Gluesenkamp Perez Holds Childcare Roundtable with First Responders, Highlights Manufacturing and Public Safety Priorities

Jun 25, 2024
Rep. Gluesenkamp Perez holds a childcare roundtable with first responders in Vancouver.

Last week, Rep. Marie Gluesenkamp Perez (WA-03) visited Clark and Cowlitz Counties to hold a childcare roundtable with first responders, visit an industrial transformer yard, and take a ride-along with the Woodland Police Department.

“In the fight against the deadly flow of fentanyl, we can’t afford to leave any talent off the table. Our first responders shouldn’t have to choose between raising a family and a career keeping our community safe. When handling a community crisis, the last thing our public servants should be stressed about is who will pick up the kids from soccer practice or finding a babysitter to come over at 2 a.m,” said Rep. Gluesenkamp Perez. “Hearing firsthand from first responders how a lack of access to childcare has impacted their decision to start or grow their family was heartbreaking – it’s a durable loss to our country when good people are discouraged from having children. Fighting for the families of our first responders is a national imperative and an honor.”

Rep. Gluesenkamp Perez began her day with the roundtable, which included first responders from the Vancouver Police and Fire Departments and was moderated by Vancouver Councilmember, veteran, and mother Sarah Fox.

The group spoke about the challenges of access to affordable, high-quality childcare and potential solutions for parents working non-traditional hours, like first responders. Without childcare access, it can be difficult for parents to take advantage of overtime or professional development opportunities – and it makes it harder for many women to stay in the workforce, especially those beginning their careers.

In April, Rep. Gluesenkamp Perez visited a home childcare provider in Vancouver, which offers non-standard hours for parents who have demanding work schedules, like first responders. Last year, Rep. Gluesenkamp Perez held a childcare roundtable with parents and caregivers in Ilwaco.

The Congresswoman introduced the Expanding Childcare in Rural America Act to make it easier and more affordable for parents to access childcare. She also cosponsored bipartisan legislation to help families facing rising costs of care. 

Living in a rural community and working in the trades, Rep. Gluesenkamp Perez and her husband experienced the difficulties of accessing quality, affordable childcare and would have to drive long distances or bring their son into work at their auto repair and machine shop.

Rep. Gluesenkamp Perez tours Maddox Industrial Transformer in Battle Ground.

Afterward, Rep. Gluesenkamp Perez visited Maddox Industrial Transformer, which reconditions, rents, and sells industrial transformers in Battle Ground. Reconditioning can add decades to the life of a transformer, and can occur more quickly than building new transformers.

The Congresswoman toured the facility and discussed the importance of a reconditioned market for transformers on the energy grid, as well as how problems with transformers are diagnosed and what regulations can better meet the needs of local manufacturers.

In April, Rep. Gluesenkamp Perez introduced a bipartisan resolution honoring National Lineman Appreciation Day, and she has introduced bipartisan bills to help small businesses hire graduates of trade schools and strengthen awareness of career and technical education opportunities.

Rep. Gluesenkamp Perez wrapped up her day on a ride-along with the Woodland Police Department. She had the opportunity to hear about pressing challenges departments are facing with recruitment and public safety.

Rep. Gluesenkamp Perez helped introduce bipartisan legislation to support grants for recruiting and training officers and expand access to the program in rural communities. She also introduced the bipartisan Streamlining Federal Grants Act to make it easier for small and rural depts. to apply for resources.
As the increased flow of fentanyl into the country makes first responders’ jobs more difficult, the Congresswoman cosponsored the bipartisan FEND OFF Fentanyl and END FENTANYL Acts in the House, which are now law to target fentanyl traffickers and help stop fentanyl smuggling at ports of entry.

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