as well.
Mary, Beaumont

Thank you for standing up--& staying up--for the Climate, which I now view as a metaphor for life in general. Sadly, it looks like it will take many more all-nighters and far, far more daily action to make the kind of difference that must be made. Your efforts and intentions are to be lauded, but only if the efforts & intentions are in fact deep commitments to make the necessary change happen--whatever it takes! We can do this together. Major priority now is stopping Keystone XL...BUT not just stopping it. A NO on its own is never a solution...that firm & unequivocal NO must be aligned with a much more profound & far-reaching YES to truly-renewable energy & the infrastructure required to wean us off fossil fuels & ramp up green energy as rapidly as possible...bringing FAR MORE JOBS & FAR MORE STABILITY than oil, coal & gas can ever offer. In Michelle Obama's words "LET'S MOVE"!
Thom, Sausalito

Thank you for getting this issue front and center at the US Senate. We need to let science resume a role of bipartisan guidance rather than allowing it to be steamrolled by non-fact-based ideologies.
Stephen, Lafayette

I applaud you for your effort to get Congress to address the urgent problem of climate change. I support you 100%. I do my little bit to live sustainably. I recycle, have solar panels, make compost and grow my own food, but it's not enough. Things need to change on a political level.
Natalie, Van Nuys

Thank you for losing a nights sleep over something that's nearer and dearer to me than my own life. I've lost YEARS of sleep over this... this planet that gives us all life is at a breaking point. It's health should have been and should always be our first and most important responsibility. Ask any indiginious person, no matter how uneducated and they already know this. Frankly it's embarrassing how little responsibility those in control have shone for something so rare, unique and fragile as this beautiful glowing life sustaining planet. Man has been looking to the heavens since the beginning of time for anything remotely like it but its twin has never been found. We MUST preserve this gem!!!!!
Karolyn, Dobbins

Once again you act to show your commitment to Californians, Americans, and all humans, present and future, to maintain the integrity of our life on Earth. It saddens me that you need to give up sleep to bring attention to a subject that by this time should be common cause. But your action tonight, and throughout your time representing California, is heartwarming (not global warming).
John, Saratoga

The Democrats talking about Climate Change shows the contrast to the Republicans talking about repealing Obamacare, or Ted Cruz filibustering all-night reading Doctor Seuss's "Green Eggs and Ham" and reciting Duck Dynasty quotes as pearls of wisdom, therefor when the House and Senate are stuck in perpetual gridlock then the Democrats do look good saying something intelligent.
Steven, Pleasanton

Our grandparental thanks for missed sleep! Your Congressional all nighter to wake up toward action controlling climate change comes not a moment too early. Please make this your sacred mission among all your work. The next 7 generations will bless you. And, speaking about Native Americans, is there a way to include elders from Reservations in the proceedings? And cutting edge scientists? And clergy from all faiths to testify on behalf of the Earth and her "children"? And the parents of a child who died of lung problems due to carbon dioxide pollution, carrying a video of their youngster?
Joy and Dan, San Diego

Thank you for all you are doing to turn the agenda to protecting the environment. We need to do all we can to change to alternative energies. Let's start by making all government and military buildings carbon neutral. Our troops coming home can learn the new skills for making and installing solar panels. Let's get started. I support all your efforts to stem global warming and lead the change to alternative energy. The answers are already here; we just need to do it. Thanks for the news on the Senate Vigil. I will stay tuned.
Sarah, Los Angeles

Thank you for tonight's ringing of the bell of alarm! My great grandaughter Maizey thanks you too. Our society can no longer have the privelage of living in denial of global warming. We must act now! In CA, 25% of our carbon footprint is used to move water around the state. We did not have to rob the bay delta watershed to water golf courses and lawns in Santa Barbara. They must utilize 21st century water science technology using recycled water. We took down most of our dams to achieve better fish spawning. We must replace the old dams with the new low face fish ladder dams and recapture the green energy from our rivers. We can do this and create ideal fish habitat. We have an opportunity here in Santa Cruz to accomplish this goal. We have a treatment plant at the base of San Lorenzo River that can be converted to produce tertiary for river augmentation. We can utilize the green energy to deliver the water upstream for river recharge. We can bring the salmon back to Santa Cruz. We need solutions to global warming. We need federal dollars to start these developments here. We admire your tenacity and courage in taking on those who would destroy our planet for greed and self interests. These are the worse criminals to walk this earth. They are doing more then robbing a bank. They are robbing our future.
Stengthen the EPA. End oil subsidies. Force the oil corps to create a 50 year super clean up fund. Declare access to clean water to be an inalienable human right. We must manage our water resources on a regional basis for the common good. We must create sustainable water systems in balance with nature.
Craig, Santa Cruz

Just want you to know, I am a constituent who believes that climate change is THE issue. All other matters are dependent on it. Your efforts are appreciated.
Thomas, Los Angeles

Thank you for standing up for the people who recognize the danger of continued use of fossil fuels. My family has installed solar, we drive a prius,and have drought tolerant plants/trees.
Please, please stand up against FRACKING!!!! Our access to fresh water depends upon stopping the catastrophy of fracking!!
Cynthia, Vista
You are doing exactly what needs to be done! I am so proud of you for literally standing up for what you believe in. Our precious Earth needs your courage and determination. Please keep in mind the children we pass this world on to and what they inherit from us. As your supporter, please let me know how I can help here in CA.
Lynn, San Rafael

When I was in Junior High and High School and then my freshman year in College. All of the science departments were teaching us about the upcoming Ice age. I remember my professors trying to get grants based on that up coming event. The average temp has not changed by 1 deg over the past 18 years. The ice caps have not melted away like your buddy AlGore said. In fact how many ships were ice bound this past year down at the south pole??? The climate has ALWAYS changed, that's what it did in the 1800's, 1600's 1400's ...... They tried to eliminate SUV's back in DaVinci's day, but it was to hard to transport his drawing and experiments.
I understand that with out you spending the night at the Capitol there is nothing you can claim to be doing that will end something that you can not control and thus make government less important since it can not rescue us. But if that is the cheapest way of making you all feel good, go for it. Maybe order few pizzas from Little Caesars, and have a good time.
Gene, Escondido

I wish you the strength, endurance, and energy necessary to carry out this commitment and thank you from the bottom of my heart for doing this! I pray that it works!
Maxine, Agoura Hills

I support your efforts to make a difference in climate control. We also need to have China one of the largest polluters be involved, especially with there effects on CA.
Ronald, Castro Valley

I am humbly grateful that you and the other senators engaged in the 'all night for climate change' are taking on this very important work. This is true leadership. I thank you, and my children's children thank you.
Mica, Sacramento

Jeryll, Los Angeles

Climate change is real, it will have real impact, we need to address it now, not later. Thanks for your leadership on this.
Shanda, Menlo Park

Thank you, thank you for spending the whole night with other senators to bring the importance of climate change front and center. I believe it is the most important topic our country should be dealing with, for the consequences of continuing to ignore it may be catastrophic for our children, grandchildren, and the future of our earth as we know it. Already we have seen huge personal losses and costs due to climate change: droughts, fires, floods, hurricanes, and tornados all more extreme and more frequent than in the past. We must stop supporting and rein in the fossil fuel industry's greed as they wantonly extract carbon fuels in ever more destructive ways. Instead we should put research, subsidies, and money into creating a robust green energy industry in our country. With the will to do so, we may begin to turn this catastrophe around; our determination will be matched by others in the world. Doing nothing allows the destruction to continue.
Cheryl, Redondo Beach

Thank you for your attention on the crucial matter of reducing climate change from human activities. Convincing ALL your colleagues will be difficult, but please continue to give this effort your all.
Jim, Costa Mesa

I simply thank you and your colleagues senators for your special effort to thoroughly dialogue about the not yet fully known, but indisputably already occurring climate challenges to healthy survival of our nation and the planet Earth. To know that there are mature leaders in Washington, my senator among them, is seriously encouraging.
Olga, Huntington Beach

Global climate change is the most serious threat to world stability and our own national security.
The Putin power grab shows us how much we need to get away from all forms of fossil fuel, including fracking. This meeting has my full support.
William, Los Angeles

I can't begin to tell you how proud I am of the democratic senators who are participating in the all-night talks on climate change. It is a subject that must be addressed. I saw a talk on C-SPAN Book TV last weekend entitled "The Sixth Extinction," in which a map of the world was shown, which had been drawn up by NASA scientists. The patterns of carbon emissions were illustrated in a high speed demonstration of how the alarming accumulation has occurred since the beginning of the 20th century, right up until today. Anyone seeing that map could not fail to be shocked by how dramatically we have affected our world. Though it's a mystery to me how those in denial can have missed the droughts, the terrible hot summers, the storms and the wildfires which have intensified each year in so many of our states. Thank you and all of your colleagues for standing up to the corrupt climate deniers. It means the world to me.
Paula, Palo Alto

Thank you for taking a stand for climate change action! Don't stop until it's enough - I won't either. And please pass the appreciation on to your colleagues who are staying up as well.
Lynda, Grass Valley

Thank you Senator Boxer for striving to bring sanity to the CLIMATE CHANGE discussion, to wake up deniers to take the actions needed to "stand with science", rather than polluting interests' greed!!! WE MUST LEAD in our defensive actions. So grateful for your strong stance!!
Grace, Menifee

I am former physicist and proud owner of Electric Vehicle (EV) - Nissan Leaf. There is real threat that our Civilization will be dead after 50-100 years from the Air Pollution!!
Steve, San Jose

if you all drag your cowardly feet long enough you probably won't have to do anything other than watch the ship go down. I suppose I should congratulate you'all but I don't have the heart.
Marco, Richmond

Thanks for the message regarding the all "climate change" all nighter. On the world stage, fossil fuels must be replaced with alternative fuels. Our way of life depends on it. For your efforts, you have my support searching for solutions to ward off climate change. It's a daunting task, complex and scientifically challenging. Pedal to the medal, don't relent.
Ralston, Bellflower

It's not before time, but glad you are all in there pitching. I want my son to inherit a planet he can live on not just barely scrape an existence from. The huge gasoline tax and expensive car registration in the European Union doesn't sound like such a bad idea any more, does it? Certainly we need to do something to encourage conservation.
Nancy, Oakland

Thank you so much for doing this! This is so important. Please push really hard to move us into the clean world of small scale, local, renewable solar and wind power. This is the way we need to go to have a beautiful future for our children's children and theirs. We need to keep our thoughts focused on the world 1000 years from now, more than our own immediate comfort and convenience.
Jo, Fairfax

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Californians respond to Senator Boxer on the UN Climate Change Conference (11/21/2013):

Many thanks for thanking Warsaw for how they're helping alert the world to Climate Change & many thanks to you for telling the world that California is moving toward renewable energy. I'm so thankful that you're doing all you can in that direction for the U.S.
Marilyn, Nevada City

Thank you for addressing the conference in Poland. While we have watched it all through Demoracy Now on TV, we note that it has not even been mentioned at least in the mainstream we read or watch. I am sorry beyond words that this arouses such little interest and applaud those brave and dedicated souls who speak out, especially the Philippine delegation, as to the present and future manifestations of climate change. I do however detect some discouragement as the years go by with only increases in the causes and effects of this catastrophe, but at least you have taken notice and I thank you for that.
Laura, Indio

This is such a challenge that we all must face and do our part to cut down on our emissions of Carbon Dioxide. But without the recognition on the part of the major contributors to Climate Change, it will not accomplish what needs to be done: Developing ALL sources of Alternative Fuels!!! Developing all sources of alternative fuels will lead to fantastic opportunities for businesses to develop a wide variety of alternative fuels!!!  Thank you for your leadership in this most important area for all of us.
Joyce, Santa Paula

Barbara you are one of the better ones in congress but you must be kidding. By claiming that something constructive, important, and necessary is being worked out is a very bad joke on all of us; and it is deplorable and heinous. 133 countries walk out, including China. Obama and Kerry are obstructionists. Our government is doing nothing but subsidizing fossil fuels and the coal industry. And in the meantime countries are being devastated and people dying. Animals are threatened and going extinct. This will only escalate with devastating consequences and we do nothing. The EU, Australia, Canada, etc. obfuscate. Don't be part of the denial that threatens all of us.
Katlyn, San Rafael

I do not feel the Conference is adequately addressing the real facts because of the power of Big Oil and other carbon-based sources of energy. I do agree with the organizations that walked out of the conference to make that point, and am surprised that you did not note any of this in your message.
Nancy, Boulder Creek

If you truly support the "work" being done in Warsaw I am truly disappointed. The talks are being steered by big business, coal, and oil. Nothing of value is coming out if these talks. Corporations are trying to find ways to make money off of man-driven disaster. Disaster we may not survive. Indigenous people and the-man-on-the-street are not being allowed to speak. Countries at the highest imminent risk of climate change catastrophe are being ignored.
Please, make sure you know more about what's happening in Warsaw than the pap fed us by mainstream, corporate media. Please have the courage to challenge the foot-draggers and procrastinators. Your constituents count on you being informed and brave. The world needs for you to be informed and brave. the world needs the strongest nations tomake dramatic changes. It needs real advocates in office in the one of the biggest, strongest, richest, and most polluting nations in the world. Thank you for listening.
Maureen, Novato

My question is: Will the response of the US government be adequate to avert the most dire consequences of climate change (assuming other countries follow our example)? I gather that this would require a radical reduction in our use of fossil fuels, and I have yet to see evidence that the energy and transportation industries are willing to make such a great transformation to their production and conversion methods. My concern is that the inertia of our existing systems is so great that any changes will be too little and too late. Thank you for your work in this area.
Clinton, Petaluma

Yes, climate change is a reality and you are addressing it along with those that are more conscious in the World. There will always be those that will impede the Truth of the  circumstances simply because the awareness is not there and there is no convincing them
otherwise. It takes a long time for evolution and even greed is not more than a lack of true consciousness??we have a long way to go, especially in the USA where we stand in the World as a leader! Thank you once again for you excellent work. I applaud you and the efforts you make on behalf of the planet.
Jeane, Colfax

Thank you Senator Boxer for your ongoing support on the issue of climate change. We desperately need our elected officials/leaders to drive us toward a healthy solution for our planet and all her citizens for the next several generations, all of which will be impacted by what we do, or don't do, NOW! As native Californians we are grateful that our representative is on the leading edge of this movement to get the rest of our senators and congressmen to admit climate change is real before it's too late. We have a frighteningly short period of time to do that.
Please don't give up! We're behind you 100%! 
Sharon, Westlake Village

Thank you Senator Boxer for your video addressing climate change, it's impacts, and what we are doing to combat this man-made problem. What I was sorry to not hear on your video was how we would, as a country, hold up our promise to provide a significant portion of the 100 billion that developing countries need for responsible climate change response. The lack of willingness of rich countries, like ours, to fulfill their promise to meet the $100 bn finance commitments promised 4 years ago is threatening the entire international process at the Warsaw talks. It could even kill prospects for a deal in Paris in 2015. So while we are still advocating for disastrous fracking, tar sands development, and continued coal extraction, we also now trying to back away from significant climate change action on the world stage. This relegates our words as hollow and tells our children we don't truly care what world they receive. A sad commentary on our great country.
Dan, San Diego

Praise to those who honor Mother Earth and take seriously Climate Warming. Some people believe it won't happen in my lifetime so why should I care. And I tell them...what your generations down the line. Native Americans respected Mother Earth and there is a lot to learn from them. If we don't change our ways now, there won't be an Earth left for future generations.
Melissa, Susanville

Senator Boxer, thank-you so much for your concern about climate change, and your support of President Obama's efforts to curb greenhouse gas emissions. If all our country's senators thought as you do, I believe we'd be leagues ahead of where we are now in the fight against global warming.
Edythe, Clovis

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Californians respond to my message on Helping Communities Prepare for Climate Change Impacts (11/1/2013):

Thank you for sharing the two messages regarding President Obama's efforts to bring good minds together to help us weather the effects of global warming. I am glad to see some substantive effort. I appreciate you helping to keep our citizens informed.
Nancy, Paradise

Thank you Senator Boxer for sending along the President's Climate Change Executive Order. Though long overdue, the President's action is encouraging. Let's just hope it is not a matter of too little too late. Please continue to keep the spotlight on climate change!
Jud, Sutter Creek

I very much appreciate that you are working on the climate change. It is an enormous danger, and we need to do all we can to avert the worst damage. Please vote against the Tar Sands pipeline. It will be a disaster for us and for the world. The President is being pressured by the republicans. Please work to prevent it. We owe our children a livable world.
Lisa, Redondo Beach

My hope is that we will do all we can to reduce greenhouse gasses and other things that contribute to global warming because this is a problem for the entire planet not just the U.S.A. I'm concerned that the President's focus on coping with climate change means he has given up trying to do anything to reduce the factors that contribute to climate change. I'm concerned that he will place all the money and focus on reducing our discomfort by building structures to hold back the sea from flooding people's homes, for example. I would much rather see him use his power and his Bully Pulpit to encourage our population (and that of the world) to reduce our use of fossil fuels and reduce our population growth. I don't want to watch the wildlife become extinct and poor people in other countries starve or drown while America is safe, warm, well fed and comfortable behind our Fortress America.
Shirley, Santa Rosa

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Californians respond to Senator Boxer on the Latest Climate Report (09/27/2013):

Thank you for your email. I had seen that report & I am sick at heart. I am 85 yrs. old so I don't expect to take the brunt of climate change - but oh! my family - my three children & their spouses & even worse, my two wonderful granddaughters.  Thank you for all you are trying to do!
Trina, San Diego

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Californians respond to my message on A Clear Warning on the State of the Climate  (08/13/2013):

I fully support you and President Obama in enforcing the Clean Air and Water Act. We need to do away with the special exemptions given to energy companies. We have probably already reached the point of "total no return." Therefore, it is imperative that we do something NOW.
Cheryl, Laguna Niguel

Climate change is a major concern for everyone on planet earth. Hopefully, you will be able to persuade members of congress that this is a factual situation that has the power to ultimately do unparalleled damage to families, agriculture and the general wellfare of the earth's ecological regions.
Beverly, Santa Rosa

The work is great, the time is SHORT.  We have an 8 year old granddaughter and would love for her to have a life free of the natural consequences of our disregard of the needs of our planet. Thank you for your efforts and may you be blessed to gain more support for your work.
Bob and Sara, Berkeley

Thank you for your message concerning the scientific reports confirming that climate change is happening right now. I so greatly appreciate being represented by you. I am horrified to realize that so many US Congress people and Senators choose to believe that climate change does not exist. Please continue your good work to try to move the Senate toward reality. Is it ignorance or a choice made according to the demands of money? It is hard to know. But the resolute Flat Earth society in Congress will be responsible for the end of the earth as we were fortunate to know it. This is no longer an extreme statement.
Leslie, Mountain View

This study doesn't confirm that, "climate change is happening now and the evidence is all around us." You seem to be very confused about it.  Carbon is not a significant pollutant in general. You need to be specific and indicate exactly what molecules you are talking about. I think if you are going to remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere through the Clean Air Act, where it is wrongfully called a pollutant, you need to be very careful about disturbing our wonderful green earth. You can't take the US temperature out of its global context to prove this, and everyone knows you are wrong if you believe the Arctic Sea Ice is disappearing. We need a realistic approach to the climate, and a realistic approach to altering the Clean Air Act.
James, Encinitas

The effects of global warming are becoming more apparent and increasing at an astonishingly alarming rate. Please do everything in your power to convince those who don't believe it's happening or are too greedy to care that the reduction of greenhouse gases must be our foremost goal.,
Genie, Big Bear City

Thank you for this notice and I very much appreciate your tireless work on climate change. Simply put, this is the most important issue facing mankind.
Aaron, San Francisco

PLEASE continue to press for legislation that deals with solutions to the very pressing problem... we cannot afford to wait any longer. The well-being of future generations will depend on our willingness to act today.
Ann, Huntington Beach

I think the only way anything that is going on around the world and in this country will change is that the mature adults that are in positions of power will become serious about curtailing
the selfish over zealous acts of those in power that insist on behaving like greedy juveniles in a candy store with no concern about anyone or anything except what they can hoard for themselves. I think if righteous people step forward the right path will be revealed.
John, Santa Rosa

While we agree climate is changing, we support a common sense, rational approach. In too many instances, this administration has put the economy and job growth at the bottom of the list. Wasting billions of job stimulus money on green failures got us no where. Some of these pie in the sky projects resulted in tens of millions spent per job. We support an effort that doesn't send energy prices through the roof. Thx for listening!
Phil, Saratoga

I am aware of the recently released "National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) annual State of the Climate, a peer-reviewed report by more than 380 leading scientists", and understand the ramifications of "Climate change" and the need to curb our use of fossil fuels, addressing climate change so that we CAN protect our people, local communities, the nation's economy, and most importantly the health of the planet. As far as I am concerned, the President should not only call for enforcement of the Clean Air Act to address carbon pollution, he should MAKE it happen. Those who are in the position to regulate and enforce the laws are supposed to be representing "We the People," and that means cleaning up our air, water, and land, while we still possibly can. My own commitment has been to live off the grid for close to 40 years, starting with 12 volt lights, to now having enough solar power to have an electric (120 volt) refrigerator, toaster oven, bread machine, computer, washing machine , power tools etc ,, if i can do it , anyone can , its not rocket science. Maybe it will not be as profitable for those who are profiting now from big oil and coal , but we need to think like those who lived before us on this soil, of what the ramifications of what we do now will effect seven generations down the line. What will our legacy be?
Paul, Garberville

I strongly feel that the issue of global warming should not be softened by using the euphemism "climate change." The Climate Change euphemism was created by big oil and gas in their attempt to fool the public through their well orchestrated and heavily funded "anti-global warming movement" commonly referred to as the "anti-climate change movement." It's a complete sham.
Please be vocal about global warming and address this critical issue using the proper description of it and avoid pleasing big oil and gas by using the euphemism "climate change."
The criticality of global warming may end our species and others. It could have been entirely avoided with smart leadership. Actually one does not have to be that smart to know that emitting tons of CO2 in the atmosphere would cause imbalance to Earth's life-support system for biological life.
Paul, Ventura

Thank you for your brief and direct message on the need to address climate change now. You have my complete support to pursue aggressive policy to combat climate change, even if it has an impact on cost of living and economic growth.
Richards, Michael, Berkeley

I am so glad you realize the importance of this subject and the part each and every one of us plays in this dilemma. I am a member of California Nurse's Association and also National Nurses United. At a recent Staff Nurse Assembly the main topics included global warming. Our world, our health. Please keep it in the forefront of your concerns as you consider legislation.
Linda Rae, San Francisco

Yes! That is why we as a community need to address environmental issues above all else - even jobs. I have said time and time again, "You can't work if you're dead!" A bit morbid, but an unfortunate truism. I urge you to do EVERYTHING in your power to ban fracking in our state/ off the coast, and to stop the Keystone Pipeline. I try to bike and ride public transportation every chance I get, even though it is frequently inconvenient and more costly (BART specifically). I obviously am a champion of many conservation efforts as well, but a few people cannot do the work for everyone. We all must pitch in, and I am counting on you to make the environment and climate change a priority right NOW! Thanks for listening.
Natasha, Orinda

I share your concern about climate change's effects on America. In a way, though, we are just reaping what we have sown. What about the innocent victims around the world, who can aspire only to put food in their mouths, and who cannot even imagine the "American lifestyle?" As their islands and shorelines are flooded out of existence, we still have a pollution-centered economy. If our representatives took effective action, they (including you) would be forced out of office by PAC spending backed by major polluters. How do you propose to get beyond this dilemma?
Joseph, Santa Rosa

Dear Sen Boxer: thanks so much for your interest in global climate change. I am very concerned about this (due to grandchildren)and hope you will work hard to advance serious measures to address this, including moving US away from fossil fuels, in part by stressing conservation and efficience; and in part by supporting low carbon footprint alternatives.  We may all need to make some sacrifices and suffer inconveniences. For example the 55 mph speed limit at time of oil price spike probably saved many lives as well as a lot of oil.
John, Arcata

In addition to carbon trading, all new houses built in the US should have solar electric and there should be federal credits for 5-10 years to reduce the cost to buyers, or until the cost of solar panels is reduced. There should also be federal credits to encourage retro-fitting solar panels. There should be more pressure put on car/truck manufacturers to increase the range of plug ins, with the intention of eventually having all cars run on electric (solar panels should be built into car hoods and tops and there should be a big increase in plug in stations). Solar electric and clean cars will be a major improvement in air quality and carbon into the air.
John, Claremont

My wife and I appreciate your attention to the issue.
Piruz, Carlsbad

Thank you, Senator Boxer, for joining President Obama's leadership on fighting global warming and climate change.
Esperanza, San Jose

Exactly what I've been saying for the last 30 years. A bit late now though, isn't it?
Tony, San Diego

Thank you for your position on this most important issue! We so need eloquent, articulate people in high positions to move this topic forward. Even though I know we cannot turn the clock back in my lifetime, if we don't start, I believe the human race I grew up with will become extinct. Yes, the planet will be okay, but we will not.  I know it is natural to lose species, but for people who should know better to continue denying the existence of climate change, no matter what the cause, is deplorable. I believe it is just greed on many corporations part that fuels this hanging on to fossil fuels and all of the old bad ways.
Shari, Laguna Woods

I know you are doing your best to convince your colleagues that science has proven that man is responsible for much of the climate changes/warming. Thank you for all you do to protect our environment.
Jo Ann, Redding

Climate change has been happening for billions of years. You need to be working on real matters that can be resolved. Stop wasting tax dollars, time and killing jobs with this climate change stuff. For every new regulation you put in place you put 3 people out of work.
Robert, Huntington Beach

You know that even if the U.S.A. stopped all carbon pollution? There would be NO change because of CHINA, INDIA, RUSSIA. Work on them first. The U.S.A. is 100% cleaner than those countries and you know it!
William, El Cajon

Thank you for keeping us informed by email & letting us provide you with our feedback.
Referring to climate change: because of the unconscionable obstructionism of Republicans, my husband Lewis and I wonder if it might not be smarter to go around them by mounting a massive information & help program to turbo-charge the development & commercial viability (cost-effectiveness) of sustainable & environment-friendly energy sources (solar, wind, etc.)? We know this is a tall order, but backing the Reps against the ropes by encouraging private sector investment in innovation (R&D)in these promising industries--to which the GOP could not possibly object, at least not without showing their hypocrisy--would also be propitious for us the pragmatic Progressives.
Dina, La Jolla

Thank you so very much for your email about global warming. I applaud your courage to stand up to climate-denying bullies. If we don't convince these people that the problem is very real and all life on earth is in danger, the window of opportunity will be lost forever. I wish you all the luck in the world.
Amir, Northridge

Thank you so much for your message and your support of President Obama's stance on the Clean Air Act.  I have to admit, however, that I am in despair regarding this issue. I think we're past the tipping point. My associates who are well informed on this... well, the information they share with me is grim and from my layman's understanding, I don't see the tidal wave turning around.
So I thank you and applaud you for your message. But it's with sadness in my heart that I say "It's not enough". We need a national movement to catapult this country ahead of this malignant curve. We need a movement that is even stronger and more unified than the resource conservation our parents and grandparents partook of during WWII. Most of all, we need a commensurate action to get corporate money out of this debate.  And we need it yesterday.
My despair is that this won't happen. Please do everything you can to prove me wrong.
Mark, Valley Village

I just received your email about the NOAA report. Forgive me for being blunt, but the Emperor has no clothes. The President has finally decided to talk about the climate after 6 years of silence, yet he proposes no meaningful action. Congress, clearly, has done no better.  As the President offers platitudes one day, the DOI auctions off millions of tons of new coal leases on the next.
As your letter plainly states, climate change is happening now. Six years into the Obama Presidency carbon output only grows. Hearing the empty words only makes the reality more painful.
Adam, San Francisco

Thank you for letting the people know your position on climate change. In the time that has passed since Al Gore's movie on the subject a number of changes have occurred in the world, none of which bode well for climate stabilization and or reversal of current negative trends in industry and manufacturing sectors. Cars are getting smaller but still rely on fossil fuels. Coal fired power plants continue to be proposed built and maintained throughout the word and here in America. You have a pressing and perhaps the most important job of all in your chairwoman position. I pray for your strength and resolve to build a consensus among your colleagues for rapid advancement and forward thinking to address the seemingly overwhelming task of changing the course of the Titanic!
Daryl, Berkeley

Right on Barbara!  The deniers have egg on their faces as the years pass.  Let's hope that our government can reign in the greenhouse gasses and save this planet for future generations. The oil companies should be part of the solution in promoting alternative sources of energy...Let's hope they'll quit wasting money on lobbying for fossil fuels and apply it toward a better future for everyone. Get Elon Musk working on it!!!
Frederick, San Francisco

Thank you for the email message calling attention to the NOAA - State of the Climate 2012. It is heartening to see the acknowledgement on the part of this important government scientific entity, as well as the National Research Council, and the World Bank which are warning about the many threats and consequences of these current and future changes. These reports point to massive food shortages, a rise in conflicts, and security threats. Let us hope and work for stabelizing the climate as best we can. A carbon fee and dividend would be one method that is gaining support from many quarters. I find it amazing that there are still those who are in such denial, and think that persons who are concerned with this are "global climate change fanatics". I would scarcely label any of the entities above as such!
Sara, Los Angeles

While we have been messaging congress, you have been entertaining the Republican obstructionists giving them the "other side of the argument" equal time and respect, entertaining fools as equals. Get out of your equal time slumber and do something while your children and mine still have a chance. Get tough, if only for their sake. Don't "GLADLY SUFFER FOOLS!"
Bill, San Diego

You cite 380 scientists who believe that climate change is happening and that the US had the warmest year on record.  IF all that is true, why do the weather records show that 1887 still holds the record for hottest year every in Fresno, California? What was the greenhouse gas situation 125 years ago?  Yes, I believe there is climate change ... it is called "weather". 50 years ago when you were a young woman, these experts could not accurately forecast the weather 3 days in advance. Today, the computer models have improved to where 10 day forecasts are reliable. But there is no model or data to explain Fresno or even a 20 year climate cycle ... much less a 100 year one.
David, Yorba Linda

I am so pleased that you recognize the dangers and potential for catastrophe from climate.
My fear, based on my years of experience as Assistant Attorney-General of Montana in charge of enforcing the state's major environmental laws, is that the scientists (who are a conservative group [not politically but professionally]) are not declaring forcefully enough the prospect of abrupt climate change far ahead of their forecasts fifty to one hundred years out.  All it would take is one anomalous event that pushes us across a single threshhold to set off a chain of events that would be disastrous.  I know you are dealing with some neanderthals in the Senate (and more in the House) who continue to deny the reality of climate change. You must find a way to wake up the nation to the nightmare that awaits us if we do nothing.
Richard, Sherman Oaks

If a statement like that is the best you can communicate, why bother?  (1) You're telling me the obvious, and then trying to affiliate yourself with it. Remember, this is known as the most "do nothing" Congress in history. What do you and the Democrats plan to DO about climate change? (2) There is a lot more at stake than just local communities and our economy. Try survival of human life on this planet!
Larry, Vista

Thank you for the scientists' report on climate change.  However, it is something that many, many of us are already convinced of. The real question is what we can do about it. We in California have made a start in emission standards, renewable energy requirements in power generation, etc.  But it is really imperative to reject the Keystone XL Pipeline and all of the other ways in which Canadian Tar Sands oil might reach U.S. and other refineries.  And it is vital to create strict oversight of the fracking of natural gas in our state before more of it is allowed. The leakage of methane at each stage of production makes it a dirtier source of energy than coal, according to Cornell Professor Anthony Ingraffea (Op-Ed "Gangplank to a Warm Future," NYTimes, July 29, 2013). He argues persuasively that natural gas cannot serve as a bridge to a distant renewable energy future, an idea that anchors the Administration's energy policy.
We have to regain control of our resources and economy from the fossil fuel industry.
Audrey, Berkeley

Thank you for your work to reduce carbon emissions. Climate change is the most serious problem we all face now. Nothing is more important.
Christel, Anderson

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Californians respond to my message on President Obama’s Announcement  (06/25/2013):

I am so grateful for the way you've outlined the strengths of President Obama’s speech today without assuming too much on the Keystone Pipeline. I am still very worried that his emphasis on the partnership with business to solve problems is a curious way to approach the problem we are facing since business is as much of a threat as it might be a partner in solving problems. That is what gave me pause and kept me from cheering today. I will do what I can to support organizations that will resist the pipeline and all other dependencies on fossil fuels, including ethanol, which is not sustainable. I am so grateful that I can trust you to do the same.
Emily, Fresno

Thank you so much for your support of reducing carbon emissions which are devastating to our planet. As you say the Keystone XL pipeline will enable the dirtiest of fuels to be extracted and shipped off. Please continue to use every effort to hold the President to his promises and well-spoken goals and not allow this tarsands project to proceed. Otherwise, it’s just talk.
Paula, Sebastopol

Your message about the pipeline is a breath of fresh air. Keep up your good work!
Peter, Santa Monica

Please do all you can to defeat the XL Pipeline. We need clean, renewable energy sources not dirty tar sands oil shipped across U.S. soil. As the spill in Arkansas demonstrated, this has the potential to be another ecological disaster. Didn't we learn anything from the BP spill in the Gulf of Mexico or from the Exon Valdez? Renewable, clean energy and the incentives to make it possible, please.
Patisu, Trabuco Canyon

I am pleased to learn that President Obama is doing some things to advance clean energy. I am most passionate about stopping the development of the XL Tar Sands pipeline. I hope this is one of your highest priorities as well.
Patricia, San Bruno

Thank you for your message regarding the President's statements on use of tar sand oil. Please continue to fight to prevent this from going forward. Your commitment to obtaining transparency and keeping a watch dog eye on the status and process is greatly appreciated, and just one reason I chose to vote for you, and will do so again if given the opportunity.
Lynn, Ventura

I am very pleased with today's announcement by President Obama stating that he has concerns about the tarsands project's environmental impact. Let's do whatever we can to hold him accountable. He has disappointed me hugely by not standing up to BIG oil in the past. He has not stepped up with any real changes since mentioning environmental concerns in his initial speeches.... let's try to get him to really implement the most important changes on which he ran his campaigns... working to address the catastrophe of doing nothing. thank you very much for representing those constituents who actually care about the planet.. and all life living on it.
Linda, La Jolla

There is no such thing as climate change in regards to carbon.The climate changes all the time and has nothing to do with carbon as true history proves and as true scientists have shown,you are out of touch and show that you will ignore the facts.The global warming myth has been debunked and we have been in a period of cooling for several years,look up the facts youself and stop trying to extract more taxes out of the American tax payer,no amount of money can effect the climate one way or the other!!It is not a priority!
Randy, Bodfish

I am relieved and proud to see that President Obama has taken a stance against pollution despite the Political capital it might cost him. I agree that the Tar Sands project is an experiment with disaster and that longer term vision is required to learn how to extract clean energy. Without taking a hard stance on this aspect of Global Warming, there will be no progress.
Ravi and Sangeeta, Dana Point

I recently returned from a trip to Tahiti. Two thing struck me as a result of my visit. 1) With global warming and oceans raising several of the islands will be overrun with water as they are coral reefs and not very high above sea level. This is true of several islands in the world. This actually is a slow form of murder for the people and their homes. 2) I have COPD and every day at home I have severe coughing and trouble breathing at times as do almost all people suffering from COPD. Within a couple of days of being there my symptoms were gone. Upon arriving back in Los Angeles they returned within one-have hour. The air pollution must cost the United States billions of dollars in medical costs and lost productivity. Much more so than to reduce air pollution.
Joseph, Torrance

While everyone thanks the president for choosing to hold off on the XL pipeline, the tar sands are being delivered by train from Canada right here to the Bay area oil companies in Martinez or Benecia for processing. If we really want to cut back on all this pollution, etc. California needs to STOP allowing the tar sands into the state. Apparently it has been determined that sending the tar sand material via train is cheaper so we need to do something about this instead. So while everyone is looking the other way at stopping the pipeline, the polluters have found another way to keep up with their tar sand utilization plans.
Cheryl, Rio Vista

Thank you for your email about Obama's speech on climate change. It was very encouraging to finally hear him lay out a plan to address this urgent issue. If we don't find a way to reduce emissions now, we will have to live with the devastating consequences down the road.
Of course, we really also need legislative action and so I applaud and thank you for your efforts.
Katie, Goleta

I am also excited by the President's speech today, and will do what I can to support these efforts.
But I think we both know that this does not go far enough and we need to take much broader action from here at the legislative level. Please continue to keep raising the profile of this issue so he can hopefully take additional steps in 2015.
Geoff, San Jose

Thank you for your opposition to the Tar Sands Project. This is a filthy, dirty project with tremendous potential for destruction of our ecosystem, and I am grateful that you are opposing it with such devotion. However, I wonder if you are also supporting efforts to expose the suppression of the so-called "Free Energy" devices that would bring pollution free energy to our country and the world?
Carole, Altadena

I agree that a carbon tax is not only necessary but should be instituted as soon as can be. I don't believe that a tax will begin to curb the pollution that will result from the proposed pipeline. I might consider if the tax or fee would be sufficient to clean up or prevent the damage to the environment the pipeline, processing, and distribution of the fuels would cause.
Robin, San Pedro

Don't lose this incredible opportunity, make this real change happen. DO not let the evil lobbyists get their fake arguments in edgewise. Please be a leader in doing what is RIGHT!!!
Laura, San Francisco

I was gratified to see your email supporting President Obama's policy announcement today on climate change. I strongly support an objective reading of the relevant science and policy initiatives to mitigate this environmental disaster. Thank you for your work on this issue.
Andrew, Arcata

Although a step in the right direction, I am concerned. I do not support the approval of the XL pipeline. I did not hear a definitive answer on this issue from President Obama.
Art, South Lake Tahoe

I am currently in Quito (waiting for my flight back to CA), near where a long-standing glacier that used to supply part of the city's water recently melted, after a trip around the Galapagos Islands, which are very sensitive to local climate conditions, in turn dependent, as far as we know, to ocean currents, also dependent on global warming. This irreplaceable resource for science, apart from other things, can surely be expected to suffer if we continue to increase the CO2 levels in the atmosphere well above levels that have not been seen for 800,000 years at least (proven by ice core measurements), and probably many million years (inferred by species identification), so probably since the islands were formed. Tar sands oil is a terrible idea. The material has lots of problems above normal oil production, and its extraction will cause substantial additional CO2 generation, and just because this will be in Canada does not make that any better, we will see the results in the US within days at most. In my youth, I worked in a coal gasification plant, where the most horrible byproduct was the tar, very similar to the tar sands oil byproduct, and the sulphur compounds, that were reduced by special equipment at the plant, but not completely.
Jean, Sunnyvale

There are many issues or problems that we face as a nation today than the one he talked about today. That problem of carbon emissions ranks way down on the priority list. Thank You.
William, San Diego

I agree that President Obama's speech today is hopeful. Is there anything we can do to stop the next disaster of nuclear energy? The money it would and does take to support those power plants could go to some assistance to those who will become unemployed by the decrease in the use of coal.
Evonne, Mckinleyville

Thank you for recognizing the single most important issue facing mankind. Well educated people like you and the president cannot help but see the profound significance of what is taking place on our fragile planet. I urge you to make this issue the legacy of your administration. Educate the people about the importance of what cannot even be called an issue. This should not even be an issue. This is tantamount to our very survival. Keep up the good work, and thanks for standing with the president.
Mark, Los Angeles

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Californians respond to Senator Boxer on the UN Climate Change Conference (12/07/2012):

Once again I am proud to have you as my senator. In spite of our failure to join others globally in signing the treaty to commit to efforts to reduce green house emissions, you have expressed to the UN that there are many people here who actually do care about the damage to the planet and want to reverse it. I appreciate your efforts to convey to the people across the globe, that there are people here who understand the urgency of changing our ways for future generations. Please continue your work to make our voices heard in Washington D.C. and to join international efforts and commitments to be responsible. Let's sign the treaty and move forward with strength, courage and creativity.
Karen, Nevada City

Our lack of national action on climate change is deeply embarrassing as well as suicidal. We need your strong leadership in the Senate. And let's hope that the President demonstrates strong leadership in his second term as well.
James, Davis

I just wanted to express my support and thanks for your continued effort to address climate change in this climate (excuse the pun) of politically based denial on the part of the Republican party in this country. The wisdom of people like Al Gore to risk anything and everything to help get this message across is done justice by the continuing efforts by individuals such as yourself. Please continue to do a great job of representing the people of our country and not the greedy special interests.
Richard, Los Osos

I just read your letter and wholeheartedly agree. Besides American jobs and the "fiscal cliff", I don't think there's anything more important than climate change. We must begin to take action, now. I hope you can get the President to take action, soon.
Fran, El Granada

I do not agree with your position on climate change. The climate has changed many times over the millenia and scientists are still unclear on differentiating natural versus anthropogenic change. The measurements have a lot of variability associated with them so the models have a lot of variability and uncertainty. Please do not waste our time and money on trying to deal with something that we may not have any control over.
Marco, Salinas

It is good to hear that there are more senators joining the effort to make a difference with the climate.
Cheryl, Orange

Thank you, Senator Boxer, for taking this matter seriously and for acting on it in Doha. You represent me in this action. I'm Grateful!
Elaine, South Pasadena

Thank you for taking a stand on the importance of the environment and especially with the United States as a world leader and not a lager in such a crucial subject to the world's survival. What we do now will be important not only for those currently living but also for those in the future. Without a healthy environment all other considerations fall short in importance.
Lark, San Diego

The billions of dollars requested by the UN is an unnecessary waste of my Tax Dollars. I'm all for being environmentally responsible, however, policies should be implemented at a local level that does Not require us to be fiscally responsible for other governing bodies. We are Not governed by the UN nor should we ever. I Do Not support your stand on this.
Branden, Porterville

We are doing too little, too slowly! Raping our environment, and over populating it! We MUST try to stop this self-centered approach of nations and people, before we cannot prevent this train wreck from occurring... the world will look back on this time, and we will be ashamed we did so little...
Keith, San Ramon

Thank you for sending so clearly stated, committed message to the UN Conference. It will show that in the United States we do care about saving the future of livable Earth.
Olga, Huntington Beach

Look, there is no concerted effort to stop global climate change. What do we expect in an industrial world with an exponentially increasing population? What do we expect when huge amounts of fossil fuels are burned just so we can go on having fun and consuming? We say we are worried, but not enough to change our daily behaviors. And what would advertisers do if the problem became front page news on a daily basis? Hotter summers and higher air pollution are causing my yard plants to die and bees to drop dead in my pool. Large drivers of world climate change are a doubling of world population in the last fifty years, politicians who lose their jobs if they stand against energy interests, and a public in denial satisfied to have fun and consume. Like James E. Hansen (NASA), I am not optimistic about the future of my grand children and planetary health. Things may change when the water and food are gone, but probably not until then. Humans will not solve the ocean acid problem; the earth will. Population collapse will be driven by climate collapse caused by capitalism run amok. CO2 rises as more and more people think that democracy guarantees them the right to travel where ever for business, pleasure, sports, or politics. The earth does not get mad, but it will get even.
Roger, San Diego

Thank you very much for you statements and support on the need for U.S. and international (China) action regarding production of greenhouse gases and our need to try and curtail the long term effects of climate change. We are a frogs about to boil to death and it's happening so insidiously we're not taking action to stop it. We can't ignore this. Everyone needs to take action. I grow as much of my own produce as possible. We have solar panels on our roof. I drive a hybrid. I recycle. I would happily do more, and accept more changes in my cultural way of life to help address this situation. Every educated person I know would do the same. That's not enough, we need to reach everyone, and it needs to come from the bottom up, and the top down. The crunch on resources will be intense. If we can't stop climate change, then, ultimately, there will be a reduction in population, through drought and starvation, disease, inundation, economic collapse.
Barbara, McKinleyville

I do not agree with the agressive proposals coming out of this conference. They will devastate economic activity and work toward a "one world" dictorial body. Carbon taxes and trading are a huge scam for the financial elite. Please research the other side of the global warming argument before proceeding with your support.
James, Santa Monica

I'm delighted to hear of your activism regarding climate change. It is surely the most important issue facing the planet. There has been a distressing reluctance by both parties to face up to it. So, please soldier on for the sake of all of us who will be ultimately deleteriously affected by it.
Sybil, Berkeley

I am proud to continue my support for you as you urge leaders to address Climate Change. This is my top issue. I am involved in organizations striving to improve awareness and understanding to build public support. In the end this is about the common good, and it requires government action. Best,
Mark, Cupertino

Thanks Senator Boxer for addressing climate change as I believe it is one of the most important topics of our day. We also need to consider population control as a factor into this equation. How to do this in a manner that is not punitive will require some interesting work. In the meantime, thanks so much for making our world a healthier place for today and for my two brilliant daughters.
Kathryn, Rancho Cucamonga

I believe that the climate change debacle is a scam. If man left the planet tomorrow it would not make a noticeable difference in the climate. Man has been trying to control the weather forever and still hasn't been successful. Science has determined that mankind contributes about 4% of the co2 to the environment. If you figure a way to control the volcanoes you might make a difference. Not likely. Limiting production of petroleum is having a terrible effect on our progress and our economy. We pay a large toll to obtain our energy from countries that hate us when we could be energy independent on our own resources. Seems counter productive and self destructive. Thanks,
Don, El Cajon

Thank you for your work on making climate change a priority. I know there are many important issues that you must address, but I always feel that caring for the environment is so basic and so important. If we don't take care of our planet we will not survive! I recently got solar panels on my home and they just got hooked up yesterday! It is very exciting just to feel like I am doing a small thing towards decreasing greenhouse gases. You are doing much more than I, so again. thank you for all you hard work!!
Kathryn, Oakland

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Military Justice Improvement Act

Californians respond to my message We Will Continue the Fight to End Military Sexual Assault:

to you and the others who voted to make changes in sexual assault procedures in our military service organizations. Please keep working on this project. As slow as change occurs, change must occur. The current situation is out of control and is just plain wrong.
Jane, Menlo Park

I know we can count on you to fight to protect the rights of women - especially those in the military. It's outrageous that these women put their lives on the line to protect our country and they themselves have no protection from their own leaders!
Audrey, La Crescenta

Please keep on fighting to remove commanding officers from overseeing sexual abuse issues in the military. Try again. Thanks.
Dorothea, Albany

The Military Justice Improvement Act should have easily passed by a landslide vote.  Unfortunately, the Senate, as well as the House of Representatives, have far too many political ties to the Military (the "good ole boys" syndrome); absolutely pathetic. Women should serve in our U.S.A. Military without fear of sexual attack or harassment! The failure of this Act to pass demonstrates so well how we Americans MUST clean house in Congress this year and in 2016!!!
Glen, La Verne

I truly do not understand why anyone would be against this amendment. Top Brass will not be relinquishing their command authority. On the contrary, they'll be in a better position because the onus of deciding what is and is not sexual violence/harassment will be out of their hands.
Jeffrey, Sylmar

Thank you for your on-going efforts to have these cases handled outside the closed, self-serving military society. It is horrifyingly obvious that the military CANNOT manage this issue themselves otherwise the numbers of cases would be diminutive or at least not in the tens of thousands. The chain of command has proved incompetent. I can't tell you how angry this makes me that a woman can't feel safe in her service to our country. To think that I suggested to a friend that her lovely daughter interested in criminal justice join a branch of the military! Thank God she didn't.
Jessie, Vista

As a veteran of 25 years of service as an enlisted member, I do not agree that the responsibility for ANY and all of the "assaults" should be removed from commanding officers for investigation and prosecution under the Uniform Code of Military Justice. How about finding a way for alleged victims to have a way to report outside of their command. There are the Judge Advocate Corps.
Michael, San Ysidro

Thank you for your support on this bill. I was deeply saddened by its failure to pass. Integrating the military by gender has been slow and awkward for America. This was not a vote for political correctness by liberal or conservation factions. If more civilians recognized how this particular institutionalized inequity does not protect military order, rather threatens it -- and how it effects and preserves a longstanding lack of check-and-balance within our military code of justice, they would insure that Congress corrected it. [Ironically, many who voted 'no' would vehemently disparage 'foreign' subjugation of women and flaunt in their speeches American freedom as if it were perfectly achieved already.] This issue also emphasizes to me the terrible problem of ignorance that an all-volunteer army creates--most civilians have no acquaintance with the facts of military life or that military law and justice "separate but equal". I would ask that someday we re-address the question of a universal draft in order to provide an accountable American Service corps.
Laurel, San Diego

It deeply saddens my wife and myself to hear that an attempt was made to place the proper convening authority in charge of this mess and it was turned down. The military is not what is was when we were in and with a military person safety in question by both sides(them and us) is not what it was. Today the military is just a job, with no "PRIDE". This effect us who served and makes us feel it was for "nothing", that we are just as bad as those who we fight or worse. How do one expect to do their job and watch their fronts and backs, with more emphasis on their fellow service members. I remember when the military took care of one another and today the care is for those who commit crimes against their fellow service member. Soon it will not be safe for any one servings in the military.
Melvin, Sacramento

Is taking sexual assaults out of chain of command something that can be done by executive order? You tried to do it what I consider the proper way but were blocked by the minority. It is too important to the soldiers who are suffering from this injustice to let it go on the way it is with the perpetrators getting advanced and the victims getting the shaft. Can we take it to the President?
Laura, Redlands

Do not give up the fight, Sen. Boxer. We're looking to you for leadership on this matter.
Marjorie, Walnut Creek

It is great that you are "fighting" for what is right--to remove the abuser as the next chain of command. The problem in the Senate is the 60 votes required to pass ANYTHING! It's time to make the Senate work again for the American people.
Nancy, Saratoga

I thank you for your efforts in attempting to put an end to harassment in the military. Please continue until we have a truly equal system for both sexes. We need to put an end to the 'good old boys club' mentality in our society(and the world!)This effort is a beginning. People are suffering,so there is no time to waste.
Nita, Carmel

It is a bitter feeling that comes to me after reading about the defeat of the military rape bill. It means the perpetrators and protectors of these perpetrators within the military will continue to debase those around them within the military. Needless to say, it will be license to keep on perpetrating their crimes and gloating in the worst way that it's within their rights not to pay for these crimes. How ugly!
Judith, Spring Valley

Thank you for your support of Sen. Gillibrand's bill on separating the handling of sexual assault cases from the chain of command, which failed in a craven support of Democratic senators of Sen, McCaskill's misguided alternative bill. All too often the attacker is within that chain, all the way up to the top, leaving no chance of justice for the victim.
Frieda, Pasadena

I am so disappointed in Democrats - they are the reason this bill did not pass.
Michael, San Francisco

I commend the work being put forth to ensure that sexual harassment and/or sexual assault cannot be tolerated in our Country or where our public and private residents do their work, fight battles or recreate. We need a law that creates a criminal justice forum and process where all complaints and incidents are commonly identified, addressed, investigated and adjudicated under a one size fits all process, regardless of status, gender, influence, authority, wealth and/or education of the accused and the accuser. I am a former Marine who would not have stood by and witnessed anyone being sexually harassed, assaulted, or abused in any way, on or off the battle field. I am also by choice, training and background a human resources, diversity and civil rights professional and am proud of the diversity that is the United States of America. We must step up and stand up for a law that is applied uniformly, justly and objectively.
Michael, Los Angeles

I appreciate your efforts and the efforts of others to get justice for military sexual assault victims. Legislation providing victims an alternative to reporting crimes up the chain of command may not provide victims a viable alternative. There is no proof that most adjutant generals are unlikely to subject sexual assault victims to “secondary victimization” (i.e., victim-blaming behaviors and practices engaged in by legal and medical personnel, which exacerbates victims' trauma) or that most adjutant generals think sexual assault is a crime that must be prosecuted or that most adjutant generals are immune to influences exerted by senior officers. One significant reason for wrong thinking by adjutant generals is military culture colored by the society in which the military exists. Years and millions of dollars have been spent trying to eliminate sexual assault/harassment from the American society. It seems that the threat of lawsuits in which a party is likely to have to pay huge awards has been one of the few effective deterrents. The deterrent affects of criminal prosecution are still debated. It is unlikely that any legislation requiring continuous sexual harassment training of all commanding officers down to squad leader levels will pass Congress. Legislation providing sexual assault victims the ability to report sexual assault directly to the FBI or Justice Department instead of someone in the military and providing those agencies investigative and prosecutorial authority is even less likely to pass Congress. I don't think sexual assault victims are likely to get justice until the military culture changes to the point that officers have an overriding appreciation of the detrimental affects of sexual assault on military readiness and until military officers think sexual assault is abhorrent.
Nonetheless, I hope you and others of like mind on this subject successfully pass legislation that provides sexual assault victims and those falsely accused the means to receive legal judgments that go a long way toward making them whole; e.g. honorable discharge, if desired; no negative impact on their military career if they chose to stay in; treatment for a disability if their performance is materially impacted; easy access to ongoing counseling, even after they are discharged.
Jerry, Los Angeles

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Affordable Car Act

Californians respond to my message on Helping Seniors Get Quality, Affordable Health Care:

Thank you for issuing some positive, coherent information about the beneficial effects of the Affordable Health Care Act.  A reasoned voice in the cacophony of politics.
Peter, Long Beach

Thanks for your persistent, avid support for aiding senior health care, for which group I just officially became eligible, but have diligently followed for years. Just wanted you to know your efforts are definitely appreciated!
Diane, Los Angeles

I really did not get to the ripe old age of 76 without learning how to resolve my healthcare concerns. I appreciate the fact that many seniors who probably voted for you need the help of government officials like you to care for their basic medical needs. I can't believe that we have so many citizens in the state of California who either do not take responsibility for their health and well being or are uninformed as to how to secure adequate healthcare for themselves
What a sorry state you represent. God help us all!!!
Jerome, Danville

Although the Affordable Care Act is a start, it is not what the American people asked for. In numerous polls 3-4 years ago the people wanted a single provider "affordable health "care". the current health program is not health care, it is health insurance. The Insurance companies systematically raised insurance rates (as much as double digits) prior to the start of "Obama Care". This does not address the "Insurance Companies" unregulated rates of what is charges to consumers. It just kicks those obscene costs down the road to the tax payers. I understand that none of our politicians want to confront their campaign donors for obvious reasons. Why weren't we offered the same health "Care" that you have, which by most is considered "socialized medicine". A Health Care system similar to Canada's is what we want. We need to get away from the idea that "if we did not think of it than it cannot be viable" mentality.
Bradley, Santa Rosa

Billions of dollars are taken out of Medicare and the money is applied to the Affordable Care Act. Why would you be touting your involvement in taking the money where it is badly needed to the seniors who live on their social security only? Our Medicare money is now applied to Medi-cal recipients who may never have contributed to social security. Your part in this debacle will affect seniors health care. Our deductible will be bigger and our choices of medications will be limited. What a travesty that the well meaning politicians can't put the brakes on a program that will hurt more people than it will help.
Divina,  Compton

In response to your email message about seniors and the ACA, I felt compelled to express this contrary view. The ACA has hurt seniors far beyond the loss of our Medicare Advantage plans, and the associated provisions of vision care and other necessary services. Obamacare is responsible for the loss of many of our medical providers, as many of our physicians and hospitals have already started to decline to provide care to Medicare beneficiaries. In addition, the new rules of Obamacare have encouraged hospitals and other providers to take defensive measures to limit their potential financial losses associated with the new Medicare rules. All around California we are witnessing unprecedented numbers of seniors being induced into "hospice, end-of-life" type of services, so that hospitals can deny care to seniors who may require intermittent care because of chronic diseases. This will translate into mass euthanasia, and inexcusable suffering for our seniors.
Anne, Sonoma

The Affordable Care Act may be working for seniors (me) with the doughnut hole aspect, but it's a disaster for my kids and my neighbors. They are being dropped from their insurances and the new insurances are very expensive. The ones with the Medicaid have problems finding a doctor. So, I don't agree that it's a good thing.
Rita, Los Angeles

Thank you so much for publicizing how the Affordable Care Act is helping millions of seniors to get better health care and save money over all. The American people need to hear this message again and again!
William, Pacific Palisades

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Californians respond to my message on Responding to the GOP Attacks on Obamacare (11/14/2013):

Good job! That was a wonderful, hard hitting speech. I also have stories from my friends who now have health insurance, thanks to Covered CA. I can also say that without Medicare my own family would be bankrupt following my own life saving surgery.
Marlena, Eureka

Thank you Senator Boxer. I shared today's video on my facebook page. You speak my thoughts exactly. I having been checking out Covered California. And I WILL be getting my new plan on the exchange. I just haven't decided which one to go with, and I'm taking my time deciding. We all have lives and I want to choose the best option for me. And I am SICK of Republicans just trying to tear apart this plan... this plan that came from THEIR ideas so it could have bipartisan support. I wanted single payer. Most democrats I know did. But we went with THEIR idea. They have nothing to add, no helpful ideas, just trying to tear this apart for political points at the expense of real people who are suffering. I'm sick of the attacks and misinformation. It's disgraceful and unpatriotic. Thank you for your speech and your support of affordable health care for the people of this country.
Kendra, Sherman Oaks

Thank you for standing up for the ACA! I am shocked at how few Dems have stood up for this important program. It is so vital for our country to do something about health care and the ACA is a great start. I truly appreciate you standing up and hope that the democratic voice supporting the ACA gets louder and more clear!
Jana, Palmdale

I do support the ADA "Obamacare" law and look forward to it helping the "PEOPLE", I must point out to you the following:
1. The President misleading statement "If you like your Healthcare insurance, you can keep it", whether it was by lack of information, or something else, gave the GOP a freebee to beat up the White House. This is on the President. A thief cannot use as a defence that because you had the item in your house, it is your fault he stole it.
2. Why in the world did we contract a company from Canada to build the Healthcare website, when we have citizens in this country that are the leaders and experts on doing this. Remember, Google, Amazon, Ebay and many more massive web companies are based right here in California. They all have shopping sites that make the Healthcare site look not only bad, but very limited!
William, Lomita

Thank you for the email. I have not watched the video yet, but I wanted to share with you a troubling thought I had today: As I got up and heard the public radio news about the ACA debacle, I had a sudden feeling of schadenfreude. Serves them right, I thought, to my surprise and dismay. I'm a pretty liberal voter, and I support health care overhaul. The thing is, voters like me got "sold down the river" on the "Public Option." The Medicare, or Medicaid, expansion seems to be working just fine, thank you. Why can't I also enroll, just by contributing more from my paycheck, BY MY CHOICE? It seems that every time Democrats bend over backward to appease Big Business and conservatives, they get slapped in the face. I'm real fed up. No public option = you risk economic progressives being allied with Tea Party ACA opponents. What a mess.
James, Santa Rosa

I'm very glad you're speaking out against the continued attacks on the Affordable Care Act!
Thank you and continue to be an advocate for your constituents and for the people of the US!
Bonita, Monrovia

Thanks for your consistent support of Obamacare. We think it is important to keep this issue on the table and framed in a positive way. We are sure that years from now, this will all be a bad dream and decent health care will be an accepted and given part of our lives, at last. Meanwhile, these bumps are not much different than the objections and bumps faced by Social Security, Medicare and other important advances in seeing that everyone can tap into the advantages America is able to offer. Those have become accepted fixtures n our landscape and we expect ACA will become the same. Thanks for your good fight.
Cynthia, Santa Barbara

The speech you gave today was powerful and articulate. I agree with your sentiments regarding the Affordable Care Act. Stating the history of past road blocks to sensible health legislation was useful. Thank you so much. I always appreciate your presentations.
Maxine, Stockton

I just wanted to thank you for supporting the Affordable Care Act. The problems can be worked out and then the people will be happy with the insurance they will have chosen.
Patricia, Glendora

I really appreciate what you did. The opposition has set the stage for undermining this huge accomplishment. We need to reveal that the emperor has no clothes--people want health care, and they're signing up for it.
Janet, Berkeley

Thank YOU Senator Boxer for your ObamaCare address. Our Health Care Payment system is straight from Alice In Wonderland with the Insurance Cartel running the show. What we really need is to boot the Insurance Cartel off the table and have a single payer health care system.
Shirley, Lawndale

Yesterday I wrote to inform you that my Kaiser insurance (no change in coverage) will go up by $100 starting January, and my disappointment in how perhaps the ACA affected this price hike.
My statement should not be interpreted that I do not support the ACA. Therefore, I would like to add that though my enthusiasm about the ACA is dampened, I still support these first steps in erecting a more human health care system in this country. Though it is going further and further away from the original idea (single payer system), we cannot give in to the misinterpretations, disinformation and selfserving political play of republican law makers.
Hopefully you will keep standing behind the ACA.
Charlotte, Lemon Grove

Thank you for holding firm against the attempted overthrow of the Affordable Health Care Act. Further delays are unacceptable. The people need this reform, though not everyone knows how vital it is. Some are willfully ignorant. Some oppose it because they want to overthrow President Obama. Please continue to hold fast.
Jo, Temple City

I wanted to reach out to you to thank you for being a voice in the darkness. For shining a light for those of us who so desperately need medical care and the services Medicare and social security provide. I was a working mother with 2 jobs and have a husband in prison with a brain tumor who had half his brain removed. We both were born in the same town which is why the EPA & their work is also so very important so others don't end up like our families did. I first thought my symptoms were work and stress related. I didn't have good health coverage. At the age of 46 I lost all feeling from the neck down. I was told to go see a psych nothing wrong with me to quit acting like an hysterical chipmunk.. Finally UC Davis hospital diagnosed me with relapsing remitting multiple sclerosis. They said from testing I had probably had it since early childhood. Without the help of medicare I would have ended up in a wheelchair. I am unable to work now and social security helps me to get by. Others in our family ended up sick or born with serious birth defects. Thank you for caring enough to not only stand up but speak up!
Mary, Folsom

I did listen to your speech. Yes, I do agree with everything you said. I come from a society where we always had socialized medicine, and it does work. But we have also and can purchase a private insurance besides the government insurance. I do not understand that people who have jobs and have an income do not purchase at least some sort of insurance. I know some of those people. Something just had to be done to make these people realize this cannot go on. The very poor are taken care off anyway. The young seem to think, that they are immortal and don't need insurance.
Adele, San Francisco

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Californians respond to my message Sign Up Now for Affordable Health Care (9/30/2013)

I wanted to thank you for sending out this information regarding the new changes in Health Care for California... I spent the time to review all the options available to me. I will be contacting someone to help me clarify any financial help I may be able to receive. This posting was informative, concise and gave a pretty clear overview of the opportunities afforded by this healthcare plan. I know that there is a huge amount of unease about this plan.... This is only the starting gate of change.
Laure, Costa Mesa

Just want to express my appreciation for the great job you do, and thank you for this information.
I have not been able to afford any coverage for 20 years, and I am looking forward to paying into something I feel good about. (I am 57 years old and have some "pre-existing" health problems)
My only hope is that this works out for everyone and shuts the Republicans up for good!
Sharon, Los Angeles

Thank you for the information. I've waited years for this kind of program.
James, La Crescenta

I cannot thank you enough for this informational email with corresponding links that narrow down the options for us. My son just graduated from Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo with a Bachelors Degree in Business, emphasis-Accounting. He got a job with a small firm in Paso Robles that does not provide health care benefits, just an hourly wage of $12 per hour. This email will help us sift through his choices much more easily.
Laurie, Santa Maria

I did listen to your speech. Yes, I do agree with everything you said. I come from a society where we always had socialized medicine, and it does work. But we have also and can purchase a private insurance besides the government insurance. I do not understand that people who have jobs and have an income do not purchase at least some sort of insurance. I know some of those people. Something just had to be done to make these people realize this cannot go on. The very poor are taken care off anyway. The young seem to think, that they are immortal and don't need insurance.
Adele, San Francisco

I just received one of your automated emails regarding the "Affordable" Health Care bill. I just want you to know that you have sold our country out to a socialist leader and I am thoroughly disgusted. I don't write a lot of letters, but this subject has me boiling. How dare you disregard the Constitution of the United States! And yes, I am aware of all the supposed "legalities" regarding this bill, but it still violates the Constitution.
Karen, Downey

My family will personally save over $500 a month with the new health care bill. Health insurance has consistently taken about 1/3 of our income since we started having children. I've been grumbling about the costs forever and am so excited to see that independent people and folks with lower incomes can finally get good care at a reasonable price. I hear on the radio opponents to the bill who seem not to have done any homework. Do they know yet what is being offered? Ignorance kills. Thank you for your hard work!
Marta, Jamestown

As one of your constituents and a supporter of the ACA, I would be ever so grateful if you would add to your message a note to encourage folks to contact their certified personal insurance broker who can give them the most comprehensive advice on their options. I feel it is short sighted to encourage them to only get information from one source. Many of us are working very hard to prepare to help our clients and prospects choose wisely including the Exchange products and the private commercial market. Personally I am working closely with local government groups to cross refer and educate the public. Please do not sell us short! Modify your message, or better yet send out an addendum. Further if I may be so bold as to suggest, it would be a politically expedient move as many of my colleagues are very conservative and think that the ACA is a personal attack on them. I would be delighted to be able to show them that you and your democratic colleagues are supportive of agents in the marketplace!
Margaret, Redding

I am self employed as a Marriage and Family Counselor. I am luckily insured through my husband. Though I haven't always been. One year, while on private insurance, I spent $26,000 on health care. That included my two sons that were in college and myself. My oldest had 2 kidney stone procedures and his appendix removed. That was while I was paying for both of them to go to college and take care of my father who had cancer. I don't make enough money, in a county that has the lowest reimbursement rates in the state based on population...though we are one of the most expensive counties to live in. Most of the self employed professionals I know are thrilled with the Affordable Health Care Act. I wish it had been in place earlier. Thank you for hanging in and fighting for us.
Marilyn, Atascadero

Tomorrow is what I consider NEW INDEPENDENCE DAY!
- INDEPENDENCE from health insurance company hostage takers
- INDEPENDENCE from exorbitant health care premiums
- INDEPENDENCE from the pre-existing condition restriction
- INDEPENDENCE from the lifetime benefits limit
- INDEPENDENCE from the child coverage restriction
- INDEPENDENCE from the no-health insurance dungeon
Rick, Sierra Madre

Thank you Senator for helping to bring the opportunity for all Americans to have access to basic healthcare serices. Please continue you efforts to improve upon the start that has been made going forward, and your dedication in fending off attempts to return us to a system where healthcare is a privilege only for those who can afford it.
Jeff, Laguna Beach

Thank you for your continued support of women across America and our reproductive rights. How dare Speaker Boehner and House Republicans pass a bill that allows employers to deny women access to comprehensive reproductive healthcare! Obamacare is the best thing to happen to women and children in this country. Please keep up the fight.
Marissa, Half Moon Bay

We need to take the Obamacare tax provision out of the current bill & it will get passed.
Obamacare tax provision needs to be fully reviewed as to the total cost compared to the benefit.
At this time in our economy out low income people can not afford an affordable health care program. Senate figure the cost of $ 280.00 for an individual making the new Cal. $ 10.00 an hour. At 160 hours a month that is a $ 1.50 hour for the affordable health care or 15% of their income. Please reconsider this and help the American people and get out of their daily life.
61% of Americas are opposed to this whether they are Democrat or Republican, 61% is a majority.
Lanny, Burbank

Under no circumstance must the President or the Senate quaver in their resolve. There must be no delay in funding or implementing the affordable care act. Once again the Democrats have an opportunity to highlight the divisions and shortsighted self interest of the Republicans and their willingness to damage the economy of the USA for personal gain. Democrats must stand strong or lose the support of independents throughout the nation.
James. San Diego

Please continue to fight the self-serving politicians who want to prevent millions of people from getting access to health coverage. The ACA may have problems, but it's better than the current system. I think it is shameful that those same people who are trying to block healthcare reform get an excellent medical plan at no cost to themselves.
Adrienne, West Hollywood

Thank you so much for sending the email with links and information regarding CA Healthcare Exchange. It is so very important that this information reaches as many Californians as possible. Today, the media reported that our state's exchange was receiving 10,000 hits per second! The ACA will only work if states like California set the example. I truly appreciate any efforts made by my representatives which help Californians understand and access healthcare insurance through the exchange.
Jo Ann, Oakland

To go on record that I SUPPORT the Affordable Health Care Act aka Obama Care. I am so sick of the Republicans saying the people don't want it. In fact, I believe they DO WANT IT. It needs work and refinement, but it's a good idea whose time has come at last.
Carole, Pacific Palisades

I feel a short pause in the implimentation of the ACA is in order. All reports indicate that there are many problems with this Bill. A six month or one year delay would help in getting these problem solved before moving forward.
Allen, West Point

Please be advised I fully support the Health Care changes put into effect by President Obama. In fact, I am now able to retire because my health care monthly expense will be about $230 instead of over $800.
Sandra, Clearlake

Thank you for your email touting the benefits of Obamacare. I'll sign up right after members of your staff and you do without tax payer subsidy. In other words when the elites get on board then I'll consider.
Ed, Lafayette

Please support the health care reform. It is the best that can be done with the forces of commerce and the 1% against it. It is an essential step in moving the US in the direction of universal health care - adopted by most countries…. We need a massive marketing campaign to promote the truth and negate the lies and obfuscation of the Koch brothers and their stooges.
Kevin, Petaluma

as a tax paying union member i find it unbeleavable that you would take choices away from the people. having a monopalized health care system is the same as having only one store to buy food or one car only to choose from at the dealer. the country simply cannot aford it either.
David, Lompoc

I am in full support of the Affordable Care Act, Obamacare. Unlike what we hear in the media, most Americans that I know are very much in favor of this bill. I have had health insurance coverage through my employers throughout my working life of over thirty two years. However, not everyone has been so fortunate. I hope future generations will not have to worry about it.
Vazrik, Glendale

I am responding to your email invitation for me to "sign up" for the Affordable Care Act. As a professor of Public Health, I find the ACA to be one of the worst examples of public policy I have ever seen. By my analysis (and based on the opinions of many other experts), the law will increase the costs associated with healthcare, while reducing consumer options. I encourage you to do everything possible to repeal this legislation before all of the damage is done.
Elio, Valencia

I am already receiving notices about the major increases from my drug insurance carrier and my PPO insurance. So, Ms. Boxer I do not believe that this creation of Obamacare is going to do anything positive for America. I am just proud that I didn't support it through my vote and what I was concerned about, is already beginning to come true. Too bad you still believe the lies.
Karen, Newport Beach

Thank you Senator Boxer for your support of our President and the ACA. My family needs the ACA to be fully implemented in order to purchase insurance through the state exchange. The ACA will have a positive impact on millions of American lives. Please continue your firm support of the ACA without compromising the benefits.
Susan, Pasadena

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Californians respond to my message on Protecting Kids from E-Cigarettes:

Thank you for your work in fighting against the attempt to entice the younger generation into a possible addictive habit of smoking. It was such a relief when the news got out about the ill effects of smoking tobacco, and we were able to have so many places become smoke free. My dad developed emphysema in later life due to cigarette smoking, and the doctor said that his development of pancreatic cancer was probably associated with the many years of smoking. Tobacco companies want to get back their business and these e-cigarettes are certainly presenting a slippery slope for the youth of this country. Please continue your efforts to prevent this from happening.
Judith, Palo Alto

Once again you are 'Over-Reaching' you position as Senator from California. By introducing a bill [LAW] that 'targets' the Advertising Industry you & those that are like minded are trying to pass your 'Beleifs - Thinking - Hang-Ups - off on US the American People as to What We Should Think - Feel - Do - Say - & We The People are sick & tired of you & others in Congress doing OUR Thinking - Saying - Doing For US
John & Shelly, Orange Cove

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Income Tax Filing

Californians respond to my message IRS Offers Free Help with Preparing and Filing Taxes:

Most of your emails are probably problems to solve, but this time you helped me before I asked. Thank you for the link to free federal filing. It was easy and fast and I was so worried I would not be able to find a source. I am done and happy with the results.
Thank you so much!
Roy, Venice

Thank you very much for the updated information about the IRS's policy for helping us taxpayers. This information is welcome because most of us in that pay group has to pay a pretty hefty hit to have our taxes done by a tax preparer. Also, this information to my knowledge isn't something that the general public is/was aware off.
Elijah, Lancaster

Thanks for the IRS filing help info. I need all the help I can get!
Arthur, Palm Springs

Thank you very much for this information. I am always interested in learning new things and new ways. On the other hand you would not have to send out help notes like this if you could just convince the others in Congress to first, stop adding more changes and rules and second, to just keep the whole think under 10 pages. Start with cutting at least 80% of the exemptions and then assign a strict dollar amount to a number of net income ranges. There might be an opportunity to have a second or 11th page for major corporations with a net of, maybe, over $100 million per year.
Gary, Orange

Thank you! I thought they might offer this service, now I know that they do. I will need some help this year.
Pat, West Sacramento

I would much prefere to have a tax professional assist in this endeavor. The bottom line is the tax code is far too complex. To a very large number of your constituents feel that there should be a flat tax. Eliminate all the complexity of the current system.
Anthony, Long Beach

I volunteer as an AARP Tax Aide at the North Oakland Senior Center. Our experience is that some of our clients come in with a federal return prepared by IRS. In the past IRS would also prepare a state return but they no longer do. We have to completely reenter the federal information in order to get a California state return. This is a waste of the taxpayer's and AARP's time. I suggest that you pursue why the IRS does not prepare a state return.
Katherine, Oakland

The email on how the IRS can be helpful, and how to get forms is the most appreciated email Senator Boxer has sent to me. I love practical information. Good Job!
Martha, Sylmar

If only the tax codes were simplified to the point where we no longer have to rely on the IRS or pay professional tax preparers to complete our forms...Is there anything we can do to address this issue (which only seems to get occasional "lip service") and move in that direction?
David, Forestville

Thanks for this valuable information, Barbara. I must say, you go the extra mile for your constituents.
Anita, Grass Valley

I myself would NOT trust the IRS to give my dog a bath.
John, Yucca Valley

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Highway Trust Fund

Californians respond to my message on Maintaining a Strong Transportation Infrastructure:

I agree with you 100%. Instead of subsidizing oil companies, why not use that money for fixing our roads, thereby creating jobs.  It would be wonderful for everybody.
Sondra, San Francisco

I am in full agreement with your opening statement. The funding of this trust should not even come up for debate; it’s a no-brainer on the necessity our highways and roads play in our economy. As the President stated it: (business) did not build it.
Arnold, Orange

Don’t our gas taxes go to roads? If there aren’t enough funds you should raise the gas taxes and they should be on a percent basis. We pay more when the oil companies raise their rates. Cars get better mileage. There are more cars. We need to pay more. There should also be a royalty for extraction and a royalty for oil exports.
David, Santa Rosa

Please consider funding alternative transportation infrastructure in the bill you are proposing. Trails and bikeways are great alternatives to more massive spending on highways. If you MUST raise the funds for this bill, please do so through increased gas taxes. Please don't borrow more money to do this. We're already levering our kids’ futures.
Brian, Dove Canyon

Thank you for your continued support of a strong transportation infrastructure, for all Americans. Please make sure the needs of cyclists and pedestrians are not left out; presently they represent a disproportionate number of accidents and fatalities on our roads. We need an infrastructure that keeps all of America moving and safe.
Michael, Redwood City

Support for transportation infrastructure must include all forms of transport not just motor vehicles and trucks. Transit and bicycles must also be included. Just building wider highways does not address the country's needs for more efficient transportation.
Nancy, Santa Barbara

Thank you so much for standing up for transportation and the funding thereof! I also believe America runs on its highways and railways, and if it's full of potholes, so are we. I also look forward to the California Bullet Train, efficiently carrying my wife and I from L.A.'s Union Station to Oakland before the end of this decade!!!
Chris, Los Angeles

Why did this get to a crisis? Why did congress ignore the funding and waiting to let this funding be ignored? Is congress so busy with bickering on issues without doing the will of the people? Congress will and should get their act together.
Lee, Sacramento

I am afraid it's the time has come for the Demo's to get tough. I think you will have to call out all the Repub's and Dem's who are against this nesasary bill. By Name. What kind of elected by the People person, is willing to vote against the "General Welfair", and Provide for the common Defence, !? These infrastructure systems are crucial to the safety of us all. Not just the private jets and chauffeured limos of the top 2%. Why is it the Middle Class has to fight and plead for every little crumb the republicans what to cut. It frightens me that our Country has lost the revolution, after Two Hundred years to the Hudson Bay Co. and George III. Time to step up.
Charles, Oceanside

I am writing to oppose the proposed infusion of funds to the Highway Trust Fund (HTF).
It is questionable that the HTF would have a shortfall. Why there is/would be a shortfall. Does the government not fund this with the gas/road taxes that everyone that uses the roads and highways(including bridges) pays for? Or has the Congress and Senate in their usual practice, diverted the HTF to other government programs, or perhaps even to pay for your exclusive health care plans that normal U.S. citizens cannot participate in? How about raising the gas tax by one cent per gallon, that would seem to cover additional funds for HTF? That is assuming that those additional monies would actually be used to fund HTF.
Michael, Auburn

Thank you for emphasizing the critical need for a healthy transportation system. I believe our transportation infrastructure significantly contributes to having a vibrant economy and quality of life. The American Society of Civil Engineers has produced a study, "Failure to Act". It shows the impacts on family budgets, employment, transportation costs and the economy. In many cases, transportation is not appropriate for local and state financing. Our highways, airlines, ports and trains are distributed throughout our country. We are all interdependent on our transportation systems to be in good shape whether they are in our own communities or somewhere across the country. George Romney asked, "Is the program so critical that it's worth borrowing money from China to pay for it?" In the case of our transportation infrastructure, the answer is yes.
Anthony, Bakersfield

