February 23, 2022

Rep. Mike Levin Honors Local Veterans and Small Business Owners as Constituents of the Month

February 22 COMs
W.B. and Cynthia May received a Certificate of Recognition from Rep. Mike Levin during Black History Month.

Oceanside, CA – Today, U.S. Representative Mike Levin (D-CA) recognized Cynthia and W.B. May, veterans and owners of Cynthia’s Artistic Expressions in Oceanside, as the Constituents of the Month for February. Cynthia and her husband are both Navy veterans of the Gulf War, and after leaving the military they realized they needed an outlet to express themselves and help manage post-traumatic stress and anxiety. They opened Cynthia’s Artistic Expressions as a therapeutic and healing space for those struggling with mental or emotional health challenges, and they have also contributed to the community by hosting food drives for servicemembers, making art accessible at local vet centers and retirement homes, and much more.

See below for Rep. Levin’s statement recognizing the Cynthia and W.B. May in the Congressional Record:

“Madam Speaker, it is my honor to recognize Cynthia and W.B. May, two veterans and owners of Cynthia’s Artistic Expressions in Oceanside, California, as my Constituents of the Month for their invaluable contributions to our community.

“After both serving in the Navy during the Gulf War, W.B. was diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder, and Cynthia was diagnosed with anxiety. Once they separated from the military, they realized they needed a way to express themselves and manage their post-traumatic stress and anxiety. They opened Cynthia’s Artistic Expressions in order to help veterans and others deal with mental or emotional health challenges, while also making art more accessible, and their establishment has become an integral piece of our Oceanside community. Since they opened their doors, they have seen countless veterans, servicemembers, and civilians benefit from therapeutic art healing. At a time when our nation is grappling with tragic rates of veteran suicide, I am very grateful that they provide this healing opportunity for our local military community.

“Cynthia and W.B. strengthen our community far beyond the doors of their art studio, too. They are known for doing extensive outreach to the community of veterans and military families around Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton, hosting food drives through their church, Shiloh Church of God in Christ in Oceanside, on the last Thursday of every month for servicemembers and their families who struggle with food insecurity. According to the San Diego Food Bank, nearly 39,000 veterans and active-duty military personnel and their dependents use their services every month, so the work that Cynthia and W.B. do to help feed military families is critically important. They have also worked with vet centers and retirement homes to lighten the facilities with fine art, and they have also donated their time to organizations like the Boys and Girls Club, the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), and the North County African American Women's Association (NCAAWA).

“I created a Constituent of the Month program to recognize local individuals who give back to our community in extraordinary ways, but who often don’t receive the recognition they deserve. Cynthia and W.B. certainly meet that criteria, and I cannot thank them enough for everything they have contributed to make Oceanside a brighter, healthier place. It’s also my honor to recognize them during Black History Month, when we celebrate the contributions and accomplishments of Black Americans throughout our nation’s history. On behalf of a proud and grateful community, it’s my pleasure to recognize them as our Constituents of the Month.”

Representative Levin’s Constituent of the Month program recognizes outstanding North County San Diego and South Orange County residents who go above and beyond to help their neighbors, give back to their community, and represent the best of our country. Rep. Levin’s January Constituents of the Month were Rancho Santa Fe brothers Jaiden, Keanu, and Milaan Seeliger, creators of Tech-Angels.

 To nominate a resident of the 49th District to be the Constituent of the Month, fill out this nomination form.