EXCERPT: “I’m running for Congress on that record of building and rebuilding,” Vernon said, “because I think this district, this area deserves a member of Congress who is active, who is engaged, who is interested in helping the people around her.”

The lessons learned in helping the city recover from flooding and from working with state and federal agencies to get assistance for rebuilding will help her achieve priorities such as a flood protection system, Vernon said in a 20-minute speech.

“The city had to reset the table to make our city work again” and attract private investment, she said.

“It’s working,” she said. “It’s a model we can take to Washington.”

However, recovery and flood protection is unfinished and Vernon promised to “never stop working until we get those federal dollars in here to build that flood protection system … (because) we can’t truly prosper with this threat (of flooding) hanging over our heads.”

“If I’m fortunate enough to be your member of Congress, when this city or any of our cities need my help, I will take action,” she said. “It’s not enough to write a few letters. You have to get moving and set up meetings and conferences and more meetings. You call everyone you can and then you call them again.”