AALDEF today applauded the congressional passage of the James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act of 2010 as a major step to rebuild the lives of heroic first responders and community residents in Lower Manhattan, including Chinatown and the Lower East Side. This legislation will provide long term care for individuals afflicted with 9-11 illnesses in New York and across the nation. The bill was named after an NYPD detective and New Jersey resident who became fatally ill after spending hundreds of hours in the rescue and recovery efforts at Ground Zero.
“Nothing was given, but we would not be denied” said AALDEF Senior Staff Attorney Stanley Mark, who was in DC for the historic Senate and House votes.
Nine years of organizing forged a national grass roots movement led by heroic first responders from all 50 states and survivors living in 23 states. In 2002, Mark spoke with members of Congress and marched with Chinatown residents in New York City and Washington, DC to demand clinical programs that treat, track, and study 9-11 patients. A program for community residents with 9-11 related illnesses was established at Manhattan’s Bellevue Hospital.
In 2010, Mark worked with broad coalition of first responders and community survivors to sustain these clinical programs. After passage of the bill yesterday, Mark said that AALDEF received numerous calls and congratulatory messages from Chinatown and Lower East Side families and friends, police and firefighters, plumbers, carpenters, former AALDEF interns, and individuals suffering from 9-11 related illnesses.
A summary of the provisions of the final 9-11 health bill passed yesterday can be read here.