Update: A Busy Week in NY-12
It has been a busy district work week here in NYC. After several weeks of votes in DC, it is great to have time to meet with constituents, receive updates on local projects and hear from community leaders. Here is a wrap up of these meetings and events.
Fighting for a Fair and Accurate 2020 Census
On Tuesday afternoon, at my and Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s request, the House Committee on Oversight and Reform Subcommittee on Civil Rights and Civil Liberties held a hearing titled “Getting Counted: The Importance of the Census to State and Local Communities” here in NYC. We gathered at LaGuardia Committee College in Queens to hear expert testimony on how important census data is for every state and community in the country and the efforts of governments, non-profits, and businesses to make sure everyone is counted.
It is impossible to overstate the importance of getting accurate census data. Did you know that Census data drives nearly $73 billion in federal funding per year for our city and state? New Yorkers in every corner of our city and state depend on these numbers, quite literally, for survival. The data also helps determine apportionment for congressional districts and the Electoral College. The census forms the foundation of our representative democracy. Messing with this data, and trying to force an undercount of immigrant and minority communities by underfunding census operations and adding a citizenship question is, frankly, un-American. That is why we are fighting back.
On Thursday, the New York Times published a story detailing documents that show the Trump Administration has been out to rig the 2020 Census for partisan gain from day one. These documents are not just a smoking gun – they are a written confession of the Trump Administration’s illegal attempt to hijack the 2020 Census and remake the political landscape of this country in their image for the next decade. That is why I am working with community organizations all across New York to take back our census and do the work on the ground, in our communities, to ensure every single person is engaged and counted accurately and fairly. Today, we gathered at City Hall to call for the federal government, NYS and NYC to make sure we have the tools and resources we need to get this right.
Honoring 9/11 First Responders, Survivors, and Their Families
On Thursday, I had the honor of being at the dedication of the 9/11 Memorial Glade, a new tribute honoring all those who are sick or dying from 9/11-related illnesses.
On September 11th, 2001, we lost 2,997 people. But the death toll from 9/11 is far higher. It seems like every week I hear about the passing of another first responder or survivor from a 9/11-related illness.
Today, thousands of first responders, volunteers, survivors, and those who lived, worked or went to school near Ground Zero are living with the effects of 9/11 in the form of chronic diseases, cancer, or a whole host of other conditions. More than 11,000 responders and survivors have been certified as having a 9/11-related cancer. We must continue to be there for them.
That is why I am fighting so hard to make the Never Forget the Heroes Act law and permanently extend and fully fund the 9/11 Victim Compensation Fund. I am so thankful to Councilmembers Margaret Chin and I. Daneek Miller for introducing a resolution in the New York City Council calling on Congress to pass this bill, and I was proud to stand by their side this week in support of its passage.
We have overwhelming bipartisan support for this bill and I am confident that we will live up to our promise to Never Forget.
Addressing the Measles Outbreak and Need for Vaccine Education
Last night, I joined with Congresswoman Donna Shalala (D-FL), former Secretary of Health and Human Services under President Clinton, to host a roundtable discussion on the importance of vaccines for public health in the wake of the measles outbreak in NYC.
For the last few weeks, the headlines we’ve been reading have been alarming. Measles, a highly contagious and deadly disease that was eliminated in the United States almost 20 years ago, is back and its reappearance is a failure of public health. And so, I thought it was imperative to hear directly from the experts on the ground and from Rep. Shalala because during her tenure as Secretary of Health and Human Services she was able to secure the highest immunization rates in the history of the country.
While Congress has stepped up its oversight to understand how these outbreaks happen, our solutions must be driven by the experts on the ground who have stopped outbreaks before and are combatting the disease today.
Snapshots from Around NY-12
I had the distinct honor of speaking at LIM’s 80th graduation ceremony last Friday. I know that these graduates will thrive in the fashion industry and wish them all the best of luck.
Last Friday, I had the privilege to join Councilmember Kallos and Assemblywoman Seawright for the opening of the Stavros Niarchos Foundation at Rockefeller University.
Over the weekend, I had the opportunity to sit down with tenant leaders Claudia Coger and Stephanie Jackson to discuss how we are going to make sure we keep the Astoria Houses Senior Center Open.
Thank you to Councilmember Reynoso for organizing the “Brooklyn and Manufacturing Jobs of the Future” panel discussion on Tuesday night and drawing attention to such a critical issue. I look forward to continuing my work with the Councilmember to make sure we protect North Brooklyn manufacturing jobs.
On Tuesday night, I joined the Kent Avenue & East River State Park Quality of Life Town Hall to talk to community members about their concerns about overcrowding and waste management. I promise to keep working with Assemblymember Joe Lentol to address these issues.
As always, your concerns still and always will remain my top priority. Please do not hesitate to email me through my website.
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Carolyn B. Maloney
Member of Congress