The Serrano Report - Volume XII, Issue #14
In Washington, DC
Congressman Serrano Applauds Supreme Court Ruling States’ Prohibition of Gay Marriage Unconstitutional
Today, Congressman José E. Serrano (D-NY), a longtime supporter of LGBT equal rights and member of the Congressional LGBT Equality Caucus, which advocates for LGBT equal rights, released the following statement on the U.S. Supreme Court decision in Obergefell v. Hodges, which held that under the 14th amendment of the U.S. Constitution, states can’t prohibit same-sex marriage. The verdict follows another recent Supreme Court decision in favor of gay marriage where the Court let stand circuit court rulings in favor of marriage equality.
“This is a major victory for the LGBT community, and the positive effect on the lives of millions of LGBT individuals and families cannot be overstated. Here in New York and 36 other states, LGBT couples already enjoy the right to marry, but unfortunately, millions nationwide are still prevented from marrying someone from their same sex simply due to uneven local laws and a lack of federal intervention on this matter. They end up suffering unfair emotional, legal, and financial consequences. Today’s Supreme Court decision finally prevents states across-the-board from banning gay marriage, thus ensuring marriage equality in all 50 states. There is still more to be done in the fight for LGBT equal rights and against discrimination, but today’s ruling will allow thousands of individuals to marry and live a more full life with the person they love. This is an important victory for equality.”
Congressman Serrano Applauds Supreme Court’s Decision on the Affordable Care Act
Yesterday, the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) ruled in favor of keeping major provisions within the Affordable Care Act (ACA) available to millions of Americans. The ruling is essential to ensuring that millions of Americans will be able to keep or obtain affordable health insurance.
“The Supreme Court’s decision in King vs. Burwell means that millions of Americans will continue to enjoy the benefits of dependable, life saving, and affordable health insurance by receiving access to tax credits, no matter where they live.. Having now lost twice in the Supreme Court, opponents should stop their efforts to undo the historic law and realize it is here to stay. In Congress, Republicans should stop their efforts to repeal the law after 60 unsuccessful attempts, and instead join Democrats to strengthen the law and ensure more people can benefit from it. Today is a good day for health care in America.”
Congressman Serrano and Senator Schumer Welcome Extension of TPS Registration Deadline for Individuals from Ebola-Affected Nations
This week, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security extended the Temporary Protected Status (TPS) registration deadline for eligible individuals from Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone – the three ebola-affected nations.
In a letter sent in May this year, Congressman Serrano and Senator Schumer, along with 9 other Members of the New York delegation, urged Secretary Jeh Johnson to extend the May 20, 2015 deadline to ensure everyone eligible was able to apply and take advantage of the policy. Members of the community had expressed concerns over the DHS’s lack of outreach to let people know about their eligibility and the still fragile situation in the region. With this announcement, the deadline has been extended from May 20, 2015, to Aug. 18, 2015.
“This is great news for the people from Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone currently living in New York City and the rest of the United States who were not able to learn about and submit their applications for Temporary Protected Status previously. TPS is an important humanitarian tool, and this announcement will help provide relief for many individuals from ebola-affected nations who won’t be forced to return to a still fragile region. I am glad Secretary Johnson has heeded our call and extended the deadline, so that more people can take advantage of it. For those who qualify, make sure to submit your application by August 18,” said Congressman Serrano.
More information on eligibility, how to register and costs of applying for the program from the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services announcement:
To be eligible for TPS, you must demonstrate that you meet all eligibility criteria, including that you have been “continuously residing” in the United States since Nov. 20, 2014, and “continuously physically present” in the United States since Nov. 21, 2014. You must also undergo thorough security checks. Individuals with certain criminal records or who pose a threat to national security are not eligible for TPS.
Additionally, you may apply for TPS even if you are a Liberian national currently covered under the two-year extension of Deferred Enforced Departure (DED) based on President Obama’s Sept. 26, 2014 memorandum. If you are a DED-covered Liberian national and you have an EAD or have applied for an EAD, you do not need to apply for another EAD related to this TPS designation. However, if you are granted TPS, you may request a TPS-related EAD at a later date as long as the TPS designation for Liberia remains in effect.
To register, you must submit:
• Form I-821, Application for Temporary Protected Status.
• The Form I-821 application fee (or a fee-waiver request).
