Press Release

Gillibrand Announces Senate Passage of Additional $5 Million in Homeland Security Money for Non-Profits and Religious Institutions

Jul 10, 2009

-U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand today announced the U.S. Senate passed the
Homeland Security Appropriations Bill that included an additional $5 million
dollars in federal anti-terror funding to help safeguard civil, religious and
community institutions from terrorist attack, for a total of $20 million in
federal resources. Funding last year for The Urban Area Security Initiative
(UASI) non-profit program was an insufficient $15 million. Senator Gillibrand
worked hard for these federal dollars to help prevent New York City religious
and cultural institutions. In New York State alone, only 55 of 137 applications
were able to receive any funding at all.

“These federal dollars will arm our non-profits with the resources they need to
guard us from attacks and keep us safe,” Senator Gillibrand said. “No New
Yorker, or American, should ever have to live and worship in fear of being
targeted because of who they are or what they believe. But as New York City’s
places of faith, worship and community gatherings continue to be targeted by
hatred, we need to step up our efforts to protect them.”

In response to the May arrests of four attempted terrorists targeting two
Jewish synagogues in New York City, Senator Gillibrand wrote to the Senate
Subcommittee on Homeland Security calling for greater federal investments for
the Urban Area Security Initiative (UASI) non-profit program to guard New York
City’s civil, religious and community institutions against threats of terrorist

The UASI budget experienced devastating cuts during the Bush administration –
providing insufficient funding to give non-profit organization the funding they
need to protect community centers and places of worship.  In her letter to
Chairman Robert Byrd and Ranking Member George Voinovich, Senator Gillibrand
wrote, “Our community leaders and citizens need to know that they are safe in
their community centers and places of worship, and we need to help provide them
the resources to ensure their safety.”