The Serrano Report, Vol. VI, #17

Jun 12, 2009 Issues: Puerto Rico, Education

On Capitol Hill

Commerce, Justice, Science Appropriations Bill Moves To Floor; Serrano Provisions Included

On Tuesday, June 9th, the House Appropriations Committee passed the fiscal year 2010 Commerce, Justice, Science and Related Agencies Appropriations bill. In addition to the Department of Justice and the Department of Commerce, including the Census Bureau, the bill funds the Legal Services Corporation, and the National Science Foundation, among other agencies. Congressman Serrano, a member of the subcommittee that drafted the legislation, included several provisions in the bill to promote fairness for minorities and small population groups in the Census, and to help address concerns regarding the reporting of inmate addresses at state correctional institutions.

“I have long fought for the greatest level of accuracy and fairness in the Census’ count,” said Serrano. “I am pleased that the Appropriations Committee approved my language in this bill guaranteeing people have the option of specifying “some other race” in response to race questions.

“They also approved my report language ensuring data on small population groups or subgroups is accurately collected and made available.  

“In addition, my report language also made certain that state corrections agencies are able to work with their federal counterparts to update and improve their inmate address reporting. The Census Bureau has previously cited this as an impediment to counting inmates at their prior home of record rather than at their place of incarceration.

“The Census happens only once every 10 years, and is of fundamental importance to so many government and societal activities. We have an obligation to get the count right—and to count people the right way. My language and opposition to cuts to the Census budget reflect my commitment to the Census’ core mission of the most accurate count possible.”

The bill included important increases for the Census Bureau, which needs the funding to conduct the 2010 Census; the Legal Services Corporation, which provides legal representation for low-income Americans; and for the Second Chance Act, a series of programs designed to help ensure that individuals recently released from prison have the resources to become productive members of society and not to return to a life of crime.

Serrano Meets with Third Graders from PS132x

On Tuesday, Christine Coxon's third grade class from PS132x, the Garrett A. Morgan School, in the Bronx took a tour of the Capitol and met with Congressman Serrano in his office.

Congressman Serrano and the third grade class from PS 132x in his office along with their teacher Ms. Christine Coxon (from l to r), Ms. Danette Wiggins and their tour guide Henry

In the Bronx

Serrano Honors Fernandez's Tenure at Hostos

Last week, Congressman Serrano paid tribute to departing Hostos Community College President Dr. Dolores Fernandez for her decade  of service to Hostos as well as to the wider South Bronx community. 

In a prepared statement Serrano said:

Every life stands for something, every life can be a metaphor for causes and movements bigger than any one of us.  When I think of your years of toil and struggle (and a great measure of joy, I’m sure) rebuilding Hostos, I can’t help but consider the broader effort still at hand to rebuild our borough in the wake of the pain and destruction of the 1970’s.  In some sense, one could not proceed without the other.  You have been instrumental in preparing our community for successful lives in a new South Bronx; your campus has become a vital hub of learning, the arts, and productive discourse between students, thinkers, and local leaders.  In a few short years, Hostos has been transformed into the public square of the South Bronx and that is an achievement in which you can take great pride.  Under your leadership, Hostos became an indispensable institution in our borough, whose success became our success.

In the years ahead, when our borough historians look back upon the last quarter century of life in The Bronx, I am certain that they will point to your tenure as President of Hostos Community College as a pivotal turning point.  I am proud to call myself your friend and a friend of Hostos.  Though I am saddened by your departure, I know that you will find your way to continue to serve.

On July 1, Dr. Fernandez will become a professor in the Urban Education Program at the City University of New York.

Serrano Celebrates PR Day Parade

On Wednesday, May 27th, Congressman Serrano celebrated the 52nd anniversary of the National Puerto Rican Day Parade at an event in his district office. The Congressman presented a Congressional Record statement to the parade’s organizers and delivered remarks on the significance of the Puerto Rican experience in New York City. He also highlighted the life story of Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor and spoke at length about the communal institutions that nurtured her family and helped make her success possible.

The National Puerto Rican Day Parade, an annual event which promotes Puerto Rican culture and identity, will be held on Sunday, June 14th in New York City.

 Serrano with Luis Rivera and Madelyn Lugo at the Puerto Rican Parade event

Serrano with Luis Rivera and Madelyn Lugo at the Puerto Rican Parade event

Grant Opportunities

Fish and Wildlife Preservation Grant

Application Deadline: September 30, 2009

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has recently announced the availability of funds to restore and enhance fish and wildlife habitats across the country. Through funding made available by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, the Partners for Fish and Wildlife Program provides technical and financial assistance to organizations interested in natural habitat restoration. State and local governments, educational institutions and 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organizations are encouraged to apply.

For more information about this opportunity, please visit the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service website. If interested in applying for the grant, please use the contact information for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service on its website.

For information on other government grants, please go to: