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Local Non-Profits will Benefit from Record Funding Levels Congresswoman Lowey Secured
On June 30, Congresswoman Nita Lowey (D-NY17/Rockland-Westchester), Chairwoman of the House Appropriations Committee, announced 22 organizations in the 17th Congressional District will receive $2,265,088 in federal funding from the Department Homeland Security (DHS)’s Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) through the Urban Areas Security Initiative (UASI) and State Homeland Security Grant Program (SHSGP) which provide critical assistance to states and localities to prepare and respond to terrorist attacks. Both UASI and SHSGP support target hardening and other physical security enhancements to nonprofit organizations that are at high risk of a terrorist attack through their respective Nonprofit Security Grant Programs (NSGP-U and NSGP-S). In addition, the Rockland County Sheriff will receive $22,388 and the Westchester County Public Safety Department will receive $57, 000 through FEMA’s Port Security Grant Program (PSGP), which supports national preparedness across a broad range of maritime security concerns and cybersecurity capabilities.
“Since I was first appointed to the Select Committee on Homeland Security following the attacks on September 11th and as a long-time member of the House Appropriations Committee which I now chair, I have prioritized delivering the security assistance we need to protect New Yorkers,” said Congresswoman Lowey. “While I wish these initiatives were not necessary, I am proud to have secured record levels of funding for vital security measures to keep us safe and secure in the Lower Hudson Valley. White supremacy is an alarming and deadly threat to us all, and with the recent anti-Semitic attack in Monsey and hate crimes on the rise across the country, this funding is critical to protect non-profits and local residents.”
In fiscal year 2018, Congresswoman Lowey created the new $10 million Nonprofit Security Grant Program (NSGP-S) carve-out within SHSGP to support nonprofit organizations located outside of UASI-designated urban areas. While Westchester is part of the NYC Area UASI region, making its nonprofits eligible for assistance previously, Rockland is not and was previously unable to access federal funding to protect its nonprofits until Lowey established the NSGP-S program.
In the fiscal year 2020 Homeland Security spending bill, she successfully increased NSGP-S funding by 300% to $40 million, resulting in awards for 16 Rockland County entities. In order to support nonprofits’ preparedness capabilities to prevent, protect against, mitigate, respond to, and recover from threats and hazards that pose the greatest risk, these funds can be used for increased security such as cameras and other equipment, planning, contracted personnel, physical building hardening such as bulletproof glass, gates, and reinforced doors and other preventative measures.
“As Senior Rabbi of Temple Beth El of Northern Westchester, I am deeply grateful for the funds our congregation will receive toward our security needs on behalf of the Non-profit Security Grant Program,” said Temple Beth El of Northern Westchester Rabbi Jonathan Jaffe. “In these anxious times, this support is especially appreciated. We will direct these funds toward the continued safety and well-being of the hundreds of children, families and individuals who call our synagogue home. Thank you so much to Representative Lowey and her colleagues for making the security of our houses of worship a long-term priority.”
“As you know, synagogues in particular have had to increase our security due to the rise in anti-Semitic incidents over the past few years, especially after the murder of 11 people at the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh in 2018,” said Congregation Sons of Israel Rabbi Steven Kane. “The cost of added security has been very difficult for our community to bear and it has meant cutting back on services we want to provide to our members. This grant will enable us to provide what we hope will be the necessary security arrangements without our having to put off other necessities that mean so much to our community. Congresswoman Lowey’s leadership in making certain that the people she represents receive proper support from the government has always been remarkable. On behalf of my entire community I want to thank Congresswoman Lowey for her leadership and making these so very needed security funds available to us.”
“Thanks to Congresswoman Nita Lowey’s support, our congregation is receiving a sizeable FEMA Non-Profit Security Grant, thus enabling us (post-COVID) to gather our people in joy and with peace of mind,” said Bet Am Shalom Rabbi Lester Bronstein. “We religious institutions know that prayer gives meaning to life and hope to humanity, but that communities can only pray together when they feel safe to do so. This grant, then, is a prayer answered. Leadership is often a test of doing the truly helpful thing when the situation is entirely unprecedented, and when no script is available. Congresswoman Lowey has demonstrated that kind of original leadership throughout her magnificent sixteen-term career in the House of Representatives. She knows that religious congregations are part of the glue that holds society together, and that we cannot serve our people or the greater public at this time without hugely expensive additions to our security apparatus. Therefore, she has gone out of her way to find the money to help us bear those costs.”
Lowey also secured $50 million for nonprofits within UASI regions and $100 million for the Port Security Grant Program in the FY20 Homeland Security spending bill:
Westchester 17th Congressional District Grant Recipients Include:
• Bet Am Shalom Synagogue, White Plains - $100,000
• Congregation Sons of Israel of Ossining, Briarcliff - $100,000
• Hebrew Congregation of North Tarrytown & Tarrytown, Temple Beth Abraham, Tarrytown - $100,000
• Jewish Community Center of White Plains, Congregation Kol Ami, White Plains - $90,800
• Temple Beth El of Northern Westchester, Chappaqua - $100,000
• Temple Israel Center, White Plains - $100,000
As Chairwoman of the House Appropriations Committee, Congresswoman Lowey was instrumental in securing increased funding to support non-profit security after successfully creating the program three years ago, along with securing other resources critical to enhance regional preparedness and security capabilities. In July’s upcoming Appropriations negotiations, Congresswoman Lowey will lead efforts to continue increasing these vital non-profit security initiatives and lead Democrats in securing must-pass investments across important Democratic priorities in addition to security, including: health care, election security, child care, gun violence prevention, housing, transportation, medical research, and more.