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Keystone XL Pipeline

Californians respond to my message on Exposing the Health Risks of Keystone XL:

Thank you for your insight and leadership in opposing the pipeline. It would result in irremediable damages in event of a fracture and spill, or leakage caused by corrosion. Those promoting its construction see no further than the "bottom line" and refuse to learn from much prior experience. The claim of "jobs" might apply in the short run, but beyond the labor of construction it's a false come-on.
Frieda, Pasadena

What you are asking of the president is a prudent first step. But we all now know that the fracking cocktail is toxic, toxic to the water supply, toxic to living things and subtracts too much of the vital resource of water in a period of long drought. Therefore, Step 2 must insist the pipeline be stopped.
Coleman, San Rafael

Thank you very much for requesting Secretary Kerry conduct a thorough environmental analysis of the projected impacts of the Keystone XL Pipeline. We feel, however, that there is sufficient evidence already to convince anyone not in the pay of the oil industries that the Keystone XL Pipeline would be a very bad thing, and should not be allowed. You should not stop at questioning this disaster in the making -- you should be opposing it, as well as opposing fracking, which is a major threat to California's communities, wildlife, water and agriculture.
Thank you for your attention.
Bruce, Sacramento

Your prejudice against Keystone is obvious in your message about filthy oil sands. Regardless of your prejudice, building Keystone is best for the USA. Further study and review is just a continuance of the dealing tactics you have been using for YEARS. JUST BUILD IT!!
David, Lemon Grove

Thank you for your great courage and laudable honesty in sending your intelligent letter to Secretary Kerry asking for a more transparent environmental study, untainted by conflict of interest, which weighs the serious health and environmental hazards that accompany the extraction of oil from tar sands; the noxious toxins in water and air that is downstream and downwind from extraction sites and refineries; the folly of a pipeline route through prime farmland; the difficulty of clean up of tar-sands-oil spills, etc. For the sake of future generations, our nation must wean itself from fossil fuels and switch to renewable energy. President Obama and Secretary of State Kerry must have the courage of their stated convictions and deny the permit for the Keystone Pipeline in the interest of the environment and the citizens they serve.
Ann, La Jolla

No one ever mentions that the purported thousands of jobs the pipeline would create by digging trenches would be filled by laborers making minimum wage. Do you see union laborers digging. Thank you for preserving Teddy Roosevelt's dream of preserving the wilderness as the pride of America's parks.
Jo, Chatsworth

I read your statement from the press conference of February 26th this morning. I have a question regarding something that I feel has been overlooked by all of our government entities working on this issue. Why is no one looking at the potential risks to the Ogallala Aquifer? This water source extends through nearly all of Nebraska, parts of Colorado, Kansas, Wyoming, South Dakota, Oklahoma, and Texas. It is an important water source for farming in the region, and I can only imagine the impact should a spill occur over it. Yes, there is probably bedrock between the surface and the aquifer. I'm no geologist, but I believe that there are most likely faults in that bedrock that would allow contaminents to access that water. Yet, I see no mention of it anywhere. I ask this, because I grew up in a little farming community in Eastern Colorado. My dad relied on water from that aquifer for corn, cattle and our family. They are having one of the worst droughts there I can remember, as well as water issues regarding the Republican River Compact. What happens to my family and friends in that area, when, because it was completely overlooked, a spill makes the Ogallala Aquifer unsafe? I realize that this is not a California issue, but I would like to think that you not only concern yourself with the folks here, but with the folks those of us here in California care about. I thank you for your time and efforts on this issue. With hard work and persistance, I hold out hope that we, as a nation, will do the right thing for all of us.
Linda, Rancho Cucamonga

Thanks for speaking out on the issue of the Keystone XL pipeline. In my humble opinion a pipeline of this nature is what one would find in a third world country. A country where people are second class citizens and the environment is plundered for profit. All the While the government looks the other way. Is the USA going to become a third world nation? It could if the oil industry has its way.
E, San Anselmo

Thank you again for your honest words and hopefully there are others who also see the truth of the matter and don't allow this to become one more sell out. I continue to believe that there are
a few who respond to the truth, and will one day prevail, but it is very discouraging to witness time and again the corrupt greed. Thank you for who you are and what you continue to attempt in these almost impossible circumstances.
Jeane, Colfax

Thank you for your stance against the Keystone pipeline. I agree with you that threats to our water supply are increased by transporting and refining tar sands. It is also my impression that the water and chemicals used to loosen and extract tar sands is also a hazard. First, because of the amount of water required for the processes, and second for the chemicals that are added to the water in the extraction and refining processes. So for these reasons and more, I am glad you stand for a sane approach to protecting environmental and human health.
Diane, Los Angeles

I really appreciate your unambiguous comments about tar sands oil extraction. The pernicious effects of fracking are equally worthy of condemnation. In future statements I hope you will take note of the devestating effects that tar sands oil extraction has had on Canada's boreal forests. Those forest have come to look a very dirty moonscape with nothing left alive.
Joseph, Concord

Your opening statement was right on and I do appreciate it so much. I would like to recommend that some additional comments be made as to the financial end of this whole proposition. I think another segment of our population would vigorously oppose this pipeline if they were aware that none of the refined product form the pipeline is going to our domestic use. It is all going to be refined and exported to China. Plus, it is going to a free trade zone where TransCanada will pay no duty and no taxes. During the congressional hearing on this matter, in December 2011, then Rep. Markey asked the TransCanada representative, Alex Pourbaux, if he would be willing to sign off on a proposal that would have the refined product from the XL go for our domestic use. The TransCanada rep refused. A senior executive in TransCanada later stated that it was important for the XL to be completed so TransCanada could "diversify." I think it is important to note that China has invested several billion dollars in the Canadian tar sands so, of course, they want this pipeline to materialize so they can obtain cheaper diesel. I feel your committee could expose this additional side of this issue.
Don, Cardiff by the Sea

I appreciate the battle you're fighting, Senator Boxer. I've opposed the Keystone XL for environmental reasons, but your insights into the health impacts shed a brand new light on why the tar sands must be stopped, or slowed dramatically. Please keep up the fight!
Tim, Santa Monica

Thank you for exposing the health risks of the Keystone XL pipeline at your news conference. I loudly applaud and appreciate your action in writing Secretary Kerry to request a thorough study of the health risks prior to any decision to approve the pipeline. My strongest hope is that President Obama will stick to his promise to nix the pipeline on the basis on what it would do to climate change alone. Now that it has been shown to be bad for the environment and will speed up climate change, It should be a no-brainer. But, as we all know the pressure is great on the administration to approve the pipeline regardless of any harm that might be done. So I thank you, Senator Boxer, and the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee for staying on top of this, giving the administration the timely and ongoing support they need to push back fully against those outside pressures.
Mary, Newport Beach

I completely agree with you that building this pipeline and extracting oil from the tar sands would have a devastating effect on the environment. Thank you for standing against it and helping to save our planet for us, our children and grandchildren.
Claudio, Menlo Park

Our health and the environment are the most important issues in our lives, but not to the greedy power brokers that is the petroleum industry and the corporations that unfortunately are subsidised by our government feeding their appetite for money and power. Subsides have got to be stopped and the Keystone pipeline that would be a disaster waiting to happen to the health of millions of our fellow American citizens and their families. A spill would contaminate drinking water that they need to sustain their lives. We can not allow that to become a possibility. Keystone and also the process of fracking must both be stopped in favor of life.
Donald, Pomona

Thank you for standing up against this disastrous pipeline project. I too believe it is short sighted and would have a huge negative environmental impact. I am frustrated by the amount of power that huge oil corporations wield in this country. People like you, provide hope that people like me are being represented.
Susan, San Luis Obispo

Thank you for speaking out about the health dangers of fracking and the Keystone xl pipeline. We need more voices like yours.
Mary Ann, Berkeley

Thank you for taking a stand in the environmental and health impacts that the Keystone pipeline will have in our communities and on our planet. When will be stop destroying our planet that we have to all live on. When will our planet be first and big business be at the bottom of the list. The impacts will be for generations to come. Sometimes I feel so helpless and we need our representatives to fight these causes to make this world a better place. Somewhere along the line our priorities have gotten lost. 
Jane, Novato

Awesome opening statement regarding the Keystone Pipeline. It's comforting to know that people like you, in your position, are doing what you're doing. Thank you for working towards what's in our best interest.
Diane, Soquel

Please keep speaking out and do not be swayed by the loud, moneyed voices which are pushing for Keystone XL. Regular people with real lives are at stake here, and we so VERY much need your voice in Washington. Keystone advocates are either greedy or blind [or perhaps some combination of both]. Renewable energy MUST be the energy of the future, and our resources belong there, not with extractive technologies.
Claudia, Penryn

Thank you for holding the hearing on the keystone pipeline. Oil from the tar sands of Alberta is too dirty to transport through the pipeline. Extraction of that oil already harming the environment of Canada, poisoning water and land. Please help us expand renewable energy sources.
Barbara, Hercules

I am so grateful that you held this meeting. Keystone cannot go forward. Keystone is the worst idea for our planet, our climate, our health as citizens and our future. We need sustainable energy and we need it now. Keystone tar sands is the dirtiest and most pernicious source of oil! We are truly insane if we sanction a plan, which will kill us in the end. We can't keep pouring carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. Please keep exposing the dangers of this foolish path called the Keystone Pipeline. Big oil and big money should not be allowed to endanger our health with tar sands oil!!!!
Wendy, Citrus Heights

Thank you for putting the interest of our biosphere ahead of insane corporate profits. Corporations will come and go but we totally depend on a healthy biosphere. It goes, we go. No argument, no spread sheet, no amount of apologies or mea culpas will mitigate the damage. Game over!
Lew, Big Bear City

Thank you for working against the XL pipeline in order to prevent the health and environmental dangers that it will cause. I hope that Pres. Obama will attend to your message that it is not good for the environment, or our people but only profits big oil that will ship it to China or elsewhere leaving us with the clean up bill, the health damage and those costs as well. Thanks.
Dorothea, Albany

Thank you so much for doing the right thing! Next time you get a chance to speak with President Obama, please tell him we are all out here waiting for him to step up and make some radical changes in policy to protect our environment. No on KXL is a start. If he chooses to, his legacy could be that of the champion of the fight against global warming.
Kay, San Francisco

I want to urge you to do all in your power to prevent the construction of the Keystone XL Pipeline. There is no need for it - the US has plenty of other energy sources. If there is a spill, and there is bound to be one sooner or later, it will cause a monster environmental disaster
Harold, La Jolla

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Californians respond to my message on Keeping the Focus on Keystone XL (1/31/2014):

I am so glad that you are reviewing the ecological reports re Keystone XL. I believe this is a huge accident waiting to happen (actually not so much waiting). Corporations have shown themselves to be unconcerned re the health of citizens and communities. The mishaps cannot be simply swept under the rug. We need clean water and air much more than we need cheap oil and gas. "Expert" reviews cannot be trusted. Listen to the free scientific community of scholars.
I am very interested in continuing reports.
 Lynne, San Francisco

I just want to express how much I appreciate your efforts in ensuring the XL Keystone pipeline proposed project is indeed safe for our environment. I find it reckless to blindly take the outcome of a report without further investigation, to ensure the report's legitimacy and accuracy. No action should be taken before then. I may not come from one of the states involved with setting up the infrastructure of this proposed project, but we are all directly impacted by pollution in one way or another. If this proposed project is harmful to the environment, then we all owe it to our children and/or future grand children to ensure the project does not come to fruition.
Ronald, Lakewood

We do not want or need that pipeline to bring that filthy oil into and through our country. All Big Oil thinks about is their bottom line, they go not think or give a damn about the environment.
John, Ontario

While I realize you are not satisfied with your Administration's analysis of the environmental impacts of the pipeline, I believe that reducing our dependence on foreign, hostile energy sources is of far greater importance. Your biggest concerns are the unlikely health impacts on communities and the remotely possible carbon pollution that might come from tar sands oil.
I believe, and I think the majority of the country agrees with me, that if we are going to use dirty, filthy energy sources anyway, we would be better off getting them from a friendly neighbor on our own continent than shipping them from a volatile hostile region halfway around the world.
Charles, Bishop

Thank you for your opposition to this project. In addition to the good reasons you mention,
I'm sure we all realize what a National Security nightmare this pipeline would be: completely
indefendable against even the lowest tech. Terrorist attack....don't you think?
Bruce, Palmdale

With all the lies, hiding the facts, burying the the oil etc, it is amazing that anyone would believe their reports. So many things have gone unreported and yet they go on. Hope to goodness we can stop them before more damage is done. We're so close to having so many thing fill in the gaps in the energy field it would be a shame to have the pipe line go in and leak in any of the steams or rivers it will crossing or the farm land it will be crossing. Hope you are able to find many flaws in their report and prove it is a really bad idea to proceed with it.
Carol, Piedmont

Thank you for your encouraging response. My entire family is very concerned about the continued oil industries' pipeline leaks and spills that go undetected for days, the chemical spills and the ridicules methods used by these industries to "clean up" the devastating destructions they cause to humans, wildlife and the environment. We must have clean water and air. This beautiful country needs protecting.
Rita, Lake Almanor

This really isn't any longer an issue about harm to the climate but relations with Canada and those that benefit from the export of oil. Canada is having a problem with the idea of a pipeline acoss THEIR land AND has become fixated on the monies its government is deriving from the polluting industry it is subsidizing. And, obviously, the State Dept. wants to keep Canada in its back pocket for other foreign policy issues. Add to that the campaign contributions from those who would profit from this endeavor, and it's a perfect storm to have environmental concerns, once again, over-ridden in favor of monied interests. Makes one wonder whether the human species actually deserves to survive.
Bruce, Escondido

I am for the pipeline. I think it will increase jobs, reduce our need for foreign oil and be beneficial to our country. Environmentalists and liberals are taking our country away from the people. Apparently, the people are not of your concern. I'm not for dirty air or more pollution, but I feel that this can be addressed by the oil industry and with modern technology can be remedied.
Mary, Gazelle

Thanks so much for what you are doing about the Keystone pipe line. My son-in-law (married to my elder daughter) has a ranch in Wyoming, about 60 miles south of Gillette. The ranch was homesteaded by his father at the turn of the 19th century. They raise sheep and cattle. Ever since the coal industry came in there big time, the water wells on the ranch turned bad and my people there had to buy bottled water. Now the oil industry is planning to come into Wyoming and my son-in-law (one of the relatively few Democrats in a Republican state!) is working hard to prevent the influx of the Keystone oil. I do hope you all are successful in derailing that project. It will ruin the lives of those living there while it adds money to the pockets of those who don't need it!
Gloria, North Hills

I totally agree with you that the report does not address so many issues that come with extraction and refining. As a former Chevron Subcontractor in the Bakersfield area, I can vouch for complete wasting of the environment as a result of this process. That goes without accounting for "accidents". The entire idea is complete that antithesis of what I expected from President Obama's environmental platform.
Linda, Lake Hughes

The study done by the government agency has been completed and now further checks and balances will be gone through before the President can approve this. It seems to us that you are suspicious of the findings. We are not and feel this should be approved and allow the people living in these areas to make the final decision. They will be impacted as you voiced in your concerns but will also benefit from the jobs which are the cornerstone of this President's final term. I urge you to support the approval of this Pipeline.
Karen, Temecula

I am so pleased that you are still keeping an eye on the XL pipeline mess. Thanks so much.
You have focused in the past on several environmental issues that again need to be reemphasized to President Obama and John Kerry. However, I am now convinced that the residue left from the refining process of tar sands, called petcoke is one of the bigger issues and it hasn't got as much attention. There have been two articles that I've seen on the pet coke issue. Both have stated the problem with huge piles of petcoke in Chicago and Detroit. The latest one I saw reported that the tar sands oil refinery in Indiana was piling 600 ton of pet coke PER DAY inside the Chicago city limits in Southeast Chicago. The huge piles of petcoke in Detroit were causing nearby residents health problems so some of it is now being shipped to Ohio. The XL pipeline is projected to produce 15,000 tons of petcoke per day!!! If this stuff gets shipped to Mexico as a combustible fuel, the world's environment will suffer terribly. Finally, no one seems to be talking about the fact that none of the refined product from the XL pipeline is going to be our domestic consumption. TransCanada plans to export it as diesel fuel to China. It does NOT reduce our foreign oil consumption in any way. This is just a vehicle for TransCanada to improve its profit margin. Plus, since it is refined in Port Arthur, TransCanada pays no taxes or tariffs. This situation really causes me a lot of distress because it just isn't right. Thank you for your efforts to bring forth information of the XL pipeline. Your efforts are truly appreciated.
Don, Cardiff By The Sea

Thank you so much for your support of NO KXL!!!!!!!! have shared it on my FB page!!!!!!!!! and yes, it is dirty, filthy sludge possible going through ancient, unmaintained pipelines...not all of it is new! There is virtually NO way to clean it up and "they" will not listen!!!!! We have to stay strong on this issue and hope the President listens and HEARS us!!!!!
Betty, Long Beach

Thank you for your line by line! It comes to me, that perhaps a better pipe line to be built would be one that would bring water to California ... not only would it create jobs, it would save jobs, too!
Dmaris, Meadow Vista

I was heartened to receive an email from you saying that you would very carefully review the EIR on the Keystone XL Pipeline. Please do not allow the Pipeline Project to proceed. Even if the EIR were accurate, which it appears NOT to be, there will be spills, accidents, and toxic results of allowing the Pipeline to be built. Thank you for helping to protect the nation from this terrible, dirty, and wrongheaded tar sands project.
Cynthia, Berkeley

You have the skills and ability to garner support from fellow Congress and Senate members to show them the truth of this pipeline and it's irreversible effects on our atmosphere. Help show them factual reports (not written by oil contractors for the State Dept) along with showing on paper the voters support and especially support from mothers groups about how the next generation will have to pay for this with their health.
Natalie, San Francisco

I want you to consider the fact that Canada has refused to build a pipeline in their country due to environmental concerns that out-way the potential benefits. First a pipeline to Vancouver was rejected. Then a pipeline to the Great Lakes was rejected. Canada and Alberta have refused to build a refinery due to the low quality of oil produced in the tar sands. We do not need this low quality oil either. The Houston area refineries that can refine bitumen already get all of this oil there oil from other sources - primarily Mexico. Why would we build a pipeline that Canada will not put in their own territory? Why would we build a pipeline for low quality crude we don't need? Will we take the risk of a pipeline to stop buying bitumen from Mexico just to favor Canada?
Arne, San Diego

I feel deeply grateful that you have issued the thoughtful, environmentally conscious statement I just received. Please know that I am in your corner 100% on the Keystone XL matter.
Please also know that I regard the health of the environment as an issue of primary importance, and as important as other issues are that now face us, environmental health is the one that will determine the future of our planet, and hence our survival. There is no more important issue than that.
Sarah, Burbank

As long as you have not only environmentalists on your staff to review but actual people who work the real issues of what is entailed to do an operation of this magnitude there may be a semblance of common sense for you to base your decision on. People who have never run a business but end up reviewing these documents without getting an understanding from those who do the work are prone to making terrible assessments that are not of the real world but the world of acadamia. Your terminology surely points the direction you think this should go without any review.
Lynn, Rancho Palos Verdes

Please keep up the fight against the Keystone XL pipeline. It is slated to go through the center of my family's homesteaded farm in Nebraska. We don't want it; the country can't risk such a filthy pipeline through our heartland, and America can't risk supporting the continued use of oil, much less the transport of the dirtiest fuel available.
Melodye, Fremont

Thank you for keeping on top of this battle. We are terribly concerned with the environmental dangers of this - both as to climate change and to possible water contamination and leaks, etc. We should be so much further along with sustainable energy production by now, and no longer tearing up the earth for dirty oil and coals. Keep up the fight.
Elizabeth, Ukiah

Thank you monitoring this important issue. This is the wrong project in the wrong place at the wrong time. Trans Canada is the worst of all companies to do this with their poor record of leaks, spills, incomplete clean-ups, and explosions. They are a menace to the environment. Stop Keystone XL.
David, Santa Monica

This Pipeline is a disaster waiting to happen. If this is so important to Canada let them build it across their country not ours.
Patricia, Los Angeles

I am glad you plan to remain vigilant in opposing the Keystone XL Pipeline. Producing a barrel of fuel form tar sands is more than 3X as greenhouse gas intensive as producing a barrel of conventional oil. The EIS is an oil industry-funded joke. History will hold us accountable.
Debbie, San Diego

I am not sutre why the hold up on the Keystone Pipeline. This project will help create jobs in this country, make us less dependent on foreign oil and help make us more secure. What I find is the liberals in this country and those voted into office are in the process of destroying this once great country. I, as a constituent and a citizen, demand that you move forward with approving this project. We should not be held hostage by the environmental terrorists that lobby those of you in the Senate. Please do your job or resign.
Robert, Huntington Beach

I was very glad when I read in your message today that you will keep a careful watch on the evidence regarding the possible environmental impact of all aspects of the XL pipeline from extraction to disposal of waste. As a scientist, I believe that there is ample evidence demonstrating the drastic increase in carbon pollution that would result from implementing the pipeline, and I would expect that the final EIS will note such evidence. Thank you for your diligence in protecting the health of our planet and the living organisms (including us humans) inhabiting it!
Ayesha, Oakland

Thank you for steadfast commitment to our environment and stopping the Keystone XL pipeline project. This is not the direction America needs to go towards. Having a environmental scientist son and emerging environmental water engineer son I get keen insight into the issues. Solutions are much harder to come by, but anything is possible. Every little bit we do collectively will create the critical mass to find answers. The big battles are for you and your colleagues to challenge with the good of all your intention.
Lynne, Fort Bragg

Pls add the pipeline failures and the resultant poisoning and devastion of communites and habitat. Even if they can somehow justify the actual mining concerns, the failures in transport via under engineered pipelines, aged and failing rail systems and unregulated highway transportation is not a justifieable risk. Thank you keeping the conversation on topic and not political. We need REAL dialogue and solutions, not politiking.
Angela, Riverside

I am against the Keystone Pipeline. It is a disaster in the making for so many reasons. The environmental impact is too great, the adverse effects on communities and health too great. I cannot see any silver lining in the construction of this pipeline for the American people.
Thank you for paying close attention to this pending project, it needs to be stopped.
Debbie, Sacramento

Thank you for continuing to oppose the Keystone XL Pipeline. My family and I have sent numerous letters to President Obama urging him not to allow the pipeline to be built, but we have never received any response. I hope you and the other members of Congress who are also opposed to the pipeline can convince the President to not allow the pipeline to be built.
Barbara, Santa Monica

It is my understanding, by completing the pipeline, it will not only cause more Climate hazards and dangers in polluting our Air, soil and water, this will also give the Oil companies the opportunity to sell the DIRTY OIL to other Countries by way of the Mexican Gulf which will make Canada Richer and the US poorer. Please stop the Keystone Pipeline for all the reasons stated. It is best to invest in Solar and Wind power. This will promote jobs for the US, these jobs will be permanent jobs that will not be out sourced.
Rosemary, Pinon Hills

Kudos on NOT being satisfied with this report! Shale is dirty, toxic and NOT needed for our use in the 21st Century. Keep up your diligent work on our behalf!!!!
Molly, San Diego

We are all watching closely. There is nothing to study, we don't want this climate killing and life killing Keystone XL Pipeline. What part of this message is not getting through to you Senator?
Lara, Orangevale

Please do everything in your power to convince President Obama to reject the Keystone XL Pipeline. It is an environmental disaster in the making, and not befitting his legacy as a president who has espoused his agenda to be one that meaningfully addresses climate change. Your assessment of this horrifying debacle will carry a lot of weight. Please do all you can to persuade the president that the State Department's impact report stating the pipeline will have negligible impact on the climate and environment is an outright lie.
Lari, Brownsville

I think all things should be considered equally, regarding the Keystone XL pipeline. The health impacts on communities and the dangerous carbon pollution will happen somewhere. Should it be our "biggest concern"?
Eric, Santa Rosa

We can find alternative energy sources...dirty fossil fuels are not the answer...
Joseph, Venice

PLEASE help us to STOP coal tar sands mining, and STOP the Keystone XL pipeline !
Gail, San Pedro

Thank you, Senator Boxer, for insisting on pertinent and thorough analysis of the Keystone pipeline. Dangers to communities don't seem to fall within the scope of State Department analysis of impact on climate. Thank you for knowing about valid environmental impact analysis.
Elizabeth, Cambria

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Californians respond to my message on Holding the Line Against Keystone XL (9/12/2013):

Thank you for your work and your speech and your vote against the pipeline. It is definitely one of the issues I feel most strongly about. Californians have got to say "Not in our state."  I appreciate your stand on this matter.
Lindsay, Petaluma

Thank you for your determination to help save our life support system (also known as planet Earth) from dangerous degradation.
Rachel, Oak View

Thank you so much for speaking out against the Keystone Pipeline. It's a horrible idea that must be stopped.
Jean, Sherman Oaks

Senator Boxer: you say you are protecting us by voting against the Keystone Pipeline. What you are doing is hurting America and our economy. The best you could do is keep the government out of the way. We need the oil and the jobs.
Robert, Huntington Beach

I understand that this pipeline is to be used to TRANSPORT oil to the southern cost for the use of OTHER countries. If this is true, this information should be advertised to the American people. Why should American landowners and more importantly our water supply be endangered to supply other countries.
Barbara, San Francisco

THANK YOU for speaking out against the Keystone Pipeline - this is such an important fight, as this pipeline would be an environmental disaster for the US especially, but for the whole world.
Sherry, Tahoe City

Thank you very much for your commitment to speak out against the ravages that the oil industry continues to try to perpetrate in our country.
Elizabeth, Ojai

Well Senator then explain why it makes sense to buy oil from the middle east or south America and from countries who are barely are friends and with the profits made from the sale of oil fund terrorist groups that have sworn to attack the United States. I do believe the potential trade off between alleged carbon exhaust and the real funding of terrorist who hate us might warrant your attention.
Mike, Fresno

I am gratified to hear that there are some representatives of the people who are willing to stand against the huge multi-national corporate giants that seem to have taken over landscape and country. Thank you for being so convicted and responsive to your constituency.
Nola, Big Sur

The greedy and thoughtless right seems almost unstoppable with this dreadful pipeline that is absolutely WRONG for America and would really destroy any chance we have of limiting or reducing greenhouse gasses, but you stand up against them time and again, and YOU are formidable! Thanks for being the voice we can always count on!
Jessica, Sherman Oaks

Why are you against ENERGY independence for the country you are suppose to be a citizen of, this UNITED STATES of AMERICA.
Wildon, Sonora

You are speaking for all of us living in the US today, and all of the unborn who will be living here in the future. People who listen to the Republican propaganda and want us to stop depending on "foreign oil" argue that the Pipeline will help with this. They don't seem to realize that Canada is a foreign country. Let the Canadians make a pipeline to the sea across their own country for moving this extremely dirty crude oil.
Virginia, Beaumont

Thank you for standing firm against the Keystone XL pipeline. Your efforts are greatly appreciated. The Keystone XL pipeline... from my perspective... is merely a disaster waiting for an opportunity. Please continue the opposition until victory is grasped.
Robert, Fillmore

Thank you for your efforts to stop the Keystone pipeline. I also believe it would be a huge mistake to build this pipeline.
Donald, Culver City

Thank you, thank you for standing up against the pipeline!!It's bad for the climate, it's bad for the environment, it's bad for jobs, and it does absolutely nothing for the price of gas here. I urge you to continue speaking up against it, discussing this with other Congresspeople and the President, telling them all why it's a very bad idea with dire consequences.
Sara, Arcata

You can speak out about the Keystone XL pipeline being bad for the environment all you want. Most oil companies are transporting the wonderful shale oil from North Dakota and the tar sands oil from Canada by rail to refineries all over the US. In fact most oil companies don't care whether Keystone is built or not...they have once again found a way to get around government meddling. All your doing is costing people much needed jobs and that's a shame. Rethink Keystone.
Bill, Long Beach

Thank you for being against the Keystone XL pipeline. From what I have read and watched documentaries regarding this issue, this is a huge destructive practice. People have to give up their homes, the poison to the water supply, the damage to the earth, the poison to the air. It is so destructive and not worth the minimal reward.
Janet, San Diego

Thank you for standing up against KXL. We need you in this fight for our environment and safety!
Dianne, Long Beach

Dear Senator thank you for caring about our Planet. We all live and breathe together that’s why I just don't get it why everyone doesn't feel the same. Please keep up your great work!!!!
Tina, Baldwin Park

thank you for standing firm against the keystone xl pipeline; it is a disaster waiting to happen, will not create many permanent jobs and will be used for export.
Kathleen, Claremont

Thank you for opposing the Keystone XL pipeline. This is something I am strongly against for the same reasons as you mentioned that it will harm our environment. Also, I am not convinced that it will bring good jobs to our citizens. That's just their way to try to get this approved at the expense of our health.
Teresa, Rowland Heights

I hope President Obama is listening.
Carol, Glendale

Under what conditions would you approve the Keystone Pipeline? I support transitioning to alternate non-carbon fuels over time, but understand that will take many years for the private sector to have confidence to invest in the new infrastructure that it would require. Is there a "win-win" scenario that would allow the pipeline to be constructed so we could rely less on the Middle East and boost our domestic employment in the meantime without exposing our environmental balance unreasonably?
Charles, Benicia

I just received your email concerning your opposition to the amendment being proposed in the Senate to the current energy bill which would have hastened the approval of the Keystone pipeline. Thank you for your support on this very important issue. I think that this pipeline would be a catastrophe both for the Canadian environment and the states in the U.S. where it would pass. This pipeline is a completely inappropriate place to put our energy spending.
Laviero, Daly City

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Minimum Wage Increase

Californians respond to my message on Lifting Up Women and their Families:

What you and the other Democratic women in the Senate are doing is wonderful. The people in this country need to hear this message. That includes both corporate America and the person on the street. No one deserves to live in poverty while working full time. No one's job is unworthy of fair pay. I worked at minimum wage over 35 years ago and made about $8,000 a year. Given the rate of inflation, no way has the current minimum wage kept pace. All employees deserve fair pay for their jobs and women deserve equal pay for equal work. Thank you for working to make this happen.
Marth, Ventura

I’m really shocked that the minimum wage is still so low! 20+ years ago I earned $10 for a year while I worked in an office and I had some retirement income and social security and it was tough to make ends meet. I don't think even $10.10 is enough, but it is better than what the current rate is. Have no idea how people survive on such low pay. Or why so many are against raising it. I applaud the work of all of you working to improve wages for the working poor.
Mary Jo, Los Angeles

An increase to the minimum wage is of some help, but $10.10 is still not enough. I would like to see it go all the way to $15.00, but I realize that is probably not achievable with Congress as it is today. We speak about the shrinking middle class. Yes, that is a very bad situation. However most of these people who drop out are dropping down into the poverty class. That's who we need to address more than the middle class.
Jim, Oakland

I do not believe there should be any minimum wage. I believe it is inconsistent with freedom. The government should be forever denied the power to set wages or salaries in the free market. You are denying people who are not worth as much as your minimum wage, a job. You are knocking the rungs out of the bottom steps of the economic ladder. I believe your true goal is to make people dependent on government support. Free market wages are inherently fair because both the worker and owner have to agree on wages. The free market is the only arbitrator of fair wages. We are not mindless peasants who want to be ruled.
Henry, Orinda

San Jose has led the way with increase minimum wage and it hasn't hurt the economy.
Bob and Lorraine, San Jose

Keep up the good work. It is by sheer numbers that we can change the fate of women and children. I was a single parent for many years. I know the issues.
Marsha, Culver City

The picture would be worth a thousand words if there were women of color in the picture. While I understand the plight of working women, the picture is not a true reflection of these women. Especially when there are women students that are working every day and are sleeping in their cars while trying to get an education because they make too much money to avail resources. As a woman representing the San Francisco bay area the picture is NOT a reflection of the area or the population.
Doris, Hayward

In the past (Clinton was President) I thought of myself as middle class. As a single mother of one, working full time - I saw the light at the end of the tunnel. I believed I could buy a condo or a small home. Now in 2014 no. After 12 years of republican Presidents - the tunnel is gone! However I will never give up as I see you don't. This ability you have to keep fighting with these crazies is remarkable to me. I still see the republicans are getting their way. Which in my view is trying to make United States a third world county. Privatized medical, rich not paying their fare share and tampering with education for anyone. Your fight is not in vain! Thank you.
Kerrie, San Mateo

I and my family are absolutely in support to raising the minimum wage. Although we are not minimum wage workers I know that it wise to have a healthy economy and healthy citizens. My husband and I both had dads that worked 2 or more jobs so our moms could stay home to raise the children. This is the 21st century and our experience is not the norm, it helps all of us to for workers to have a live able wage.
Kathleen, Chula Vista

Thank you so much for sharing this with your voters. As a pastor I see all too often the devastating effects of minimum wage jobs on women who are the single head of households. What often goes unnoticed is that many of these women have educations and have been in professions impacted by our poor economy. Not only have they suffered job loss but as well the loss of health care benefits and when over the age of 50, often find it difficult to acquire new employment that pays them a living wage.
Harold, Inglewood

I can't tell you how heartened I am at your email regarding the women of the senate standing together to support an increase in the minimum wage, especially since, as you pointed out, 2/3 of the minimum wage workers are women, and most are mothers trying to squeeze enough value out of those wages to provide for their families. Thank you for standing with them.
Olive, Willits

This wage increase to $10.10 an hour is an improvement. However, it is not enough. Adults need to make more than $10.10 an hour - more like $15.00 an hour minimum....everything is so expensive. I know so many working breaks my heart.
Julie, Lower Lake

i don't know how a raise is going to take mothers out of poverty. what they need is gov't aid on child care. there are to many women on welfare that could be screened and trained for childcare. the banks have to many homes sitting that the gov't could purchase for these childcare homes.
a raise only means higher prices. it's all about chasing the tail and as a independent truck driver are wages won't go up because our gov't doesn't put a stop on outside our country trade.
it's sad how this country has really tried to paint a pretty picture and how all of you democratic women close your eyes to the real problems. I am a democrat women of 60 years and have watched my country put us (america) on the back burner. i wish the carrot would stop dangling and give us strong solid change.
Patricia, Stocton
It is critical that the minimum wage be increased to at least allow working people to keep a roof over their heads and feed their family. Thank you for your efforts to see that this happen!
Heather, Sonoma

I was home and raised both of my children. Raising children properly is one of the best things parents can do to ensure they become great people and citizens in the future. Women who work get tax breaks for childcare, but there is no such tax break for women who can stay home. When a woman stays home it should not be considered a privilege, but very hard work, and work that should be recognized as well. Not all people who stay home with their kids are wealthy, and can afford a nanny. Some women can stay home, but choose to work. Let's be fair to all women.
Kathy, santa Cruz

Thank you for standing up for higher wages. What is needed, is for the fast food places [where the majority of low-income workers are employed] to raise their prices. They only charge one dollar for a hamburger? They LOSE money on that, but use it to get people to come into their place of business. They should be forced to raise their prices, especially on meat products. The beef is often raised in South America, and the rain forests are being torn down to accommodate ranchers raising beef for America's fast food companies. I have never heard anyone mention this fact when commenting on higher wages. It's about time we talk about the fact that extremely low prices for fast food are what is perpetuating the low wages for workers.
Catherine, Scotts Valley

Before you can increase the wage you had better find jobs for these women. The seniors have been taxed to death and this health care has hurt the seniors. I used to be a democrat but it isn't looking great to vote for democrats who do not listen to the public. Help the older women who paid their share of taxes all their working lives.
Carole, Daly City

As a 72 year old single mom who raised two sons, I say, "Equal pay for equal work.... It's about time!"
Laura, Sebastopol

Using women again to promote damaging political agendas...typical Liberal actions! Raising the minimum wage, forcing business to pay unskilled labor more, will hurt more women and families more than it will help them! The cost of everything will go up to support the wage increases, and you all know that! Don't you people believe in a starting point for labor???...we all had to work at a minimum wage job when we were in high school and work our way up as we got more educated. For crying out loud, you are going to bring down this country if you keep pushing handouts… How long do you think it will take if you raise the minimum wage for the rest of the labor force to demand increases, also, which can only lead to higher and higher inflation, which will still make it just as hard for single working mothers to support themselves...this is NOT a solution!!
Patty, Ventura

You and I know it's impossible to live on $10 an hour in today's economy. It's a joke that this is something all of you are proud of.  Prices on food and housing have risen off the charts. $10 an hour for a 40 hour week is $800. Multiply that by 52 weeks with no vacation for the entire year, and it comes to #20,800 a year. It's poverty level. Could you live on that?
Elaine, Berkeley

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Californians respond to my message on Raising the Minimum Wage – Share Your Story (01/28/2014):

PLEASE vote and push for increasing the minimum wage. This is simply doing the right thing for our hard working people and will be good for the economy as that money is returned when they spend it supporting the economy.
Donna, Davis

Would you sponsor a bill to raise minimum wage for ALL workers, and apply that to Social
Security Disability, retirement, and Welfare, (since disabled people have to live on that while they're waiting to be recognized as disabled)? I was an aerospace machinist making half decent money. Now, as a disabled person, I barely get minimum wage! Worrying about losing ourapartment is causing me chest pain! Not nice wondering which necessities to cut! 
Roger, San Diego

I just wanted to thank you for working so hard to raise the minimum wage. It is the right and decent thing to do. I’ve no idea in the world how people are feeding their families on the minimum wage as it is now, and so many minimum wage jobs have cut hours to below 40 so as to not have to provide insurance benefits.
Margaret, Fallbrook

Thank you for your strong support for all our country's women & men who deserve living wages for their hard work.
Mario, Chula Vista

Yes, the minimum wage is not a living wage for a women who is trying to raise her family. If you're 16 and going to high school and working part time, a minimum wage will help in a savings account and toward social security later in life. Waiters and waitresses should not have to struggle to make ends meet, nor should walmart employees have to be on food stamps and medicaide. yes, raise the minimum wage for everyone who gets up every day and goes to work, even if they dislike their boss! Thank you for sending me this message and giving me an opportunity to respond to your legislative agenda.
Roberta, San Francisco

as usual, it's the democrats who are supporting better living wages for our fellows -- it is incredible that the minimum wage has been kept so low for so long, and $10.10/hour will be a good beginning.
Jennifer, San Diego

I appreciate the opportunity to share my personal and business focus on the socio-economic challenges we face in California and the Nation. We hear from Congress and the White House that small businesses are the backbone of America. I agree, however, we are not given the same consideration and opportunities that large and major corporations receive, yet we employ most of the American workers and we pay the majority of taxes; federal, state and local. So how is this impacted by the minimum wage increase proposed. I will share some California facts to make my point. During the 2000 Census we learned that about 94% of all Californians who get up every day and go to work actually work for a business or agency that employs 10 people or less. I am one of those employers and have been for over 25 years. There have been times when we were able to make payroll, pay taxes, pay for our office leases and equipment, provide employee benefits, including medical, pay worker's compensation fees, pay unemployment fees and did not have sufficient funds left over to cover our complete salary or secure benefits for ourselves and our families. I am not alone, there are millions of small businesses in California and hundreds of millions across the nation who fit a similar profile, but continue to seek access and opportunities to grow. So, what do we need? We need a firm and immediate commitment from the White House and the Congress that small diversely owned and operated, highly skilled, experienced and competitive businesses will "begin" to receive a fair share of federal, state, county and city contracts so that we can do more than just support an increase in minimum wage and necessary benefits -- we will be able to afford what we can all consider fair and respectable salaries and benefits for ourselves and our employees. Ultimately, this formula would begin to deliver more respectable salaries and benefits which would help newly employable Americans to continue working for small and mid-sized firms while they do their best to pursue the American Dream.
Until the White House and Congress put results in front of the words (small businesses are the nations employers) we will continue to struggle just to make ends meet while large and mega-corporations continue to receive tax advantages, bail out loans, special concessions and "massive" and "continuous" incomes from Federal, State, County and City contracts that allow them to pay their officers and executives obscene salaries, perks and benefits. These people are not generally or seriously impacted by recessions or downturns in the economy - - but we are and so are our employees and their employees. I leave you with the fact that corporate executives do not have a minimum wage because in their positions and the massive incomes of their large and mega-corporations . . . the sky is the limit. Ask Wall Street and the top 500 corporations in our Country. Or better yet, look at the collective and proportionate number of American (not European, Middle Eastern or Asian Country) employees and the collective or proportionate tax amounts they put into local, state and federal coffers vs. we the small business owners.
Again, thanks for the opportunity to speak.
John, Los Angeles

Thank you Senator Boxer for helping all people attain the American dream of hard work for quality of life...the dream has been taken from too many as fewer people (The 1%) do less, create more adversity for the masses to overcome and take all the wealth! People are beyond tired and frustrated and families with children are suffering the most!! Thank you for your compassion and dedication.
Nicole, Los Angeles

I retired just one year ago from a rewarding 35 year career as a Registered Nurse. I spent my entire working life in one incredible Intensive Care Unit at Children's Hospital Oakland along with 150 other devoted nurses. For 13 years I was married to an auto mechanic. I always wanted to earn a comparable wage to what he was paid, but always seemed to be 15-20% behind him in earnings. This disparity always confounded me. Do people really care more for their cars than their critically ill newborns? Is a mechanic's job responsibility really that much more than a nurse's? Before my nursing education I worked at minimum wage, then $1.25 an hour. It's a tough haul to try and make ends meet. Bottom line for all this is I think we need a fairer TAX SYSTEM for this country. Eliminate the loopholes for the wealthy and establish a FLAT tax that will be applied across the board to individuals and corporations. Cut out the incentive to "fudge" on your taxes. Make the whole process one which people would easily complete
without the need for hiring a professional to interpret the current mess we are subjected to trying to understand each year. Individuals who work should receive a decent wage and they should in turn contribute to the success of our Nation / Society. Education and a fair wage should be available to all who desire to contribute to this end.
Judith, Berkeley

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Lunar New Year

Californians respond to my message on Celebrating the Lunar New Year:

Monterey Park has been busy celebrating this year’s Chinese New year with their annual festival! This year we had a special guest appear.  It was a real horse which was the exciting part of this affair! We hope other festivals were equally successful! It’s a nice way for communities to get together and learn more about one another’s cultures.
Sol and Mona, Monterey Park

Thanks for your Lunar New Year wishes. I appreciate it. Hope I keep getting wishes from my US senator many Lunar New Years in the future.
David, San Diego

Thank you dearly for your Lunar New Year greetings to Chinese Americans!
Haiming, Pomona

I just wanted to thank you for your Lunar New Year greetings. My wife is Japanese & I'm half Japanese (my better half, of course) & we both celebrate the new year in the Japanese fashion. I hope you have a great new year as well.
Richard, Fresno

Our appreciations to Senator Boxer’s warm wishes to the Asian cultures in celebrating the Luna New Year- The Year of the Horse, especially in Vietnamese community, we thank you because we know that you do care.
Judy, San Francisco

I am not Asian I am not Democrat I am Pure Californian who is very grateful to have a Senator
who can take a little time to send a big message! Thank you and have a great Lunar New Year!
Shawn, Fresno

They said it would not work, that a culturally diverse society would ruin the country. Well, they were wrong and California is a shining example of that !!! California is not only the most Culturally Diverse state in the union. It is also the most prosperous with annual SGP in excess of 2 Trillion Dollars. SO does Cultural Diversity Work? You bet it does!! Thank you for your recognition of this special day for our Asian brother and sisters and more importantly for embracing this important growing community. Hey, thank you also for looking out the water needs of Latino Agricultural Worker/their families in the Central Valley. Yes, those who work the land to feed us ALL.
Javier, Fresno

Thank you for your message. I was raised by a Mom who said you may live on this block, but there's a bigger world out there and she made sure we went to as many multicultural events as possible. Keep up the good work. Don't get disheartened.
Betj, Fresno

Thank you, Senator Boxer, for your Lunar New Year greeting. Very thoughtful of you to recognize this important Chinese event and to send out your good wishes.
Wilfred, Stockton

Thank you for sending your warm wishes to your Asian constituency--and those few non-Asians who also happen to celebrate--this Lunar New Year.
Andrew, Arcadia

Thank you Senator Boxer for your warm wishes for a happy and healthy Lunar New Year. I wish you the same as well as a prosperous New Year!
Ken, Irvine

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West Virginia Chemical Spill

Californians respond to my message on Preventing Chemical Spills:

Thank you very much for joining Joe Manchin and Jay Rockefeller for introducing the Chemical Safety and Drinking Water Protection Act. This is very important, extremely important. I appreciate that you care so much about issues that affect our health! Clean drinking water is extremely important and necessary.
Susan, Menlo Park

Thank you Senator Boxer for not hesitating to bring about immediate legislative action to secure fresh drinking water for all of the people in America. As most know, and I rest assured that you do, once our fresh water is contaminated it will change the ground rules for living in America forever.
Daryl, Berkeley

just want to thank you for introducing this important bill "Chemical Safety and Drinking Water Protection Act". It is unbelievable that such an important health problem has not been introduced years ago. I was disappointed hearing President Obama talking about the importance of gas and oil producing in America to become independent of imports. This should not happen at the expense of huge water usage and water pollution through dangerous chemicals, that are poisoning our waterways and farm lands, which occurs by fracking. Our concentration should be at more efficient usage of fuel in vehicles etc.
Hilda, North Tustin

We must proclaim that access to clean water is an inalienable human right…. We must take back our most precious natural resource. Stop the efforts to weaken our EPA. This law enforcement agency is our most important. They defend our future.
Craig, Santa Cruz

I want to applaud you for standing up for the environment once again, this time by introducing the Chemical Safety and Drinking Water Protection Act. I am becoming more and more alarmed by the high degree of destruction to, and toxic contamination of, our environment. It is good to see that you, too, are concerned about this crucially important issue. Please speak widely about it and encourage your colleagues to do the same.
Sarah, Burbank

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Martin Luther King, Jr. Day

Californians respond to my message on Martin Luther King, Jr. Day:

As a very public figure, Dr King was truly a person of passion and mission who crossed over traditional boundaries and added so much to the American fabric. Thank you Senator Boxer for the reminder that we need to honor great Americans for their contributions to our lives.
Gerry, Los Angeles

Thank you, Sen Boxer, for your thoughtful letter re MLK Day. The lack of extending unemployment benefits is deplorable, & I appreciate your work to change this. I hope Congress can change from to do nothing to a do something body--the sooner the better. Best to you in your fight for a more equal America.
Marsha, San Francisco

Thank you for emphasizing the economic equality message of Dr. King in your message. In the last years of his life he increasingly fought (in the nonviolent way) to challenge economic inequality in the U.S. and everywhere, and the ward that protected that inequality. Many who had supported his racial integration work turned away and did not support his economic challenge.
Joseph, Los Angeles

Thank you very much for your email regarding the annual commemoration of the life & work of Martin Luther King, Jr. that will occur this year on January 20, 2014. Your inclusion of a link to local events is greatly appreciated.  Something about the overall tone & tenor of your message inspired me to approach you, an individual whose career in the U.S. Senate I also admire, with a question...  Wonderful as it may be that a day has been set aside to honor his life & work annually, I find that I have never been able to understand why, when people are referring to this memorable figure in a formal manner, he is almost exclusively referred to as "Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr." rather than as "Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.” … Although I have no way of knowing how he would have felt about this matter, I honestly believe it is crucial that all aspects of his heritage be acknowledged & remembered. It would indeed be galling to me if the "Moral Majority" (which is, of course, neither); the "Religious Right" (which, in my humble opinion, rarely comes down on that side of an issue); or any subdivision of "Conservative Christianity" might have, despite never specifically intending to do so, somehow caused that aspect of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King's prodigious legacy to seem shameful rather than to be understood as the very foundation upon which his activism & its effectiveness were built. Life will go on; the activities scheduled for January 20, 2014 will take place; and Martin Luther King, Jr. will continue to be remembered & celebrated whether or not my musings have had any effect... I can only hope that something that might have touched some future leader in some way that no one could have foreseen is not lost in the shuffle.
Lynda, San Francisco

Your words honoring Dr. King ring hollow. Dr. King fought for civil rights and equality. The U.S. is not in any way following his example. Iraq, Afghanistan, Guantanamo, Pakistan are victims of U.S. foreign policy which basically bloodlust. Shame on you and all members of Congress for continuing to support imperialist agendas. And btw closer to home, get federal Unemployment extensions passed. Need funding? Go look in the war chest as it never runs low.
Claudia, San Francisco

I appreciate your email update re MLK Day and what it means to every American and too me -- I was 18 the year he was assassinated. Unfortunately, I can't really think about it this year since I'm one of those Americans that won't have access to federal unemployment benefits when my state claim money ends on January 18. BTW: Americans are more and more realizing they can't count on Congress to do what's right, have lost faith and and no longer trust their representatives. We are doomed because of those hard line way too conservative republicans that are truly deaf and blind to the suffering. Needless to say, I'm glad I have always voted for you. Democrats need to take back the House and increase their Senate numbers -- using advertising reminding Americans of the government shut down in 2012 and now the Federal UE issue, will help.
Thank you and have a healthy and happy new year.
Kathleen, San Francisco

Like you, I appreciate MLK Jr. Day, but beg you to explain to me and the late Dr. King how you justify spending our equal opportunity children and grandchildren's prosperity by wholeheartedly passing such an irresponsible Federal budget? You should think twice before spending wrecklessly on pet projects that only punish/eliminate the opportunity to succeed you and I have enjoyed in our lives. The reverend King did not ask for subsidy, only Opportunity. Please reflect on this truth this long weekend,
Rachel, San Jose

I've always been pretty amazed that companies can choose whether or not to honor MLK day as a holiday (day off). It seems time that it is made a mandatory holiday, as he was a visionary and civil rights leader with ideas far ahead of his time. Just as one day, Harvey Milk day should be recognized (once the country is more comfortable with gay people). I see Harvey Milk day being further off into the future--but MLK really needs more official recognition.
Craig, Los Angeles

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Unemployment Insurance Extension

Californians respond to my message on Helping the Unemployed:

My daughter was "laid off" from Bank of America after 6 years along with 750 others here in Lancaster in June 2013. She has been looking for a job preferably close to home as she is a single mother of a 9 year old son. She did not receive any unemployment benefits this month and I will have to deplete my savings to help her pay for food, rent and utilities. 5 months of benefits is all she has received. I feel sorry for the folks who don't have a relative to help them out. There will be lots of people sitting in the dark about to be evicted if the long term unemployment benefits are not extended.
Diedre, Lancaster

I have been unemployed for since June of last year. Yes i like so many others i know have been applying to so many different companies and positions that i never would have done before. Even ones i am not qualified for. I am at my wits end. I had just recieved my 1st 2 weeks of the 1st tir of extensions when Dec 28th hit. Oh my --- . I live with my best friend who is on disability and is on oxygen 24/7. Do you know what is likely to happen soon? I am scared out of my mind.
I can not sleep at night. Its all in my shoulders. There is no one to help us. Its just us. We have been best friends for almost 40 years. Lived together for 30 yrs. I promised her mom before she died that i would always take care of her. I got this far. 4 yrs ago i lost my mom to cancer.
Then we both lost our jobs of 12 and 15 yrs.  We dont know what to do and the clock is ticking fast. It such a bad uncontrolable feeling. No one deserves this. Help us please.
Jackie, Dublin

So so many decent people have been suffering throughout this recession; I continue to respect your fighting for us (working class and working poor people); but please please hurry with some solutions/job bills/communication about potential jobs/etc. Every month I see people losing their cars, apartments, and dignity. It's very painful right now in so so many communities. Seriously, keep fighting hard o.k.?
Mario, Los Angeles

When I lost my job in mid-2007, it was only the UI that enabled me --and far from lavishly, believe me. I went from $35 an hour, and occasional overtime, to 30% of my income. Rent, utilities, gas, and cell phone were first-pay priorities...note that food isn't listed! NOR ARE FANCY FINGERNAILS, VACATIONS, FANCY CARS LOBSTER, STEAK OR DRUGS! Every dollar received was spent the same week, if not the same day that it was received. It enabled me to keep living while I looked for work. Senator, your grinchy fellow legislators should live on 30% of their present income for 26 weeks, and after that, to live on ZERO INCOME. Even worse, to listen to hypocritical proverb-slathered convoluted justification and excuses for why feeding and helping the unemployed is BAD. Senator, why are sound economics being discarded for some perverted distortion of a Calvinist morality play? "Lucky" me, I now receive Social Security (since turning 65 a few years ago), plus a modest check from the .. for PTSD, tinnitus and a skin condition, all from my year in Vietnam...ironically, those 2 checks are not much more than the UI checks so I can keep pinching pennies but at least I CAN COUNT ON S.S. AND THE V.A. The unemployed deserve better than the mealy-mouthed, succumb pitifully to their-rabid-base B.S. being spewed by the ugly-minded rhetoric-vomiters. THANK YOU for all that you and your incredible colleagues in the California caucus.
Patrick, Oakland

As was so succinctly suggested by CNN news, namely Wolf Blitzer, the cost of the war per day in Afghanistan is estimated to be 2 billion. Its a simple equation, bring home the Troops three weeks or 21 days early which will result in a savings of approximately 42 billion taxpayer dollars. Congress needs only 6.5 billion to cover this extended coverage. Using this method, Congress would have an additional 35.5 billion in its coffers, perhaps to help the SNAP program. Perhaps Senator, you can bring this to the attention of Boehner, Cantor and McConnell, and also to the attention of the citizenry of this country and to the media.
William, Long Beach

I am sure congress has not gone a day or a week or maybe a month wondering where their next meal will be coming from. I know of many people who are no longer eligible to receive federal assistance or veterans who are not able to find work and are living in their cars, under freeways, or make shift habitats in alley ways. By extending the federal assistance will only create a band aid effect. How about working on brining jobs back to the USA, instead of sending it to other countries where items are full of lead and items are not as well made as it is here.
Frankie, Norwalk

I am a married gay man, age 74, with monthly retirement income less that $3000.00. My husband's Federal UI extension expired 11/2013. He has not been employed in his field found for several years. We are surviving on vapors. Although he had recent qualifying temporary employment, my husband will not qualify for new California UI benefits until late February 2014. Without Federal extensions, the new benefit will be exhausted in two months. I am not looking forward to living in our car-the space is really limited. Thanks for your advocacy to extend Federal unemployment benefits.
Robert, Los Angeles

I am 49 years old. I have worked consecutively all my life since I was 16 years. I have made roughly 55,000 a year in the 3 Advertising Sales jobs I have worked in the last 26 years. I have struggled making ends meet but have always managed to pay my bills. I have now been out of work since May 2013 do to a lay off at my last publishing company and have been trying desperately to find a job. I send out my respectable resume at least 5 times a week, but I have yet to find work. I am now faced with eviction at end of the month, my electricity being cut off before end of month since I have absolutely no money left. Until the Federal Unemployment Extension was cut I was getting by each month. I have know idea what to do or where to turn. I am afraid I am about to lose all I have. Please help fight for the extension with all your might.
Jon, Los Angeles

This is the 2nd year in a row where my choices have been limited to food or medicine. I can't afford my medicine. I'm on SS disability. As liberal as it is, I can't make it. Despite Obamacare I can't get a break. Can you do anything to help? Please. The country is getting worse and worse instead of the other way round. What can a person do? One needs medicine and food to be healthy. It's a 2 legged stool. Not too good.
Paul, San Francisco

I was out of work for a long time and recently got a job, so this is not about my situation anymore, but still wanted to express my thoughts on this subject. By not extending unemployment benefits, congress is sending not just 1.3 MILLION people, but that many people, AND their families (MILLIONS of spouses and children) into desperation, poverty, homelessness, and hopelessness. They are taking 25 Billion dollars directly out of the economy and destroying an additional 200,000 jobs on top of the ones that are already not there for these people. The repubs were big spenders when it came to wasting TRILLIONS of $$ on wars and tax cuts for the wealthy, (that were NEVER paid for), yet now can't get more heartless or clueless than they are about this issue. They hope to lower the unemployment rate by 1/2 of 1 percent by getting enough long term unemployed to give up looking for work and just accept their new poverty ? Wow. And yes, the dems were gutless for going along with this republican part of the compromise. Sen. Paul had the fact right; employment is harder to obtain after being unemployed for a longer time, but came to the wrong conclusion. That reason is WHY benefits SHOULD be extended for the long term unemployed. Thank you Sen. Boxer
James, Culver City

It appears that the majority of congressional members lack compassion for our community members who are unemployed through no fault of their own. This does not speak well for our country. Please continue to speak out in behalf of our brothers and sisters who are unemployed and are no longer receiving unemployment benefits.
Susan, Los Angeles

I am a 74 year old retired silver servant, but there have times in my life when I was with out a job or any income and homeless so I can identify with the thousand of people that are in that condition, at one point I made up my mind that I had to do what I had to do to survive and I did some thing that I am not proud of. so what I can see the government is going to make some good peoples bad peoples. think about it if your family didn't have food to eat or a home to live in can you say what you wouldn't or would do that your family could have the thing that I think every American should have I am praying that you all do not have to built more jails for good peoples.
Johnny, San Francisco

I have been out of work for nearly five years! The inability to find work is based on my lengthy unemployment time. The few interviews I've had always bring that up. As if I've been lounging around, sipping Mai Tai's! Truth is, I've pretty much exhausted every avenue to finding employment. My experience has been working in an office as a litigation secretary and as an administrative assistant. However, there doesn't appear to be much call for that kind of work these days. And nobody can tell me how this experience can be translated to other forms of employment. The agencies have not been helpful at all, saying, once again, that it's my unemployment that is turning them off. Meanwhile, I have long exhausted any and all forms of unemployment insurance. My money will soon run out. I've gone to the General Assistance, located in San Jose, but their information requirements are very intrusive, including financial information on relatives. I would like to see any emergency three months of unemployment benefits for ANYONE who has ever applied for unemployment benefits since 2008 and has yet to be employed. Those three months could be a real lifeline to those of us who are teettering on the edge of homelessness.
Janice, San Jose

I was a manager a solar company that went bankrupt about 2+ years ago, and have been unemployed ever since then. I have been forced into retirement and can barely survive. I still look for work and I am even willing to take a drastic cut in pay. The USA does a reasonably good job helping other Countries, but does a really poor job when it comes to helping our unemployed workforce.
Ron, San Jose

It's been over a month since long term extensions have ended. Unfortunately I will run out of money soon but there is a light at the end of the tunnel - my tax refund! But beyond that I will have no source of income and the bills will continue to come. Please urge those in Congress to imagine if they were laid off, 51 years old, and unable to locate any work. I know its hard to believe but my life was running along smoothly until my Pearl Harbor on May 2, 2013. I have been laid off twice before but found work within months but this time it's been especially hard. I presumed I would find work as before but I can't even get an interview. Let's hope these benefits will be extended. I hear there is progress on a 3 month extension. Anything will help.
Javier, Culver City

I'm writing this as one of the millions affected by the cessation of unemployment benefits. I was laid off from my job last February after being with the company 14 years. It was a mall company and so I was not given any severance or pension. I am 60 years old and have worked for the last 42 years. I have tried to get employment but I've found that no one really wants to hire a 60 year old. Being 60 means I have a 5 year gap to collect Social Security. It is important to me to have the benefits extended because I have almost eaten through my savings. I am not sure what the future holds. My only hope at the moment is to start my own business. I am making strides to do that and am excited to get started. If it doesn't work out, however, I'm scared to death at what my future may be. I'm not a loser or slacker as so many commenters on websites say, but a responsible, hard-working American who has fallen on hard times through no fault of my own. I am trying to make my life work in a situation I never dreamed I would be in. Please help your colleagues to see the profound need to extend benefits. For me, it may be the interim safety net that will allow me breathing room to get on my feet again. Thank you.
Colleen, La Crescenta

I am 33 single mother of a teenage boy and my income was the only income we had to live on including unemployment checks. I am writing you to please continue to help get an extension on unemployment. After working over ten years clerical in the medical field I was let go and was on unemployment. I have been constantly searching for jobs and rejection after rejection I have not given up. It is scary to hear that my claim will be up after 26 weeks of unemployment. I do not know how I will make ends meet if they do not extend unemployment. I know I am not alone on this subject and millions are as scared as I am. I have never been on welfare or any assistance even being a teenage mother.

Kristen, Chatsworth

Please keep pushing for the unemployment extension. I am one of those who were cut off in December. I'm 61, have 3 college degrees and am a Vietnam-era veteran. I am not a number or a lazy or stupid individual as some Republicans would like you to believe. Those checks are our only lifeline. With several lay-offs in the last twelve years, the crash, and the worst economy of my life, I have sadly had to run through my life savings and 401Ks. It has been heart-breaking to experience. I had to borrow money for rent and bills from relatives just to get through January.  I have worked since I was 15 and fear I may be homeless soon if I don't get those federal unemployment checks. I eat one meal a day now and I'm starting to feel quite desperate. Please convince all your colleagues that this is something we all paid into and desperately need now and not in a month or two. We are not receiving welfare checks, but checks we worked for and earned. I know you have always stood up for your constituents and those in times of need. I pray you are successful along with your fellow senators and represenatives.
Jay, Albany

Thank you so much for fighting to extend federal unemployment benefits. I am a 49 year old woman who is struggling to find employment. I was laid off on June 18, 2013. I had been with my former employer, Southern California Edison, for 9.5 years. It has been a very difficult time for me, both emotionally and financially. At times I feel like such a failure because I'm doing what job search experts recommend and I'm still unemployed. I'm especially hurt with those members in congress who say that people in my circumstance are lazy and need incentive to work. They are so wrong. I have plenty of incentives. I have my car payment, my insurance payment, my natural gas bill, my electrical bill, my grocery expenses, my gasoline expenses, my mortgage payment, my mortgage insurance payment because I'm a first time home buyer, and my personal expenses such as clothing, shoes, and toiletries, and I also have my job search expenses. As you can see I have lots of incentive to work. I want to be a normal person again and talk with friends and family about my day at work and what I achieved for my company or the recognition I received from my boss. I am not a lazy woman; I want and need to be a normal woman with a fair chance at finding a job. I want my government to be patient with me and show some compassion. Instead, I get members of congress calling me names and making feel ashamed for losing my job through no fault of my own, and making me feel desperate because I don't know how I will be paying my bills. Please don't give up on me Ms. Boxer. I ask you to continue to fight as I can still provide value to this great country of ours. I believe I'm worthy of a little compassion and not name calling.
Sylvia, Pasadena

I would be more interexted in seeing some concern about the economy and the national debt than extending unemployment benifits. Lets face it, the longer you have eligibility for unemployment checks, the longer you will be unemployed! How about making it easier for businesses to create jobs. What a concept!!!!! I am sure this WILL NOT be posted on your website. Thanks, from a very disappointed DEM.
Harrie, Half Moon Bay

I am an independent voter and voice my opinion that we the American people have an obligation to assist the people who have lost their jobs due to this recession. There are many families who are just getting by pay check to pay check. I found out last week in Santa Clarita there is an apartment that has a weekly and daily payment schedule. Sounds a bit like Charles Dickens and if the tenants do not pay they are without a place to live. Buck McKeon should be delighted to hear this news.  In November 2011 my wife along with 800 other directors, managers, engineers and others were let go from St Jude Medical in Sylmar CA. This lay off was called a reduction in force (RIF). This huge lay off removed nearly 200 million dollars from the Southern California economy. I first noticed this by going to our dry cleaner a month later and she said it is tough but they were getting by. That was just one business. Our family is fortunate but for every family that is ok there are four to five families that are not fortunate.
Bob, Santa Clarita

I wanted to respond to the senator's extremely well presented speech on the topic of extending unemployment insurance benefits. She really drew a picture of what this is all about. It is only three hundred dollars on average and when you have little children in the desert of 29 Palms in January not using heat. That money goes directly back into the economy. It is such a no brainer. At least six republicans sided with her of which she complimented. I am glad she briefly mentioned the Koch Brothers and also revealed that a certain 500 families have enough wealth as that of half the population (150 million people.) Senator Boxer thanks for standing up for the economically middle and now growing lower class.
Richard, Sherman Oaks

I am writing this in response to your speech on the Senate floor regarding the extension of unemoyment benefits. My husband and I are amongst those that you were speaking for and I thank you. I am unemployed but I do not receive any benefits. I have been unemployed for 3 years. All the places I go tell me I'm over qualified and hire the perky younger applicant. My husband has cancer in his eye and no one wants their customers looking at someone with a messed up eye when they can hire someone younger and cuter. Now, in January, we have 0 dollars coming in. I try to scrape together ways to earn a little money as a musician and selling things that I make, but January is a very slow month for such things and I am so scared. What will happen to us now? Please continue your fight for us. Our lives depend on it.
Rose, Pleasant Hill

Thanks for your comments on the Senate floor today. I am jobless, and my benefits ended on 12/28/2013. I paid a LOT into the unemployment _insurance_ system over my many years working, and so I'm just looking to get some of that _insurance_ payment back in the form of benefits. I'm not asking for a handout... I'm asking for the _insurance_ benefits I paid for to help me through joblessness.
Kenneth, Concord

As with over 80% of your constituents, I am so very frustrated with congress and your absolute lack of civility & honesty with each other & the country. Make no mistake about it, my message is directed at Republicans and DEMOCRATS. You each point the fingers at each other and it seems the Democrats are doing this the most. PLEASE stop your (I mean you) partisan bickering, posturing, and childishness . . . and start doing our business . . . you work for us! At the top of the agenda for me is jobs, jobs, jobs. As someone who was recently unemployed, I blame the California Democrats and congress for the terrible business environment you & your brethren have created. Please stop putting barriers up for businesses . . . and start doing our business . . . you work for us! I challenge you to post my message on your website. I tired of seeing only messages that say how wonderful congress and you are doing. You (and your bipartisan brethren) are actually doing a terrible job and it's embarrassing!
Doug, Fremont

Please have the Congress reinstate unemployment for 1.3 million who lost theirs in 12/13. Also I am one of over 10,000 to 20,000 unemployed because about Aug or Sep of 2011 unemployment was cut to less then 99 weeks in the state of Calif. I am retired but I am also unemployed since Oct. 2010. Because of my age of 69 I am not able to get a job, because they think I am to old. I needed the unemployment checks to help me and my husband get thinks done. We are living on our Soc Sec and my small pensions, but it is very hard. I can not get cal fresh, or help with my husband, I am his care giver. I want to work part time, but as I have mentioned no one wants to hirer me or any one else who is over 50, I am 69 and my husband is 72.
Janet, Lancaster

I've been without a job for more than 4 years. During this time, I've tried to learn other courses as well as taking care of my mother for 7 months after her husband of 34 years died. I've exhausted all of my savings and am now applying for food assistance. I've eliminated all unnecessary expenses but cannot live on Social Security alone. Even though I'm a senior, I've applied for many jobs, even part-time. Now, after 23 years, I'm at the point of having to sell my home. I don't know what else to do. If there was a way for me to earn an extra $1,000 a month, I'd jump at it. If you can help unemployed people like me survive before facing defeat, it would greatly relieve facing devastation.
Regina, Walnut Creek

By not factoring in offsets to Unemployment Benefits Extensions we as a nation are getting further and further into debt. That is something that hurts all Americans not just the currently unemployed. Not to mention those who are taking advantage of American tax payers by receiving extension after extension in benefits for many years now with no plan to help them re enter the workforce.
Daniel, North Hills

I am so glad that we have you advocating for us. I am a 67 year old woman who has been lied to, taken advantage of, and patronized by employers, then surprisingly let go after providing them with excellent service. I have no husband, no pension, the prior 2 year bout of unemployment depleted any reserves plus placed me deeply in credit debt due to 6 months of no income but Social Security,which barely covered my rent. This is not how I planned spending my golden years. I finally obtained a job at the new casino here in Sonoma County… The casino was slow and they had over-hired. So on December 27th I went in to work and was informed that I no longer had a job and that it wasn't personal. certainly has affected me personally, financially and emotionally.  I hope that your wonderful advocacy will have the desired effect on those who can help us.
Clare, Santa Rosa

Simply extending the unemployment benefits is a bad idea. I believe the amount paid should be reduced when extended. Also, job retraining should be mandatory for those wanting to receive extended benefits. Recipients should also be required to apply to a certain number of job openings provided by the local employment development office and required to take any job offered to them or lose the right to receive continued benefits. It is time to push some of these people to actually go to work. I have known too many of them that say this or that job are beneath them because of the job they "use to have". This is plain ego, or just laziness since they have already been paid so long for not working. I have also heard some of them say if they take certain jobs they would actually end up with less take home than staying on unemployment. Perhaps giving partial benefits to someone who has only found part time employment would at least get them started on the working path again.
Wayne, San Jose

Every day I am on the firing line helping to address and financially assist the needs of the low income, and unemployed, as a case worker for Sunnyvale Community Services. Our unemployed were devastated when we lost 25 employees of EDD in Sunnyvale in July 2012 when there was a new greater need. The cost of living has gone up higher, rent is increasing, and the rate of homelessness is increasing. At present, the future does not look bright when the Dept. of Social Services has cut back on one to one service and the clients are not getting their food stamps on time. There is no such thing as the average unemployed worker. Last month we helped a man with his water bill because he was able to prove he was hired, but would not get his first month check of $4000 in time to avoid a shut off. I am a tax payer and am willing to continue paying taxes as long as the safety net for the most vulnerable is intact.
Maria, Sunnyvale

I was laid off in April 2013, and spent many months looking for a job that that would pay near what I was making. I have over the months gotten more "your too qualified", "we have filled the position", or "where your qualifications match what we are looking for, you salary requirements" are not within the scope of this position. I felt and still feel that I was forced to take a job that pays less then half of what I was making. I continue to look for work even now, and am still facing the same rejections that I have been receiving since April 2013. Not that this is going to make it any better or me-as really that is not going to happen, and I know that.
There are those that are working hard EVERY day to find a job that are in the position I am....we are not living off the system that we have supported for many years.
Erin, Long Beach

Yes, very impassioned. Perhaps, though, it would do those you purport to help a great deal more good if you were to spend less time trying to extend "benefits" and spend more time trying to get government off the backs of the private sector so those very people actually had jobs. Your administration's regulation and redistributive punishment of success are why these people remain unemployed in the first place. Government's job is to ensure a level playing field, not to call the plays. Government has proven,unequivocally,during the last five years that it's interference in the private sector leads to confusion, distrust and slow growth. Ps: It would be nice to see an opposing view posted.
John, Fort Bragg

I am now 67 years old. I lost my job at the age of 62 in 2008. I went through my 99 weeks of unemployment through 2010, to the age of 64. I was estranged from my husband and finally divorced him so I could claim retirement on the record of a previous spouse. That helped me survive until I finally turned 66 and could claim my own full social security. I don't know what I would have done without that unemployment, as I never got so much as an interview during those worst times, and I had no one to help me at all. Who knows the circumstances of the ones now who need extended benefits, but it can't be good. I thank you very much for your conscientious effort to help them.
Juanita, Santa Rosa

Keep up the good work fighting for "ordinary" people to be able even just to survive in these trying times. I, myself, am now unemployed. I was laid-off on December 27, 2013. The company I worked for was actually reluctant to do this, but it was down to the "bottom line" - money. I was a valuable member of their workforce and needed in my position, but I was the last in, so I was the first out. Without unemployment benefits, I would quickly become in debt, as I don't get compensation for losing my job, unlike management of large companies, who can even commit fraud and still get severance pay. Republicans simply say - get another job! When there are so many other unemployed people out there applying for the same position, the chances become very low to succeed, but the republicans seem to think that making it harder for a person to be on unemployment makes it an incentive to work, but as jobs are not available, the only result is people becoming homeless. Shame on the republicans for their indifference to the ordinary person’s plight.
Tony, Santa Rosa

I was laid off from Cisco Systems in San Jose, California October 2011, since then I have been searching for steady work with a decent wage I can actually live on. In the 26 months since being laid off, I have searched and searched, and applied and applied. All that effort has landed me 3 short-term temp positions of which I worked a total of 12 weeks!!! That is it!!! I am sinking and one of those affected, my unemployment benefits extention expired 12/28/13. I am desperate for employment and have been selling personal things here and there just trying to survive. I am to the point that I am scraping just to get by and do not have very much money left.  Do not know if I have enough funds for my house payment and all other household obligations for February. That is how low I am on money. This is very scary as I am a hard worker and have always worked, and never been in this type of position before.
Juanita, San Jose

You are always voting to increase our taxes and provide more for those "in need" Isn't it about time we asked why they are in need? Did they get an education? Did they go to work when they had a job? Have they brought children into the world that they could not afford? Why don't you start a "Personal Responsibility" movement? Enough is enough!
Kayleen, Monterey

I for one lost my job in April 2013 after working 12 years for the same company. I worked all my life while raising two children. This was the first time I applied for unemployment benefits. I am 77 years old and 4 days after losing my job I was diagnosed with pulmonary fibrosis which is an incurable disease. I have very little savings and without extension of those unemployment benefits I do not know how I will survive. I beg you and your colleagues to do your utmost to extend those benefits.
Gisele, Glendale

Did you not see the ADB jobs numbers today (the day you lobby in Congress for these "Emergency Benefits")? Let me fill you in since you must not have seen them. 238,000 jobs added last month. The emergency is over. Americans are getting back to work. It is now time for Congress to stop providing handouts and start providing incentives for employers to hire even more people. We need to quit enabling people to sit at home and cash the check and go out there and earn one. We Americans are tired of seeing the number of people living on the dole rising. Please help us stop the bleeding, rather than increasing it.
Craig, Healdsburg

Their needs to some incentive for these people to get a job that pays something even in new sector of business . Their are jobs out there going waiting for someone to either move to the job or take a 2nd choice position . As it is people can lay back on their unemployment till the tax payers say enough.
Ronal, Pittsburg

You talk about unemployment benefits expiring Dec. 28 as if they were some "emergency" benefits that hadn't been around very long and are now going away when people can least afford it. The truth is that the "emergency" unemployment benefits extension was first passed way back in 2008! They have been extended annually since then and it is time for them to stop. We are paying people not to work so they natuarally DON'T WORK! Yes there are a few people who genuinely can't find a job, but 6 months of benefits are plenty and then the benefits should stop. If you haven't found SOME job, even a low skill, low wage, job in 6 months, then you just don't really want to work.
 Howard, Hacienda Heights

After 99 weeks of unemployment payments, your proposal to again extend them shows a total disregard for fiscal realities. After five years the current Administration has failed to articulate and implement Government policies that would reduce the burden of government taxes and regulations upon the business community and thus create jobs. Adding more billions of taxpayers money make be another "feel good:" move by the Senate majority, but it is a failed philosophy as was Lyndon Johnson's "War on Poverty." We are appalled these simple facts are not understood, apparently, by you and many other members of Congress. Your Party continues to attempt to solve all economic problems by throwing more taxpayer money at the problem and never solving it. We do believe the American electorate of all Parties is beginning to awaken to this.
Vicki and Bill, Hillsborough

I just received an email about extending the federal emergency funds for unemployment and that is what we need. I am from the Imperial Valley in California and opportunities here are minimum. I have a bachelor's degree and master's and things are not looking great for me, I have been unemployed for almost two years and been in several interviews but with no luck. Anyway, just wanted to let you know that Americans need these extra funds.
Luis, Heber

My son is married with three children and has been jobless, for the most part, for five (5) years. When he was entitled to file for benefits he did not, and when he really needed the funds it was too late and he could not. Nevertheless my husband and I are OPPOSED to a continuing Federal bailout. The economy is rebounding, albeit very slowly. There are some who will not be returning to either their previous jobs or at their previous levels. But we have seen all too often in the past that well intentioned aid becomes enabling. The temporarily unemployed become the permanent unemployed, particularly if income is available without effort. It brings along with it low self esteem, lack of ambition and a general malaise. Both of our families come from Holocaust survivors who came with nothing. They struggled, worked hard AND saved diligently. They didn't have the benefit of advanced education, but the understanding of forced starvation and deprivation, something they NEVER wanted to experience again. It's not charitable to continue this road to unbridled dependency.
Carlin, Tarzana

Great countries take care of their people!! Food, housing, education and good medical care first, not weapons and expensive wars!
Rita, South Pasadena

I would like to think that Mrs. Boxer is really worried about her constituents. But it is obvious that she is only thinking about how to buy votes by giving stuff away. Liberals are the least likely to donate their money for the people. If the current administration keeps touting the success of the stimulus and how the economy has improved, it is illogical to now try to pass an emergency bill extending the unemployment benefits. You can't have it both ways and the public is very aware of this. Unemployment benefits now last almost two years. Really two years. . be serious get the unemployed jobs as promised by the current administration and quit thinking of only your career. Now let's see if you will post this on your website
Rodney, Eureka

I so agree with you that our unemployed and unfortunate need assistance. I always hope that my tax dollars don't just go to the royalty in D.C. but also goes to the people who really need it.
Karen, Lake Hughes

I appreciate your passion, and through the years, have agreed with you on many issues. But I believe it is time to cut the cord on the unemployed. I work very hard, as do my brother, sister, and wife. All in California. We are upside-down financially. In a utopian society, we could help as long as necessary. I wish it weren't true, but I don't think CA can afford to keep borrowing against what we don't have.
Charles, San Francisco

I appreciate your efforts to revive the now ended Federal extension benefits for unemployment insurance. As I am currently unemployed, this is of great interest. However, my confidence in Congress' ability to reach agreement leading to reinstatement of benefits is very low.
The entire political process is highly abused and not representative of wants and needs of the constituents served. Like many things, politics has become commercialized and is more about connections, money, and power than serving the will of the people who elected politicians as originally intended by the forefathers. I hope you and your fellow politicians prove me wrong.
Andrew, San Jose, CA

