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House Passes AOC’s Funding Requests for Several Community Projects

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (Twitter)

Aug. 2, 2021 By Allie Griffin

The U.S. House of Representatives has passed Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s 10 funding requests for community services — of which eight requests are for projects in Queens and two in the Bronx.

The House passed a bill late Thursday that includes an allocation for updating the obstetrical facilities at Elmhurst Hospital; additional funds to hire counselors at high schools; and more resources to expand several job training programs throughout her district. The Senate will vote on the bill this week.

The House bill included Ocasio-Cortez’s request for $3 million toward Elmhurst Hospital to renovate its obstetrical inpatient facilities. The money would fund the creation of private rooms for mothers giving birth and breastfeeding, which Elmhurst Hospital currently doesn’t have.

“It is imperative to provide equitable maternal care to the working class and immigrant communities surrounding Elmhurst hospital,” Ocasio-Cortez said.

She also requested $2 million, which was passed in the bill, for Chhaya Community Development Corporation, a Jackson Heights-based organization that provides housing assistance to residents primarily from the South Asian community. The money would help the nonprofit procure a bigger building for its headquarters and/or hire additional staff in order to serve more people.

The congresswoman requested $225,000 for Queens Community House, an organization that provides many services including offering alternative high schools for students who have either dropped out of school or fallen substantially behind in credits. The funds would be used by QCH to hire additional family support counselors to support students.

The House also passed Ocasio-Cortez’s request for $96,150 toward a local health center in Corona. Urban Health Plan – Plaza Del Sol Family Health Center would use the funds to expand and upgrade its telehealth technology to serve more patients.

The House approved two funding requests for Sunnyside Community Services as well.

Ocasio-Cortez requested $175,000 for the nonprofit’s home health aide training program, which helps unemployed and underemployed individuals, primarily immigrant women, break into the healthcare field.

Additionally, she requested $100,000 for Sunnyside Community Services to institute a college access program at the Woodside Houses community center. The funding would support 70 young people who are primarily low-income people of color, by offering the “Too Good for Violence” curriculum, which utilizes social learning theory to develop interpersonal, pro-social and peaceful behaviors facilitated by trained staff in order to build safer relationships and communities.

The House also approved Ocasio-Cortez’s request for $138,450 to restore two public waterfront platforms at Flushing Bay. The money would go to the Coastal Preservation Network, which would restore and stabilize the two public access platforms in College Point that are in dire need of repair.

Additionally, the House passed her $55,000 request for the expansion of a workforce development program at the Emerald Isle Immigration Center in Woodside. The program would help 250 people with job counseling and training.

In the Bronx, nearly $400,000 has been allocated toward a Stand Up to Violence program at New York City Health + Hospitals/Jacobi. Meanwhile, $795,000 would go toward a job training program in the emerging offshore wind industry at the SUNY New York Maritime College.

Ocasio-Cortez initially requested funding for the projects in May.

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