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June 1, 2015
Youth Voices Matter
           Rep. Langevin with Blanca Merced

Dear Friends,

When I was growing up, my parents took in foster children. My mom and dad cared for each child like their own, and demonstrated the profound difference that a safe, loving home can make in the life of a young person.

Blanca Merced of Johnston wasn’t so fortunate. She was taken from her mother at just 6 weeks old and placed into the care of her grandmother. At the age of 15, she was ripped from her home again. Blanca bounced from placement to placement until she aged out of the system.

Blanca deserved better.

Despite her challenging upbringing, Blanca is committed to ensuring other kids don’t face the same fate, and I am proud to join her in this fight. On Foster Youth Shadow Day, Blanca and I discussed how to improve the child welfare system. As co-chair of the Congressional Caucus on Foster Youth, I believe finding a stable, permanent home for all kids must be our top priority. Legislation I authored to protect foster youth from identity theft passed in 2011, and a bill I introduced this year would extend similar protections to all children. I introduced the Permanent Families for All Children Act last year to prioritize permanent placements, and I will push for similar legislation that helps foster youth find their “forever family.” I also continue to fight the re-homing of adopted children, as exemplified by the Protecting Adopted Children Act.

All children deserve a safe, loving home and the opportunity to succeed. We can – and must – do more to ensure this is possible for Blanca and the nearly 400,000 children in foster care today.

To learn more about my leadership on foster youth or other issues, follow me on Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and Instagram.

            Sincerely,

           Rep. Langevin's Signature

Congressman Langevin with reporters' microphones
In Defense of Our Nation
As a senior member of the House Armed Services Committee, I played an integral role in crafting the National Defense Authorization Act. While the bill is not perfect, I am pleased that the legislation represents significant compromise. We live in a dangerous world, facing threats from enemies at home, abroad and in cyberspace, and this bill defends against those threats while keeping our commitment to our men and women in uniform.
 
A participant in the 2015 Congressional Art Competition
Full STEAM Ahead
Art and design play an essential role in enhancing education and research in the Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) fields. To acknowledge the importance of creative thinking and design acumen, I introduced a resolution to shift STEM to STEAM, laying the foundation for the inclusion of art and design into federal STEM programs.
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