After years of Washington ignoring the thousands of injured and ill 9/11 Responders and Survivors Congress was finally shamed into passing the “James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act” in 2010.
Because of the outpouring of support for the heroes of 9/11, thousands of injured responders and survivors finally started to get the comprehensive treatment for their injuries and illnesses and the compensation for their economic losses from their injuries that they needed and deserved.
However, the 2010 legislation was due to totally expire in 2016, leaving these heroes, survivors and their families without the medical care and support they need.
We could not let that happen.
That is why Citizens for the Extension of the James Zadroga Act Inc. was created by the unions and groups that worked to get Washington to respond to the health crisis facing so many. Our mission was to make sure the legislation would be renewed and extended.
Citizens for the Extension of the James Zadroga Act and a broad coalition of unions and advocates worked over the years to build overwhelming Congressional support for 9/11 responders and survivors.
In 2015 that work resulted in the Congress acting and making the World Trade Center Health Program permanent and extending the September 11th Victim Compensation Fund for an additional five years.
But now we are faced with the need for more funding for the compensation program or injured 9/11 responders and survivors will see cuts in their determinations and the real possibility that the program will shut down in December 2020 unless Congress acts.
It is not surprising that the number of people coming forward with illnesses and cancers related to their exposure to toxins at Ground Zero grows every single day. Every other day another 9/11 responder or survivor reportedly dies from a 9/11 related cancer. The magnitude of the 9/11 cancer problem, though obvious today, was not entirely known in 2015 when the VCF reauthorization was funded.
Now that these facts have become known, and we have a better understanding of the number of people that are sick and dying from their 9/11 exposures, it is up to Congress to act.
Congress must provide the funds needed by VCF so that these potential cuts will not happen—cuts that would impact the lives of those injured and still suffering, as well as the families of those that have died.
Remember it was the Federal Government that said the air was safe to breathe.
It was also the Federal Government that refused for years to take responsibility, to do the research and respond to the health crisis that is facing so many.
So, Citizens for the Extension will be working to make sure that the Compensation program is fully funded and that in 2020, when the September 11th Victim Compensation Fund will be made permanent.
We will work to make sure that Congress does in fact continue to remember 9/11 and the injured and ill responders, survivors and their families.
Citizens for the Extension of the James Zadroga Act Inc. is a 501(C) 4
Citizens for the Extension of the James Zadroga Act Inc. Board of Directors
Suzy Balllantyne, Chief of Staff to the Democratic New York State Senate
Ryan Delgado, Political Director, New York State AFL-CIO
Liam Guilfoyle, Uniformed Fire Officers Association
Thomas Hart, Health and Safety Officer International Union of Operating Engineers Local 94
Peg Seminario, Safety and Health Director, AFL-CIO
Micki Siegel de Hernández,, Health and Safety Director for the Communications Workers of America (CWA), District 1
James Slevin, Vice President, Uniformed Firefighters Association, IAFF Local 94, AFL-CIO
Wanda Williams, Director of Political Action and Legislation (PAL) Department of District Council 37 (DC 37) of the American Federation of State, County & Municipal Employees (AFSCME) AFL-CIO
Ben Chevat, Executive Director
Citizens for the Extension of the James Zadroga Act, Inc.
15 Cheviot Court
Clifton Park, NY 12065
Phone: (646) 787-6184
Page revised 10/15/18