Congressman José E. Serrano

Representing the 15th District of New York

The Serrano Report - Volume XVI, Issue #12

Apr 28, 2017
The Serrano Report

In Washington, DC

Reps. José E. Serrano and Adriano Espaillat Call Foul on Devos and Decision to Cut Funds for Upward Bound

On Thursday, U.S. Congressmen José E. Serrano (NY-15) and Adriano Espaillat (NY-13) sent a letter to Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos and issued the following statement in response to the Department of Education’s recent decision to deny funding for Upward Bound TRIO grant proposals submitted by Fordham University and Columbia University in New York City. Upward Bound is a program that helps low-income high school students prepare to enter and successfully complete college.

Rep. Serrano said: “The Upward Bound is critical for students in the Bronx, and the rejection of these applications will mean less opportunities for fewer students. The program is a key driver in helping low-income and potential first generation college students successfully enter and complete college. The grounds under which the U.S. Department of Education rejected the applications from Fordham University and Columbia University is disturbing and lacks common sense. Our students deserve better. At the very least these New York institutions –and the students they serve- deserve to have their applications reconsidered based on their merits.”

In the letter sent to Secretary DeVos, Reps. Serrano and Espaillat express concerns on the misguided decisions, which were not based on the merits of either projects’ proposal and the adverse impact to students eligible for the Upward Bound Program in New York City. Dozens of college applications from all around the country for grants, valued at millions of dollars, have been rejected by the U.S. Department of Education for trivial matters related to the application’s format, like font size/type and spacing, or typographical errors, rather than content or merit. If these universities’ Upward Bound Programs fail to receive funding, thousands of low-income and first-generation students in New York City and beyond will not be able to participate in the program this year, further putting their academic achievement at peril and threatening successful completion of secondary education.

Congressman Serrano Meets with Members of NYSBA

On Wednesday, Congressman Serrano met with members of the New York State Bar Association to discuss funding for Legal Services Corporation and the important job they do to protect our most vulnerable residents.

NYBSA Meeting

Congressman Serrano Meets with students from Claremont International High School

This week, Congressman Serrano also welcomed high school students from Claremont International High School in the Bronx who were visiting Washington DC as part of the Close Up program to talk about the policymaking process and the need to invest in improving the US for future generations.

Claremont High School

Congressman Serrano Meets with Members of The National Association of Latino Arts and Cultures

Also Wednesday, Congressman Serrano met with members of the National Association of Latino Arts and Cultures to discuss how Congress can protect funding for the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) and invest in our artists.  The Trump Administration has proposed eliminating the NEA is a vital federal resource that helps bring the arts, and arts education, to all Americans. 

National Association of Latino Arts and Culture

In the Bronx

Congressman Serrano Meets with Columbia University Representatives

On Tuesday, Congressman Serrano met with Tiffany Yee Vo, Lead Organizer of The International Union, United Automobile, Aerospace and Agricultural Implement Workers of America (UAW) at Columbia University and PhD student Olga Brudastove, to discuss the importance of union representation at the university.

Columbia University Representatives

Congressman Serrano Announces Funding For HIV Prevention in the Bronx

Last week, Congressman Serrano announced that the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has awarded a $355,000 grant to Bronx AIDS Services for an HIV Prevention project.

“Despite all the progress that has been made in recent decades, HIV/AIDS continues to be an issue that disproportionately affects urban areas, like the Bronx. This grant will help Bronx AIDS Services expand and improve their HIV prevention efforts geared toward young gay men of color, which in turn will reduce the incidence of this deadly disease in the Bronx. With these types of projects and efforts, we are educating young people on how to successfully prevent transmission and work towards the elimination of HIV/AIDS once and for all,” said Congressman Serrano.