I do not agree with further extensions of unemployment benefits. While there are certainly many dependent Americans who would like to continue to receive this government assistance, it is time to allow market forces to work. I personally know several individuals who will refuse to take reasonable employment while they can remain on unemployment. Furthermore, this short term handout will only need to be extended again in 3 months. It's time for it to end.
Michael, Millbrae

I am all for extending benefits, but I would like to see some requirements for re-training, work projects put into place. To many people have found loop holes thru the system or been able to constantly live of the benefits. With the infrastructure of the US in dis-repair and needing significant fixes and upgrades it seems like this would be a great way to utilize lots of the out of work citizens to improve the country, learn new skill, net work with others and be proud what they are getting in assistance.
James, San Jose

I am one of the 220,000+ unemployed and I know a large amount of individuals that are in the same category. I don't think everyone understands the hardship of surviving day to day without our benefits. Many have lost their homes/apts and the inability to pay for your basic needs is stressful and depressing. If people deeply care, it doesn't take a lot of thought to know that help is needed IMMEDIATELY!!!! The old saying to know someone is to walk in their shoes is very true. Please inspire those who have all of the comforts and luxuries to do the right thing right NOW.
Georgette, San Jose

I am glad to hear about you trying to get the unemployment extensions reinstated. I am one of the misplaced workers that it has affected. I have worked all of my life since I was 16. I am 50 now and losing my last job (Hostess Brands) was and still is devastating especially when our second biggest union went on strike causing the company to liquidate and forcing us all out of a job. I am a single mother and nearly at my wits end, not knowing what the future holds. Through the years, I have established an excellent credit history and now I feel like my whole world is in jeopardy of crumbling right before my eyes.
Frances, Sacramento

My name is Ashley, and unfortunately for the past 9 months or so I have only been working part time temporary positions. I have not been able to find a full time position in the field that I received an education for. I am a recipient of a Bachelors degree in Communication and Marketing, as well as, a Paralegal Studies Associate degree. I have been working in the legal field for the past three years and still have not been able to find a permanent full time position as a Paralegal or any other legal administrative/clerical title. Even though I do continue to apply and interview for several positions, I am still unemployed. The money that I do make from the part time temporary positions that I do get is not enough to make my bills, rent, or food. The money that I do receive from my unemployment benefits does help me a lot. I live with my mother and pay very little in rent, so I do not know how others are even able to make it on the benefit amounts. My benefit amount is $313 a week. Which is not enough to put gas in my car to go look for a job, buy food, and pay bills; so something usually gets put on the side for later payment. My hopes are that there will be more jobs available to me as soon as possible. I can not speak for others that are getting unemployment, but I do know that for me I want to work. I do not want to be on unemployment, but I have to be in order to survive. I do hope that this sheds some light on the subject.
Ashley, Altadena

Thank you for standing up for the unemployed. Thank you for standing up for those families who are struggling and fearful for the future of their families. I am the director for the food bank at my church and so I get to meet a lot of these families from my community. I get to hear their stories. I get to hear their desperation and their fear. It will be a relief to those who are unemployed to hear that there is someone in government fighting for them.
Guadalupe, La Puente

I think you hit the nail on the head in your brief letter, when you state that there are so many people out there who simply 'don't know' what will become of them. I am 60 years old and have prided myself in being a hard worker throughout my life. I have been unemployed before, a number of times, but always for brief periods. I have now been unemployed for over 12 months and emotionally and mentally, it's been one of the longest years of my life. My wife and I waited at home for six years while my daughter went overseas in the military, doing tours in Iraq and Afghanistan. Those were stressful times, because we feared for her safety. But we knew many things about what she was doing and we knew that she had many others around her providing support. For the last 12 months my wife and I have had to endure the uncertainty of the marketplace. When will someone return our calls? When will a position open up that isn't so specific, that it excludes almost every able bodied person out here. These doubts about the environment create internal doubts about our future, certainly about my ability to secure a job, doing what I've done well, for the last 40 years. The world changes, I understand this. As it evolves we need to evolve with it or we end up being left behind. It feels like our country is not evolving as we once did. It's not two steps ahead of the world in general - as I believe we were for such a long time - now at best, we're merely in step with everyone, trying to keep up. This isn't working. I get that there's a global market and that everyone out there has a right to flourish. At the same time though, we need to be driven, not just by profits but by the well-being of those Americans that have given so much over such a long period of time. They deserve a piece of the future.  The disparity in earnings and wealth is indicative of a change in our culture, in what America stands for. It's not anti-American to wince when we see the Forbes' 1000 and see the Middle Class melting away, not unlike the polar ice caps, which many still insist, are unchanging.  Unemployment benefits need to be continued, this goes without saying. We also need businesses to focus on America and Americans and not merely on stock value. It's possible, eminently possible, to do both.
Joe, La Crescenta

Thank YOU for speaking up for the unemployed who have lost benefits. My nephew, and his family who live in Alameda, and has who has triplets, lost his job last June and has been very actively seeking new work every. His wife has gone back to school because she lost her job in the mortgage/housing crisis in 2008. She has been unemployed since then. They are desperate, barely scraping by and doing ALL they can to feed and keep a roof over their family's heads. I KNOW they are not milking the system. Brain paid into unemployment at his current company for more than 20 years before he was laid off due to the printing company not being profitable. He has CFO experience for all those years and is unable to find a good job to support his family. How do we get the Leader of the House of Rep. to understand how they are hurting hurting people who are trying so hard, but not extending benefits, when this has been done historically for decades in the past? I believe these good people are near the end of their ropes. All my efforts with Darryl Issa, our House Representative, fall on totally deaf ears. He is one of the worst in all of this.
Diane, Oceanside

I put this link on my Facebook page. Senator, Boxer I applaud your effort to restore unemployment insurance payments to Americans who have lost their jobs. If we can give subsidies to oil and huge tax breaks to "people" called "corporations," we can pay American workers what they have earned. Perhaps if the corporations return to American workers the jobs handed to Chinese workers we would not only have better-made products, we wouldn't need to be draining the UIB fund.
Camille, Monrovia

Please keep up the fight to assist the unemployed. I am so sick of people like Rand Paul who suggest that the unemployed are not working because they are "paid to not work," or that they are lazy, shiftless, and need to be given a "shove" to get them working, when they did not quit their jobs but were laid off. I get disgusted with people who blame the misfortunate for our country's problems.
Jennifer, San Jose,

I fully support your stand on extending jobless benefits. I also support increasing the minimum wage to not only keep up with inflation, but surpass it. As a registered Republican, I know my views here run counter to most other Republicans. I don't care. The people who need the most financial assistance had no part in causing the economic circumstances that placed them in that position. We're headed for a Hunger Games world unless we change our priorities quickly and significantly. The unseen Powers That Be should be placed on notice. Their Orwellian agenda is doomed because we're not having it.
Pete, Sunnyvale

I believe we need to help Americans in the time of need but when is this administration going to really do something about jobs in this country. Almost 5 years and we are still in bad shape regarding Americans that want to work. Please don't tell me that things are getting better! If that were true we wouldn't have so many Americans needing help.
Max, El Centro

Thank you for your increased awareness in and efforts to decrease unemployment in California.
I am in a peculiar situation, where I feel I am over-educated and yet under-exposed to practical experience, which prevents me from procuring a job. I thought I was doing the right thing: I graduated from high school with honors, attended a four-year liberal arts college, interned and/or studied during every single summer break, attended and graduated law school with a J.D., and passed the CA Bar. Despite all of this, I am unemployed. I have been incessantly applying, but I fall within the narrow gap of being overqualified for legal assistant positions but unqualified for associate attorney positions because firms and companies all require at least 2 years experience. There are no entry-level attorney positions. How am I supposed to gain this proposed 2+ years of experience? How will I pay off loans and basic living expenses? I worked hard to "do the right thing" and followed the correct academic course throughout my entire life, and now it has not led to any tangible results.
Christina, Santa Clara

Thank you for your speech urging the extension of unemployment benefits. You seem to understand the plight of people and show a great deal of concern. I received my last payment at the end of December. I graduated from college with a double Bachelor's degree. I went to college not only to better myself and my family but also wanted to contribute positively to society. I was devastated when I was laid off last May; my husband and I made our first mortgage payment on our first home and then my job was gone. Trust me, I would rather be working and am trying constantly. It is a difficult time and your support is a tremendous encouragement. Thank you for caring for understanding and fighting for all of us.
Natalie, Covina

Thank you for your speech before Congress. My husband has been unemployed for 5 years after his company laid him off and then filed bankruptcy in 2009. We have two children in college and their bright futures (in this country) are seriously at risk. I have a friend who has been unemployed after a lay off two years ago and just lost her benefits on December 28. She has applied for countless jobs and not yet been gainfully employed. I am very concerned about the population of unemployed in my age group (over 50) that are applying for the same jobs as the population just graduating college. The over 50 population are having to take jobs where their income cannot support their lives and their young adult children who are trying to get a college degree. My children and the over 50's (my husband and my friends) will be competing for the same jobs. Thank you for understanding and speaking urgently to Congress about this issue. My family and many of my friends were once considered middle class, homeowners with bright futures. Now, with the length of this recession, many have lost their homes and are now living just a bit above poverty level due to high unemployment and increasing costs (ie: medical, college, taxes and other essentials). Most of us have not been able to save any money and therefore live in very precarious situations.  Thank you for listening to the struggle of the shrinking middle class. It is truly time for Congress to stop fighting with each other and unite in effort for the people of the U.S.
Sharon, Woodland Hills

I am not unemployed, but I find it disheartening to witness our Government neglect those who are, while pushing a political agenda. Please do what you can to correct priorities. Employment and our economy are first priority. Political agendas and social programs are to be second in priority.
William, San Diego

I'm a 56 year old unemployed lady that is horrified about this situation, you expressed it so true to the fact. I hope we can get some support and extensions. I have been searching for work submitting my resume on line and registering with several staffing companies and so far nothing has transpired. I have over 20 years of administrative skills and have a lot to offer a company and hope and pray that something will work out but until then I'm one of the 222,000 Californian's hurting.
Josie, Temple City

Thank you for fighting for an extension of unemployment benefits. My husband and I are both retired, but we are practically supporting a couple friends who lost their unemployment. We have watched them apply for jobs and many times make it to an interview, only to not be infuriates me to watch Mr.Speaker stand there and insinuate they don't even try to get a job
I wish he could be put in their position. Knowing you're up there fighting for them helps keep them going THANK YOU
Bonnie, Castro Valley

My husband was unemployed for over a year. Thankfully, he finally found a job but I know that there are many out there still looking and I can't even imagine how we would have survived without unemployment checks. It is terrifying to have no idea how you will feed your family or keep a roof over your head. I pray that enough members of congress will care about the American people and do the right thing.
Dorothy, Eureka

Thank You very much for your caring and concern for the people in your district who have hit upon difficult times, because of factors beyond their control. The value of a Government is based upon how it cares for it's citizens, not just the wealthily, but all it's citizens.  I lost my job because of a disability and have been unable to find another position partially because of this disability. I also now provide care to my mother who will be 90 years of age this next month and who suffers from Alzheimer's and the ravages of old age. She receives just over $1250 per month in social security benefits. Of which $803 is a share of cost to be paid each month so she can receive In Home Support Services. That leaves us with little, if any extra cash. My unemployment benefits, though not a huge amount, was providing a small safety net for us. Since the extensions were ended we have hit rock bottom and every program we try to qualify for we are denied because our household income before share of costs and expences exceeds the poverty level by $198. We are caught in the place between the rock and the hard place.
We are not asking for a hand out, but a hand up. I'm asking for your continued fight against the GOP and the NRC platform. All Americans deserve a fair and equal piece of the american dream. Please continue you fight against those who keep denying extending benefits to the unemployed Americans who are in situations that don't allow them to find employment. We need your continued help. Thank you
Mark, San Bruno

Thank you, Senator Boxer for helping in trying to get unemployment benefits extended.
Though a moderate Republican and not a big fan of yours, I have been unemployed for a very long time. It happens to be that my 15+ years in High-Tech is irrelevant since I've been out of work for so long. Companies are hiring folks who are younger than me and who are currently employed. I am very lucky to have a husband who is working, so we are getting by, but do feel very sorry for those who cannot afford to pay the bills. We were both unemployed in 2011-2012. It is still bad out there no matter what people say.
Best Regards,
Alora, San Jose

Thank you for your support of extending the unemployment benefits. I know several people who have been out of work over 6 months. They are doing everything right – looking for work but have still been unable to find a job that pays enough to work and pay childcare. These are people with college educations who live in a middle class area of Placer County. They live in fear they will not be able to pay rent & keep a roof over their heads. I don't think many Senators realize how difficult it is to find a job even in this "recovery". These are not people who want to be out of work or expect the government to take care of them. It is so disheartening to see all the people who have been through this recession whose lives will never be the same and the middle class struggling so much. Thanks for your support, please keep it up. Our democracy hinges on an economically balanced society and most of us are willing to work and be contributing citizens.
Gloria, Lincoln

I have experience using the extension and it helped greatly… I am still looking for a position that will pay close to what I was making, but I am not optimistic. As a registered Republican I can say that I have supported you for many years. Keep up the good fight.
Robert, San Jose

I'm thankful to hear that you spoke on the unemployed. I received my last check December 2 so I was able to pay my rent for December January has come and I have not been able to pay my rent nor do I have the means of paying my bills I hope you guys hurry and decide what you're going to do because my family is in need. I am a single mother of 6; 5 of which I am still responsible for. I get $600 a month in child support and $142 and food stamps, my rent is $850 plus gas and light. I run out of food in mid December and now in January I received my benefits on the fourth I went to the market I bought some ground beef two packs of chicken some porkchops 2 gallons of milk, cereal, bread, canned vegetables pasta and two cans of spaghetti sauce when I checked out it was $135 so I spent the full amount of my benefits for the month on one day. And I'm pretty sure there's a lot of Californians living the way I'm living and it's sad so please help us. I was an office manager for a Worker's Compensation medical clinic due to the law changes with Worker's Comp. and the insurance not paying our doctors we had to close our doors. I found another job but seven months later I was Let go for no reason other then it was more feasible for them to employ two employees with my salary, that was understandable but now I was left without a job even after taking of substantial pay cut. it's been a year I've been constantly on Caljobs and other means of job searches but have not been able to find employment. I haven't paid my rent for January as I said before I haven't paid my car or my other bills so we really need help and I'm sure I'm not the only one please help us
Laura, San Fernando

While I appreciate what you are doing for the unemployed, my extended unemployment benefits ran out nearly a year ago. I have been a Media Systems Engineer for over 30 years. The company I worked for closed their doors due to the economic crash back in 2010. The industry I work in has also taken a nose dive since then as well. I have four adult children and two of them are still living with me as they are special needs. (1 Autistic and 1 Asperger's Syndrome.) If not for my other kids helping out with what little they can and an occasional odd job I would be homeless at this point. My question is, once your unemployment benefits run out are you no longer counted as one of the unemployed? How can the government accurately count the unemployed if you drop off the list of the unemployed once you benefits expire. I know a great deal of individuals in my same situation. By my count of those I know personally to be unemployed a good sixty percent of them no longer have unemployment benefits. I would say the number of unemployed Californians is a great deal higher than is reported by the EDD as they only count those that are still receiving benefits. I would say if the EDD sent out questionnaires to all those that ran out of benefits over the last two or three years they would find out a majority of them are still unemployed. Hopefully something can be done about that as well.
Kevin, Canyon Country

Thanks for your speech yesterday for unemployment extension. As a college educated woman who has worked for 30+ years and raised 3 kids I wanted to hear someone tell the floor we are not all trying to beat the system. Or get a free ride. I lost my job 6 months ago (10 yrs with company - 6 yrs previous this same company who was my client before they recruited me). Suddenly after 16 yrs I was unemployable at a Fortune 100 company. I have applied for many jobs in my field (marketing/advertising with 30+ yrs) i the last 6 months. Other then 1 phone interview, I get the "Thanks - we received your resume" note (about 33% ). Unfortuneatley - more frequently no response. I hope this measure is approved. I just want a chance to be a part of the working group for America. I'm looking for the basics for getting a hand up -- not a hand out.
Sibyl, Livermore

I am one of the unemployed and my unemployment benefits have helped me stay afloat. I thank you for caring about the millions of unemployed. What is crucial is training and providing jobs, especially for older workers who cannot live on Social Security. There has to be a way to utilize the experience and know-how of all our citizens. Yes, the economy is thriving, but it is driven by those who are either savvy in the technology sector or those in finance and real estate. More training and more job creation are crucial. The unemployment benefits help, but real help is opening the door for more jobs. Thank you,
JoAnna, San Francisco

Thank you so much for advocating for the people whom are so dependant on the unemployment insurance monies. As a student who graduated after 7 hard years investing an American higher Education to live the American dream was very shocked upon gradution to find how the world outside the school room had changed so drastically with the shortage of good paying jobs jobs that shrank over night... A very tough job market to gain full-time employemt. I have made every effort by moving three states in order to have F/T employment. Note, as an immigrant with high work ethics and standards I had never asked for U/E benifits in 21 years and so truely vouch for those currentlty needing them. As a studen, I worked three jobs and attended f/t education, and sorry to say, I had worked for a cooperation who wages were so poor that when I got fired there was no U/E benifits because I recieved the state minumum wage of $8.00 an hour. After the fact and a kind judge who awarded my first quarter U/E benifits. Sadley to say after the fact, I learned one has to earn $9.39 an hour in order to meet the requrements. After much homelesness, experiencing inmates who worked in these awful places what to do I took what ever job I could to pull myself out of this bad situation I had never ever thought as an immigrant i would have to endure and ontop of the experince the Cooperation Goodwill Ind do not treat their disabled employees very well or fairly nor are they interested in us becasue their greed for monies.
My request to that you ensure those who work the low end jobs get a livable wage in the East Bay area, to ensure that one has a saftey net, that is the basics, a roof over your head and a little monies to buy the bare essentials. Note, Some of us do not have families not do we have anyone to assist us in a time of dire need and the streets of Oakland is not a place for any woman to live due to the nature of the city. thank you for taking the time to read my request. God bless you and keep advocating for the people whom depend on you in your community and state.
Catherine, Berkeley

I am an unemployed 59 yr women. I was a outside sales rep for a custom sign manufacturing company with over 20 years of experience in the Sacramento area of California. Manufacturing in California has become expensive, trying to compete with companies out of state and with China made it impossible for the company I worked for to be competitive. Therefore, cutting back it sales staff. I have been trying to find a job for almost 2 years. Although, I have been getting unemployment I really want a job! I don't understand why the government has not implemented a program where they match people on unemployment previous skills to job openings with the State, and Federal government agencies, as well as the private sector, try to get them interviews so they are hired first and off unemployment. Prior to Obamacare being introduced I saw that the Federal Government was looking to hire a large number of "Insurance Navigators" when I ask one of the resource affiliates at "EASTBAY works" they had no idea what I was talking about and told me to go the Federal Government website. I have applied for hundreds of jobs online and I only have had one interview request. I just want to go back to work!
Yvonne, Danville

I doubt you will post my response on Sen. Boxer's website, but here goes...... A JOB is FAR Superior to extended unemployment benefits. What specific things are being done to bring back Jobs? Living wages are required and no more invitations for freely outsourcing or worse yet throwing away opportunities for keeping jobs in the states. Please DO NOT allow a Fast Track of the TransPacificPartnership to the executive branch. Please do not support that trade  agreement. NAFTA has been a bad deal for middle and lower class citizens of the US. Unemployment extensions are not the solution and can not be given indefinitely. The situation of why there are insufficient jobs is far more complex and has many more reasons than the convenient ones often used… I hope your office is involved in the study of impacts NAFTA has had on the middle class and more importantly the lower classes of Americans. Those who could afford to buy cheap stuff have benefited by getting to buy more cheap stuff. Those who can barely put a roof over their heads or feed their kids have suffered. Until you have linked NAFTA to where these jobs have gone and where the California State re-employment opportunities will come from, simply granting more unemployment extensions is a betrayal of the responsibility of your office to protect the future of all Americans.
Elen, Fremont

I've been unemployed 9 months, have applied to dozens of jobs in that time, gotten a few interviews, but have yet to get a job out of it. I'm only surviving due to my boyfriend letting me live with him and my parents paying for my food. My savings are getting eaten up by my student loans and I will have to default on them in a few months if no one is going to hire me. How about creating more jobs so people can actually get hired? I need a job here! Giving the unemployed money is kind and all, but don't give them (us, if I were getting any) too much, as people don't grow out of a dependent lifestyle, or maybe you should, so they'll get comfy and stop applying for jobs, creating less competition for me, and then I might land a job. I just need a job.
Katherine, South San Francisco

I wish you had not signed onto this bill. Statistics show that the longer you extend benefits, the longer people stay on them. You are helping perpetuate government dependency. We should be enjoying a robust economy by now, but people are being restrained by the very government that is trying to help.
Patrick, Val Verde

In 2-3 weeks my unemployment will be stopped. I am in my early 60s and I don't know how I am going to survive without any income. Please Ms. Senator represent me as a person whose voice is not taken into consideration.
Tagouhi, Pasadena

Please be effective in establishing jobless benefits again for the long term unemployed. I personally thought it was completely wrong when they were stopped. I was most angered by a government that will give our country's money to the wealthy bankers and investors - i.e. bailing out banks and then allowing the banks to pay huge bonuses to senior staff (when those folks were major contributors to the cause of the financial meltdown). Yet, we can't help out the working victims of this greed who have lost their jobs. It was incredible the injustice of it! It makes me embarrassed to be an American. Please fix this.
Elisabeth, Capitola

I am writing to request that you continue to find a solution with the republicans on unemployment benefits. My benefits will expire in 4 weeks and I have been on 4 interviews, but none have chosen me. I am getting very depressed and anxious, especially as we have a new child. I WANT to work, but the only jobs out there are for 10 an hour and its impossible to live on that here in California. If you need to make a deal please do. I am uncertain of my future without an extension.
David, San Diego

Firstly, let me just say that when I am deeply concerned about any situation, I remember that you are my senator. And then I laugh, and say "Boxer's got it." I'm very fortunate to live in a state where most of my neighbors in California feel the same way politically. Thank you for keeping up the fight for long term unemployment. Aside from the fact that it's the right thing to do for human beings, the politicians that think there is any way cutting off unemployment works out well for anyone are so adrift of any manner of rational thought that I actually pity them. I am a college educated, hard working person that has faced an enormous amount of hardship in the past 8 years. I will struggle and I will continue to, and I am grateful to live in this amazing nation where I can, and will, triumph. Somehow. Cutting off the lifeline of 1.3 MILLION people is absolutely insane… If the funds get cut off to these 1.3 million people, a lot of things will happen, and I'm certain that you have far more qualified experts informing you of this. But it will choke this economy just when it might be coming back. And that is a scenario that I don't think anyone is prepared for.
Chesney, Long Beach

Thank you for your speech. I literally cannot pay next month's mortgage without my unemployment compensation. I am, undoubtedly one of thousands in that predicament and there goes the housing market, my credit and the vicious cycle starts again. In any public assistance program there are going to be those who take advantage, just like the corporations dodging taxes........but most people are honest hard working people looking for a job. I don't understand how the Republicans keep holding any bill that you want passed ransom for some other spending cut. I hope it goes through. But thanks for fighting for us.
Janet, Los Angeles

Thank you for your support and voice. You have no idea how happy I was to learn of your support. We the baby boomers have been hit the hardest during this great recession time. Many of my friends and colleagues have been unemployed for two to three years. We are educated and talented, we have served our employers and our country well. For the first time, since 1967, I am unemployed. If granted... this extension will give me hope and assurance that my country still cares about me. For many years my tax dollars went abroad, to help others. Now I need help. God Bless you. God Bless America!
Margaret, La Puente

Sending YOU many thanks for the great job you are doing in speaking up about the importance of extending unemployment benefits at this crucial time in our country. There is NO reason for anybody in the United States of America to go without the essentials of life! Keeping families together, with those essentials, will only benefit the entire country.
Janice, Santa Rosa

I appreciate your stance and positive support encouraging your fellow Congresspeople to vote for and support extending the jobless benefits for those 1.2 million Americans, such as myself, that are unemployed. I am recently unemployed (since mid-October 2013), and am fortunate that my California's UI doesn't expire until October 2014; I have high hopes that I will become employed well before then. Job-shopping is not as easy as it may have once been, especially since younger, recent college graduates have a better chance at IT/IA jobs than older persons with experience. Some of that is due to corporations hiring younger persons at lower wages. As an American Veteran (21 years, retired 2003), I applaud that many companies are excited to hire Veterans, but I have found during my 3-month job search, that most companies strongly endorse, consider and practice interviewing a Veteran but not hiring. I feel in part, this may be because of the capitalist nature of corporate America which is fully supported by other parties within our Legislative branch of government. Jobless people are not lazy and if I had to, I would not be able to live on my $450 (before taxes) weekly UI allowance. I own a home, pay my mortgage and all the other bills, including monthly health insurance, that my fellow jobless Americans have to pay. For anyone, any person in the Congress to suggest that jobless people are lazy and are willing to live off the government dole, goes to show how out-of-touch our Congresspersons really are with the reality of this country's fiscal crisis. Again, I whole-heartedly applaud you for supporting an extension of the jobless benefits for our fellow unemployed Americans. Keep on truckin'. We need more Congresspersons like you to keep this country on solid ground.
Cynthea, Richmond

I just want to say thank you. I lost my job last year after 27 years of service. This is the first time since I was 16 that I am not working. I am 51. My first time collecting unemployment. I received a WIA grant, and just started my school retraining course in December(15 weeks of school). I did not know there was any Federal grants for retraining available until I went to a mandatory meeting at my local EDD office 6 months later. As soon as the money was available, I applied. Because of the Goverment shut down everything was delayed. My unemployment ended in December. I was sent a letter from EDD stating that because I had not filed for retraining within 17 weeks of my original unemployment claim, I was not eligible for an extension. I just wanted to tell you this. Because I believe if more people were aware that there is money available for them to get retrained in a different field they would not wait to take advantage of it! It just seems wrong to be in a Federally funded retraining program, but not have any help economically while I am enrolled in the program. Don't get me wrong I am excited to be in school, and thankful for the help. I would not of been able to pay for school on my own. Thank you for not forgetting that there are still people struggling in your home state of California.
Elvia, Santa Cruz

Thank you for being sensible and standing up for our fellow citizens who need a helping hand.
I had a tenant who lost his job after 20 years with AAA insurance company. Everyone said I should evict him. I said what will happen to him. I worked with him through his troubled time until he gained employment. He was a good paying tenant up until he lost his job and with me for five years. The thing to remember is that his unemployment benefits helped me too! He was able to pay his rent. Thank you for fighting for us.
Linda, Danville

Thank you for reaching out, and also for standing up to secure extensions for unemployment by the Federal Government. My question to you is...why did you not do this in November or December? OR Why did so few if any not stand up to help the Americans you represent.  I am embarrassed by the unwillingness of the current Senate and Congress to work as hard as the people they represent to get issues passed, vote on bills, and reach across the aisle beyond party lines to build, or in our current predicament re-build America. Now, like many I speak with each day, I am considering changing my political affiliation to Independent, and vote for the person who seems to have a genuine interest in America, and not on their political career. Unfortunately, I was one of those people caught up in the recession. I was in high tech for over 20 years, and when the recession began I got stuck in one of the "spreadsheet layoffs" (take everyone over 50 and use the At Will employment law to start with them because they make the most.) I have been under and unemployed eve since. Once making $165,000 a year I was forced to try and get by on unemployment of $475 a week. Trust me, all it does is delay the inevitable. We lost our home, credit, retirement savings and even now are still having a hard time keeping even in California making about $65,000 with a family of 3. BUT without that unemployment extension I once got, we would have lost it all much sooner. Perhaps that is better, a quick death instead of a slow one.
So, I just wanted you to know I appreciate all you have done in the past, and my hope is you can persuade your fellow Senators and friends in Congress to just get to work. That is all we ask, and I believe as American Taxpayers, what we deserve.
Mike, Canoga Park

Thank you for pushing the issue we need the unemployment benefits extended. I worked for AT&T for 29 years and I was forced to retire. They closed the office I was working in. I was surprise to find out that after 29 years of working I was only entitled to the last two years of employment for unemployment benefits. Since 2010 I have gone back to school for IT Security and received my A+, Network+ and Security+ certification from CompTia. I haven’t found any stable long term work. Most of the jobs I’m seeking are looking for more certifications and 2 to 5 years experience; which I don?t have. The jobs I’ve gotten are contract work lasting from 1 day to 1 month. I been living off my credit cards and they are nearly max out. I know my story is just like a million others I just wanted to share with you what my family and I’m are faced with.
Burma, Pasadena

As a former unemployed citizen of California I understand the needs of those in similar positions. During my years of running a business I am also familiar with certain excessive red tape that I had to negotiate to keep people in my employee before I finally had to close down my business. In addition to aiding those in dire need there must be a greater emphasis on government (federal, state and local) not putting undue burdens in the way of businesses creating jobs.
Please continue to work for the unemployed as well as those who do the employment.
Kevin, Lancaster

Thank you for standing up for Americans who are of the long term unemployed. I was unemployed for 9 months in 2013 and while I am working, it as a temp employee. I'm so thankful but had to take a position far from home and at less pay...but I'm employed.
Please keep fighting against the Republicants and those who do not empathize with our plight. Also, while I get balancing the budget I don't see how this should be held hostage to that strategy.
Robert, Palmdale

Thank you for realizing that not all of the unemployed are just sitting back and waiting for their unemployment checks. A few days ago I applied for a secretarial position and I was told that there were 200 applicants. I have been out of work since July and look diligently every day for hours on line and in the newspapers. Congress should not try to balance the budget on the backs of the unemployed like me. Shameful.
Marie, Glendale

Thank you for your e-mail, dated January 7th, which describes the Senate speech you made to extend federal jobless benefits. Your e-mail does a good job of summing up the paralyzing fear California's unemployed are now feeling, myself included. This is just the latest in a long line of fears I've experienced since I first lost my job due to circumstances I was unable to control. The loss of jobless benefits, with very little warning, just adds an additional insult to my injuries! Additionally, this new loss has also contributed to my losing further hope of getting back on my feet in the New Year. Thank you for speaking on behalf of the unemployed and their families, as it seems very wrong for some lawmakers in Washington D.C. to want to use suffering individuals as "bargaining chips" in a game for showcasing political clout. The unemployed ARE REAL PEOPLE, and, as such, we have human feelings including: fear, isolation, and even shame (to be at this place life). To know that there are individuals and leaders who care to speak on our behalf, at a difficult time of our lives, does, indeed, make a difference. Thank you for your efforts.
Erika, Woodland Hills

Thank you for speaking on behalf of rose of us in desperate need. Having been unemployed for a year and a half I am one who is at my wits end. I have lost my place of residence and am now relying on family for assistance. The unemployment program as a whole is terribly in need of reconstruction. A system built to help, is and has, failed so very many of us. Anything you can do to help those of us in need would be greatly appreciated.
Deneen, Long Beach

I am a 54 year old single woman, making 1/2 of what I was earning 10 years ago, when the company I had worked for for 23 years went out of business. Rather than relying on unemployment benefits and passing over job opportunities that I was "overqualified" for, I was willing to take on two minimum wage jobs to support myself. There are jobs out there, if people are willing to do them, instead of looking down their noses at them as being jobs that are beneath them. I feel that if any group deserves assistance, it is those who are WORKING low paying jobs, NOT those who are waiting for their "dream job" to drop in their laps.
Laurie, Monrovia

Let's do the right thing and kept a income in our unemployed person life. Some of these people are the lifeline for their family. This income help takes care of children and elderly families by providing food, keeping the utlities on, transportion to look for employment and keeps the crime rate down. Do we just let them suffer silently after they help built our country and cities!!!!
Other, Gardena

Bless you, Senator Boxer, for fighting for everyone. There are more jobless people out there than the numbers reflect. And, there are many more of us who gratefully took jobs with much smaller salaries to survive. There is a new working poor in America. But working poor is a jobless person's dream. My heart aches for those who suffer coping with the agonizing stress and fear of keeping a roof over their heads. Thank you, Senator Boxer for fighting for the REAL people and the REAL issues. Grateful for your leadership.
Terri, Burbank

Thank you for expending the energy to help those in need with extended federal benefits. I feel for the people you used as examples in your speech as I too have had extremely hard times in the last five years. Being self employed for twenty years my statistic is never seen but I want you to know that I spent ALL of my life's savings trying to keep afloat since 2008 and I still almost lost my home, had to declare bankruptcy and even though it only took me a year to find employment I am still earning a fraction of my former wages which makes it unbelievably difficult to pull yourself out of the hole. I know people get frustrated with those who can't seem to find employment in six months or less but I don't believe they would fare any better faced with the same circumstances. And for these opposing legislators who will never have to face the idea of giving up your medical insurance or your home, never be without a pension or never have to face foreclosure, to tell the poor lady who is trying to keep her two young children warm, after serving her country no less that she doesn't deserve a lousy $300 or $400 hundred dollars a week is absolutely shameful. Lord knows if we eliminated just one of their salaries and pensions and perks it would fund dozens if not hundreds of needy families. Its just shameful. Thank you for doing your part. Now let's get something done, not just talked about it.
Jolie, Pacifica

I totally agree that we needed to extend the unemployment benefits. However, it is my belief that the entire Senate has missed the point. I am still seeing jobs leave the U.S. especially manufacturing jobs and this concerns me. If we had more jobs we would not need to extend unemployment benefits. What about these companies who are closing down their plants and either outsourcing their labor or opening plants in other countries. These companies are selling us out. They should have to pay a tarrif or a tax on the items when they come back into the U.S. and this money should go to help with unemployment and retraining. Just yesterday I was in Modesto and a man was removing equipment from a business. I asked him what he was doing. He said I am from the UK and I am moving this business to the UK. I don't even know the name of the business it probably only employed 5 people; but it is all adding up. I see more people on the streets asking for money than ever before. We have to do more and we need to find ways to do more without increasing the budget. Just think of the votes you would get if you followed up on the unemployment benefit increase with this. No one can argue it. Well I am sure somebody in the Senate would but this is a fight that I feel would benefit you greatly.
Gerald, Crockett

Thank you, Senator Boxer, for speaking out in support of continued unemployment benefits.
Please continue to fight for those benefits. It is the least we can do for those of us who are struggling so hard just to survive. I say this as a self-employed person who does not have access to such benefits even then my income disappears. But I know those benefits are critical to so many people.
Eve, Tujunga

I support and applaud your efforts to get unemployment benefits extended for millions of Americans. After my unemployment benefits ran out in January of 2013, it took an additional nine months of applying, interviewing, and proving my skills to prospective employers for me to land a job. With my own resources tapped out, I had to go to my retired parents and my younger brother to borrow money to keep from losing my home and everything in it. Another 3-6 months of benefits wouldn't have completely prevented that, but it surely would have lessened the burden they've had to help me shoulder.
Kevin, Palmdale

No way, unemployment is meant to be temporary, not a new welfare program. There are many people who simply take unemployment and work for cash. More Nanny state. Why not create jobs? No you would rather make Central Valley a desert. As we who earn money leave the stater, CA will become the welfare state thanks to you and your colleagues, the golden state is turning to tin before my eyes, and I was born and reprised here. I dare you to post
Kenneth, Brentwood

Suggestion to Democrats fighting for the extension of unemployment benefits. The mainline GOP now wants the extended benefits to be paid for by cutting spending elsewhere. Why don't you DEMOCRATS ask the GOP about the unpaid Iraq War and the unpaid Bush RX program - the HYPROCRITS. Just keep pounding them on these two unpaid spending issues. Unemployment benefit extension is pocket change compared to Iraq and RX.
The extreme right GOP like Senator Rand Paul wants to force the unemployed to work by denying them the benefits; assuming them to be lazy and not wanting to work.
Rogelio, Montobello

I want to thank you for your efforts to extend the unemployment benefits. There are many people, who like my husband in his mid 50's has had a very difficult time finding work. He was laid off from Chase bank after 15 years in Dec 2008. Since then he has had two jobs and neither have stuck. It's not that most people are lazy. It's that there aren't many jobs available. When you're our age it's also very challenging. Thank you again....
Susan, Van Nuys

It is for me a great pleasure hear that there is someone that keeps in mind the people forgotten because, from experience, when you do not have a job and have no money, it seems that you don't count. Please keep fighting for the unemployed. Thanks.
Carlos, Pico Rivera

Do you realize that a great number of "unemployed" have not had benefits in years? I have not had any type of government or state assistance since December of 2010! If it were not for family I'd be on the streets. Do I get counted as unemployed? No of course I don't since I no longer qualify for an unemployment check. Do you see a huge problem here? I do. There are hundreds of people in the same "boat" as me, yet nothing is done to help us. I've job searched on-line and in person (on foot) since I don't drive, and for 6 years have only gotten 8 interviews. We need more jobs (non-computer) here as well as monetary support!
Olivia, Pleasant Hill

Dear Senator, my friend sent me your passionate words regarding the extension of unemployment benefits. I agree that under the circumstances of the current jobless recovery the benefits should be extended. However, I would love to see you and your fellow Democrats do something to make the United States more competitive so business have incentive to hire instead of focusing on expanding the welfare state and dependency on the government. How about tort reform, tax reform and regulatory reform? Let's focus on the job creators for a change and help them expand their business instead of burdening them with new regulations. How about working with business in a public private partnership to create jobs. US corporations have trillions of dollars parked overseas. Let them bring it home tax free if they agree to hire or build plants or assist with job training. Government isn't always the answer - think outside the box to create jobs - that's what we pay you for.
Joel, Northridge

I am grateful to you for joining your constituents in an effort to extend unemployment benefits to the longer term unemployed. Many are older workers, recent graduates and blue-collar workers all of whom depend on this lifeline. California still has a long way to go to full economic recovery. Thousands of Californians have exhausted all unemployment benefits while many families are "underemployed" barely making ends meet.
Christine, San Mateo

If you are going to continue to spend billions of dollars of taxpayer money on long-term unemployment benefits, then AT LEAST ask something in return. Why not ask those people to perform some hours of community service, before they can qualify? The long-term unemployed have time for this - they would be working if they could (so they have that time), and nobody who has been unemployed for six months is spending 40 hours a week looking for work. They have time. As a compassionate conservative, I would be much more likely to support something like this -- that way I know that the really lazy people who just aren't motivated to work, are more likely to drop off the roles -- or at least perform some service in exchange for their monthly check. And I do want to help those who really need it. It's just that in my personal experience, many of the folks I have encountered who are on unemployment are absolutely not interested in working until they have to. And it absolutely infuriates me that the government is using my tax dollars to support them.
Randy. Long Beach

Rather than continuing to pay people to not work, how about adding real jobs to the economy. And if not real jobs, how about supplementing the high cost of government employees, with part-time employment of those in need of jobs... street cleaning, answering phones, filling pot holes, patrolling the streets. Cities are begging for more patrol officers, while their trained officers are filling out paperwork. Make the unemployed earn their keep. Unemployment benefits=increased taxes. Not good. Unemployment benefits should not be a long-term option. We need real jobs. Work with both sides to find real solutions
You asked, you get an answer from a constituent.
Paul, Oakland

Thank you for addressing a very dire problem. Five years ago I was unemployed for twenty months after being laid off. I truly know the feeling of trying to find work with zero prospects. I was extremely grateful for the unemployment checks I received. I makes me angry when I hear the nonsense about people not wanting to work; and therefore we should cut their benefits to cure their "laziness"! I know there are people out there hanging on by their fingernails or worse; and it just seems cruel and extremely hypocritical for their benefits to be cut by some members of Congress who have no qualms about receiving federal money for some very questionable reasons; such as through the Farm Bill. Thank you for informing me of your speech. I fully agree with you.
Michael, Santa Cruz

I'm tired of supporting people who are too lazy to get out and find work. I'm not talking about those who are phisically disabled but the ones that wont do work that they feel is beneith there qualifications. I have served in the military reserve for 23 years while holding down a fulltime civilian job and getting a college education at the same time. After retiring from that job and the military I was able to find another job that payed less than I was earning before. There are jobs out there if you look for them.
Gerald, Diamond Bar

Most Americans don't want more unemployment benefits and the debt they are piling up, what we want are more jobs.
Mark, San Jose

Thank you Senator Boxer for standing up for the long term unemployed. I am not personally in that situation, but I believe it is important to continue helping the people who are.
Mark, Los Angeles

many, many Kudos to you for fighting for these people. Thanks
Brenda, Los Angeles

Do not extend unemployment benefits. Most people I know who have received this benefit abuse it by "taking a break" or saying it's "my turn" to get something. They are waiting for the perfect job to come to them, rather than getting any job or jobs to support themselves. Too many are feeling entitled in this great country which will be our demise. Our Federal budget CANNOT handle additional expenditures. As a matter of fact, STOP spending altogether now please.
Feel free to save taxpayer money by not responding to this email. I would just appreciate that you listen.
Susan, Walnut Creek

Thank you for supporting this cause! I feel that unless you have been one of the ones who lost a job or lost a home or have young adult children back living with you, or all the above, you cannot relate to the need for this help. Not after the past 6 years of demise of our economy, both nationally and locally. I personally have never 'NOT' gotten a job since I was 18. I am now 64. I personally, always upheld excellent credit references (769 was my score). Before I lost my home in June 2009. There was no work in this town for a typist for 2+ years! (And I type 95+ words a minute) I am also licensed as a Realtor since 2006. I have numerous admin skills but nothing could save me after depleting my savings to hold onto our home for my daughter and I. No pension left. No stocks left. Nothing. I Started from scratch at 60 years old when I was 'beyond lucky' to get a job as a TC in a very small local company here because a friend referred me. I would work 2 jobs thereafter 60 hours a week in Real Estate. I made it through, just keeping my chin above water month to month. What's the issue here? Population so large vs. so little jobs? Plus where are all the 'entry level jobs' ? the 'clerical jobs'? some labor jobs ? all gone! Tech is here and if you are not TECH savvy, or live in Silicon Valley, then forget it I suppose. Basic jobs are gone or there are 200+ apply for 1 position still. (?)  If you have a college degree that doesn't guarantee job. If you have a H.S. Diploma and some college, you still can't get a basic job anywhere here. Not everyone has super brain skills or trained skills to just step into a job
out there to survive and begin to make it on their own. Or if they are an adult and have a family, a home still in place, then they lose their jobs, they too are sitting ducks to being unemployed for at least a year or 2! Nothing has changed that much since the crash July 2007.  I have made it through and I still struggle to get by month to month. But I LOVE what I do as a 100% Commissioned Realtor. I am not rockin n rolling by any means. I just got on Medi-CAL 1st time ever because I didn't net enough income to qualify for a Covered Ca metal plan apparently. But I will make it and I'm lucky I only need 10 months of assistance till I'm on Medicaid I suppose.
My concern is watching my soon to be 28 year old daughter, who has lived with me through all this, unable to find her path still or secure a better job. It's just her and I. She was in Retail on her feet all day for 6 years at CVS, she had to let go of her job due to illness, and back pains. She had finished 3 years at our JC completing classes leading to a certificate in Hospitality. However, subsequently, that now is not going to happen. Her next plan is to secure a 'simple desk job'. Why can't she get one? She can type, data entry, file, run errands, think, show up every day, is responsible, clean cut knows her way around a computer, but it just "ISN'T LIKE IT WAS" when I was her age, younger or older. I knew I could get always get a job and I always did till the crash. There is a problem still in our country! It's been since August for my daughter unemployed, and nothing has come her way since. She works 5 to 7 websites daily and they all say "do NOT come in person" NO Solicitation! So much for that idea. I worry about our youth making it in this world and growing with a company. Most companies I hear are going to let off Full Time employees because they don't want to now pay for their medical insurance and so Part-Time openings may come. But where does that leave our country's "WANTING WORKERS"? Less income to no income, and no unemployment benefits to depend on once it runs out, if they get on it for 6 months time. My daughter just got on un-employment after 3 months waiting, and an appeal. But when another 3 months goes by, then what if no work has come? It's frightening for me to watch her as her mother. Our mothers (our generation) never really had to worry about US making it in the world. With or without degrees. We never moved back home. We didn't make tons of money but enough to pay rent, buy cars, take a trip, buy our own clothes, go to parties and buy our own drinks, take a class, go skiing, figure out LIFE on our own through good times and some bad. You name it. Young adults today are being robbed of 'independence' and 'a quality of life' - and also the ability to be on their own and grow on their own - separate of their parents (homes). Everyone needs help - but we are not out of the woods by far yet across the board!! Thank you for continuing benefits to those in need.
Kathy, Santa Rosa

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Military Sexual Assault

Californians respond to my message on Ensuring Justice for Our Servicemen and Women:

We support your efforts to stop sexual assaults in the military by using legal action outside the chain of command! Commanders tend to cover these attacks or delay any action on the guilty person.
William, Chula Vista

Thank you for working to end sexual abuse in the military, and for holding accountable those who commit sexual crimes. I agree that these crimes need to be taken out of the chain of command to assure justice for the victims.
Jo, Temple City

As a victim of sexual abuse and assault, and as a woman that grew up in a military family, and has a child that served, I am very happy to hear that we are in agreement. Serious change needs to take place in our military justice system. Thank you for stepping up with legislation to ensure the victims are protected and the abusers cannot continue to get away with their behavior or hide behind rank.
Sharon, Tracy

We are pleased that someone is trying to get to the bottom of this mess that was allowed to escalate to no end. We are hoping that you get enough support to take the punishment outside of the DOD period. My wife and I are both vets and it sicken us to continue to read that the "attackers" walk free while the victims are run through the mill, blamed for the act and otherwise non supported. We feel that all responsible for the act, up and down the chain of command, should be held sole responsible and punished accordingly, Dishonorably discharged and jailed. We thank you and other's for your efforts and wish you success in punishing those responsible for these act against fellow service members, thank you.
Melvin, Sacramento

Thank you for informing me of your work on sexual assault in the military. As a person who holds human rights issues close to heart, I am pleased that you are working to rectify the manner in which these crimes are handled. It is important that people feel safe and secure in their service to this country. Please know that I will pass this significant news along to family, friends, and colleagues.
Melbourne, Los Angeles

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Californians respond to my message on Ending Military Sexual Assault (7/16/2013):

The Military Justice Improvement Act of 2013 which you are co-sponsoring is balanced and spot-on.  We absolutely support this legislation.
Robert and Raoul, Los Angeles

Thank You Senator Boxer for your gallant efforts in securing the rights and freedoms of those who serve our nation.
Roberto, Los Angeles

thank you for standing up and saying it is wrong. It is wrong there are no if's, and's or but's about it!!  I do not understand how any person could say before our government that it was part of the job knowing very well that if it had been his mother, wife or daughter he be outraged!  How do they live with themselves for selling out their souls?  So thank you for stepping up!
Loree, Mount Shasta

Being the daughter of a Naval captain, the wife of a submariner and one who considered joining the Navy myself, I am appalled by the on-going rape, hazing, concealment, etc. of the various American armed forces regarding the women in their ranks.  Must women always be at risk because they are women?  Thank you.
Lena, Calistoga

I am glad to hear you are working to find a solution to the disgraceful treatment of victims of sexual assault within our military. Articles on sexual assault at Military Academies does not speak well for the military chain of commands ability to handle sexual assault cases. No one should live in fear of assault, especially those who are protecting our country. Thank You.
Douglas, Long Beach

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Californians respond to my message on A Stunning Proposal on Military Sexual Assault (06/13/2013):

I am very glad to learn of your efforts regarding a bill to remove sexual assault and other nonmilitary crimes from the military chain of command. One compelling reason, among many, why this should be done is that according to many women (and men) who have suffered rape and sexual assault while in the military is that the perpetrators have often been their commanding officers or people close to the commanding officers. How can anyone expect justice when the person to whom she or he would normally go to for assistance is the very person who committed the crime or who was associated with the perpetrator?
Dorothy, San Francisco

I spent four years in the Army, and while I was never the victim of sexual assault, I was very frequently the victim of sexual harassment and sometimes discrimination. My male colleagues in the Military Police were a strange mixture of protective brother and participating boor. It was a given that if we apprehended someone for either sexual assault/rape or child abuse, that person would "trip" and hit his head on the sedan (a "bumper-dumper") or would have to be subdued using "minimum force necessary" after "resisting apprehension" for such inexcusable behavior. But if one of them was suspected of any sort of sexual assault or harassment, they closed ranks and refused to believe the charge. Not unexpected, really, but difficult to reconcile. One of the primary reasons I left the military was that I felt I deserved to be treated better. Granted, I left military service 32 years ago, but unfortunately it doesn't sound like much has changed since then.
Gina, Hacienda Heights

This situation is unconscionable. There must be justice for victims of this horrific crime, particularly as they have volunteered their service to protect us.
Angela, Oakland

As a former sailor in the U.S. Navy, I see no reason not to take the responsibility for prosecuting sexual assault cases out of the hands of commanders. They have not proven themselves reliable, and the nature of the crime is such that "fear to report" is a key and irresolvable factor. For too long has the status quo had a say in what goes on with this issue. They have lost their rights, and this situation IS INTOLERABLE! Let me repeat that. IT IS INTOLERABLE! Please do not rest until this legislation takes this authority out of the hands of an institution that is NOT TRUSTWORTHY on this issue.
Dave, Menlo Park

I completely support your position on the issue of sexual assault in the military. I realize that you are up against some people who do not understand with the same depth that you have..
Karen, Sacramento

Thank you for seeking to stop the "chain of command" from deciding whether to pursue accusations of rape. When I was in ROTC many years ago, I saw the abuse of power even then by the officer in charge of us, especially in humiliating some of the black students under his command. It is clear that built into a system of the "chain of command," however necessary it may be in military operations, is a danger of abuse of power. Until recently I had no idea of the huge number of rape cases occurring each year & covered up by the use of "chain of command" decisions. I would be angry if they got away with this effort to subvert justice & cover up even one of these crimes, let alone the THOUSANDS that occur. I'm glad that you are pursuing this issue!!
Alex, San Francisco

Military sexual assault cases NEED to be taken away from the chain of command. Thank you for fighting for this change. It is unfortunate that the status quo, with some improvements, has remained. Important information from the other countries that have taken these cases out of the chain of command should be heeded. Unfortunately even Carl Levin disappointed us in this issue. Please keep fighting for this change. Too many just don't "get it."
Nancee, Santa Rosa

It is humiliating and tragic to think that women who are willing to die fighting for the USA are not given adequate consideration in sexual abuse cases. Please, is there anything you can do to stop conservatives from trying to control women's most holy possesssion, their own bodies? I feel sick at my stomach when I hear of more and more laws that ignore women's rights, and that destroy women's ability to care for themselves. That is hateful and wrong, and should never be brought up for consideration. Such hate is in actuality sexual abuse, akin to rape, and I feel it will destroy this country we love.
Eleanor, San Diego

What the Senate did yesterday was disgraceful, an old boys network at its worst. shame on them. Thank you, Barbara, for working for a real justice system in the military for those soldiers who sexually attack a female who is supposed to be their comrade in arms. I'm a male, but I feel that women will do a much better job of managing this planet when they have the opportunity.
Richard, Corte Madera

Please keep fighting on this one. For them to want to keep the status quo helps nobody but the top brass and the perpetrators themselves. This system has been proven not to work, so perpetuating it is ridiculous and harmful not only to the victims of sexual violence but those who may now be re-thinking joining the military forces.
Lyn, Santa Barbara

Please keep fighting! Don't let them get away with this outrage. It sounds like the foxes are still guarding the chicken houses, with no regard for the victims. Thank you for your efforts - and this does not affect me personally - but it is so unfair to those who are the victims here.
Jill, Redding

Your legislation is what is needed. I am outraged that Carl Levin blocked a key component removing investigations and prosecution from the chain of command.
Kathryn, Santa Barbara

As a former VA employee who worked with female veterans and published research findings on related issues in the 1980's, I could not agree more with your position. A qualified group, composed of at least a majority of women – outside the chain of command – must be given the authority to investigate and apply sanctions as needed, with due process for those accused, of course.
Gene, Culver City

I support you 100% in your work to get real reform in the process of handling military rape and other sexual harassment. I am outraged by the indifference and desire to maintain the process as it is that exists in the military. Keep up this hard and needed effort to protect every person from sexual violation.
Carolyn, Culver City

Thank you for your efforts. I am sad, disgusted and ashamed of the Senate Armed Services decision to maintain the status quo in regard to the treatment of sexual assault victims.
Leslie, Sierra Madre

The situation is absolutely shameful and a disgrace in this day and age! I can't support a military that is so without honor.
Luci, Paramount

How is such a vote possible?! Are not senate and house members not there to represent their constituants? Who are they listening to? That applies to Republicans and in too many cases also Democrats. This is just "nuts". Keep up the fight!!!
Robert, Palo Alto

I think your letter objecting to keeping the current chain of command structure in cases of military sexual assault leaves off important details - that commanders are usually more pro-active than military lawyers and that if a commander overturns a conviction, it will be subject to review. Maintaining chain of command is very important to military success. If the present solution to the sexual assault problem doesn't work, then another solution can be tried - for example, being sure women are in every command structure such that any assault cases will eventually end up on their desks for review.
Susan, Fresno

Well I think this is about a prejudice against women and gays in the military. This is Congress's way of saying this is payback for wanting to join the military. The reason this should be tried outside the military is because the chain of command may not see this as a criminal problem (or may even be directly involved. Maybe it is viewed as a "hazing" ritual rather than assault. Still in our society rape is viewed as the person asking for it by being seductive. Old views die hard as you said.
Sheryl, Pasadena

I strongly agree with your position on this legislation and was appalled by Senator Levin's proposed changes. Please keep up the great work you are doing for us, Senator Boxer. Don't give up. We really need you back there in Washington!
Karen, Magalia

Thank you for seeking a real solution to this problem. It is apparent that some military leaders are taking an unacceptable abuse of the status quo. It would seem many other nations have successfully changed their procedures without affecting military readiness. One can only wonder if the military was so against gays in the military because the leadership feared potential same sex sexual assault due to that status quo. Again, my thanks for pushing for a real solution.
William, West Hollywood

Until military commanders are removed from prosecutorial jurisdiction of sexual harassment and assault cases, victims of these crimes will neither come forward nor receive justice, and perpetrators of these crime will not be punished. I have read the objections to this legislation put forth by military leaders and members of congress. They are obstructionists who seek to maintain their power and control. Military commanders are trained to conduct military activities connected to the protection and defense of the United States. They are not attorneys nor are they qualified to engage in any aspect of the prosecution or defense of sexual perpetrators. Military leaders who refuse to follow the Constitution and submit to the will of "We the People" should be fired.
Robert, Los Angeles

Thank you for fighting for our military personnel. I'm so angry that the "good-ol'-boys" are still in control. This is such a slap in the face.
Elba, Fairfield

Thank you for continuing to fight to change how sexual assault cases are handled in the military. These cases need to be removed from the chain of command.
Barbara, Atascadero

I strongly support your position on this legislation. I'm appalled at the reports of sexual assault in the military. I think it's a disgrace to the country and completely unacceptable for women to have to face this kind of abuse in the workplace. On this issue, I think the military should be held to the same standards the companies are held. Employers accused of assault should face civil trials. The military has proven itself incapable of appropriately handling these matters. Please stay firm and continue to push for stronger legislation on this issue.
Anne-Marie, Los Angeles

Thank you for your hard work in fighting for victims of sexual assault in the military to have the same rights and protections as civilians. It is unconscionable that those who fight to protect us should be abandoned when they need our help. Please keep up the effort, we are behind you 100%
Duval, Anne, Ventura

I appreciate your fighting for justice for rape victims serving in the military. Keeping these rape cases in the chain-of-command is tantamount to officially-sanctioned rape. It has never worked and never will work, not with the mentality of the current "good-ole-boy" command. Keep fighting the good fight on this issue, please, and I feel that public pressure and exposure will make the difference.
Herschel, San Francisco

This is an outrage. Please continue your efforts to have these assaults handled properly, outside of the control of the military brass. I am a veteran of WWII, WAC, and luckily I know of no problems such as this during my service 1944-1945.
Anna, Placentia

I applaud your attempt to bring to an end the unjustice that surrounds females in the US Military. I do not think that females in the military should be given particular favors, but they should receive the respect due them as human beings. Little did I know that a remark made to me in the military in the late 70s may have led to some horrific sexual assault on me or perhaps on another woman. I mistook the sexist remark as a revolting and stupid threat and set it aside. I should have reported it, because it is remarks like that, made perhaps in jest, that lead to much more heinous crimes against women. That remark made so many years ago indicated that if I wanted an early honorable discharge I would have to get pregnant and the male speaker told me that he could arrange this. As I walked out of the room in disgust (and disbelief that I had heard the statement in uniform and on the job) the speaker turned to other males in the office as if to confirm his 'proposal'.
Jenny, Victorville
Thank you for the update on your efforts in changing the internal problems the Military just can't seem to overcome when it comes to sexual violence. You are fighting the right fight - and you are 100% correct in pursuing these changes, without them, there will be little impact within the Institution. I watched O'Donnell last night and listened to all of the segment on this subject - Levin surprised me to be honest, he fell into the good ole boys position far to easily on this one. I can understand where the argument against this change comes from, it's the same argument we've heard and hear all of the time. However, like you even said last night with Lawrence, change is difficult - and change does work when we move forward. DADT is probably one of the single dumbest waste of time issues we've spent time and money working through - in Military slow style, while it's great to look back now, it was a long hard road to get where we are, entirely to much time, effort and money on something which would have happened long ago, with the same ease, were it not for the 'falling into good ole boy positions' for no reason, than it's more comfortable. Keep working on it!
Rex, Palm Desert

As a victim of a very violent sexual assault myself, I applaud your effort to put real reform in place. The current system is beyond flawed; it is a violation the human right to be safe from sexual assault in the workplace as well as in every aspect of one's life. The United States cannot allow this shameful situation to persist.
Leslie, Oakland

I was incredulous to hear the bad news on the bill. Keep fighting for justice in this area.
Gary, Joshua Tree

As a woman with 4 daughters, 4 granddaughters, 2 nieces and numerous female cousins, your work on our behalf is most commendable. I am urging all I know to write their senators to continue to support this measure, start to support this measure or to expect activity to be removed from office on my part. There is no excuse or justification to allow the current chain of command to exist. Shame on them for participating in the sexual abuse of their soldiers.
Connie, Aptos

I am a veteran of DLI & NSA as part of USASA. What is going on now in the armed forces is out outrageous. Clearly they need an IG & Prosecutor outside the chain of command.
Vaso, Corte Madera

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Californians respond to my message on the Dramatic Increase in Military Sexual Assaults (05-07-2013) :

I so admire and appreciate your ongoing, determined stance to address this important issue in a serious and meaningful way. Please do not compromise or accommodate on this. Before they are members of the military, these are human beings wreaking pain, fear, and anguish on other human beings. They must be held accountable, so that the dignity of all who serve our country can be upheld. Thank you for your good work. May you get the support you need to see this properly addressed and changed.
Holly, Arcata

I heard on the news last night that of the 26,000 2012 assaults, only 1,100 were punished by the military. That is absolutely appalling and speaks to the sincerity with which the hierarchy responds to this crisis. Please do all that you can to legislate change in this rape culture.
Dianne Daley, Long Beach

Thank you for your and Sen. Gillibrand's planned introduction of legislation to curb the shocking increase of sexual assault in our military. There is no excuse for this kind of behavior, no excuse for covering it up, no excuse for tolerating it in any way. As a USMC veteran, I find it a dishonor to all our armed services. It impairs the effectiveness of our national defense, threatening our country, and gives propaganda aid to our nation’s enemies. It is especially disturbing to find this sort of behavior in the officer corps; and to see that reports of sexual assaults are routinely discouraged and covered up - even to the extent of legal convictions being overturned by the "chain of command". This should never be allowed - it is simply complicity, "aiding and abetting"! I earnestly hope that your efforts will help to swiftly and conclusively put an end to this heinous and shameful misconduct.
Rashid, Pinole

We never should have allowed women in combat.
Diana, Carmel By The Sea

Those who protect the country must in turn be protected by the people of the country they serve.
Rush, San Francisco

Your response to the Department of Defense's unconscionable report regarding sexual assaults in the military and even more disturbing was their response. But one of the reasons why I voted for you. Thank you for such adequate representation.
Angelina, Whittier

I am sorely distressed by the arrest of LTC Krisinski on sexual battery charges. His job was to prevent such assaults, not commit them. We are in trouble when the men of our armed forces do not view sexual assaults as violence but s mistakes. Hearing generals make excuses for this kind of behavior is disgusting. Please keep holding their feet to the fire.
Helene, Bonsall

Certainly the rise in sexual assault while in the military must be addressed. We need a safe and secure place for our soldiers at all times. I do not know what has to be done, but please take the time and make the effort to solve the problem.
Ellen, Claremont

Thank you Senator for that very important testimony. So very poignant, you were spot on.
Bruce, Sunnyvale

What did all of you in Washington that voted to change "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" expect to happen? Now you have created a monster. Undo what you did. Respectfully
Don, Grass Valley

Thank you for taking an active interest in this issue. As long as male soldiers maintain a view of women as "spoils of war," there is no protection for women on either side of a conflict, "comrad in arms" or "civilian enemy." I commend your introduction of a bill addressing the abominable "good ol' boy" protection in our military culture.
Mary, San Diego

I want to thank you for caring about this important issue. This sad state of affairs has gone on way too long. Hopefully now there will be real reform because of people like you.
Susan, Calexico

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Californians respond to my message on Ensuring Justice for Victims of Military Sexual Assault (04/09/2013):

Thank you for following up on the sexual violence going on in the military. It is about time the command leadership and personnel are held accountable for their illegal and immoral behavior. Please continue your efforts.
Lily, Rough And Ready

I applaud U.S. Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel's efforts to address the serious issue of sexual assault in the military. As a retired member of the Army Reserves, I know that the problem has existed unchecked for such a long time. I am also a Registered Nurse so I see first hand the devastating effects on victims of this violent crime. I support all efforts to STOP this type of crime.
Cheryl, Oakland

I am a former military member. I have to say this is something that has taken way too long to happen. There are way too many of us servicewomen who have suffered unduly thanks to not being believed or being told that the assault was somehow our fault or brought upon with the clothes that we were wearing or the places we were at. Many of us were attacked by our own fellow service members. And then add insult to injury when we are discharged from the military and apply for benefits they are denied by the VA due to be denied by the military or ignored by or plain out ignored by the higher ranking officers and supervisors of the military.
Kirsten, Rancho Cordova

Thank you so much for your work in this matter. It gives me hope, changing the world one little bit at a time. Whether we see our vision of a better world in our lifetimes is beside the point- we most likely will not. But every small step gets us going that direction.
Bruce, Redway

Thank you, Senator Boxer, for taking a strong stand on this important issue. Thank you too for keeping us informed of your good work on this, and many other issues that are vitally important to helping us move closer to being a society that is safe and just for all.
Melody, Sacramento

Our military men and women have enough to be concerned about without having to deal with sexual predators as co-workers. Those who have been assaulted deserve their day in court and the support of their commanding officers in seeking justice.
Carol, Carpinteria

Thank you for your recent email update on your work with U.S. Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel in pursuing justice for victims of military sexual assault. I support your efforts to control this travesty, and I appreciate all your efforts on behalf of Californians and all the citizens of the U.S. regardless of residency or occupation.
Laneta, Riverside

Thanks for championing the rights of service members who have been assaulted, sexually or not, by the people with whom they served. I do believe that this is much more common in the testosterone-filled environment of the military than anyone knows. I've counseled women who were devastated by this kind of activity and had no place to express their legitimate outrage in a meaningful way without being blamed or ridiculed. We are better than this. America is better than this.
Suzanne, San Jose

Thank you for keeping Defense Secretary Hagel on track with improvement of sexual assaults protection and prosecutions in our military. I'm sure he will get plenty of push back from the military used to having their own way. I'm also sure he is in favor of these changes. I urge you to support him in this endeavor and push him if he slows down.
James, Carlsbad

You said that Sec.Hegel has begun the long process of ending sexual violence in the military. Why "long"? It can be stopped NOW. Where there is a will, there is a way. Let us get the job done!
Arnold, Arcadia

Thank you for your efforts to assist our sisters in the military. Their contributions to our national security is no less important than any other individual (male or female) within the Military. Based on the stories I've read and seen, it is an abomination how the women in the service are treated as to this reprehensible conduct.
Jack, Moreno Valley

Thank you for pursuing this issue as a priority of yours-I have grandchildren, like most of the boomers, in the service to our country and why do they need to have fears of this happening to them. The History channel, i believe recently ran this topic re assaults of females in the AIR FORCE. So it is more difficult to get into the AIR FORCE and then they terrorize and victimize the top cream of the crop young men and women, what an evil way to "kill" the bodies and spirits of our youth. thanks again for your pursuit.
Sandra, Irvine

Thank you for your efforts to engage Secretary of Defense Hagel on this issue. We completely agree that base commanders or any other officer in the chain of command should not be able to overturn convictions for this kind of illegal and destructive behavior. Neither should they be able to stop any investigations into allegations made that such behavior has taken place.
Richard and Chihoko, Oakland

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Californians respond to my message on Stopping Sexual Assault in the Military (03/13/2013):

Thank you for standing up for the victims of sexual assault in the military. While a certain amount of autonomy for the commanders in the military court system is critical to their mission, without appropriate checks and balances, the system is ineffective and sometimes dangerous. As the leader of a women's center in the CSU, a victimology faculty member, and a veteran, I applaud you.
Jenny, Fresno

THANK YOU for your testimony before the Senate Committee responsible for overseeing this issue. We completely agree that military commanders must NOT be allowed to overturn convictions of perpetrators. Please continue to work actively with the Committee to ensure that this legislation passes quickly. Please continue to keep us informed of your efforts to do this.
Richard and Chihoko, Oakland

Your words resonated in my heart and I pray these hearings will bring to fruition all that you asked for, especially to stop the violence now. Let’s put an end to all the cover ups regarding sexual violence. Our society needs it.
Mary, Redondo Beach

Thank you for your incredible efforts on behalf of all your California constituents and military personnel in general.
Charles, Nevada City

Thank you Senator Boxer for all your hard work on behalf of victimized men and women in the military. It is so upsetting to hear their stories and learn how they were forced to endure censure and humiliation when they reported these attacks to their superiors. These brave people deserve justice.
Karen, Livermore

Thank you for standing up and speaking out about the sexual assault that is going on in the military. May this be the start of that changing.
Jennifer, Burbank

Thank you, Senator Boxer, for your passionate defense of our military members' right to be safe, protected against sexual violence, and to have rigorous prosecution against offenders.
Holly, Arcata

Thank you for speaking out about violence and sexual assaults in the military. You said it perfectly, this is not something to be handled "internally". It takes someone like you to bring this to the attention of others who only want to sweep it under the rug. Perhaps you'll break down the boys club very soon.
Jane, West Hollywood

Thank you for your support of real accountability for sexual predators in the military. The current prosecutorial paradigm must change. These cases should be adjudicated by non-command attorneys with law experience specific to this issue. Until the self serving, non-attorney chain of command staff are removed from the decision process, these cases will not be prosecuted.
Robert, Los Angeles

Very sad though we have to have a law to protect anyone from harm.
Margaret, San Diego

Thank you for demanding equal justice for all in the military. The case of the General overturning the conviction and punishment of the AF Captain convicted of the assualt is an abomination. And, it goes beyond the crime of sexual assualt for such a reversal of a conviction could occur for any crime in which the higher officer had a particular interest. Where, we should ask, is the justice in this type of system? Thanks for listening.
Pierre, Sacramento

I am glad that finally something is and hopefully will be done about this matter of the greatest importance. Thank you for your input.
Melvin, Sacramento

This has been swept under the rug for far toooooo long.
Betty, Moreno Valley

Thank you for your incredible efforts on behalf of all your California constituents and military personnel in general. I admire and respect your commitment to your role as our Senator.
Charles, Nevada City

Thank you for your strong stance on this shameful subject of friendly forces committing sexual assault crimes against our own men and women in the military. One of the local Vet Center Team Leaders informed me that more men than women are raped while serving in the military. No one serving our country should be a victim of such horrible assaults. I am a proud U.S. Marine Vietnam War (Danang 1969) veteran and life member of the V.F.W., D.A.V., and V.V.A.. Keep up the great advocacy work.
Mario, Chula Vista

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Californians respond to my message on Keeping Sex Offenders Out of Our Military (11/30/2012):

Thank God! Now if we can get proper reporting procedures in place so the women in our military are not punished for telling on their attacker by their commanding officers. I am a female retired from the military and this sort of thing goes on all the time. Thank you.
Morgan, Lemoore

Again thank you for initiating the amendment that will permanently ban anyone convicted of felony sexual assault from joining our military. To think this has not already been the case, is yet another reminder that we have very little "common sense". I truly appreciate all you have done and are doing on our behalf.
Julia, El Cerrito

I'm so happy to know you're out there defending and supporting those that are defending and supporting all of us! There is no place in our military (or anywhere) that should think it ok to include those that have committed such heinous acts. The numbers listed on your website of 2011's such incidents are saddening beyond belief. Thank you so much for your tireless work and commitment to our country.
Barbara, San Antonio

I wanted to express my continued gratitude to you for making every effort to introduce legislation that serves all people. I especially wanted to thank you for your amendment permanently banning any potential military service member who is a sexual assault felon. This is a long overdue and necessary step in protecting our service members, men and women. Thank you again for all your hard work.
Angela, Oakland

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Californians respond to my message on Giving Hope to HIV Patients in Need of Transplants:

Thank you to the President, you and your colleagues for getting this bill passed through. I had felt as though we had been forgotten with all of the current events going on. I am myself HIV positive ESRD patient and on an active waiting list through UCLA. I will continue to pray that research will start soon and transplants as well.
Robert, Los Angeles

Hopefully this will become the law of the land. It is long overdue. A friend died of kidney failure while being treated for HIV. His life might have been saved had he received a kidney. Thank you for your efforts.
Patton, William, Pomona

I just want to thank you for co-writing the HOPE Act. As an HIV+ person, this means a lot!
Chris, San Francisco

I am a 59 year old, male with lupus and AIDS. Until this year I couldn't even get Long Term Care coverage. I thank you from the bottom of my heart for what you're doing.
Vincent, Long Beach

Thank you so much for writing the HOPE Act and getting it passed into law. I had not realized an outdated law on the subject still existed. I appreciate everything you do on behalf of our state and country.
Glenn, North Hollywood

Heartfelt thanks to you, Senator Boxer, and your Republican colleague, Senator Tom Coburn of Oklahoma, for your wise and caring legislation on HIV transplants. It will bring hope to many, just to know the possibility exists.
Janeane and Ian Moody, Sausalito

I am from Oklahoma and now live in California. I don't agree with Senator Coburn on many issues but on this one I do. I also wanted to express my joy that the two of you signed this HOPE bill. Thanks for all you do and know I am so glad to be your constituent. Tell that "Okie" guy thank you as well.
Jack, San Mateo

The action you have taken is dear to our hearts. More than 40 years ago, I lost my favourite cousin Jack to AIDS. He had been disowned by his father, so I did not know until too late. Only 5 years ago, we lost my husband's brother - a long time AIDS survivor, Bob finally found pain, illness and isolation too hard to bear. My daughter, an ordained UCC pastor, is in a happy same sex marriage. She and her wife are parents of two adorable and brilliant little boys. Many of their friends in the LGBT community have become very dear to us also. In loving memory of Jack and Bob, and in the hope that none of these younger LGBT loved ones will ever need to suffer, we thank you and the president for your action today.
Kate, Poway

Thank you for writing the HOPE ACT and getting it passed into law. This kind of forward thinking legislation is very much needed to bring the benefits of scientific research to those in need.
Bruce, Los Angeles

Thank you Senator Boxer for all your hard work and keeping a voice for HIV positive survivors. The HOPE act will certainly help many people. Please work hard to continue to end the stigma against HIV positive men, women, and children. This disease does not discriminate, people do.
Carlos, Tustin

Thank you for your message about the HOPE Act and congratulations on having it signed into law. A similar and related issue is the ongoing and equally outdated prohibition by the FDA of blood donation by gay men. An excellent article on the status of this ban can be found at HuffPo:   I urge you to take up this issue with the same zeal and enthusiasm with which you ended the organ donation research ban.
Andrew, East Palo Alto

Thank you Senator for your hard work and dedication for people living with HIV. This is a big deal and I am so proud to have people like you fighting for this cause.
Jon, Sacramento

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Californians respond to my message on Giving Hope to Those Living with HIV/AIDS  (6/18/2013):

I was filled with joy and felt goose bumps knowing that you were able in a bi-partisan way to get such a needed act such as the Hope act passed. We as americans need to lead by example and show the world that this great nation respects the dignity and character of each of its citizens. This life saving act will go VERY far to help those in the HIV positive community to live longer lives and in many cases continue to contribute to our society.
Jose, La Mesa

Not sure I understand HIV Positive Donor (rather than HIV Negative Donor) to HIV positive patient but if it saves lives, why would anyone stop it? I do feel the research should be done. Keep up the good work.
Rebecca, Hesperia

A huge thank you for your caring and your action.
Fred, Hacienda Heights

Thank you for your efforts in writing this act and insuring its passage.
Lorna, Thousand Palms

Thanks so much for your work on this and letting me know about it. I really appreciate all you are doing to represent me in the Senate.
Claudia, Los Altos

Thanks for your efforts on behalf of HIV patients needing transplants. And thank you for working with a Republican, proof that it is possible to reach across the aisle in pursuit of doing the right thing. When is the House start acting like reasonable representatives who want to set aside politics enough to do the right thing?
Maureen, San Francisco

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Californians respond to my message on HOPE for HIV-Positive Patients (2/14/2013):

Thank you very much for you efforts to ensure all Americans are treated fairly regarding medical treatment. I am shocked that those with HIV could not get organ donors to save their lives. I can't imagine anyone in our county would have to suffer such devastating discrimination. Keep up the good work.
MarySue, San Diego

Thank you for introducing this important legislation. You are an inspiration.
Harrison, Costa Mesa

Thank you for once again leading the way on helping HIV positive Americans.
William and Michael, San Francisco

Bless your heart for trying to make a difference with organ donation from HIV+ individuals. While I believe that is a step in the right direction, I believe it's not the only, nor most important step. A more prudent and desired direction is functional elimination of HIV within individuals that are infected with HIV. Elimination of HIV from within infected individuals would result in significant reductions in health care costs, productivity and the Country's bottom line. Stanford Medical University has shown promising research in creating genetically-modified T-cells that resist HIV. Funding and guidance for such research is what's needed. Thanks for everything you do!
Michael, San Francisco

Both in my profession and in my private life, I have known persons who might well have benefited from organ donation from others who were HIV positive.
Marion, Oakland

Thank you so much for introducing the HOPE Act (HIV Organ Policy Equity Act). My partner James and I are both HIV+. In the worst-case scenario, he would be in need of a liver transplant. Although this has not been a necessity to date, and hopefully is not going to need to occur in the future, I believe that having the possibility available does indeed inspire hope. It did for him when I told him of your news today. In addition to the organ equity act, I am of the strong belief that HIV+ people ought to be able to donate blood for other HIV+ people, provided that they have a high T-Cell count (above 500), and that their viral load is undetectible. This would add to the ever diminishing demand for blood in surgeries in which HIV+ patients need to take blood from the HIV- supply. In addition, prior to testing positive, I donated blood regularly as a part of my civic responsibility. Since testing positive, I am not able to participate, and that lack of service has had a negative impact on my sense of being a part of. HIV+ men and women are normal, productive, employed, and contributing members to society. Inclusion with precautions to protect the HIV- population from exposure to HIV+ blood sources can be easily obtained. Just as the blood type is indicated on the bag, so too can the presence of HIV, the viral load and T Cell count be noted on the bag. Just some ideas. Thanks again.
Gregory, Long Beach

I agree Strongly that HIV donors should be able to Transplant Organs Since I have had One for Years and it has saved my Life from being tied to a dialysis Machine ... I Know How it feels to Live and three Hours or more the times a week and always being stuck with needles and your family afraid to come in and see you being drained of Blood that goes to a machine and cleaned and then returned to you I was lucky to only have Dialysis for Only One year and a half and Lucky to have a match Living alone from my family they love me yes but do not understand how it hurts to be rejected from the family that you loved then be alone when you need them the most and have to do all this alone...Pleas know that now I have a life now a new life and I enjoy every Moment of it and I Know it will end I would like to know that when my new Kidney fails that there is hope of still Living free... God Bless you and please give us all some hope and please do not turn us away we have had enough hurt already with what we have to go through every day But at the end of the day we are just Human Being with feeling just like you
Woodrow, Berkeley

How much will HOPE federal research cost? What are the unintended financial consequences for this benevolent project? As a tax donor, my priority is the national debt. Getting out from under its burden benefits us all, without preference. It's a case of triage. In military triage it's understood you can't save all. It's a painful decision. I hope you see my point. Please, specifically explain your priorities. Should we not meet our obligation to the nation before special needs groups? Respectfully submitted,
 Laura, Santa Barbara

Bless you Senator Boxer, nice to see science triumph over fear! I am HIV positive, before my diagnosis I was always listed as an organ donor. In my case, I have maintained an undetectable viral lode since 2003, and my T-Cell are always over 1100, my organs would help save many lives, and to be honest, even the experts agree that folks like me may not even be contagious. Another point you should address, gay men and women are turned away at blood drives simply because they are gay. A friend of mine (O+ universal donor), in a 20 year monogamous relationship, was turned away because he was gay, while several frat boys were accepted - they couldn't even name their last partner, but they were straight. Blood is blood. Anyways I wanted to thank you for all your hard work! Sincerely,
Tim, Carlsbad

