(Extensions of Remarks - March 29, 2004)

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[Extensions of Remarks]
[Pages E471-E472]
From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Publishing Office []

                            30TH ANNIVERSARY


                          HON. JOSE E. SERRANO

                              of new york

                    in the house of representatives

                         Monday, March 29, 2004

  Mr. SERRANO. Mr. Speaker, it is with great pleasure that I rise today 
to pay tribute to the Northwest Bronx Community and Clergy Coalition as 
they celebrate their 30th anniversary.
  Formed in 1974, the NWBCCC is a 501(c)3 organization with the mission 
of uniting area residents to identify common problems and empowering 
them to work together to solve them. The NWBCCC unites nine 
neighborhood organizations and a youth organization, Sistas and Brothas 
United, in an effort to improve the neighborhoods of the Bronx. They 
seek to influence the most important decisions that are made within 
their community, such as private investment patterns, the delivery of 
government services and major land use considerations.
  This important organization is engaged in several initiatives aimed 
at improving housing and education. The NWBCCC Housing Committee 
provides tenant organizing assistance to over 75 tenant associations, 
resulting in hundreds of repairs and reinvestments to buildings each 
year. NWBCCC has also worked extensively to reduce overcrowding in 
schools. In 1999 and 2000 the organization's efforts led to the 
construction of over six new schools and annexes.
  Mr. Speaker, what impresses me the most about this organization is 
its commitment to youth. Sistas and Brothas United, the youth 
organization within NWBCCC, has made great strides to help develop the 
minds of the youth in my community. SBU organizes hundreds of 
neighborhood youth to build youth leadership in order to identify local 
problems and work to bring about solutions. SBU's work currently 
focuses on school reform, campaigns to renovate abandoned buildings to 
become schools and youth centers, and efforts to improve parks and 
traffic safety.
  In an effort to raise the consciousness of people within their 
community, some of the members of SBU have begun to compose and perform 
thought provoking and insightful poetry. The following is a poem that 
was written by Jorman Nunez and Jacklyn Torres, active members of SBU.

     JN: Jacky And I are going to tell ya something from our 
           prospective so listen to our lyrics
     JT: Jorman got something to tell yall now, so Jorman let em 
           hear it
     JN: Asthma rates have been going up and all I do is gasp and 
     What are they doing to fix this? They're building another 
           filtration plant
     And what amazes me is in the Bronx they want to do it
     Using the excuse of in a couple of years our water's going to 
           be polluted
     Trying to take the Bronx down well we don't want to destroy 
     Besides . . . the only reason it's going to get polluted is 
           cause they're constantly letting development be done 
           over our water
     so they're basically polluting our water and trying to fix it 
           later as a solution
     And build a plant to put smoke in there air and cause more 
     There's something else I want to say ladies and gents
     Check this out look at this environmental statement
     Planning to build it in our low class area cause the 
           statement say they should
     And rejected putting it in another place just cause it was a 
           white upper class neighborhood
     We have to do whatever in our power to stop this by all means
     Cause I'm tired of seeing all this atrocious disappointing 
     JT: Attention every one, ladies and gentlemen gather round
     The other night I'm writing a poem and my ceiling's fallin 
     Now yall must be wondering if my landlord is a clown
     Well his name's * * * * *, so how does that sound
     Since the landlord don't wanna help with the infestation of 
     I guess the only solution is to buy 10,000 cats
     And as the funds for us go up, the neighborhood's still in 
     Unfortunately, because of this, a small child lost his life
     Even after this, we remain on the same path
     How many more casualties will we have, you do the math
     So until these the problems are solved, don't even think of 
           us relaxin
     Cuz I still can't understand why a slumlord lives in a 
     So I've said what yall need to know until we see better days
     But my turn is over so Jorman say what you gotta say
     JN: This has been keeping me up and I can't even rest
     I just need to get a couple of things off my chest
     the Governor is probably annoyed and thinks he's being 
     Shouldn't we be angry whenever he says education is vital and 
           doesn't even mean it
     Politicians get angry when we get so mad we shiver and 
     But don't we have a right to be angry when we have books 
           older than my grandmother
     Governor I got something to tell you only once there won't be 
           a sequel
     We never are going to stop bothering you until all education 
           is equal
     Governor when I see you I'm going to be mean with my 
     You're going to hear all of the angry voices of the 
           minorities that you said only need an 8th grade 
     I think you and the position of governor should start doing 
           its separation
     Cause the last time I checked governors aren't suppose to 
           gamble with our education
     They're suppose to help with problems that come along until 
           they see no
     But I guess he just rather be gambling with our future in one 
           of his casinos
     But listen I'm done I don't want to waste more of your time
     Jacky it's your turn give them a piece of your mind
     JT: Soldiers of society trying to keep their eyes on me
     In their hands is my education
     And I blindly search for academic salvation
     Though I have no books to read, no chairs to sit in, no room 
           to breathe
     And yall say keep your head up
     Well, to tell you the truth, I'm fed up
     Even the Governor says we don't need college
     All we need is an eight-grade education?
     Yeah, that's enough knowledge
     Though my sarcasm seems amusing,
     It's dripping with the truth

[[Page E472]]

     Why does the government fail to realize the importance of our 
     Governor, I have some things I'd like to say
     But they would be inappropriate
     So Jorman, it's your turn to play
     JN: Jacky ya kind of mad ya need to rest
     At least both of us got that stress off our chest
     So that's just a part of what we know I hope this wasn't a 
     I just want to let ya see a couple of our points get across
     JT: Yo Jorman look at their faces, don't they look kind of 
     JN: And that was just us two imagine all of us as one 
     JT: Man, if they only knew the power they hold in their 
           hearts and in their voices
     JN: Together they have the power to move mountains its all up 
           to there choices
     JT: So Jorman don't you think it's about time they get 
     JN: Yeah cause if all of us unite all out problems would be 
     JT: Yeah, we should follow the examples of Rosa Parks, 
           Malcolm X, and Dr. King
     JN: Cause they all fought for what they believed in and now 
           they're letting freedom ring
     JN & JT: You have power in a lot of things, don't listen to 
           all their lies
     Cuz no one can ever take away your right to organize

  This powerful poem demonstrates the level of awareness these youth 
possess and their strong commitment to empowering their community.
  Mr. Speaker, through housing and education initiatives as well as 
youth empowerment programs the NWBCCC continues to provide invaluable 
service to the people of the Bronx. For their 30 years of service, I 
ask that my colleagues join me in honoring this remarkable