On Wednesday, May 29 at noon on Greenwich Street between Fulton Street and Dey Street, Council Members Joe Borelli (R-District 51, Staten Island), I. Daneek Miller(D-District 27, Queens), and Margaret Chin (D- District 1, Manhattan) will hold a rally to coincide with the introduction of a City Council Resolution calling on Congress to pass the “Never Forget the Heroes: Permanent Authorization of the September 11th Victim Compensation Fund Act.”
As reported last week, on June 11, 2019 the U.S. House of Representatives Judiciary Committee will hold a hearing on the Never Forget the Heroes Act . In anticipation of the hearing, the City Council will remind 9/11 responders and victims that New York City cares about their own.
However, where we really need support is in other states. Specifically, we need votes from U.S. Senators. So far 38 Senators have agreed to sponsor the Never Forget the Heroes Act. Historically, 9/11 benefit bills have struggled to gain support from Republicans in the Senate. Most notable, is Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) who voted against the James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act of 2010 and blocked the 2015 reauthorization
Yet, in 2016, one year after blocking the Zadroga Act reauthorization, Senator McConnell commented “America remembers not only the horror of those attacks, but the heroism in our response. We saw fire fighters, police officers and first responders rushing into burning buildings as most rushed out.”
Let’s hope Senator McConnell doesn’t forget the heroes when the Never Forget the Heroes Act comes to vote hopefully sometime this summer.
In the meantime, we applaud Council Members Borelli, Daneek Miller, and Margaret Chin in rallying support for, and drawing more attention to, the 9/11 VCF funding crisis and its rescue bill, the Never Forget the Heroes Act.
Council Member Joe Borelli represents the south shore of Staten Island. Staten Island suffered the loss of nearly 300 victims in the 9/11 terrorist attacks. It is also home to over 5,000 victims of 9/11 toxins exposure related illnesses. Additionally, the Fresh Kills Landfill on Staten Island was reopened after 9/11 to served as a receiving area for debris from Ground Zero. The NYPD treated it as an active crime scene. Over 1,200 victims were identified at the Fresh Kills Landfill. It is also included in the 9/11 VCF exposure zone- meaning individuals who worked there between 9/11/01 and 5/30/02 may be eligible for compensation.
Council Member Margaret Chin represents the First Council District in Lower Manhattan which includes the 9/11 VCF exposure zone shown below.
Council Member I. Daneek Miller represents the 27th Council District in Southeast Queens and serves as Chair of the Committee on Civil Service and Labor. Prior to elected office, Council Member Miller served as President of Amalgamated Transportation Union Local 1056. Tens of thousands of uniformed, public sector, and private sector union members served in the 9/11 response, rescue, and recovery efforts.