2005-04-01 / Community

Addabbo Sponsors Iraq, School Bills

City Councilmember Joseph P. Addabbo, Jr. announced that he has cosponsored Resolutions in the Council calling on the House of Representatives and the United States Senate to pass legislation supporting our troops in Iraq and Afghanistan and to provide homeland security funding in order to ensure safety and security in all New York City schools.

Addabbo said there are an estimated 150,000 members of the United States Armed Forces currently engaged in operations in Iraq, with another 16,000 serving in Afghanistan. It is estimated that nearly fifty percent of the United States forces in Iraq is comprised of members of the reserves who have been called to active duty.

According to the Pentagon, as of December 1, 2004 there were more than 7,400 New York reservists, including 2,406 from New York City, on activated status in the National Guard and Reserves.

A recent study indicated that approximately forty-one percent of New York military reservist families are losing significant amounts of income while they serve on active-duty status because their full-time employers do not pay them their salary while serving overseas.

In an effort to ease the economic hardships that many reservists encounter, the “Standing With Our Troops Act of 2005” has been introduced in the United States Senate. This Act would ensure that the strength of the Armed Forces and the protections and benefits for members of the Armed Forces and their families are adequate to support military service members.

Addabbo called on the United States Senate to pass the “Standing With Our Troops Act of 2005,” and the House of Representatives to introduce and pass similar legislation.

Addabbo’s concern for the safety of City school students has led him to cosponsor a Resolution in the Council calling on the federal government to provide homeland security funding for the City schools.

“With approximately 1.1 million students that attend public schools in New York City and an additional 267,000 students that attend non-public schools, it is imperative that these children are safe and secure while at school,” said Addabbo.

He said that the U.S. Department of Homeland Security can play an important role in easing the financial burdens on New York City private and public schools so that they may establish adequate security measures to protect their students. However, Addabbo noted that currently the majority of federal homeland security funding is allocated for infrastructure protection, salaries and training for law enforcement members, information analysis, defense science and technology, and emergency preparedness facilitation.

“As part of the department’s goal to keep the U.S. safe it should allocate homeland security funding for schools in vulnerable areas,” said Addabbo in urging the federal government to provide homeland security funding in order to ensure safety and security in all New York City schools.

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