The Serrano Report, Vol. VIII, #11

May 6, 2011 Issues: Foreign Wars, Health Care Reform, Housing

On Capitol Hill

Serrano Votes against Republican Efforts to Undermine Healthcare Reform

On Tuesday, Congressman Serrano voted with fellow Democrats against a pair of Republican bills to repeal portions of the historic healthcare reform package that was passed last year. Despite Democratic votes against the efforts, Republicans successfully passed a bill to repeal funding for state health insurance exchanges, and a bill to repeal funding for school health center construction.

“These bills take aim at some of the best portions of the health care reform package we passed last year,” said Congressman Serrano. “Funding for state health insurance exchanges, where people lacking acceptable options could receive coverage, is at the center of the reform effort. And building more school-based health centers is a vital move toward increasing the access to health care for our children. We know that dollars spent on these two initiatives will end up saving our nation money in the long haul as fewer people go without health insurance and we have healthier children. Both measures would keep people out of the emergency room, which is the most costly place to deliver health care services.

“Republicans have no plan, and no answers for what would happen if their efforts to repeal health care reform were successful. Thankfully we have a Democratic Senate and President Obama standing in their way. We will continue to stand firm against these efforts to turn control back over to the health care insurers and to leave people without insurance and without options.”

Serrano: "End of  Bin Laden Brings Us Closure at last"

Early Monday morning, after the announcement that American troops had found and killed Osama bin Laden in Abbottabad, Pakistan, Congressman Serrano issued the following statement.

“With the end of Osama Bin Laden, we finally have a sense of closure about the 9/11 attacks that he organized and financed almost ten years ago. Our country has healed in that time, but the news that bin Laden is gone helps us to finally move beyond that painful memory.

“For too long Americans have wondered when bin Laden would be brought to justice. We believe in swift and fair justice in our nation, and to have a known mass killer living freely in another country did not sit well. Today, we know that the wait for justice is over. I especially hope that the end of bin Laden brings a sense of closure to the families who still grieve the loss of a loved one in the attacks.

“Many parts of our national life were upended by the attacks of 9/11. Some have forgotten that it was an election day in New York—and the election was suspended. Bin Laden had planned to disrupt all areas of our national strength; our financial, social and political structures. But he did not count on the resiliency and resolve of the American people.

“Time and again in the years since 9/11, we have shown that our nation is stronger than he thought, not just because of our military or economic might, but because of the fundamental decency and extraordinary goodness of the American people. That is our key asset and it cannot be broken, no matter what is thrown at us."

Serrano Meets Interns from Puerto Rico

On Tuesday, Congressman Serrano met with interns from the Córdova-Fernos Internship program. Sponsored by the Puerto Rico Legislature, the Córdova-Fernos program brings young people from Puerto Rico to Washington for a semester to intern in Congressional offices and federal agencies. During the meeting with the Congressman, the interns, who were in the last week of their internships, took the opportunity to ask him about his views on current events in Puerto Rico, how they relate to issues in his district, and other issues of importance to them.

 Serrano with Cordova interns

Serrano with Córdova-Fernos interns after their meeting

In the Bronx

Serrano Praises Opening of Green Housing for Seniors

On Tuesday, Congressman Serrano congratulated Fordham Bedford Housing Corporation (FBHC) on the opening of its new affordable housing development for low- and moderate-income seniors. Founded in the late 1970s, FBHC provides affordable housing for more than 3,000 families in the northwest Bronx. This new center, called Serviam Gardens, is a 243-unit complex which features 23,000 square feet of ground level landscaping, as well as several environmentally friendly elements, including energy efficient elevators, bamboo floors, and a rooftop garden. The project was supported by Serrano and funded through a combination of public and private sources.

“With Serviam Gardens, Fordham Bedford has set a new standard for affordable housing development in this city,” said Serrano. “The scale of the project makes this a significant investment in the Bedford Park community, and the innovations in green building make this a new destination in the northwest Bronx. There are not many organizations in the entire city capable of bringing a substantial project like this to completion, but Fordham Bedford is one of them. I congratulate its exceptional staff and board, as well as the partner organizations who helped to make this ribbon-cutting possible.”

Grant Opportunities

Arts in Media Grant

Application Deadline: September 1, 2011

The National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) recently announced the availability of funding to support innovative media projects about the arts. The Arts in Media program is designed to enhance the public’s knowledge and understanding of the arts and to increase public access to art. Projects should have the potential to reach a significant national audience and may deal with any subject matter or art form, including visual arts, music, dance, design, theatre, film, audio, animation and digital arts.  Projects targeting youth or children are welcome. State and local governments, institutions of higher education, and 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organizations are encouraged to apply.

For more information about this opportunity, please visit the NEA's website.

For information on other government grants, please go to: