Congressman José E. Serrano

Representing the 15th District of New York

The Serrano Report - Volume XII, Issue #15

Jul 10, 2015
The Serrano Report

In Washington, DC

Congressman Sends Letter Urging President Obama to Take More Federal Action to Address Puerto Rico’s Economic Crisis

This Wednesday, Congressman José E. Serrano, the most senior member of Congress of Puerto Rican descent, sent a letter to President Obama asking him for more action by the federal government to help Puerto Rico address their ongoing debt crisis.

“This is a multi-faceted crisis that demands multi-faceted solutions. One piece of that puzzle is the need for congressional action to expand Chapter 9 bankruptcy availability to Puerto Rico. Just yesterday, the 1st Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that Puerto Rico cannot issue its own municipal bankruptcy law absent federal authorization.  While we in Congress will continue our efforts to enact H.R. 870 into law, this will not solve all of the fiscal problems on the island.  Puerto Rico needs to implement structural reforms that will enhance job creation, increase economic growth, and attract investment to the island.The federal government can provide sound advice and expertise into how to carry out these reforms without increasing the financial burden on the residents of Puerto Rico, particularly poor and middle class residents. Further federal action is necessary to help address all of these issues,” wrote Congressman Serrano in the letter.

Last week, Congressman Serrano issued a statement after Governor Garcia Padilla announced that the island can’t pay its debts:

Serrano Legislation to Rename Bronx Morrisania Post Office in honor of Herman Badillo, First Puerto Rican Congressman

This week, the U.S. Senate approved Congressman's Serrano legislation (H.R. 1350) to rename the Bronx Morrisania Post Office in honor of former Bronx Congressman and Borough President Herman Badillo. Now that the bill has been approved by both chambers of Congress, it awaits the President's signature to become law.

“I am thrilled to see this legislation, so important for the Bronx and all of us who want to see Herman Badillo’s life and legacy honored, cleared in the Senate and moving on to the President’s desk for his signature. I thank all of my colleagues in Congress who supported our efforts to ensure Herman Badillo’s legacy lives on,  especially Senator Schumer for his leadership and support of this important legislation in the Senate,” said Congressman Serrano.

Badillo was born in Puerto Rico in 1929. At 11 years old, Badillo moved to the United States. In 1951, Badillo graduated with honors from City College and in 1954, was the valedictorian of his class at Brooklyn Law School. He became the first Puerto-Rican city commissioner and borough president, and was the first Congressman to be born in Puerto Rico. The bill has been sent to President Obama for his signature.

Congressman Serrano Helps Secure $700,000 in Federal Funding for Union Community Health Center

On Tuesday, Congressman José E. Serrano announced that Union Community Health Center (UCHC) has been awarded $704,167 in federal grants to expand its primary care programs and open a new center at 2016 Bronxdale Avenue. The funds were awarded through the Heath Resources and Services and Administration under the U.S Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). Congressman Serrano supported the organization’s application for funding in a letter sent to HHS in September 2014. Union Community Health Center currently provides care to 37,000 local residents at five sites in the Bronx. The new site will allow UCHC to serve more community residents with a full range of services including pediatrics, adult primary care, and integrative behavioral health services. 

“For more than a century, Union Community Health Center has proved its dedication to providing quality health care to Bronx residents regardless of their ability to pay. Taking in consideration the community’s unique needs, UCHC has enacted effective health strategies and delivery models that have brought down existing barriers and expanded access to quality health care. This funding will help them reach more underserved Bronxites, improving their quality of life,” said Congressman Serrano.

Serrano Applauds U.S.- Cuba Agreement to Reopen Embassies and Officially Reestablish Diplomatic Relations

Last week, Congressman Serrano applauded the U.S.-Cuba agreement to reopen embassies in each other’s respective capitals. For more than two decades, Congressman Serrano has advocated for the end to the Cuba embargo and a change in Cuba’s designation as a state sponsor of terror. He has also introduced various pieces of legislation and amendments with respect to Cuba, including the Cuba Reconciliation Act, which repeals the U.S. embargo, and the Baseball Diplomacy Act. Serrano released the following statement on the historic agreement:

“I once again want to commend President Obama for his leadership on this issue. After more than five decades of broken diplomatic relations between the United States and Cuba, today is certainly a historic day. As a long time advocate of changing our foreign policy towards Cuba, I am glad both nations were able to find enough common ground to move forward with this important step. I hope the negotiations continue bearing fruit as we move forward with restored diplomatic relations.  Our previous Cuba policy has failed – for too long, it resulted in the isolation of the United States and damaged our standing in the region.  Today’s announcement changes all that.”

In the Bronx

Congressman Serrano Kicks off Community Conversations at Patterson House Senior Center

Last Monday, Congressman Serrano kicked-off his “Conversations with the Congressman” series at Patterson House Senior Center. This series of community conversations will give community members the opportunity to discuss national issues and how they affect the Bronx with Representative Serrano. Those who attended had many questions about immigration, social security, developing a local competitive workforce, and much more. Congressman Serrano will be announcing the dates and locations of upcoming events for these series soon.

“As a member of Congress, it is essential to know what is important to my constituents and their families. These series will give me the opportunity to talk to my constituents on a regular basis and understand Bronxites' needs and concerns. We have made a lot of progress on many issues during the last eight years, but we all know that there is more to do to make America more prosperous and stronger. This series will help me make sure your voice is heard in Congress,” said Congressman Serrano.

Congressman Serrano kicks-off his "Conversations with the Congressman" series at Patterson House Senior Center.

Congressman Serrano Walks NYC Pride Parade

Last week, Congressman Serrano attended the annual New York City Pride Parade. Serrano walked along an enthusiastic crowd that celebrated the recent ruling from the Supreme Court on Marriage Equality in all 50 states and the territories.

“This is an important victory for equality, and I was glad to celebrate it with the Bronx LGBT and progressive community,” said Congressman Serrano, “Although there is still more work to do in the fight for equal rights, we celebrated the fact that everyone will be able to marry and live a more full life with the person they love.”

Congressman Serrano at the 2015 New York City Pride Parade. (6/28/2015)

Congressman Serrano Joins Highbridge Advisory Council Head Start Graduation

Last Tuesday, Congressman Serrano attended the Highbridge Advisory Council’s annual Head Start graduation where family members, teachers, and members of the community celebrated the accomplishments of the kids that completed the Head Start this year in the Bronx.

As a strong supporter of Head Start and early education in general, Congressman Serrano has always fought for adequate levels of funding for Head Start programs nationwide. He believes that attaining a good education from a young age impacts the overall opportunities available to these children and their families later on in life.

“Nothing is more important to a child’s healthy development than quality early education,” said Congressman Serrano. “Today we celebrate an important milestone in your child’s career, and I am glad to be here to celebrate with you.”



BJA FY 15 Justice Information Sharing Training and Technical Assistance (JIS TTA) Program

Deadline: July 30, 2015

The Department of Justice has made funding available through the Bureau of Justice Assistance that will support the efforts of state, local, and tribal criminal justice agencies to adopt innovative justice information sharing solutions through the provision of TTA services. Initiatives supported under this solicitation must adopt strategies consistent with the DOJ Global Standards Package (GSP) and support criminal justice policies, practices, and programs that are data-driven and evidence-based. Specific tasks and deliverables are unique to each category, and prospective applicants are encouraged to fully research and understand the scope of the underlying criminal justice challenges prior to applying. All public agencies that perform criminal justice functions and private entities that support, on a national level, initiatives to improve the functioning of the criminal justice system are encouraged to apply.

Please follow this link for the full grant announcement For more information about federal grants please visit

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