• The biometrics services fee (or a fee-waiver request) if you are 14 years old or older.
• Form I-765, Application for Employment Authorization, regardless of whether you want an EAD.
• The Form I-765 application fee (or a fee-waiver request), but only if you want an EAD. If you do not want an EAD, no application fee is required. There is no Form I-765 fee for initial applicants under the age of 14, or 66 and over; these applicants may receive their initial EAD cards for free.
Fees and Fee Waivers
If you cannot pay the fee, you may request that we waive the Form I-821 application fee, Form I-765 application fee and biometrics services fee. However, you must file Form I-912, Request for Fee Waiver, or submit a written request. You must also send in supporting documentation with your fee-waiver request. We will reject your TPS application if you do not submit the required filing fees or a properly documented fee-waiver request.
Additional information about TPS for Liberia, Guinea, and Sierra Leone – including guidance on eligibility, the application process and where to file – is available at uscis.gov/tps.
In New York
Congressman Serrano Applauds Governor Cuomo’s Announcement on Funding for WIC
On Wednesday, Governor Cuomo announced that $658 million in funding has been awarded to Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC) providers throughout the state of New York. These funds will help over 92 providers, including Bronx Lebanon Hospital Center, expand their nutrition assistance programs for low-income families, and families who are hunger insecure. Click here to read the Governor’s press release.
In response to the announcement, Congressman Serrano said:
“Few things are as important to families’ health and children’s healthy development as a good nutrition. Thanks to this funding, more families in the Bronx and New York City will have access to nutritious food through New York’s WIC program. I applaud Governor Cuomo for once again choosing to invest in our families and future generations.”
Congressman Serrano Joins NYCEDC in Request for Proposals for Spofford Ave Development Project in Hunts Point
On Tuesday, the New York City Economic Development Corporation (NYCEDC) released a Request for Expression of Interest (REI) on a proposal to develop City-owned mixed-use affordable housing project in Bronx. The site is expected to contain mixed-income housing along with commercial and non-commercial businesses located on Spofford Avenue in the Hunts Points section of the Bronx.
“This innovative development project aims to serve our community’s two main needs at once—access to affordable housing and job opportunities—in a way that takes in consideration local residents’ input and wishes,” said Congressman José Serrano. “This is an important first step in the redevelopment of an underutilized area, and it has the potential to improve the lives of Hunts Point residents. As our borough continues experiencing economic growth, this project will help ensure all residents can take advantage of it.”
More details on the REI can be found here.
Congressman Serrano Attends Community Events in the Bronx
On Saturday, June 20, Congressman Serrano attended two community events in the 15th congressional district. First, he joined the 12th Annual Hunts Point Fish Parade and Summer Festival for a mile-long procession through the streets of Hunts Point. The processional included a caravan of marchers and colorful floats created by visual and performance artists from the South Bronx. This parade focuses on incorporating issues of environmental awareness and community advocacy.
|Congressman Serrano at the Hunts Point Fish Parade (June 20, 2015).|
Later in the day he joined the Annual Family Day Celebration at Crotona Park, where he partook in recognizing the community and the volunteers who help to organize the annual event.
|Congressman Serrano with members of the community at the Crotona Park Family Day celebration. (June 20, 2015)|
“I was glad to get the chance to spend time with so many members of our community and to celebrate with them the importance of family," said Congressman Serrano. "It is wonderful to see everyone take pride in what they do in our community, and it gives me great pleasure to support them here in the Bronx and through my work in Congress."
NEA Arts Education Partnership (AEP) Program Solicitation
Deadline: August 4, 2015
The National Endowment of the Arts (NEA) has made a program solicitation for a cooperative agreement, in which the NEA will select an organization (Cooperator) to administer the Arts Education Partnership (AEP), a national coalition of more than 100 organizations representing the arts and education fields as well as the government and private sectors. As the AEP enters into its third decade, the NEA seeks a new Cooperator to build on the significant achievements of the AEP and its national coalition. In undertaking this work, the NEA encourages proposals in which the Cooperator partners with another national organization that can help enhance and fulfill the mission of the AEP. Local and state government, all institutions of higher education, and non-profits are encouraged to apply.
Please follow this link for the full grant announcement http://www.grants.gov/web/grants/view-opportunity.html?oppId=277399.