The Serrano Report Volume XIII, Issue #2
In Washington, DC
Congressman Serrano Participates in Natural Resources Hearing on Puerto Rico’s Economic Crisis
Congressman Serrano participated this week in a House Natural Resources Committee hearing on the economic crisis in Puerto Rico titled “The Need for the Establishment of a Puerto Rico Financial Stability and Economic Growth Authority.” In his remarks, Congressman Serrano emphasized the problem that Puerto Rico’s political status plays in the economic crisis and the importance of solving it as part of the solution.
Click here to view Congressman Serrano’s remarks: bit.ly/1Sw0gUR
The hearing was held on Tuesday, February 2, 2016 at 11:00 a.m. Click here for more details on the House Natural Resources hearing and video of the full hearing.
Serrano, Quigley Secure Funding for Immigration Help Desks
This week, Representatives José Serrano (NY-15) and Mike Quigley (IL-05), members of the House Appropriations Committee, announced the inclusion of $1 million in the Fiscal Year 2016 Omnibus Appropriations Act signed by President Obama for the creation of information help desks at the nation’s most backlogged immigration courts. They also sent a letter yesterday to the Executive Office for Immigration Review (EOIR) emphasizing specific characteristics that are essential to effective help desks – protecting due process and improving efficiency of immigration proceedings.
“Many immigration courts around the nation are overwhelmed by a high volume of immigration cases and lack the resources to help immigrant families and process cases in a timely manner. Far too often, immigrants are left to face an unfamiliar immigration court system without legal counsel to guide them and advise them,” said Congressman Serrano. “ Allocating funding for the creation of immigration help desks will help America’s busiest immigrant courts to become fairer and more efficient by providing immigrants with confidential screenings and refer them to legal resources if need be. As one of cities with the highest backlog of immigration cases, the New York City immigration court will benefit greatly from this initiative. This is the first time that funding has been allocated for this initiative in an Appropriations bill; I am incredibly proud of having worked with Representative Quigley to guarantee its successful inclusion in the final bill as members of the Appropriations Committee.”
Congressman Serrano Recognized for Civil and Human Rights Work in Congress
Congressman José E. Serrano earned a perfect score (100%) on the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights congressional scorecard for the first session of the 114th Congress. Overall, only 32 percent of Congress supported the Leadership Conference’s priorities more than 90 percent of the time. The Leadership Conference graded and scored members of Congress’ voting record taken from January through December 2015 on key legislation related to, among other issues, the protection of civil rights, equal pay, sexual assault in the military, education, voting rights, immigration, health care, and minimum wage.
“Throughout my career, I have always made it a priority fighting for justice and equality under the law, and to improve opportunities for all Americans. The Leadership Conference’s scorecard is a reflection of my commitment to be a voice for and defend the rights of those who oftentimes are simply ignored. In recent decades we have made significant progress in the area of civil and human rights, but more needs to be done. It is an honor to be recognized by The Leadership Conference with a perfect score and I look forward to working with them in the future on these important issues,” said Congressman Serrano.
In the Bronx
Congressman Serrano Helps Unveil Newly Reconstructed Fordham Plaza in the Bronx
Last week, Congressman Serrano joined New York City Department of Transportation (DOT) Commissioner Polly Trottenberg, FTA Administrator Therese McMillan, New York City Department of Design and Construction (DDC) Commissioner Dr. Feniosky Peña-Mora, and Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz, Jr. to unveil the newly reconstructed Fordham Plaza in the Bronx. The new and improved transportation hub is the result of a local-state-Federal partnership and will serve thousands, be more secure, and provide more amenities to the public.
“The completion of this project is vital to the future of the Bronx. It makes one of our borough’s economic hubs safer, improves transit services, and ensures a vibrant public space for all. This is a great example of how federal funding can prioritize and facilitate economic development in the Bronx. I was proud to advocate for a $10 million federal TIGER grant, which this project eventually received, and I will continue working to bring federal dollars to important projects in our borough,” said Congressman Serrano.
Congressman Serrano Helps Unveil First Univision Media Center at the New Venture Middle School in the Bronx
Congressman Serrano joined Univision Communications Inc. President and CEO Randy Falco, Univision Communications Inc. Chief Marketing Officer Jessica Rodriguez, Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz, Jr. State Senator Ruben Diaz, Sr., State Senator Gustavo Rivera, Assemblyman Marcos Crespo, Assemblyman Michael Blake, and parents and students to unveil the Univision Media Center at the New Venture Middle School in the Bronx. The first of several Univision Media Centers planned for middle schools in the U.S., this state-of-the-art facility will provide students with the tools and training necessary to understand how a media newsroom operates. The new media center will also provide students with the opportunity to receive training from media professionals.
Congressman Serrano Celebrates Martin Luther King at Union Grove Missionary Baptist Church
On January 18, Congressman Serrano joined the Union Grove Missionary Baptist Church congregation to celebrate Martin Luther King, Jr. Day. He spoke about Dr. King’s impact on the Bronx and on our nation, and on the need to continue his message of peace, justice, and equality.