Congresswoman Yvette D. Clarke’s October 1, 2021 Newsletter

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To the Good People of New York’s 9th Congressional District,

I hope this edition of the Yvette Gazette finds you well, and I thank you for tuning in to hear from me on the work I have done in Congress. Always remember, I cannot do it alone. Through the support of passionate individuals such as yourself, we bring tangible, meaningful change to our district.
To reach out to my office, send us an email at clarke.house.gov/contact/email/ . If you’d like to call, you can reach my D.C. office at 202-225-6231 or my Brooklyn office at 718-287-1142.  Remember to encourage your neighbors to sign up for this newsletter at clarke.house.gov/contact/newsletter/ .

If you’d like daily updates on my work in Congress, visit my website Facebook Twitter , and Instagram pages.  I wish you well, and I look forward to my next opportunity to get in touch with you.

Regards,
Yvette D. Clarke
Member of Congress

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Updated COVID-19 Safety Measures for Our Students

Recently, the New York City Department of Education announced two critical changes to our public schools’ COVID-19 policies that every parent should be aware of: First and foremost, testing for the virus will increase from biweekly to weekly and will continue to take place for 10% of unvaccinated students in grades 1 – 12. Secondly, starting Monday, September 27, one positive case in a classroom will no longer warrant the entire classroom being closed. For more information about these changes, visit the NYC DoE website here .

Third batch of Advance Child Tax Credit Payments sent in September
The third batch of advance Child Tax Credit (CTC) monthly payments, totaling about $15 billion, was sent out to 35 million families in September across the country. The majority of payments were issued by direct deposit. Under the American Rescue Plan, most eligible families received payments dated July 15 and August 13, along with the September payment. Future payments are scheduled for October 15, November 15 and December 15. For these families, each payment is up to $300 per month for each child under age 6 and up to $250 per month for each child ages 6 through 17.It’s not too late for families who haven’t filed a 2020 income tax return—including those who are not normally required to file because their incomes are too low—to sign up for advance CTC payments. Most low-income families can get these monthly payments.

Upcoming Community Health Fair

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Tax Relief for Victims of Hurricane Ida

The IRS recently announced individuals, households, and businesses affected by the remnants of Hurricane Ida in Bronx, Kings, Nassau, New York, Queens, Richmond, Suffolk, Sullivan and Westchester counties now may qualify for tax relief in the form of an extension to file their taxes until January 3, 2022. To learn more about this extension and if you qualify, please read the IRS’s full release here .

Excelsior Pass Plus App

New York’s recently launched Excelsior Pass Plus app contains a secure, digital record of your COVID-19 vaccination history. With information such as vaccine type, site, and date of vaccination, the app provides New Yorkers with the an easy to use means of accessing their records whenever needed. Learn more about the Excelsior Pass Plus and Excelsior Pass here .

New York’s Emergency Rental Assistance Program
New York State’s Emergency Rental Assistance Program is now open to applicants. For low and moderate-income households facing instability with their housing, this program will provide invaluable aid in the form of rental arrears, temporary rental assistance and utility arrears assistance. For more information, and to apply, click here .

Getting Vaccinated

To overcome the COVID-19 virus once and for all, it will take as many of us as possible to do our part and get vaccinated. If you haven’t received your COVID-19 vaccine but are interested in doing so, and New Yorkers ages 12 years and older can receive their vaccine at select sites across our city found here . If you’d like to make an appointment to get vaccinated, please click here to find a location that best suits you. For New Yorkers who are ages 75 and older, an in-home vaccination appointment can be made here , or by calling 1-877-VAX-4-NYC. We are so close to the finish line; let’s cross it together!

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Sponsored Legislation : This week, I introduced the following bill to the House of Representatives:

  • H.R. 5156
    The Smart Technologies for Accessible and Resilient Transportation (START) Act would renew and expand the Obama Administration’s 2015 Smart Cities Challenge to generate unprecedented levels of investment in Smart City projects that will reshape local transportation systems across the nation. The START Act reinvigorates federal efforts around Smart City and community transportation projects that will benefit communities of all sizes by reducing transportation costs, traffic congestion, air pollution, energy use, and carbon emissions, while simultaneously enhancing transportation access, equity, efficiency, resilience, safety, security, and sustainability. Specifically, the bill will revolutionize the technological capabilities of several underprivileged communities which will translate into lives saved, fewer crime incidents, shorter commutes, and a reduced health burden. Moreover, the START Act will ensure that the federal government plays an active role in supporting our Smart City efforts as we ready for the challenges of the coming decades.

Co-Sponsored Legislation: This week, I lent my support and commitment to the following bill:

  • H.R. 5347
    This bill, the Alternatives to Detention Act of 2021, would require the Secretary of Homeland Security to use alternative detention measurers, such as community-based supervision and community support for certain vulnerable immigrant populations as they await the outcome of their immigration cases. Our country is currently experiencing unprecedent levels of immigrants being detained around the country and startling reports of mistreatment and inhumane conditions in detention centers. Congress must take immediate action to safeguard immigrant and refugee families to ensure that they are giving the respect and civility that they deserve.

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CLARKE ISSUES STATEMENT ON HER DECISION TO VOTE AGAINST THE BIPARTISAN INFRASTRUCTURE FRAMEWORK

Centered in our responsibilities as members of Congress is service to the people, their communities, and their best interests. With President Biden’s Build Back Better Agenda, we were presented with the unique opportunity to secure generational progress for millions of Americans and make good on our commitments to our constituents. Meaningful strides in overcoming climate change, delivering necessary care for our children and our health, diminishing poverty for the underprivileged and underrepresented groups among us, and too many other transformative investments to list were all within America’s grasp through the President’s agenda. Despite Build Back Better’s support from upwards of 96% of the Democratic Caucus and its overwhelming popularity among Americans, the tragic, disheartening reality is a handful of this Congress’s malcontents would prefer to serve special interests and their own rather than their country and the people who elected them. We progressives were asked incessantly to compromise, to show faith in those who offered none in return, to meet them in the middle. We have repeatedly done so, yet rather than reciprocate our good faith, they only continue to backpedal and redefine what the middle means. Enough is enough. Let me be very clear: I am a hard no on the infrastructure bill without a vote on reconciliation. Both packages are needed to move forward and Build Back Better for the American people. We have an opportunity to bring substantive change to this country, and I intend to hold up our end of the deal.

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