Your support of the HOPE Act is a prime example of why you will ALWAYS get my vote. Thank you for understanding that we are all in this together and for always acting like a fellow human being. Cheers,
Patrick, Rohnert Park

Thank you! Another terrific reason why I'm so glad you're MY Senator.
Ginny, San Jose

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CEMEX and Santa Clarita

Californians respond to my message on Protecting the Santa Clarita Valley from Environmentally Damaging Mining:

As a resident of Santa Clarita, I particularly appreciated your testimony regarding not allowing moving forward with the proposed mine in Santa Clarita. Watching you in action and knowing that you are out there fighting for me and all the residents of California gives me a feeling of comfort and peace. Keep up the great work.
Craig, Valencia

Thank you once again for standing up for your Santa Clarita constituents regarding the Cemex Mining monstrosity.  Our area suffers way too much air pollution and traffic as it is and this would make healthy living impossible, let alone unbearable. We have also had way too much developed for what is left of this historic area, and hopefully this will also slow development since we our scarce on water as well.
Maureen, Valencia

Thank you for testifying about this mine. It will harm our community, and the profit goes to Mexico. The way the law works is that the original owner of the land was not able to mine it. Something is very wrong here.
Karl, Valencia

Glad you noted the City of Santa Clarita has doubled in size and has a phenomenal growth rate. The existing roads, parking lots and home sites in the city have consumed huge quantities of aggregate and the planned infrastructure for our expanding city demands more aggregate. I am tired of the NIMBY attitude - if our City wants the growth, we should share the environmental burden. Do not support pushing these mines and unfavorable land uses (fill in the blank: landfill, industrial park, etc) out in to the less populated desert and rural areas. Consider the added carbon footprint of transporting aggregate back into the urban areas where it is needed. 20 years from now I still hope to enjoy leaving the city to camp outdoors and experience the desert in it's natural state.
Ted, Valencia

Thank you for sending this email. I was on the fence about this project, but now I know that I am totally for it. I only wish I was rich enough or poor enough to be a liberal like you that can mandate rules on other people that does not have to personally impact them. I will continue to support anyone/anything that you oppose and I appreciate finding out your position on many issues. As a lifelong Democrat, I know that there will be times that I will agree on your position, but without knowing any real facts I will take an opposite position.
Kenneth, Valencia

Thank you for representing me and my community and speaking out against the proposed mine project. The landscape of the surrounding areas is a beautiful example of Southern California's natural environment. It would be such a tragedy to see it ruined by said mining.
Jennifer, Castaic

You sent an email message about your legislation to stop construction of a mine near Santa Clarita. I urge you to reverse your position on this issue. Productive activities should be supported, especially in the economic times we are in. The role of a Senator is to help protect citizens from people who would harm them or prevent them from pursuing their happiness and prosperity. This legislation puts you in the role of those you have sworn to protect us from. Please withdraw this damaging legislation.
Mike, Castaic

Thank you Senator Boxer for your help in keeping the Cemex mining out of Soledad Canyon and stopping the pollution, noise and terrible truck traffic that would impact our community not only Santa Clarita, but here in Agua Dulce. We are the closest to the proposed mining site and have for years attempted to curtail mining in the Soledad Canyon and other area of our community. It has been a much too long battle and we appreciate your help to get Congress to act on our behalf.
Peg, Agua Dulce

I deeply appreciate the legislation you have sponsored and supported to protect the environment in my home community, Santa Clarita. I chose to live here more than 30 years ago, raised my children here, worked my career here and now that I'm retired, my grandchildren are being raised here. Thank you so much for assisting us in maintaining this as a community where families can raise children and be secure that our environment is as safe and healthy as we can make it. There is little in life more important.
Susanlee, Santa Clarita

Thank you for helping us to keep gravel mining out of our city. The traffic and air pollution are already getting worse every year. We do not need to add to our problems in the Santa Clarita Valley.
Ann, Valencia

As a homeowner and more importantly as a mother of three children born in Santa Clarita, I can't tell you how much I appreciate your work on S771. After all these years of Rep McKeon dawdling over the single most important issue in his home town, you surpassed his efforts and got the bill into committee. Your testimony was so much more impressive than McKeon's, who was smirking and almost giddy as he spoke, no wonder you were able to move the bill forward in less than half the time that McKeon has supposedly worked on it. You are a fine legislator who truly represents the people, putting people before Party.
Thank you from the bottom of my heart.
Patti, Valencia

Thanks for asking for feedback. Those acres are surely worth saving. Is the land being sold being sold at fair market value? Are any relatives or cronies getting kickbacks or in any way benefitting from this sale? (No disrespect intended; I have learned to ask, "Who benefits?")
Where is the the property? Who opposes this sale? Who are the buyers? Are they acting independently or are they connected to you or the mining company? Will the taxpayers (mostly the middle class) and the lower class be yet again squeezed, in some cases nearly dry, for the private gain of the compulsive hoarders of resources, money, and property who are so jaded by their own hard-heartedness that they can't have compassion for the the suffering they cause to American families? Do the taxpayers really benefit from this bill? Thanks again for asking for input; I commend you for polling your constituants. Please do not be offended by the bluntness of this feedback. No reason to beat around the bush.
Carolyn, Valencia

Thank you for your support for our city of Santa Clarita. It's good to see Republicans and Democrats coming together for a common cause. I wish this were more the case across the country.
Raul, Valencia

I'm glad your sent me this email, which provided me the opportunity to express my opinion.
I am an immigrant from the former Soviet Union. I came to this country, 37 years ago, in the hopes of providing a better life for my family. Through the years, I've had a lot of great opportunities. In this decade, my children do not have the same opportunities, because of all the new government rules and regulations which inevitably kill jobs. This is another example of the government wanting to hinder jobs that Californians desperately need, in order to suppease the environmentalists. What do YOU think is more important? Of course we need to take care of the world we live in, but nature and God, has always cared for itself. Humans didn't kill of the dinosaurs-- environmental changes did. How did that effect our lives?
Felix, Valencia

Anything that creates serious hazard to our pristine environment in Santa Clarita or anywhere else in the country is absolutely unacceptable. It's a bad idea. Preserve life first before wealth.
Percival, Valencia

Thank you for your continued efforts that benefit this great state, particularly Los Angeles County and the City of Santa Clarita. My family is grateful for your efforts to cancel the Cemex contract, as are many families in the area.
Stephanie, Valencia

Thank You for the bill you sponsor against the Cemex Mining in Santa Clarita. You are doing the right thing here for California and your constituents.
Janet, Acton

I have been a resident of the Santa Clarita Valley for over 35 years. I've watched our valley grow tremendously during those years into a wonderful city to raise a family and also to retire and enjoy one's golden years. I watched the video and I am very happy, that all of our state governmental parties are standing together in unison, in which, all issues should be handled. There should continuously be debates and discussions, but in the end come to a fair decision to embrace the best ideas no matter whose party came up with the objectives, and at all times for the best interest of the citizens. I greatly appreciate how hard all of you are working to get this mining issue resolved and protect our beautiful city, the residents and the environment.
Dale, Valencia

Thanks so much for your testimony regarding the proposed mine in Santa Clarita. As always, your hard work is much appreciated!
Richard, Valencia

Thank you for your continued environmental advocacy for the citizens of Santa Clarita. We would appreciate your support to curb developers who wish to over-develop the area. Some are apparently allowed to skirt concerns such as adequate water, sewer, roads and schools. We are becoming frustrated with a lack of environmental concern, and an indifferent attitude by politicians as to quality of life issues for our community. It appears as though Developer contributions and a property tax income stream from additional parcels are all that matter to many politicians. Please continue to keep our environment, and quality of life issues for our state's citizens high on your list of priorities. I have two young daughters, ages 8 and 11, and am worried as to what kind of future will await them.
Steve, Valencia

Thank you for calling the Soledad Mine issue to the attention of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee. The passing of Bill S771 would be great for the environment of Santa Clarita.
Van, Stevenson Ranch

Thanks for all of your efforts. I really appreciate them.
Amit, Valencia

As a long time resident of Santa Clarita,with three children that I am raising, I applaud the measures to keep the mine project at bay. Please keep fighting to keep this valley such a nice, clean and non toxic environment for my family.
Sheri, Valencia

You are not protecting us, We need energy and resources. What are you protecting, the desert? We get out water from Neveda or northern California so our local water supply is not in danger. There is no wildlife, we're in the desert. There are too many wild rabbits and coyotes.
Please Please leave us alone. We need jobs. and stop trying to protect the environment... all your efforts mean nothing when all of Asia is Polluting the world. the best way to save this planet is to reduce the need for Asia to produce goods. The best way to do that is to allow AMERICA to produce oil and goods. At least you guys can closely monitor how they do business.
Jesse, Valencia

I object adamantly to your meddling in my local community of Santa Clarita. Specifically, by obstructing the development of a mine in our community. The liberal mindset is routinely to oppose any development in the name environmental protection. I'd appreciate if you would keep your business killing policies to your own community.
Craig, Valencia

Just a simple message regarding your testimony on the legislation protecting Santa Clarita. Thank you, Senator Boxer. My family and I are grateful of your support and concern.
Jeff, Stevenson Ranch

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Californians respond to my message on Protecting Santa Clarita from Pollution and Congestion (4/19/2013):

Thanks for taking care of the folks in Santa Clarita valley. Please keep up your good work on climate change so we can all be protected from the worst environmental degradation
Edward, Santa Monica

Senator Boxer, thank you for introducing the Soledad Canyon Settlement Act. I am well aware that you are my only representative in Congress who has been active in trying to get the Cemex mine issue resolved. Your efforts are greatly appreciated.
Marie, Newhall

Thank you for every effort to preserve Americana. While some compromise with "dirty energy" is inevitable, if we can avoid the most precious and valuable land/landscapes, as well as preserve the health and welfare of American citizens (e.g. no fracking esp near any watershed), that is the best scenario.
Diana, Redding

Respectfully, the mining legislation is a bad idea. I've lived in this valley for over twenty years, and I have never been concerned with the quality of the air. In fact, I am more concerned with losing industry and jobs on the area. If you shut down the mining, jobs and local revenue will be lost. I understand the concern for the environment, but at some point, we have to be as concerned with the economy of this State. I was born in this state and my livelihood keeps me here, but there is almost nothing else that would keep me here. It's a great and beautiful state, but what it is turning into is uglier every year. Thank you for your concern.
Guy, Santa Clarita

I applaud your recent legislation to protect the people of Santa Clarita from pollution and traffic congestion by requiring the Bureau of Land Management and canceling the current mining contracts in Soledad Canyon and prohibit future mining at this site. We need more Congressional representatives like you who are willing to protect the citizens and the environment by reducing polution and eliminating harmful environmental business practices. Thank YOU!!!
Susan, San Carlos

I live in Santa Clarita very close to the CEMEX mine off of Soledad Canyon Rd. I have no connection to the company or any it is affiliated with. The Santa Clarita Valley has many problems, and traffic, but this mine has nothing to do with it. This is a pet issue of the City Council and uppity residents that ignore our real problems. We have traffic problems because the City insists on builing houses instead of cross town roads. The hot, dry and windy conditions of the area means there is always dust in the air here. Our city, State and country have much more pressing issues than this small mine that doesn't affect air polution or traffic to any measurable degree. I would prefer that you spend more energy on real issues like immigration reform than small local issues like this. Thank you for your time,
Jeff, Canyon Country

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Filibuster Reform

Californians respond to my message on Breaking through Republican Obstructionism:

Hooray! I heartily support the action you and your colleagues took to finally limit the anti-democratic and absurd use of the filibuster. I for one would look kindly on the complete eradication of the filibuster from Senate rules. I do not approve of any procedure that limits debate, especially one that wastes valuable time.
Carl, San Diego

Thank you and your colleagues for reforming the filibuster rules in the Senate. Republicans have shown that their only goals for our great country is to stop anything "Obama" and we're sick of it. Let's get to work and make government functional again.
Jeff, Windsor

I am in total agreement with you on this subject. The Republican strategy of not allowing any of Obama's programs or appointments to pass is a disservice to the 'American People' that they regularly say that they represent. I believe independents, like myself, see this. The Republicans have proposed no constructive programs of their own. You would have to accept blame if your program did not work as it was supposed to. Easier to pick on someone else's programs and criticize.
Bill, San Diego

It's about time President Obama take a stand that arcs WAY over the heads of these ego-besotted souls, who deserve no more respect than what they show others who wish to get on with governing. Bat them away like flies I say; their behavior invites nothing better. Then, with our humanity and intelligence leading, let's get on with facilitating what, I believe, history will deem one of the most inspired and effective administrations our country has witnessed to date. Obama is simply the best.
Julia, Tehachapi

Thank you for doing all you can to top their childish antics! They are not doing any good by playing such silly games and in the end they are hurting the country. Hopefully even their own party will get disgusted with them as well. Keep up the good work.
Sandra , Garden Grove

Great job on the rules change for the filibuster!
Jeff, San Francisco

I am writing to you today to voice my extreme disappointment in your voting to invoke the "nuclear option" and change the Senate rules to require a simple majority vote to approve judicial appointments. That rule existed so that the two parties are forced to work together to approve appointments. Democrats cried foul when the Republicans considered doing this very thing years ago but now that you are in the majority you decide that it okay? And likening this to "shutting down the government" is disingenuous. It isn't shutting down anything. The Republicans are simply representing their constituency just the same as you. What you have done will result in making the partisanship even worse. Now the majority party can simply run roughshod over the minority without even TRYING to gain 60% or 67% of the votes. What will happen when the Democrats are in the minority? You are a senior Senator, you have been there a long time as a member of the minority and the majority. I expected better from you.
Christopher, Stevenson Ranch

I congratulate you and Senator Reid and fellow Democrats upon the recent change to senate management of the filibuster. The filibuster privilege has been misused by the minority in a manner which seems, not simply obstructive, but, frankly, seditious in their apparent intent to impede the deliberative and dutiful work of the senate in advising and voting upon judicial nominations and executive appointments.
Alan, Carmel

Thank you for standing up to republican obstructionism and pushing for action that helps real people. I would love to hear someone ask the republicans to give up their healthcare and that of their family, when they advocate for young people not to sign up for the ACA, or when Rep. Governors decide not to expand Medicare; despite having millions of their residents without access to care. Please keep fighting for Pres.Obama's agenda: jobs, healthcare, higher minimum wage, climate chane and immigration reform. Forward!
Venise, Fresno

Just received your email and I say, "Excellent!" We need to stop a minority from obstructing the government. And the Republicans are a minority, whether they like it or not. Thanks for standing up to them!
Kathy, Novato

Thank you Senator Boxer for eliminating Republican filibustering of a majority of Judicial nominations! Now it is time to give an up or down vote to all of President Obama's Judicial nominees. Additionally, it is time to push Senator Reid to bring up at least 3 Judicial nominees a week, when feasible, in order to fill the approximately 90+ vacancies to the Federal Judiciary!
Bruce, Stockton

I wanted to thank you and other members of Congress that have decided to meet the “Rule or Ruin” (Rep) party head on and take the necessary steps to move forward. I can not believe the falsehoods coming from some of these legislators, and, I can not believe people are still listening. I am sure you are aware that they believe and practice a ritual that you can create a “truth” if you can say it enough times, and say it to enough people. Please keep up the good work.
Ken, Escondido

Your effort to stop republicans is just one step to silencing a minority for future generations, being that republicans democrats or any other party. You are damaging the fabric of our government and stepping away from our constitution.
Connor, San Diego

I agree with your decision to end filibuster for now. Republicans are acting recklessly and interfering with the Democratic process. Hope we don't regret it, but worth it to get judges appointed. Appoint all >90 judge openings, please!
Lydia, San Diego

Despite Republican threats, I support the change that they themselves made necessary in order to conduct the Senate's business on behalf of our nation. The harsh obstruction of Congress' role and refusal to reasonably negotiate across the aisle and with our President can only be viewed as radical deconstruction of our way of governance with a fair helping of racism. We can do much better than this... and will thanks to your and your Congressional cohorts' efforts to move the advise and consent process forward, along with all other critical matters.
Christopher, Belmont

I only wish this could have been done sooner. There was an unspoken agreement that the need for bipartisan cooperation on major bills was important and that this way of more scholarly debate was good for the country. When the unspoken agreement is treated as if it did not exist, then both parties must treat it as broken. The Republicans broke and the Dems tried to maintain it - onesidedly. The consensus that the filibuster was to be used for the good of reflection was gone. So the filibuster had to go as well.
Kathy, Newhall

I'm SO glad that the Senate changed the filibuster rules! What took so long?
Tatiana, Albany

For months, maybe years, I longed to see you in the thick of battle against Republicans in Congress but I only saw fighting them in connection with issues which, no matter they deserved to be fought, how important they were to certain groups of US residents, did not, in terms of shrillness and front-and-centre publicity in every news media, arouse great emotional intensity among what I believe was a large majority of us. But now, finally, you've thrown your hat in the ring on the side of those who have suffered much at the hands of unscrupulous filibusterers and are fighting for recognition of the rights of the great majority of your countrymen against those who would have us believe that regulating the power of unlimited money resistance is hopeless and un-american. Bear in mind that corporations and individuals became rich only by extracting the riches from the rest of us and that without the rest of us they would be and are nothing. Because they cannot regulate their greed, we must regulate it for them. Because they have amassed so much, they must now share their wealth with those who have made them so rich. A democracy that does not recognise that obligation is no democracy at all. Your leadership is now a freshet of reinvigorating air, leading me to hope that, perhaps some day, America will truly be the land of the free.
Yvon, Sebastopol

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University Park

Californians respond to my message on A Victory for Environmental Justice:

Thank you for your actions against AllenCo in a threatened East Los Angeles community.
To be on the ground floor with them instead of sitting in a senate seat is outstanding!
Diana, Santa Monica

Your actions with AllenCo and your constituents in University Park demonstrate why you are OUR Senator ! Rather than grandstand or politicize this problem, we think you handled the situation VERY PROFESSIONALLY, including having the graciousness to thank Mr. Allen for his decision to eliminate this neighborhood hazard.
Duncan and Betty, McKinleyville

Thank you for your successful effort to suspend the operations of AllenCo in L.A., Senator Boxer. I applaud all of your efforts to protect our environment, and especially when people are so directly affected as those in the University Park community were. Please continue your work to protect the environment, including all of your efforts to combat climate change.
Sara, Nevada City

Thank you, Senator Boxer and AllenCo. Now may each of us take an extra bus or bike (instead of car) trip, or be extra-careful about use of home lighting for a week, to show that the oil and gas from that area is just not needed.
Betsy, San Francisco

Congratulations on receiving the news that Allen Co. is suspending oil drilling operations in Los Angeles. I am hopeful that this suspension will be permanent, given the symptoms the  community is experiencing as a result of the company's operation. As always, I very much value your work for the common man.
Mel, San Diego

Thank you for the good news and bit of hope for humanity -- as well as the natural environment in which we live. Thanks. God bless AllenCo. Yay for the good guys!!
Jan, Alameda

How wonderful to hear this. Thank you for your efforts and to Mr. Allen, too. He's a rare fellow!
Farel, Ojai

Thank you for the great work you do to help out communities in need. I'm not sure his compliance was out of the goodness of his heart. You are a very formidable woman. I'm thankful we are on the "same side."
Denease, Port Costa

Thank you so much for standing up for our communities! Your work is greatly admired and appreciated!
Diana, Sacramento  

Thank you for taking a personal interest in University Park and taking steps to halt the operations of AllenCo. This was a brave action on your part to help people and the environment. Thank you for using the power you have to do the right thing and represent the good things government does.
Barbara, Solana Beach

Great work with AllenCo and commendations to them for being responsive to the public health issues.
Barbara, Esparto

Thank You Senator Boxer for listening to the people's concerns about this facility and the health problems related to it. Thank you for taking action and making their lives better and protecting the environment as well.
Cathy, Burbank

I understand that it is commendable that AllenCo has suspended operations that has apparently affected this community. My concern is that it appears to be voluntary. What is the EPA for if not to protect this community from situations that lead to the suffering that this company has caused? How toothless have we allowed our protection systems to become? I understand that this is a good thing that this company has stopped harming this community but it highlights deeper problems that continue to need our support. How did we allow the harm in the first place?
Kevin, Los Gatos

I am a voter. I vote at every given opportunity and I will always vote for the environment. I will always vote for politicians whose records show their commitment to the environment. I will always canvas for and communicate to the 400 people a year that they will be happier and their children will have fresh air, clean water, and a safe planet to live on for their children if they vote for the environment. This is my commitment to a possible future.
Theresa, Los Angeles

I am glad it was shut down. We really need to move to clean energy and city bikeways with tax breaks for those who ride to work etc instead.
Rupica, Altadena

Wonderful! Thank you so much for your University Park assistance Senator Boxer!! We will always applaud you for assisting to oversee the health of our environment and our personal health. Kudos to you and your effectiveness in this matter.
Sheree, La Canada Flintridge

Hooorrraaayyyyy! and way to go Senator Boxer. A gov. official who listened to her constituents!
Donna, Palm Desert

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Philippines Typhoon

Californians respond to my message on Helping the Survivors of Typhoon Haiyan:

THANK YOU so much for this message. As I see my fellow Filipinos in pain and suffering, though tears fill my eyes as I read the numerous articles of tragedy and despair, a glimmer of hope and a smile cracks when kindness and solidarity are shared.
Joy, Anaheim

We all want to help the people of the Philippines. I urge you to do two things beyond helping to get aid there as quickly as possible: 1.Get the US to take a stronger stand on climate change. Pacific Ocean temperatures are much warmer than normal which means stronger storms with more rainfall. Combined with higher sea levels, we have a recipe for disasters to continue to occur. 2.Demand to know the text of the TPP now and oppose fast track. We need to rein in the power of multi-national corporations whose greed keeps them from caring about our environment, our health, and human rights.
Leah, Santa Rosa

Thank you for your letter. Amidst the damage and death of this latest typhoon, it is important to focus on the bigger picture of which this latest disaster is only a part: Whether we are talking about Hurricane Sandy, the latest typhoon, or Katrina, we are witnessing the catastrophic effects of global climate change. Therefore, the way to respond to such disasters is not just to send food, medicines, and water to the victims, but to take concrete steps to reduce our carbon emissions. We need your political leadership to bring effective mass transit systems to the LA and San Francisco areas, both of which now have inadequate and uncoordinated components (e.g., buses, trains, trolleys). Otherwise, people will continue to be stuck in their cars, and we will be sowing the seeds of the typhoons and hurricanes (and droughts) of the future.
Jeffrey, San Mateo

If and when I donate money for relief of any disaster, you may rest 100% assured that these funds will go nowhere near Congress or the State Department or indeed any part of the U.S. government. We don't trust you enough for that anymore. We basically don't trust you with ANYTHING. The fact that Democrats are marginally more human than Republicans is NOT a resounding endorsement.
Elaine, Lucerne Valley

Thank you, Madam Senator, for your concern about everyone affected by the Haiyam/Yolanda typhoon in the Philippines. Your response to this disaster truly warms my heart.
I have already given my donation to CBS/Red Cross, and I took my turn at the phone bank conducted in San Francisco by CBS yesterday. As opportunities to help come to my attention, I will continue to try to help. Again, many thanks, and best regards as you proceed with your duties and responsibilities in the U.S. Senate.
Aurora, Oakland

We send our sympathy, but we are tired of always being on the giving end. We should start sending relief only to countries that send to us in times of a disaster here.
Darrel and Caro, Ferndale

Thank you for your message, Senator Boxer, regarding Typhoon Haiyan. As soon as I heard the news I sent a donation to Doctors Without Borders. Your message will remind others that this is the time to give, if there ever was one. Thank you for your excellent representation of the citizens of California, the Nation. and the World. I only hope that the U.S. will be able to do something, significant, to roll back Global Warming. The people of the Philippine Islands are in extreme danger of losing their homeland.
Patrice, Santa Barbara

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Veterans Day

Californians respond to my message on Honoring America's Veterans:

Although we don't always agree, I will always be grateful for your contined support for Veterans and their familys.
John, Nuevo

I have 2 sons that are veterans and a husband that is a 2 Purple Heart veteran of WWII, not to mention his Distinguished Unit Badge, Philippine Liberation Ribbon and Bronze Star among other awards. It is this men and women we need to HONOR. Thank you for taking time out of your busy day to recognize these TRUE American heroes. There are not many left.
Joanne, Palm Springs

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Californians respond to my message on Protecting LGBT Americans from Discrimination in the Workplace:

I just want to thank you for your support of the Employment Non-Discrimination Act. I fully support you on this and am appalled that any American can be fired for being gay or lesbian. I appreciate all your hard work on this issue.
Mark, Mill Valley

I am grateful that you are encouraging equality for LGTBQ employees in the workplace. I have known many people who were qualified, experienced, and of great integrity fired once their orientation was discovered.  As a lesbian and a high school teacher, I often times fear that if I end up in a school that has no understanding of who gay people are and house fear and ignorance within their determinations, I would be at a loss. I am fortunate to currently work in a setting that recognized our humanity and content of character. There tends to be an underlying assumption that is a fallacy-that gay people are not ethical and of great integrity, when in fact, individuals like myself take great pride in our service to the community and our conscientiousness. You are helping to demythologize this fallacy of thinking.
Anna, Arcata

Thank you so much for your honest, eloquent speech today on the E.N.D.A. Most Americans have no idea how virulent this type of discrimination is. As you so simply stated: you treat people as you want to be treated. What a simple concept this is. We are all a part of the fabric of America ~ always have been, always will be. A lot of us in this day and age, just fill safer in coming out even though it can and does still bites us in the end and we are let go for some of the most inaccurate reasons ever told. Hopefully with this bill, we can put a stop to it for good.
I so appreciate your time in getting your peers to realize it is wrong for ANY American to be discriminated against.
Sherry, Ventura

I can't agree with you on this one. Employers should have the right to hire or not hire whomever they wish. They need to hire the best person to fit in with their business. Some businesses would not hire a senior citizen or a very young person because they would not fit with their business model ... not because they are old or young. Some business might want a high energy person others would prefer a more relaxed individual. Some Employer Discrimination is right and proper. We don't need to make laws to the contrary. It is just not right to take away the rights of business owners to hire who they choose.
Kathryn, Simi Valley

Thank you for your support of ENDA. As someone who provides support for gender variant people, this legislation is so important. I deeply appreciate your strong stand against workplace discrimination.
Vivian, Santa Cruz

We deeply appreciate your support of the bill to end employment discrimination for LGBT citizens. Being in California, we do not see this happening to family, friends, and colleagues. But reading horrendous stories from other states is heartbreaking. Thank you.
Margaret, Walnut Creek

Please fight the religious exemptions being added to ENDA. They're just an excuse for people to exclude themselves from following the law!
Whitney, Bakersfield

Thank you for your notice and allowing this feed-back. I am opposed to further legislation to govern social behavior - certainly for the time being. Let individuals in society work they own way through the complexities of diversity. Stop imposing it on people.
Chadd, Berkeley

Thank you for being such a supporter for equal treatment of all families. My family is very happy we have someone like you in the Senate. Keep up the good work!
Katherine, Monterey

Thank you for supporting ENDA! I am very proud to have you as my Senator.
David, Carlsbad

Thanks for standing up for EVERYONE. We are a better, stronger, more integrated state when there is equality. Thanks for fighting for those who are frequently an easy target of hate, bigotry and ignorance.
Lizzie, Costa Mesa

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Debt Ceiling

Californians respond to my message on Making Sure Congress Pays Its Bills:

I liked your opinion regarding the budget. I only wish more senators and congressmen would wise up and do the job they were elected to do. I am 90 years old and getting fed up with all their shenanigans.
Marjorie, San Leandro

I appreciate the sentiment in your recent article posted to the Huffington Post, and agree that this "repeated brinksmanship" can only damage our nation. The debt ceiling was first enacted to control or slow congressional spending. This system is now broken. I believe there is a more elegant solution to the debt ceiling problem. Instead of proposing additional legislation and adding another level of bureaucracy to the overladen process why not propose suspension of or, better yet, elimination of the debt ceiling.  As you know this is a self-imposed credit cap that serves no practical purpose, and is only useful to you and other politicians as a political device ie; posturing and holding the budget hostage. The continued use of a debt ceiling is idiotic and dangerous. As we are the only major economy to use a debt ceiling (Denmark is the only other western democratic country to use a debt ceiling) – there are a number of examples we should look to. I ask that you step forward and propose the elimination of the debt ceiling.
Richard, Roseville

Thank you for your recent letter regarding the USA AAA Credit Restoration Act. We need legislation like this to keep Congress from going over the brink with their foolish games of "chicken." Many of us out here are sick at heart over the irrationality of the Republican extremists and their selfish brinkmanship. I am personally outraged that our already struggling economy has taken another hit... and for what? I only wish that this had taken place closer to the next election. I hope people's memories do not fail them next year.
Alicia, Carpinteria

I believe your basic outline for the Debt ceiling solution is a very reasonable approach to stop a small vocal majority from taking advantage of the majority of the American citizens and residents. I believe that most of the country just wants to be reasonable and have compromise. Unfortunately, a few wealthy individuals have been able to purchase some extremism because they somehow feel jamming up government will assist them in removing reasonable regulatory oversight.
Stuart, Grover Beach

I agree with you that the proposed AAA Credit Act will help reduce our annual deficit and national debt. Congress should understand the consequences of the proposals they debate.
David, Lafayette

Thank you for forwarding the article. It is a nice change to see a suggestion which is sensible and practical and with the interests of real Americans in mind as opposed to the usual useless inanities and traitorous behaviour of so many politicians in Washington who behave with the mindset of street gangs.
Christine, Costa Mesa

I fully support the efficiency which this bill seems to purport. I am so tired of all the drama during extremely critical times for all of us on this planet. I am not proud of what is happening in my country. I am glad, however that all this childish and cruel behavior displayed by our lawmakers is out in the open. Maybe people will wake up and participate in democracy as it is meant to be. Thanks for reaching out to me.
Renee, Eureka

I do agree with most of what you stated in the Enough is Enough. What I don't agree with is "Lawmakers in both the House and Senate would have a chance to debate the proposed increase and vote on it." Why when our debt is in the trillions should the budget "increase." Business and Families alike don't spend more when they have huge debt. They cut back and trim the fat. Even if it's only 1%, surely each entry within the budget can handle that. Ensuring stability in America is important but raising the debt ceiling is NOT THE ANSWER year after year and multiple time a year.
Kathleen, Garden Grove

I couldn't agree more that this is a worthwhile solution to the shenanigans pulled by some Republicans. Their behavior was an outrage and should never be allowed to kidnap the American people again.
Shirley, Alpine

Once and for all. The government must pass the USA AAA Credit Restoration Act. Using the debt ceiling as a negotiation tool for political parties is despicable.
Andrea, Los Angeles

Thank you for working on the USA AAA Credit Restoration Act. It's very important for the country to have a clear budget throughout the year. Another piece, I would add to the legislation is that the budget must be balanced. We can't continue borrowing money from other countries. It's time to stop and apply strict financial discipline. No more deficit budget should be approved. The country must leave within its means.
Dmitry, Irvine

Re regarding your e-mail, your bill the USA credit restoration act sounds like a great idea. Something has to be done to stop the self inflicted harm, brought on by the mindless tea party. This sounds like just the thing, and it would be a relief to all and sundry just knowing that everything is under control. Congratulations and for the good of the country I hope the bill passes, we need it.
Maureen, Northridge

I am a registered Republican who sometimes votes for and contributes to Democratic candidates. Regardless, I believe, as I always have, in the RIGHT SIZE government, funded to the RIGHT LEVEL to make it efficient. I favor educated and sound fiscal policy, financial and environmental conservatism, and objective economics and science. While much is made of the current climate of mutual partisan hatred, there is still such a thing as principled and independent thought, and that has nothing to do with party. That is: Democrats and Republicans do not possess radically different moral structures. They only differ in the priorities they assign to the same principles. I know that flirting with default isn't fiscal austerity and shut-downs aren't principled; both are profligate waste. Other good Republicans know it, too. Ignoring the ideological orthodoxy and extremism that threatens the GOP today, you are making an argument on principles that tend to be of higher priority to Republicans. Own it. Those Republicans who think independently will recognize them. Those Democrats who see no higher-priority competing principle will too.
Hal, San Ramon

Your article, "Making sure Congress pays Its Bills" is why I like you. No nonsense. I think we should have a budget, not continuing resolutions. I think the debt limit is an artificial, after-the-fact misnomer. We have already spent the money. The Republicans reduced taxes and spent our country into a hole. G.W.Bush did his best to undo the hard work Clinton had done to reduce both the yearly deficit and the National debt. The tea partiers have it wrong. Ted Cruz, Rand Paul and Eric Canter should be sharing an office in the basement to demonstrate how frugal they are. Congress should listen to its own leaders rather than Cruz or Paul. We won't forget these spenders and deniers.
Jane, Beverly Hills

Thank you for your message. I am completely fed-up with what has gone on during the possible US government default hysteria. If there is any way to avoid it happening again, which your proposal seems to offer, I would certainly be happy to support it. Being 81 years old I have seen some government show downs but this was the most shameful one yet. Especially disgusting was having to see the irresponsibility of Ted Cruz before and after the resolution. Keep up the good work. I would like to see some sign of adult behavior in the future.
Virginia, La Jolla

Please count me in as fully supportive of your proposal to prevent future debt ceiling crises. The self-serving behavior of Republicans in Congress is destroying our country economically and morally.
Clifford, Camarillo

Thank you so much for sending me your article on a very sensible solution to halting this disastrous behavior we have just gone through and paid dearly for. Let's hope you are able to convince a significant number of your fellow legislators to join you in making this a law.
Sally, Menlo Park

Thank you for sharing information about you bill to reform the way in which the debt ceiling is approved. I support you efforts and hope that a bill similar to this can be approved before we go through the same budget fiasco again a year from now.
Janet, Campbell

I would support your bill as described. However, I cannot understand why there needs to be any voting on raising the debt ceiling. Congress has passed the legislation that generates the bills to be paid. That is where the decisions should be made. Once these decisions authorizing programs that cost money are made, the bills MUST be paid. It is too late to refuse to pay the "credit card" bills; Congress has already authorized them. If Congress does not want to increase the debt, they should think about that when they pass legislation!!
Ronald, Northridge

I like that you seem concerned about governments reckless spending and the debt ceiling. However no where in your email did you mention cutting government spending. This is what needs to occur if America is ever to get back to her glory days.
Susan, Corona

In essence, you state that Congress needs to get back to basics concerning the debt ceiling. I agree. But first, I would like to know where military funds from Iraq and Afghanistan wars were reallocated to. With reduction in military equipment, manpower and supplies, there should be a great deal of funds to reallocate to somewhere, but I've not heard anything about this. I would also like to see our president be more active in participating in the debates concerning budget cuts and raising the debt ceiling issues…. Yes, Senator Boxer, please help Congress and the president get back to basics.
Isabelle, Long Beach

I fully endorse and support Senator Boxer's statement on funding the government and paying the government's bills. Needless to say, we as citizens and voters have placed our senators and representatives, as well as the President, in the positions they hold. It is reprehensible when they cannot work together to do the business of running the government. If the government was a true business I have to believe they would go out of business. I have never been so disappointed with our government as I am now. To see the government shutdown and then reopen with nothing gained or accomplished is to me utter incompetence. I will, however, continue to maintain my unwavering faith in Senator Boxer's voice as a true representative of the people.
Michael, Calabasas

I'd like to provide some feedback in response to the recent message about your efforts to prevent a default by making it easier to increase the debt ceiling. I think the efforts are focused in the wrong place. We need to concentrate on reducing the debt rather than finding better ways to allow it to grow. I feel it is very irresponsible to continue to let it grow and pass the problem on for future generations to deal with. Someone needs to make some hard unpopular decisions to deal with this out of control budget imbalance. Unfortunately we have not been successful doing this since in recent history. It seems like it would be political suicide for a politician to suggest what actually needs to be done, increase taxes and cut spending. The former seems relatively uncomplicated, just raise the %. The latter always causes endless debates about what should be cut, it might be better to just do a % cut across the board.
Paul, Petaluma

You are completely right. The govt shut down should never happen again. Those who forced the shutdown need to pay the loss.
Jaya, Duarte

Thank you for your email updates. I am responding to your latest on debt limits. I do not agree that the debt limit must automatically be raised. We need to pay our bills by reducing our spending, not by borrowing more. Most people will have a personal experience sometime in their life where they have overspent and must find ways to reduce their debt. My family once had this happen and I took an extra job to pay down our bills until we didn't have any more debt. The U.S. can follow this plan. It doesn't have to be drastic, the increased spending must be stopped and a plan for a sensible reduction put in place instead. Most people I know are frightened with the debt that the U.S. owes and each account of any unnecessary or excessive spending seems to be making people even more upset or depressed. Please use your power in your position to find ways to cut back on spending, not raising the debt ceiling and borrowing more money.
Benetta, San Diego

I just want to take a minute to thank you for sending me a copy of your news article. The idea seems like a good one to me.
Claudia, Los Angeles

Back to top

Californians respond to my message on No Pay for Congress Unless America's Bills Are Paid (06/14/13):

I appreciate your presenting this bill and agree wholeheartedly with this. I used to work for the VA in West Los Angeles and handled credit card for our department. We received a budget for each quarter and if we did not purchase by a certain date, our allotment was cancelled. This was just a minor amount, but Congress does not meet the deadline every year as far as I can remember. One year we did not get paid for a month due to Congress not turning in a budget. Thank you very much for this. I am a registered Republican, but I vote for whoever does their job efficiently w/o just going straight party line.
Kinue, Santa Monica

As a lifelong registered republican (from the days of the real republicans) who has voted for you each election, I wish we had an entire congress of Boxers... (Instead of the "briefs" without common sense that populate wdc)
Walter, Roseville

Congratulations on introducing the Pay Your Bills or Lose Your Pay Act of 2013. It took courage, and there will be opposition from those who want to hold the country and the President hostage to their dogma, but please, for all the rest of us, continue to fight the fight. We'll be behind you.
Pieter, San Mateo

Fiscal responsibility should be your first and only concern as our Senator. Raising the debt ceiling is not fiscally responsible, as it only places the burden on our future generations, It is obvious, from reports excessiveness of various departments, such as the IRS and that cuts should be made....and they are only the tip of the iceberg. The gravy train must cease, and our government must learn to live within it's means.
Patricia, San Diego

I am exhausted by the Republicans holding us hostage with the threat of defaulting on our budget. I recall the recent W.Bush years in which Bush was essentially given a blank check for over 92% of his expenditures on the "war on terror" and other misguided policies that continue to shoot holes in our economic recovery. Where were the austerity hawk Dems and Repubs then? The hypocrisy is daunting! Hopefully this act will jolt them back to reality.
Saoirse, Oakland

I disagree with your proposition that if the members of Congress do not vote to raise the deb t limit they should not be paid. I believe that if the members of Congress do not pass a balanced budget they should not be paid. I cannot run my house without balancing my budget and if I don't pay my taxes, I can be put in jail. Our national debt is a huge problem that must be addressed immediately, not later. My suggestion is to cut spending, like I have had to do at home. If the tax payers have to cut, why shouldn't the government have to cut. I know that there is plenty of waste, lets start with no more lavish conventions for the IRS, and making Congresssional aides pay their income taxes, or go to jail.
Forrest, Ontario

While I am a big supporter of my beloved Senator, but your latest proposal to withhold pay until Congress agrees to pay it's bills, sounds reasonable but is a clear violation of the XXVII Amendment to the United States Constitution, to wit: "No law, varying the compensation for the services of the Senators and Representatives, shall take effect, until an election of representatives shall have intervened." Your oath is to the Constitution of the United States. You should withdraw this proposal which will only serve to make political points but cost everyone in defending a clearly unconstitutional bill.
Jeffrey, San Jose

I am happy to hear you actually care. I am a single mom about to get furloughed with 11days of work. I already live on a limited budget and not getting my normal pay scares me and my daughter and we think what can we cut next. We dont take vacations, I dont have cable, my daughter does not di dance or sports, I live limited to the few things I can afford and don't splurge. With all this I was so dissappointed with congress. I am glad to see you actually care enough and attempt to get stuff done.
Araceli, Fontana

I work as a civilian for the United States Navy. I start my Furlough on the 12th Of July. This will last for eleven Fridays. Eleven days in six pay period. Makes it hard to pay some of my bills and work for one of the world's super powers. This $3000 is engineered by the DOD into only six pay periods out of a year. It could have been taken out of each pay check starting January or October to lighten the load. The Navy does not pay for training in my field as the Air Force did when I worked for them. They save on equipment repair by not keeping up with maintenance contracts unlike the Army and Air Force. They are all gathered into this Furlough as the DOD even though the Navy budgeted to save thier employees from the Furlough. YOUR BILL WILL MAKE THE HURT I FEEL ABOUT THIS FURLOUGH A LITTLE EASIER TO SWALLOW. It will say to your colleagues, Do your job to the best of your abilities or go home without an income.
Joseph, Grover Beach

I love this idea!! I am not sure it is constitutionally legal, but if it is, it should definitely be the rule of law. This debt ceiling issue is a farce and American's know it is. While we are at it, we need to have some kind of revision related to the insanity of the way the Tea Party are using filibusters too. At least they should have to stand up there and talk. Also they should not be able to force 60 for every single darn thing in order tie up our govt. We know the Tea Party is the obstructionist party out to ruin government and it needs to be stopped!
Jana, Valencia

I would rather see legislation that prevents government from over spending. Balance the budget. Raising the debt ceiling does not solve the problem of deficit spending. It only digs a deeper hole that we will have to get out of later. Solve the real problem - don't just postpone it. Americans are living with less than in the past - government needs to cut back too!
Sharon, Redlands

I think it's a great idea to withhold pay from congress members who are not actively working to either raise the debt ceiling or fix the budget such that raising the ceiling isn't needed. As of now, those in congress do not have anything beyond their consciences to keep them making an honest effort to help their constituents (though one would think that would be enough).
Dan, Watsonville

It makes sense to me. That is how the real world works. If one doesn't complete the work for which he was hired, he does not receive compensation. It's that simple.
Thomas, Nevada City

What about staying within a budget of the funds available, like any family has to do? This continual increase of debt is killing our economy and our country. I have two sons, both college graduates who are out of work. My youngest has not had a full time permanent job since graduation three years ago. He is 27 and still has to live at home to survive. You legislators live in ivory towers, get real, and feel the pain you are subjecting on your constituencies.
Richard, San Mateo

I love this idea. The working class is tired of the politicians inaction. I go to work everyday, pay my taxes and I expect more! Get your jobs done or don't expect to be paid!!
Jill, Irvine

Why bother us with this message. You folks in Congress love to propose bills you know have no hope of passing. That way you get to send notes like the one we just received, win friends, and still risk (and accomplish) nothing. Since the Democrats refused to do away with the filibuster, you have no hope of getting difficult measures past.
Larry, Vista

First, let me say how much I appreciate your dedication to California and the nation. As a life long Democrat I have tried to keep an open mind and not become an ideologue, which as we have seen with so many Republicans makes it impossible to be creative in solving our problems. I do wish to ask that you focus on more constructive legislation rather than what to many will appear to be legislative gimmicks. The issue of the debt ceiling is a case in point. I understand the motivation but I believe such efforts undermine the effort and can marginalize your efforts. Keep up the good work and let's focus on a reasoned approach that is based on love and compassion, even for our Republican brothers and sisters to eliminate the extreme partisanship that has marked and blemished Congress for the last several years.
John, Rancho Mirage

This bill is a disgrace to the United States of America. 1) Congress will not lose a single penny of their pay. At worst, their pay will be postponed until they agree to put our nation into more debt or until the end of the session, whichever comes first. 2) Putting this nation into more debt does nothing to tell the world what a great nation we are. It only makes us weaker and increases the possibility that our children and grandchildren will be the ones to see our country no longer be the great nation that it is. A better bill would be to say that Congress' paychecks will be used to pay down the debt until they come up with a budget that allows this country to live within it's means, like all of the citizens of this country need to do. At a minimum, you need to honestly name this bill - "Pay your bills or postpone your pay." Don't hide it behind a dishonest marketing spin.
Deborah, Los Altos

LOVE IT AND YOU! One tiny problem the wording says..."salaries for Members of Congress to be placed in an escrow account until the debt ceiling is increased, or the end of the session, whichever occurs first." I say keep their salaries (guess yours too, sorry) until they raise the debt ceiling be it this session, next session or never! Better yet if they want to have us not pay our bills, one of those bills is their salaries. So let's not pay them as well as our other obligations. Sorry again about YOUR salary. Please keep up the good fight, and I wish you luck with the less than caring members.
Jackie, Yorba Linda

I don't usually agree with you. This time you are right. My wife is a government employee and they have been talking furloughs and layoff in her work place. It all because of the sequester that the Republicans refuse to deal with. Their way or no way. Why can't we get a bipartisan vote on this which everyone can agree on. Yes I am a registered Republican but I fail to agree on this with them. To many people can and will lose their jobs because of them. I lost my job when the job market crashed and we lost our home because of this we are just starting to get back where we were. Still will be awhile before we can afford our own home again. Thanks-for listening.
Rodney, Turlock

I think you have a good idea. There is NO debate, for everyone likes to be PAID and both Democrats and Republicans can agree on THAT.
Bruce, Aptos

I feel quite frustrated with my government officials and legislative process these last 7 years. My perception is there is an intent by many people to keep the party lines demarkated without compromises to move forward on many important issues in our country. It saddens me that this boils down to money. Though if keeping the paycheck from those that have sworn to work on creating our United States a better place, then please do. Is that not what is taught in our struggling schools, that we must do the work to receive the reward?
Christina, Manhattan Beach

My concern is the out of control spending and the need to constantly raise the debt limit ad nauseam. Get the budget under control. The reverse should be the incentive. No pay until the budget gets balanced.
De, Sierra Madre

I totally agree with proposal to withhold congress's pay unless they increase the national minimum wage. As a citizen of this country for 68 years, I have never felt so ashamed of our congress, both houses!! and their unwillingness to act in ways which are bebeficial to the american people. People in congress seem to forget who put them there. They seem all out for themselves, to line their pockets without regard for the will of the majority. There may be a few who work for the people who voted them into office, but for the most part, I see too much self serving by elected officials. I am very ashamed of congress. They get an "F" from this voter! Nevertheless, thank you senator for working on behave of California.
Bette, Lancaster

Please don't do this. This is how we got mired into this debt mess to begin with. We don't have the money and we can ill afford to increase taxes. The most prudent thing is to decrease services. Thanks for your message.
Ken, El Monte

I am a strong supporter of yours, AND I completely agree with the notion of not letting Congress get paid while their inaction and lack of leadership is causing so much pain to so many Americans.
Susan, La Jolla

Holding back pay, I believe, is illegal, but I understand you are communicating to have a REAL motivator in place to get bills paid. However, the notion of raising a debt ceiling says to me that we spent more than we budgeted. Doesn't raising the debt ceiling make us financially irresponsible because wouldn't the debt ceiling keep getting raised year after year? Wouldn't that leave us in horrendous debt? I think we should go back to when serving in Congress was a position that is a service to the nation for a couple of years, with token pay, and no benefits. Congressional positions as careers is costing America money we don't have -- to pay those salaries, to pay those lavish healthcare packages, and to pay pensions/retirement. And laws should be enacted that state Congress can't spend more than we have. I believe these solutions would accomplish what you are seeking to accomplish - paying American bills. But these solutions would go a long way to keeping the debt from spiraling out of control. Thank you for your time.
Laural, Culver City

I am of a firm belief that if our Congress can not fulfill the task of representing the American people they do not deserve to be paid period. If a representive does not want to perform by the oath of their elected office then it is time for them to be replaced. Americans are not just blue or red...We are red, white and blue. The place where just two colors come into play is within the divided none fuctioning chambers of our goverment. As an analogy if the American people were the patient and Congess was the hospital we had better put our life in order. Our days are becoming numbered and the doctors aren't working together to find the cure they are arguing about which color made us sick in the first place.
Patricia, Saint Helena

I agree that we have to raise the debt ceiling but only because we must. Wouldn't the more responsible thing be to eliminate unnecssary spending. We are going to be in the same situation again in a couple of years when we continue with out of control spending, printing money, and increased dependence on government without the cash flow to support the continued expansion. I would prefer to see the ceiling raised but with mandatory reductions in spending attached. Thank you again for your service Senator Boxer.
P.T., Capistrano Beach

With all due respect, I can get behind a bill to pay your bills or don't get paid. However, what you are perposing is raising our debt or don't get paid. That is irresponsible. Why don't we cut our budget. If we can't balance the budget, we don't get paid. That would show that we are not a deadbeat nation, that would show honor and responsibility. Thank you for your time.
Landon, Clovis

Your "Pay your bills or lose your pay" measure is an impressive attempt to make members of Congress aware of the importance of raising the debt ceiling. As your consituent, I support that effort. However, I believe many members will not be personally affected by missing their pay; some may choose to stand by misguided 'principles'; some others may not support your bill because they DO need to be paid and expect their colleagues will obstruct an effort to raise that ceiling. In my opinion, congresspeople would more surely miss their opportunity to wield influence and power than they would their pay or any other benefit. Therefore, I suggest we propose a bill that would strip all nay-voting members of their committee and cameral seniority positions as soon as the U.S. Government defaults on its debts -- pending new elections. The Executive Branch would run the government using only funds at hand, but continue to collect and spend taxes of all kinds. Thank you for representing the interests of all just and fair Californians.
Mike, Carlsbad

I am disgusted by the willingness of many Republican Senators and Representatives to bring us to the brink of default. I haven't so far noticed any willingness to sacrifice on their part, however. Meanwhile, millions of other Americans are having their salaries and benefits cut as a result of unnecessary Congressional action in the form of the Sequester. And if our national credit is damaged as a result of Congressional brinkmanship over paying the bills we have already run up, then I think it only fitting that Congress should share some of the pain that they are inflicting on so many others. Let's hope enough members have enough shame to see that they owe us this much.
Ellen, Venice

Thank you for making an effort to tie congressional salaries to productivity, a modern approach to which most other workers are now subject. However, the presumption that we must raise the debt ceiling is troubling to me. I cannot follow the logic. Stop paying for bombs to kill people, and we will have plenty of money.
Debra, Belvedere Tiburon

I am in agreement that the US should be responsible for their debts, just like all of individuals are responsible for their's. I don't know if raising the debt ceiling is the answer to the root of the problem though. There is so much useless, wasteful , misguided spending that needs to stop. We all know that the majority of senators and congresspeople are wealthy and that cutting their paycheck will have little effect on their lives. I understand the symbolic nature of this, but don't think that it will have any real effect. Protecting our food supply and dealing with climate change are much more important things to be worrying about and I would like to see you spending more time on these subjects. I do know that these topics are of importance to you and encourage you to put your efforts in to effecting change in these areas before worrying about anything else. That being said, I will suport your efforts in general, as I did vote for you to represent me in the Senate.
Bradford, South Pasadena

please don't raise the debt, lower spending and entitlements from the top down, I believe this is the only sustainable approach, I hope you would agree,. just like any normal household getting another credit card is not a viable solution to "not enough money for more things the kids want".
ron, Huntington Beach

I believe that it is irresponsible to kick the can to future generations. My vote is to balance the budget now and live within our means. Yes, this will necessitate smaller government or higher taxes. Guess which I am in favor? Thank you.
Rob, Mission Viejo

I am sorry to disagree with you, but the responsible thing to do is to quit the additive behavior of spending more than you take in, not ask for an increase is credit. When our credit card is maxed out, the responsible thing to do is not ask for a higher credit limit, but to evaluate our budget, see what and where we're spending, and stop spending what we don't have and pay our dept off! Thank-you for your letter.
David, Hemet

I thank you. However, perhaps a better approach would be to see that when the congressmen and women withhold funds and fiduciary payments to programs, that it is their districts that are FIRST to lose funds. This WILL stop their deeds by getting them quickly unelected from their own districts. They will be seen very quickly for the obstructionists they are.
Robert, Alameda

We are writing to express our strong opposition to your bill to withhold congressional pay if the debt ceiling is not raised. Your bill misses the key point that out-of-control spending is the real problem, not the debt ceiling. Yes must pay our bills, but we must first STOP over spending our available revenues. And there will never be sufficient revenues for the ravenous appetite of a tax and spend congress bent on supporting ever expanding big government. We must cut, cut, cut unessential wasteful expenditures on bloated spendthrift departments, pet projects and pork, special interests, foreign aid to anti-American governments, etc. Most Americans do not need or want expensive big government programs trying to control every aspect of our lives. Thank you.
Delbert and Barbara, San Diego

Although I am not a Democrate, and I did not vote for you, I wanted to cross political lines and thank you for trying to get Congress to pass raising the debt ceiling. This action by Congress would not only mean the country's bills are paid, it hopefully will also mean an end to the threat of furloughs for the Department of Justice and Federal agencies who work to protect this country and its citizens. Currently I am earning almost $8,000 less than I was in 2008 doing the same job for the government. We have not had a cost of living increase for the past three years and have been told we probably will not get one for another three years. We have been on a hiring freeze for almost two years with no end in sight, in addition, our wages have been frozen at the 2010 level. Costs continue to go up and our pay check has, unfortunately continued to go down. This is in contrast to the pay checks of Congress, another group of federal employees, that seem to be exempt from furloughs, pay reductions and wage freezes. If it were me writing the bill, I would NOT put the salaries in an escrow for holding until the debt ceiling is raised, I would have Congree forfeit that amount for every day Congress does not do their job. There are not many jobs in this country where one earns a salary when one does not perform the duties they were hired to do. Congress should be no exception, but Congress always seems to be the exception to the rules. And I am not alone in that opinion. Thank you for taking your valuable time to read this comment.
Jeanne, Pleasanton

The U.S. is in such a financial mess with all the money we owe. How irresponsible for us to get into this situation. Continuing to raise the debt limit is continuing to be irresponsible. It's time to say "That's enough." It's time to pare back the expenditures and begin on a course to reduce the deficit and the debt. Thanks for your attention to this matter.
Bruce,  Fortuna

We need to drastically cut spending throughout the government, and not continually raise the debt ceiling. Government needs to shrink, to curb the abuse on taxpayers, and to reduce the corruption in government! Thank you for listening,
Joslynn, Thousand Oaks

I just read your e-mail message about the new bill you are introducing to cut lawmaker's pay if they fail to increase the debt limit. I like your idea of real incentives, however the incentive should be to cut lawmaker's pay until they pass a balanced budget, and start paying down the national debt. Increasing the debt is just the opposite thing we need to do. You are encouraging more debt on our children and grandchildren. Overspending will never solve our problems, and only make the situation worse.
Paul, Stockton

Your bill is based on the wrong adage. The bill should be based on "Don't buy something you can't afford" or "Live within your means." As a Senator you should be particularly embarrassed because you haven't passed a budget in all the time you've been in control. Increasing the ceiling only means we will give away more of our assets to China. Reduce the debt. Don't increase it. And don't propose another bill to increase taxes.
Robert, San Diego

Our family agrees with your message - be responsible as a leader! We also want to see a balanced budget (we HAD a balanced budget law in the '80's!!) so once we get things a bit more stable, we expect you to continue to lead & re-institute a permanent balanced budget bill - I'm sure your Republican counterparts will agree!
Pete, Inglewood

I agree the United States needs to be a responsible Customer of the World and pay our debts. The Framers of the Constitution made it clear that was important. However, I do not believe they meant to put our children and grandchildren, ad infinitum into debt. My suggestion would be to adopt a budget that is workable and stick to it.
Leon, Ventura

Congress and the Federal Government need to learn to budget effectively, manage effectively, and live within our means. In private business, we frequently are required to reduce our budget by 5%, 10% or even 15% (three times in the past thirteen years in my case). My wife, as a school teacher, has not had a raise in five years. Bit extreme, perhaps, but it is because the money is not there. My vote is not to raise the debt ceiling.
George, Saratoga

I agree with your legislation and support you in your valiant efforts to revise. The same should apply to our own CA state legislators, and also passing a timely budget.
Sharyn, Santa Ana

I believe you are attacking the problem of paying Americas bills the wrong way. Instead of forcing congress to raise the debt limit, you should be looking for areas to reduce spending. Starting with reducing waste, fraud, and redundency would be good places to start. Cutting failed programs, of which there hundreds, would save even more. It's time to put political differences aside. Both parties need to do their jobs and balance the budget without increasing spending beyond your ability to pay.
David, Fountain Valley

Raising one's credit limit (or in the case of the U.S., its debt ceiling) is NOT paying one's bills. Your approach only puts us further in debt. Your focus needs to be on getting a budget passed and having Congress stick to it.
Nanna, San Diego

While I applaud your concept of accountability, there is no logic to increasing the budget limit and living within our means. American households who spent beyond what they could afford were dealt the hard blow of bankruptcy - simply increasing the debt limit is a weasel way out of the hard work you and your other members of the senate must do. Cut the budget and get American Federal spending in line.
Gamiel, Portola Valley

I am encouraged by your sponsorship of the Pay Your Bills or Lose Your Pay Act of 2013. I prefer that your legislation would "prohibit any retroactive pay", as proposed in S.124 last January. I have never been paid for being non-productive.
Jon, Carmichael

It would be my preference to dock the pay of any Senator or Representative for not attending any session. TV discloses that most of the congressional seats are empty most of the time. Where are you people certainly not listening to what is presented, unless of course the elected representative was out on official business and was properly excused. In this manner you would be assured of a full house when the budget is presented as I cannot envision any of you taking a pay cut, even if you deserved it.
Joseph, Walnut Creek

I agree with your bill to fix the nation's problem of not paying its bills. In California, the State legislature passed the budget for the first time in decades. It took a ballet initiative and elections to replace the stubborn Republicans in the legislature who would not cooperate on passing a budget.
Michael, Sacramento

I fully support your "Pay Your Bills or Lose Your Paycheck" legislation. Please extend this legislation to include passing an annual national budget as a prerequisite for a paycheck. (I assume that this is NOT the case already). This tactic seems to have gained traction in the California Legislature, and I hope it spreads more widely.
Michael, Oakland

Good for you, Senator Boxer! In fact, I believe Congressional members should lose their pay when they don't pass budgets on time, or when they intentionally block bills from making it to the floor for an open debate and passing bills that are in the interests of the citizens of this nation.
Janet, Oceanside

Cutting pay may be considered "wage tampering" or worse yet, extortion. I suggest a more permanent system, based on several factors such as Standard of Living Index, or HDI, on time budgets (which would include the debt ceiling), and demerits from breaking house rules, or laws made by Congress. The pay reductions would be enough to be effective without limiting the Congress member's ability to do their job. I wish you success!
William, San Diego

, If congress was doing its job, we would not need to raise the debt ceiling. The current level of federal spending must be reduced, so we don't continue to rack up budget deficits and continue to accumulate the horrendous level of national debt that we now have. Our huge deficits are far more dangerous to our economy than refusing to raise the debt ceiling.
James, Watsonville

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Californians respond to my message on No Pay for Congress if Government Shuts Down (1/23/2013):

Thank you so much for introducing this legislation. Congress needs a reality check. If any of their constituents behaved the way they often do, we would not get paid either. Thanks for taking a step to level the playing field, although it is still pretty far off kilter, but at least it is a step in the right direction.
Patrick, Oxnard

The best email I got all day was one from you just a few minutes ago. Working in the defense industry in San Diego, I see it as a threat to our national security to face sequestration in March. Congress needs to take this potential shutdown seriously, and not play political games that endanger our country's welfare. The day-to-day operation of the country is the reason why we elect our officials, more so than pushing ideologies, reacting to recently upsetting news, and proposing new legislation. I believe that was the "referendum" that people voted in the last election. If it takes some additional legislation to remind Congress that it is their responsibility to keep the country running, regardless of whether it is under the perception of 'fiscal responsibility' or 'irrationally exuberant' spending, then I am all for it.
Noah, San Diego

Respectfully, I would like to say that I don't like the idea of not paying the president and congress for default or shutdown of the government. That punishes a lot of congressmen and women, and the president, who are not the obstructionists. And I may be naive, but I hope that there are still some in Congress who are not rich and therefore need their salary. So while this bill is a sledgehammer, I think it is hitting too many of the wrong nails. My husband doesn't like the bill because he says it interferes with the legislative process, weird though it has become. We are both liberals, and happy to be so. Thank you.
Christine, Pasadena

I like your proposed legistation where legislators wouldn't get paid during a government shutdown; however, I doubt something like that would EVER pass. I'd like to see the democrats work with the republicans to cut back on spending. We can't continue just increasing the budget.
Diana, Chino Hills

Our family is SO tired of the Republicans in Congress working together to do nothing but obstruct the work of the Congress. If they do not wish to extend the debt ceiling, then I think it is entirely appropriate for them to forfeit their pay until an appropriate solution is reached. Perhaps, if Sen. Boxer's measure if enacted, the Congress will begin to seen the urgency of coming to a solution about the debt ceiling.
Haage, Lori, Montclair

It is about time that the House & Senate felt the same frustrations as the citizens of this country at their inability to work together so that a budget could be passed in a timely manner. I have been hopeful of the measures Pres. Obama has tried to get passed over the last 4 years, to make this a more equitable country, but extremely angry at the petty, self-absorbed, and greedy motivations that have prevented passage of many of these measures. With respect to the delay in approving a budget, I'm hoping that if it becomes necessary to hold up their pay, that this lack of a paycheck will spur them on. I am 67 years old, and I have never seen such poor performances by these government bodies, especially the House of Representatives. Enough!!
Mary, Santa Clara

I appreciate your concern for the people with Government Shutdown Bill. I hope you define Congress as both the Senate and the House. I would say if you have a legitimate concern for the American People, you would also include the same consequence when the Senate or the House do not submit an annual budget as required by the Constitution. The lack of performance by the Senate to do this in almost 4 years is for more damaging to the American people than anything else our politicans babble about on a daily basis. Unlimited spending and unlimited entitlements to both corporate and individuals is taking us to certain economic ruin. California is the template for the federal program end result. I hope your sincerity will be proven by addressing a fair and balanced penalty for the lack of job performance for the Senate, House, and the President. I encourage you to post these comments on your website.
William, Bakersfield

Thank you so much for putting your own paycheck at risk for a sensible solution to government shutdowns. It is long overdue!
Denise, Ladera Ranch

Thank you for the update and I agree... Congress needs to get the work done that they are paid for.
Michael, Pasadena

I believe you are on to something here, we all need to be responsible for our current situation. I do think we need to hold our elected officials accountable.
Lawrence, Gold River

Thank you for making the kids pay attention to the trouble they will cause and the consequences of their inaction. You always have my support.
Nancy, Sylmar

Thank you for the introduction of this legislation and I appreciate the symbolic gesture that it represents. My criticism of it is that it is entirely symbolic. Since the majority of Senators and Representatives are millionaires, the loss of their Senate or House salaries will have little or no impact on their financial well-being. Their loss of salaries will not have the same impact on their lives as the impact of a government shut-down or default on the Nation's debt will have on the vast majority of the middle-class and poor - The loss of one's Social Security check, the loss of Medicare/Medicaid healthcare, the financial impact on the stock market and one's retirement savings, the loss of a job, the loss of one's house…. With the utmost respect, your constituent,
Ted, Grass Valley

This is a good start; next I would like to see the legislators have the same social security and healthcare programs that the public has. There is an incredible disparity that needs to be addressed but the beneficiaries of these elite programs rarely oppose them. Keep up the good work,
Cele, Novato

I heartily applaud your and Senator Casey's efforts and tenacity in re-introducing this bill. The inaction on this particular responsibility of our elected officials is shameful and does in fact mirror a worker who is refusing to do his/her job.
Angela, Oakland

This bill is long overdue. I support it fully. If I don't do my job correctly, I suffer the consequences.
Ken, Sonora

Thank you Senator Boxer and Senator Casey, for taking a stand and looking out for the American people. Shutting down the government should never be used as a leverage tool for partisan politics and manipulation; and certainly should not be rewarded by payment for failing to do their jobs!
Carlotta, Modesto

I would like to see even stronger measures taken so that our country's representatives can "feel our pain." For example, if health care was only given to Congress while they served, and once out of office they had to go through COBRA, like the rest of us when we loose a job. Or perhaps, if their pension plan was limited to 401Ks and Social Security like so many of the rest of us. I have a feeling they would act a lot more efficiently toward solving the problems with Medicare and Social Security, if that were the case. If they really want to fix Social Security, all they have to do is raise the salary cap. But, I do appreciate all you do for your constituents, so thank you for introducing this very reasonable legislation.
Linda, Sunnyvale

I believe it should go even further to include no approved annual budget, no pay. Since passing our countries annual budget is one of the most important asks, if they fail why should they get paid for failure. This can and should also apply for California's budget process. Respectfully submitted,
Robert, Poway

Accountability is something elected officials have never had to face. What time is better then now. I support your and Senator Casey's efforts Keep up the good work.
Adele, La Jolla

The Bill you propose is well intentioned, but most of Congress is made up of very wealthy people. Going without a paycheck would only be a slight inconvenience, and they would be receiving the monies at a later date; so no real consequences for them.
Diane, San Diego

Senator, I this is a wonderful idea. I got your back!!
Beverly, Carlsbad

I couldn't believe what we Americans have been wishing since I can't remember when is really going to be presented in Congress. I checked my email to make sure it wasn't "spam" and pinched myself to make sure I wasn't dreaming. Please hit those who clog the wheels of progress in the pocket book where they are used to hitting us.
Diane, South San Francisco

And we both know that this proposed bill will never see the Senate floor for a final vote.
Leo, Oxnard

I want to thank you for your current initiative to break the legislative stalemate and get this year's congress session moving. Now that you are identifying yourself as a States-person with moxy, I suggest you propose a truly meaningful bill. Revert your retirement plan to Social Security. Revert your Health plan to the Health plan legislation you recently passed. Not the "opt-out" provision, the real plan. In essence the business world calls this "eating your own dog food". I look forward to the bold new direction you can take congress in this term.
Dave, San Jose

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Government Shutdown

Californians respond to my message on Preventing Default and Reopening the Government:

The harm has been done. We lost $24 billion dollars in revenue. I have lost all respect for the Republican representatives. They must be voted out of office, especially Congressman Ted Cruz of Texas…. I am very happy that the Democrats including my President Obama were UNITED. I am very happy that you also voted against the shut down and also re-opening the government and raising the debt ceiling. I am a die hard Democrat and I am glad I chose the right party.
Enrique, La Puente

Thank you for your hard work in re-opening govt. offices and averting a Treasury default.
I hope you will be able to provide details at least monthly on the progress of the Debt Committee as they attempt to keep us from a repeat performance in January and February 2014.
Joyce & Clyde, Hesperia

You are so right to speak up for the hundreds of thousands this shutdown has seriously many of us live from paycheck to paycheck, even with two parents working fulltime. This shutdown meant people could not pay rent, could not put food on the table or cover other necessities!
Evelyn, Tujunga

We have been reaching out to Tom McClintock as the congress representative who is responsible for the shutdown and how it has cost us 80k in lost revenues while Yosemite National Park was closed. Our county lost 600k in tax revenue and the Yosemite region suffered approximately 20 m. We feel he is not responsive to the normal channels of constituent communication and has an agenda that ignores our needs as voters and small businesses. Even though we were exceptionally hurt as a business during this last downturn and closedown, we believe the Senate and the President did the right thing by not folding to the House's unreasonable demands outside normal democratic processes. Please help us by insuring that this doesn't happen again this winter.
Douglas, Midpines

I am a Republican who usually votes as a democrat, as I am disgusted with tea party influence and bad republican behavior. The government should never shut down. Senate and house should never be paid if and when this happens.
Beryl, Santa Rosa

I cannot thank you enough for your efforts to aide in the atrocity of a government shut down. I have always been a staunch Democrat and I am even more angry that the Republicans refused to cooperate for so long. Everywhere I go people are talking about the inability of our congress to get things right. I have heard over and over that the congress should not be paid during times like we just had and maybe they would try harder to work out the differences. The American people feel like they were held hostage. I hope that congress can move forward to meet all deadlines in the future. Not being able to go to Point Loma Light house for the 100 year anniversary was devastating to San Diego and I know people feel the same way about Yosemite's celebration that was cancelled. It is going to take a long time for people to forgive but they certainly won't forget what happened.
Joanie, Santee

I think this event has reminded us all that we must talk to one another - no matter how difficult or distasteful or strange the other point of view may be. That perspective came from somewhere in that persons experience and has some value in it. The trick is listening deep enough to find it and some even tiny bit of common ground; and thus a beginning of a connection. This is true of all of us, not just senators and representatives. I don’t know what role you played Senator Boxer, but I do appreciate your message.
Mary Lynn, Redlands

I wanted to personally thank you for standing strong against the radical congressmen who were responsible for shutting our government down without considering how many people were hurt and damaging our image world wide. Let's keep moving forward. I'm in your corner!
Candace, Redlands

I am truly thankful the govt.shut-down is over. I really and truly believe members of Congress can care less about the average person. They have plenty of money and the shut-down didn't affect them one bit. Truly acting like spoiled children who take their toys and go home when they don't get their way. Even though we avoided the fiscal cliff by the skin of our teeth, just look at how we appear to the rest of the "world". The whole debaucle was dispicable and I for one am very ashamed of our members of Congress.
Sherree, Hermosa Beach

I'm very disappointed that I didn't get to visit the Monuments and Museums with my 10 year old son when we visited DC for a family wedding 10/1-10/6. I'm glad that the parties finally agreed to temporarily fund the government, but I can't believe federal workers were retroactively paid if they didn't go to work. I expect much more from my government. I expect deficit reduction, now. I expect the Social Security retirement age to increase to bring the plan into actuarial balance, now. I expect our tax policy to encourage savings, now. Our nation cannot continue to spend beyond our means and pass the debt onto the next generation of Americans.
William, Lafayette

I am extremely disgusted with the government shutdown. Personally, my husband & I had purchased tickets to fly from CA to Washington DC to visit the national parks but more specifically to see the Smithsonian Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday. We had non-refundable tickets. The entire reason for the visit was closed due to manipulation and bad intent. Our representatives are paid well but to do what? Sit around and argue? Make decisions to further ruin our economy by threats and raising the shameful debt ceiling even higher? This is inexcusible. I will vote for no incumbants this time and hope that my fellow Americans will do the same. Obamacare (The Affordable Health Act) is one more compromise that took a great idea and made so much more complex by the bickering by the republicans. When they couldn't stop it, they closed our government. Selfish, self serving and not in the interest of the common man and woman and child who Need Government Services to stay open and need Obamacare desperately.
Valerie, Fremont

I am very glad that the shutdown is over, yet I am very concern with the future of our country.
The impact of the fighting in Washington has left people out of work that I know personally. It is not every day that people can go to work and get nothing done. Our country looks so bad to the world. How can the goal be to have your own team fail? At what price is success measured?
I served in the USN for over thirty years, and at no time did I want my leadership to fail. For their failure would also be mine. So for those individuals that want the current president, President Barrack Obama, to fail also wants our country to fail as evident by the recent event.
I pray that you and your fellow Senators can get our country back on a track to being not only the best in military strength but also in political might.
Norman, Murrieta

Thank you for all your special work. we are very very grateful. As a wise man once said we need a balance of both capitalism and social programs. I dont know how one can convince extreme Republicans of this. Also i dont understand how the Christian right does not want the Government to take care of poor people -this is un-Christian. Perhaps you know more about how to approach these people and prevent the rich from getting richer and the poor poorer. Yes we need to continue to lower our debt but Republicans dont seem to remember that a lot of it was encrued under the Bush administation and I think The President and Democrats should speak about this much more publicly. Also in my view the rich should be taxed more instead of cutting social security and other programs. thank you
Juliet, Aptos

I truly appreciate your comments and your stand. I would like also to share that I find that the shut down was reprehensible and completely irresponsible. The amount of money the country lost (?$200 billion?) could have funded many of the programs being cut. The injury to the people of this country is completely unjust and unjustified.
Lindsay, Oakland

I wanted to take a brief moment to thank you for your efforts in getting our country back on track. It's important that all viewpoints be heard. And while I'm not a conservative, I do agree with what they've been trying to achieve: a controlled, sustainable budget. However, the way they've attempted to go about it was not productive. Linking the operation of our country to the Affordable Care Act being defunded was fundamentally wrong. Instead of simply trying to destroy a program desperately needed by millions of Americans because they thought it was wrong, they should be putting their energies into coming up with a workable alternative – which they could not.
Jeff, Santee

Thank you for your email re the shutdown. I am extremely skeptible that this new agreement is just a temporary bandaid that will fall apart in a few months when it's time is up. There was and is so much finger pointing that i just want all the members of the House, the Senate, and (yes, him too) the President to all line up and let all the American people walk down that line and slap you all. It seems to me most of our elected officials have forgotten something very important. You are all EMPLOYEES of the American tax payers. If you were all working in the private sector, you'd all be pounding the pavement looking for a new job. You would have all been fired a long time ago for lack of work effort and creating a hostile work enviroment. This partisan BS just turns my stomach. There's just too much of it and the president is at the head of the line dishing it out. I'm so sick of hearing the democrats accuse the republicans and vice-versa. You are supposed to act like intelligent adults and do your job (the you here is not directed at either yourself or Senator Feinstein. Both of you seemed to stay off the news reports and out of the finger pointing game, thank you for that!) Thank you for allowing me the chance to let off some steam here. I'm sure this is not the first you've heard this. I hope your colleagues in the House and Senate, as well as the President get a grip and see that this mess doesn't happen again
Denise, Long Beach

The final resolution of the default crisis does not impress me. I am disappointed with the leadership in Washington on many levels. 1. The holding of the debt limit approval hostage for a de-funding of the Obamacare program is akin to holding a mothers child, and saying you will shoot him unless you give me a million dollars. This is despicable, and when you are holding every American hostage, even more so.  2. The failure of the budgetary process seems adolescent to me. We cannot keep borrowing our self rich. We must start paying our debt down. The sequester has apparently been ineffective. Expand and increase it, or find some other way to make expenditures match income. You are the people responsible for this, BE responsible, and change the path, and move our budget toward correction.
Steve, Moreno Valley

Thank you for your response to the nation’s shut down. It amazes me that tea partiers want less government and taxes and do so much harm to the American people. I was not directly impacted by the shut down, but all over the country people were. The Tea Party didn't seem to care. They were only supporting their agenda. The one that seems to diminish the middle class.
Marilyn, Atascadero

I want to know when the G.O.P. and the Republican House will be repaying the $ 24 billion dollars that our economy lost during the government shutdown. If they get away with this, then something has seriously gone wrong with our constitutional government.
Jeff, Santa Monica

I just thought you would like to know that I appreciate the hard work Senator Boxer has put into keeping this government operating. I am nearing my 32nd year as a Federal employee and these recent events of fiscal brinkmanship have left a sour taste in my mouth, not to mention a financial scare for my family..... Let's hope that Congress can all act like adults and show responsibility that the people of this country entrusted to them...
Thomas, Northridge

Thank you for your efforts to bring some sanity to the work of Congress. I was very disappointed with the childish, selfish efforts of some of its members that caused great harm to many people in our great country. The Bipartisan Agreement is a good step in the right direction, but only the beginning of the much more difficult task of developing a balance budget that begins reducing our debt by eliminating deficit spending. Please don't let this task slide until we reach another crisis with more polarized and selfish actions. I'm counting on you and I'm praying for you and all your colleagues.
Jim, Concord

I am appalled by the recent government shut-down and get the impression that the citizens of the US are being held hostage by a new form of terrorism which has devastating financial impact and diminishes the country's standing in the eyes of the world. Anything that can be done to avoid future repeats of this kind of brinkmanship should be enacted and enforced.
Louise, Point Richmond

Thank you for your leadership. I fully agree with the Senate approach. I find it appalling that the Republicans are willing to shut down the government. I have been a life-long Republican, but feel abandoned by the now ultra-conservative Republican party in the last few years and find my self more and more supporting the Democrat party. I am a big supporter of the President and his policies, including health care.
Fred, Torrance

Thank you! for fighting a government shutdown which is a stupid and senseless idea that will hurt the economy, innovation, science, commerce and safety. I work at SLAC National Lab and Friday had to say good bye to a bright young engineer because of lack of funding for SLAC. They laid off three engineers and Monday they will lay off others in the design group. My contract ended on Friday but they were able to extend it by one month only because of funding. There are many important science discoveries being made at SLAC and I think they will someday find the cure to cancer there. Some of the work involves mapping human proteins for drug development. As you can imagine this work also helps companies develop new and better drugs. These "tea partiers" are ignorant and dangerous. Thanks for sticking up for government workers around the country. I have met many fine and truly dedicated people who work at SLAC. Their work is something we can all be proud of as Americans.
Margery, Menlo Park

I beg your pardon I do not believe the senate did the right thing. Obamacare is a train wreck, job kill, and will make healthcare more expensive. Many of those who were full time employees are now being made part time employees so thats they will not be eligible to receive the company health. The economy is in the trash, and this will only make it worst. The house wanted to fund the government fullie but not obamacare so tell me how is that shutting down the government. The man in the white house is the one shutting down along with Harry Reid and all of his can think for them self senator.
Bohn, Richard, Gardena

Thank you for a reasonable policy. However, Republicans have demonstrated they will harm the country to increase their power. I think it is time to confront them before the important 2014 elections so we can ditch their failed austerity policies and move our economy to a solid footing. I keep asking myself why Dems aren't confronting Republicans directly and loudly over their failures. They are easy to document, so why the reluctance? This is probably why most Americans lump both parties together and despair over fixing the system. I ask you to lead your colleagues in a truth campaign leading us back from the brink to sane workable policies.
Dennis, Blue Lake

