|Ed started the Government in the Grocery program when he first took office in 2007 in order to better hear from the constituents of the 7th Congressional District. This is an easy and convenient way for constituents to meet with Ed and his staff about issues, concerns and needs important to them. On a regular basis, Ed conducts these meetings at different grocery stores around the district and meets with constituents one-on-one about whatever is on their mind. Ed believes this type of access and interaction with constituents is essential to the fabric of our democracy.
Since January 2007 Ed has hosted nearly 100 Government in the Grocery events throughout cities in the 7th Congressional District. He has met with constituents during these informal meetings on topics ranging from jobs, mortgage issues, the economy, veterans issues, national budget, national security, Medicare, debt, education, medical research, health care, human rights, animal rights, war and many others.
Below are just a few examples of the type of constituent concerns Ed is able to address and help with at Government in the Grocery events:
- A constituent was having trouble with CHP+ about getting his daughter's health care reinstated. Ed and his staff made calls to CHP+ and health care was reinstated within two days.
- Many constituents were indirect victims in the Madoff Ponzi Scheme. Ed personally met with these constituents on a regular basis and is working with other members of Congress to pass legislation to help all indirect victims recoup at least a portion of their losses.
- Ed met with small business restaurant owners who needed access to a loan to expand their restaurant and connected them with several financial institutions who were able to make a loan and help the owners open a new restaurant.
- In recent years, Ed has helped more than 200 constituents access the correct person in the appropriate federal agencies to help with Housing, Social Security, VA and IRS issues.
- As a result of interactions with constituents at a Government in the Grocery, Ed agreed to cosponsor the following legislation:
- H.R. 178: Military Surviving Spouses Equity Act which gives spouses of deceased service members their full life insurance payments
- H.R. 2239: Functional Gastrointestinal and Motility Disorders Research Enhancement Act
- H.R. 733: Pancreatic Cancer Research and Education Act
- H.R. 639: Currency Reform for Fair Trade Act which levels the playing field against unfair Chinese currency manipulation which hurts US manufacturers
- H.R. 835: Puppy Uniform Protection and Safety Act (PUPS Act) which cracks down on puppy mills