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Rep. Serrano Recognized As Environmental Champion
2 February 2005
WASHINGTON, Feb. 2 -- Rep. Jose E. Serrano, D-N.Y. (16th CD), issued the following press release:
Today, José E. Serrano (D-NY) was honored with a Friend of the National Parks award from the National Parks Conservation Association (NPCA) for his contribution to protecting and enhancing America's national parks. The award was presented to Members of Congress with exceptional pro-Parks voting records during the 108th Congress (2003-2004). This honor follows on Serrano's earning of a perfect 100% environmental voting record, according to the League of Conservation Voters' National Environmental Scorecard for 2004.
"Our National Parks protect and preserve our national heritage and that's why I'm so proud to accept this award today," said Serrano. "I will continue to advocate for both our global environment as well as environmental justice for our communities in New York. People in areas such as the Bronx are most affected by environmental degradation, and I will continue to fight to make sure that their environment is not shortchanged."
NPCA's Friend of the National Parks award was established in 1999 to track and publicize congressional members' votes on significant park issues. The organization examined six key House votes from the 108th Congress to determine which members voted to support national park or related public land legislation. Congressman Serrano earned a 100% pro-park voting record from the NPCA.
"America's national parks are under siege, suffering from insufficient funding, chronic air pollution, and other threats. Representative Serrano's support is essential for the restoration and preservation of these beloved places," said National Parks Conservation Association President Tom Kiernan. "We look forward to working with him to increase funding and protections for the national parks."
The NPCA award is the latest in a series of environmental honors for Serrano. The League of Conservation Voters (LCV) recently released its prestigious National Environmental Scorecard for 2004 with 11 key environmental votes tallied. On the LCV's scorecard, Serrano earned a 100% pro-environment voting record.
"Rep. Serrano's perfect LCV score in 2004 reflects his deep commitment to the issues that affect his nation and his constituents," said LCV president Deb Callahan. "A Congress full of Jose Serrano's would have us all - literally - breathing easier."
"I am proud to call myself an environmentalist," said Serrano. "And I will continue to stand up to the corporate interests here in Washington and make sure that we do our job to preserve and protect our environment. I have seen the adverse affects of environmental problems first-hand in my own district, where our children suffer from inordinately high asthma rates, for example. We can do so much better but unfortunately many here in Washington lack the political will to do what's right."
Serrano has secured millions of dollars of federal funding for environmental projects in the Bronx, including Bronx River restoration, funding for the Harlem River Greenway, a major university study on the adverse effects of air pollution and asthma in the South Bronx, and a myriad of smaller parks and greenspace projects throughout the borough, as well as funding for the clean-up of the former Navy bombing range on the Puerto Rican island of Vieques. Last month, Serrano introduced innovative legislation on the House floor to create tax incentives for clean fuel vehicle use in highly-polluted areas.
Ben Allen, 202/225-4361.