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Californians respond to my message on Averting a Government Shutdown:

As a military widow and a receiver of monthly income from my husband's military allotment, I am worried about the possibility of a shutdown which might cause a loss of income; HOWEVER, I am ashamed of a government which allows those who try to hold hostage our government, our military, our DOD employees, and all of our citizens for their own personal/party beliefs! This is not the democratic way ... it is terrorism. We would not meet a terrorist's demands, nor should we capitulate to these Republican radicals. Their threats and their actions are abhorrent. They should be removed from their offices for their treasonous behavior. I am so disheartened by their ongoing bullying.
B, Gustine

I am 63years old and a lifelong Republican. However, my husband died, and I am losing my health insurance 12/31/13. Because I had 1 kidney stone 4 years ago, that is considered a pre existing condition and no one will insure me. I won't be able to get Medicare until 2014. So I was looking forward to getting insurance in October with no one can be turned down for pre existing conditions. I am also living on my husband's survivor social security benefits. I am so mad at the Republican Party and the Tea Party I can't see straight! They are a rich man's club and could care less about us. They have theirs and they don't care about me. I will NEVER vote Republican again. Tell President Obama THANK YOU for trying to help me.
Dona, Napa

Please enter my vote in favor of Obamacare, and NO DEALS with the Republican house. Either let the government shut down, or have President Obama pay the bills that we owe and were approved prior to the ridiculous position of all Republicans, both tea party and old guard. Who cares that this has never been done before without the vote of Congress? Never, in my lifetime, has a political arm engaged in lies and subterfuge to hold our nation hostage as the past five years. This is simply extortion, and if we give, even an inch, the message will simply be more of the same whenever the Republicans don't get their way. I am proud that the American people have elected (for the second time) a black man for president. Unfortunately, the hate that has been uncovered, and has been in human hearts since the beginning of time, makes me disgusted with those who hide behind politics and refuse to admit their prejudices. Hold the line and don't give in.
Linda, San Diego

Please DO NOT give in even if it causes a shutdown. I receive disability checks and they could be delayed but there is a bigger fight here. Maybe we need to pull out (or threaten to) our soldiers out of battle if there pay gets delayed. The "Tea Party" for the Republicans is like the "Redeemers" in the 1800's for the Democrats. They both have very narrow views for this country even if it destroys us. Imagine if our country did not go through Jim Crow how great we would be now. We can't let a small group control this country again.
Jeff, Atascadero

Thank you for your wonderful speech on the subject of averting a government shutdown. I do totally agree with you that if it is shut down, absolutely NO ONE should receive any money! It
is unfair that some should get their checks, & not the rest of us! I am a single, 68-year-old, partially disabled woman whose only income is from Social Security Retirement Benefits & Disability Benefits, & I have to live for one month on what little I get. If there is a shutdown, it will be devastating to me & a lot of others like me who have to exist from one paycheck to the other.
Flora, Fresno

It's time for you and your party to stop playing games and blaming the GOP for everything. Big gov is destroying this great country, free enterprise not Obama's intrusive interfering is what made us the greatest nation. Not big government. We don't need a bigger spending limit we need a spending cut.
Lewis, Torrance

like millions of other americans i'm so upset with the republicans and especialy the tea party. i used to vote for republicans but not any more . they dont care about this beautiful country or its people. they only care about the very rich and their pocket books. keep up the good work senator.
raymond, San Jose

I sent this note to Mr. Boehner today: … It's really hard to understand how this stupidity has come into being much less lasted this long. What does the GOP have against health care for poor people? There are 50 MILLION PEOPLE WITHOUT HEALTHCARE IN THE USA. Of course that many people trying to get on the ACA website made it crash. Don't you think that people would purchase healthcare if they could afford it? As a critical care nurse i have seen the cost of this policy of sink or swim getting your own healthcare. Plus I listened to my patients tell their horror stories about the hoops that insurance has put them through…. Please grow a spine and put the Tea party princes and princesses into true reality, not their version of it. Put the spending bill up for a vote…. It's time these folks are reminded that the Congress, both the House and Senate, are there to take care of the WHOLE country, not just their constituents.
Cathy, Lompoc

Please, no compromise. Don't allow the extortionists to win. No cuts to ObamaCare, no Keystone XL, and no more abortion restrictions.
Robert, San Jose

I am keeping this brief as I hope you are overwhelmed with similar responses. Do not let the Tea Party, House of Representatives dictate terms of our budget. Do not touch the Affordable Care Act: leave it as it is currently; improvements can be made next year, or later. Trading anything to obstructionists to achieve a budget (CR) or raise debt ceiling will cause this same irresponsible behavior forevermore in our country! How can a small minority of one Chamber tell the rest of Congress, the President, those who elected the President (twice), and the Supreme Court, "We didn't win, so now we'll take you and the entire country hostage." Unbelievable. I'm a retired Kindergarten teacher, and always expected and received better, more democratic behavior from my students. Maybe some of these individuals were "Left Behind."
Chris, Citrus Heights

I saw & listened to your speech on C-Span yesterday (9/27). What struck me was why haven't Democratic Senators and Reps been doing that more often? Explaining point by simple point over and over again facts closer to the truth so Americans get the real education we need instead of the lies that have been accepted as truth…. We're in trouble without the truthsayers.
Shona, Pasadena

I was brought up to respect those in our govorment,law enforcement, medical,etc. After the Tea Party began I am losing respect for Congress. even my 12yr old granddaughter is losing respect
as well. With recently seeing Ted Cruz reading Green Eggs and Ham, those having sexual escapades, and sextexing instead of 'working' I cannot blame her. I cannot even speak in defense of the craziness going on. What an example Congress is setting for our young people..what hope is Congress giving any of us?
Rudica, Napa

I am sure that the Democrats are doing everything they can to get the severe right wing Tea Party Republicans to pass the debt ceiling increase without attaching the Obama Care provision. Shutting down the government hurts ALL Americans including their constituency....They may not get paid, the GNP could go down, the stock market will go down (which effects everyone not only the wealthy). In fact, the whole debate itself that happens at the last minute is BAD for the economy. And it makes ALL politicians look LAME. When the US Congress behaves in such a short sighted manner at the last minute it causes the American people to loose respect for Congress. BOTH parties! These messages need to get to these Tea Party Republicans NOW!
Gia, Healdsburg

Thank you for the common sense approach and introducing a bill that will include everyone in Capital Hill and the President if there is a governent shutdown caused by politicians,
Kevin, La Crescenta

I agree that the senators, house representatives and the president should not get paid if the government shuts down. Maybe soon people will be outraged about this kind of treatment.
Why have a democratic government if they do not listen to the people and take the peoples interests at heart. No sane person would want to see the government highest officials get paid when they are losing homes and jobs. This sounds like we live in the middle ages. Hopefully, the government will get its act together and begin to move forward. If not we may see more demonstrations happening as people become more and more concerned about what is happening to our government today.
Barbara, San Jose

Thank you and your fellow senators for your responsible actions on not allowing the functioning of our government to become a political pawn. I support the Affordable Care Act and working within it to preserve its mandate of providing access to healthcare for all Americans. Thank you for your dedicated service.
Jeff, Laguna Beach

Thank you, Senator, for voting to keep our government working and standing against obstructionists.
Vince, San Leandro

The Tea Party idea, less than 20% of America, is ruining the country and just when we are making a recovery. I am retired U.S. Army working with DHS, but if the Government shuts down - Medicare/Medicaid benefits, retired pay check, VA compensation check, SS check, and current DHS paycheck - all are in question. I cannot survive in this atmosphere and I also want to buy a house…. As Putin's deputy said, at current rate the 22nd century belongs to Asia as America is on the way down. I do not believe it, but it sure seems like it.
Michael, Los Angeles

I support you in your efforts to prevent a Gov shutdown and block any effort to prevent funding of the Affordable Care act.
Fred, Thousand Oaks

I wanted to take a minute to thank you for not caving to the hostile republican tactics! I am one of the thousands without healthcare and I can't wait to register for a new affordable plan. The idea that people who were elected to LEAD are only holding gov HOSTAGE is abhorrent to me.
Thank you for standing up for your constituents in need and doing the right thing when the stakes were/are so high!
Megan, San Francisco

Thank you for your excellent speech on the impending shutdown. We are fully behind you and like you are appalled by this cynical Republican performance. Thank you for fighting on behalf of sanity and commonsense.
Patrick, Windsor

Thank you for your efforts! I hope the Republicans listen with their hearts rather than their political pocketbooks.
Louis, Forest Knolls

We, the people did not elect/send our representatives to Washington to engage in perpetual political brinkmanship. Even though I am a registered (independent) republican, I have to say that with every passing day, I am glad to see the republican base fading away (dying) as opposed to the democratic base which is more inclusive (and populating). So stay the course and watch the republican base crumble even more.
James, Folsom

Thank you for the email regarding the potential for a government shutdown. I am aware of your and your party's position on any sort of government shutdown but in this case I must agree with senator Cruz and Representative Boener on this issue. We cannot afford ObamaCare nor the current spending that President Obama is pursuing. As a Teacher Union member, I am sure you are aware of the Union's position on ObamaCare and how that would strip away our current benefits that we worked hard to get in the first place. Personally, I do not want to see our healthcare system go the way of Canada or Europe. We are better than that. Moreover, I know that is is not written in the Constitution that free and/or partial healthcare is part of being an American…  I would suggest that you think of your own grandchildren as well for they will be responsible for the debt that is being occurred right now. Thank you for your time in reading this email.
Kevin, Oxnard

I am in agreement with the Republican Party in regards to halting the funding of Pres. Obama's unconstitutional healthcare reform. If this comes in the form of shutting down the government so you who are in office will stop this unprecidented and ungoverned spending, let it shutdown starting with all of your paychecks! Hopefully we'll see some sort of change after the next election.
Kathy, Vacaville

Since the beginning of federal goverment shutdowns in 1976 there have been seventeen federal government shutdowns, none of which has effected me or anyone else I know. So, you should take action to avoid a shutdown or the citizens will realize that the federal government could be shut down for a very lengthy period without any effect on the vast majority of citizens, and people will subsequrntly realize that the federal governement is really not one of life's necessities.
Larry, Walnut Creek

I am amazed that the r party has brought about the closure of the fed. gov. I am unable to make sense of the republican stand. What happened to serving the common good? Pass a budget, get things rolling again and argue about the Obamacare Law once our government and citizens affected are back to work. I appreciate your work to that end.
V., Hollister

Please do not bargain with the republicans. It is unacceptable to negotiate based on shutting down government or the debt ceiling. I know that this is not a two sided debate, but is in fact an extreme misuse of power on the republican side. I am glad that you are my representative. I am calling my congressman daily to urge him to pass a clean CR with no strings attached.
Sheldon, Newport Beach

I was impressed by your speech. It is a shame they did not listen. It is very apparent that the Republicans do not care what the people who elect them have to say or what financial repercussions it causes them and everyone else. They should not receive their checks.
Jeanette, Santee

We feel the Senate is doing the right thing by NOT allowing the Tea Party backed House Reps to force the Senate into a compromise that affects the ACA in any way. We are beginning to see how little support these Republican Reps actually have from their own districts back home now that they've held the country hostage for their own narrow agenda.
Keith, Los Angeles

Thank you as one of my Senators for standing firm with Harry Reid on the Affordable Care Act and not caving into the Republican Blackmail. Please help Republican Senators to see that it is very important to distance themselves from Ted Cruz, John Boehner and the others who wish to destroy the government unless it does only what they want. I am disgusted as are most of my Republican friends at the cynical way they are using the budget and debt ceiling legislations to try and hurt our country.
Grant, Hollister

As a 15-year federal employee, I would like to express how proud I am of President Obama and those in Congress who refuse to negotiate Affordable Health Care and other non-budgetary issues during this shutdown. Despite the financial strain--this summer's sequestration furloughs and the possibility of not getting paid during this shutdown--I feel very strongly that the federal budget should not be used as a bargaining tool. I am dismayed by some polls that show a simplistic desire for "compromise." Thank you for holding firm and doing the right thing!
Camp, Christy, Albany

Please continue to oppose the House's effort to shut down the government. I am sure we all see that if one party or the other attaches demands to an issue like this, it is just a form of extortion.
Jesse, Van Nuys

We can't wait another year for affordable health care. Let them shut down the government if that what it takes. We've waited long enough for this. For my son who works as much as he can. Just shot of full time, this is a matter of life or death. He has a chronic condition and must be able to get health care. There are many American citizens who work every day and work much harder than many on Capitol Hill and yet do not have health care. Let the Republicans on the hill give up their health care. Let the Tea Party advocates renounce their plans and work a minimum wage job. Then lets hear what they have to say when they are hit with a medical crisis. Please tell the President not to blink. We support him fully.
Tamanika, Altadena

I am disgusted by the extremists of the Republican Party who are attempting to blackmail the American People - especially those who are now out of work due to the shutdown - to dismantle a law that is based on the very ideas the Republicans first put into the healthcare debate. We adopt their law then they want to disown it. They are truly doing the work that Osama bin Laden wanted to do. That is, bring the American Economy and way of life to its knees. Instead, they should see how the law works in real life and then work with other members of Congress to make it better. Stopping the US and by extension world economy by shutting down government and defaulting on our debts (like Iraq war expenses which they approved) is Un-American.
Debra, San Leandro

I am currently in the process of purchasing a home, but my loan cannot be processed due to the government shutdown. The 4506 (IRS verification and the SSA (social security verification) are required in order for the mortgage company to order the loan documents. Furthermore, I need a loan verification form for my student loans, and have not received this due to processing delays. This is impacting not just me, but the realtors, the seller who just broke her hip and needs the money from the sale of the house for her housing expenses at the skilled nursing facility, myself, my partner, and not to mention, the housing market. I am so frustrated with the fact that Boehner thinks that the government shutdown is in the best interests of the American people. I think when politicians vote to shut down the government, they should also have their checks withheld. I know so many people that are impacted by this and I think it continues to create a very negative image of the Republican party. They are reckless and careless and don't really care who they impact when they want to push their agenda.
Tara, Piedmont

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EPA Carbon Pollution Standards

Californians respond to my message on Reducing Carbon Pollution from Power Plants:

Thank you, Senator, for once again being out in front on reducing greenhouse gas emissions and protecting both publc health and environmental resources.
Gina, Hacienda Heights

Thank you Barbara for supporting the EPA's sensible first steps toward reducing future CO2 pollution. Now the bar is set for American ingenuity to find a solution to carbon sequestration so our coal resources can be used ideally with no pollution but this is a great first step. This only applies to future, un-built coal power plants. Keep up the pressure to find alternatives to the ongoing damage caused by burning fossil fuels.
Richard, San Diego

Please do what ever it takes to control Carbon Pollution as a citizen of U.S. and Long Beach i have your back and will do what ever i have to to help make this happen.
Sandra, Long Beach

It is imperative that all resources be brought to bear regarding this issue. You have only this one planet to exist on.
John, Elk Grove

Please consider a balance between carbon pollution and our high gas prices. It sure cut into senior traveling.
Ype & Judie, San Diego

I am so glad that the first step of many steps is being taken in the fight against harmful air pollution. I am the daughter and wife of asthmatics. As a child I remember the times that my father had to go to the hospital because he couldn't breathe. My father also worked with MUNI to clean up caustic chemicals and worked towards getting the bio-diesel program in place because of his inability to breathe and the heartbreak that was caused to him when he watched his friends get sick and some die because of the caustic chemicals that were being used at the time. My father also received 3 awards from the mayors office for environmental clean-up here in San Francisco. So, I guess the point I'm trying to make is thanks for looking out for the safety and health of the people that support you as well as those that don't.
Phoebe, San Francisco

Thank you for your efforts and dedication on behalf of the environment. This has a huge priority of mine since as a child I watched the destruction of the air in the San Gabriel Valley when orange groves were replaced by freeways. As young as I was, smog broke my heart.
Now the oceans are being destroyed by rising temperatures, mercury, and radiation from Fukushima. Please continue to work to reverse these horrors. I support you fully. Our grandchildren depend on us.
Katharine, Santa Cruz

Thank you for supporting the new legislation to set standards for carbon emissions for power plants. Your keen awareness of climate change impacts and the correlation to carbon pollution is admired and respected. Our children's futures depend on wise and urgent decisions we make now. Your leadership in this arena is of utmost importance.
Rob, Danville

The reason this measure, forcing pollution standards on power plants is supported by me, is due to my long life of observing corporations and others scream "we can't do that" and then go on to do exactly that and improve the system at the same time. Jet engines could not be quieted, cars could not be safer and get better mileage while producing adequate power, homes could not be built more efficiently ... and on and on to nearly infinity. The truth is, that only when pushed, do corporations knuckle down, do the research and discover new ways to accomplish old goals ... Capitalism is the best way to run a country, so long as proper oversight and adequate controls are in place. Do not listen to the screaming "push back" of those who say "we can't ... ", just keep pushing for better solutions. They exist or we will finally heed the need to find alternative energy sources.
David, Rough And Ready

Amen, Sen. Boxer!!! As a Conservative, a "registered" Republican, I have voted for you each time you've run for office...and it's because you -- unlike the right wing idiots -- understand that if we don't clean our air and water, there will be no "future generations." Go, get 'em....
Walt, Roseville

I was very pleased with Obama's steps to limit coal plant emissions. I feel strongly that we cannot continue to put off action any longer. Climate change is here now! I also happened to read about Oakland's Port and how they are working to reduce toxic emissions as well, and having some success. They have a long ways to go, but progress is being made as measured by the particulates in the air. I think we have the science, and technoligical know-how to work seriously on this problem. We just need the political will. California seems to be taking this seriously, but the rest of the country does too.
Carolyn, Belmont

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Californians respond to Senator Boxer on EPA’s New Public Health Standards on Toxic Soot Air Pollution (12/21/2012):

Thank you and the EPA for raising the soot standards across the United States. I see from the map that only 7 counties in the entire U.S. do not meet the new standards and they are all in southern California and Central California right where I live. This is exactly what we need. \\Fine particle pollution can penetrate deep into the lungs and has been linked to a wide range of serious health effects, including premature death, heart attacks, and strokes, as well as acute bronchitis and aggravated asthma among children// This is EXACTLY what I see here from the high number of people suffering from heart problems and COPD.
Gary, Lake Isabella

Its great to know that we are doing a better job at working to maintain better air quality for everybody that is important. On some days here in Los Angeles it is hard to breathe and it really helps to know that the EPA is maintaining better standards to help with this.
Kyle, Santa Monica

The new soot standards are bad and will cost us billions without really cleaning up the air. Please vote against any legislation on these new proposed standards.
Karl, Glendora

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Violence Against Women

Californians respond to my message on Ending Violence Against Women:

As an abused woman in the 70s, I had no safe place to go. I slept in my car, on friends’ floors and had to take my little girl with me to be safe.  My wish is for today's women to have support and safety that I would have used during my married years.  Thank you for doing all you can to provide women with an alternative option.
Susan, Alamo

Thank you for asking for comments regarding violence against women. I appreciate the invitation to support your efforts in this continual struggle for women's rights. I work with 100's of women in the healthcare workforce and find that far too many are caught in abusive relationships that are compounded by the unending discrimination at work, in public and now by our legislative representatives. Please continue the aggressive stance bringing these issue to light and for taking action to overcome the power hungry, domineering influences of self serving persons…. Thank You and may you continue to have courage and wisdom in this important struggle. I will am eager and willing to stand along side you and do what I can to also make a difference.
Doreen, Anaheim

I'm so proud that you're my Senator and willing to shine a light on these horrendous attacks. The world needs to become a more loving and equal place, beginning right here at home. Your speech was as powerful as it was painful. It's difficult to understand how men can have such a low opinion of their own humanity to allow themselves to be beasts and inflict so much violence and pain upon another. Surely we can do better.
Peggi, San Marcos

I am so grateful for your support of women. I was raped at 4 yrs of age then again in my teens. There was NO help for me. It has affected my whole life. I would have been a different person if these rapes had not taken place. I'm now 65yrs old and I still go to a women's healing group every week. I am very active in promoting & signing petitions concerning women’s issues & equality. You made my day today when I opened my emails! Thank you so much for all you do.
Pamela, Fullerton

Thank you sincerely for sharing the transcript of your keynote address you delivered this morning at a forum sponsored by CARE and The New Republic dedicated to ending gender-based violence here and around the world. Thank you for all you do on behalf of survivors like myself and murdered loved ones. Please do what you can to pass Erin's Law written by Erin Merryn in California requiring schools to include sexual abuse education and reporting in the curriculum in grades K-12. For too long schools have swept this vital issue under the rug and retaliated against those who report incidence. This bill will not permit them to keep secret reports of abuse and students will know they can seek guidance and protection from the perpetrators of these heinous crimes.
Anna, Los Angeles

Thank you so much for everything you do. I am 62 now and happily divorced for 35 years. Getting out of that trap was the best thing that ever happened to me. It is important to keep protecting women from the violence. And I am glad to see you are still doing that.
Cherie, Oakland

Thank you for sending me the text of your speech. I am very grateful to you for leading the way in this important matter. I wish you continued success in your efforts in putting an end to these horrible crimes.
Barbara, Daly City

We must first stop violence against women in our nation before we try to influence other countries. Right now they laugh at us because we cannot keep our own house clean. Let's clean up our own act and be that shinning beacon not only in word but also fact to the rest of the world. The simple fact remains that there are many other places in the world where violence against women is almost non-existent.
George, Brea

All i can say is thank you. You'd think that in the 21st century this would no longer be an issue.
Cheryl, Studio City

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Californians respond to my message on Protecting All Women from Domestic Violence (07/25/2012):

Thank you for you continued support of Women’s issues. We are all in this battle together & I appreciate you standing up against the misogynists in Congress!!!
Penelope, Grass Valley

Thanks Barbara Boxer for all you do in the area of protecting women who are abused by supporting legislation which helps and/or supports prevention and intervention. We need more consequences for abusers - our state has moved us back 10 years in the legislation and laws that now allow victims to be revictimized by courts who make her face her abuser or they won't prosecute. So sad that we worked so hard to move forward and laws keep us down and back 10 years.
Kathie, Panorama City

Thank you for your unwavering support of the renewal and strengthening of the Violence Against Women Act. I am proud that you represent me in the Senate and that you have consistently represented the best of California.
Angela, Oakland

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1963 March on Washington

Californians respond to my message on Keeping Faith with the Dream:

Your email about the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington was well-written and poignant. Thank you for working so hard on behalf of all Americans.
Marianne, Venice

Thank you for your public service. I am concerned with the "new" racist conditions now "law" to allow voting, especially in the southern states. I am an immigrant who loves this country and I strive to serve the poor. Without the right to vote, we as a people deprive our country of its very blood supply. Please continue your good work. "WE SHALL OVERCOME ONE DAY"
Julie, San Gabriel

I don't think anyone could have said what you said, in reference to the March on Washington and the words of Dr. Martin Luther King, as eloquently, compassionately and fervently as you have.
I agree that there is more to be done as all individuals, one by one, evolve at their own pace, not just in the United States, but as you previously indicated, in Russia as well. Sometimes it's difficult to understand how people, as individuals, could still lack empathy for those who are subjected to "hate" and remain void in compassion for those who suffer from NO 'human rights.'
However, while I believe your words conveyed the important message that we're not done evolving, not just in the United States, but in the entire world, the message of 'how far we've come' is a tribute to everyone who care about others, like you Senator Boxer and like me, like so many others who want everyone granted their human rights. You point out that there is hope and we must continue to believe in hope even when we feel so lost. I've gone on way too long when I simply wanted to say what a powerful, yet touching, letter you penned.
For me, it all boils down to 'love' of ourselves and 'love' of all others.
Michael, Valencia

Thank you, thank you. I am disappointed at the absence of comments by our other leaders in state and national government. Are we all intimidated by the Tea party. Senator, I was there on the ground that August [1963]. I was on my way to Africa to serve on the U.S. Peace Corps staff in Ethiopia. I had the youthful audacity to say to my Peace Corps colleague at that critical point in Dr Kings speech, that he had left his script and I said "the Brother is now speaking from the pulpit". Senator, thank you again for your sensitivity to these issues. However, the real question for us and, in particular members of the Congress and for our beloved country is, do we put this issue away for another year until the next March on Washington celebration or; can we expect some courageous leadership from our elected officials and others, over the year. Finally, we have many issues but, for me, at the top of the list is, the least expensive but most critical one is the soul of America. How much louder can you say that than what the March on Washington said to us or how louder can Dr King scream it from his voice?
Jay, Columbia

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Human Rights in Russia

Californians respond to my message on Russia’s Attack on LGBT Human Rights:

Thank you for your email regarding civil rights in Russia. I am a strong believer that the United States must speak out to encourage countries to protect basic human rights, in which I include sexual orientation. Over 70 countries in the world do not recognize these rights, and need to hear this message. Please continue to send it.
Justus, San Francisco

Wow! We are very impressed that you wrote that letter to Putin about repealing laws and policies that impact LGBT people negatively! Well done! And thank you for speaking up. You are the best! We knew that and you have proven it once again.
Mark and Terri, San Diego

Thank you once again for being such an untiring advocate for human rights and for the oppressed. I was heartened by your wonderfully articulate letter to President Putin about the ceasing repression of LGBTQ people and their voices in Russia.
Kevin, Laguna Beach

Of course I agree with your letter. However, we no longer have the moral right to hold other countries accountable for their violations of human rights when our record is so dismal. We torture, kill, have secret prisons, Gitmo, and we no longer respect the privacy rights of our citizens. With Manning getting 35 years for disclosing our countries criminal acts and Snowden hiding in Russia for the same, you need to focus on our own shameful record.
Wayne, Santa Monica

I think very highly of you and that you're basically well informed and your heart is in the right place. However, I believe you have been misinformed about what Russia's law, restricting LBGT rights, really says. The law, from what I understand, restricts LBGT adults from forcing their views on children. That's what is being distorted in our media.
Thank you for your time,
Gilles, Santa Barbara

I was glad to see you write something opposed to Russia's anti-LGBT law, policy, and culture, but your response is not enough. Please mmediately introduce a bill requiring the United States to pull out of the Sochi Games. The new Russian law is similar to the Nuremberg Laws. We know what those laws led to. In fact, already, Russians carry out anti-LGBT pogroms and other atrocities almost weekly.
Mike, Santa Monica

As the daughter of a Hungarian holocaust survivor and the mother of a gay son, thank you for your letter to the Russian President. Growing up I often heard stories about how the war on jews began in the very early days before WWII and what is happening in Russia today mirrors those events. If we as a society cannot learn from the past we are not only destined to repeat them but should be ashamed that we have not progressed farther.
Jacqueline, Mountain Center

I just read your message that you sent to Russia about their treatment of gay people, and I want to thank you for writing that letter. It makes an impact, and I think that what you wrote was perfect!
Ed, Oakland

Thank you for taking the initiative to set Russian President Putin straight, no pun, on how his treatment of non-straight persons is just plain wrong. We should go further and pull out of the Olympics, and request that all domestic advertisers do the same. Thanks for taking a stand, thanks from a straight husband and wife with a lesbian daughter who has found her happiness and has become a full mensch.
Philip, Laguna Hills

Thank you, Senator Boxer, for urging Vladimir Putin not to legislate against LGBT people. It makes no sense unless he is ingratiating himself with a very conservative segment of the Russian population to bolster his sagging popularity.
Donata, San Francisco

I am very concerned about freedoms in Russia. I am much more pertinently concerned about freedoms at home in the United States, where democracy seems to be eroding rapidly. I hope what I am hearing in the media is incorrect. I hope we are not spying on each other and institutionalizing "security" over liberty and suspending habeas corpus and gutting the Bill of Rights and things like that. The documents about the founding of our country, the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution, are almost entirely about preventing tyranny in our nation. Please do your utmost to protect our freedoms. Please lead us in not yielding to fear and in owning the power that we have as citizens to keep our country free. After that, we can talk about freedom in Russia.
Alan, Berkeley

I am a strong environmentalist and liberal, but I disagree with your direction on this. America needs to not impose our current joy in supporting LGBT desires on other nations. I don't see you making the same push for gay rights in Muslim nations because it just doesn't fit their culture and religious heritage. I'm strongly against this. I request your reconsideration of this stance.
Nathan, Santa Barbara

I had surgery in Bangkok last November. Naturally I am very interested in LGBT rights and I appreciate your support and service to the nation. Some nations have further to go than others, but our own could do much more. It is fact that the majority of people support our rights and it is increasing rapidly. I am very well accepted in our 55+ community so my age group too is "evolving" rapidly. I am much happier now and I wish I could have transitioned when I was younger. It is a biological condition caused by variations of hormonal conditions in the womb prior to birth so surgery should be included in medical coverage. Again, thank you for your continued support of positive change for our society.
Billie Rene, Apple Valley

I am not gay, but I feel that gays and lesbians deserve all the rights of any other people.
Stephanie, Santa Barbara

Thank you for writing to President Putin in support of equality for all, and respect for human diversity.
Jennifer, Fort Bragg

How would you like it if the Russians start sticking their nose into our life stile and views.
There is enough to be done to improve the life of Americans, instead of being a busy body and sticking your nose in to something that the Russians despise. It is their country, their point of view, and their business, not yours/ours.
Joe, Riverside

Maybe we should be pointing out to the IOC that that Russia should not be able to use international stage to promote fascism as the Olympic committee let happen in 1934 in Berlin. after last nights proclamation about banning all protests at the Olympic site, is just an reminder that things are going to be nasty next winter in Sochi. the IOC will not be able to ensure the safety of its athletes and visitors and should serious look at moving them to another venue. I am tired of hearing that the reason for not moving it is about "money" commitments when human dignity and safety are at risk.
Edward, San Francisco

I think you have more important things to do than worry about what Russia is doing in their own country. Trying to impose your own morals on another country is silly.
Chris, Santa Barbara

Thank you for writing a letter to Russian President Putin regarding Russia's laws that are anti LGBT rights. You have always been very supportive of LGBT equality and I continue to appreciate all you have done regarding it.
Lorna, Thousand Palms

Thank you for Always Standing up for what is right. I expect nothing less from you and want you to know how much you are appreciated.
Julie, Laguna Niguel

Thank you for taking a stand for the LGTBQ community in Russia and all who might be participating in the upcoming Olympics. It makes me proud and glad that you are the senator from my state.
Leah, San Jose

Your letter to President Putin is commendable. It is my hope that the athletes representing the United States, and perhaps athletes from other nations, will somehow incorporate the rainbow flag in the opening ceremonies, either as a patch on or a design in their uniforms or as a second flag, below the national flag leading the delegation. As an African American I am hopeful that these Winter Olympics will do for Putin what the Olympics [of 1936] did for the German leader of that time - demonstrate, for much of the world, the vacuity of his thinking.
Kenneth, Oakland

I just wanted to send a quick note to say thank you once again for working to promote human rights not just in our country but around the world. Your continued leadership in pushing for equal rights and justice for the LGBT community is greatly appreicated. I thank God that you are my Senator.
Elizabeth, San Diego

I support your letter to Putin calling for human rights for all people, including LGBT. This is a frightening development in a country which has a history of oppressive dictatorships.
Roberta, Alameda

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Student Loans

Californians respond to my message on A Bad Deal for Students:

Thank you for standing with Elizabeth Warren and Jack Reed on this issue. I believe that we need to guarantee very affordable student loans to ensure that all students have educational opportunites regardless of their financial status.
Kathy, Diablo

Thank you so much for standing up to this very misguided legislation. I knew I could count on you to support Elizabeth Warren's bill. We should be trying to assist students to go to college but not by getting them into deep debt before they ever graduate and get jobs.
Lorraine, Woodland Hills

I agree, students need affordable higher education. We have 4 kids and know the rigors of applying for financial aid and loans. One is an MD and those loans are steep! I read in todays paper that California has a new UC president and her salary is twice the amount of our governor and there are almost as many employees as students. Wow. Maybe if that was balanced out a little better the tuition wouldn't be so steep.
Donna, Carpinteria

I'm surprised by your opposition to the student loan deal. It was negotiated to be tied to 10 year treasury rates (which is what it costs the government to borrow the money to lend to the students) and to be as close to revenue neutral as possible. Wanting lower rates means relying on a tax increase so tax payers subsidize the difference.
Eric, Mountain View

Senator Boxer, thank you for your efforts in trying to make education more affordable for those who do not qualify for grants. My 7.5% interest loan from going back to earn an MBA is now doubled due to interest. The laws for refinancing require an 18% fee and prohibit lowering the interest rate. Trying to do the right thing by entering a repayment program has cost me $18K, twice. My first agreement was ignored after I made nine thousand dollars in payments, but the govt agency was still able to charge my account the $18k fee. None of my payments up to now count toward the ten year limit rule. I will be paying my loans until I'm over 70, while also paying for my son to attend college. Did you know, a British national's college education is free? It seems our govt. penalizes tax payers' efforts to further their education w/ such high interest rates.
Marion, Bakersfiled

Senator Boxer, who was the one(s) responsible for not signing the bill at keeping the existing student loan as they are now, acceptable and payable. Was it the Republicans? Wouldn't doubt it. I was just about to put in for another student loan, but I also have a $10,500 active loan in place but with this fiasco I'm not going to put in for it and wind up paying $85,000 in interest. I'm within 3 classes [of] getting my degree but won't be able to go to school because I subsist on a paltry VA pension check. Are the Republicans trying to destroy our college school system?
Juan, Long Beach

Being of Bolivian decent and coming to this country at the young age of 5 back in 1963 with my mother and two brothers was a huge risk for us as a family, but what my mother had counted on is that with hard work and determination we as a family would have, more of an opportunity here in the US. My mother worked hard and learned english while we went to many different schools some bad some good. My mother struggled most of our lives trying to give us the best life possible, we grew up not having much but did ok. Living in Marin County since i was 11 was the best and safest place we could have ever lived in, my mom with her hard work ethic somehow BOUGHT a home in Fairfax after we had lived in apartments for most of our life here in CA. The reason i tell you my story is that since i was a little girl i knew that without my moms hard work and love and resoect for this country i would not have turned out to ne who i am today nor not met my wonderful husband of 30yrs. We have been blessed to have two wondeful children who are now adults working and following our steps much like i followed my moms. I unfortunaltely did not attend college back in the 70 s after graduating high school, i was somehow blessed to find work in advertising without having even an AA. We know now that this is NOT the case any longer especially with the economy the past 5yrs.After raising my own children being fortunate to stay home and work part time i had always hoped that my own two kids would go off to college and have the careers that they each wanted. Well thats not what happened completely, my daughter from the time she was very young was a very bright child (gifted) and had loved school and learning, we as parents were so thrilled to see her plan her future and have such goals. Her dream since she,was 6 was to be a doctor. She did very well in school and continued to make plans to study medicine, so she was planning on going off to college. Well what happened soon after high school,is why im writing you, i had gone back to work full time we had two incomes and so we thought we could afford college knowing that our daughter was going to be thr FIRST to attend in our entire family! We could not be happier nor proud, well being that we have no control over what happens in life i was injured and ahve not been able to work since 1995. We have been struggling since our daughter bless her continued with college she tried going to JC but then wanted to attend USF so terribly so we supported her and she continued with her love for in medicine. USF at that time was failling in giving her the BEST education and professors that she fell behind in her school work, dealing with her loans and now the reality of changing her major rather quickly in order to graduate she now is in DEBT with 150,000 all for a major in History!! HOW does this happen? How does a well know private college NOT provide the BEST?? For us to be co-signers on this loan it means we,live with a nightmare for our daughter its disgust and such disappointment! She HATES the even mention of going bsck to college, she is struggling with taking ANY job in order to pay OFF this incredible LOAN that is destroying our lives. Coming to this country and always being an honest hard working tax payer I have to agree with her and wished she had NEVER attended college. College is for the WEALTHY we are NOT wealthy we live on one income since 1995 my husband works hard to keeps us comfortable. HOW can you ask us to even pay MORE on these student loans?? This is already killing our daughter she wakes up thinking LOAN goes to bed thinking LOAN 24/7 365 LOAN!! To have this HUGE DEBT overmher head worries us as parents. Had she been a doctor with this loan i would not be writing you. This country is all about oportunity not about killing our new grads with such a HUGE debt all due to wanting to LEARN and be productive tax paying citizens much like our parents!! I never believed in Bankrupcy BUT i no longer have respect for the education system that is destroying our future students that graduate and have such a BURDEN DEBT when starting their new life. i hope you can somehow speak for the many families that are suffering TODAY all due to STUDENT LOANS THAT ARE KILLING US with so much stress!!
Susana, Novato

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Californians respond to my message on Stopping the Rate Hike on Students (07/09/2013):

I graduated from college in 1963. I cannot imagine how students can take on this onerous burden of multiplied student debt!  I'm firmly in your camp on this one, Senator Boxer.
Virginia, South San Francisco

Please stop the raise on student loans. Students are having a hard time finding jobs, let alone paying off their debt. To raise the interest rate is a slap in the face of these students.
Jeannette, Pacifica

I happen to be a student loan recipient with a $10,500 loan. I'm also a U.S. Air Force Veteran (circa 1960s) and I find myself perplexed as to what the reason of raising the student loan to 6.8% from the 3.4% it had been is going to break me. Reason I state that is because I only subsist on a meager social security check, and it's not much. This action to raise the student loan rate will seriously hurt thousands of fellow students all over the U.S. In addition, jobs are not exactly wide open, many students who graduate are finding it quite difficult to find a good paying job, let alone pay for the necessities of life. As a footnote, I'm well into my late 60s and while I have manage to graduate with 2 career certificates I'm only 3 classes away from my Associate Degree in computer science. This action is really disgusting and not fair at all. Sign me out as confused and sad.
Juan, Long Beach

I am so disappointed that this country has decided that "ignorance is bliss" works well for those plutocrats looking to sew up their power. By upping student interest rates, they sadly ensure that fewer persons with little money get to attend colleges, thus further weakening our society and the ability to move up in the world. With the doubled student interest rate, we find that a second mortgage is a better solution for our son. What does that say about this country's interest in education? For shame!
Kathy, Diablo

I ask that you vote for the reduction in the Student Loan rates.  My son and his wife, both have student loans. On top of the costs of living, they get by but if the increase remains, they may have difficulties.  They live in Tulare, California, splitting the difference in their drives. She works, as a teacher in Earlimart and he is a public library assistant in Hanford, California.
Again, vote DOWN this increase of student loan rates.
Kenneth, Chula Vista

How can the senate kick down the students even harder.  No jobs for them and now the interest in their loans is going to double?  Is college only for the rich ?
Juan, Bonita

Thank you for your efforts in keeping education costs affordable. As with everything, keeping the essentials affordable is a huge priority. But, having a sound education makes a difference.
Scott, Laguna Niguel

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Trayvon Martin

Californians respond to my message on Justice for Trayvon Martin:

Thank you for your letter to Holder requesting further investigation of the Trayvon Martin tragedy by the Justice Department. I feel strongly that we cannot set a precedent in this country that allows armed, untrained people who are unaccountable to any professional or legal standard of conduct to pursue vigilante acts based on their perceptions and preconceptions and then to claim self-defence to erase the devastation of their actions. Every person, not just those who might be racially profiled, are at risk in such a system. We have police and licensed security companies that operate with training and under legal restraints, albeit with many problems. While I find vigilante acts a deplorable violation of the rights of any victim, we need to take the actions that are possible under our civil rights laws to impose some enforceable limitations on those like Zimmerman who take it into their own hands to judge, pursue, and provoke innocent individuals based on racial profiling. I would like to see justice done in this case and thank you for your efforts.
Nina, Los Angeles

Thank you for sending your thoughts and protest concerning the outcome of the Trayvon Martin trial. I too believe that there is more to explore regarding the sustenance of human righs and civil law. The shadow that this event casts over our country is dark and very real. We must not allow this type of action and the thought process that creates it to remain unanswered.
Matthew Beachy, Ben Lomond

I feel u r wrong. The media has wrongly tried Mr Zimmerman and u r doing the same thing. The evidence does not want a conviction as the jury rightly determined. Let it go. U are on the verge of losing my respect We may never know the complete facts of this case and it is time to let it go.
Roland, Norwalk

Thank you for sending that letter.
There was absolutely no excuse for killing Travon!!
(Talk about the need for Gun control!!!)
I thought the jury selection was way off track...
no blacks, Hispanics, men, etc....
I am an 80 year old white woman who saw injustice unfold before our eyes!
Shirley, Santa Barbara

Thank you for pursuing this issue. This miscarriage of justice cannot be ignored.
John, San Pedro

The kid was a 17 year old chip on the shoulder street fighter. He tried beating up a man he thought he could whip. The mans nose was broken, he received cuts to the back of his head as a result of having his head pounded on the cement sidewalk. He had the right to defend himself and I firmly believe he was in fear for his life. The kid had no right to jump Zimmerman.
Roger, Santa Rosa

Thank you for supporting the justice dept investigation of this horrible case. I studied the DNA and other physical evidence, and it all points to the same conclusion: Zimmerman is not telling the truth about what happened that night. Far from it. I respect juries -- but I grew up in Alabama in the 60s, so I know, all too well, just what juries can do. And I can't figure out why the prosecution made so many blunders. Anyway, many thanks -- I am so happy that you are my senator, and just wanted to show my support for your statement.
Beth, Rancho Palos Verdes

G.Zimmerman was tried by a jury of his peers and found innocent of the charges. Just because many people do not agree with the juries finding does not mean that "we the people" should bastardize our justice system. I do not want one more penny of MY tax money spent on trying to get what some call justice for some people who do not agree with the verdict. You did not sit on that trial nor did I so we should not be "judging" Zimmerman from afar! We have a system of jury trial in our country...if we do not agree with the verdict we might as well call it a day and do away with the jury trial and just call everybody guilty as charged and punish them based on popular opinion.
Darrel, Sun City

I wholeheartedly agree with your stance on further investigation needed in the case of Florida vs George Zimmerman. No one, especially a minor should fear for his life while walking where it is assumed they should not be. Civil rights violations occur to minorities at a greater rate than other populations. I know the attitude of "suspicious" behavior is often interpreted to teens in general and to teens of color especially. After 20 years in the high school classroom, teens reported ill treatment on the streets, in local malls and in neighborhoods for just being with other teens (a group)or because they didn't look like their surroundings expected them to be seen.
Teens by nature are insecure and any act they interpret as intimidation calls up the most negative in them and for a teen male a defensive posture can be the first reaction. This was a case of a grown man on a mission against a minor without the ability to make sense of a dangerous situation. It was an unequal battle to begin. This tragedy happened because the violence of a weapon came into play. The law was seen to have been able to uphold Zimmerman however, the morality of the situation is another matter. A review of a civil rights violation may bring a needed justice to this horrific event.
Alice, Costa Mesa

The Jury has rendered their decision. Everyone should take that as is and keep their opinions to theirselves. This country would be a lot better off if some people would keep their noses out of things. People wouldn't care or go any farther, in the system, if the person was white.
Mr. Martin got a fair trial, let it be.
Don, Grass Valley

Thank you for your message to the justice department on this case. It appears that on this case, as well as on much that is happening currently with the current supreme court to the jurors on this case, this country is being taken back to a time when "minorities" (those not caucasian males), but, women and persons who did not fit either the gender or ethnicity of being a caucasian male, had NO rights.
Beatrice, San Diego

Do what you can with what is legally correct. A lot of people are hurting as if he was there on relative. The people want closure. Thank you for your concern. This cannot happen again. That Zimmerman got away with murder.
Terry, Long Beach

Our justice system did its job. Evidence was submitted and the jury came back with a verdict based on what was presented. Now ALL the politicians and racists want to go after Zimmerman on what would be considered double jeopardy. Why don't you stick to your job as a Senator and stay out of this. This is a State issue, not a federal one.
Robert, Huntington Beach

Unfortunately this brings up the ever present question of 'what if the color code was reversed'. I cannot believe that someone who has stalked someone with a gun and then killed that person who was unarmed!?! What were the jurors thinking?
Lena, Calistoga

The Trayvon Martin tragedy is one that occurs hundreds if not thousands of times each day across this country and is not exclusive to young black men. Young black women are also victims as are young Hispanic men women, Asians, whites and LGBTQ youth. It is my understanding that the DOJ looked at this incident a year ago and decided not to pursue charges against Zimmerman because they could not prove that Zimmerman was racially motivated. Instead of worrying about Global Warming you and your Congressional colleagues should work towards Liberty and Justice for all.
Barbara, Redwood City

I am very sorry to see that you are joining the ranks of thousands of other citizens who don't think that a jury verdict doesn't stand for anything anymore. By wanting the Justice Dept to get involved, you show me that you already had Zimmerman convicted without having been on the jury! This is not something I expect from the person representing me in the Senate!!
Pieter, Turlock

Thank you for expressing your concern to the U.S. Department of Justice on this matter and for speaking on behalf of all citizens who are subject to the various injustices perpetrated over the course of devious, malevolent and ignorant acts of others.
John, San Jacinto

Due process was served, the Jury made its decision, the same way that years ago a similar Jury found O.J. Simpson not guilty, and the evidence there was unquestionable.
Samuel, Foster City

While I agree and appreciate your stand on many things, I totally disagree with your suggestion that the DOJ consider Civil charges against George Zimmerman. We as a nation have had enough of this trial. A jury of his peers found him not guilty and we need to honor our judicial system.
Kathryn, Simi Valley

This case was a travesty of justice. Zimmerman was clearly guilty. Against orders - he followed, stalked, and then killed an unarmed teenager. He most certainly violated Trayvon Martin's civil rights and for that he should suffer the consequences. I urge the Justice Department to take up this case so that there will be some justice for Trayvon.
Denise, Hermosa Beach

Thanks for supporting the effort to have the Justice Department review this case. Trayvon's civil rights were definitely violated and he was a victim of racial profiling. I really feel bad for his parents. After this case, I really worry about my son. I feel as though Trayvon was defending himself from Zimmerman. Mr. Zimmerman should have been charged with pre-meditated murder because he had a gun and left his vehicle to pursue Trayvon after the police advised him not to do so.
Sharline, Oakland

As a white woman married to a black man with three "black" sons, I fear for their safety. I hope you are successful in seeking some justice.  
Cynthia, San Lorenzo

Your e-mail suggesting that the Zimmerman trial was not an acceptable resolution is inappropriate. As our elected federal official, you should be prioritizing our safety.
As your constituent I want you to prioritize the basic responsibilities of government, like public safety. If you and your fellow legislators continue to push criminals out of the justice system, people like Mr. Zimmerman will continue to feel the need to take the law into their own hands.
Paul, Newman

Once again you have made me proud to be a Californian and I am proud that you are my Senator. I agree that we should not settle for the verdict in the Zimmerman case. A serious injustice has been done and these injustices will continue to be done as long as this ridiculous law stands. People will see the outcome of Mr. Zimmerman's trial as a go-ahead to kill people because they are homosexual, mentally ill, a different skin color, a different religion, from another country, documented or not, getting an abortion or not, and so on. It can't be allowed.
Simone, Helendale

As a father I feel for the Martin and Zimmerman family, both have lost much and have to live with this tragedy. Unfortunately I feel people along with some media and government officials insist on changing the juror’s verdict and getting revenge. I urge you to look and laws that could be changed and minimize the possibility of this happing again. I don’t think the DOJ should pursue charges because of outside influences.
Will, Bonita

As you said in your email, "the jury has spoken". This is NOT a federal case as local, state, and FBI investigators have said. Do NOT play petty politics with something this important. There is a reason our Constitutions gives specific powers to the Federal government and retains all of the rest with the States.
Harvey, Murrieta

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Gina McCarthy

Californians respond to my message on Senate Confirms EPA Administrator:

Thanks, Senator Boxer for your support to ensure Gina was confirmed at EPA Director. Really appreciate you and your continued support - protecting our environment. As we say in Spanish, Mil Gracias!
Lupe, Oxnard

I just got your announcement that a new EPA head has been selected. I REALLY HOPE she'll do a good job for us. Ask her to view the two Gasland documentaries, she'll be horrified and WANT to take the Fraking industry to task and force them to clean up their messes and discontinue their process. It's just plain BAD for the Country/World.
George, San Jose

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Immigration Reform

Californians respond to my message on Immigration Reform Is the Right Thing for California:

Thank you Senator Barbara Boxer for your effort pro Immigration Reform. It is necessary to keep pushing the House to approve it. It is necessary to deliver justice to the millions of undocumented immigrants who had worked hardly and honestly to earn the bread for them and their families.
Augusto, Long Beach

Thank you so much for taking such a strong stand on this important issue! Am just learning how important it is for California--but also believe it is the right thing to do! I have taught in an elementary school with many undocumented parents--everyone is just trying to do the best for for their families! I like the comment that says we have two signs on our border--Help Wanted and Keep Out. this problem needs to be fixed! Thank you for your efforts in the Senate and to encourage House to consider. It seems with the economic benefit they should!
Margare, Walnut Creek

It's not going to be easy but we have to keep working hard on this issue.  
Narciso, Anaheim

I am writing to urge you to VOTE NO on the so called revision of the Immigration Law. From what I have heard and read of the proposed is a slap in the face of all Immigrants who came to this Great Country of The United States of America, back to my Grandparents. I went through the Military Channels to get married to marry a New Zealand and then she had to go through the Government Channels to be able to come to the United States as a Resident Alien married to an American Serviceman. She became a naturalized citizen. She is now deceased and if she were still alive she would be very discouraged with this travesty that has been submitted.
Robert, Sacramento

I beg to differ on your opinion. While I will agree that some sort of immigration reform needs to be done, I take offense to the fact that my elected officials continue to reward criminals. Millions of individuals have come to the United States the correct way, waiting for long periods of time to legally enter. Millions more have thumbed their noses at our laws, entered the United States illegally which is a crime, and have obtained work in the United States which is also a crime.
Christopher, San Diego

Thank you for your work on behalf of Comprehensive Immigration Reform. Your efforts are much appreciated.
Camilla, Redding

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Californians respond to my message on Senator Boxer: A Nation of Immigrants (06/27/2013):

I am so grateful that the Senate today passed the Comprehensive Immigration Reform Bill. It was the right and humane thing to do. I am especially pleased that now families will not be separated and that the young people who have been here all their lives and graduated from high school and college will be able to pursue full citizenship and really contribute to the welfare of the country. I am also an immigrant from Canada and came here in 1954 when pursuing one's citizenship was not difficult.  Thank you so much for what you are doing. And now if the House of Representatives will follow suit, all will be very well.
Annamaria, San Francisco

Your parents were immigrants and so were mine. They came to this country to find a better way of life. I assume that your parents were legal immigrants as were mine. Those now living in the shadows (not too far in the shadows since many of them are opemly attending our schools and universities) will be rewarded for being illegal.
Quintin, Palm Desert

Thank you so much for the great news we all here appreciate it as I have said before this immigration reform will benefit us all.  I do know you have been hard at work for this issue as well as many others and let us keep pushing for this to happen for the good of our country.
Carlos, Moorpark

Congratulations for being an important part of the struggle to approve the Immigration Reform in the Senate. As an immigrant and proudly naturalized American citizen, I thank you for your contribution to achieve this important step in the process of the Reform. I have been defending this overhaul for several years by writing letters, participating in demonstrations, etc. I hope the House also approves the reform.
Augusto, Long Beach

I urge you to vote no on the so-called immigration reform. As a husband and father of legal immigrants, I’ve spent $1000’s of dollars and years of government red tape to help them become citizens. If you are going to allow people that arrive illegally a small fine and tax payer finance English classes, it is an insult to those who follow the rules. In addition, the H1B is a joke. It is bad enough that the US government has helped shipped manufacturing jobs oversea in ‘dumb-trade’ treaties, but why is this government bringing in cheap IT workers to displaced American IT workers. You as our Senator leaders are supposed to do what is best for this country; I urged to stop pandering to illegal alien groups and multi-national corporations and put the American people first.
James, Winnetka

Thank you for your concern for our immigrants. Please show the same concern for our unborn citizens who need your protection from abortion.
Frank, Buena Park

i am 2nd generation of italian immigrants and i am thrilled that we will move on for our 11,000,000 undocumented persons. i live in the central valley and have also lived in tucson, in the heart of these good, hard working people.
Wendy, Fresno

I strongly urge you to vote against the current immigration reform legislation. This country cannot afford another 1000+ page form of legislation that you, as my senator have not read and do not fully understand. Its implications on our economics as well as the way upstanding immigrants achieve the greatest form of freedom in the world is unknown to you and I'm sure a majority of your colleagues that plan to give it a free pass. Real reform must be done over time and in smaller sections in order to avoid something so gargantuan that it allows billions of dollars in spending to slip in undetected and unrelated to the subject of the legislation. A bill so large that my senator cannot in good faith, say that her decision to vote yes on it fairly represents the views and desires of her constituents is a bill that should not pass. Americans do want immigration reform but they want it done in a way that respects its current citizens and enforces the most rigorous of challenges for those who desire citizenship. The title of 'American Citizen' is something that should not be given away freely to those who choose to break our laws.
My heart is torn for those who came here wanting a better life for their children so much that they jeopardized the greatest gift this country has to offer. Should they be proud of their parents or ashamed?
Ryan, Santa Rosa

WE, or our ancestors were all immigrants at one time. Including the first nations; they just got here a little earlier. But this 2013, not 1813; with current economy and unemployment, we do not need to cater to corporate desires for cheap labor; let them pay a living wage (good law to sponsor??). We do not need computer people from India; plenty of American kid who would like to; until the republicans priced them out of an education. Heaven forbid some poor kid compete with the Bushe's or Rockefeller's kids. Even worse if they win !
Charles, Rio Nido

Poem: Thank you
I am the immigrant, who makes the best clothes,
But I am naked
I am the immigrant, who builds mansions,
But I cannot live in them
I am the immigrant, who sows and harvests,
But I have nothing to eat
I am the immigrant, who cleans and washes,
But I am in the way
I am the immigrant who sets up tables, serves to eat, and cleans at the best parties
But I am not invited
That immigrant is you, your father, your mother, your brother, your sister, a loved one
Daniel, Santa Ana

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Californians respond to my message on Reforming Our Broken Immigration System (06/07/2013):

Thank you for your strong support for comprehensive immigration reform, particularly the Dream Act and the path to citizenship for all undocumented immigrants in this country. As you know, this is the most important piece of legislation before this Congress.
Judith, Santa Barbara

Keep up the pressure. We need immigration reform. I am a school principal and I see over 400 students born here whose parents are illegal. The families want to participate at school and their community but are afraid to be noticed and possibly arrested and deported. As I have sadly seen too often. I have seen excellent students who have been denied scholarships and youth summer employment because they are not citizens. You have got to get true reform done and soon.
Frederick, Stockton

It's time for Congress to stop pussyfooting around on this issue. It's time to face the facts that those who are opposed to immigration reform just don't want "those Mexicans" coming here. It's so racially biased that it's not funny. I note that not one person in Congress has spoken out about the not-so-hidden racial and ethnic agenda here. Let's be honest and stop all this nonsense. This constituent is sick to death of all this back-and-forth with nothing to show for it except more wrangling.
Richard, San Francisco

I would like to believe that the proposed legislation would result in all the good things for the American economy that you mentioned. Why would the ones in the dark emerge to work when they get so much gravy from American taxpayers now? AND does current proposed legislation include sending convicted criminals back to where they came from? I DO agree that those who were brought here as young children should be allowed to stay and become citizens - BUT there should be a time limit. If they have not achieved that goal in a reasonable amount of time, back they go! This is America, and I am tired of the constant increase of Spanish language signs and instructions and voting materials. All imigrants should be encouraged to learn English - not pandered to just to gain votes for the panderers!
Gloria, Kenwood

it has been a very long time since any member of the legistive house"s have even dareed to touch the subject of immigration and i am very happy that maybe we may make some real change and progress. i truly beleive that you may not be able to please everyone but we definetly have to start somewhere it is not going to go away so we might as well deal with it thank you for part in this on going debate.
Clara, Brawley

With all due respect, I urge you to vote against passing S 744. I am an immigrant myself, but strongly believe that before passing any comprehensive immigration reform, the borders have to be secured, and this has to be proven effective for some period of time. Please consider the number of US Citizens that can't find well paying employment, and passing any currently proposed immigration reform, will make these unemployed US Citizens compete for the few available jobs with millions of illegals.
Martin, Camarillo

Your speech resonated with me! I too am an offspring of immigrants. The story you shared is an inspirational one. Thank you!
Jennifer, San Diego

Our immigration system is a mess. I had the unfortunate need to use it once. I do believe there is not one computer in the whole system. My check was left laying on a desk somewhere for over six months! No action, it was returned to me as "stale". I complained to the Government Accounting office and got no reply. How can a government office accept money for a fee and not even cash the check? The entire system has to be redone from the mail room on.
Eleanor, Westminster

i support the dream act. i agree that it is a necessary first step to having a nation that acts, not just rhetorically speaks of, the freedom, equality, and justice on which we are founded. common sense shows that: building stronger families, not tearing them apart; good, not fearful, workers; educated, not deported, young people help to strengthen this country. we are all immigrants.
Dannye, Poway

Thank you for doing all you can to promote the Dream Act. I know a young woman, brought here as a young child from the Philippines, who wants to become a nun but until she can obtain permanent residence, she cannot. Meantime, she has received her two-year dream act card, is working, paying taxes, and going to community college. What is not to love about this and the contribution she will make to our nation if she can become a citizen? Immigration Reform cannot fail. It must pass while President Obama is in office or it may never make it.
Rosemarie, Culver City

Thank you for supporting immigration reform. As someone who works with the immigrant community, I see on a daily basis how important it is for our country. Please continue to support comprehensive immigration reform and a path to permanent residency and US citizenship for those who are here working toward a better life. It is unacceptable to tear apart families and separate children from their parents due to immigration issues.
Lisa, Los Angeles

I just watched the video of your speech on Immigration Reform. Thank you so much for your support of this very important issue. It is long overdue. I have seen first hand how immigrants have suffered and heard their stories of why they come. We have many young people who are outstanding citizens who will benefit from the Dream Act. Keep up your good work!!
Diane, Concord

You have failed us in our state in regards to immigration. You have not addressed the obvious problem plaguing CA. This past winter our schools were putting out buckets to collect the water leaking from the roofs because there was no funding to fix it. All the while we see time and again more and more funding going to southern part of the state to keep programs for illegal children running. I find it ridiculous that you put the responsibility on the tax payers who already pay too much into a corrupt system. Their parents brought them here and should take responsibility for that. We as tax payers have already paid for the education up to graduating high school and now you want to forgive their crime freely while allowing millions to destroy our system. You have had too long to fix the issue in CA and have not accomished much.
Jennifer, Herlong

As always you do not say what is wrong with the system that we have now. You do not say anything about protecting our borders so we don't have to do this again as we are having to do because you will not uphold the laws of 1986. You do not say anything about protecting American workers with stricter job enforcement with E-Verify. If you won't uphold the immigration laws that were put into place in 1986 why should we believe you will uphold these new laws?
Kirk, Upland

Bravo! House vote to deport DREAMERS very mean spirited. I know many children who were brought here, attended US schools and are as American as any citizen. They deserve a path to citizenship.
Samuel, San Clemente

Thank you, Senator, for your support of the immigration reform of our country. We do need smart brains, hard-working people and investment from all over the world. That's why we became and how we keep on being No. 1 and the only superpower in this world!
Taihe, Monterey Park

I am so sad and disgusted and yes, angry with the obstructionists in Congress who refuse to listen to reason from our President. His ideas make sense to us in this household, but where is the mercy? Where is the compassion to be found amongst our Congresspeople?
Jan, Palo Alto

I did listen to your speech on immigration reform. I do know you are a supporter of UAFA which would allow same-sex spouses of bi-national couples a chance at living freely as a permanent resident of the US. I did not hear you mention the fact that the Gang of 8 left this out of their plan. I heard references of family reunification and I hope you were including same-sex families in this category. I also heard you say how difficult it was for the Democratic Senators to get everything they wanted in the bill. That said, Same-Sex bi-national couples should not be sacrificed in the name of getting this bill passed. Sometimes we must stand on principle and in history, this is one of those times. Same-sex bi-national couples have suffered for decades and have been ignored during each and every administration. This is the first time we have not been ignored and yet, we are still being left behind. It's absurd.
Glen, Van Nuys

Your speech about "immigration reform" is entirely off target. What we need is equal ENFORCEMENT of our laws - including immigration. Rewarding those who broke our laws would be a reprehensible act. I trust you will reconsider your position and place those who desire to enter the United States through legal channels ahead of those who chose to break in illegally. This is the single most important issue in the country today with consequences for environmental protection and respect for law. I most emphatically urge you to vote AGAINST any immigration amnesty. It was an abject failure under President Reagan and would be a failure again.
Jim, Santa Rosa

We need you to start caring about us citizens and native americans. Bringing in more people just increases the problems we already have. Its time to find solutions to us job shortages (for citizens), us economic meltdown, us homelessness, us poverty and hunger, us citizens without medical coverage.
Dinda, San Diego

These immigrants don't belong here. We need a guest worker program badly. The parents are the ones who should be deported and if the children want to go with them, that's up to them. We have to educate them, they are populating our schools, we have to run expensive programs for them, not to mention the billions of dollars we spend on them for medical care. Our own citizens don't get all the services these people get. We can't go to any their country and get the services they get here. I had to see a doctor in Mexico and I had to pay for that. There's no free ride there and that is why they come here. The only thing we need is a guest worker program because our citizens don't what to do the work they do. They are lucky is they make $30 a week there. They can make $90 a day here. You figure out why they want to come here. You need to be informed.
Valerie, Sebastopol

Thanks for sending video related to immigration reform. Your message is appreciated well-stated. A retired school teacher, I have personal experience with the young population to whom you refer. You are however, forgetting a critical factor in any immigration reform legislation. Immigration debate must begin with the shameful history of actions of the U.S. government to acquire the southwest region, and the shameful disregard of treaty provisions after 1848. Any immigration bill that does not acknowledge this is DOA among the Mexican-American community; and, when we speak of illegal immigrants and Dreamer population we are speaking essentially of people of Mexican descent. If you persist in ignoring that factor, the "shadows" you refer to will remain. Illegal immigrants will forever distrust any law that requires them to be disclose their identity simply because there is no guarantee that the law will not be repealed in some future.
Richard, Kerman

I respectfully disagree completely with your speech and thoughts concerning illegal immigration and your support for the Obama bill. When is "illegal" legal? Why should I as a taxpayer foot the bill for an illegal's education, food stamps and welfare? Don't you recognize that this once great and productive state of California has slowly been retaken by the Mexicans? Our politicians, like you, sat in their ivory towers and looked the other way or saw this a means for cheap labor and lately as votes for the Democratic party. I am very siappointed what I see happening everyday in California.....and you want to make it worse.
Dennis, Laguna Niguel

I have been a devoted voter for both you and Feinstein for many years and am very proud to call myself and American and a democrat. I aboslutely do not support immigration reform. Illegals are illegals and deserve the same rights as we recieve in their countr! None! Why should legal U.S citizens who imigrated legally, like my parents, who pay their taxes support illegals and their kin. Please do your part for our country and protect our economy from the drag of any amnesty programs. Do not support amnesty or any path to citizenship for illegal immigrants! It is not right and it is not fair to your constiuents who are legal and trying to build their American dream.
Jared, Foster City

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Prop 8 and DOMA Rulings

Californians respond to my message on A Victory for All Our Families:

My partner and I have been together for 27 years, always wondering when we'd be recognized as "equal" citizens of our beloved country. Although we had a joyous commitment ceremony with friends in 1998, it wasn't and could never be the same as a legal marriage. I can't tell you how grateful I am for your unequivocal support of all issues related to our community. You are a true friend and I thank you from the bottom of my heart.
Lisa, El Cajon

Your willingness to stand for equal rights for LBGT citizens is appreciated in ways you could not comprehend. My wife and I were part of the 18,000 couples who married in California in 2008. We have been together for 17 years. It wasn't until today that the oppressive effects of bigotry on our lives was fully realized as the decisions of the SCOTUS brought me to tears of joy and a profound sense of belonging and validation. A weight was lifted. We are no longer second class citizens. We have more work to do for our brothers and sisters who live in states that prohibit same sex marriage. But today we have taken one giant leap forward. I am grateful for your continued support.
Tammie, Cool

Actually the main reason I am writing to you today is that when my daughter that I adopted when she was in Jr. high school let me and her mom know that she was gay it made me feel bad only because I understood how a lot of people did not treat them right and that worried me knowing how so many people looked down on them. I am very happy that people are changing the way they feel about gay people and I am glad that you understand how important the vote was for so many people.
Bob, Milpitas

Dennis and I appreciate all you have done to further equality. We have been a couple since 1975 and legally married in California in June of 2008. The struggle for equality isn't over, but a great victory occurred today. Thank you for your work to this end.
Arthur, Glendale

Thank you so much for all of your support over the years of my community. I was in tears yesterday after DOMA was thrown out, although now I understand only parts of it were? I am thrilled to have the same federal rights once I get married, but will I have all the same rights? Our work is not done until we ALL have equal rights in every state and I trust you will keep on fighting for us.
Jennifer, Los Angeles

Thanks so much for your help on this issue. It affects me personally. My partner I have waited almost 20 years for this!
Charles, San Diego

Now it's time to STOP DISCRIMINATING against single people. Please tell me what you will do to spare single individuals financial burdens that married people avoid just by being coupled.
Annette, Irvine

I respect the equality and dignity of those professing lgbt attractions. However, I do not and cannot accept the long standing tradition of marriage as being that between a man and a woman to be given a status of marriage to them. I voted for prop 8, and if on the ballot would continue to vote for marriage only between a man and woman. I know you do not agree, but just wanted to let you know that one of your constituents feels this way.
Jeanne, Garden Grove

Thank you for your support of equality for all persons who love each other and want to be married regardless of who that may be. My beloved brother whom I lost over 20 years ago had to keep his sexual orientation a closely guarded secret at work for fear of reprisal, would be so proud of the progress we as a society have come in the last few years. My husband and I also have a gay son of whom we could not be more proud. Knowing that he will be treated the same as any other citizen warms our hearts. Our son may never want to get married, but if he does he can and that is an amazing symbol of progress to us and many other accepting and supportive parents in this country. My husband and I have always chosen to be supportive and loving to our son in whatever life choices he has made. We love him beyond measure.
Jan, Redding

yes, crack the champagne. In my experience, most highschoolers see sexual orientation about as relevant as what their friends had for breakfast. It's sad to me that so many people wanted to stick to old traditions for purely emotional reasons. Hurray, we can finally ditch this and move onto something that actually helps us. It was clearly only a matter of time ...
Andrew, Los Gatos

My partner of 42 years and my self will take advantage of this wonderful event to make our lives together valid.
Jack, Lake Balboa

I'm really at a loss. Is the court telling me not to believe in what my bible says? I'm not a protester by any means. We took prayer out of the schools and the students are suffering for it, big time. What will be the long range effect of the court's ruling?
Joe, San Francisco

Thank you for your unwavering support for the rights of all people to have the right to marry. We truly appreciate you voting against DOMA in 1996 and your consistent fight to reverse DOMA ever since.
Robert, Berkeley

I had to write you and say; thank you for standing up for my right for equality, as well as thousands of LGBT men & women. I am a proud Gay Veteran of the U.S. Army that served my country for all. Now I stand proud of my service to my country and proud of my Senator.
James, San Francisco

God put Adam and Eve on this earth not Adam and Steve or Mary and Marie. I feel that the Supreme Court and You are wrong for striking down DOMA and supporting same sex marriage. The vast majority of this country and the Federal Government don't consider same sex marriage as legal and neither should you. They shouldn't receive the same benefits because times have changed or it's the right thing to do. Yes I have and have had friends that were gay, but I didn't support their life style then nor do I now. I mention it so you know my position isn't based on prejudice.
Ronald, Montclair

Thank you for your actions in '86 and for your confidence in your convictions today. I have several family members who will now, hopefully, be able to live lives inclusive of tall of the same rights that I have enjoyed as an American. When my faith in humankind gets shaky (and it has been lately) I will remember today for what happened in Washington DC, and in Texas.
Carol, Huntington Beach  

I cringe to hear that your spirit soars regarding the Supreme Court ruling on Prop 8 when the MAJORITY of the people you are supposed to represent voted in favor of Prop 8. You were not elected to represent your own personal opinions but rather the interests and opinions of those who elected you. We the people of California already have to do the job of the lawmakers we hire and pay to represent us through the Proposition system. Just as we have to tolerate the things our lawmakers do that we disagree with (the idea of a democracy) so we expect of our lawmakers to tolerate and represent us even if your personal opinion differs.
Sharon, Santa Cruz

I'm not known for my writing or public speaking skills, so this probably won't be a glamorous message, but I really wanted to thank you for supporting equal rights. Many of my friends are gay & have to struggle in ways straight couples dont through illness, death, & other circumstances. I breaks my heart to watch because they shouldn't have to. One of my best friends (who I've known for 13 years) talked to me about the idea of getting married for the first time last Wednesday though I've talked to him many times about marriage. He said he never breached the subject before because it was just a dream & it hurt too much. He is one of the greatest human beings I have ever met & deserves so much more than he asks for & more than I could ever give him. So, thank you for your actions & voice. You are helping make his & so so many other's dreams come true.
Shannon, San Luis Obispo

You may be happy about this development, but don't include the majority of your constituents in your celebration. This a Christian country, that follow moral, ethical and cultural standards established thousands of years ago. Whille no one disputes the right of a Homosexual to live in peace, we, the moral majority are of the opinion that homosexuality is evil, a sin, and totally unproductive to society. Your vociferous gay right stand, exclude and isolate you from representing your constituency.
Edward, Palm Springs

I just want to thank you for standing up for my rights. I have been with my partner for 27 years. We got married in 2008. We have both felt strange that our marriage was legal but yet other couples could not get married. And felt enraged that after helping each other through life's trials that we had no rights for federal survivor benefits. Last week still seems surreal to me still.
So, thank you very much Senator for all that you do.
Laura and Edna, Santa Clara

Sorry but I disagree with you regarding Prop. 8. It was voted on and passed by the people of this state. We get sore people like you that can’t accept the practicality that marriage is a sacred thing and is for a man and a woman. All the newspapers wrote articles supporting the gay issue and never once voiced an opposition to it. Shows how corrupt the papers are. If you say you are not in favor of it you are automatically labeled a bigot. I am not a bigot and do not support the courts decision. Gays are not discriminated against; they have the rights of others this has been rammed down our throats from day one. Now it is taken into our schools and rammed down their throats. As a former teacher gay clubs were set up on campus to council young people?..sorry but the councilors were lay persons and all I could see was a recruiting stand to guide adolescents into a gay life.
Chuck, Los Gatos

All I can say is: A giant step for mankind. I am not gay, but if I were, I would not want to be treated as a second-class citizen. It is about time.
Janis, San Rafael

I want to personally thank you for all of your support and effort in getting this issue of DOMA defeated. It, along with the decision on Prop 8 affects my partner and I tremendously.
Vance, Huntington Beach

What you have seem to have forgotten is that the majority of the people in the State of California voted to resend Prop 8 but with the finagling of the courts you and others have managed to get the courts to do what the citizens don't want. All you do is manipulate to get what you and a few like you want.
Joseph, Palm Springs

I am so glad my gay friends will be able to marry now (and yes, rights AND responsibilities!) and not be treated like second class citizens. As a straight person myself, I could never understand why we discriminated in the first place and am glad that's over!
Sherry, Silverado

My spouse married the first day it became legal to do so. I am happy to say that we are still happy and still love each other very much. we are however going on thirteen years of being together as a couple. We were the first couple to marry in Butte County. I an ecstatic that DOMA was repealed, that it was unconstitutional from the beginning.
Cappi and Michelle, Chico

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Californians respond to my message on Equal Benefits for All Our Families:

Thanks for all your efforts on our behalf. My partner and I were married in Palm Springs in the brief period when we could and it would be great to be able to protect him with some SSI if I go anytime soon. Since I'm close to 80 that tends to be on my mind and I'm especially grateful to you for all do.
Don, Cathedral City

My husband and I just got married yesterday, the first full day of renewed equality. We want to THANK YOU VERY MUCH for all your support and confidence through this time.
John and Lee, Los Angeles

I just wanted to thank you for you work on extending benefits and equality to the LGBT community. Last week's historic victory is huge for the momentum that will be needed to help the rest of the citizens in states that still discriminate. It is because of representatives like you that have continued to fight in congress to get things done. Thank you for your quick response to the need for social security survivor benefits to surviving family members whose marriage was not previously recognized.
Jennifer, Herlong

I think this is terrific. If America cannot stand for Equality under the law what can it stand for.
Jeanne, Venice

We appreciate all the hard work you doing to help extend Social Security Benefits for Same Sex Marriages, however those registered as Domestic Partners need to have the same protections. My Partner and I encourage you to work on reforming the Federal tax law to include not only same sex married couples but those register as domestic partners. We are planning on marrying now, but there is still the disparity of a recognized marriage when it comes to taxation. This is yet another hurdle for loving couples to surpass.
David, Colfax

My husband and I thank you for addressing Social Security benefits for married same-sex families.
Robert and Raoul, Los Angeles

I just wanted to take a moment to thank you for acting so swiftly for Social Security Death Benefits for same sex couples. It is an important step forward for equality.
Karen, Van Nuys

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Rental Car Safety

Californians respond to my message on Protecting Our Families from Unsafe Rental Cars:

I applaud your effort and thank you. Consumer protection is of prime importance to me and my family. No job creation can allay the detriment of corporate greed of which we seem to need constant vigilance.
Mira, San Diego

I want to Thank you and everyone who voted to pass this important bill, safety of rental car customers...this is a no-brainer! Too think that enterprise ignored the recall; is beyond comprehension and good Common sense. It would not take money to fix it!!!
Mark, Stockton

Thanks Senator for spearheading this new law.  So sad to hear of such a heart breaking loss of those two sisters. All due to either poor management or greed in business practices.
Dennis, Yucaipa

Car rental companies should comply with recall notices. The public trust car companies to provide safe vehicles for people and families. Renting or selling "recalled cars" is similar to putting people into a time bomb.
Linda, Cerritos

For safety of everyone, recalls of unsafe autos should be compulsory.
May, El Cerrito

We have more important issues that need to be addressed in our state:  Stopping government intrusion (ie NSA domestic spying, domestic drones, wasted border funds, lack of modern public transportation, and increased federal intrusion on legalized marijuana in California - these other "safety in rental cars" type issues should not be a priority while the other more important issues are swept under the carpet. For example what use is a safe rental car when the roads are in unsafe and deplorable condition - hundreds of freeway street lights are out making the off ramps unsafe etc. Let's get a grip!
Gregg, La Jolla

Thank you for getting this bill passed through the Senate. It's a shame that two young girls in their prime had to lose their lives so unnecessarily. It was such simple thing that could have been fixed at no expense to Enterprise.
Sandra, Camarillo

Thank you, Senator Boxer! This is a truly excellent bill, and I am hoping that it will succeed in its entirety.
Mike, Pleasant Hill

I received your email of 7/30 about a proposed law protecting us from unsafe rental cars. I am sorry to hear about the tragedy that prompted the bill, but seriously, is this bill one of your top priorities as our senator, that you make it the headline of your newsletter? I can think of a dozen issues that are FAR more important and affect MANY more of your constituents than this bill, and I would much rather receive emails from you telling us what you're doing about these issues. I respectfully urge you to focus your efforts on the much more urgent matters before our country.
Mark, San Ramon

A very wise and necessary piece of legislation!  Unfortunately someone had to die, but future deaths may be prevented.
Samuel, Westminster

It's nice to see that congress is doing something about rental car safety. Really? Is this the only type of law that Congress can pass these days? Aren't there more important things to worry about such as dealing with issues of global climate change, poverty, Wallstreet fraud, the economy, Jobs? Generally, I approve of the job you are doing as my Senator, but I am sick and tired of a "do nothing" Congress that seems only capable of passing a minor law involving rental car safety. I find it offensive and depressing that this is all the good news you can find to share with your constituents.
Chris, North Hollywood

Thank you so much for staying on top of this!!!
Geraldine, San Diego

With all the problems this country has, can't you find something important to work on. How about Immigration, the Economy, Unemployment, trouble in the Far East. Etc.  And all you have to worry about is Rental Cars
Leslie, Burbank

Thank you for pushing this common sense bill.
Michael, Malibu

Thank you for your email. I was not aware that car rentals were on the top of the list of citizen concerns. For some funny reason, I was thinking that the Americans who are losing 20% of their pay due to the sequester might be important, esp. since NO ONE in Congress gave up pay, or perhaps the illegal deals of the Wall Street groups, where no one went to jail, or maybe that illegals get free benefits that citizens can't have, or maybe health care, that is eating up our pay checks... and the list goes on.  The wrong list goes on... if car rental is far more important to you than the other items, I would beg you to return home and walk the streets and talk with people. It is likely no one will bring up car rentals.  I do appreciate all you have done over the years, but the priority list of how to care for the people of this country, is changing in a way that does not seem to serve more than a few.
Lynn, Diamond Springs

Thank you so much for passing this law about rental cars.
Elizabeth, Oakland

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Californians respond to my message on Protecting Consumers from Unsafe Rental Cars (05/09/2013):

My granddaughter & 2 of her friends were injured in a rental car. My granddaughter was severely injured. The accident happened in March of 2012 & she is still being treated for injuries incurred in the accident. This has to stop.
June, Santa Maria

