By Paula Katinas Brooklyn Daily Eagle
Elected officials who fought for passage of the James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act to provide health coverage for Sept. 11 first responders praised the decision by health experts to recommend that cancer be among the diseases that will now be included in the coverage.
Senators Kirsten Gillibrand and Charles Schumer issued a statement after the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health announced a final rule accepting all of the Science/Technical Advisory Committee’s recommendations to add certain cancers to the list of covered conditions for World Trade Center Health Program.
“We fought long and hard to make sure that our 9/11 heroes suffering from cancers obtained from their work at Ground Zero get the help they deserve,” senators Gillibrand and Schumer stated. “Today’s announcement is a huge step forward that will provide justice and support to so many who are now suffering from cancer and other illnesses. We will press on – with advocates, the community, and our partners in government – to ensure that all those who suffered harm from 9-11 and its aftermath get the access to the program they so desperately need.”
Rep. Michael Grimm also issued a statement applauding the decision. Grimm stated that the new guidelines mean that 50 different types of cancer would be covered.
“Our brave first responders put their lives on the line in the aftermath of 9/11, working around the clock in the dust cloud of toxins in rescue and clean-up operations. We had no way of knowing what health ailments would result in the years to follow, but as more scientific evidence has come forth in the last decade, it is clear that the initial level of coverage was not enough to sufficiently care for those affected,” Grimm said.
“This long overdue decision will allow us to uphold our commitment to the first responders who became ill after the attacks, and ensure that they receive the medical care and treatment they deserve,” he said.
The monthly jobs report issued by the federal government on Sept. 7 did not impress U.S. Rep. Bob Turner.
“The numbers do not lie. For yet another month we have received a bleak jobs report. The policies set forth to accomplish the goal of restoring our economy to its prominence by President Obama are clearly not working. Our unemployment rate has remained above eight percent for 43 consecutive months. Things have gotten so dire, that over 368,000 of our family, friends, and neighbors have given up looking for work, an absolutely unacceptable statistic,” Turner said.
“What’s worse, while millions of Americans remain out of work or underemployed, our national debt has soared past $16 trillion and the cost of living has skyrocketed thanks to surging gas prices and health care costs only increasing the financial burden on American families already struggling to get by. It is time to change our approach to the economy to start making a real dent in bringing the unemployment rate down,” he said.
Assemblywoman Rhoda Jacobs attended the 10th anniversary celebration for the Urban Women's Safe Haven, a Brooklyn shelter run by the Urban Resource Institute that houses and supports domestic violence victims and their families.
Victims shared their stories with Jacobs, who talked about her efforts in the legislature to help survivors of domestic violence on the road to recovery.
Jacobs sponsored a bill to allow domestic violence victims stay in residential programs for an additional 45 days to protect them and their families while they secure safe, alternative housing. The bill would amend the current policy, which stipulates that domestic violence victims may not stay in residential programs for more than 90 days.
"I was initially told the stay at domestic violence group homes could not be extended because they needed the space for other survivors. It took three years of fighting, but if we can find the money to make more space in prisons (which costs more) we can certainly find the money to ensure the safety of domestic violence victims and their families," Jacobs said.
Jacobs said it can often take up to a year for a domestic violence victim to secure permanent housing away from the abuser.
Assemblywoman Nicole Malliotakis has been endorsed for re-election by the New York State Nurses Association (NYSNA), the largest professional association for nurses in the state. The group credited Malliotakis for supporting critical legislation for New York's nurses.
"Assemblywoman Malliotakis has spent a day in nurses’ shoes and seen firsthand the challenges we face every day," Julie Pinkham, NYSNA's executive director, said. "We appreciate the initiative she has shown in reaching out to our members, and look forward to her support in passing a bill to ensure adequate nurse staffing levels so that every patient gets the care they need when they need it. Nurses know that safe staffing levels mean better outcomes for our patients."
Malliotakis said she is grateful for the endorsement. “New York's nurses touch the lives of our friends, family and neighbors each and every day, providing critical services that can often be the difference between life and death. These are some of the hardest working professionals in our great state, and I am proud to fight for them in the legislature, ensuring access to the tools they need to provide their world-class health care services in a safe environment,” she said.
Malliotakis celebrated National Nurses Week by volunteering as an honorary Nurse-for-a-Day at Maimonides Medical Center.
State Sen. David Storobin celebrated the opening of his campaign office on Ocean Avenue with Craig Eaton and Gerry Kassar, the chairmen of the Brooklyn Republican and Conservative parties, respectively.
Both political party leaders are backing Storobin.
“We’re 100 percent behind Senator Storobin. He is the real conservative in this race. Senator Storobin stands for conservative values, faith, and traditional marriage. He’s leading the fight for vouchers for religious families. And he’s dedicated to cutting taxes and spending,” Kassar said.
“I’m asking all Republicans in this district to support our Republican state senator, David Storobin. Senator Storobin will fight for these middle-class families, to cut their taxes, create jobs and preserve traditional values,” Eaton said.
Storobin said the Republican and Conservative parties are uniting behind his campaign because “they know what’s at stake in this election.”
The campaign office is located at 2384 Ocean Ave. in Sheepshead Bay.