The Serrano Report - Volume XII, Issue #21

Press Release

Congressman Serrano Votes and Speaks Out Against Legislation that Would Prevent Women from Accessing Primary Health Care Services

On Wednesday, Congressman José E. Serrano released the following statement on the passage H.R. 3495, legislation introduced by Republicans as a way to keep public health care providers, including Planned Parenthood, from receiving Medicaid funding for reproductive health services. Congressman Serrano voted against the bill, which would prevent millions of women who use Medicaid from accessing critical preventative and primary health care.

"Time and time again Republicans have attempted to strip women of their right to access reproductive health services. The government has no place in dictating what a woman can and should do with her body. This bill would adversely compromise the health and well-being of millions of women who depend on public health providers. I cannot, and will not, stand by and watch women's rights be violated. That is why I voted against this bill," said Congressman Serrano.

H.R. 3495 passed the House of Representatives by a vote of 236 to 193.

Congressman Serrano Meets with Members of Food Bank for New York City

On Tuesday, Congressman Serrano met with several members from the organization Food Bank for New York City. The members came from different organizations in the Bronx and New York City to advocate for increasing funds for The Emergency Food Assistance Program (TEFAP), SNAP and reauthorizing the Child Nutrition Act.

"I enjoyed having the opportunity to meet with dedicated members of the Food Bank for New York City. These men and women are committed to expanding the hunger safety net for needy families and individuals in our communities, and tirelessly advocate on their behalf. TEFAP, SNAP and child nutrition programs are an important part of these efforts, and I will continue to work for increased funding of these programs," said Congressman Serrano.

In the Bronx

Congressman Serrano Announces Nearly $1 Million in Funds For Bronx Community Development Institution

Yesterday, Congressman José E. Serrano announced that the Treasury Department Community Development Financial Institutions Fund (CDFI Fund) has awarded Spring Bank, a Bronx community development institution, a total of $965,496 in funds as part of its fiscal year (FY) 2015 round of grants. The CDFI Fund awarded $700,000 of the funds through the CDFI Program and $265,496 through the BEA Program. Congressman Serrano was instrumental in helping secure the funding as Ranking Member of the House Appropriations Financial Services Subcommittee, which oversees funding for the Community Development Financial Institutions Fund (CDFI Fund).

"I am proud to announce that Spring Bank in the Bronx has been awarded nearly $1 million in additional funding in FY 2015, part of which they are receiving once again in recognition of their fine work. These resources will allow them to continue spurring economic development and expanding their financing activities in the Bronx for individuals, small businesses, and other organizations," said Congressman Serrano. "This is an important example of the impact that the CDFI Fund has in the Bronx."

CDFIs help bridge the financial services gap in underserved communities like the Bronx, helping ensure that local businesses and non-profits have the ability to expand and that individuals have access to mainstream financial services. In the South Bronx alone, CDFIs have used federal funding to provide more than 700 loans, worth more than $167 million dollars, to businesses, consumers, and non-profits over the years. This financial support has helped create and expand some of the community's most important priorities- including affordable housing, health care services, and small businesses.

Congressman Serrano Celebrates African Heritage Month

On Wednesday, U.S. Congressman José E. Serrano (D-NY) released the following statement in commemoration of African Heritage Month, celebrated every year during the month of September:

"As African Heritage Month comes to an end, let us celebrate and honor the countless contributions of the African community in the Bronx and throughout the nation. Our communities are richer and stronger thanks to the African immigrant community's ingenuity, hard work, and leadership. In the Bronx, many of the individuals making the most significant difference are African immigrants who, proud to call the Bronx home now, are changing our borough for the better. As neighbors and leaders throughout the Bronx, immigrants from places like Ghana, Nigeria, Guinea and elsewhere are a vital part of our community. I am incredibly proud to represent them in Congress, and I look forward to continue working with them to ensure they have access to the resources and support they need for more economic opportunities and a better quality of life. I also look forward to honoring them at my upcoming African Heritage Month Event."

Congressman Serrano Attends "A Concert of Hope: Venezuela in the Bronx" at Crotona Park Amphitheater

Last Sunday, Congressman Serrano attended "A Concert of Hope: Venezuela in the Bronx", a performance by Youth Orchestras and Choirs, El Sistema, one of Venezuela's world-renowned orchestras. This concert celebrated the years of solidarity between Venezuela and the Bronx with this phenomenal performance by move than one hundred young performers. "It will be an unforgettable experience for many of the Bronxites who came out to enjoy this concert, they were provided with a top-notch performance from these youths from Venezuela," said Congressman José E. Serrano.

In 2005, Congressman Serrano worked to bring the late President Hugo Chavez to the Bronx, where he spent hours talking to community-based organizations. This visit led to the creation of a partnership between Venezuela and organizations in the Bronx to provide low-cost heating fuel so that these organizations were able to re-invest their savings into making improvements. This type of partnership with the Venezuelan government has expanded to over 25 states in the U.S.