Thank you for all of your hard work and for keeping in contact with your constituents so that we know what work you're doing in Washington, D.C. My heart goes out to the Houck family for the loss of their beautiful girls, but you've honored their memory by trying to prevent tragedies like this from happening again and other families from suffering such a senseless loss. Thank you for introducing legislation on our behalf.
Robin, San Francisco

I have just read about the rental car safety legislation you are helping with, and I wanted to Thank You from my heart for all the hard work that You do (and many more that you have done).
Pavel, Costa Mesa

No one or no family, should have to live such a horrible event in their lives. To lose a child or a parent is hard enough. But, to lose them in such horrible conditions, just because some company wants to make a buck. No Rental Company, No New Car Dealers or Used Car Dealer should get away with this . If the Rental Car Company had any knowledge of this and they continue to rent these cars, may God have Mercy upon their Souls.
Julie, Vista

Thank you Senator Boxer for proposing a bill to protect consumers from car rental agencies that fail to maintain their rental cars. My husband and I often rent cars to go on long trips to spare our car wear and tear. Once again thank you.
Leonor, Los Angeles

I hope you will consider more than just rental cars under safety recall. I rented a car at the San Francisco airport and headed north. We were halfway across the Golden Gate when I see other drivers waving at me. My friend rolled down her window to hear shouting. The tire on the back passenger side had completely shredded. I don't mean went flat, or broke. I mean literally nothing but a few threads of tire was left. Thanks to cooperation from drivers around me, I was able to get into the slow lane and pull off at the first turn I came to after getting across the bridge. The rental company refused to do anything to help us. It took hours using complete stranger's phone, before we finally managed to get someone to agree to come out. The next morning. This was Avis, in case you were wondering. I didn't sue because I didn't need the headache and we did survive with no injuries. But I will never drive an Avis rental again! And likely I'll refuse to be a passenger in one unless I have no choice. There needs to be basic requirements that safety checks be done each and every time a car is returned.
Joan, San Diego

Thank you, Senator Boxer, for working so hard to close the deplorable loophole that has allowed rental car companies to continue to rent out car models under recall. The heartbreaking loss of the 2 innocent, trusting young sisters who, while driving safely, were killed due to mechanical malfunctions in a car of a model under recall they had rented was a tragedy for their families and should never have happened. Their promise is lost to us forever but because of your work, other trusting renters stand a better chance of arriving home safely.
Patricia, Santa Cruz

I just want to thank you for ensuring safety of rental cars. I had not heard of this terrible accident. Thank you for staying informed and actively supporting your constituents.
Lizann Keyes, Santa Cruz

I support your efforts towards enacting legislation regarding rental car recalls.
Susan, Hawthorne

It seems like you could find better things to occupy the Senate's time than this.
Gary, Dinuba

Thank you for sponsoring this important act. Taking positions like this is one of the things that make you a legislator California and the rest of our country can count on.
Holly, Arcata

This is exactly the kind of legislation needed to protect us from the laisez faire business policies so often supported by the Republicans, which all too frequently result in injury and death in the marketplace, workplace, and the environment.
Steve, Long Beach

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Californians respond to my message on Improving Rental Car Safety (09/27/2012):

I truly appreciate your efforts and success on behalf of consumers who rent automobiles from car rental agencies. I feel especially happy about this because of my annual trips to Tennessee, where I rent a car from Enterprise. Knowing that autos subject to recall will no longer be available for rental or purchase is a source of great comfort to me, as I have, in the past, wound up with a Toyota Corolla, only to have lingering questions about the vehicle's safety.
Linda, Fremont

I just wanted to take a minute to say thanks to you for working so hard on behalf of "US" the 47% and for all your efforts on keeping the car rental companies honest.
Ronnie, Duarte

Thank you so much for working on this safety issue for all of us. Your success with the car rental community is much appreciated!
Mary, Rancho Palos Verdes

Thank you, Senator Boxer, for sponsoring this safety feature; I hadn't realized that rental cars were not already checked for company recalls before being rented to the public.
Josephine, San Diego

Our nation is facing numerous difficulties, not the least is the Federal Reserve printing dollars like they are toilet paper (and pretty soon that is exactly what they will be worth, nothing). So you are proud of a new government regulation. Why? Is this a proper function of the Federal Government? Why would this not be addressed sufficiently within the Universal Commercial Code or currently existing laws?
James, Fullerton

Rental Rules
That's a good idea! I never would of thought of it. Safety is the role of government.
Michael, Montclair

Congratulations for getting this common sense legislation passed. It's unbelieveable that companies can ignore recall notices for life threatening defects. Once again corporate profit wins over consumer safety.
Richard, La Mesa

It's nice to know that you are "on the job". Thanks for taking care of this for us. I'm amazed that you knew that this was even a problem!
Paul, Big Bear Lake

Seems so obvious. Guess Enterprise was a little too enterprising with free enterprise.
Timothy, Sacramento

Thank you for helping to make our world safer.
Barbara, Cambria

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BART Labor Negotiations

Californians respond to my message on Averting Another BART Strike:

I applaud your efforts, in reaching an agreement concerning the BART strike. Having been involved in the electrical union for Amtrak Oakland Mechanical Facility, I know first hand the tendencies of some labor disputes. Not to lend preference, to the company because of the salaries involved with BART workers. I tend to relate to the union ideology of better living condition for union workers. Because, union members do enrich the communities in which they belong.
Sergei, Union City

I appreciate the letter that you and Senator Feinstein have written. But I urge you to work with all necessary government personnel from Washington, Sacramento and elsewhere from preventing this from ever happening again. I have live here since 1991 and it seems to happen repeatedly. I grew up in the Boston area where my parents still live and the subway (MBTA) is not nearly so expensive and it goes much farther. Same with the NYC system. Surely there is a way to end the original agreement that BART is required to earn the highest wages in the country. I have a PhD/MA from Berkeley, a BA from Princeton and a Fulbright and I will never earn the average wage of a BART worker. I count myself as a Democrat and sympathetic toward the concerns of the poor/working class. But this is RIDICULOUS. For much of the past years at the University of CA, I didn't earn a raise because of budgets, plus of course I paid a significant part of my healthcare insurance. Are BART workers not aware of the precarious economic situation that the Bay Area and state is in? Unions were originally created to help those that were being truly mistreated. With the BART Workers Union, we are hostages of its power.
Patricia, Albany

Public Transportation should never be held hostage by workers strike. Public transporation needs to be protected by state or federal law. I don't know that my personal opinion regarding the strike is all that important - people are suffering, the economy is suffering and the prices for BART keep going up. They are making A LOT of money and it appears that those of us who use their services are the least important factor in all of this, and who, in my opinion, are violated and severly impacted, by their mismanagement. BART needs to be investigated and overhauled - including their Unions. It would be great if public transportation was placed under government management. At least, we - the people who use and need this service - would not be the hostage.
Denise, Concord

Thank you for taking an interest in the BART Strike. I received an alert this weekend that the BART negotiations had stalemated. Smooth BART operations are critically important to the Bay Area in so many ways. I believe that even though Police, Fire and Nurses are represented by unions they are not allowed to strike in a way that paralyzes their operations and jeopardizes their communities which is exactly what BART strikes do.  I strongly urge you to intervene and force a rule that disallows a total shutdown of BART due to striking workers.
Tiffany, Oakland

Thank you for trying to avert the BART strike. It is very unfortunate that we face a total chaos in few days if the parties cannot reach the agreement. I follow the developments and at this point I am convinced that the BART should be declared an "essential service" and any dispute should be subject to a binding arbitration.  
Max, Walnut Creek

We have missed the communications being sent in the labor issues associated with Bart and all other government employees that are not limited to police and Fire personal. The message is that during the robust economy the government leaders had extra money to give themselves and their fellow workers; today, we the public not pay the inflated salaries and benefits. It is take back time or a leveling off meaning loose a big chunk of disposable income, bigger boats, bigger home, bigger car, bigger vacations, etc. I worked for the local telephone company, they did not get the bucket of cash. The government controlled or limited their bucket of cash. So you know how, so, do it.
Frank, Clayton

I am not a BART employee, related to one, or Union employee or rep. I am currently unemployed but was for 11 years a union represented worker.  I personally feel it is a mistake for Governor Brown to have intervened in this strike. His time to intervene would have been at the first strike. The Union and workers went out on strike, but came back to the negotiating table IN GOOD FAITH. You must know the issues: the employees have been without raises for 4 years, have made concessions during the same time frames, and during the same times BART stewardship has hired management with outrageous pay, provided unheard of benefits (the ability to bank vacation throughout an entire career and take the time at the highest salary, all while being on the payroll and EARNING MORE vacation).
Governor Brown needs to remove himself from the proceedings. The sides have had a much longer than 7 day cooling down period when BART workers came back to negotiations. Management needs to make cuts to MANAGEMENT pay and incentives, and possibly even raise by 5 cents the longer rides. $1 or $2 a month will not over tax the wallets of the riders.
I am fully cognizant that BART employees are decently paid already. As they should be. I am of the mindset that if stores, BART, car dealers or restaurants can set prices, so can Unions - prices of a skilled, well trained labor force. If BART believes they cannot afford the rate, then just like everyone else when prices go up - the belt gets tighter in other areas. My suggestion is to renegotiate the contracts of their upper management as a starting point.
Marc, San Leandro

A balance is necessary. Certainly a wage adjustment including health care expense should be matched to COLA (aka inflation) at about 3% net. The 20% current request from unions is unreasonable. Eventually BART will modernize like Vancouver, BC, Canada and no drivers or kiosk attendants will be necessary.  If this can not be resolved and we have a multi-month shut down then it is time to modernize and eliminate the workers. Sorry, but this is the reality and technology only kicks in when there is clear economic necessitates. The unions in this case are unaware of this danger with too much greed.
Tim, Oakland

Your letter, urging both parties to "settle," dodges the question. Should workers continue to take wage and benefit cuts as part of the "new economic reality?" If so, I guess BART management and the anti-labor hack they hired to negotiate the contract are on the cutting edge of history.
I envision a different future, where working people stand up for each other and themselves, and insist on fair wages to at a minimum keep up with inflation, good benefits, secure retirement and safe working conditions.  Being neutral, in this moment in time, does not cut it. Income inequality is growing in the United States and that does not bode well for our democracy. The question for you, Senator Boxer, is not whether or not a BART strike would be inconvenient. That's a given. I'm on the side of the workers, who, when the increased costs of the proposed benefits are factored in, are being offered a wage cut after four years of a wage freeze. I'm on the side of the workers who want issues of safety on the job addressed. Which side are you on?
Deborah, Richmond

It is difficult to speak honestly about a subject that seriously affects the economic health of the Bay Area to someone who represents us but clearly has no impact on decisions. That an entity could paralyze the entire Bay Area, seriously disrupt lives and cost too much money to quantify, is unbelievable.  Do something, please. California becomes more and more of a laughing stock. And, we deserve it. To be held hostage by "train" operators is just too ridiculous.
Sandra, Danville

You are right, Barbara, but you don't go far enough. These unions should not be allowed to strike! I have written to my California legislators asking them to change this horrible law.
I would appreciate if you could use your considerable influence to stop these annoying strikes which cost $73 million every day in lost productivity and are hazardous to the public, who must congest the roads even more.  Ronald Reagan fired all the air traffic controllers and we could start with a clean slate. I'd like you to front this matter and see that 2,400 greedy union members cannot legally extort over-compensation from a trapped public.
Jim, Hayward

I think the BART workers are being unrealistic. Most private sector workers contribute much more to their pensions and medical, so should BART workers. The amounts currently being contributed have not kept up with the insane rising medical costs. Pension spiking is another big problem. This must stop or the system will go broke. I know many Californians that have lost jobs or businesses that would love to work for BART. I am one of them. After a robbery of my business for which I was not insured (could not afford it with the hit from the recession) I am now finding it hard to make a living in a business I have had for 35 years. Getting a job that pays $15 an hour with help on my insurance premiums would be a blessing.  I can sit in a station "box" and happily answer riders questions or I can wash the cars (much better than is being done now). I can enter data, pick up trash, etc. I cannot fix mechanical or electrical problems but I bet there are plenty of people that can or those workers can get the raise they demand.
Dolores, Pleasant Hill

While on the surface it appears that BART unions are being excessive, they are barely making enough to buy a home in the bay area. I think they should pay into their own pensions, with matching funds coming from the state. All across the nation, first responders, teachers and service personnel are being laid off. Unions must stand their ground for their families. These are the people who help maintain the safety of a 400,000/day commute. These are DOT certified, highly trained workers that should be appreciated and supported. I don't know if the surveys are correct or not but it is said that over $80,000.00 is required to keep a family's head above water in SF alone.
Cleophus, Richmond

There is little incentive for either side to settle this labor dispute. BART comes out ahead because of a strike -- still collects all of its revenues from state and local taxes, and federal aid.
How about legislation that simply says that no transit agency that has a strike shall receive any federal monies during any work stoppage and aid will not resume for 180 days after the end of the strike. That motivates BART.  We also need to motivate the unions involved to be reasonable in their demands. Again no federal funds for a transit agency if new union contracts necessitate management raising fares 10 percent or more to pay salaries and other benefits, again for 180 days after the contract start.  The situation is an outrage.
Earl, Walnut Creek

The bart people have become very greedy and abusive and are just keeping the riding public which pays them with our taxpayers money hostages in these situations. The cooling down period will just end with a 2 month moratorium and then what. Our only voices are you, Dianne Feinstein and our congressman Eric Swalwell.
Victorino, Hayward

Please DO NOT give into there demands. This is pure greed and nothing more. If we do that ALL tax payers will lose even worse the people who ride Bart will pay twice, once when the ride because the ticket price will go up and second when they pay there taxes. If anything we need to pass laws or do what ever it takes to make sure that Unions that provide vital service to the state cannot go on strike like all Police and Fire services.
Richard, Union City

I stand with BART workers.  BART workers have been making concessions since 1979, and continue to make concessions and put offers on the table.  Meanwhile, the BART board seems to be spending more time talking to the papers about how strapped BART is the greed of BART workers, than they are trying to reach an agreement with them. Plus, they spend $400,000 on a "mediator" who happens to be a private transportation contractor, with contracts with BART to provide private bus service, and who is connected with the breaking of public worker union contracts in Wisconsin and Arizona (just a partial list).  If BART is really interested in its workers, why has it hired a union-buster to negotiate with them?  I repeat: I stand with BART workers. And you should, too, Senator.
Martha, San Francisco

BART was originally designed to operate without an engineer at the controls. Station agents confine themselves to a glass cube answering questions while surrounded by automated ticket machines.  Many new college grads would love to have an job offer at anywhere near the salary of a BART employee whose job requires a high school diploma and we would all love to provide our families with medical coverage for $92 a month.  We all understand, especially in California, the relationship between unions, their organizing ability, their campaign contributions and elections results. Even given that, can?t some elected official do something to bring these folks back to reality? When do you say enough is enough and do something to support the 84% of the public that do not belong to these organizations? Perhaps it?s time to end the ability of public service folks to strike and hold the public hostage. Unlike private industry, we the public have no way to respond and the only folks who can are the recipients of the money flow from these same folks.
John, Pleasanton

Thanks for getting involved in settling the BART strike. Public employee unions in critical jobs like transit workers, fire, police, etc. should not be able to strike. They have too much leverage because they can cause incredible inconvenience for so many people. Inevitably, management caves in to stop the pain. Whatever you can do to end the possibility of public union strikes would be appreciated.
Sheridan, Walnut Creek

Enough is enough, the BART board should hold tight on what they are offering and if it is not acceptable to the union then replace all union workers with non union workers. The unions claim they have not received a wage increase in the past three years. Well the cost of health care has increased over 20% in that time period at no additional cost to the workers. They are also some of the highest paid transit workers in the country.  If they want more salary take away there retirement plan,(most privet sector jobs do not have a retirement plan other than a 401K that the employer contributes 3% too if you are lucky.) Charge them more for there medical. How far will you, Senator Finestine,and congressman Miller allow this state to creep closer to the status of the city of Detroit
Allan, Concord

What would it take to pass a state law preventing the BART workers union from striking, like in the transit agencies in major cities in the northeast?  Every four years BART riders must hold their breath and hope for no strike as bargaining usually runs to the last minute. BART has expanded further out of the San Francisco hub allowing commuters an option to driving and families ability to access affordable housing. Ridership suffers as BART workers use the strike threat as leverage in their bargaining and cooling off periods only extend the threat. Freeways are backed up during commutes as 400,000 attempt to get where they're going and the bay area economy suffers with losses in the millions.  The working poor who don't drive and have low wage jobs far away lose their income if not their jobs. BART may use ridership as leverage but 400,000 will vote at the next election!
M, Oakley

i wanted to let my frustration out. this people need to act like professional and not like teenagers that if i don't get what i want i will make a big deal. this issue is not only their employees but most important your customers. is all about the customer and the house which is the employees need to settle their situation at home which means their work. i give my suggestion if they dont resolve this issue get a madiator involve and have this madiator resolve this issue for them from now on. they are not capable to resolve it we dont want to go throu the same situation ever again.
Dina, Bay Point

I strongly feel Bart workers will strike! A (60) day cooling-off period is needed; followed by the POTUS firing all striking Bart employees and ordering retired Bart workers and management to keep Bart running. Begin training NEW Bart employees ASAP and rid Bart of the greedy, non-paying into their pension employees and all those striking on the basis of greed. I've been riding Bart since 1989 and will not ride until this silly strike is no longer looming over the loyal riding public. Bart unions have destroyed any relationship many of us in the Bay Area had at one time. Fire them all like they were "air traffic controllers" the let's move on...
Earl, Oakland

I moved to the East Bay from San Francisco after 40 years living there. I knew BART would keep me connected to friends and family. I visit S.F. at least once a week on BART and always visit stores and restaurants in the City on those trips. If BART is not running a whole lot of $$ will go down the drain - does S.F. deserve that? BART employees get too many benefits compared to private sector where we fund our own benefits for medical and retirement. What kind of management is that?
Linda, Concord

I have been a union member in the private sector for 40 years and went on strike several times but I don't think strikes should be allowed in public transit. Police and firefighters are not allowed.
Lloyd, Hayward

I would urge you to adopt the position of the Oakland Tribune's editorial today urging Gov. Brown to propose a statute to ban public employee union strikes and require mandatory arbitration.
Jeff, Oakland

Transit agencies should not be allowed to Strike.  It creates public safety issues that are acceptable. People with life threatening illnesses or injuries could die because of the additional traffic caused by this strike.  I would support a bill to forbid BART employees from striking. Like the Police and Fire services, I believe a major transit system, like BART, is an essential service and the lack of this service DOES endanger public safety.  BART pay rates and benefits are ridicules. They already have it good compared to many of the other individuals employed in California. There is no one in the public sector making that kind of money and benefits. Do a competitive study. You will see that raises the unions and employees are asking for do not make any sense. Unlike Police and Fire, they do not risk their lives on a daily basis. There are many skilled people on the street out of work that are willing to work at a more reasonable pay rate.
We are a family of 3 and live in Concord. At the current prices, it does not make financial sense to BART into the city anymore at $5 per person each way. The average Family has more kids than we do. BART needs a reform so it can provide a public service at reasonable rates, or it will price itself out of the transportation business.  
Steven, Contra Costa

I have watched the news closely, even though I am not a frequent rider of BART. It would be fair to say there is deep mistrust between the union and the management. News always air how the union workers are paid the highest in the industry, but hardly how the management packages are, and that should be a sticking point of the union wanted more: they know the management treats themselves nicely, but wanted to restrict the union workers' package. So I think it would be fair to put the management's package on the table and discuss it. That would be the true transparent.  Because the union workers have already have the best package in the industry, there should be law to prohibit them to strike. BART fare is already very high with board line service, why should the riders be hijacked with the threat of no service every few years? Everyone chip in there retirement and health insurance, why shouldn't they?
Lisa, Fremont  

How is it that a strike in a service that affects so many others in the Bay Area is allowed?  Clearly, this should be settled by binding arbitration, not a strike. Please, do your best to change the current situation.
Bob, Lafayette

It is about time these threats from government employees are ended. Most government jobs are monopolistic in nature and with collusion of our elected officials, sweetheart contracts are enjoyed by our employees. President Roosevelt had it right when he opposed unions of government workers and President Reagan was right when he fired the air traffic controllers.
We need legislation to outlaw these strikes against the citizens or at least encourage the training of replacements. Are there any legislators out there representing the taxpayer?  
Don, El Cerrito

I grew up in Northeastern Ohio a big supporter of Unions. Most worked for Tire Companies - Union Workers. Amongst Firestone, Goodyear, Goodrich, Siberling - most of my relatives and friends worked for one of them on the factory floor. My mother-in-law retired from Goodyear after 43 years. I remember the last contract negotiation they had with Goodyear. The rank and file wanted to agree to Goodyear's contract but the Labor Leaders pushed for higher wages/benefits. All the workers thought they were well-paid and loved the Tire Companies. They pushed and eventually, one by one the Tire Companies moved their factories out of Ohio. Those great paying union jobs are long gone. Unions have helped create the middle class - our 40 hour work week, workers compensation, minimum wages & benefits. They do good things. But they also need to know when they are getting greedy. And BART Unions are an example of GREED. Workers are at the top of the pay scale with benefits I don't even have. I've been with the same company for 29 years and I don't have a pension program - which is why I'm still working. I can't remember the last time I've even seen a BART worker at a Station. Frankly I think AC Transit Bus drivers have a much tougher time negotiating traffic and they make considerably less than BART drivers - who essentially drive a conveyor belt and we never see them! ENOUGH - they need to pay into their pensions, they need to contribute more to their health care. And I'm sure the workers at our company would love to have an increase - most haven't seen a wage increase for 7 years. BART STRIKES should be OUTLAWED. BART workers should be grateful they even have a pension - unlike most workers. They should not be able to hold the public hostage to their wage/benefits demands. What we need at the table is a "TAX PAYER" representative. That might eliminate the greed of BART unions. If they're not careful - they may eliminate unions. I've seen it done before when unions become greedy.
Becky, Pleasanton

I am glad to see your message regarding the BART contract negotiations. I am distressed not only because the disruption that a BART strikes causes to Bay Area lives in general, but if the BART strike happens once school opens, it can keep students out of school. As a school director, this is of great concern to me. Also, BART employees do not have to deal with nearly the challenges that AC transit drivers must deal with daily (passenger issues and traffic).
I am also concerned about the worker demands. Although I believe that people should be able to make a living wage, the compensation BART workers are seeking does not line up with other salaries in the Bay Area. For example, a beginning teacher with 5 years of college makes under $40,000 a year, and pays 8% into their retirement. In OUSD, benefits are paid for the employee. The teachers took a 5% cut several years ago and their salary schedule has been frozen since 2009. BART workers with only a high school diploma or GED are making almost twice what the beginning teachers make, getting full family benefits for $89 a month, and make no payment into the retirement. What is not fair is that the BART Union continues to hold the residents of the Bay Area hostage, while making well above the average salary for jobs with their education or training requirements. It is time to take a hard line and let the BART Union know that they can not continue to come to the public to get raises and benefits way beyond the inflation factor and beyond their job requirements. Please help stand up for the people....the raises in BART fares place severe hardships on the public while BART employees live comfortably above the average.
Valerie, Oakland

Thanks for getting involved in the BART dispute. You wrote a great letter with one minor exception. You stated "According to the Bay Area Council Economic Institute, the four-day BART service disruption in July cost the Bay Area at least $73 million in lost productivity".
The $73 million figure is per day.  Keep up the excellent work.
Allan, San Bruno

I whole heartily agree. We cannot endure another catastrophe like we experienced a month ago.
Deborah, Pleasanton

I don't think Bart should be allowed to strike. the Bay Area relies on them for daily life, and they have a responsibility. They should be considered a public utility and subject to oversight.
Linda, San Francisco

More important than income disruption caused by a BART strike would be further compromise of workers' ability to unite & create collective bargaining. It's being said that breaking the BART union would send a powerful message to workers throughout the US. Let's make certain that doesn't happen. Please, use your power to support working people, those union workers who deserve to be protected by our laws.
Patricia, Berkeley

The BART employees are adequatley compensated. They need to contribute to their retirement and additional amounts to their medical. The least everyone I know....thinks they are greedy. We would vote to fire them all if we could.
Pat, Pleasant Hill

I believe the BART workers are a symbol of Govt overpayment of unions and in the case of this critical service to the Bay Area, there should be mandatory arbitration with no strikes permitted.
Lawrence, Walnut Creek

I think the Unions are greedy and unwilling to compromise. The offer from BART is very generous and should be accepted by all the unions. If they do not see this fact clearly, they should be disbanded. They have no idea what life is like for tax payers like me and my wife who must pay for our own healthcare, and retirement and who have receive only a 1% raise OVER THE ENTIRE LAST 8 YEARS!
Steve, Berkeley

It is my impression that BART is another example of union extortion. BART employees enjoy great pay and fantastic benefits.  How about we put out for hiring replacement staff and see how many applicants we get. Overpaid and under delivering.  Sad as the bay area could greatly benefit from improved and broader mass transit.
Leslie, Burlingame

I appreciate the intentions of your letter. As a voter in CA I have voted for you your entire carrier. I believe in your earnestness, but here are my thoughts.  BART has been jerking its workers around at the negotiations table for months and politicians writing letters isn't going to change that. The only way to make BART bargain in good faith, is to make them open up their books so the public sees how much money they really have. And to get rid of union busting anti-negotiator Tom Hock!  As a 5th generation Californian and fervent voter, I believe we cannot afford to let this happen.
Julia, El Cerrito

I think the line you drew in the sand is less than adequate! The public sector should not be allowed, by law, to strike. You make laws all the time that make me want hold my nose so, now, make a law that would serve the entire public. Over paid public unions should not be able to strike ... it's not in the public's best interest. AND, if they decide to strike anyway, then they can be legally terminated and replaced with people that would be willing to work for that wage. That goes for the BART administrators, too.
Dianne, Concord

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GI Bill Protection Act

Californians respond to my message on Protecting Veterans from Deceptive Marketing:

As one of your long-time boosters, I just wanted you to know how much one 6 year veteran of WWII appreciates your efforts in this matter.
Artjur, Palm Desert

Thank you Senator Boxer for your work to help prevent veterans from being misled by for-profit educational institutions. My family has benefitted from the GI Bill as both my father and brother used it to attain careers after their service in the Navy. Today, too many veterans are talked into programs at for-profit schools that result in high costs with no career to show for it.
Linda, Oceanside

I want to thank you for helping push the rightful "GI Bill" through. Now it will keep the unscrupulous and questionable websites that try to snagged our veterans, while taking their money under the table, so to speak. Financial aid is money needed to buy books and pay other expenses like paying rent for example. Senator Boxer, you do more for our veterans than any of your colleagues put together in my opinion.
Juan, Long Beach

Thank you Senator Boxer for introducing the GI Bill Protection Act of 2013 and for protecting our veteran the way they protect us. I sincerely appreciate your voice for them.
Genna, Oceanside

As a veteran, I applaud your effort working on the G.I Bill
Joe, Riverside

Thank you, and your Democratic colleagues, for this important safeguard. I very much hope your bill is passed into law. I am disappointed that not a single Republican Senator would co-sponsor this appropriate action to end predatory practices by for-profit colleges and universities. We continue to salute the ACTIONS you take to improve our lives. Sincerely,
Duncan and Betty, McKinleyville

Just to let you know, I was on the GI Bill in the 60's. It enabled me to get a BS from Cal State Northridge and I worked for the Department of the Army for 30 years as a Recreation Director, Sports Director and Athletic Director at several military installations in Germany and here at home. The GI Bill is one of the best things that ever happened to me (besides marrying my wife.)
Bartley, Riverside

I appreciate all you are doing for our Vets. We have so many years to try to make up for those who returned and received nothing or very little help for their time in earlier wars. I am glad you are stepping up to continue to support our Vets and see that they receive reimbursement for their time. Great Job!
Jeannie, Tehachapi

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Reproductive Rights

Californians respond to my message on A Direct Assault on Women’s Health:

Keep up the good work! Women must have choice when it comes to birth control and abortions.
Helen, Redlands

Thank you for your work in supporting a woman's right to choose. Our bodies, and our minds belong to us. A woman's choice should be her own.
Bernadette, Paso Robles

I have three ladies in my family and I have always been and will always be concerned with their health. The issue with abortion is not about women's health. It is about choice. For you to say that the concern over abortion at twenty weeks is about women's health is an insult to women and to men that care about the women in their lives. When will you be concerned about the unborn? At five months in the womb that baby can feel pain. If it was health you were concerned about you would champion the health of the woman and the baby.
Brad, Whittier

Brava! Thank you for opposing the 20-week abortion ban bill passed by House Republicans. It is indeed an attack on women and their right to make important decisions regarding the welfare of their families. We need to prevent the intrusion of government into our private lives: it's what America is about.
Diana, Perris

It's hard to understand how the House Republicans can presume they are empowered to take the entire country back to the bad old days of women hemorrhaging to death in emergency rooms after botched amateur abortions. Thanks for continuing to resist this amnesia.
Mary Lou, Richmond

Yes, please stand up for our rights we have fought and died for. Our decisions about our bodies should not be subject to popular vote. Thank you!
Joan, San Francisco

As the far right efforts to invade women's bodies and illegally interfere with the patient/doctor relationship, we need a loud voice to deny this effort. The world looks to the U.S. for direction and your efforts send a message to all. Thanks,
Bob, Turlock

Thank you for standing firm for women's rights. I am so glad you are in the Senate to fight for all our daughters and granddaughters.
Kent, Oxnard

I just received your message and I agree with you that what they are proposing is very dangerous and a threat to Roe vs Wade. Even though I do not believe in abortion under most circumstances, for myself, I have no right to prevent other from wanting or needing same. I do not want us to go back to 50's and 60's and illegal abortion clinics etc.
Mary, Los Angeles

Speak up load and clear. Counting on you to be an effective champion to protect women's health, reproductive rights and choice.
Herb and Dorie, Alameda

Thank you for standing up for women's reproductive health and freedom.
Claudia, Los Altos

Thank you for standing with Planned Parenthood in favor of women's reproductive rights. I am embarrassed by ultra-conservative members of both our Federal and various state legislatures who cannot grasp the fact that denying women--particularly in rural areas or in poorer locations--access to basic health counseling does long-term damage to our nation!
Duncan and Betty, McKinleyville

I don't agree with your stand on the House Republican bill and ask you to please reconsider. Scientific research and technology has advanced considerably in the 40 years since Roe v Wade was decided. I am stunned by research on fetal development and especially the research on fetal pain. Yes, we women have certain reproductive rights, but so do the "fetuses" that are being aborted. Please, please reconsider your position.
Regina, Los Altos

I am so grateful that you are standing up in the Senate on behalf of a woman's right to choose what health procedures are appropriate for her under all circumstances. The age of infantilizing women, of male dominating authority overriding their own decisions, has come to an end. We need strong, accomplished, free women like yourself to speak up for us. I am so proud that you are my Senator, and so relieved that I do not live in a backward state like Texas or North Carolina. Thanks for all you have done and will continue to do for women's rights.
Linda, La Crescenta

It is horrifying that still today our personal issues are constantly being subjected to attempted control by others. We appreciate your efforts to forestall this. The Texas women's care clinics situation is frightening as well. Hope you and your like-thinking senators are vocal about this when appropriate.
Eleanor, Oceanside

Thank you so much for standing up for women's rights and health and for giving us a voice in a very troubling matter. I thank you so very much for all that you said in your response to the 20-week abortion ban. It is so true, women having abortions after 20-weeks are doing so under some very unfortunate circumstances. Thank you again for being our voice. I honestly don't understand what the Republicans are doing right now. I mean, I do...but it's so troubling and so wrong and I just can't thank you enough for protecting our rights.
Kristen, San Francisco

For supporting women, children families and doctors by upholding Roe v Wade. Thank you, thank you!!!
Clarie, San Jose

As a woman I am deeply offended and saddened by the lack of respect for life that I see growing in the United States. In my nearly 50 years of life I have witnessed many different forms of control against women. What I do not see and do not hear is conversation about manners, self respect, dignity, self worth, personal value, self control, etc. It actually looks like we encourage women to not care about getting pregnant.
Donna, San Diego

Thank you for responding to the republican party attempt at voting for a ban of abortion at 20 weeks. I truly appreciate your continued support of women's health and I hope you and others who follow your lead will defeat this unending attempt to limit women's right to choose.
Jean, Oakland

It is a shame that Texas has decided to destroy women's rights to abortion within the time limits of the very reasonable Roe vs Wade Court Decision. It is without doubt the greatest assault on the rights of women thoughout Texas. I believe that if brought to Federal Courts, the new Texas Law will be thrown out as a violation of women's rights.
I completely agree with your position, Senator.
Sam, San Bernardino

So what about the female aborted babies who would have grown up to be women? Don't they deserve protection? How are they less important? What if THEY could vote?
Becky, Goleta

Thank you, so much, Senator Boxer, for standing up for women's rights. I deeply appreciate it.
Jackie, Carpinteria

I support the House Bill to the 20 week limit on abortions. Baby's aborted after this time are viable and can survive. Please keep in mind my choice when you vote. I will keep in mind your choices when I vote.
Kathryn, Simi Valley

Thank you for standing up for a woman's right to choose. Stay strong and keep fighting for us in the Senate. I am a 56-year-old woman, and it sickens me to know that "old white men" think they can take this extremely important and personal decision away from women. Thank you, Senator Boxer, for fighting for women's rights!
Tina, Irvine

I'm sorry to say, Senator Boxer, that as a lifelong Democrat I am usually committed to my party's issues but this time I must part ways with you and my Party and side with the Republican opposition on the abortion issue because they are right for once and we Democrats are clearly wrong.
Rose, Whittier

Please continue being on the side of women's health. You have been doing good so far. I am afraid if the house and/or senate continues pushing through bills that threaten the lives of women, there will be back street abortions again, women's lives will be in danger. The anti women nut cases, who happen to be wealthy know without a doubt that they can send members of their families to countries that have health plans like we used to have and that they perform safe abortions.
Alexandra, Thousand Oaks

Thank you for continuing to fight on behalf of women and our rights to do what we wish with our bodies.
Michelle, Rowland Heights

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Californians respond to my message on An Extreme Attack on Women’s Health (06/19/2013):

I am a Catholic Christian and US Citizen. I do not think that abortion is a good idea. However, I also do not think that laws attempting to govern what is going on inside a woman's body are a good idea. I appreciate and support your witness and action as my representative in the US Senate.
Michael, Palm Springs

Thank you SO much for your excellent presentation, re the interference by congress in the lives of women and caring doctors! I always appreciate your views, and this was especially well spoken.
Maxine, Stockton

It is not the place of elected officials to dictate health care. I appreciate that you consistently defend a woman's right to choose and her right to depend upon medical professionals (and not politicians) for care.
Karen, Palos Verdes Estates

Giving care to women has always been part of my life as a nurse midwife. Although I may not agree with some women's choices, I still believe that they have the right to choose what is best for them at whatever stage of life they are in. Please continue to support women's right to choose what they and their healthcare providers feel is in their best interest.
Laura, Whittier

I completely disagree with the House passed bill disallowing abortion beyond the 20th week. I expect the Senate to defeat the bill. And I expect, if passed for President Obama to veto the bill. I believe the Federal Courts would disallow the Law if passed and signed. What nonsense! The House needs to deal, not with Food Stamps or abortion. Deal with reality! Thank you for allowing me to give my opinion.
Sam, San Bernardino

I am very unhappy with the Republicans in Congress OR Democrats, legislating restrictions about my personal health care decisions - any health care decision, whether it is end of life decisions or reproductive decisions, (birth control or abortion for what ever reason), menopause decisions, etc. I am insulted by the idea that because I am a woman (my children call me 'Wonder Woman') I cannot make these decisions for myself and that someone should make them for me. I am a well educated person, not senile or in need of a conservator, and am fully capable of making my own health care decisions without legislation. It is simple: if you do not want an abortion, do not have one. If you do not want to use birth control methods,don't. If you want to be on life support at your own cost, feel free. Why legislate? And why would anyone want to tell me what are the best health care decisions for me?
Margaret, San Francisco

I am against abortion. Especially late term abortions. I am a Registered Nurse and for you to believe that a fetus is not able to feel pain or does not have a soul is unproven. I refuse to support the killing of the most innocent, most vulnerable human life. Someone has to speak for them. Someone has to protect them.
Marje, Burbank

I watched your speech regarding the latest, restrictive 20 week abortion bill and want to thank you for your hard work in defending women and their families. It appears that "the war on women" may be never-ending with the type of Republicans now in office but I will not give up hope knowing you are there continuing to fight on everyone's behalf.
Patricia, San Marcos

This is an absolute outrage and shouldn't even be a legislative issue. If men could reproduce, this wouldn't even be a conversation.
Deb, San Francisco

The sad part of the right is they just never put themselves in anyone's else shoes. I am one of those women that had to realize that i might have to terminate my late term pregnancy to save my own husband only agreed to try if i promised to choose my life. too many right people act like it is easy choice...and i support choice though i now know i myself could not do it. But i will fight for rights of women to have that right...i had women in the generation above mine tell me what it like when it was dirty the places where, how most women got sick or even died. It was sad they had to go through such ordeal....hard enough in clean sterile office. So thank you for fighting all these years for our rights!
Loree, Mount Shasta

It is important for us to preserve women's health and decisions that belong to health providers and their patients.
Faith, Richmond

We no longer live in the dark ages when a woman had to risk her life in back alleys, searching for a way to end an unwanted pregnancy. However that could certainly be the case if the Republicans have their way. Please do everything in your power to maintain a Womans Right to choose. Unwanted pregnancies can lead to many more serious problems if a woman has no ability to safely end a pregnancy.
Linda, Oakland

Thank you for your speech today in defense of a woman's right to choose. You have my full support for your advocacy of women's rights.
Diana, Perris

As before keep up the good work. It is comforting to know that the bad parts of the news can be at least partially balanced by your efforts.
Robert, La Puente

WE are so grateful to you on behalf of all women for supporting women and their health needs. We are very proud of your efforts and know we can count on you to speak up against any attacks against women.
Valerie, Pasadena

Republicans' continuing attacks against women - and hence American families - suggest they are fearful of the power that women, as a united force, can wield. Let's show them how powerful we can be.
Ruth, Walnut Creek

I do not understand why some want to take this country backwards, and why the obstructionist in the tea party want to destroy our government or at least keep it from functioning - but thank you for keeping up the fight.
Jana, Valencia

I am ashamed that you would even consider anything after 20 weeks not murder. Do you think if a woman is pregnant and murdered that the criminal should be charged with one or two deaths? Is taking a life from the womb not equal to putting a person to death, which you oppose for criminals.
Sarah, San Jose

Nobody has the right to decide for me. How can a congress take the decision for me? There is no way!
Guadalupe, Azusa

I am so glad that the House voted in favor of this measure to acknowledge that children 20 weeks in utero feel pain, according to objective scientific research.
Hannah, Pleasant Hill

Thank you for addressing this attack against all women's rights ! This bill that the Republican House passed is so backwards in how I would think that educated people regardless of party would vote. So I wonder if this bill would have ever been written if men were able to get pregnant?
Laura, Redwood City

THANK YOU! for taking a stand against those who seek to limit women's access to vital health care, which in my opinion, includes easy access to birth control and abortion.
Edith, Los Angeles

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Californians respond to my message on the 40th Anniversary of Roe v. Wade (01/22/2013):

Please continue to work for maintaining women's rights. On the 40th anniversary of Roe v. Wade we cannot sit idle while extremist people are pushing their agenda of pecking away at my and my daughters' rights. Please don't give up on the progress we have made. Keep up the fight!
Amanda, San Diego

As a Republican woman, I commend you on working to continue women's rights to health and contraception. I am very opposed to restricting women's access to abortion and their right to choose.
Caroline, Malibu

I am 62 years young & remember what it was like during the 60's & 70's for women. It feels as though the Republicans and right-to-lifers are trying to push us back into the Dark Ages. I voted for you and authorize you to keep fighting for women to be able to rule "Our Bodies, OurSelves".
Gay, San Jose

Please keep up your good work preserving a woman's health rights especially defending the Roe vs Wade decision from erosion. These fundamental rights impact so many woman, at all socio-economic levels, not to mention the men in these women's lives.
Beth, Palos Verdes Estates

Thank you for your steadfast support of Roe vs. Wade and other women's issues. I depend on your vote. You would think after 40 years.... It must get tiring to fight the same battles over and over again. But, apparently it is necessary.
Saundra, San Dimas

What about all the 55 million babies' lives ended by abortion and women who died or were irreparably damaged by safe legal abortions?
Anne Marie, Oakland

A woman's right to choice is important to me and I appreciate your support and hard work in keeping Roe vs Wade intact. This is not an easy decision for women, even couples to make, but the choice must remain an option for women in California and throughout the nation. Keep up the good work.
Janet, Alameda

I heartily applaud you for hanging in there and fighting while draconian legislative measures increasingly hack away at women's rights to take charge of our own bodies. This is not just about abortions. It is about access to valid health information and care and contraception. State legislators bully their way into women's clinics ordering care workers to deliver frightening and thoroughly unscientific messages to intimidate the patient and enforce expensive, unnecessary medical procedures. The dwindling number of clinics makes access impossible for desperate and poor women. I am 71 years old and shocked that in 2013 women are still considered a bothersome underclass instead of grown-ups who earn wages, love, and are capable of making our own decisions. These appallingly uneducated, mean-spirited legislators have blood on their hands. We can only hope our younger generation will vote them out of office.
Susan, San Rafael

I just read your praise of Roe vs. Wade. You forgot to mention the 50 million young humans who have been killed for financial and convenience reasons since it was passed.
Lee, Susan, Walnut Creek

roe/wade was a major victory for women freeing us from the tyranny of our bodies for the first time, legally! we must not lose this hard won protection, under any circumstances!!
Donna, West Sacramento

That explains why Congress can't meet deadlines. They concern themselves with unnecessary items instead of taking care of real problems. After reading your last email I wondered if it was 2013 or 1913.
Gisela, San Fafael

Thank you for your loud, clear voice on the importance of Roe vs Wade. Please continue to push for the expansion of womens healthcare and to push back with the extremists that would take away womens rights to make their reproductive healthcare decisions.
Frederic, San Francisco

I appreciate and support your stand regarding our rights as women to make choices for ourselves. Repealing Roe vs. Wade would put women at risk of death and disease at the hands of unlicensed doctors and swindlers in unhealthy conditions. It is my strong belief that abortion should not be a government issue but a personal one. We as women should have the right to take charge of our bodies and our lives.
Karen, Studio City

Dr. Gregory Polito placed a paid statement in our local paper, The Whittier Daily News, today, on the 40th anniversary of Roe v. Wade, entitled "A Concerned Citizen's Thoughts on the 40th Anniversary of Roe v. Wade, 01-22-2013". I would respectfully ask that, in the interest of looking at the issue of abortion from both sides, you read the entire article… My prayer is that you will reconsider your position on abortion. It is wrong in God's sight, and it is wrong if we call ourselves caring human beings. Thank you for all you do for us in the other areas of your service in the Senate. You have a difficult, complex job there. Your hard work is appreciated. God bless you!
Linda, Whittier

Please help keep Roe vs Wade strong. All women should have a choice over their own bodies!
Margaret, Long Beach

There will be abortions done regardless of the law. The purpose of Roe vs. Wade was to save womens lives. One statistic I learned by an MD … was that before RvW, abortion deaths were the leading cause of womens dying.
Marvellee, Long Beach

Thank you so much for being in the forefront of Women's rights! Our generation fought so hard to acquire these rights, only to see them constantly under attack by right wing extremists. The irony is that these groups are usually PRO-GUN and PRO-WAR!!!
Clea, Canoga Park

I fully support keeping Roe v. Wade legal and reject any restrictions the Republicans try to put forth. As pointed out in a recent New York Times article, women have searched for ways to terminate pregnancies for thousands of years. Until the passage of Roe v. Wade those procedures often times ended up with the woman dying. It is vital that the U.S. continue to provide safe medical procedures to women. Women have a right to choose what course their life will take. No woman wants to have an abortion, but sometimes it is the only alternative. Please fight to keep Roe v. Wade legal.
Deirdre, Tiburon

Thank you for your articulate tribute; it has been such an important part of women's rights and must remain strong.
Pat, Saint Helena

Wholeheartedly agree with your position on Roe v. Wade! Keep government out of the bedroom, bathroom and doctors offices!
John, Seal Beach

It saddens me to think that you are my "representative" in the Senate because you certainly do not represent my views. How sad to see how happy you are to condone the murder of the unborn. And make no mistake Ms. Boxer, these are babies. How you can be so proud of something so disgusting amazes. I'm also sick and tired of hearing about this war on women. If anyone is waging war on women, it is you.
Alice, Burbank

As the former President of the California Abortion Rights League, I want to thank you for your January 22nd email. Thank you for your loyal and articulate stand on women's reproductive freedom. We need you now more than ever.
Joannie, Los Angeles

It makes me sad to read the attacks on women's health that we worked so hard to get covered. My daughter's generation has no idea what my generation went through to fight inequality in pay, our bodies, our jobs, the glass ceiling etc. Even though it has not completely become equal with men, it is closer than ever before.
Joyce, Simi Valley

This anniversary recalls the millions of babies who have been and continue to be murdered because of RoeVs Wade. I realize many people choose to hide their eyes to this truth, but it's real, and I plan to ALWAYS tell that truth. You do NOT represent me.
Cynthia, Sylmar

Thanks Barbara..keep fighting the crazies.
Susan, Lakewood

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Defense Contractor Pay

Californians respond to my message on Private Contractors Raking in Your Taxpayer Dollars:

Thanks for addressing this misuse of public funds. It's outrageous how greedy companies gorge at the public trough while most everyone else has to work their butts off, just to make ends meet. Appreciate your sensitivity on this point.
Susie, San Francisco

Thank you Senator Boxer-- for seeking out and altering abuses to our Federal Programs!!!!
Ken, Hemet

Thanks - it's about time! While you're at it, watchdog the huge pork projects that are imposed on the Pentagon budget by Senators/Congressmen funneling money into their states/districts, often without the Pentagon's backing. The most recent boondoggle is the F-35. Sequester the Pentagon budget big time! Use the funds for infrastructure/mass transit/jobs training instead. Our country will be better off for it!
Winifred, Sacramento

U.S. citizens have long needed better protection against such wastefulness and greed in the military-industrial complex.
Christine, San Rafael

Thank you for your message regarding private contractors raking in our tax dollars. It was obvious to me that when the Iraq war began, it was to make huge profits for private contractors and mercenaries. I have always opposed these wars that are waged solely for this purpose, under the false premise of spreading Democracy. This is also why the Republicans want to privitize everything. They are clearly representing big business corporations. Most Americans really know this.
Mark, Petaluma

Thank you, Senator Boxer for watching out for the American taxpayers!
Barbara & John, Hermosa Beach

Why do you need an "excessive pay" bill for contractors? Don't you guys properly review contracts before they are let? Isn't there already oversight and review procedures in place that if DONE PROPERLY would take care of these things? Just do the job in the first place.
Carl, San Diego

My only concern is the number of lobbyist from these organizations that regularly contribute to campaign re-election funds which totally clouds the judgement of those allocating these funds. In my opinion, Washington is so corrupt and full of selfish, self-serving politicians that all they see are the dollar bills coming into their coffers and not the wise use of taxpayer funds. Perhaps your bill will help in that effort - somehow I cynically don't think that will happen. But I applaud you for your efforts.
Leigh, West Hollywood

I applaud your bill to rein in the government paid contractors salaries. We have too much plutolatry in our country today. We need to look at the government contracting jobs and value them in balance with what is being paid by companies in the same field but not government contractors!
Penelope, Grass Valley

In an age of massive excess, we need some common sense controls on payments for services.
Peter, Altadena

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Nuclear Safety

Californians respond to my message on the Permanent Closure of the San Onofre Nuclear Plant:

Thank you very much for the wonderful news that the San Onofre nuclear power plant is closing down for good! There was radioactive steam coming from their steam generator tubes, releasing radioactivity into our atmosphere, and nobody needs that.
Karen, El Cajon

I share with you a great sense of relief that the SONGS facility will be shut down! As a resident of Fallbrook, I feel that this power plant remains quite threatening, even if not operational, due in large part to the remaining stored nuclear waste on site. This is the next problem waiting to be addressed. Removal of this hazardous waste should be a national priority!
Jonathan, Escondido

As a Captain with the Orange County Fire Department (now Orange County Fire Authority) I was part of the team that set up the Off-site Dose Assessment Team protocols for San Onofre. One of the items required was radio communications. They were very happy to show us the radio, but not as happy as when we told them we needed to try it out. They had neglected to install the antennae. You really need to watch them like a hawk to ensure that they do things correctly.
Gary, Irvine

It's about time that this dangerous plant be closed and decommissioned. I understand that we will probably have to have some new nuclear plants before we can be nuclear free but they must be built in safer places and with better engineering. Let there not be any corner cutting etc. Hopefully we all can learn that safety outweighs profits and the public has right to know and then have their say. Not only a right but a duty and may we not be too busy or too tired.
Shirley, Douglas City

So you think an emotional reaction is the best solution to an engineering problem. No wonder there is little trust in our Washington representation. Why not have qualified engineers review the design and recommend a solution that does not waste the investment made in the power plant? Or do you really believe all those wind mills, killing all those birds, is the best answer to California's energy needs?
Harry, Long Beach

I worked at Units 1, 2 and 3, and am disappointed in the fact that strict standards were not followed in the repairs of Units 2 and 3. I recall very strict standards while working at all three units. Unit 1 should have been refueled one more time in my opinion. We put lots of work into the unit for safety, and running it for one more cycle would have paid for the costs, and provide billions of watts to the area. Due to the reduced standards I have seen in most construction industries over the last 20 years, I agree with your assessment. Please do follow through with the investigation, and keep in mind the heavy economic costs of a few people wanting to cut corners by ignoring set standards.
William, San Diego

All of us within the 50 mile radius of San Onofre (We are about 5 miles away !!!) Thank you Many Times over for you efforts in getting beyond the shenanigans and Shutting It Down. Scary, it was ! ! ! ! Thanks : )
Stephen, Oceanside

Thank you so much for protecting our environment and the citizens of California by supporting the permanent decommission of the San Onofre Nuclear facility. With our known propensity for earthquakes, Lord knows we don't need another Fukushima in the world!
Kim, Simi Valley

I received your email and wnted to respond and let you know i am elated to hear this news!! I have been waiting to hear this my whole life. Thank you for sharing, keep up the good work!
Yvonne, Anaheim

Thank you for your efforts to close San Onofre. This is a huge safety improvement for SoCal. Nobody wants any risk of the disaster from which Japan is still recovering. Of course I favor Wind, Solar and the newly emerging wave energy sources. Wave energy seems well suited for SoCal. Perhaps it would be a good research project for our local engineering colleges. There are several alternative methods currently being tried in various places and we should understand which is the best for SoCal. Perhaps local energy companies could work with our universities to evaluate alternatives. Again, thank you so much for your efforts on our behalf.
Billie, Apple Valley

Absolutely stupid move. 40 years of safe operation. 1500 valuable jobs 20% electricity to San Diego 2 cents per KW, compared to 12 cents wind power Consumer prices will go up yet again No carbon emissions Repair the bloody pipes The repair is even cheaper than dismantling Repair the bloody pipes And you're proud of this? Absolutely stupid move.
Howard, San Diego

Thank you for the update on the San Onofre plant. I too have been concerned about the safety of the plant following the redesign and its subsequent problems. This is likely outside your perview, but I feel compelled to say that the cost of the decmmissioning should be borne by the corporation(s) that produced the faulty updates (and likely misled regulators and investigators). The customers had no voice in any of the decisions leading up to the current state. They should not be financially liable for the mistakes of the corporation.
Timothy, San Diego

I cannot disagree more with the intentional roadbocks put into play to prevent this critical electric resource to be brought online. As a Southern California resident tired of the "save even more power" campaigns, brownouts, blackouts, and very high costs for power, what have you and your office done to improve the situation? Bring solutions to the table along with your applause. Otherwise, you are simply a contributor to the challenges we have in California. We regretfully look forward to higher electric costs as a result of your actions.
Robert, Fullerton

I live in the area around San Onofre that would be affected by a leak or meltdown. I am delighted to hear that it will not be restarted. Thank you for all you have done to call attention to the fact that it was a disaster waiting to happen. I still have concerns about what will be done with the material remaining on site. I will look forward to your representing the citizens in solving the rest of this difficult problem.
Helene, Bonsall

I wanted to thank you for your leadership and diligent efforts in bringing about the closure of the SCE nuclear power plant in San Onofre. SCE's past actions have clearly demonstrated that they put profits before safety and this plant closure ensures that there will not be any horrendous accidents that could result in a heavy human toll. I would very much appreciate it if you were to take a leadership role in ensuring that the decommissioning is accomplished in a safe and diligent manner.
Ravi, Aliso Viejo

I have personally worked at San Onofre and spoke with the NRC after the townhall meeting and am dissapointed with your stance, jumping on the bandwagon to be politically correct. It is rediculous to assume a like for like steam generator replacement and would be foolish as well as unsafe to do so. Technology has made major advancements and those improvements were icorporated into the design. Edison went to extremes, and used Misubishi Heavy Industries, who had a reputation for some of the best metallurgy on the planet. The design modelling is what went wrong, and the NRC publically stated the Edison was not guilty of any wrong doing. Although you portray this as a victory, California will loose big time because of the loss of power generation at home, jobs, and paying the premium to the other scum bags in the industry, and your comments raise doubt to your loyalties.
David, Newport Beach

Thank you for your support in helping raise awareness of the critical need to close the San Onofre Nuclear Power Plant. I am relieved to know the plant will never run again. Now to dispose of that radioactive waste material and to ensure that those employed at the plant will be able to find new greener jobs.
Nona, San Clemente

Thank you for all your work to get the San Onofre Nuclear power plant closed. I surf at San Onofre regularly, and news of the coverup culture of Southern California Edison has caused me to worry about contamination in the water and air surrounding the plant. This citizen of California thanks you!
Vanessa, Los Angeles

I am greatly relieved as well that the scarey power plant in the middle of a huge earth quake zone in the "pacific rim of fire" is closed as well.
Pam, Costa Mesa

I am beyond thrilled to hear that San Onofre is going to permanently shut down. We do not need another Fukushima like event. Thank you for all you have contributed to make this happen. Thank you for the safety inquiries which were instrumental in the result. Hoping for a nuclear free California, meaning no license renewal for Diablo. Hoping for the same for the whole country. We can do it with decentralized energy, solar, wind, and other renewables. We can do it with better building standards and transportation efficiencies. We need a healthy environment.
Donna, San Luis Obispo

Thank You for your influence and inspection activities/influence in shutting down the San Onofre, though I think they/we should have built a New SUPER SAFE efficient facility to service the southern area of California. I believe in SAFE nuclear energy,, like we have been using for at least the past 20 years in our Country and on Naval Ships, etc. With what we know today, and with a long ocean coast, California needs to have super safe nuclear powerplants. So let's build a new super safe & efficient facility on or next to the old plant.
Craig, San Diego

I would like to thank you for helping to see through the closure of San Onofre Nuclear Power Plant. After having lived through the terror and uncertainty of the earthquake and subsequent meltdown of the three reactors at Fukushima Daiichi as a resident of Japan, I can no longer trust nuclear energy as the "safe alternative." Especially when facilities are located in earthquake/tsunami-prone areas a mere 50 miles from major metropolitan areas and operated by private companies that just consider the bottom line (even in the closing of this plant). Please continue to follow-up on Edison's decommissioning of this plant. As it will sadly never be safe there as long as radioactive substances or contaminated parts are in storage, the plant will need to be closely overseen for years beyond our lifetimes. Please see that Edison and friends do everything legally and morally required to protect this plant from natural and man-made disasters... and help us to learn to be more responsible in conserving energy so there will be no need for nuclear plants. It's a lot to ask, I know. But you have shown that you can do the work that needs to be done to protect the people and environment of the state that you represent.
Roxanne, Sacramento

Are you and your "green" friends going to employ the 1100 people who will lose their jobs? Are there "green" jobs for engineers and technicians who don't want to become organic farmers? SCE didn't decide to shut SONGS down because it was "defective". They decided that the unpredictability of the Regulatory process made continuing to work on restarting the plant economically unfeasible. But that was the plan, wasn't it? Delay, delay, delay and go to court. Then you can wait out any business or person who believes that the creativity and aspirations of anything more lucrative than scratching in the dirt for subsistence should be rewarded by the fellow humans they benefit. As a constituent ( that means someone who you represent.) I object to the idea that the government's unelected agencies are better equipped to decide what is "safe". I have lived within 15 miles of SONGS for 25 years and have never felt threatened. The Red Herring you keep tossing about regarding the safety of nuclear power generation has become offensive to my intelligence.
Patricia, Aliso Viejo

I am pleased with the closure of the power plant for the safety of the community. However, just a couple of years ago we experienced "Brown" and "Black" outs due to insufficient power during the peak times of the year. With plant off line, where is the power coming from to make up for the the plant. I know the Sunrise Link is complete but the solar fields are not ready and the wind farm is shut down. Also of concern, the beauty of the coast line. Is Sempra responsible for returning the coast back to what it was like prior to the plant or do we have to look at the eyesore along the coast?
William, San Diego

I was becoming increasingly alarmed at their dodging of issues and their confrontation of the Channel 10 news team that went out to take pictures of San Onofre from public property and were bullied off the public land by security forces at San Onofre. What were they trying to hide??? Kudos to you for keeping tabs on this issue. And thanks, in advance, for making sure that the decommission doesn't pose an even greater threat to our community.
Cynthia, San Diego

With the plant closing what happens to all the workers that loses their jobs. This is not good for California with an already high unemployment rate. What are you doing about that? Will my bill go up?
Sheila, Wildomar

I'm grateful for your work to shut down the San Onofre nuclear plant. Nuclear power has such serious risks, both for present generations of human, plant, and animal life, and for future generations thousands of years into the future, that a sane society would never consider use nuclear energy as a power source.
Julie, Nevada City

So glad it is being closed. I am greatly concerned about the nuclear plants in Southern CA in El Segundo on the coast line with the possibility of earthquakes and other natural disasters it is the same type and built in the same year as the plant in Japan that has caused the entire area to be evacuated due to radiation. I have often thought of the lack of wisdom in putting a plant so close to the ocean where so much damage can be done. There may be no known time frame for disaster but with all the changes in climate and earth one thing I know for sure it is eminent.
Rebecca, Los Angeles

If it`s unsafe without an earthquake, how would it hold up in a Japan size earthquake? Please see it through that it gets safely disassembled so it doesn't get dumped into the Ocean.
Elemer, Vista

I read your email resoundingly applauding the permanent closure of San Onofre. I am one of those, with my wife and children, that are part of the 8 million residents affected, and yet I strongly DISAGREE with your position and promotion of your position. The nuclear plant could have been amended and repaired and would have continued to provide low cost power - instead, the burden of decommissioning will be thrust upon the same 8 million people that you claim that you want to protect. I don't hear you offering to have the Federal Government pay for the decommissioning. You just don't like nuclear, I sense. Regardless, your pressure to close this valuable asset has been persuasive to Sthn Cal Edison - they don't care since they can so to the Utilities Commission and get a rate hike to have me pay for the decommissioning - I feel that you have done the community a disservice by promoting this cause, and I want to register my disapproval of your action.
Patric, Laguna Hills

As a California resident, I was delighted to learn from you about the closing of the San Onofre nuclear plant. The use of, and the suggestion that the use of nuclear power should be expanded, absolutely terrifies me. As you already know -- nuclear power plant waste poisons this planet and all of its inhabitants: be they animal, vegetable or mineral.
Deborah, Belmont

I live a few miles away from San Onofre, and I feel a great deal more secure knowing the potential for a nuclear accident at San Onofre is gone. Thank you!
Barbara, Thousand Oaks

I, too, was greatly relieved to read in this morning's newspaper that the San Onofre Nuclear Plant was permanently shut down. Besides the more recent operational defects, it has always alarmed me that it was built on or near a fault line.
Barbara, Cardiff By The Sea

I read your relief letter with interest given our need to produce clean energy. There is more to San Onofre than simply the nuclear reactors. What should have been done is (1) redesign to meet your criteria or whoever is complaining about the design, or (2) produce the steam another way, such as using natural gas boilers and steam turbines. Simply killing off the plant should NOT be a relief to you or anyone else. It should be viewed as a signal that while we are looking to using clean fuels and more electric cars, our representatives are not thinking of alternative ways to use existing technology. What about all the electrical distribution equipment, is that all now going to be removed? Why? I'm amazed that you could not come up with a way to help avoid losing a power generation facility along with all the other infrastructure (wires, towers, security, etc.) and that you seem delighted by the prospect.
Jeffrey, Laguna Niguel

I agree that an unsafe plant should be closed. As the impact of that will cause higher rates for electricity and possible black outs, which can in themselves be life-threatening, maybe we should reinvest in energy to meet the needs of Californians. I would be in favor of a modern nuclear plant at the same location taking into consideration all possible dangers that we know of. Not only would that create a sustainable energy source, it would also create many jobs in the dismantling of the old plant and the building of a new one. In any event, doing nothing in regards to our energy needs will be just one more problem for residents and businesses of this great state. Please turn this into an opportunity to move forward! If in need I suggest you review the Fortune Brainstorm Green conference for some other solutions.
John, Woodland Hills

I completely agree with you. Thank you for standing firm with your position.
Mary, Laguna Hills

Thank you for all you have done to get this dangerous plant shut down forever, and for calling for an investigation. I wish all the atomic energy generating plants could be exterminated forever. This is a passion of mine because no one has figured out what to do with the spent fuel. Sticking barrels in a salt mine is laughable, but truly a sad accident waiting to happen.
Paulette, San Diego

I share with you a great sense of relief that the SONGS facility will be shut down! As a resident of Fallbrook, I feel that this power plant remains quite threatening, even if not operational, due in large part to the remaining stored nuclear waste on site. This is the next problem waiting to be addressed. Removal of this hazardous waste should be a national priority!
Jonathan, Fallbrook

Thank you for the notice and for your continued due dilligence regarding the San Onofre power plant. Although we know the power is needed the plant has always been a concern in our community.
P.T., Capistrano Beach

Thank you for your involvement in bringing about the closure of SONGS. My family lives in SC, within 10 miles of SONGS. I thought we really have to fight hard to get it closed. Thanks to your work and the public disclosure of the memo, Edison was forced to realize their position was untenable. Thank you for representing the people of SC and for being concerned about our health and safety.
Nadine, San Clemente

I want to thank you for all your hard work on this issue. As you might imagine, the closing is a great relief to those of us who live within 20 miles of this nuclear plant. I still have deep concerns about the amount of spent fuel that is stored at the facility and perhaps you can address those concerns in the future, although I know it is a thorny issue with no easy answers. But again, I thank you wholeheartedly for your dedication not only to the problems at San Onofre, but to many others, about which I am passionate.
Elizabeth, Dana Point

I think that this is a wise decision in view of the design issues. The ability to limit exposure in the event of a mishap or worse yet a catastrophe such as the one Japan recently suffered heightened the importance of this swift and timely action. I also understand that this facility has other issues associated with spent fuel rods that required a permanent solution. I think that considering the enormous population living within strike distance of the plant it further validates the decision to shut it down and subject it to further regulator scrutiny.
Andrew, San Mateo

We need to keep San Onofre power plant operating. Wind and solar power will not give us the power we need at a reasonable cost. We cannot allow these environmental terrorists to control this country. Please reconsider your stance on this issue.
Robert, Huntington Beach

I realize that this plant had defective equipment and needed to be closed. Due to this we lost a clean energy source, CO2 free. In the summer more electricity shortages will occur. I highly recommend that we build a new Nuclear Power Plant on this same site, using the latest and safest Nuclear equipment technology. Transporting electricity from fossil fuel plants in the desert east of us is inefficient. Much energy is lost over long transmission lines. Burning Fossil fuels to replace nuclear power is going backwards.
Norm, Vista

I gave up five days of my life to stay in jail to try to shut down the Diablo Canyon Nuclear Power Plant. At the time my daughtr was five years old and I felt it was the right thing to do and while we protestors served our time we received the news that there had been a design fault detection that would lead to the temporary shut down of the plant which was built on an earthquake fault. I thank you from the bottom of my heart for your part in the shut down of San Onofre. May this lead to the shut down of all nuclear powered plants everywhere!
Patricia, Santa Rosa

Thank you for any effort, time, and energy you put into this shut-down. Nuclear energy is at the bottom of my CA energy resources list. I much prefer this state endorse and support safe and renewable resources such as wind, surf, solar, and geo-thermal.
Ilof, Madera

I thought of you immediately after reading this morning's news that the San Onofre Nuclear Plant would be closed permanently. What a relief to have it settled the right way. I appreciated your firm stand not to allow it to re-open until tests proved it was safe, and I'm sure that stand played an important role in its closure.
Janet, Costa Mesa

Maybe it's a good thing or maybe it's not. We all want safety but we also need reliable sources of efficient low cost electricity. If San Onofre will permanently be shut down, what are you doing to see that the future power needs of Southern California are met. Rates keep going up and now rate payers will be hit for the cost of shutting down the plant without receiving any benefit of needed electric power. There will also be many good jobs lost because of this. Nobody wins in this situation. There will be less power, fewer jobs, and higher electic rates.
Raymond, San Diego

I am a widower, having attained the age of 87, so I am not terrified of the goings on at San Onofre. However, my children and grandchildren live close by. For them, I thank you for your efforts.
Bill, Oceanside

Swell - When you are through crowing about the San Onofre power plant being shut down for good consider: (1) Unfortunately we customers will be stuck with the $$$ billions for the cost of closing it out. We customers are already paying for the ongoing screw-ups. (2) The reduced generating capacity has to be made up for somehow. Tell me where you think it might come from. There isn't anywhere enough wind or solar generating capacity and coal burning generation from the four corners is a giant step backwards. (3) Our do nothing, dumber than dirt Congress needs to come together in the realization that America's infrastructure is in serious need of upgrading, including power generating capacity, which, for a number of reasons, must be renewable and environmentally neutral, if not positive.
Robert, Capistrano Beach

I appreciate the fact of decommissioning a nuclear site, but then what? National developers coming into California to develop the land? I hope not...why? because developers do not care about the beautiful land of California. They care about profits. SO I really hope, because that is all I can convince you of - that California will not develop the land but keep it preserved and beautiful.....development by mindless profiteers are irreversible.
Genna, Oceanside

I am wholly against the closure of the nuclear facility and against all attempts to stop new nuclear facilities. This is a clean, safe and efficient way to produce power on a large scale and until we can find another way it is better than coal and oil.
Steven, San Diego

I believe strongly that San Onofre cannot be truly safe until the nuclear fuel and spent nuclear fuel stored onsite are removed. I request you work to persuade Senator Reed to allow removal and shipment of nuclear waste to the mountain site in Nevada. That seems to be the safest of all options, and should not be blocked for the sake of a very small number of Nevada citizens who would be subjected to a very slight risk, mostly during shipment which can be very tightly controlled.
Jim, San Clemente

Thank you Senator for your hard work and efforts leading to investigations and closure of this dangerous and costly plant.
Inese, Del Mar

I, too, am relieved that San Onofre is closed. But I do not appreciate having had to pay for its failure, not do I believe that we should have to pay increased rates this summer because of this failure. My electric bill last summer was ridiculous, and I do not look forward to another summer of increased rates. I hope that you and your colleagues have the influence to prevent such continued highway robbery.
Myra, Newport Beach

Your prejudice against nuclear power has been demonstrated by your internet message and prior statements. Your claims of radiation hazards to the population within 50 miles of the plant are ludicrous and confirm your prejudice. The small steam leak that led to the San Onofre shut down led to no release of radiation, a situation that would have been replicated in the worst case had that plant been allowed to operate at 70% power. The absence of locally produced base power in San Diego County may well lead to power shortages and damaging oscillations in times of peak usage. We will know who to thank for that.
John, San Diego 

Thank you so much for all that you have done to ensure that unsafe plant was shut down for good! I was so concerned, and afraid they would put it back online.
Amelie, Vista

Thank you for bringing to light the dangers of old and outdated nuclear energy technology. In the future I hope community based renewable energy is the way to go.
Jordan, San Diego

Thank you for representing us well in this case, and in your continued efforts with DOJ to investigate SCE. Nuclear energy is nowhere near clean. Thank you for your support of actual clean energy sources. Well done!
John, Los Angeles

Thank you so much for all your hard work & continued oversight of San Onofre and its problems. Back in the early 1970s, when this site was submitted for approval, The Center for Law in the Public Interest (in Los Angeles) sued to stop construction because of its inherent dangers to the community and to the ocean. Located on an earthquake fault, as well, San Onofre should never have been approved, but it was. The late Ric Sutherland, a CLIPI attorney, and a confirmed environmentalist, would have been so relieved to learn the plant will be closed for good. As I drive past it, I always mutter "I am now passing one of the most dangerous places on earth." -- A big sigh of relief from your constituent who knew about the history and the problems. I will closely monitor its deconstruction.
Sydney, Oceanside

I am so elated that the closure will now be permanent and we don't have to be in fear of any number of things that could set off a horrible disaster.
Gerry, Laguna Woods

Gee that is really neat the you have managed to shut San Onofre down permanently. So just how do you intend to make up for the energy that it has provided. Are you going to allow us to have rolling brown outs this summer or are you just going to cut off the current all together?
Jim, Murrieta

Many of us who live within miles of the plant are breathing a sigh of relief. This plant should never have been built on the cliffs of the Pacific Ocean to begin with and has always been a seismic tragedy waiting to happen.
Christine, San Diego

Your message is right on target, the ratepayers cannot allow SCE to walk away from their financial responsibility and must follow up with the OII investigation. There is to some, the sense of a back room deal with CPUC and SCE in the shutdown of SONGS; and if Judge Darling rules in the favor of the Edison "criminals" who tried to bilk the NRC and California ratepayers, SCE will not only reap hundreds of millions in their bill-of-goods nuclear plant charges but also be rewarded with SAFSTORE funds for the storage facility they will build to contain the nuclear waste on site. Not only does the public need to keep up the pressure on illuminating the press and public about the manner of SCE's profit schemes, but also we must stay in the discussion of the determination of the replacement energy sources for the SONGS production, and insist that it includes a large amount of renewables along with renewable friendly grid improvements. There are 1100 SCE employees unemployed, and that is what I and others are working on right now in hopes of shaping an employee owned cooperative. This is a completely new idea of a worker cooperative and the discussions are yet to be arranged, but with help from a caring community of South Orange County we hope to bring the workers into an environment of cooperative management and self-determination after the SCE-SONGS decommission.
Ron, Dana Point

Now that the plant will shut down, DO NOT ALLOW THE PUC to raise the consumer rates for electricity. The cost should be borne by the company and it's stockholders just as every other company incurs a loss.
Frank, San Diego

I strongly disagree with your enthusiasm for the plant closing. As we speak, SC Ed is trying to figure out just how much of a rate increase to present to the PUC. Nuclear Power has a stellar safety record, and now we will all be paying more for electricity.
Rob, Mission Viejo

Thank you for the wonderful work you have done and continue to do on San Onofre. One hopes that the nightmare of a California Fukushima can now be put to rest and that the decommission process will be safe and effective.
Alexandria, San Diego

Thanks for standing up for us and putting pressure on Edison to do the right thing. Corporate interests are too powerful, and they really don't care what happens to the public. BP and Fukushima are only the two most recent examples. And unfortunately, our government is too weak and dysfunctional to oversee most of the important things.
Dorian, Trabuco Canyon

ridiculous...and how much are you going to spend to shut it down??? Billions? Yes! Nuclear energy could help us all in years to come. Your flawed thinking is like everyone else in Washington.
Patti, San Diego

This is excellent news. Thank you for your concern and diligence in making this happen.
Lindsay, Petaluma

Who is going to pay for the decommissioning of San Onofre? I have been paying for years to have the plant brought up to code now you say it is unsafe. Where were these great inspectors who were checking the work being done and let them continue to bilk me and my fellow California's out of the fees were charged every month. I don't think the public should be liable and have to pay the billions it will cost to demolish the plant. The electric companies made a pretty penny so they should be responsible for the demolishment.
Robert, San Diego

Thank you for your efforts to shut down the San Onofre nuclear plant. On behalf of the communities surrounding San Onofre, I can say that we are greatly relieved that this hazardous plant will be closed forever. It is time to look to clean (non-nuclear) energy and to conservation for solutions to our energy needs.
Gloria, Trabuco Canyon

The next step is to insure that the ratepayers are not stuck with the cost of dismantling. We've been paying for years. The stockholders should have to eat this.
Charles, San Diego

I completely disagree with the closure of San Onofre and feel we should have more nuclear power here in California. The plants fail safes worked as intended so no large outlay of toxins were released. There are numerous power plants all over the world, and yet we in the US,as one of the largest consumers of power in the world, have the least number of plants. They are designed to operate safely everywhere else, just not here? I feel this is just the response to nearby residents who moved after the plant was already there and new the "risks" and now prefer to just pass the buck.
Rene, Anaheim

Thank you so much for your hard work on this matter. We have a long way to go and with your help, we will achieve much!
Glenda, Los Angeles

I support you 100% in continuing efforts toward the finalization of decommission of San Onofre, including getting rid of all the radioactive and contaminated water, etc., without further damage to our environment and oceans.
Lisa, San Anselmo

I disagree. The plant could have, and should have, been properly repaired. The loss of 2GWe of emissions-free power that operates 24/7 is unconscionable -- it will be made up for by gas burning, aggravating our climate problems which are now looming even closer than decades -- ocean acidification is just years away from shutting down sea food chains and the natural carbon cycle's sequestration to seafloor limestone. The San Onofre problem, along with our naive spent-fuel legislation, are the results of misunderstanding the importance of nuclear power as the best environmental choice along with local solar. It demonstrates to the world that we're being led foolishly into unimaginable environmental tragedies without concern for facts.
Alexander, Menlo Park 

I agree if the current nuclear power plant is unsafe it should be closed but the ground work should be put in place immediately to secure another nearby site for a replacement nuclear power plant.
Thomas, Escondido

I suggest you need to rethink your position on nuclear power in view of the fact that nuclear is one of the important ways to meet our electrical needs while also cutting green house gases. Times have changed and your thinking has not. I do not support your view.
Barney, Walnut Creek

San Onofre put out exactly zero carbon dioxide emissions, and yet you celebrate it's closeure. Are you willing to do anything...anything to cut CO2? Does global warming have any significance any longer. To actually show joy at the end of this CO2 free energy production is sadly misplaced, and just plain sad.
Jim, San Diego

I am relieved and delighted to hear your efforts to permanently close the San Onofre nuclear plant worked. Brava Senator, and many thanks for a job well done.
Jim, Costa Mesa

I disagree vehemently with your support for the closing of the electric power generating San Onofre Power plant. That plant has operated safely for decades providing cheap power for So. Calif. The current problem is easily fixable for those who really know what is going on. Washington regulations are strangling the repair and re-opening of that plant. Losers will be those served by that plant. As President Obama famously stated at one time, "Electric rated would necessarily increase". This closing is bad for California and bad for rate payers. I'll follow up in the future when rolling brown outs occur again, and rate hikes are dumped on consumers.
Robert, San Diego

Thanks for your attention to the particular case of San Onofre. Independent of San Onofre's particularly situation, nuclear power should have a place in our energy portfolio. All energy production technologies have substantial lifecycle issues and risks; there are different risks and concerns for different technologies. No technology can be risk-free. Our overall goal should be towards a diverse, environmentally cautious, and affordable energy portfolio. Of course we hope to minimize both known and unforeseen risks, whether health risks or supply risks. I hope that you will continue to promote transparent energy policy (giving high priority to energy conservation) within California and the United States, and help Americans to make informed decisions about their energy use and energy sources.
Lisa, Coronado

I was impressed by this phrase I heard recently. It exemplifies your contribution to keeping us safe. "Humanity is derived from what we do for others" You constantly demonstrate that intention.
Elsa, Laguna Beach

Your belief that all nuclear power plants should be decommissioned is naive and clearly indicates that you are driven by political philosophy rather than by reasonable thinking. Instead of encouraging deployment of modern nuclear power technology with smaller facilities, and supporting research in this vital area, you have taken the opposite tack. NO ONE WINS with this decision! Shame on you for doing the wrong thing!
Kevin, Newport Beach

I can't thank you enough for your help with this matter and I hope that you will continue to make sure they clean up the nuclear waste in a safe way so no harm can come to the citizens who live in the area or to the environment.
Sue, Dana Point

You are waisting a huge amount of time and money to remove and destroy a low cost safe power supply. I would like to know the true underlieing reason for the destruction of this plant. This is a huge mistake that you are backing.
Richard, Escondido

Regarding your recent letter about the closure of the San Onofre nuclear power plant, thank you for your great work on an issue of which I was naturally aware was a problem in principle, but which I for one did not know existed as such. Until the much-desired and anticipated cleaner energy sources are fully available, we still live in a world where our power needs force the un-sustainability (due to its role in global warming) of burned substances or the un-sustainability (due its risk) of nuclear power, and it is my belief that a properly run nuclear program is probably still the better choice. France seems to offer a model of a well-run program, though I am not qualified to speak to this. As one who has, merely as a concerned citizen, noted the issue and participated in very many discussions on this topic, I have reached the provisional conclusion that if, and only if, the standards of scientific oversight are continuous and, basically, the best that are possible, there is better hope in power sources that at least have the virtue of being fewer in number and subject to strict scrutiny than the current well-known mega-proliferation of cruder sources of conventional combustion-oriented ones. Please permit me to take the opportunity to say that I believe that nuclear power for the peaceful use of energy is a valid idea and the unrelenting persistence with weapons is not. It is my fervent hope that the station's radiation leak, which you mention in your letter, will be repaired without one single person being put at risk.
Christopher, San Mateo

