Congressman José E. Serrano

Representing the 15th District of New York

The Serrano Report - Volume VII, Issue #11

Jun 5, 2015
The Serrano Report

In Washington, DC

Pierluisi and Serrano Achieve Another Success Related to the Federal Cleanup of Culebra and Vieques

Yesterday, Resident Commissioner Pedro Pierluisi and Congressman José E. Serrano of New York announced that the House Appropriations Committee has approved language that the two representatives proposed to accelerate the pace of the federal government’s cleanup of the island municipalities of Culebra and Vieques.  The language is included in the Committee report accompanying the Fiscal Year 2016 Defense Appropriations Act.

“Despite significant progress in recent years, the extent and pace of cleanup on the islands of Vieques and Culebra is concerning.  This language will help speed up the cleanup by requiring the Department of Defense to establish and report back to the Appropriations Committee with a clear timeline to fully decontaminate the islands.  Its successful inclusion in the Fiscal Year 2016 Defense Appropriations bill report is an important victory in our efforts to help restore Vieques and Culebra to all their natural beauty and splendor,” said Congressman Serrano, a senior Member of the Appropriations Committee.

The language included in the report is as follows:


The Committee recently received a report from the Secretary of the Navy that detailed a plan for completing clean-up of contaminated areas of Vieques and Culebra. The report included the types of weapons that were deployed on these islands and the estimated amount of ordnance used at both sites. After reviewing the report, the Committee remains skeptical about the pace of environmental remediation on the islands.  The Committee directs the Deputy Under Secretary of Defense (Installations and Environment) to brief the Committee not later than 90 days after the enactment of this Act on the timeline associated with the completion of surface clearance removal actions, site investigations, and subsequent remedial actions to address hazards not previously addressed by the initial removal actions.

Congressman Serrano Applauds Removal of Cuba from State Department’s List of State Sponsors of Terrorism

Last week, Congressman José E. Serrano released a statement in strong support of Secretary of State John Kerry’s announcement removing Cuba from the list of State Sponsors of Terrorism:

“Today’s removal of Cuba from the State’s Department list of state sponsors of terrorism removes one more obstacle in the normalization of relations with our neighbors in the Caribbean.  Countless State Department reports have established that Cuba does not belong on a list of terrorist states and its designation as such has only hindered our ability to engage fruitfully with the Cuban government and the Cuban people, while hurting our relations with our neighbors in the Western Hemisphere and with the rest of the world. During his 25 years in Congress, Congressman Serrano has consistently advocated for a change in U.S.-Cuba relations and an end to the Cuba embargo, including changing Cuba’s designation as a state sponsor of terror.

In the Bronx

Serrano Joins March for Oscar Lopez' Rivera's Release in New York City

Last Saturday, Congressman Serrano joined the march that took place in New York City to call for the unconditional release of Oscar Lopez Rivera on the 34th Anniversary of his arrest:

"Oscar Lopez poses no threat to society and deserves Executive clemency. All political sectors of the island support his release. It is time for the President and the Department of Justice to hear our call and unconditionally release Oscar. That is why on Saturday May 30, in honor of the 34th anniversary of his arrest, I joined others in New York City to demand the release of Oscar once again with one voice. And this is also why, as a member of the United States House of Representatives, I will continue fighting for his liberation along with my colleagues in Congress. Thirty-four years in prison is long enough," said Congressman Serrano, who has advocated for Oscar Lopez Rivera's release both in person and through letters with Congressmen Luis Gutiérrez and Nydia Velázquez, as well as Resident Commissioner Pedro Pierluisi.

Congressman Serrano at the New York City march and rally in support of Oscar Lopez Rivera's release. (5/30/2015)

Congressman Serrano Attends Community Board Meetings
Throughout the last week Congressman Serrano joined community boards 1, 2, 4, & 9 to give community residents an update on issues before Congress. "The issues before Congress impact the lives of Bronxites in many ways,” said Congressman Serrano. “I was glad to get the chance to talk with so many committed members of our community, and to discuss how I am fighting for our congressional district and borough in Washington, and to talk about what priorities there need to be moving forward.”

Serrano discussed various topics including; the ongoing fight for immigration reform, the threats of ISIS to the U.S. and the world, and the political climate in Washington.

Congressman Serrano speaks before members of Bronx Community Board 9. (5/21/2015)

Congressman Serrano joins Bronx Community College 55th Annual Commencement
On Friday, Congressman Serrano joined administrators, guests, and graduates at the 55th annual commencement at Bronx Community College. This year about 2,000 students graduated, amongst them numerous veterans. "70 countries are represented here, that is incredible, that is a testament to us, to Bronx Community College and to our community.  We are getting better and your presence here makes this country stronger every single day" said Congressman Serrano.

Congressman Serrano addresses graduates at Bronx Community College's 2015 Commencement. (5/29/2015)


Congressman Serrano Attends Annual Children’s Citizenship Ceremony at Bronx Zoo

Last week, Congressman Serrano joined US Citizenship and Immigration Service and 25 children for the Bronx Zoo annual children’s citizenship event.

“I was thrilled to be able join once again one of my favorite events of the year--the Children's Citizenship Ceremony at the Bronx Zoo. These children are the future generations of our nation, and I was glad to join them and their families for this important moment,” said Congressman Serrano. 

Congressman Serrano with the group of children sworn in as American citizens this year at the Bronx Zoo's Annual Children's Citizenship Ceremony. (5/26/2015)

Congressman Serrano Presents Bernie Williams with Message of Appreciation

Last Monday, Congressman Serrano presented Bernie Williams with a message of appreciation at a Yankees ceremony to retire his number (#51) and honor his  career.

Congressman Serrano at Yankees Stadium during the ceremony in honor of Bernie Williams life and career. (5/25/2015)