The Serrano Report, Volume XI, #26
On Capitol Hill
Congressman Serrano on Grand Jury Decision in Eric Garner’s Case
On Wednesday, Congressman José E. Serrano joined members of the New York City Congressional Delegation to speak out on the grand jury decision not to indict police officer Daniel Pantaleo for the death of Eric Garner as a result of using an illegal chokehold during his arrest.
Congressman Serrano said:
“The grand jury’s decision today not to indict police officer Daniel Pantaleo in the case of Eric Garner is disconcerting. Despite the indisputable visual evidence available in this case, and a ruling by the Chief Medical Examiner that Eric Garner’s death was a homicide, our criminal justice system did not vote to indict on a single criminal charge. Last week, the grand jury’s decision in the Fergusoncase left us with a sense of injustice. The grand jury’s decision in the Eric Garner case just adds to the feeling of that our criminal justice system is failing minority victims and letting the perpetrators get away. My sympathies go out to Eric Garner’s family, loved ones, and entire community in this difficult moment.
“We can’t give up. We must continue pursuing justice for Eric Garner, Michael Brown, and all the other innocent minority men and women who are suffering the effects of police abuse and civil rights violations.”
Congressman Serrano joined Representative Jeffries and several other Members of Congress from New York City earlier this year in a letter to urge the U.S. Department of Justice to investigate the death of Eric Garner and the New York Police Department’s enforcement of the state’s government ‘broken windows’ policy.
Congressman Serrano on Ferguson Grand Jury Decision Not to Indict Police Officer Darren Wilson
Last week, Congressman Serrano released the following statement on the grand jury decision not to indict Ferguson Police Officer Darren Wilson for the killing of unarmed teenager Michael Brown:
“I am very troubled by the grand jury’s decision not to indict Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson for the killing of Michael Brown. This decision shows just how much work we must do as a nation to address fairness in our criminal justice system. Far too often we are faced with sadly familiar headlines and circumstances, and far too often we are left with a sense of injustice.
“We must continue pursuing justice for Michael Brown through the U.S. Department of Justice’s investigation of the ruling, the circumstances surrounding the case, and local police practices in minority communities. Here in New York City, the case of Eric Garner is still pending and the U.S. Department of Justice should also investigate this case. We need to change the way that law enforcement interacts with minority communities throughout the country and the federal government has a large role to play in this effort.
“While I understand the anger many in Ferguson and the rest of the country are feeling in this difficult moment, I urge people to express their frustration through peaceful means. We need to come together in the spirit of solidarity, strength and respect for each other. Let’s remember that - We Are One.”
Congressman Serrano on World AIDS Day
U.S. Congressman Jose E. Serrano released the following statement on World AIDS Day, celebrated every year on December 1:
“On World AIDS Day, let us recommit ourselves to fighting and finding a cure for a disease that still claims too many lives every year. Let’s also keep in our thoughts and prayers all the individuals who have lost the battle against HIV/AIDS or who are currently fighting this terrible disease. We must continue to educate ourselves and our communities to combat the spread of the virus and the stigma that is often associated with being HIV-positive. We also must continue working to improve the quality of life for those living with HIV/AIDS and to find a cure.
“In New York, we have one of the highest rates of infection in the United States, with more than 100,000 people infected with the virus – more than 3 times the national average. A significant part of this population comes from low-income communities of color that lack adequate resources to prevent and treat HIV/AIDS. We have to allocate more resources, both here in New York and abroad, towards increasing funding for HIV/AIDS outreach, education and testing.
“This is why in recent years, I have fought in Congress and made it a priority to increase the funding available for this type of programs. I have worked to successfully expand access to federal funding for syringe exchange programs by removing outdated bans on federal funding for these effective efforts. I have also worked to better fund the Ryan White HIV/AIDS program and housing programs to help HIV-positive homeless people.
“We also have to help developing countries, which need the support of the international community, to reduce the rate of infection through similar prevention efforts and to get on par with developed nations in terms of treatment available for infected individuals.
“World Aids Day serves as an opportunity to remember that we all have a role to play in these efforts –through advocacy and the support of legislation and policy in government, testing and sexual health awareness, financial support, the sharing useful knowledge and information with others, and fighting the fear and stigma that too often accompanies this disease.”
For more information on AIDS/HIV, or to find your nearest testing center, please call the New York City Department of Health at 311 or visit www.nyc.gov/health.
In The Bronx
Congressman Serrano on Passing of Herman Badillo
Former Congressman Herman Badillo passed away on Wednesday November 26. Herman Badillo was the first Puerto Rican Bronx borough president, first Puerto Rico born U.S. Congressman, and first New York City mayoral candidate. First elected to serve the South Bronx in Congress in 1970, he served for more than three terms, from 1971 to 1977.
Congressman Serrano released the following statement:
“I am extremely sad to hear that my friend, mentor, and Puerto Rican trailblazer Herman Badillo has passed away. He was a true pioneer in every sense of the word, who opened doors for many in New York City. He was the first Puerto Rican Bronx Borough President, the first Puerto Rican born member of Congress, the first Puerto Rican New York City mayoral candidate and a founding member of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus in Congress. He always prioritized fighting for greater access to opportunity for Hispanics, combating poverty, and promoting urban renewal.
“I had the honor and privilege to count on his friendship, guidance, and support over the years. I can represent my community in Congress today only because he dared to say that we—Puerto Ricans and Hispanics—could serve in Congress and deserved a seat at the table. He will always be remembered by everyone whose life he touched and by the people of the Bronx. My thoughts and prayers are with his family. May he rest in peace.”
Deadline: January14, 2015
The Corporation for National and Community Service has made funding available to support a new initiative where applicants may request AmeriCorps State and National, AmeriCorps VISTA, and AmeriCorps NCCC resources in a single application to use national service as a transformative catalyst to address a community’s most pressing local problem. Through Operation AmeriCorps, local leaders will identify a high priority local issue which AmeriCorps resources can holistically address in a relatively short period of time (no more than two years). All Public Housing Agencies, local governments, or school districts are encouraged to apply.
Please follow this link for the full grant announcement http://www.grants.gov/web/grants/view-opportunity.html?oppId=269752. For more information about federal grants please visit http://www.grants.gov.