Thank you for keeping me in formed on matters of concern in my county. I often wonder what is happening at that plant when I drive by it. I appreciate having a senator who is concerned with her constituents.
Rougenia, San Diego

Can I run an electric cord to your house when we have brown-outs and insufficient electricity for our homes. Are you now going to work toward drilling for oil in CA? That would provide badly needed jobs and income not to mention energy for our state.
Sharon, San Marcos

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Californians respond to my message on Safety First at San Onofre (04/09/2013):

San Onofre's current operating license requires running at 100% power for 22 months. Edison wants the NRC to lower safety standards to 70% power for 5 months so they can run their defective steam generators. Please do everything in your power to stop this. Southern California Edison has repeatedly demonstrated they do not have the management skills to run a nuclear power plant.
Donna, San Clemente

Living in San Diego so close to this power plant, it gives me peace of mind to know that you are overseeing the most comprehensive investigation possible before this power plant is restarted. I want to take this opportunity also to let you know that I feel so fortunate to have you as my Senator. I can always rely on you to have our best interests at heart in California.
Merrily, San Diego

I live in Laguna Niguel a few miles north of the nuclear reactor, and I appreciate that you oppose the utility company in its attempt to restart San Onofre and gamble with my life and those of my neighbors.
Barbara, Thousand Oaks

The delay on restarting the plant has gone on long enough and I think SCE knows what its doing to restart and keep it operating safely. I think you are siding with the enviro freaks who want to shut this plant down when we need it most with hot summer months coming. Enough delays are enough!
Karl, Glendora

Thank you for sending your message to the NRC. I live within that 50 mile radius and have been very concerned about San Onofre reopening. It is frightening to think that strong lobbyists may force the plant to be put back online when there are still serious safety issues to be resolved.
Carol, Huntington Beach

Thank you, Senator Boxer, for standing up for the safety of the millions of people who live within the area affected by a possible San Onofre incident. I was one of the protestors when the decision was made to put this dangerous facility in a totally unsuitable and unsafe location. Most politicians (who do not live close enough to be threatened by this facility) verbally pat us on the head and say that things will be all right. I appreciate your speaking out.
Helene, Bonsall

I greatly appreciate your firm stance to the NRC and requiring no restarting of the reactors at San Onofre until safety can be assured. I am willing to reduce my electrical power use when required. I have a solar photovoltaic system on my roof that I feed into the grid and last year participated in the SDG&E reduction in usage program. I will gladly do so again.
Craig, San Diego

I am supportive of all initiatives that require health of the environment which means the whole of the web of life and human health prior to short term profits. We need more people with the vision to stand up for people and the planet first over the interest of corporations.
Brad, San Diego

So you've told us what you are doing to keep the plant in shut down which may or may not be fine. What are you doing to help replace the power that is not being generated? We pay such high prices for power and other utilities in southern California. We continue to pay for the costs of a power plant that does not operate. I do care and I have invested in solar power for my home, but a one sided approach to environmental concerns is wrong.
Raymond, San Diego

Thank you for your steadfast position on the reopening of the San Onofre nuclear power plant. Being old enough to have lived during the 3 Mile Island fiasco, I am no fan of nuclear power, period. In my opinion, we would be far better off investing in and developing renewable energy sources. At least for now, however, I am happy that you are refusing to allow another "rush job", as has happened many times in the past.
Tom, Calabasas

We live within 60miles of San Onofre and to know you are there fighting for the interests of the people is very comforting. Please continue to do so. Thank You!
Donald, Pomona

The San Onofre power plant should not be reopened, ever. As usual, the power companies and powers that be are only thinking about money, not the thousands of lives that could be lost if this nuclear power plant reopens at less than optimum operating capacity and a consequent disaster occurs. Hopefully enough people will speak out, no, shout out their concerns about the reopening of this facility.
L., Dana Point

We are part of the 8 million who live within 50 mi. of this plant. 24 miles to be exact. I applaud your efforts to make sure it is safe prior to reopening. there have been rumors for years of releases of radioactive water to the ocean from this plant - that should be checked too. The depleted but still radioactive rods that are being stored on the beach should be moved to a permanent repository prior to start up also. No plans for that. Nuclear is neither safe NOR CHEAP. We will have to guard and store rods from ALL the plants for a mere 10,000 years.
Kasey, Carlsbad

Please keep up the pressure. Don't let San Onofre open until it's safe.
Martin, Laguna Woods

Thank you Senator Boxer for demanding a full report on San Onofre including the opportunity for public participation. This is a very old facility with significant problems and suggestions of lax standards and possibly malfeasance. The public is rightfully anxious about the plant's safety and reliability. There is no room for miscalculation where nuclear safety is concerned..
Nora, La Jolla

Thank you for pursuing your current course of action concerning San Onofre Nuclear Powerplant. I think the concerns are warranted, and while there is evidence that nuclear energy can be operated safely, the risks outweigh the benefits. If we have to pay more for electricity, so be it; the half-life of nuclear fuel is far pricier if not contained.
Robert, San Diego

I very much appreciated your email about resisting the premature restarting of San Onofre. Their equipment failures show the what we've known for a while. This is an aging plant which has functioned beyond its intended time. Having seen what can happen in Japan, it is no longer conscionable to allow Con Ed to operate this facility. It is located in a tsunami zone, adjacent to a major earthquake fault, and lacks adequate security. The huge populations north and south are all at risk if the plant is restarted.
Matt, San Diego

I believe your letter to the NEC will just keep the cost of electricity to continue to increase and will have no actual effect on the plsnt running safley.
Robert, Laguna Hills

I agree with many of your public positions but I disagree completely with your stance on the restart of the San Onofre nuclear power plant. California needs low cost carbon emmission free electrical power. You are choosing high cost, high emmissions electrical power.
Ian, Corona Del Mar

This is a very serious subject with all of our friends and family. We do not think this old dinosaur should be used again ever. As usual the industry puts profits before safety. They always have done this. We don't want to have a Fukushima here. Nuclear is not the way of the future. The sooner we get over it the better. It's futile to continue with this nasty, dirty, unsafe, polluting-for-eternity way of boiling water. It's so backwards! We applaud your efforts in keeping watch over this very important situation. It really makes us want to move away from all Nuclear Power Plants!!!
Pamela, Encinitas

As a resident of South Orange County who lives approximately ten miles from the San Onofre nuclear complex, I want to say, "Thank you!" for doing the 100% correct and prudent thing in NOT supporting any weakening of regulations that would allow SCE to expedite the reactivation of their nuclear power plants at the expense of public safety. Enough information about the problem at San Onofre has leaked out (no pun intended!) to cause great concern for any citizens living in the beautiful and vital area of South Orange County who have been paying attention. That the cause of the prematurely deteriorating cooling system is still unknown mandates that caution must prevail over expediency.
John, Ladera Ranch

We are outraged at the possibility of any reactor at the San Onofre plant reopening, in view of the fact that it has been proven that it would unsafe to reopen even at 70% capacity with the tubes eroding as they have. We are in strong agreement with those who claim that the reopening of any portion of this plant would be a careless science experiment, which has not taken into consideration the potential loss of lives in this land of earthquakes. Afterall, the plant sits next to two faults, one with the probability of an 8.0 earthquake when it was designed to sustain a 7.0. Without question, there should be a license review. The safe operation of the plant has already been compromised. Safety modifications were rejected, and we have already witnessed the shortcuts that resulted in damage to hundreds of steam generator tubes that carry radioactive water. Do we really want to risk becoming the next Fukushima? Please, we implore those who are reviewing the reopening of the plant to look through the eyes of integrity rather than financial consideration.
Leah, Rancho Santa Fe

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Californians respond to my message on Investigating New Safety Concerns at San Onofre (2/7/2013):

Shut it down. It is not safe nor can it be made safe. Hindsight is always better than foresight, but we don't want to suffer the same conditions like Chernobyl or Fukushima. San Onofre has been idled too long. It only means that the engineers don't know how to make it safe to operate. Err on the side of caution and shut it permanently.
Rodney, San Diego

Thank you very much for expressing your concern about the San Onofre Nuclear power plant. I live in San Clemente and it scares me to know how the plant has been operated.
Ulla, San Clemente

Thank you for your continuing follow through with the nuclear power plant. I just had solar panels installed on my roof. Please continue those incentives. In SoCal why can't we gather more energy from our sun?
Mary, Laguna Hills

We see eye to eye on some important subjects. Such as the fact that if there is to be Nuclear Energy is must be truly clean and truly safe. Currently it is neither. Thank you for updating me with this extremely important issue.
Shannon, Bethel Island

I think we need to go even further and shut down nuclear power plants. Safety and nuclear power plants is an oxymoron.... Thank you for your continued support of this view.
Tanya, Huntington Beach

The vast number of residents of Southern CA do not want the San Onofre Power Plant reopened under any circumstances. The plant is old and has been poorly maintained -- it is simply a major disaster waiting to happen. We trust that you will use your common sense to make sure that the plant remains closed permanently.
Gary, Laguna Niguel         

Please do not let your prejudice against Nuclear Energy interfere in getting San Onofre full back on line. I suspect your real intent is to shut all nuclear power facilities. That is a dreadful ambition and bad policy.
D., Aliso Viejo

Thank you Senator Boxer for your efforts to protect the safety of all who could suffer from a nuclear mishap.
Silka, San Diego

Thank you Senator for calling Prof Hirsch to the NRC hearing. He paints quite a different picture than Edison does. Is reopening San Onofre worth the risk for a fairly small amount of electricity? Imagine the economic destruction if something happened there. And we are not even factoring in seismic possibilities there. Edison and Mitsubishi have tried to pull a fast one here so they didn't need to undergo a full review. It is time for that now.
Anne, Laguna Beach

Our family is among the 8.7 million people who live within 50 miles of this power plant. In fact, we live in Oceanside, only 17 miles from there. We, along with our neighbors, are VERY concerned that San Onofre Nuclear Power plant NOT ever be reopened, until and unless we know it is TOTALLY SAFE. Otherwise is it like living with a nuclear time-bomb in our neighborhood, ready to go off. Furthermore, given the geologic, fault situation and propensity toward major earthquakes within 50 miles of this nuclear facility, My family questions the wisdom of ever reopening it again.
Sunny, Oceanside

Thank you for keeping an eye on the liars at SCE and Mitsubishi. Nuclear fission is the most expensive method of boiling water ever invented. It has the potential to be catastrophic. In California we have a lot of sunny days. My home is powered by solar panels. For the price of the idiotic Iraq war we could have placed solar panels on every, single roof in the United States of America. We the taxpayers are on the hook for all meltdowns and releases of radioactive material. The waste materials will remain radioactive for hundreds of thousands of years. Providing a target for terrorists for that long as well. Shut down all nukes.
James, Huntington Beach

I live within 10 miles of SONGS. Although they may have some problems, I believe that they are operating a safe and efficient power plant. Nuclear energy is vital to the future of our nation. To look for a boogeyman behind every slight problem makes no sense. We need to be energy independant. Safe, efficient nuclear energy allows us to be that. One cannot be for renewable energy and not be in favor of nuclear energy. Wind and solar will not provide enough energy to meet the challenge. Nuclear can be safe and efficient. Let the utility and the NRC handle the situation. It does not not need the Senator's involvment.
Harold, Dana Point

Thank you for your stance and communication regarding the need for closer scrutiny and regulation of replacement segments for the San Onofre nuclear energy facilities. I appreciate your effort and acuity in monitoring those activities.
Frieda, Pasadena

I am grateful to you for your continuing concern and oversight regarding the San Onofre Nuclear Power Plant. I urge you to also follow-up on the seismic concerns associated with the Diablo Nuclear Power Plant also.
Sandy, Santa Cruz

The power plant at San Onofre has served us here in Southern California for many years. The amount of energy it is capable of producing is far beyond ANY current energy generation methods. The plant has never had a problem and now after finally realizing the high costs of building and maintaining the plant YOU and others want to destroy it...for what? Wind and solar are part of the future, but not realistic for powering cities yet. Before tearing the nuclear plant down or decommissioning the plant we here in Southern California want a replacement source of energy. Energy costs are the highest in the country and nothing but higher costs will come from ANY other type of generation plant. On behalf of me and my family I want to see San Onofre rebuilt, recommissioned and put back on-line to serve the reasonably- priced, safe, energy needs of much of Southern California.
Joseph, San Diego

The San Onofre Nuclear plant has never completely passed a safety check. Southern California Edison thinks close is ok. It is in a heavily populated area, next to Camp Pendleton, near or on earthquake faults and close to the ocean.
Joan, Dana Point

After receiving and reading your news flash regarding your request to the NRC to launch an immediate investigation, I am compelled to respond. If you were genuinely concerned about helping Californian's, rather than trying to delay or discontinue the nuclear energy generation at San Onofre, you would be helping to secure new nuclear power generators, including this site.
Jeff, Del Mar

I would love to see San Onofre Nuclear generators shut down completely. They are not safe, have never been safe, and will never be safe. It is built on a fault, ocean front where tsunamis can hit (their wall is inadequate as shown by Japan). The area is perfect to convert to solar, wind, and wave energy generation, all clean energies which nuclear is Not!
Pattie, San Clemente

There is always a line between safety and cost/time. Always. We could save lives on our highways by driving at 20 MPH and having cars that weighed 10 tons and had 50 airbags, but we don't. Your memo and action seems to insinuate that SCE/MHI didn't do all they could, especially when doing so would trigger regulatory review (cost, time). I'm not sure there's enough information here to make an informed judgement, and your publicity here does little to help that assessment. I'm all for safety, especially given the proximity of SONGS. But I also accept that there's some risk - there always is.
Bill, Laguna Niguel

I heard it on the Radio and was very pleased you are keeping So. Cal. Edisons feet to the fire! We are very concerned that we could have an Nuclear disaster at that plant. So. Cal. Edison modifications to the plant has put our safety at risk for profit. The Nuclear Regulation Commision should investigate immediatly and provide the people in the vicinity with all information . Our health and safety and financial risk in our homes is at stake. Members of the Nuclear Commision should not give Edison any benifet of any doubt , they choose the modifications in order to avoid inspections and save money for profit. They should have to pay for their actions.
Bridget, Laguna Niguel

Thank you for your message and for looking into the matter going on down here in our area. Not only do we not have the power that the plant is supposed to be generating and may be in harm's way if things go wrong but it is my understanding that even though Southern California Edison is a publically traded company owned by shareholders that the SCE customers are paying for this problem through their electrical bills. If this is true is there any way for customers to recover their money that SCE has forced them to pay for SCE's poor judgment and mishandling of this situation?
James, Capistrano Beach

These nuclear facilities must be closed! As the catistrophie at Fukashima has more than demomstrated there is no safe way to use nuclear technology. The SCE Nuclear plant is too dangerous to stay on line. Get rid of it! Before its too late.
Keith, San Jose

It is clear, now more than ever, that this plant should never be reopened and that there was fraud committed by So Cal Edison and Mitsubishi who knowingly installed something they knew wouldn't work! How they can pretend to have any concern for the safety of the millions of people who live within the 50 mile radius of the plant is unfathomable. Please help us to make sure this plant never, ever reopens. I live well within the 50 mile radius and have been thankful every single day the plant stays shut. I only hope it will be permanent. The NRC must look out for the best interests of U.S. citizens and not the power company or Mitsubishi. This is another Fukushima waiting to happen. Thank you for your time and actions on this horrendous situation.
Gerry, Laguna Woods

You have made a small first step toward shining some much needed light on what happened at San Onofre, thanks to SCE poor in-house design of the replacement steam generators!! By giving the Industry permission to consider most documents private, there can be no true oversight by the public! Case in Point: The report you mentioned was not made available to the public, if it was then by now these problems would have already been identified by the DAB Safety Team, and that could have saved SoCal residents $54 Million a month! SCE is trying to "game" the evidence against them, and your EPW comm. cannot allow US Nuclear Safety to become yet more Party vs Party Politics, the USA cannot afford a Trillion Dollar Eco-Disaster like Fukushima! The NRC hearing today was yet another sign that the NRC is trying to say that everything is wonderful when in fact we now have a 1.4 Billion dollar problem thanks to SCE trying to circumvent the NRC regulations, because they can!
Don, San Diego

Thank you for your recent efforts calling on the NRC to investigate possible problems at the San Onofre nuclear power plant. I applaud your dedication to ensuring that existing plants are safe and I hope you will work to stop the construction of future plants. Though we need to move away from our reliance on fossil fuels, nuclear power is not the solution. Conservation, education, and improved efficiency, along with green energy options can solve the problem.
Bruce, Long Beach

Thank you for your quick action on this. My faith in you is well founded! That's saying a lot, coming from a registered Republican.
Kathie, Laguna Niguel

I live in Oceanside approximately 15 miles south of the San Onofre Nuclear Power Plant and it scares me to death. Please shut it down permanently. Nuclear is not the answer to our energy needs. I understand this plant is similar in design and vintage to the Fukishima Nuclear Power Plant that have devastated life in Japa. Using nuclear energy to boil water is like using a shot gun to kill a fly - more collateral damage than effective action.
Steven, Oceanside

I hope and pray that the San Onofre Plant is closed down. I feel it is not safe and also that we residents have been charged for a plant that has not been operating.
Helen, Mission Viejo

I am dismayed by the apparent glee with which you announce the problems at San Onofre. Our future depends on clean nuclear power. There is no alternative. It is time you become informed and supported immediate construction of 4th generation nuclear power plants in California. Is may already be too late.
Keith, Davis

Thank you for pursuing this investigation. We do not need a catastrophic disaster as in Japan!
Michael, Santa Rosa

San Onofre should perhaps not be restarted at all, certainly not without engineering data/computations made available for independent analysis. The NRC is a captured agency. As Arnie Gunderson has remarked, San Onofre is a giant experiment with Southern California as the guinea pig. Let's not have a nuclear accident here.
Bradford, San Diego

Nuclear Power Plant safety has been a concern of mine since the opening of Diablo Canyon in the 70's. I have lived in San Diego, San Luis Obisbo, or Orange County throughout my adult life. This is too beautiful of a state, and too populated to take chances.
Patricia, San Diego

Thank you for taking up this urgent matter concerning the safety of the San Onofre nuclear power plant. This is proof once again that the private sector cannot be responsible for the welfare of the people and nuclear power must be replaced with renewable energy. It’s unbelievable that even after the disaster in Japan, these fools still gamble with our lives and that of the planet. This is a testament for the need for strong, well-funded government regulatory agencies. Don't let the Republicans cut the budget on the NRC..
Jill, San Diego

This makes a nice headline for the media, but in this case, I actually believe Southern California's denial. From everything released to this point, and from my knowledge of the engineering complexities of the steam generator design, I believe that the likelihood of knowledge of pre-installation flaws in the steam generators is unlikely. This news release only spins up the public living in the area (like me), and should have been fully validated and vetted before being released.
Ray, Oceanside

While I naturally share your concerns regarding the safe operation of any nuclear power plant, especially one near my home, I can't help but think that if there's a possibility that "SCE and MHI rejected enhanced safety modifications and avoided triggering a more rigorous license amendment and safety review process" then there is something seriously wrong with the license amendment and safety review process. It sounds as if, from a regulatory standpoint, additional safety becomes materially punitive. This should never, ever be the case.
Erik, San Diego

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Homeless Veterans

Californians respond to my message on Combating Veteran Homelessness:

Kudos to you for this proposal! It is so very sad that our government is quick to send troops to war but turns its head when they return months or years later with health, mental, job, finance, family and other issues after dedicating their lives to the "cause." Your bill is an excellent step to dealing with a piece of the problem. I applaud it – and especially the way that you have set up controls and oversight on the funds. Good job once again!
Kath, Diablo

I am one of those Homeless Veterans, but fortunately that is about to end thanks to some of the non-profits, and the Dept. of Veterans Affairs. I am one that qualified for HUD/VASH and am about to move into permanent housing thanks to that program. On another note we just had a visit from Congressman Ami Bera last week as he toured the transitional housing program that I am currently at (SVRC) in Sacramento.
John, Rancho Cordova

Your legislation is backwards. Let’s provide guarantees of homes for veterans too damaged by our adventures overseas to fend for themselves and provide a checkbox so that we tax payers can donate to the salaries of legislators based on our opinion and experience of your value!
Alan, Mill Valley

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Californians respond to my message on Helping to End Veteran Homelessness (01/23/2013):

As a long-time supporter of Swords to Ploughshares here in San Francisco, I was pleased to receive your email about the legislation you introduced that will further support our HOMELESS!,
Pam, San Francisco

KUDOS for your effort to help the homeless veterans. As a retired Navy, Viet Nam era veteran, it breaks my heart to see so many guys my own age, and some older and some much younger, that are homeless for any number of reasons. I also believe the benefits we were promised when we were drafted or enlisted, should never, ever be cut or taken away. I watched as my own father, a WWII MIA/POW, suffer with some of the physical impairments as a result of his service, and later realized he also had mental issues as well. Fortunately, he was able to cope with his problems until late in his life, and had to sell his house, the house I was born in, in order to get the care he needed. He was one of the fortunate ones, compared to so many others. I do thank you for your efforts, and for your service to our country.
Michael, Moreno Valley

That's a great idea about putting a space on our income tax to support our veterans' programs to reduce homelessness. My dad was a vet from WWII so this is very important to our family. I hope your legislation passes.
Dolores, Palm Desert

Thank god someone is thinking about them. They thought about us when they were serving this country so why should we forget about them.
Laura, Moreno Valley

Your concern about veterans homelessness is commendable and appropriate. However, a check off box to make voluntary donations is an insult and an outrage!!!! We need a surtax on income that is mandatory. Low income people may not be able to spare much but a ten percent tax on all income over $100,000 per year to fund veteran housing and healthcare would be totally appropriate. Our veterans should not be dependent on charity! Tax payers owe them the care they need including medical and psyhcological! It is not a charitable act to care for our veterans. It is a duty and an obligation! Make congressional pay dependent on a check off contribution. Make veteran care a mandatory obligation!
Al, Mill Valley

I want to thank you for your efforts in honoring our Vietnam Veterans I myself being a Vietnam Veteran that returned home to a ungrateful nation, I am now scarred with PTSD and the horrible memories of that terrible War. I think you are a wonderful person for what you are doing for our country and our Veterans.
Tom, Mira Loma

While I applaud your desire to help our veterans. I am sure you know that through churches and other non government organizations there are many ways one can help without giving money to the government. It is painfully obvious that the government does not know how to allocate dollars without wasting most of them. You might not admit that publicly but you know it is true. That fact has nothing to do with political parties it is the nature of the beast. I don't see why we need the government to spend yet more money to more public employees to do something that the community can do far more effectively.
Steve, Yucaipa

Does the donation become deductible? Who decides where the money goes? It seems like a nice thought, but excess tax legislation. Currently legitimate organizations that help homeless veterans receive donations that are tax deductible. My veteran brother has been homeless, and I appreciate the services that he received.
Robert, Murrieta

Great move! I will instruct my accountant to check this box and contribute from our funds on this year’s tax return. Thank you. I'm a vet and although not homeless I understand some of their problems.
John, Goleta

Thank you for all that you do to help fight for our homeless veterans. For years I lived two blocks from the VA hospital in San Francisco. Every day I talked to homeless vets. I heard about their struggles, I heard how many were denied housing because of addiction issues. I talked to men who were in the trenches, who saw terrible things, who won medals. I heard their poetry and their songs. Every day I got angrier and angrier that these men were on the streets. More so because, once on the streets, they become throw away people. I hear "not my problem" and "get a job." Thank you Barbara Boxer for consistently shining a light on this issue. No one should have to live in deep poverty and illness. And for us to be shouting "Support our Troops!" while so many vets live this way is just appalling to me. Thank you.
Marsh, San Francisco

I think it is awesome that you are supporting veterans now to try to stop them from being homeless. I am married to a Vietnam vet who still remembers being spit upon by his fellow Americans when he returned after two tours in Vietnam. While having his ischemic heart disease accepted as a presumption of agent orange he has to receive that small extra amount of money cause we are married… My husband is not alone in his belief that the remaining Vietnam vets will be dead before they are adequately compensated.
Sherry, Moreno Valley

Finally something I can back a Democrate in a cause. We donate what little we can to the paralized Vets, but had no idea how to help others. our troops go through hell and get so little help and support. I am a registered Republican but will support you 100% on this. by the way we are not vets and no one in my immediate family is a vet.. Thank you
Jean, Tehachapi

I agree we need to extend more help to our veterans who are homeless. We need to start with Mental Health first. They did their best to help our nation. The war in the middle east will never end. We need to bring our men and women home and provide jobs for them. We need to help them in every way possible.
Linda, Sun City

Why just Veerans? What about children? Veterans already have a life where if they are homeless they cannot assimilate into society and have other issues. Children are our future and we need to focus on that.
Michael, Temecula

With prices going up, and buying power going down every day, where do you expect to find taxpayers who would choose to donate more money to the government so they can do the job they should have been doing all along with the trillions they are collectinbg and mismanaging? Seriously, this veteran would first like to see more fiscal responsibility with the trilliions you have been entrusted with. You may want to consider such things as a balanced budget amendment for one... Since I have a choice, I know of a number of charities that I believe will do a more responsible job with my money. And several of them help veterans too. Respectfully,
George, Yucaipa

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Veterans’ Mental Health Care

Californians respond to my message on Improving Mental Health Care for At-Risk Veterans:

Although we disagree on most issues, I want to thank you for your efforts in getting Vets the mental health care that they need. Thanks again for your help on this issue. Mental Health is the key to curbing gun violence and suicide among Vets.
Edward, San Jose

I have been aware of this issue for many years and am glad it has your attention because we need to deal with this issue in a humane manner. As a result, we need to assist our vets to learn any skills needed to become an independent person and this ought to be our goal. Thanks.
Chuck, Sun City

thank you barbara for thinking of our veterans. first we start the wars and then we abandon the vets. we must help them. i served (was drafted) in the fifties-- 2 years active service, 2 years active reserves and 2 inactive reserves. luckily there was no war. i am now 79 and am fed up with all the nonsense of our country not meeting its obligations. when will this stop?
John, Studio City

Thank you for doing more than giving lip service on behalf of the young people who protect our way of life, our sense of security, and our Country; they risk their lives, their futures and their family's well-being to do so. You are right. They deserve the best of care...before, during, and after they serve--medical as well as mental health. Our communities need to take care of its heroes, and I applaud you for taking a stand and taking action in following this through.
Joan, Carmichael

On behalf of myself and all disabled veterans thank you for your kind words and support to us. The ill, the weak, and most of the time the ones fallen into the red tape. Honorable Senator Boxer, I'm grateful to you for all the hard work that you do.
Sabino, Lincoln

Yup, It's hard to believe that in a CIVILIZED society there are those who could care less about our Veterans, elderly, & disabled. Eric Cantor, Paul Ryan and their followers need to experience the other side of the street before they turn this country even more to the dark side. I am glad the people like you are willing to fight them. Remember JFK's quote about a Liberal... paraphrased: 'if caring about my fellow man makes me a liberal, I'm proud of it'.
Paul, Jamul

I appreciate the work you and Senator Murray (WA) do regarding veterans affairs. You are addressing the needs of veterans of every war/conflict. As a veteran and a pastor relating to vets, I thank you!
Steven, Folsom

Thank you for your letter to the Veteran's Administration requesting more and thorough follow-up on servicemen who need mental health evaluation. But I'd like to add that every veteran should get the best medical care our country has to offer and not have to wade through the paperwork with which they now have to deal before getting it! They put their lives on the line for us, how can we offer them anything less. I know personally how difficult it is for a veteran to get fast and the latest medical care, some wait years and have to prove in a ridiculous manner that they are in need of the care they request. While waiting, their family has to suffer as well. They should be able to get the care they need and want at appropriate hospitals close to where they live and not have to travel great distances to veteran's doctors and hospitals. I hope in a short period of time we can accomplish this without all the bureaucracy getting in the way!! Thank you for your kind attention.
Dorene, Santa Ynez

I would like to hear that the defense budget would decrease and instead use that money to help the veterans with mental illness, adjust back to their communities and family.
Martha, Chula Vista

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Armenian Genocide

Californians respond to my message on Remembering the Armenian Genocide:

Thank you for your support for the recognition of the Armenian Genocide. I am a proud first generation American whose mother, at the age of 7, saw her father and brother shot and fled with her mother and sisters. It was difficult for me to listen as she related all they went through. She proudly became a citizen of the United States and always told us to be good Americans but to also be proud of our heritage. Thank you,
Diane, Fresno

Thank you for acknowledging this day for Armenians. And thank you for not fearing to use the term "genocide". We have no other word in English that comes as close to describing the horror perpetrated against the Armenian people; the innocent women, children, and elderly who were sent to their deaths. It was a genocide. And we must call it what it is. Thank you. I am not Armenian; I am an American. And I feel that we must as American's, rise to acknowledge the crimes of the past and insure that they are never repeated. Again I say, Thank you.
Melissa, Riverside

My family and I thank you for being on the right side of history and honoring the victims of the Armenian Genocide. I'm hopeful that in time, the U.S. will stand on the right side of history by fully acknowledging the Armenian Genocide.
Julie, Duarte

I wanted to take the time to thank you for your help and kind thoughts as to the Armenian Genocide. Please continue to push the House to pass this resolution to finally have America recognize this despite threats on relationships from Turkey.
Simon, Costa Mesa

I would like to thank you for standing up today for Armenians everywhere in recognizing the Armenian Genocide. I am a descendant of Genocide survivors. Both of my grandparents lost family members either shot, hung, or starved in front of their very eyes. Thank you for reminding the world that the United States has yet to take the bold step, and do what is right, by recognizing this first genocide of the Twentieth Century.
Terrea, Walnut

As an Armenian-American, I am so thankful to you for supporting the official recognition of Armenian Genocide by U.S. Administration. It is so sad to see our past and present Presidents have been taken hostage by Turkish government because of Turkey's strategical and geographical "importance". We Armenians hope that someday America will have a President who will put the humanity before the politics and stand up for Armenian cause. I wish you and your family long,happy and successful life.
Vram, San Pedro

Thank you for acknowledging the Armenian Genocide by its rightful name---a genocide. I lost all of my relatives but 2 in that genocide, and they didn't all just disappear one day. Nor were these simple village people soldiers. Thank you for keeping this issue in the limelight. Let's keep the pressure on so that perhaps justice may someday prevail.
Pamela, San Anselmo

Thank you so much for your articulate and heartfelt plea to the administration on behalf of the Armenian community, asking for true recognition of the Armenian Genocide by the Ottoman Empire. Sadly, year after year our disappointment and frustration continues as truth and justice is overshadowed by political and strategic power and our President cannot dare speak the true words at the risk of offending the powerful Turks. After all, what do Armenians have to offer in the political power plays, when all that's left if a once great country are pieces torn away and turned into Turkey? What do they have to gain by siding with the Armenians and the side of righteousness? They have honor and integrity to gain...but this is not that important to some, and the US administration has shown that. Thank you again for believing in this cause. I love this country and cannot imagine living anywhere else. My parents moved here from Armenia when I was a child and proud to be a US citizen. Sadly this is the time of year when that pride diminishes a bit. Thank you again on behalf of my parents (who are in their 80's and lost many loved ones on the genocide) any my own family.
Annie, Arcadia

If you really wanted the Armenian Genocide to be recognized by the US nation, why would you only mention it on April 24th? Wouldn't you mention it constantly? Please don't pretend. If you really care, please make it a higher priority. Don't bring it up right as April 24 is coming up or when elections are starting up. We've heard the same promises for years but action still remains to be taken (unless you call this email once a year action). Glad we have a tool for open feedback. If this doesn't reach you, I know where the problems start from. Thanks!
Jonathan, Pasadena

I read your statement and I appreciate your official acknowledgement regarding this matter. As a race, human beings, and descendents from those that were massacred, your words will go a long way with your constituents. Well spoken Senator!
Sevan, Tujunga

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Genetically Engineered Foods

Californians respond to my message on Labeling Genetically Engineered Foods:

Thank you for representing the Californians such as myself who are avid about food freedom. We should have the right to choose to purchase GMOs just like many other countries around the world.
Marianne, Sacramento

As a physician, I'm a huge advocate of full disclosure--hopefully with passage of this bill the public will be empowered to make informed decisions!
Elizabeth, Orange

Thank you for taking a stand against GMO's, my family appreciates your dedication to our health.
Meredith, Riverside

Thank you Senator Boxer for sponsoring this bill to require labeling of genetically modified foods for consumers. We really need this bill to pass.
Carol, Laguna Beach

Thank you Senator Boxer for leading and trailblazing the way for Americans to know where their food comes from, how it is processed and to promote transparency in keeping our food clean and edible! This is a milestone. Thank you on behalf of the consumer.
Cissy, Whittier

I support your effort to demand full disclosure of GMO foods. As a father of four it is vital that I be aware of what I am feeding my children. Also, I have heard that Monsanto has pushed for and received some type of immunity from law suits related to their genetically modified products and the ill effects that they could bring about. Is that true? How is this even possible?
Ben, Glendale

I am thrilled to hear that you have introduced the Genetically Engineered food right to know legislation. I am sitting here with a big smile on my face and a thumbs-up to you. Families should know what they are buying, eating and feeding their children.
Gloria, Chico

I am a longtime supporter of your office, but I must say I am very disappointed with your sponsorship of the bill requiring the labeling of genetically engineered foods. Historically, mandatory labeling of foods in the U.S. has been reserved for those situations in which a clear, specific health risks exists (e.g., food allergens). In cases where the consumer wishes to base their choice on other criteria (e.g., organic or kosher), the labeling standards and certification system are established on a voluntary basis. The genetic engineering of food crops does not in and of itself create any specific health risk, and therefore the labeling of GE foods should fall into the latter, voluntary category. In instances where specific risks exist (e.g., introduction of genes that result in an allergic reaction), then labeling is entirely appropriate, but otherwise no labeling should be mandated. You and I agree on many, many other areas of policy, but this is one area where we clearly diverge.
Louis, San Carlos

I am very concerned about the foods I feed my family, it is difficult in today's world to be sure if you are making the right choices or not. Experts don't agree and it is confusing for the rest of us to sort out what is best. My daughter has recently developed a sensitivity to gluten, so we are always looking for gluten free choices. It seems the explosion of gluten sensitivity was caused by genetically altering wheat for better production. I don't wish to stop farmers from making a living, but I also don't want my children and grandchildren to get sick from these new types of foods. I want a choice, and if the food is not labeled I have no choice.
Debra, Covina

Thank you. I voted against California doing this just as 1 state. I did not see it working and perhaps causing food cost to soar as other states would not be allowed to sell here. We do not grow corn here. What would the price of an ear of corn be? So, I see it to be more productive to get it into the states as a whole. Thank you.
Wendy, Los Angeles

I was very involved in the Yes on 37 campaign and was so very discouraged by all of the flat out lies that came from the corporate food industry. So many of us worked so hard to get it passed - oh, well, the fight will continue! Thank you!!!
Sue, Santa Barbara

As a consumer that is very concerned about the food I am feeding myself and my family and I feel very strongly that I have a right to know if there are GMOs in the product. I hope this will expand to restaurants as well.
Kim, Simi Valley

You're sponsoring a bill to lable GEF's but what we USA consumers need is for GEF's to be banned legislatively from being grown or sold in this country. AS HAS BEEN DONE IN the European Union. Labeling is not a solution; it is a bandaid. Please form a phalanx of power to protect us from the blind eye deaf ears regarding our safety vav this issue.
Kate, Mountain View

I want to thank you standing up against Big Ag and their lobby and supporting the GMO Labeling legislation. We citizens (the human ones, not necessarily the corporate ones) have a right and even an obligation to know and understand what is in the food we feed our families. I am repeatedly shocked, disheartened, and disgusted at the lengths our big corporate "citizens" will go to ensure their own well-being at the expense of all the people and the very system that fostered their existence. Thank you again, and stay strong!
Erika, Vineburg

With all due respect, we would like for the government to stop regulating and legislating our lives in every possible way they can. We are perfectly able to go shopping for non-GMO foods on our own. We simply don't buy products that are not labeled "non-GMO".
George and Terry, Rolling Hills Estates

Thank you!! for introducing legislation requiring gmo foods to be labeled. Ideally they should be banned. But since political will won't act on the precautionary principle, labeling is the next best option. Glad to know it has bipartisan support. Please move it through quickly to passage before Monsanto lobbies everyone into voting against it.
Sara, Arcata

We deserve complete, total, 100% transparency in food labeling laws. All food manufacturers should be legally required to label ALL INGREDIENTS on ALL FOODS. Antibiotics, insecticides, herbicides, toxic chemicals have NO place in our food, and we have the right to good, safe food; something we aren't legally allowed, right now, due to the laws that the large agricultural companies have gotten passed without the consent or knowledge of America's citizens. If it is in the food, the law should mandate that it be listed in the ingredients. Everything! Period! We have the right to know what we are eating!
Melissa, Walnut Creek

I want to personally thank you for helping putting the Right-To-Know act on the Senate Floor. It's my dream come true! I have been volunteering with the California Right to Know for the past 2 1/2 years. This bill is so important for the health of everyone. We certainly have a right to know what we are purchasing and feeding our families. I applaud you for being a part of this campaign.
Donna, North Hollywood

Thank you for your work on behalf of Americans' right to know about genetically-engineered foods. I wish you success in this effort.
Nora, Santa Monica

Thank you for introducing the Genetically Engineered Food Right-to-Know Act legislation. I volunteered on the Yes on Prop 37 campaign and felt hopeless when it was defeated. I'm looking forward to supporting your legislation and I'm very proud that you are one of the U.S. Senators representing the people, not the corporations.
Jennifer, Irvine

I am so thrilled that someone representing me, is on my side. Thank you for caring.
Karen, Sacramento

Thank you Senator Boxer for co-sponsoring the Genetically Engineered Food Right-to-Know Act. I appreciate your support for clearly labeling genetically modified foods so that consumers can make informed choices about what they eat.
Paul, San Diego

I am so happy to hear that you have sponsored the Right To Know Bill! I was shocked and devastated when the forces behind GMO agriculture were able to overcome the momentum we had built for Prop 37 so I am thrilled to see California take the lead in Nationwide Labelling Reform. These companies have to label the products they sell everywhere else in the world; Why not here? Thank You
Vincent, Tracy

Thank you VERY MUCH for co-sponsoring the bill to label GMO foods. It didn't pass in California because of money from big agra. Hopefully it will become the law of the land.
Steve, Milpitas

Thank you for introducing the bill to label GMO-containing foods! I would like to see even more improved labeling, such as not allowing catch-all terms like "natural flavors." What does that mean?
Kathy, Bishop

I want to strongly express that I am against this law as it will be very difficult to differentiate how to apply the law. It is not realistic to think that this law will help decide about health issues with food.
Robert, Berkeley

Thank you for letting me know about your "right to know" bill that you are advocating. It is of the utmost importance that each of us choose our food based on full disclosure. Let the mothers of our country decide what they wish to feed their children, based on this disclosure. Thank you for your hard work and determination to allow us to do this in the future. I pray your bill will pass!
Diane, Paso Robles

Thank you for being apart of new legislation to increase consumer knowledge on genetically modified food labeling. I feel very strongly about this issue as a nurse, and Masters in Nutrition & Functional Medicine student. This is the right step in helping to being healthcare costs down by decreasing the number of people suffering from chronic illness.
Shanna, San Diego

Thank you for working on the issue of GE food labeling. I can only hope that any legislation passed by the Senate and allowed by House obstructionists to make it to the President's desk contains strong clear mandates that lawyers for corporations such as Monsanto will not be able to evade.
Christine, Los Angeles

As a businesswoman, wife and mother, I am so very grateful that you have brought this critical health issue to the forefront. Please let me know what I can do to help? I really feel that we consumers have the right to know. I am not anti-science in any way but I am very anti-GMO and I don't want corporations patenting foods and the suing farmers for stealing their seed when the pollen blows into neighboring fields. There is so much that is wrong for our health, our planet and our economy with introducing virtually untested Genetically Modified Organisms.
Leslie, Cotati

I was so pleased to get your email today and learn that you are introducing the Genetically Engineered Food Right-to-Know Act. Thank you for your leadership on this very important issue. I fully support you in this effort. Good luck as you meet resistance. If this bill is passed, it will be worth the effort, I'm sure.
Karla, Orick

Thank you for your work to require labeling of genetically modified or engineered foods at the national level. This is what is needed.
Melissa, Oakland

I am so pleased to see that you support the fact that we as consumers deserve to know what we are eating and am very happy you are initiating the Genetically Engineered Food Right-to-Know Act. I for one choose to not purchase any foods that are genetically modified, which can be very difficult. I strive very hard to feed my family foods made from scratch along with freshly grown fruits and vegetables and it is very important to me to not eat GMO foods. Thank you, thank you, thank you.
Laura, Napa

THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR SPONSORING THIS BILL!!!!! I have Crohn's and Colitis, and GMO's really do a job on my gastrointestinal system, kicking my immune system into high gear! I want to remind you that the GMO genes are carried in the pollen by wind, insects, and birds, for miles (average 50 miles, more in the high winds of Hawai'i, where Monsanto has turned ALL CORN grown in the state into GMO'd corn due to these factors. I know, one step at a time..., but at some point, Monsanto should be held responsible for ruining the crops of others with their insecticide-making genes.
Nancy, Eureka

My immune system started to be impacted when genetically modified foods began to be introduced. Who would have thought eating "healthy" would be a bad thing! My allergies have increased, too; but, if I eat organic heirloom, I can still enjoy most produce! Between that and the impact on the butterfly (and I think the bee) population, I think there is common sense evidence that GMO's are to be avoided. The trick is how to avoid without labeling.
Connie, Sierra Madre

Sorry but I totally disagree with your support for this foolish proposed bill. It's a fact that passage of this bill will raise the food costs for all of us here in America and thru the world and hurt the poorest the most. It accomplishes what? The FDA has established there's no difference between GE and Non GE foods-so why put the extra burden on food makers and growers to go thru this costly extra label nonsense. This will also hurt growers from supplying the needed food for we billions and again the food poor nations being hurt the most.
Karl, Glendora

I have always so appreciated having you for my Senator, and you have now come through on an issue of unique and incredible importance. Most people, I guess, do not understand the consequences of this, nor the fact that, really, there is no going back. This is hard to believe; but we have you there fighting for sanity in this crazed, greed ridden world.
Jan, Fairfax

THANK YOU for taking a stand and sponsoring this incredibly important bill. Once it is passed, I am sure the health of countless U.S. citizens will start to improve.
Amy, Portola Valley

It is extremely important to myself and my family that we have the right to make the decision not to eat GMO foods and right know there is no way to know what we are consuming.
Diane, Redondo Beach

Information is all that we need to make honest choices. Thank you for representing us, the consumer!
Ann, Chula Vista

I am proud of you for standing up for your people in relation to this very important topic. Nice work!
Tullin, Truckee

I feel strongly that it is our right to know what we are eating. And, with that information, we will be able to make healthier dietary choices for ourselves.
Linda, La Mesa

Thank you for sponsoring this legislation. As consumers we should know what we are eating and have the choice to choose what kinds of foods we do eat.
Joyce, Willits

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Californians respond to my message on Stopping Seafood Fraud (10/15/2012):
Thank you so much for caring, to send a strong message to the FDA officials regarding safe labeling of sea-foods! As a mom, I am so happy to know you care to help empower me in my informed choices, regarding what I feed to my family! Best,
Dawn, Sausalito

Thank you for writing the FDA on this matter. As a commercial crab fisherman and seafood consumer, this matters to me. Thank you all for all you do. Sincerely,
Steve, Mckinleyville

Thank you so much for fighting for accurate labeling of seafood. As a major seafood eater, I want to be sure that when I'm eating monkfish, it's not fugu!! I appreciate your hard work on behalf of your constituents. Keep it up!
Kevin, Sunnyvale

Thank you very much, Senator Boxer, for writing to the FDA to request they address the issue of seafood fraud. We should not have to worry that seafood that we buy at restaurants or stores may be endangered species.
Sue, Palo Alto

I just wanted to say thank you for all the amazing work you do and for standing up to the FDA on the issue of seafood fraud. I've been extremely frustrated with lobbyists writing the rules and watching corporations worry more about profit than for the health of our society. I hope you continue to push for change from the FDA on this and many other issues.
Andrea, San Francisco

Thank you for bringing attention to seafood fraud. I have recently learned how much of it is going on, and hope something will be done soon to lessen the fraud. The cost of seafood is high enough to guarantee a good product. I am a senior on a fixed income who is supposed to eat more seafood, which I can barely afford. To find out that I am not getting what I am paying for is very upsetting. Please keep on this one! Thank you.
Barbara, Pleasant Hill

Consumers need to know what our dollars are contributing to. We have the right to decide whether to purchase truthfully labeled wild caught or farmed seafood as well.
Chris, Temple City

Thank you for your advocacy of correct labeling of seafood. As our resources become less available, it's more and more important that we know with precision what we have for future generations. Mislabeling seafood to escape regulation is not the kind of behavior that is conducive to preserving resources for future generations. I appreciate your support of this issue, and hope it will help with more vigorous enforcement.
Janet, Sacramento

Your message about requiring the FDA to step up their efforts to combat mislabeling of seafood made my day! Over the past months I have participated in several petition and letter campaigns to the FDA about this issue. For all I know, I may even have signed a petition to my elected representatives. If you were a recipient, I apologize for preaching to the choir. I hope that at last the FDA will realize that Oceana and its supporters are not "eco terrorists" but people concerned about the serious health problems that can arise from the consumption of mislabeled seafood.
Ileana, Riverside

Thank you so very much for your excellent, well-researched and thorough letter to the FDA. As your constituent I am very happy with your work on this issue which projects the need for a plausible accountability (that is, accountability which is not only needed, but possible) with health and safety at a most primal level: our food source. This is where it is reasonable and important to demand accountability. I hope to learn the answers you are given and with your help I intend to follow this issue as any citizen should be who is concerned that the people are not callously deceived. I have shared your letter on my Facebook page with the following comments: This news is shocking but not surprising. And clearly there are important questions that need to be answered. This is one of the most across-the-board useful and pertinent things I know of Barbara Boxer having done. Please read her letters and make "fish fraud" the dirty word it deserves to be. It puts a whole new spin on "there's something rotten in Denmark" when people are not even eating what they should be able to believe they're eating. Read it and be alarmed: the percentages are amazingly bad: 55% of fish in Los Angeles are mislabeled: 100% of Florida White Tuna are a different fish, that causes digestive problems!
Christopher, San Mateo

I want to thank you for reaching out to the FDA in an attempt to reduce the alarming amount of fraudulently labeled seafood. Not only does it pose a serious health risk for pregnant women and those with food sensitivities, it poses a serious risk to the health of our oceans. I am an extreme ocean conservationist, as I see it being the life line of a healthy environment. The seas are in peril, and overfishing is compounding the issues facing those trying desperately to reverse the status. Mislabeled seafood means to me a huge loophole for catching/selling endangered, and overfished species and profiting off of them at market. Thank you for supporting the health of Californians and the Oceans we all depend on for a healthy existence.
Sarah, Arcata

Bravo, Senator Boxer, for requesting that the FDA look into this. Our food labeling in this nation is so oftentimes dishonest, which is so unfair and sometimes harmful to consumers. We all have a right to know precisely what we are purchasing with our dollars and ingesting into our bodies--whether it be fish or any other food. Thank you for tackling this issue. Please keep up this effort.
Melanieq, Mission Viejo

I want to thank you for fighting for label transparency and for the safety of our food supply. It feels good to know that there are representatives in government still fighting for what the people want and deserve. You have my Support!
Colleen, Pacific Grove

I am totally in support of your efforts to combat seafood fraud. Keep up the good work Senator Boxer.
Brian, San Francisco

I got your email about the legislation against seafood fraud. Thank you very much for supporting this cause. I'm vegetarian myself, but I'm also Jewish and we have to be careful about what seafood we eat if we keep kosher. It's very important to us. I also share the safety concerns that people may be getting excess mercury if they're not getting the fish they think they are..
Millie, El Cajon

Thank you for bringing this issue to the FDA. I had no idea that 86% of the sea food in the US was imported! Our family appreciates your work on behalf of all citizens.
Silka, San Diego

There is so much talk of what government should and should not do. It seems that you have my priorities at heart again. Simply, thank you.
Sarah, Nevada City

I am very pleased you have taken this to the FDA. It is an important issue that needs to be address. The number of misslabelling is out of control, so I am happy I have always voted for you to watch out for the peoples interests not just big money.
Adella, Penn Valley

Thank you for contacting me on this issue. Since I live in a seaport city where seafood is a local commodity I appreciate your efforts on behalf of this industry. It's important that seafood buyers know exactly what they are getting in case of allergies and the FDA should not even have to be told through legislation to label correctly - it should be a regular part of their job. But since they seem to require a legislative reminder to do their job properly I'm happy to hear that you are among those providing that nudge. Sincerely,
Karen, Van Nuys

I completely support your position on this. I have read a lot about the conditions of the world's coral reefs, whose symbiotic relationship with fishes, is well known. I have read on the impact of farmed seafoods and finally, I understand the issues, worldwide, with the labeling of fish. Let's set a precedent and be a leader. Thank you.
Linda, San Diego

Thank you for taking action against fraudulent mislabeling of fish for consumption. I read labels on food and expect to receive truthful information as to what the contents are. We need to be able to feel not only safe in what we are consuming, we also need to feel we are being provided with truthful information. Your efforts are appreciated.
Candace, Moreno Valley

Thank you for writing to the FDA on this topic. It is a very important topic. I know several people with severe fish allergies, some of them are children, and for some of them exposure to fish can be life threatening. For some, even contact of the hands with a fish substance can cause severe rashes and splitting of the skin of the hands. Food labeling is only valuable if it is true and complete. Actually, I think this topic should be carried further, because there are many food substances that contain fish oils that are not even labeled as containing them. The same is true for corn products. Many people, not necessarily the same ones as above, have corn allergies that can be life threatening. They need to know if a product contains corn substances. More rare, but still as important, there are some who have allergies to wheat and to other foods. It is imperative that our food labeling be true and complete. For fish, and for corn and other products, it is also important to have species related information because some people with allergies may be more sensitive to one species than another. Life threatening danger lurks on every grocer's shelf.
Bill, El Cerrito

Thank you for all your efforts to ensure safety and honest labeling for seafood. As a cancer survivor, I am particularly grateful for your concern over fraudulent labeling and our health. When we see children with serious illnesses, it so important to take proactive measures to prevent suffering. Your efforts will allow us to make informed good choices for our families, including seniors and expectant mothers.
Irene, San Jose

Thank you for taking this little known fact up with those who may be able to make some changes.
Carole, Santa Ynez

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Distinguished Flying Cross National Memorial

Californians respond to my message on Honoring Military Aviators:

Thank you so much for moving on this most important proposal! My family and I are very moved by your actions and pray this passes as it should. My father was stationed at March AFB for more than 20 years. When I was a child we spent a lot of time at this base. My younger brother was born at the hospital on the base. I love my country but I loved my father more who was engaged in 3 wars, WWII, Korea and Vietnam. My father loved the Air Force and his country which he demonstrated in his day to day work in the US Air Force. He was a grand man and father! Unfortunately he died on May 26, 2012. He would have loved this idea! Please move forward for my dad and my family as we believe in your plan! My father has an inscribed brick which we purchased at the memorial site. My family along with many other families thank you for your efforts.
Alexis, Riverside

I was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross for actions on Feburary 14, 1969 South of Da Nang, Republic of South Vietnam. Your work with/for Veterans is appreciated by me and most Veterans that I know. I am a founding member of the Distinguished Flying Cross Society and would like to thank you for your proposal concerning March Field.
Robert, Fresno

Thank you for your efforts for the Distinguished Flying Cross National Memorial. Although I am not a veteran, I have good friends and relatives who served in the Air Force and other branches. Any honor to our military is much appreciated.
Ned, Corona

As a Vietnam Veteran and holder of the Distinguished Flying Cross I applaud you effort. No matter what people think of the Vietnam War many brave pilots served their country with distinction and honor and through great sacrifice fulfilled their duty as pilots. I am glad their service and heroism is being recognized. Sincerely
Donald, Temecula

Thank you very much for doing this special thing for our veterans.
Gary, Signal Hill

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Nursing Shortage

Californians respond to my message on Supporting Nurses and Patients:

We are so fortunate in California!! I am 81 years of age and have been hospitalized frequently for COPD and pneumonia. The care I have received has been outstanding and TOTALLY CARING -- NOT JUST A JOB-- and it makes ALL THE DIFFERENCE IN THE WORLD!!
Joan, San Diego

Thank you, Barbara, for supporting nurses. They are maligned and criticized, but they are the backbone of the healthcare system. They are also its compassionate center. My best friend, a nurse, walked me through cancer treatment. Without her and her cohorts, I would have been lost. These are not "greedy women," as the GOP would paint them. They are wonderful healers who very often care more about patients than doctors do. That was my experience.
Suzanne, San Jose

As a retired Male RN I applaud the subject of your bill and decry that it deserves very prompt attention and approval by all of Congress, especially those fitting into the Seniors category. For decades, we in the profession have seen the gap in available staffing on the rise, with little to relieve it. Let's hope your bill helps alleviate this dilemma.
Bob, Turlock

Last month I spent four days in Kaiser Oakland Hospital. In those four days my bed was never changed, my gown was never changed, I was not given a meal on four occasions and my medications were always late. I know Kaiser is a "cost effective" HMO, but the nurses are required not only to be nurses, but to do the jobs of the dietary department and the non-existent nursing assistants. This shortage must be addressed. Being hospitalized is a scary experience when the staffing is so short.
Margaret, Berkeley

I support your legislation to improve patient care and address the nationwide shortage of nurses. It is critical we tackle this problem now before the baby boomers reach "old age."
Pamela, Auburn

The nursing shortage has been more than 35 years in the making. I starting nursing courses before my daughter was born, 36 years ago. I took 2 years of pre-med classes, then was told I had to be put on a waiting list! There was a bottleneck even then, to prevent more people from getting into the nursing profession. I believe it was an 'enforced' shortage, since so many of us were put on hold. From what I can tell, that 'shortage' continues to be in place. During that long waiting period, I decided to go into teaching. I just retired after 29 years. Seeing my friends & relatives in the hospital, it is quite evident there are never enough nurses on any given shift. This is the reason so many mistakes happen- tired & overworked, they are stressed to the max. I look forward to seeing this legislation pass.
Eileen, Clovis

Please know that I am in full support of your United States Senate introduced National Nursing Shortage Reform and Patient Advocacy Act. Well done, and thank you so very much!
Jennifer, La Canada Flintridge

My daughter is a nurse and badly overworked and underpaid. She loves the job and her patients but is not allowed to spend adequate time with each one. Nurses are constantly "on the clock" to "perform". Please create more opportunities for men and women to become nurses with POWER!!!
Elizabeth, Bakersfield

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Californians respond to my message on Strengthening the Dolphin-Safe Tuna Label:

Thanks so much for letting me know that our dolphin safe tuna label is not only protected from the absurd WTO ruling, but that our national agencies are working to make it even better. I was very concerned that our government, as beholden as it is to big corporations, would use the WTO decision as cover to gut the label requirements. I was outraged, but felt helpless. Thanks so much for protecting our marine co-species.
Kimberly, Yreka

Thank you for your continuing work to protect dolphins.
Sheila, Santa Monica

Dolphin Safe Tuna, etc
Hi Senator, I appreciate your great work and do look for the dolphin safe label but at this point at least on the West Coast (including Hawaii) this label doesn't matter. No one should be eating tuna. 100% of tuna caught in California has tested toxic due to the Japanese nuclear disaster. And it is still leaking!! Large and small ocean wildlife are washing up dead on the shores of our beaches. This is sickening. Please, put pressure on Japan and offer support to stop the nuclear plant from leaking ASAP. Please, label the seafood that comes from Japan or stop selling any toxic food here including our locally toxic fish.
Helen, Los Altos

Thank you for the update and your efforts in this area.
Eleanor, Oceanside

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Veterans Claims Backlog

Californians respond to my message on Reducing the Backlog of VA Disability Claims:

I wanted to thank you for your interest in the current status of Veterans Claims with the V.A. As a Viet Nam era veteran I truly appreciate your efforts on behalf of my brother and sister vets. While I have had absolutely no problem with the service I have had at the Jerry Pettis V.A. Hospital in Loma Linda, California, I do appreciate that there are vets who are having problems with the general system. I thank you for looking out for their interests.
Jack, Moreno Valley

THANK YOU for helping the men and women who are applying for Veterans' Benefits. I am a Veteran, Disabled at 100%, a wife, and a mother. I waited, alone, without food or a job, for EIGHT YEARS. this is senseless. I would like to apply for further disability, although it will gain me nothing but recognition and HELP for my illnesses, but no one has ever found my medical records. Nevertheless, THANK YOU for what you are doing to end the suffering and confusion of those newly-returned or newly-disabled.
Mu'aatha, San Gabriel

When I first heard about this problem, I thought, 'What a horrible disgrace and disservice to veterans who gave so unselfishly.' This is how our government and country care for our service members?
Jeffrey, Sylmar

Great! keep up your efforts on this Please! Those boys deserve better, all the counseling and treatment they need to heal after the many tours and traumas of our long wars. The despair that leads to so many suicides has to be alleviated as quickly and humanely as possible. Our country used them to fight too lengthy a war and must accept responsibility for their recovery & healing. Please keep up the pressure on these matters. Thank you for thinking of them and being in a position to effect change.
Elizabeth, Palm Springs

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Medicare and the Budget

Californians respond to my message on Protecting and Strengthening Medicare:

Thank you for your efforts to stop the Republican agenda to balance the budget on the backs of the people least able to afford it. Please continue to be an advocate for protecting medicare and Social Security. Your action is much appreciated.
Vaughn, San Francisco

thank you for protecting my earned benefits for retirement
John, San Jose

For the life of me I can't figure out how Paul Ryan can look at himself in the mirror in the morning. He is not doing what the public in his district need and sent him to congress to do!
Susan, Stockton

You have done the right thing in speaking out about the importance of keeping our promises to seniors by passing a budget that protects it. Seniors here and across the country benefit from your tireless work.
Marc, Aliso Viejo

Personally, having to pay $6,000 more (the Republican proposal) would be devastating. My health would be greatly effected, I would have many more problems and probably spend unnecessary time in the hospital. Not only would that effect me and my family but it would be much more expensive for taxpayers.
Susan, San Gabriel

Thank you so much for protecting Medicare and Medicaid and opposing the Paul Ryan heinous budget with all of your heart, mind and soul. The Paul Ryan budget in my opinion is an agent of evil, with a capital E. Your faithful constituent,
Robert, Camarillo

Thank you for standing up for medicare. It is non-negotiable. Ryan did NOT win the election and we know why. Ryan and his ilk must learn they were defeated.
Deena, Topanga

Dear Senator, too often what politicians say lack what should be said. Medicare is underfunded in a major way and neither you or any other pol is being realistic about what needs to be done. It is as simple as this, what people pay into medicare does not come close to cover what is given out in claims. Either medicare premiums must go up a LOT and/or services and/or benefits must be cut a LOT. Please get serious about this issue. Medicare is too generous a benefit for what it costs. I love to get things cheap ! However, it is plain to see it must be fixed sooner rather then later.
Brett, Oceanside

thanks for standing strong please keep up the fight to make sure that "bipartisanship" and "compromise" do not mean selling out completely to hard line right wingers.
John, Arcata

Thank you for standing up for the Medicare System. With all of the "talk" about health care, people forget that this is and has been the best system we have. It protects people when they need it the most. It is also the most cost effective health care system and it is already in place. I wish that health care special interests did not have so much power over our elected officials or a single payer system utilizing Medicare would already have been passed. With all of the political wrangling on this issue, it is often forgotten that many years ago there was once a proposal to include all Americans under Medicare. I am sure that you know that the politician who first proposed this was Richard M. Nixon! Republicans should think long and hard on that. The other thing that can easily be done to keep Medicare solvent is to REQUIRE Medicare providers to submit bids. Then services and medicine costs would be more in line with what the providers charge in the rest of the world. American citizens are being ripped off. And I am sure that is the intent of healthcare providers and big pharma lobbyists. They got a good thing goin'.
Karl, Pasadena

Thank you for protecting or social security and medicare and for all the other wonderful things you do. As always you have my full support.
Julia, Plumas Lake

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Californians respond to my message on Medicare’s Open Enrollment Period (10/24/2012):

Thank you for reminding us of the open enrollment dates for Medicare. We don’t want to change anything and thank you for letting us know we don't have to do anything if we keep our same coverage. We weren't sure how that "Obamacare" plan would affect Medicare recipients.
Ardeth & John, Tulare

I think Medicare is wonderful, except for the drug supplement plans. They cover few or none of the Tier 5 drugs that many seniors need. I've been through every possible drug for a chronic condition and the only one that works is a Tier 5 biologic that used to cost $57,000 a year but is now down to about $11,000 a year. All of the supplemental Part D plans I've looked at don't contain my Tier 5 drug in their formulary. I've discovered that if the drug is not in the plan formulary the co-payments you make are not included in your total drug bills so I'll never hit catastrophic on my drug costs. Fortunately, I have found one group that will help me with the co-pay on this drug, bringing the cost down from $4400 every three months to $1219 every three months. For me, that's a stretch, but I have no choice except to do it or suffer. For other seniors, it might be a death sentence. I feel strongly that this situation impacts the work being done on discovery of new biologic drugs. If no one can afford the cost of the product those doing the research and those financing these discoveries will stop their research. This situation impacts everyone, not just seniors. Making these drugs affordable for everyone who needs them will keep these new discoveries coming to market. I think they are very important to mankind and we should be making every effort to make them available to people.
Mary, Alameda

Californians respond to my message on Protecting and Strengthening Medicare (10/15/2012):

Thank you for fighting for us. As senior citizens, my husband and I are very concerned about maintaining the benefits that we have now. Thank you for doing all that you possibly can to preserve medicare.
Annie, Inglewood

I agree with your recent email news letter on this subject, except... there should be means testing. I don't see why tax payers (including those paying into medicare) should pay any medical expences for those with multi million dollar incomes or assets. Medicare and Medicaid are ment for the poor and to prevent the middle class from becoming impoverished by medical expenses.
Thomas, San Diego

Respectfully, you say "nearly all seniors have access to Medicare". This program is doomed unless changes are made. It is your party that recently raided Medicare funds to the tune of 716 billion dollars. We do not want "death panels". We just want the same program that Congress has available to them. As a retired senior , I do not want anybody to mess with a program that I have contributed to for all these years but I know that this program, unless changed will not be around certainly for my children and probably reduced for my wife and I in just a few years. Please work across the aisle to get this fixed. It doesn't matter who gets the credit for the fix. Congress job is to serve and for the better good. I pray that all our elected people do their jobs. Thank you for the opportunity to respond.
Gerald, Palmdale

Thank you very much for fighting for us and our rights to deserve a good health plan con medicare and medical. God Bless You for your effort on behalf of all seniors.
Roberto, San Francisco

While the Ryan plan for Medicare and Medicaid basically dumps the services back into the seniors laps to fend for themselves, we still need to do something to handle the ever-growing costs for the programs. What I hope you will do is support revisions to Medicare that do not take away what exists for either new or existing members, by support a plan that slows the rapid increase in new members due to baby-boomers. And we need to do something in this category very quickly. Thank you for your consideration.
Rob, Santa Rosa

If your solution to the preservation of long term health care is to take 100's of Billions of dollars from current Medicare rolls and trasfer it to Obamacare, I could'nt disagree with you more. The Republican fix is to modify Medicare for those under 55 and complete a better solution for the future. That is the way to go. I do not see any program from the Democrats which will serve the long term needs of Medicare. I am over 65 but am concerned for my daughter and her husband who are under 40. Will there be anything in the fund when their time comes?
Randall, Indio

I totally agree with the Senator. A voucher system is just about the dumbest idea out there.
Walter, Desert Hot Springs

Why do you keep distorting the facts about Medicare? As a Senior citizen, there are no planned changes to Medicare, except for the deep cuts that the Govt. has put into place regarding my Medicare Advantage plan, which is one that is really working for us seniors. Please be accurate in the future. Respectfully,
Joseph, Palm Desert

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California Wilderness

Californians respond to my message on Protecting Wilderness in California:

As a native Californian I have sadly watched the urbanization of much of what used to be wild and open country. I want to express my deep gratitude for all that you have done to save a measure of our great state's heritage for us to continue to enjoy and for our children and future generations to enjoy forever. I know how hard it is to work within the legislative process where the wheels can often turn exceedingly slowly. I commend you for your patience, diligence and plain hard work and dedication.
Scott, Temecula

Thank you for all of your continued work in this regard. It is invaluable!
Lawrence, San Diego

I applaud your efforts to protect and expand California's magnificent wilderness. Every year I back pack the East side of the Sierra and it seems to get better with every trip. I am almost 70 now, so my future trips will be limited. I realize that if it were today (instead of past decades) that we had the opportunity to create our magnificent National Parks, it probably would not be politically possible. Thank you for your environmental oversight.
Craig, Escondido

Thank you for your strong support in defense for wilderness protection. I know its not an easy task given the relentless anti-wilderness Republicans and their corporate allies. Its disappearing rapidly. Future generations will look back and commend you for your efforts. We need to know what it was like for the first humans to roam the earth.
Michael, Agoura Hills

As an avid art photographer, hiker, and one who believes we are absolutely to care for and celebrate the amazing gift of the unique environment here in CA, I send my deepest thanks for your latest bill presented to congress. Understanding that eco-tourism is a huge asset if we set aside special areas, and preserve them is visionary, and wise. I have many, many friends who travel specifically to protected areas to shoot photography in pristine, wild conditions. Now we must find money to bring more people from other states, and around the world to the most amazing state in the nation.
Marisa, Bakersfield

It is very important to protect and conserve these lands for everyone to enjoy for now and the future. Also to protect wildlife and for recreation. I, as a nature and animal lover appreciate it.
Julie, Roseville

That is exciting to hear and I know you will work hard to set aside as much land as possible. Our natural beauty is what makes our planet and state so amazing. We need to relie on wind energy more and we should protect our redwoods more. Thank you so much for the extention of our wilderness and you will continue having my vote because of it.
Dustin, Los Angeles

Thank you for all of your work for us, Senator Boxer, but especially for your work in protecting California wilderness! i am happy to say that my family has visited many of the areas you have helped to protect, and so it means a lot to us to know of your continuing efforts to preserve and expand our state's wilderness areas.
Barrie, Westminster

THANKS! I'm a person who rides a bicycle and hikes a lot. We try to not use one once a month to do big shopping. I can get to these Places on BART and bike!! I love it. There is more to being in the Senate than fighting with the ultra right. THIS is one of those things.
Joseph, Pittsburg

Thank you for all your work in preserving and expanding wilderness areas in California. I received your email with the new link to show the areas you have working on and found it to be a good reference. Please know that the people of California appreciate all your hard work in this arena.
Ann, Upland

Thank you for making the beautiful natural heritage of California a priority during your term. As a native Californian who grew up in a small country town, I really value what California has to offer. Many thanks for making good decisions on behalf of the state and her citizens.
Megaen, Newcastle

I am VERY glad to see you are concerned about our beautiful state. I have lived here all my life & have seen a lot of distruction for profit. I am behind you 100% in this fight. God bless you & the wonderful state we live in.
Dena, Oceanside

In the face of pressure by major industries which desire access to despoil our wildlands, and that also seek to keep the public out so they cannot see the destruction these corporations wreak as they plunder these areas, thank you for holding the line. The people and animals of California all praise your efforts.
Marguerite, Pasadena

You have not created wilderness, all you have done is stripped more of our rights away by decreasing the opportunities we have as citizens of this great state to enjoy the "wilderness" as we see fit. Please do more to enforce the laws currently implemented such as: no littering, no arson, no engaging in any other type of criminal activity that is already against the law. Please do more to enforce the laws currently on the books and balance the budget, without burdening us with more costly and ineffective programs. Thank you,
Josh, Valley Center

Helen, Dana Point

Senator Boxer, thank you for all your work protecting the remaining wilderness areas in California. Your efforts are so important to generations of people who enjoy the areas now and in the future and also to the diminishing native ecosystems of California, which are spectacular and so fragile.
Kate, Menlo Park

Thank you for protecting, preserving and increasing wildlife wildness in our beautiful state for all of us and generations in the future to witness and enjoy!
Susan, San Diego

I really like the link to the interactive online map of wilderness areas in California. It was very informative and hopefully I will be able to visit some of these areas soon. I truly believe these wilderness areas in California as well as our National Parks are truly treasures that should not be taken for granted by any of us. Thank you for your continued service to our country.
Nancy, Rocklin

Thank you very much for taking an interest in our wilderness areas. This is such an important matter to our livelihood.
Denise, Sunland

Thanks for your email about the Wilderness Areas you have helped to sponsor in California. My family and I appreciate your efforts in this area. Keep up the good work!
Donald, Culver City

I am so tired of losing more and more access to public lands as I am an avid and responsible 4-wheeler. So few people can access some of these "Wilderness Areas" that this designation becomes inacceable to most. While you and others feel your doing a fantastic thing, I disaggree. In the future, I wish you to consider "Everyone" not the select few. Sincerely,
Steven, Georgetown

As an avid nature lover and environmentalist, I am pleased to see your emphasis on the protection of California's vital wilderness areas. We live in one of the most beautiful states, and protection of its varied ecosystem is crucial. Thank you for your efforts to protect our unique wildlands.
Darlene, Spring Valley

I want to thank you for all you have done to protect this state's wilderness. It is to me just about the most precious thing our state & country have. So much of the wilderness I learned about as a child through "The Wonderful World of Disney", "Wild Kingdom" and "National Geographic"is no longer available for me to ever visit, now that I am disabled and not so mobile. I also must let you know I am vehemently against ANY kind of drilling anywhere in my country and have no desire to encourage our neighboring countries to destroy their wild places. I hold very precious our plant and animal life, so much so that I really don't support the XL pipeline project. After I moved to California in 1989, I saw my first California Sea Lion in SF Bay and Great Blue Herons nesting at Audubon Canyon Ranch. I became a bird watcher as a child in West Chester County, New York, and considered Great Blue Herons to be a holy grail. I never dreamed I would ever see a sea lion in it's habitat! I have seen so much wildlife since moving here only because it has been preserved. I am extremely grateful to you and the handful of politicians who value the wilderness and the lives which depend on it. I feel very blessed to live in this state, even though I identify strongly with New York, where I grew up. It is my hope to see a Bald Eagle here in the North Bay in the not too distant future. I could go on & on about all of the things I have experienced in California. I'm sure your staff has better things to do with their time than to read my reminisences. Thank you for your time,
Mary, Petaluma

Thank you for taking up this just and noble cause. The hard work you do is much appreciated.
Michael, Pinole

As a second generation Californian, I have had seventy-seven years to enjoy the treasures of California. My parents shared their love of the great outdoors with my brother and I throughout our childhoods into adulthood. My husband and I have shared our love of nature through our 53 years of marriage. We still enjoy our State Parks and glorious land to this very day. Our last visit was to Hawk Watch in Ramona just two weeks ago. We do our best to educate young people and be protectors of these glorious lands. THANK YOU FROM THE BOTTOM OF OUR HEARTS FOR YOUR MANY GIFTS TO CALIFORNIA. WE KNOW THESE TREASURES WILL BE THERE FOR THE GENETATIONS TO COME.
Betty, Solana Beach

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Voting Rights

Californians respond to my message on Protecting Voting Rights for All:

Thank you for supporting the Voting Rights bill. Requiring photo I.D. and other new requirements doesn't bode well for all people's voting rights and should be stopped.
Suzanne, Fremont

I am 87 years old (never failed to vote in city, local, state or national since I first voted @ 21yrs old) and I do not want any part of the act changed. There have been too much misery, hardship, and lives lost obtaining the right to vote when we final got an answer to the cries of our ancestors. I feel the same passion about the act as the NRA does about the 2nd amendment.
Lillie, Oakland

Senator Boxer, how can this be happening? And we call the U.S. a free country??? Thank you for helping stop this idiotic nonsense.
Gilda, Glendora

I was so worried when I read and heard about all of the dirty tricks that were being pulled to disenfranchise people of color in counties primarily black and brown. I lived in Mobile and Nashville in the late-60s and early-70s and saw for myself some of the signs that had yet to be removed designating restrooms and water fountains as Colored and White. It made my heart sink as I had never seen racism before since I grew up in Minneapolis, MN. As things turned out for this years' election, I was so scared that they wouldn't. I hope that means that certain extremists are well known now and people will not vote against their own best interests. Thank you for leading the charge to be sure this doesn't happen again. When I heard what Justice Scalia said about the Voting Rights Act not being necessary and that it was Racial Entitlement, I thought he must not read the paper or watch TV or he would have known what we all went through wondering if everyone was going to get a chance to vote. The dirty tricks that were pulled were so disgusting and so beneath the leaders who were pulling them that I was disenchanted with politics altogether. Thank heaven and because I live in California, I know I can count on you to stem these attacks before they become activated. I'm not so sure that was the case in 2000 and 2004. We might be living in a much different country now if everyone had an equal right to vote at that time!
Merrily, San Diego

I agree with you on your point of view but one thing is missing. Voter ID verification at the polls. Providing ID is the only way to make our system effective and correct.
Robert, Redondo Beach

I have to disagree with you and anyone that thinks the privilege and responsibility of voting should be extended to anyone without proving that they indeed have that right. Which means they would need to provide proper identification that they are a citizen of this country. This privilege should be take extremely seriously by all. It is more important than proving who you are when cashing a check or driving a car, etc. all of which you must prove who you are before acceptance! Please reconsider you position on this.
Beulah, Hermosa Beach

I read your Voting Rights Act Op-Ed in the Grio. The anecdote you revealed about your experience in Florida in 1950 was an all too sad reminder of circumstances that unfortunately continue to exist today although in a less overt practice. It is so unfortunate that in some parts of our society, children are still taught to harbor such ignorance when it comes to race; it is similarly sad when children in other parts of our society do not have an understanding that such racial bias still exists in today's world. Thank you for expressing your thoughts.
Jack, Moreno Valley

When I voted in our March primary I was appalled to learn that I did not have to show my drivers license or any other identification. Later I went to Rite Aid to buy cough syrup and I was required to show my ID. Something is wrong with this picture... I think being politically correct is getting out of hand. Regards
Annette, Sherman Oaks

I do not need the protection, but I know many who do. Thank you!
Carlos, San Francisco

While I do believe that all QUALFIED citizens must have their right to vote protected, I think that the provision requirement to print ballots in multiple languages is ludicrous. If you are a citizen of the US, you should learn to speak, read and write the 'de facto' language of the country, English.
Woodrow, San Dimas

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Californians respond to my message on Ending Long Lines on Election Day (01/23/2013):

Thank you for taking on voter fraud that appeared in the form of making it difficult for a certain class of people to vote. The Republicans were hell bent on winning this last election and there was very little they wouldn't stoop to in order to achieve this. Well, it backfired, thankfully. I was a Republican until Richard Nixon went down in flames. I decided I didn't want to be associated with people of low morals. Again, thank you for your hard work.
Mark, Santa Ana

I have to admit that most people in our comumnity cast their ballots long in advance by their mail-in ballots, but I do prefer to wait until the last minute after I've heard all of the rhetoric from all of the candidates before I go to the polls. I never have to wait! For those who do have a problem waiting in lines at the polls, why don't they go to that government office near-by where they can cast their vote in advance, or if they have a legitimate address, just ask for an absentee ballot. When my husband I and I were living overseas we voted in every election by mailing in our ballots because we were registered voters in our state.
Carole, Ramona

I don't see the details of your [bill] but based on the summary I am only seeing talk of setting up more places to vote in order to shorten the lines. That is only one of many solutions that combined could be much more effective. First, banks seem to trust we are who we say we are…, so why not vote online from home? Also, I am one of many people who vote using absentee ballots to vote before election day, but that needs reform …. How about at least sending us an email confirming that our vote was received and counted….
Nicholas, Upland

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Californians respond to my message on Avoiding Long Lines on Election Day (12/6/2012):

Thank you for STANDING UP to those states who kept voters standing in line for hours and hours. I could not believe that such a "third world" scenario would happen in America. There is NO excuse for that--they know how many registered voters they have, and they should be prepared! The government of Florida seems to march to a different drummer--every single national election they do their best to screw it up!!! It's just shameful. Put them in their place!
Catherine, Scotts Valley

Three or 100 cheers for you, Senator Boxer. I used to be in charge of the polling station at my local poll in San Bernardino and I feel very strongly about the need to facilitate the act of voting for each and every registered voter. It would be interesting, I think, to compare the final results of the election in each of the polls where the voters were delayed so long. And some kind of recognition ought to go to those voters who were dedicated enough to stick it out, especially those who waited around until the next morning where necessary. And since the right to vote is guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution regardless of the offices to be filled by the election, I think it is the obligation of the Federal Government to protect that right even when no federal offices are being voted upon. Thanks for your help!
Jane, Banning

