Live Chat: Blue America Welcomes Back An Old Friend -- Rep. Raul Grijalva

Yesterday the National Healthy Start Association, which assists communities with high incidences of infant mortality, announced Rep. Raúl Grijalva will receive its 2011 Congressional Leadership Award. In acknowledging being singled out-- along with Jim Clyburn (D-SC) and John Yarmuth (D-KY)-- Grijalva explained that he's "deeply touched by this honor, which recognizes only what I believe is my duty to Southern Arizona. Reducing infant mortality is the furthest thing from a partisan issue, and I’ve been proud to support Healthy Start’s mission since coming to Congress. I look forward to receiving this award in person and will continue to do all I can to raise awareness of Healthy Start’s successful and necessary work.”

Raúl represents a chunk of southern Arizona that includes Pima, Pinal, Yuma, Maricopa and Santa Cruz counties. And, as co-chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, he is also our congressman and the congressman for all working families in America who don't have what it takes to hire lobbyists and bribe congressman. We're very proud to welcome him back here to Crooks and Liars today for another Blue America live session. The chat starts at 4pm (ET-- 1pm, here on the West Coast).

Watch the video above that Grijalva asked me to post. It isn't about him. Its about the fight he's helping to lead to preserve our country for the middle class rather than just let conservatives take over and turn back the clock to a time when it was a country run by the rich for the rich, a time we're precariously close to again. “We understand we have issues to deal with in terms of the budget, but they should not be on the backs of working people. We should not rob them of their fundamental right to bargain collectively and be able to make their lives in the workplace and their homes better... Congress," he told me Tuesday afternoon after the vote on Boehner and Ryan's budget resolution, "is taking away money for agencies like this [job training], and I don’t understand the logic. How is this country going to get out of the economic situation we are in if we don’t have people prepared?”

In joining most progressives to oppose the resolution this week, Grijalva pointed out that "reducing our national debt shouldn’t be about inflicting the most pain on the biggest number of people for no good reason. This is an ideological bill that slashes government programs Republicans don’t like-- there’s nothing thoughtful or considered about how they did the job. Southern Arizona, and the entire country, will be hurting badly if this bill becomes law, and voters should understand what’s being done in their name before this goes any further.”

This is the kind of analysis we get from so few Democrats. Fortunately one who "gets it" is joining us today for a free-ranging discussion at 11am (Crooks and Liars); please come by. And if you'd like to help make sure Grijalva is reelected in 2012... you can do it here.


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