Like summer, the current campaign season is beginning to heat up. And despite all the vitriol and muckraking it’s our job to resist the temptation to get pulled into the mire. We need to keep cool and continue to do the good work for the oceans — Just like Congresswoman Suzanne Bonamici (D-OR).
First elected to Congress in a special election in 2012, Congresswoman Bonamici has made protecting Oregon’s 1st district’s shores a central plank in her platform, and has quickly risen through the ranks and is a ranking member of a key ocean subcommittee: the House Science & Technology’s Subcommittee on the Environment.
Congresswoman Bonamici has most recently leveraged her position to shepherd one of Ocean Champions' highest priority pieces of legislation, the Harmful Algal Bloom and Hypoxia Research and Control Act by reaching across the aisle to build bipartisan support. The result was a rare, unanimous, bipartisan vote by the full committe.
Her work was fundamental to the bill passing Congress and being signed into law by President Obama on June 30, 2014. A notable achievement, this bill is one of only 127 bills that have been signed into law this Congress, out of over 8,000 introduced. The bill would have languished without Congresswoman Bonamici’s powerful coalition-building skills and serves as a stark reminder of why we need more cooperative leadership in Congress.
Of course her efforts go far beyond just one bill. She works tirelessly to protect her district and the nation from the threat of climate change by calling for the redirection of oil and gas subsidies to renewable energy research. She has also been a leader in the fight to clean up marine debris, including detritus still washing ashore after the 2011 earthquake and tsunami in Japan.
We need more champions like Congresswoman Bonamici — legislators who put ocean issues atop their agenda and show the strength of conviction that allows them to make reasonable compromises to drive proactive, workable solutions.
What Congresswoman Bonamici has been able to accomplish in three short years on Capitol Hill is astounding, proving herself invaluable to the ocean community. Just imagine what she will accomplish — if she returns to congress for another term.
If we’re going to make progress toward saving our precious oceans and coasts, sensible deal-makers like Congresswoman Bonamici will be fundamental to our success.
I hope you’ll join us in supporting Congresswoman Bonamici and the rest of our Ocean Champions as we look to make 2014 the best election cycle yet for America’s oceans and coasts.
For the oceans,
P.S. We’re working harder than ever to win the fight to build an ocean majority in Congress. Tell your friends to join our email list and to consider a contribution today so that they’ll know how to “vote the ocean” too!