I was a volunteer lawyer with President Obama's Victory Campaign/Election Protection group and spent 8 days in Broward County Florida protecting the vote. I personally witnessed the tenacity and determination of thousands of Floridians waiting on line for hours every day to cast their vote. Each day I would arrive at the polling place around 7 a.m. and the line was already extending down the block. Each subsequent day of early voting the line grew longer and more people came out to vote at our polling place. We had people return on multiple days because after waiting 2-3 hours before they could vote, they had to leave to go to work. We had multiple people in their 90s waiting for hours to vote, as well as people who were disabled or pregnant. I saw a man with Stage 4 cancer waiting for hours. We had many voters bring their small children and babies with them to vote. I observed these young ones trying to be as "good" and patient as little children who are tired, bored and hungry can be while waiting for hours. I also saw the fatigue, stress and concern on their parents' faces, as they tried to avoid a "meltdown" long enough to reach the front of the line and finally cast their ballots. Thank you Senator Boxer for sponsoring this much needed legislation. I believe in and support your effort to fix the system and establish minimum voting standards for all. I witnessed first-hand that long voting lines is a form of "poll tax" borne very heavily by working people, the elderly, the disabled, the poor, and people of color. Your proposed legislation is an excellent first step to fighting back against the impact of voter suppression efforts. It is a very significant piece of legislation for maintaining our democracy.
Schweizer, Deborah, San Francisco

Thank you for the LINE Act to protect the voting rights of people in states that punished those citizens who wanted to do their duty so much that they had to wait hours to vote. I'm so glad you're our senator!
Garcia-Sims, Angela, Coronado

voting rights
Thank you for your message advising you are looking into lines at polling places - I was appalled to learn in the news that some people had to wait all day in order to vote. I totally agree that is tantamount to denying voting rights, and is totally unacceptable.
Linder, Patty, San Jose

long voting lines
Daer Senator Boxer Thank you for being there for us as you have been for many years. I realize that there are people without addresses and others who may be moving that cannot have a mailed ballot. But for others, why can't we REALLY PUSH having them use mailed ballots. I've been dong it for a few years now. Some might like to socialize with neighbors so they're willing to stay in line. My neighbors are mostly ultra conservative Republicans---they're always angry. I don't miss them one little bit. Another plus---one c an take thier tim eto read the pros and co ns and the resumes of the candidates. It's a perfecxt solution for me.
Parsons, Suzanne, San Diego

Long Voter Lines
Dear Senator Boxer, I greatly appreciate you takling the issue of long voter lines. I volunteered for Elelction Protection in San Francisco this year and was shocked to hear some of the stories from callers regarding voting problems around the country. The problem is only going to get worse when voter ID laws come into play. Thank you so much!
Deborah Holley, Mill Valley

Senator Boxer, Thank you so much for crafting LINE ACT legislation to protect our fundamental right to vote. As a veteran of the US Army, one of my chief motivations for serving was knowing that it was in defense of our basic freedom to vote. I am outraged that we had so many fellow Americans that were disenfranchised during the 2012 election. We cannot deny our citizens the right to vote due to poor planning and execution of the election process. We are the world's leader in promoting democracy around the globe--yet our own federal states fail to properly plan and execute an election. How can we expect other countries to follow our example when we have states that fail in their fundamental duty to execution a fair and judicious election--one I might add that is planned for years in advanced? I commend your action in protecting our fundamental right to vote and am thankful to have you as my representative!
Sean, Oakland

Yes! Thank you for bringing up the subject now. It waited 4 years from the last two elections and it should not wait longer.
Kathie,  Cazadero

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Californians respond to my message on Stopping Voter Intimidation (09/27/2012):

Voter Suppression is one of my biggest worries about this coming election. After the fiasco of Bush/Gore, it's apparent that 'stealing' an election is entirely possible...if it can't be bought..
Susan, Los Angeles

May I thank you, and also encourage you, in your efforts stop voter suppression. If the right to vote can be curtailed by the actions of a lunatic fringe, it could be the end of our country.
Nancy, West Point

Please keep taking action on this subject, so that we keep at least some control of our precious democracy. Thanks for staying in this stressful job.
Jan, Cambria

I agree with you 100%, that we need every citizen to vote, it is a privilage that we take for granted. But we must make sure that we do not have voter fraud, i see nothing wrong with voter I.D. I think it is a move in the right direction for every American, and to take this right seriously and treat it with the upmost respect. As an American I am proud to Vote and am not intimidated in anyway to show my I.D.
Michael, Chino

Your email was extremely offensive. Middle aged conservatives are too busy working at their jobs to suppress the votes of the career welfare recipients we support. Thank you for the reminder that I must work harder to get your liberal ilk out of office.
Lesley, Santa Maria

Thank you very much for calling on the U.S. Department of Justice to enforce voting rights laws following new reports of widespread efforts by Tea Party-linked groups to intimidate voters and suppress the vote, particularly in low-income and minority neighborhoods. It is gratifying to see increasing attention and action against this egregious effort to disenfranchise low-income and minority voters.
Evan, Long Beach

Thank you for demanding investigation (and prosecution) of tea party Republicans across the nation engaged in voter suppression. It is cynical, craven, un-American, un-democratic, and downright treasonous for a major political party to engage in coordinated activities to undermine our constitutional amendments and voting rights laws, and keep US citizens from exercising their right to vote.
Walter, Los Angeles

I just want to thank you for speaking out on this issue and for taking action. I am both appalled and very, very angry that the fundamental right to vote is being threatened in so many ways in this election cycle, and I very much appreciate your efforts to fight against intimidation and disenfranchisement.
Robert, San Francisco

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Berryessa-Snow Mountain

Californians respond to my message on Public Lands and Creating Jobs:

Thank you for preserving our valued wilderness areas.
Linda, Cerritos

So good to know someone is looking out for things like this.
Sheri, Concord

Thank you for protecting our natural heritage!! Hurray!!
Kara, Davis

You have shown great foresight and have done all our descendents a great favor!
Mary, Berkeley

Wonderful idea. Hope it works.
Marcia, San Diego

As in the past, it is today. Thank you for representing my commitment to preservation of the land. With that said, please don't entirely disallow all vehicles from accessing it. I sometimes need to go there in order to forage for my winter wood, and sometimes kids are just trying to ride their motorcycles for fun. It would be very sad to see the only access by foot, as it is no Yosemite. Thank you for your time,
Craig, Kelseyville

thank you, i appreciate your support for this area
Rick, Davis

I didn't see anything about hunting as recreation. I have hunted in the Snow Mt. area and would not like to lose this area.
James, Sonora

Well, I really wish your efforts were being directed at fixing all these money woes going on in Washington. However, that being said, thank you for your bill on the Snow Mountain conservation area.
J.R, Woodland

I am a lifelong Democrat and one of your supporters. I am concerned with this bill though, are you remembering that those of us in the off-road community can be responsible users of our public lands, along with the hikers, mountain bikers and equestrians. Please don't shut us out!
Steve, Napa

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U.S.-Israel Security

Californians respond to my message on Strengthening U.S.-Israel Security Ties:

I agree that the US needs to maintain its historic alliance with Israel and ensure its existence; however, I ask that you also consider the Palestinians and use your influence to encourage the Israeli government to grant the Palestinians the freedom, land, and resources they need to maintain their existence in the region. Both the Israelis and the Palestinians have the right to exist, but not one at the expense of the other. President Carter was castigated for referring to the situation as apartheid, but isn't that really an apt description of the conditions under which the Palestinians are living?
Michael, Los Altos

I urge the strongest possible support for the US- Strategic Partnership Act. It is not enough to pledge support for Israel in an election period; what counts is support at all times, including immediately after and between elections. It is especially important is not only stockpiling of weapons, but also sharing in intelligence.
David, Encino

Why with the nuclear weapons that Israel has and it's superior military do we have to enter into any security pact with Israel? They don't need our help anymore. This is legislation of guilt for having done nothing during WW II to help the Jews. But now the Israeli government is one as bad as their persecutors. They use similar tactics on the Palestinians that were used against them. When will we stop allowing them to use "Never Again" as a slogan for terrorizing another people? It's time to stop sending billions to Israel and redirect that money to our own people - people living in poverty, people needing healthcare, students needing education.
Les, Sherman Oaks

Please stop supporting Israel. it is a drain on the American people that can never be repaid. Stop selling & giving them arms used to murder their neighbors! They continue to foment war and destruction. We give them far too much support already--please do not increase! Sincerely,
Ken, Saratoga

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Vietnam Veterans Day

Californians respond to my message on Honoring Vietnam Veterans:

Kudos on the Vietnam Veterans Day. My Father is a Vietnam Veteran. He came back disabled from that war and our Family stood by him. My Mother never divorced him and today he is in my care at 83. When I read about your efforts I was greatly moved. I passed it on to my Dad and his eyes began to water. So I just wanted to say thank you from my Family.
Tomas, Murrieta

These vets need our nation’s recognition, thanks, and government program support as they continue to age. Thank you for taking action for them!
Richard, Carmichael

THANK YOU!! Air Force Vietnam Veteran, Vietnam 1968-69
Bill, Mission Viejo

I really dont think we need another holiday thats what veterans day is about
Leslie, Perris

Thank you Senator Boxer for advocating a day to honor Vietnam Veterans who served in the war in Vietnam and never got recognition from a grateful nation.
Louis, a Vietnam war veteran, Roseville

Thank you so much for helping bring this about. I went to Vn 2/66 until 11/69. First as a Donut Dollie and then worked for the USO. I traveled all around the country and there was such sadness as the men watched the protests around the US-where ever there was a TV. I then worked in Okinawa and the reaction was the same-the young men could not understand the anger and hatred. Many still do not understand but accept and work tirelessly to make sure no other vet is treated the same way.
Jan, Santa Ana

Why are Vietnam Veterans different from the the rest of us? We have a Veterans day already. Do we need a separate one for The Revolutionary War, The Civil War, WW1,WW2 and The Korean War?
Thomas, San Bernardino

Thank you. I remember the times we were told to get out of our uniforms as soon as possible to avoid being spit on and other forms of resentment. We served honorably and were proud of our service. Unfortunately we were alone except for our families. Again Thank You.
Ronald, Montclair

Thank you and the other members of Congress that have the courage to finally give the Vietnam Veterans the respect we deserve. I was drafted into the Vietnam War and ended up serving as a combat infantry squad leader. I have PTSD and cancer from agent orange, so the war is far from over for me and thousands of vets like me. I was also sent information from a Vietnam Vet that the Pentagon has authorized a new "combat-related medal"-The Distinguished Warfare Medal. This new medal is ranked higher than the bronze star and the purple heart which is a slap in the face to true combat vets. I know I speak for many when I urge you to keep the medal but lower its rank. By the way, I was awarded the Soldiers Medal and you would have received a phone call along with this email if the new medal would have been ranked higher than that medal. Thank you for "listening" to an old Vietnam Vet still fighting the war on many fronts at home.
Jay, Culver City

As a Viet Nam era veteran I appreciate your efforts to honor my brothers and sisters who served in Viet Nam. Thank you.
Jack, Moreno Valley

Sure, a national day of honor is fine, but really the problem is that we sent these folks to war and now they come home to a country that provides insufficient care and support. Part of the expense of war is paying the expenses related to bringing the soldiers home again. The idea of a day of honor seems to me to be just another cop out. Thanks.
Richard, Beaumont

I would like to thank you for what you are trying to do for us. Just to let you know I have forwarded this to everyone that I know who was in at that time. Hopefully you will hear from a lot more Vets. I understand what is going on today, but sometimes it gets to me, when I see and hear about everything that our country and all the citizens are doing for the returning service personal and I think back and remember how we were treated it gets to me and I know that most of the Vietnam Vets feel the same way. It's a shame how people have forgotten what happened back then and what was said done to us. I'll stop now because I could go on for a long time, ONCE AGAIN THANK YOU.
James, Riverside

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Californians respond to my message Strengthening Afterschool Programs:

I say go for it with lots of gusto. We needed programs like this for years, since they took away the other after school programs. It not only gives our kids a positive place to go after school, they can also get the extra help they need with their studies they cannot get at home. The parents don't have to worry about them getting into trouble. If we had programs like this a long time ago, my great niece wouldn't be having the problems she is having now, and getting into trouble with the law.
Ruby, Sacramento

Thank you for thinking in our children and youth. I am a school employee in Santa Cruz and we run after school activities with the support of volunteers. We want our children and youth to be in a safe place and not wondering on the streets. We want our students to learn, feel safe, and build a safer community. Thank you so much again.
Nereida, Santa Cruz

Thank you very much for you efforts to ensure all Americans are treated fairly regarding medical treatment. I am shocked that those with HIV could not get organ donors to save their lives. I can't imagine anyone in our county would have to suffer such devastating discrimination. Keep up the good work.
MarySue, San Diego

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Californians respond to my message Republicans Block Bill to Stop the Sequester:

This is nothing but horrific.
Elisabeth, San Francisco

I was disappointed to hear that legislation was blocked that would have prevented loss of entire family stands to be negatively affected. Myself, my husband as well as my working grown children with families. We are not low income, we are upper middle income tax payers and this will affect all of our jobs....politicians just dont understand they are hurting so many hard working americans.
Linda, Ramona

I am a senior citizen whose income from Social Security is below $12.000/year. This is not the goverments fault, but if programs are cut out that affect senior citizens, I will probably have to join the homeless population or better still, move to a third world country in order to live out the rest of my life because Boehner and his cohorts along with the rich refuse to work with the democrats and my President to prevent this catastrophe. This country is no longer a place to be proud to live in. It is fast becoming a country of the haves, and the have nots. My wish is that politician have to live on social security, like me, and not get those fat pensions, and maybe this can work toward balancing the budget.
Barbara, Hawthorne

Are we seriously blaming the Republicans for wanting a balanced budget. How much are we willing to go into debt to keep all of the programs currently being paid for without the income to do so? As an individual, I could not leave my finances in the same mess our government has chosen. Do something about it, and then send me an e-mail that says, "We are working together to fix the mess that egotistical politicians have created. We are realizing that individual citizens should be responsible for the bulk of their problems, and the government cannot, and should not, take care of everyday struggles." Then I will know that sanity has returned to politics. And for the record, I am a liberal Republican, voting for individuals, not parties. This is not a Republican problem, any more than it is a Democratic problem. Work together!
Jackie, Orland

In regards to your February 28th letter blaming the Republicans for not stopping the "Sequester", there is plenty of blame on both sides of the aisle. The blame game is not productive. I expect you to do your job and work with the Republicans to find a compromise.
Gus, San Carlos

I applaud the actions taken today by the the Senate Republicans to block the over- reach of you and your fellow senate democrats. If you are truly interested in coming up with a bill that will pass, try working with your colleague Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky, and please keep an open mind.
James, Santa Rosa

Dear Senator please fight the mega rich agenda of the republican party. they are selfish and ruining our country!!!
John, Modesto

Californians respond to my message Stopping a Threat to Our Nation’s Economy:

Thank you for standing up against a sequester.
Harriet, Manhattan Beach

What can the people do to stop sequestration? A longer term project might be to recall republican tea partiers, but that's not going to do anything in a week. For people who are left leaning, Europe has pretty definitively shown that austerity doesn't work. For some reason right-wing types come to the opposite conclusion.
Diane, Pasadena

The sequester is already hurting our national labs, some of which have already banned professional travel, as well as the technical/scientific meetings sponsored by our professional societies. In turn these meeting decreases are impacting and will impact local economies. Something has to be done to stop this damage to our already in trouble science programs.
Albe, Half Moon Bay

The automatic spending cuts set to take effect March 1 are only 2% accross the board. How much have american families had to cut each year over these years long recession plus have taxes increased at the same time? The Federal government should be looking to cut 10% accross the board and think seriously about having a balanced budget. If congress is going to be serious about responsible spending than a balanced budget ammedment needs to be passed.
John, Lawndale

Let sequester happen. The president himself proposed it recently. It might get our nation back out of it's insane down spiral.
Charles, Whittier

If you don't cut spending and balance the budget, our economy will be in the tank. The country will be bankrupt. Our grand children and great grand children will be relegated to a life of poverty standards.
Jack, Whittier

If you are so very concerned about sequestration, then Pres. Obama should not have drafted the idea and the Democratic Party should not have supported it. Additionally, the ONLY problem with sequestration is the real cuts being made to the Defense Dept. The "cuts" to overbloated non-defense departments are not even real cuts. We both know they are simply a decrease in the increase they received within the last few years. The Senate hasn't passed a budget in 4 years and you and your party are worried about "job losses" that don't exist. STOP playing politics and actually work with the Republicans in making real spending cuts with NO new taxes.
Carolyn, Long Beach

I hope you are working hard to bring our national debt and deficit spending under control. It is no surprise that the economy is as weak as it is with the huge growth of spending by the federal government. I hope you will stand to do what is right and treat taxpayer money with the respect and awe it is due. It is money paid by the producers in the economy and leaders as yourself are entrusted with it. Please treat it as such. I hope you will do your best to find the necessary cuts and bring our budget in balance. We do!
Joseph, Whittier

The continued use of Executive/Congressional created crisis needs to stop. The sequester budget cuts were a compromise proposed by our President who now seems unable to compromise on anything. He has overstepped his "mandate". Let the sequester take effect. We need to get a handle on spending one way or another. Respectfully,
John, La Puente

The sequester debate is not open for discussion. This country has a spending problem not a revenue problem. The Democratic party must stop playing games on all the various issues before this nation and start attempting to solve the problems. Sequester was an idea put forth by President Obama, the Democratic party leader, accept that fact and quit blaming the Republican party. As an independent voter, I am sick and tired of both parties continually jockeying for power position and not solving the country's issues in a bipartisan common sense manner. Common sense does not exist in Washington DC.
James, Santa Clarita

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Paycheck Fairness

Californians respond to my message on Fighting for Paycheck Fairness:

As a student I kept thinking that by the time I was a parent, women would get equal pay. As a young parent, I was sure it would happen any day. Now that I am a grandparent, I can only hope it will happen for my granddaughter.
Bev, Carmel

I am so thankful for your legislation on fair pay for women. The last forty years, I have worked in a male dominated field of Public Works. My education level is higher, my staff larger and my territory broader than all of the males in our Department. That being said, I am the lowest paid employee. Males with no employees that work in an office and less education make more than I do. I love my job and the people that live in Lompoc; that is the only reason I have not sought employment elsewhere. Approaching retirement age, I hope this happens soon.
Cindy McCall, Lompoc

Thank you for supporting fair pay. It's very important.
Catherine, San Gabriel

Keep up the good fight! These unfair and completely outdated practices have been going on too long!
Janet, La Jolla

Thanks for doing your best to insure that women get more pay. My daughter is a single parent supporting her son and has a great job, but they don't pay her the salary that a man would get if he did her job. So unfair in this 21st Century! We need equal pay for now and for the future.
Hazel, Reseda

Women with children should not earn for men if they are primary care. Women by default don't deserve the reward people who don't show up to do the worke default ensure less pay by calling out to care for kids. People like me them have to cover for them. Of course they are paid less...deservedly so.
Alicia, Long Beach

That $454,000 lifetime wage differential that women suffer through their working careers -- does that take into account the eventual CONTINUED differential in social security and pension receipts? If it doesn't, then the penalty for being a women is drastically understated. I'm speaking from my personal experience, of course. And I get reminded of it every month for the rest of my life. Thanks for your efforts on our behalf!
Jane, Banning

I thank you for raising your voice publicly and strongly in support of women and their families. I am in a household of two women and so we would feel the pain doubly being paid less than our male counterparts. I know I work very hard with good results and evaluations as does my partner. We deserve to be paid equally. I appreciate all your work in bringing forth legislation that will truly make "more equality."
Angela, Oakland

Thank you, and about time too I have been retired fourteen years now, I worked until I was 65, so when I read about the above I really am pleased. Thank you again and good luck in all you do
Joan, Murrieta

I totally support your equl pay efforts. I am a retired Federal manager (GM-14) who fought for this in the 1980s/90s.
Ardel, Sacramento

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Pinnacles National Park

Californians respond to my message on the Pinnacles National Park:

As a native Californian and Dean of Science and Research Collections at the California Academy of Sciences, I would like to extend my congratulations and sincere appreciation for your authoring the bill to designate the Pinnacles as a National Park. I am so pleased that President Obama has signed this bill into law. The Pinnacles are a remarkable part of our California and national biological heritage. Their elevation to National Park status is a great achievement for all Americans. Thank you again for your unwavering support of the environment and protection of our natural heritage. In these times, when people point to the failure of Congress to accomplish meaningful legislation this is an especially important accomplishment.
Terry, San Anselmo

Thank you so much for doing such a good job caring about our environment. It feels so good to be proud of my representative. Thank you for honoring the Pinnacles as our newest National Park.
Donna, San Diego

Is this wise? If you will please check, The Pinnacles area has been the epicenter of hundreds, if not thousands of earthquakes in the last 6 years. Has this fact been taken into consideration? If it has, I would like to know what data were considered.
P., Atascadero

Great news! It's such a beautiful place. Thanks for all your hard work.
Janice, Vallejo

Thank you for your continuing efforts to ensure that the beautiful, natural habitats of California are protected. I appreciated your notification, because these important bills often go unnoticed by the media! Keep up the good work!
Arlene, Beaumont

It's good to know that future generations will be able to enjoy this beautiful place.
Thomas, Laguna Beach

Thank you for sponsoring the bill making Pinnacles National Monument into America?s 59th National Park. We visited Pinnacles last year after more than 25 years and it was a very worth while trip. The area's renowned beauty and diverse wildlife, unique volcanic rock formations, and a home of the critically endangered California condor is worthy of NP status.
Felix, Carmichael

I have visited there twice, taking my grandson the second visit, both loving the enormous rock formations, forest . . . and renewed spirit from the experience. The area is worthy of national park status and the diligent care, financial support gained by this status which will also attract a greater number of people to receive the health benefits of being outdoors, hiking, enjoying wildlife and forests. And, yes, more people also benefit surrounding businesses.
Maurita, Templeton

As a Parent, Granparent, educator, camper, rock climber, and lover of Nature; Thanks So Much for pursuing and doing this for future generations.
Stephen, Oceanside

Millions of Americans--today and for generations to come--will enjoy the beauty of Pinnacles NATIONAL PARK because of the courage and foresight of "America's Senator", the Honorable Barbara Boxer !  
Duncan and Betty, McKinleyville

Thanks for all you do to help out in our environment in California and elsewhere. Your actions with the Land and Water Conservation Fund have already made quite a difference in the Sierra Nevada. Keep up the good work!
Fred, San Francisco

I was researching parks in California when I saw that there was a new one, Pinnacles National Park in the Bay Area. Then I got your email, saying that you had proposed the bill. I want to thank you for helping establish this important park, especially when the former state government has identified almost 50 sites for closure. I hope this can be turned around, as California has a unique and important culture, both natural and man-made, that is important to preserve.
Megaen, Newcastle

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Mt. Andrea Lawrence

Californians respond to my message on Mt. Andrea Lawrence:

Thank you for honoring Andrea in a way that would have made her so proud. She was a dear friend and often referred to herself as my "second mother." I wish more people knew how hard she worked and how much she accomplished in protecting the Eastern Sierras. She was a fascinating, intelligent woman with a fierce determination and vision. She so very much deserves this recognition. My wish is more people would take her message of conservation to heart and continue in the work to which she dedicated her life.
Kerry, Albany

How good it is to see such a wonderful athlete and conservationist honored by having a mountain named after her. I am old enough to remember very well her accomplishments---and also to have met her a number of times. The old skiing community was rather a small one, and we all knew each other. To us she was Andie Mead---always. Thank you for taking this step.
Suzanne, San Francisco

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National Marine Sanctuaries

Californians respond to my message on Protecting the Northern California Coast:

Thank you! I am so glad you have had our interests in mind for so many years. Good job!
Priscilla, Sherman Oaks

I cant thank you enough for your efforts on this issue. It is the very best thing the government has done in a long time!! Thanx,thanx,thanx...
Libby, Healdsburg

I just read your message about expanding Gulf of the Farallones and Cordell Bank National Marine Sanctuaries. These are wonderful, magical areas of California's coast and I am so grateful that you are fighting to protect them.
Shirley, Menlo Park

Thank you so much for continuing to work toward protecting our natural environment. I sincerely appreciate your working with Congresswoman Lynn Woolsey to expand the Gulf of the Farallones and Cordell Bank national Marine Sanctuaries.
B, Rocklin

Do you REALLY think that this is a GOOD IDEA? Making that area a Natl . manument is not what is needed for Calif . Calif already has safe guards in place to protect its waters .. Coast Guard .. Bilge water dumping and other pollution DFG protects the wlid life and fish . This idea is just a redunancy of policys that are already in place . And what of the residents who make their living ? What effect does this have on them ?.. The damage this can cause is far more reaching than its feel good efects .. Thanks for reading ..
Charles, Santa Rosa

While some may find fault with the attempts to preserve and protect marine life, I applaud the initiative. To set aside 15% of the marine habitat to conserve fish species is a modest step. More may be needed. Thank you.
Franklin, Santa Rosa

Wonderful news of the extension of the Marine Sanctuaries here in Northern California. Thanks so much for you efforts in that area! Sincerely,
Doug, San Diego

Good work, Senator Boxer. Thank you for standing up for the environment and California. Generations to come will reap the benefits. Best regards,
Joe, Sebastopol

I'm thrilled about the news of the expansion of the marine sanctuary along the Sonoma and Mendocino coast of Northern California! Thank you for your work towards that. As a native Californian, several generations back, I deeply value the beauty and positive impact on people and planet of our natural environments. I have great appreciation for your efforts to preserve as much of it as possible. Sincerely,
Sarah, San Diego

Thank you for your work protecting the marine coastal environment. Amidst the fears of war and economic woes, such an advancement on the "home front" is inspiring.
Robert, Laguna Beach

Thank you for your successful efforts to expand the Gulf of the Farallones and Cordell Bank National Marine Sanctuaries. I always knew you were the real deal!
Robles, Roger Jr, Petaluma

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Congo Atrocities

Californians respond to my message on Combating Violence in Congo:

I want to thank you for applying pressure on the white house to intervene in the violence that is being perpetrated on Congolese women and men. I wonder how and from who, the so called "rebels" purchase their arms and bullets that inflict such wanton pain and suffering on the Congolese people. On the radio I recently listened to a woman author and activist Lee Ann DeRus who is working to help heal women brutalized by violence in the Congo. I was amazed by the stories she told of great resilience and healing among brutalized women and child soldiers. We must do everything we can to foster their safety and continued healing by helping to stop the ongoing violence. Please continue to keep this issue up front in the white house circle of international policy. Our sisters and brothers in the Congo are counting on you. Joyful Holidays
Saoirse, Oakland

Thank you so much for leading a bipartisan group to urge immediate action to help end the sexual violence in the Democratic Republic of Congo. It horrifies me every time I hear about it and am glad that you and your colleagues are willing and able to do something in our name.
Mathilde, Santa Cruz

Thank you for your efforts to reduce the violence in the Congo and encourage our nation to take a stronger stand for human rights there.
Sylvia, Berkeley

Thank you for speaking on this important topic. I am proud that you are championing this important issue for the health of women, men, and children in Congo, but also here in the US. Violence against women, especially sexual violence is completely unacceptable, and I am proud that you are my senator.
Alma, Covina

Michael, Menifee

Absolutely agree with you! I know Congo's people. I have been there. They need support from America. Good luck!
Richard, Los Angeles

While I am against sexual violence, wherever it occurs, I strongly oppose the President taking any 'action' in the Congo. I do not know the wording of your document but I would not support anything but diplomatic action. We are still extricating ourselves from Iraq and Afghanistan and I do not support any excursions into any other countries - the Congo and Syria included.
Bill, San Diego

I wanted to thank you personally for your concern and for the steps you are taking for a more stable region for the people of the Congo.
Sandra, Richmond

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Gun Violence

Californians respond to Senator Boxer on the NRA, Gun Violence, and School Safety:

Thanks for leading this fight. We are gun owners, support 2nd Amendment, HOWEVER support your efforts with assault weapons ban, reduce magazine sizes, close gun show loophole, national registry. THANK YOU!
Ellen, Poway

Keep up the fight against the NRA! Why not impose a steep tax on purchasers of assault weapons so they pay for the extra security? The NRA argues that they have the right to bear arms, but what about responsibility? Sure the vast majority are responsible but unfortunately they have carry the burden of those that aren't.
Eric, South San Francisco

I am a strong believer in the 2nd Amendment and do NOT want to see my rights trampled on. While what happened in Newtown is very saddening, taking away the gun rights of law-abiding citizens will not solve anything. Criminals that want to commit crimes with guns will find a way to do it regardless of what laws are in place. (They would probably rob gun stores, rob homes, or get them from somewhere else). Please Senator, do not let my 2nd amendment rights be destroyed by useless laws that won't protect our future- our children.
Jen, Murrieta

A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed. This is the second amendment. It specifies that the right to bear arms must be part of a well-regulated militia. How many of members of the NRA are part of a well-regulated militia? One spokesman for the NRA said that we have to have guns if we need to overthrow a tyrannical government. In that case, which is ridiculous, a well ordered militia would be formed. Another interesting thing is that historically the NRA position was in regulating the ownership of guns: being sure everyone was well-trained and the guns were in the right hands. No one in the US needs automatic assault weapons. If hunters are using them, the animals don't stand a chance and it's not a sport; it's a massacre. I think NRA's opposition to gun control is offensive.
Cynthia, Carmichael

I know this will be like talking to the wall, but we don't need more gun restrictions, just enforce the laws we already have. We Need more people control, not gun control. The 2nd amendment is not about hunting, it is about equal defense.
David, Oakland

Why not use the DMV model to license gun owners and register guns on a continual basis? Like the Department of Motor Vehicles, the Department of Firearms for each state would issue learner permits, then after 6 months, a test would be given and then a license issued to the gun owner. Every time a gun is purchased by the licensed gun owner, it would need to be registered and fees paid every year that it is owned. If the owner of the gun sells it, the new owner would need to re-register the gun and pay the fees. The owner's license would be renewed periodically (just like a driver's license). The license, registration and fees required would certainly curb the proliferation of guns in this country. And the states could use the money. Also the new Department of Firearms in each state would create jobs.
Joyce, Merced

It would also be an appropriate time to stand up for non-violence, e.g, ban on assault weapons and massive sales of ammunition, as well as real background checks, waiting periods, and proof of knowledge of how to operate a gun and gun safety. After all, we require registration of cars (and access to registration data by law enforcement), as well as licensing of all drivers only after they have passed driving tests. Nobody considers this a slippery slope leading to the confiscation of cars. Nobody regards the law that trucks must have appropriate signage if carrying flammable or explosive materials a slippery slope toward abolishment of the trucking industry. Are vehicles more dangerous than guns? Do individuals have to learn to drive but shooters just somehow know how to do it? Should individuals be held responsible for damage they do with cars but not guns? When did we get this crazy? Your sane constituents are counting on you.
Margaret, Berkeley

I know that some of the community feels that these kinds of gun laws should be passed so that they can feel more safe about sending their children off to school. NOTHING should make parents feel more safe. Killers walk the streets everyday. That won't change with new gun laws. I see the problem just as clearly as anyone else does. I am an advocate for guns…. I am asking as a concerned citizen, that you vote NO on ALL of these frivilous proposals. There are other ways of solving this problem. Thank-you very much for reading.
Candace, Mountain View

It seems that you have already spoken out about gun control. I want to support that effort. We need to follow the ideas of Joe Biden and Barack Obama in this. I especially think there is no reason for anyone to have an assault weapon. They are only to kill other human beings. I do think that people who pass rigorous background checks should be able to have handguns for protection and hunting rifles. But that is all!!! Thank you for considering these proposals.
JoAnne, Vallejo

My wife and I both urge you to support the President's gun control measures. Citizens do not need assault rifles to defend themselves, they should be banned and turned in for destruction. A ten round magazine, as required by California law, should be standard throughout the US. If that's a problem with the Second Amendment, then we urge you to initiate a repeal of that amendment. We have too many paranoid citizens who should not be allowed to possess military weapons. We are not afraid of our government, we are afraid of these nut cases.
Robert and Carolyn, Fallbrook

I am continually dumbfounded by the opposition to stricter gun control, horrified by the escalating gun violance and frustrated by the inexplicable arguments from the gun rights side which seem to defy logic and common sense. I am so proud of our President for representing the rights I believe in and his honest and sincere efforts to force action in this debate. I have attempted to keep an open mind, listened to NRA lobby positions and talked to friends who are gun owners, to make every attempt at understanding their side of the debate. Yet as the rhetoric heats up, the speeches and positions taken by the "gun rights" side sound more hollow, lacking foresight and become more narrow and self serving with each passing day. I am fully confident our Founding Fathers would be equally horrified by the violence and killing precipitated by the easy access to hand guns. They would be appauled by the selling of semi-automic weapons with large ammunition clips. The Second Amendment to the constitution, written and debated almost 250 years ago could not have been meant to give rise to allowing the ease of access to such powerful and deadly weapons into the hands of people ill equipmed to even manage their every day lives and social interactions, let alone be responsible enough to handle a deadly weapon. The President is correct in forcing action and I fully believe the public is behind this. We must maintain a stronger voice and a voice that speaks louder than the vocal minority of the NRA lobbiest. Please continue to work as hard as you can, to take action and work to inact legislation that creates sensible safeguards, safe guards that will help to protect my family, friends and neighbors and does not bend to a vocal and illogical minority with a skewed sense of what is right. thank you for your support.
Lewis, Encinitas

Lots of good debate in the media, in government, and in local conversation on this issue due in part to recent tragedies. It's all going nowhere unless we can find a way to talk to people who hold to the notion they are safer with guns. Safer from crime, safer from government tyranny, safer from wild animals- you choose. Those folks may feel safer "armed", but even if you believe a gun will protect you, that feeling comes at the expense of a functioning civil society. I'd be happy with basic sensible gun control measures. Ban assault weapons. Let every adult who wants to own a gun, as long as its registered, and as long as the owner passes a periodic background check (not just a one time check). How can that be unreasonable, except to those with criminal intent? And if you're gun is not secured, and if its stolen and later used in a crime, you bear a portion of responsibility for the damage done due to your negligence. We are all capable of stupid or senseless acts, regardless of whether we are law abiding or "responsible" citizens. There is no test for lifelong sanity. To argue otherwise is naive.
Brian, Los Angeles

The speech from the NRA was pathetic and insulting. They want to create a police state so they can sell more guns. Please be strong about gun control legislation...we must get these assault weapons out of stores, gun shows and the black market. We must ban cartridges and insist on background checks. I am grateful that you represent my thoughts. Keep up the good work.
Pam, Carmel Valley

I am truly disgusted with the violence due to automatic weapons, and the ease of obtaining large quantities of ammunition. Please add my vote to ban automatic assault and hand weapons and ammunition, and require strict licensing requirements for gun owners. Remove mail order access to minors, and educate the existing owners on gun safety and storage in locked places.
Frank, Sebastopol

I am a social worker, educator, union leader, veteran, and gun owner. I support the entire Bill of Rights, including the 2nd Amendment. I am concerned with the proliferation of gun laws that serve only to limit the rights of law abiding gun owners. I do not believe that my rights should be limited due to the horrific act of a mentally ill person. I do agree that we need to do more to protect our schools. We also need to devote more resources to serve those with mental illness. I am with you on these points. However, I do not agree that curtailing my rights is part of a reasonable solution.
Michael, Weaverville

The apology given by the NRA's president was hollow and only demonstrated how self serving the current leadership of the NRA is. The nation needs strong and reasonable gun control laws. I would like to suggest a regime based on federal aviation regulations. Like gun ownership the use of the nation's air space is a right guaranteed in the Constitution. A reasonable series of ratings could then be established so that the rights of gun owners to own various types of guns and the rights of the rest of the public to safety can be assured. That's my contribution in this debate. I hope that it can help.
Keith, San Jose

Thank you for speaking out about addressing the issue of gun control. I would like you to speak more directly and strongly about the need to BAN assault weapons and clips. No civilian needs a gun that shoots automatically and continuously. Please be a leader in defining what the second amendment means in the twenty-first century.
Sharon, Palo Alto

I've had it! The killings in CT put me on a crusade against assault weapons. I'm sick and tired of the old mantras "guns don't kill people" and "now is not the time". If not now, when? I'd like to see a permanent ban on all assault weapons and large clips, a forced recovery of all assault weapons and large clips, a strengthening of registration rules and application process for ALL other weapons, an annual licensing fee for ALL weapons that goes toward mental health, and insurance paid by all weapon owners that gets paid out to any victim or victim's family. It's time to get serious, deadly serious.        
David, Atwater

I am a retired high school English teacher. I spent 37 years in the classroom and know what it is like to take responsibility for the students that were in my charge. I know how vulnerable my school was even though updated security measures were in place. There is no way to be safe enough unless we begin to change our outdated, senseless laws and social practices. I am ashamed that our society has become so violent. People like me have paid only lip service to the need to change laws regulating war weapons. We now need to act and act until some real change takes place. We cannot just shake our heads, shed a tear and move on. Not this time. Enough is enough. Please know that I support your bill and pray that others like me will act in like manner. We must stand up to the ignorant and greedy gun czars who have ruled our world.
Elizabeth, Ontario

Please help do something about the proliferation of guns in our society. We need a ban on assault weapons and magazine clips that hold multiple rounds of ammunition. It's time that the NRA and other powerful gun lobbies be stopped.
Audrey, Lagunitas

Thank you for your recent email about gun violence. Thank you also for supporting stronger legislation to control gun violence. I am a gun owner myself, but I believe that there are just way too many guns in America, and they are not sufficiently controlled. I don't see why they can' t be at least as controlled as motor vehicles, with more extensive background checks than currently, and yearly renewals of the registration. I also think that criminal laws should be amended so that any crime committed with gun involvement should require much stiffer penalties. I think that the location and ownership of every single gun America should be known and tracked by the ATF. The red herring about better mental health treatment is ridiculous. No mental health provider can possibly be expected to know what a patient may be capable of except perhaps in extreme cases. That type of legislative response to a tragedy like this could actually keep some people from seeking treatment. Better security at schools may be a somewhat effective, though very sad, response to the recent tragedy. The root cause of all this senseless violence, though, is quite obviously the availability of so many guns. Thank you again for your work in this area.
John, El Sobrante

I regretfully contact you on such a matter concerning the law abiding citizens of the United States Second Amendment Rights, directly after such a horrific tragedy in Newtown CT. Senator Boxer the answer to this tragedy is not to ban fire arms from law abiding citizens. If a drunk driver kills someone in an accident, do we take the privilege of driving from the rest of the United States Citizens? No. We have made laws more severe to those that have broken the law. Senator Boxer, as Senator to your State, the people of your state elected you to keep our laws within the Constitution, preserve our Constitution, and keep our rights secure. I pray you strongly reconsider the fire arms ban on moderate capacity fire arms like the AR 15. Such a matter is very important in your state. I will be following your voice on this matter when it comes a crossed Legislation, as well as the majority of your constituents. Please uphold the Constitution.
Jorge, Bakersfield

Thank you for speaking out. Now create and pass legislation for Gun Control.
Joannie, Los Angeles

Although it is very sad that a crazy person killed children and teachers, the rifle used was not the culprit. Crazy people cannot be allowed to have access to guns. Secondly, creating gun free zones, encourages evil people to attack those places, knowing everyone is unarmed. Chicago and Washington DC are pretty much gun free and have them most gun violence in the country. Dallas, Tucson, and Reno have the most armed citizens, and also have the lowest gun crime. Law makers don't understand this. Armed citizens are never victims. Everywhere we disarm people, we have only criminals with fire arms. It's time to have someone armed at schools, on campus's and in our malls.
Mike, Rocklin

Thank you for being in the forefront in the efforts to enact sensible gun control legislation.
Shari, South San Francisco

Senator, please reconsider your position on banning military type weapons? The founding fathers considered this right necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to bear arms shall not be infringed! Consider US vs. Miller, 1938, US gov't argued military type weapons are "militia" weapons, protected by the 2nd Amendment. A free state requisite is a well informed, politically engaged and well armed citizenry, capable of rebellion against future tyranny, or otherwise illegal militarized police state. The people need military weapons, simply put, hunting rifles and hand guns are no match for fully automatic weapons and military hardware any police state legally possess. Criminals only victimize the weak and defenseless, not the strong or the armed! Do not sentence the American people to a potential future tyranny because A minority of criminals use these weapons to commit their heinous acts of violence against defenseless citizens. Do not use this crisis as an excuse to disarm American citizenry and further strip away our Condtitutional rights in the name of protecting us! We do not wish to be protected against terrorism or criminals by dismantling our Constitutional rights! I further ask that the Hugh's amendment aka, Gun Control Act of 1986, be amended to permit automatic weapons made after 5/19/1986, be legally transferred for civilian use, so that non-wealthy citizens can also bear these arms, under NFA regulations. I do not argue against rigorous measures or precautions taken to keep guns out of the hands of criminals or the mentally il.. Perhaps the press is to blame for making gun criminals infamous and fanning copy cat crimes! Thank you for letting me be heard. Sincerely yours,
Marshall, Los Angeles

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Californians respond to Protecting Our Children (12/18/2013):

I hope and presume that you will support Senator Feinstein's re-introduction of a bill to ban sale of automatic weapons. I even wish the bill went further and banned semi-automatic weapons along with much more stringent rules and checks for anyone buying or owning any gun. This latest savagery has really broken my heart. Maybe such a horrible act is what it takes to mobilize the country to stop the stupidity of believing anyone can buy a combat weapon to "protect themselves". I pray this bill will be passed by congress.
David, Piedmont

I appreciate your response to the tragic event in Newton, in the statement released today. You have my full support to move forward and advocate for not only the control and curtailing of semi-automatic and automatic guns, but also for the four other steps to be taken, delineated in your speech - law enforcement involvement in issuing and maintaining gun permits, gun show loopholes, help for the mentally ill, and school safety. I cannot express how important this is to me. The sense of urgency is overwhelming. Thank you for your hard work and attention to this.
Teresa, Bishop

I support your efforts at gun control. When the 2nd amendment was written, soldiers used muskets, which (according to Wikipedia) could fire only 4 bullets per minute. The Constitution guarantees us life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, and that sets of rights was ripped away from the 26 victims in the CT murders. The last election did not show any strong wins by the NRA, so why are some congresspeople so afraid to do the right thing, and their duty, protect our citizens! Instead of a moment of silence, let's have Congress take 27 minutes, or 27 hours, of silence, so that they have ample time to reflect on the seriousness of this problem and how they can end this bloodshed.
Ralph, Oakland

While I am a hunter I do not know why we cannot have effective gun control. There is no need for assault weapons in the hunting world no guns capable of holding more than 6 rounds for the general public. Anything more is simply a weapon design to be used in a serious firefight.
Kent, Merced

How ironic that a woman who had the hobby of gun collecting and taught her son to shoot should end up being shot by her son as the first casualty of such a terrible mass shooting of innocents. Since the supreme court has said that we can't abolish guns I propose the idea that we do what conservatives have done to make abortion unavailable despite it being upheld by the court. We need to sue the gun producers until they can't do business here and make guns so difficult to obtain that they are practically abolished. This is the only positive thing that might come out of this terrible tragedy.
Regina, Granada Hills

Thank you, Senator Boxer for taking immediate action and for not stepping down to demand stricter gun control. My heart is heavy.
Tracey, Cayucos

I believe there is no need for a member of the public to own an assault rifle. They are meant for warfare and therefore should only be on the hands of our military and police. It should be a criminal offense to sell, purchase or have an assault rifle. I hope you can work towards freeing our nation from fanatics and organizations like the NRA, who perpetual the reign of terror by unstable individuals under the guise that its everyone has the right to own an assault weapons. There are something's we don't allow the general public to have, like a grenade, sarin gas or nuclear materials. Why do we allow any citizen the right to purchase weapons of war.
John, Los Altos Hill

The line has been crossed. We have stood by and watched and given prayers and said how sorry we are as people have been murdered our country. The 5 year olds have crossed the line. If we let this time go like we have let all the others go, we are saying it is okay to murder our children at school. There are some easy laws that could be passed that have huge public support. Expose the people who oppose these common sense laws. The last election showed that extreme thinking does not get elected. I'll do what I can do and I know you will do what you can do. Thanks,
Greg, Redding

We totally agree with you and hope that other members of Congress will listen and do the right thing for our Nation, children and all people who are in harms' way due to these senseless acts of violence. This is Urgent! Wishing you the best of luck in getting this passed and moving forward to a safer Nation for all of us.
Ernest, Hemet

As a parent who has experienced the loss of a child, I know in my heart how impossible it is for others to know what it feels like. But when one does understand the grief, it becomes all too apparent that we must do better. I dont know that we need to banish all guns. I think our forefathers meant us to be able to protect ourselves from the government, if need be. But I do think we can do better when it comes to letting those guns get to the streets. Maybe we need to require people to provide proof of safety, by making them have tamper proof lock boxes. Whatever, there is NO reason that ANYONE should have automatic weapons. I like guns as much as the next person. Ive spent my time hunting, and practicing at safe shooting sites. I strongly believe we need to change our legislation, requiring tougher permit applications. But that is not all. Since this happened, many of us are asking "why". What is it about Western culture, American culture, that has us killing each other. Why isnt there a task force looking into this? IS it not a worthwhile endeavor? Are you saying that any money spent trying to make American children safer, is not money we can afford to spend? This needs to happen. Please make it happen. I will back you.
Kimberlie, Turlock

Thank you for the solid assessment of the issues related to the shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary and a commitment to speaking about it and going forward. I look forward to hearing more about what is being done as it evolves. I feel strongly that the issues are easy accessibility, not enough background checks AND a serious lack of helpful mental health services. The one area where I am a little uncertain is law enforcement presence at our schools. My children were raised in the Polly Klass aftermath and I have always regretted the amount of fearful concern that surrounded them. We need to find the proper balance between teaching them to be confident and powerful (versus fearful) and the need to protect them. Thank you, as always, for speaking up and for all that you do. Sincerely,
Jane, Mountain View

Eliminate ALL assault (semi-automatic military-style weapons), and eliminate all clips more than 10 rounds, and eliminate all 'armor piercing' ammunition. I also endorse fingerprinting every gun purchaser at a store or gun show, and eliminate all mail-order/internet sale of guns. I'm a former NRA member, and a gun owner.
Dwain, Goleta

As a first grade teacher, I am shattered by what happened at Sandy Hook Elementary. I have sat with my students during an "intruder drill" explaining to the six year olds why we had to practice. I can imagine how the teachers had to react quickly in this emergency situation. It sickens me that there are folks who think arming the teachers would have solved this. That is too simple of an answer. Real gun control, help for mentally Ill and a look at our culture of violence must occur. These teachers and children should not die in vain. Speak up! Speak out! Stand up to the NRA. Our youth need you! Thank you Senator Boxer.
Tina, Westminster

I do not support disarming the public in light of the Ct. shootings, I disagree with your statements regarding firearms of any kind, enforce the current laws that are on the books, I do not support any new legislation regarding firearms in any way shape or form, you swoar an oath to uphold the Constitution and as such the second ammendment falls under it, do your job and follow the Constitution, my vote will not favor you if you pursue new fireamrs legislation.
Richard, Downey

The entire Nation was saddened by the events of last week but I caution you not to read this as just an opportunity to restrict guns from the law abiding public. When a young man shoots his sleeping mother in the face, the Nation can not fault the gun he used as the problem. The Mental Health system in this country has been broken for may years and it is up to Congress to fix it. We can not let these types of events happen because people are denied assistance with problems. No one will argue that people with serious Mental Health issues should be denied access to firearms but any restrictions you put on firearms will not solve this issue. It may deny them access to the weapons you restrict but not to weapons in general. The U.S. has laws on the books to restrict access to weapons but they are seldom enforced because of a patchwork State by State system of identifing the right people. Please direct your efforts to the real peoblem or these problems will happen again and again.
Ed, San Jose

Thank you for taking a leadership role on gun control. As a mother of a 3-year old daughter, I feel like I need to take the time to make my voice heard - and time is not something that is not easy to find being a parent and a full-time science journal editor. I have been hoping for meaningful gun control for a while, but after the recent events in Newtown, Connecticut, I can no longer remain silent. We need meaningful gun control now. We needed it a year ago. Personally, I would like to see a ban on the ownership, manufacture, and sale of all semi-automatic assault weapons. Everyone who has a semi-automatic assault weapon should be asked to turn it in. They can be reimbursed, but the weapons should not be available for use by anyone with any itchy finger who is looking to inflict harm. Sincerely,
Meghan, San Francisco

Please go forth on this issue. It is long overdue. What happened Friday is just an obscenity and it's so terrible that it happens again and again in our country and nothing is done about it. Please be strong and fight the NRA for all of us. I can see where someone might need a gun to defend themselves, depending where they live. Or perhaps they hunt (although I am not a hunter.) But automatic weapons or semi-automatic weapons of ANY KIND are not necessary for anyone to have who is not a police officer, etc. It's appalling how easy these are to obtain. I wish you and Ms. Feinstein the very best of luck at turning the tide in this country. Perhaps because this latest episode is so heinous to so many, you just might win on this one! With respect and gratitude,
Lydia, Napa

Yes, please, work as hard as you can to enact a law that will keep assault type weapons off the street and out of the hands of unstable people. Among the unstable people, I count those who want to arm teachers, those who think that if they don't have guns, the government will be coming after them, and those who think the militia is still drilling on the village green.
Gale, Santa Rosa

I agree with you completely. What has been going on in this country is insane and has to stop. Why worry about al Qaeda when we are killing our own faster than they can? I will vote for any assault weapon ban you and Sen. Feinstein can pass... We really need to go further than that but that would be a good start. We also need to do something about mental health services for those who need it. Not either/or but both/and... Thank you for whatever you can do.
Agnes, El Cerrito

My heart is broken for these children and teachers 3,000 miles away. I am a mother of 10-year-old twin boys, and I'm a teacher myself. This news story has caused me to cry for days, and the tears keep coming. Obama nailed it when he said that if we can't get this right (ensuring our children's safety), then we can't get anything right. My heart aches for a future of fear and the illusion that locks and an escalation of guns for self-defense can keep us safe. They can't; this path will enable a endless cycle of fear. The ONLY solution to keep innocent people safe are laws that put tighter restrictions on guns and ammunition built to kill people. It is time to lay the guns, and not the children, to rest. Thank you for taking the lead! We need leaders on gun control, particularly leaders who are mothers.
Lise, Los Olivos

A gun is an inanimate object and is incapable of doing anything on its own including being violent. Violence is a human trait and / or an emotional condition that NORMAL people do not have. There are laws in place to prevent felons and other criminals from LEGALLY obtaining them. Criminals will ALWAYS get a gun, knife or other weapon to wreck havoc on peaceful normal individuals. Innumerable laws can be passed to remove guns from peaceful law abiding citizens and criminals will still find a way to obtain them. Too many liberal politicians and other groups are trying to disarm America for what I feel are socialist purposes. Our representatives need to stop funding, placating, and excusing criminals for their criminal acts against society. Our representatives need to quit underwriting and funding people who are in our country illegally and divert those funds to caring for the mentally ill in facilities that are staffed with people qualified to care for them utilizing their professional skills. Return foreign criminals to their homeland for prosecution and / or imprisonment we should not have to fund housing illegal aliens from EVERY country in the world; send them home. The money saved would surely put a dent in the cost of humanely caring for mentally ill or mentally challenged individuals in professional medical settings not in jails or prisons. My heart aches for the children, their parents, the town and nation. Respectfully,
Diane, Hemet

I'm in favor of repealing the second amendment, actually, but at this time we must work for what we can get: serious restrictions on automatic weapons and large magazines. The harder it is for criminals and mentally ill individuals to obtain such weapons, the safer our children will be. Please do all you can to pass meaningful gun control legislation, starting with automatic weapons.
Gretchen, Valley Village

I favor responsible gun legislation. Thank you for your support of a federal ban on the sale, transfer, importation, and possession of assault weapons and the munitions that go with them. Please continue to push to fund robust care for those with mental illness as well as take steps to address the growing use of violence as a means of entertainment. Thank for your leadership on these issues and continue to help move us as a a people to the awareness we have a responsibility to protect our children.
Sister Pat, Santa Monica

I am in support of more diligence in pre-sale situations for guns. Not sure we need assault weapons on the market either. I am however a life long gun owner and would resist any action that would stop Americans from owning or buying hunting grade guns or handguns for self defense in the home. Thank you.
Gary, Felton

You have a long personal history of supporting gun control measures, so we will forego any effort to persuade you to change your thinking. We will ask you to get your facts and definitions straight. Please stop using the word "clip" to describe what is correctly defined as a "magazine." Also, I believe that the San Francisco gunman used a semi-automatic pistol, not an "assault weapon." Also, there is no such thing as a "gun show loophole." Every firearm sold at a gun show must, by law, be sold in compliance with all Federal, State, and local laws. Several states, including California, require every firearm sale to be run through the NICS system. If that is what you want, then say so, please do not try to deceive the public into believing that gun shows are some sort of unrestricted free trade area. Further, banning so-called high capacity magazines will do nothing to eliminate the millions of them already in existence. You would be more likely to acheive your goals by being accurate and honest. At present, it is too easy for people such as us to destroy your arguments by pointing out your inaccuracies.
Tim and Vicki, Riverside

Focusing on gun control will not solve the problem of random violence. The shootings and other violent acts are terrible symptoms of mental illness. Our children and young adults need more attention, training in how to cope with life and better medical coverage (screenings) to identify this sickness before the terrible violence has a chance to happen. If it wasn't guns, it would be some other method. James Holmes had bombs in process in his apartment. Please stop focusing on a symptom and start focusing on the systemic issues that create these monsters. Thank you.
Marguerite, Fallbrook

Please do whatever it takes to get assault weapons out of the hands of regular citizens, and do something to prohibit anyone from having ammunition that fires 100 shots without reloading. This is ridiculous and insane to even need to type these requests. I don't understand how this issue ever got so skewed in one direction. Don't let this issue go. Those little first graders and those teachers who gave their lives trying to protect them deserve better than letting the issue be controlled by the news cycle. Sincerely,
Rita, San Jose

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Salton Sea

Californians respond to my message on Restoring the Salton Sea:

Thanks a million....Salton Sea NEEDS to be fixed....PLEASE keep the pressure on ....
William, Redding

I appreciate you efforts in wanting to restore the Salton Sea. I support you decision, I too think it is very important to keep what we have and to restore it before it is too late.
Madlyne, Upland

Spending money on the Salton Sea wastes money that could better spent on education, energy research, transportation, any number of issues. True, allowing the sea to dry up would bring air pollution, but as someone who wrote about this man made puddle for nearly 20 years, I assure you the money for more studies is not justified. The Coachella Valley Water District and the Imperial Irrigation District know how to fix this body of water. Conservatives in both water districts don't want to make the sacrifices that will solve the problems. Don't waste your time or my money on it until CVWD and IID corporate farmers get serious.
Frank, Palm Desert

Thanks to you Senator in meeting with The Secretary and Congressman-Elect Ruiz at the Salton Sea. This is a priority for CA and especially the Sea area to begin an ongoing program to save this unusual geology from destruction and pollution. This problem has been kicked around to the place that it is example of leadership failure instead of creative imagination and progress. Blessing to you and the officials who you are rallying around to attack this problem with intelligent strategy that will save the Sea from becoming a foul waterhole.
Anderson, Desert Hot Springs

I commend your public efforts to recently meet with other government officials at the Salton Sea. I am an area resident and know that ancient Lake Cahuilla has come and gone more than once over the ages. Today's Salton Sea is just one more chapter in that process. While evidence of ancient Lake Cahuilla is everywhere in the Valley, the Salton Sea was caused by an accident in 1907. It isn't "natural" so there's nothing "natural" to preserve or hold environmentally sacred. You know, like the Delta Smelt in central California - an introduced species - that should not have been deemed environmentally sacred but was anyway. Why don't we carefully, and objectively, consider just letting the Salton Sea dry up so we can turn the fertile river bottom land beneath it into rich farmland just like the area around it? Just walk away and say, "Oh well, nature has a way of working things out for the best so let's get out of the way and let nature, not people with their own environmental or economic agendas, take care of the Salton Sea as she has done for eons. I don't have a dog in that fight like so many others who advocate doing something with, for or to the Salton Sea. I just observe geological history and suggest we not mess with it. Then, in 75 years or so, after everything dries up, Sprekles can plant more sugar beets, expand their processing plant in Brawley to create more jobs and be even more of an economic powerhouse in the Imperial Valley. Thanks for your consideration of my no-cost-to-the-taxpayer suggestion for fixing the Salton Sea "problem".
Mike, Palm Desert

I have lived in Palm Springs for 10 years. I have recently driven by the Salton Sea. I wonder about the value of it. It is man made, (by accident I understand,) and requires Colorado River water to keep it viable. Even when it was healthy, it seemed to be a boondoggle. It was hyped and property sold, but it was never a great place to live or work. I feel badly for those who invested there, but I question the value of restoration. I think it should be dried up and abandoned. the money can be better spent on schools in California.
Terry, San Diego

I am happy to see the Salton Sea problem being addressed. It could definitely be turned into a positive for the desert as a tourism and recreational draw as well as a birder's paradise. Fixing it would be an investment that would pay off.
Janet, Palm Springs

As publisher/editor of the North Shore News at the Salton Sea in the early 1990's, I was proactive endeavoring to garner interest in the sea and its plight. Nothing happened at then and the sea has continued to decline. This current news is encouraging and I am enthused and hopeful that, perhaps finally, something will be done to save this magnificent body of water that provides an absolutely necessary wildlife refuge and many other benefits to the region. Thank you for addressing this important issue!
Marilyn, Indio

It would be a disastrous loss for the Salton Sea to be allowed to dry up. Life in the valley would be reduced by half as most of the Palm Desert, Indian Wells, Rancho Mirage, Palm Springs etc. etc. Would be enveloped by a toxic dust bowl. We saw the Sea at it's heyday when it was a beautiful water resort. It should be restored to that level once again. We are supporters of Raul and hope that the change, that was definately needed, will be successful in this and other areas of interest to the full time and visiting population of the valley.
James & Donna, Palm Desert

I received your Dec. 22 newsletter regarding restoration of the Salton Sea. I find the idea strange since -- as I understand the history -- the lake is man-made, and it was actually created accidentally in 1905 by a huge spill of Colorado River water. In such a case, the word "restoration" should mean allowing the area to return to its original state... a dry desert. Especially in these times when water is becoming scarcer and more expensive, it seems wrong to "restore" a man-made lake.
Howard, Alameda

Not in favor of restoring Salton Sea. Too much money, too much effort and for what, it is not a natural sea. Should be left to go as nature would have it go.
Verna, Indian Wells

I'm happy to read that you and Congressman Ruiz are meeting with government officials to finally take action on saving the Salton Sea. It could have been done already if the millions that have been spent to "study" this issue were actually used to do something about it. We've waited long enough for someone to step forward and start fixing the sea. And all the animals have waited long enough too! Maybe this time things will really be different. Thank you in advance.
Dolores, Palm Desert

Thank you for your message about the Salton Sea. This is such good news that you are taking steps to encourage the restoration of the Salton Sea. This is an area that has suffered abuse for too many years and could be a national jewel given the right circumstances. You have the power to push this to fruition. I look forward to hearing more in the future of your success on this issue.
D., Pasadena

Californians respond to my message on Restoring the Salton Sea from 11/28/2012:

Thank you very much for bringing the problem of the Salton Sea turning into a public health emergency and steps needed to restore the sea and ensure that it remains a critical part of the region’s natural habitat! Best wishes, and please keep me informed. Thanks again!
Pamela, Turlock

Thank you Senator Boxer for working with Congressman Elect Raul Ruiz. We are blessed to have this bright young man representing our district. The Salton Sea is a major issue not just for the Coachella Valley, but for all of southern California. I really like the proposal to bring water in from the sea of Cortez and hope that a budget for such a canal can be proposed. Keep up the good work.
Mary, Palm Springs

Keep up your good work. Make sure that Fred Nobel’s plan for saving the sea at little cost to taxpayers is at least listened to and not discarded by entrenched power groups.
Jim, Rancho Mirage

I am very excited that our new Congressman Ruiz will be addressing issues of concern for the Coachella Valley. I applaud your environmental efforts to keep our state sound and anything that can be done to help protect the Salton Sea will be of great importance to our community.
Donna, Cathedral City

Thank you for addressing this issue; it is very important for the future of the Coachella Valley, our farmers, tourism, and the residents. The death of the sea would affect all of Southern California and Mexico.
Gayle, Palm Springs

I am very interested in any activity that involves saving the Salton Sea. There have been many studies but no resolutions. As you probably are aware, Sony Bono made a commitment to resolve the problems of the sea and his wife tried to follow up on that after his death but nothing seems to have been done that I know of. We certainly don't want a dustbowl there and we don't want a swamp land there. There is a potential for a great recreational area there if it could be controlled. This low desert area already has other recreational areas within 20 to 60 miles from the sea that bring in thousands of week ender visitors and this could be added to a recreation area that would include water sports. It used to be a great place to go boating etc.
James, Long Beach

Thank you so much for your interest in the Salton Sea. For years Bono Mack said she was going to clean it up and she did nothing! I just knew between you and Raul that something would be done. Thank you a thousand times.
Jerry, Palm Springs

I am thrilled to hear of meetings aimed at the restoration of the Salton Sea, This is such a unique body of water with a unique and tragic history, that it is way past due to receive governmental attention towards repairing it's desecration. I am very interested in following the progress of these meetings and hope they lead to action that will make this spot regain the healthy habitat it once had.
Kathy, Bolinas

Thank you to both you and Rep. Ruiz for your efforts to save/improve the Salton Sea.
Mary, Palm Springs

Thank you for being a Mentor for our new Congressman Ruiz.
Beverly, Palm Desert

I agree with you on the Salton Sea and will advocate for the cause through emails. Thank you for all your great work.
Dale, Potrero

As a nature and animal enthusiast I would like to suggest to “build” a new water/lake/marsh, etc. not far from where the Salton Sea is. Something that is preferably connected to a fresh water source, and work on expanding that area. I would believe that the birds could find a new “body” of water without any difficulty. I'm sorry to be negative about the projects you and the other officials would like to do at the Salton Sea. You all have the best of intentions. Please reconsider the options for a new “way-station” for the birds which are an important part of our world’s nature. Please consider building a new and better water area that will actually have a future.
Gabriele, Port Hueneme

Thank you for your attention to this beautiful, natural monument that has needed attention for 50 years!
Kathryn, San Diego

The history of the Sea is nothing if not ever-changing, much more than most places on the planet. The area is subject to earthquake and volcanic activity as well as manmade gaffes such as the 1905 Colorado River flooding. Given that there is so much that is beyond the capability of Man to regulate there, unless there were a clear MAJOR benefit to all lifeforms by spending the amounts of time and money necessary to effect meaningful alterations there, my strong suggestion is that it is wisest to leave the area alone, perhaps even make it off limits, as military bases are. Remember, flooding from the Gulf of Mexico, 30 feet of levee away, and the Sea's position on the San Andreas Fault, which is far overdue for movement, can easily and at any time render human efforts ineffectual. The state's precious financial resources are best used to better effect elsewhere.
Probyn, Los Angeles

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Korean War Veterans

Californians respond to my message on Honoring Korean War Veterans:

Thank you Senator Boxer for all your veteran support. My Dad is A Korean war vet and I will bet you have some veterans in your family as well.
Lawrence, Gold River

Thank you for the honor and recognition of those who served during the Korean War. My husband was one of the first to be involved at the start of this war. He was a U.S. Navy Frogman, U.D.T/Seals, serving in Japan, training So.Korean troups on Amphibious Landings, when the No. Koreans attacked So. Korea. General MacArthur began looking for a way to slow the Commie advance until he could get reinforcements to the area. This squad of Frogmen was in the right place at the right time. Although they had not been trained for inland commando tactics, they knew explosives-and that was what was needed to slow the Communist advance. This 10 squad of Frogman opened the ball by going in behind enemy lines to blow a railroad tunnel after midnight on August 4th,1950. This 10, men squad worked alone in pulling the first inland demolition raid in Korea, blowing transportation routes all along the coasts of Korea behind the front lines. From that time on, these men were called "The Big Ten." These served in this war over 2 years. Thank you for honoring their service in this manner.
Priscilla, Lancaster

It is about time. The Korean War has always been known as the forgotten war. Per capita there were higher casualties in three years than in Vietnam and we remain ignored. It was a big war. The last of the Armys to Armys coflict since WWII. When remembering veterans, they account for WWII, which they should, being the Greatest Generation, and they jump into Vietnam, always bypassing Korea.
Al, San Diego

Thanks for honoring Korean war Vets. Also Thanks for all you do for our state and nation. We do appreciate you.
Tim, Spring Valley

Thank you as in parades there is no mention of the Korean Conflict or Police Action as it was called it seems to be a lost war, glad it is being recognized as I am a Navy Veteran of the Korean War which still is not recognized as being over......
Eugene, Palms Springs

I am pleased that recognition is being given to Korean War veterans.
Hugh, Riverside

Having served in Korea, after the war, but trained and served with veterans of that war, I commend you for remembering their efforts.
Frank, Palm Desert

Korean War Veterans
Senator Boxer, Thank you for honoring our Korean War Veterans. Sincerely,
Lloyd Plett, Ridgecrest

Thanks for the update and the web site for Korean War Veterans.
Bob, Graeagle

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High Gas Prices

Californians respond to my message on Spiking Gas Prices in California:

Your concept of where the problem lies is not going to fix the problem. Calif. needs MORE refineries, oil wells and pipes to move gas & oil around. The government to the extent that it is stopping these from happening IS the problem. Califorian's diserve what we are getting for not demanding that the situation change. Reguards, Please post my comment.
Adrian, Newark

At times like these I, and I’m sure numerous other Californians, are deeply grateful for your support and for starting a "good fight" directed at the probable measures people in the stock market undertake. They take advantage of refinery fires and/or problems the refinery folks experience, only thinking of how much money they can rake in. There should be a law against this sort of thing, maybe then they can put these scoundrels in jail where they belong, like Madoff and company.
Juan, Long Beach

I am a low income Californian, I am self-employed, and my work revolves around my truck. And I STRONGLY believe gas prices are MUCH TOO LOW. The United States government needs to end all oil industry subsidies, all oil industry tax breaks, and there should be zero US troops guarding pipelines, oil tankers, drilling sites or refineries. The oil industry should pay market rates for their own security, not get free security by the US tax payer. All of this would raise gas prices, which would be a very GOOD thing. High gas prices mean consumers choose smaller more efficient cars, which means manufactures produce more efficient cars. People would also choose to live closer to work and shopping, allowing more use of bicycles and public transit. Instead of government mpg mandates, CAFE standards, smog maximums, and carbon taxes, we could simply let the free market do its own work by letting gas cost what it naturally does. No other net importer of petroleum pays as little as the US does. We have no reason to be complaining about the price we pay.
Bakari, Oakland

Thank you for looking into the recent price hikes in California gas prices. Working class and middle class families are getting squeezed out of every penny and are not left with any breathing room to save for emergencies, kids schools etc. As college educated professionals my wife and I are living paycheck to paycheck and when the industry conspires to manipulate prices we need our elected leaders in Washington to hold them accountable. Once again our sincere thanks to you and your team for standing up to defend the rights of the "47%".
Edrees, San Diego

It is a welcome site to see someone in our district watching out for their constituents on this gas problem. It seems to me when these incidents happen, it gives the gas companies the opportunity to gauge the public for excessive profits at the expense of the poor and middle class riders to and from work. Thank you for watching out for us. Keep up the good work
Michael, Laguna Niguel

Thank you for sending a message to the Dept of Justice about the oil and gas prices in California. I too, have often thought that the gas prices are being manipulated unfairly. It seems as though when the oil & gas traders want more money, they simply raise the prices. If supplies of gas are really tight, then why is gas not being rationed? It's still available everywhere in unlimited amounts. The higher price is obviously a scam or the result of unscrupulous speculation. It would be fairer if it was rationed at the price that it really costs to produce + a normal markup, rather than jack up the price for everyone for an indefinite time.
David, San Jose

I have 40 years in the Oil Refinery Business in our state of California and refinery maintenance shutdowns are an important part of the running of a refinery. There is scheduled shutdowns among other refineries so that there is no disruptions in the supply side of providing jet fuels and gasoline. I strongly believe Wall Street Commodity Traders such as was shown on NBC's "60 Minutes" are playing a strong role in the spike of oil prices. We need more oversight and regulation not more investigations that seem to bear no fruit. There is enough evidence to solidify legislation to halt the fleecing of Americans. I ask you to do more, to examine the evidence already on the table and to act swiftly. Oil will continue to be our life blood for the next 30 to 50 years and we need a stronger United States of America. Thank-you.
Miguel, Vallejo

Thank you for looking into this. While I don't have a car and don't really care about the price rise I do care about this being an attempt to influence voters to vote for candidates that will support drilling in Anwar or on other federal lands. I feel this is an attack on our democracy.
Christopher, Long Beach

Please ask the President to allow more drilling. That would end the high cost of fuel over night. Leo, Pittsburg

I and many others I know, appreciate immensely that you and Dianne Feinstein decided to investigate these ridiculous gas price hikes. In this economy, a jump of roughly $.60/gallon more in price within one week is outrageous! People are out of jobs and are on tight budgets, just because we live in California is not a reason to take advantage of its citizens. Thank you again!
Daphne, Hermosa Beach

Thanks so much for looking into the spike in gas prices. Apparently we in Humboldt County pay the highest gas prices in CA, maybe in the whole nation. I appreciate your paying attention to the sudden increase.
Roz, Eureka

I am glad you are looking into this. I live in El Segundo, California, home of one of the Chevron plants, and we experience some of the highest prices in the country. When my friends from back east visit, they complain that the gas prices here are almost $2 higher than in their home state, in rural areas. High prices inhibit travel to California, and place a lion's share of the burden on California residents. This is not fair!
Lisa, El Segundo

At times like these I, and I'm sure numerous other Californians, are deeply grateful for your support and for starting a "good fight" directed at the probable measures people in the stock market undertake. They take advantage of refinery fires and/or problems the refinery folks experience, only thinking of how much money they can rake in. There should be a law against this sort of thing,maybe then they can put these scoundrels in jail where they belong, like Madoff and company. This is primarily why I always vote for you, because you take action and don't mince your words. Thanks for being our champion.
Juan, Long Beach

Good for you for raising this issue! I am okay with higher prices based on taxes that send money to infrastructure and discourage wasteful energy use. But higher prices driven by speculation and profit-gouging are disgraceful!
Deborah, San Diego

I so appreciate your efforts here (as well as everywhere). I'm 76 yrs. old and on SS. Never been affluent but always managed. This is the first time in years that I have truly worried about the consequences of these outrageous gas prices. Also tired of being ripped off. Thanks again.
Relly, Palo Alto

Thank you for your email message titled "Investigate Spiking Gas Prices in California". In my view, even $5 a gallon is too cheap. Burning gasoline damages our climate, and coping with that damage will be far more expensive.
Neal, Pasadena

Even is there were a shortage of gas, that’s no reason to let the price of gas go as high as it is. This is price gouging. Governor Brown has helped some bringing in winter gas early. I just wonder how much more profit the gas co`s have made this year. It just isnt fair. I have cut my buying to $20.00 for around 4 gallon per week. I dont go very far, just essentials places.
Edward, San Bernardino

Thank you for looking out for us! Please consider drafting a new law requiring oil companies to build additional refineries as the population increases to keep up with demand. And then require them to build one more that can go online in case of an emergency so this won't happen again. The oil companies should be required to use their money and NOT be allowed to raise prices on US to pay for it as they are investing in their own business. These oil company executives should be required to lower the price of gasoline within a similar time frame that they raised it. One of the patterns I've noticed is that the price goes up very fast and when it goes down it's always a LOT slower.
Bruce, Oxnard

Thank you for taking this bold stand against the gas industry's repeated gouging of California citizens and visitors. Although nothing may come of it, the working class and retired seniors living on very limited means applaud you for this act.
Mark, Fremont

Thank you for addressing this issue. It will certainly cause a hardship for our family. We already were paying almost $1000 a month in gas. My husband just got his work truck and gas card back last week and we were looking forward to saving money. We appreciate all you do.
Susan, Alta Loma

Thank you so much, Senator, for looking into this situation. It just "feels wrong" with oil prices where they are right now. I just do not trust the oil companies - not to mention the traders and speculators who make huge profits at the expense of regular consumers. Please keep us informed of what comes of this inquiry.
Debra, Long Beach

It is my feeling that because of our energy crisis, increase in fuel prices. That you need to back off and cut some of the regulations we have in place. The main reason gas is so high in California is because the fuel companies have been regulated to death. California now is an average of .50 cents a gallon more than Arizona. Any new taxes or fines we stick the energy companies with gets transferred to the consumer. Right now we need more immediate solutions to our energy problems, as well as more sources.
Ed, Mission Viejo

Thank you Senator for taking the steps toward investigating the thugs that bully the California people and economy. I believe a civil suit is in order, and regulation of those who are clearly out of control with their 'speculative' pricing. There needs to be accountability, and there's nothing better than a financial motivator (civil suit) to gain traction. Thank you for your efforts, I hope it helps.
Marc, Santa Rosa

I applaud your letter to A/G Holder & I hope it gets some action. I also hope that this isn't being done just for the publicity it may generate. It is pretty obvious that no one in Congress wants to rock the boat when it comes to taking on Big Oil & the speculators. A lot of bluster & threats take place but nothing of any consequence ever gets done & the laws stay the same. Again, I appreciate your writing to A/G Holder & we'll all be watching to see if anything comes of it!
Bob, Windsor

thank you for speaking up on this. we have been ripped off for years by the oil companies, and there seems to be no regulation on this. it's about time that this should be investigated. they have record profits and somehow get away with arbitrarily raising prices. the reasons we've been given for years are totally bogus. please see this through until we get resolution. i doubt we will see rebates, but the thievery has to stop.
Jean, Berkeley

I just wanted to take a moment to thank you for initiating the investigation into the recent spike in gas prices. It is completely unnecessary and really hurts California families in the most fundamental ways possible. We all have to get to work or to church or to school. Most of us don't live close enough to walk or take public transportation - it simply isn't the nature of our state. We are a state of roads and freeways - and the petroleum industry is well aware of that. So, thank you. I don't know if any help will come from it, but it is good to know someone is at least trying.
Dawn, El Cajon

As someone who tries very hard to conserve fuel, I find it difficult to believe there is a "good" reason for the price fluctuation. You have my support and my gratitude.
Angela, Oakland

I appreciate you taking action on the gas crisis we are experiencing in California.
Carol, Roseville

I tend to agree with you. It seems amazing convenient that these issues with refineries are going on so close to the election and the oil companies are being given air time to make this a referandom on California's clean fuel/air regulations. Just all too convenient and suspect in my view. The price gouging is in spite of the consumer and would it kill them to put a tiny dent in their profits for the better good? Best regards,
Jana, Valencia

It's great that you would like to investigate why gasoline prices have spiked in California, but honestly you need to do something about it. Many of us are tired of just saying you're looking into it, you need to act where it can help consumers. What I've seen in the past is that the oil companies are fined, which gives money to the government, isn't that too at the expense of the California consumer? Do something that allows us to get a rebate from the oil companies that we patronize. I can prove how much gas I purchase, so give me a option to get a rebate. Your talk needs to be action that consumers can feel and benefit from. Thanks...
Robert, Pleasant Hill

What I find disturbing is that as consumers we are paying for Chevron's errors. What incentive does Chevron have to correct its behavior when we, not Chevron, carry the cost and financial burdon of its mistakes? There is no accountability where it counts - in Chevron's, not our, pocketbooks. make Chevron pay for its mistakes. not us. as it stands now Chevron is profiting from this crisis.
Lois, Richmond

And when you find that they are manipulating the market, then what? There are no regulations in the oil industry, because they give too much money to politicians. Heck, they've written legislation to give themselves our tax money in subsidies no matter how much money they make in profits. We had eight years of oil men running this country and look where it's gotten us. We're still cleaning up the mess. Nothing will ever change until the LOBBYING MONEY is taken out of the political process.
Gale, Sana Rosa

We understand the refinery fires have contributed, but with them happening much more frequently, it begs the question of whether the refinery is kept in good condition or is negligence to blame. It is SO disheartening to be paying such high prices when the oil companies continually report such high profits. Keep the pressure on for more disclosure. Thank you!
Margaret, San Jose

Thank you for the email message that you are investigating the recent surge in prices at the pump! These past weeks have seen ridiculous increases and your efforts are appreciated.
Pam, Livermore

Thank you for your fight against high gas prices. As I am now retired and on a fixed income, it seems as the plethora of propositions to raise taxes along with the arbitrary raising of gasoline prices is going to put a serious danger to my ability to travel to places that are mandatory for me to visit for medical reasons. I seriously question the nebulous reasons given for the increases at the pump. And while I and my wife have curtailed trips such as visits to the children and grandchildren it would be nice to resume such pleasures. Therefore I beseech you to be be most aggressive in your quest to investigate the reasons for gasoline cost increases.
Robert, Palmdale

With all do respect rather than trying to kick the big oil folks why are you not looking at the California Air Resource Board? With cap and trade bill 32 about to be implemented what choice do they have but to pass the cost onto the consumer. Why do we have California only fuel? Why do we put Ethanol in are fuel? Why is Chevron not being given permits to rebuild the fire damage? These are questions that we the people of California need answers to.
Jim, Galt

It wouldn't surprise me if you discovered that someone with a hand on the gas valves decided that making life more difficult for Californians might persuade some they need to vote for a new President. Just like the Republican Congress members' vow in 2008 to oppose any and all proposals of the Obama administration, some think undermining the social peace sheds a bad light on the current administration. I say such actions threaten the American democracy.
David, Sacramento

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