For Immediate Release
February 4, 2019
Contact: Clarissa Rojas
Rep. Barragán to Attend State of the Union Address with Retired Coast Guard Captain to Highlight Shutdown Impacts on Families and National Security
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Rep. Nanette Diaz Barragán (CA-44) will attend President Donald Trump’s State of the Union address on Tuesday, Feb. 5 with Charlene Downey, a retired U.S. Coast Guard Captain from the Congresswoman’s congressional district.
As the oldest and most continuous maritime military service, members of the Coast Guard worked without pay while ensuring the safety of our maritime borders and waterways during the longest shutdown in our nation’s history. Though many relied on food pantries and donations to get by, servicemembers never wavered from their core mission and values. As a retired Captain of the Port for Coast Guard Sector Los Angeles – Long Beach, Captain Charlene Downey (Ret.) knows firsthand the significant impacts that the government shutdown had on those who serve on the frontlines to protect our country.
“I look forward to welcoming retired Captain Charlene Downey (Ret.) to our nation’s Capital for the State of the Union address,” said Rep. Barragán. “The American people know that the answer to securing our border and ports of entry is not a wall, and it is certainly not by holding our civil servants hostage during a government shutdown. For 35 days, President Trump caused unnecessary hardship and burden upon the men and women of the Coast Guard and their families. Not only were they forced to work without pay, many struggled to feed their families and pay their bills. This is not how members of the military should be living. As our civil servants brace themselves for the potential of another government shutdown as threatened by President Trump, I will continue to fight for Coast Guard federal workers in my district and across America, as well as for real border and maritime security.”
About Charlene Downey:
Captain Charlene Downey has over 25 years of crisis leadership, organizational change management and operating in demanding environments. Most recently, she served as Sector Commander and Captain of the Port for Coast Guard Sector Los Angeles – Long Beach. She oversaw maritime operations in an area of responsibility stretching more than 350 miles along the Southern California coast, out to 200 miles offshore, including the nation’s largest port complex. She facilitated the daily flow of over $2 billion in cargo in the ports of Los Angeles, Long Beach, and Hueneme.
In addition, she responded to the tragic terrorist attacks on 9/11, hurricanes, earthquakes, fires, mudslides, oil spills and other natural disasters; thwarted the smuggling of drugs, migrants and illegal contraband; rescued hundreds of lives and saved millions in property; protected living marine resources, fisheries and the environment; facilitated commerce and vessel traffic; and ensured the safety and security of ports and waterways at home and abroad.
Nanette Diaz Barragán is proud to represent California’s 44th Congressional District, which includes the communities of Carson, Compton, Florence-Firestone, Lynwood, North Long Beach, Rancho Dominguez, San Pedro, South Gate, Walnut Park, Watts, Willowbrook and Wilmington.