July 15, 2024
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Aiming to Get Federal Help to You: Rep. Bill Pascrell Sets Up Satellite Office in Englewood

Englewood—Congressman Bill Pascrell cut the ribbon on his new satellite office in Englewood last week, and let local constituents know that his staff is there to help them find out about federal programs available to them—and help them apply for those programs. With a main district office is in Paterson, Pascrell believes that easy access for his constituents is paramount, so he set up three satellite offices, one each in Lyndhurst and Passaic, and now one in Englewood, a short ride for residents of nearby towns.

Pascrell also introduced Assad Efron, his Deputy Chief of Staff, a Muslim who heads the Paterson office, who is Muslim, told everyone that Ben Rich, his Chief of Staff in D.C. is Jewish and that he’s a devout Catholic, and so he tries to cover as many bases as possible.

“One of my top priorities in Congress has been and will continue to be to address the individual needs of the people I proudly represent,” said he said to the crowd after the ribbon cutting. “From veterans accessing their benefits, to individuals seeking lost Social Security checks, to seniors having someone to help answer questions about their Medicare benefits, cutting through the bureaucratic red tape can be a daunting task at times. I thank Mayor Huttle and the City Council for helping provide the opportunity to assist individuals with their federal representation.”

The office will share space in the mayor’s office on Tuesdays and Thursdays and case worker Shannon McGee will be on duty to serve the needs of North Jersyians. The Lyndhurst office, open on Wednesdays and Fridays, will serve southern Bergen and Hudson Counties.

Englewood Mayor Frank Huttle joined Pascrell for the grand opening and acknowledged the benefits of the new office to Englewood residents and surrounding communities. “Congressman Pascrell …has always been a hands-on leader, and having a satellite office right here in Englewood will be a huge benefit… . I look forward to working with him as he rolls up his sleeves and provides our community with the services they need.”

Pascrell and Huttle were joined for the ribbon cutting by State Sen. Loretta Weinberg, Assemblyman Gordon Johnson, and Englewood Cliffs Mayor Joseph Parisi, along with two young residents of the area. [Picture]

The event was attended by 30 to 40 enthusiastic constituents, and Pascrell answered all of their questions. Asked about his highest priorities are, he listed jobs and healthcare. He is a strong supporter of the Affordable Care Act, saying the old system of healthcare financing was unsustainable. Its burdensome costs were the cause of 60% of business bankruptcies and left millions with no insurance at all. Changing from a fee-for-service system is essential in reducing costs and improving service quality. He said that Englewood Hospital and the Hackensack University Medical Center were taking steps in the right direction.

Asked about the effects of sequestration, he said “This is serious business. I will do everything in my power to end this government shut-down.” He went on to say that there are many ways to shut down government services, drop-by-drop or curtailing full programs, such as the National Parks, SNAP (the food stamp program), and Head Start. His offices will also be assisting residents with programs such as FEMA assistance to victims of storms, mortgage relief, immigration issues, and the Affordable Care Act, commonly known as Obamacare, which includes Medicaid.

“Whether they agree with me on every issue or not, they trust that I am working for their good,” he said. He also said that it’s not just about a voting record, it’s also about pushing bills forward for the benefit of the community….like getting one passed for the light rail service to Englewood and the Cross-County Light Rail, which was supported by the previous governor, but Gov. Christie cannot find any money for it.

Pascrell decried House hearings on poverty, run by the Republican majority, whose invited witnesses, he said, “were curiously all white, middle-class and above.” He added, poverty “Dante’s Inferno is where people who gain from other people’s pain should go…,” while decrying blatant attempts to distort the truth, disinform, or lie “You are entitled to your own opinion,” he said, “but not to your own set of facts.”

He went on to fault Congress for only presenting 16 or 17 significant bills in this session. “How many post offices can you name?” he asked. “Pretty soon they will begin to re-name all of them.” The House has voted 40 times to abolish the Affordable Care Act to no avail. Asked about a bill currently being proposed by Sen. Steve King (R – IA) that would remove any protections for all animals, from cats and dogs to horses and cattle, he said “King is off the planet. He doesn’t know what he is talking about.”

Said Pascrell, a former high school teacher, “I have spent my entire public career as a Mayor, as a State legislator, and now in Congress, listening to individuals who ask about how government can work better for them.” The satellite offices are “a resource nearby to assist them with any concern, from help dealing with a federal agency to a Capitol tour request.” All inquiries are welcomed.

Pascrell’s Summer Town Hall Meeting

Come Discuss Issues of Vital Importance To All Americans

Wed., Aug. 27, 6:30 – 8:00 PM

Cliffside Park Municipal Building

Council Chambers,

525 Palisade Ave.

For further information, call 973-523-5152.

Pascrell’s phone numbers:

Paterson 973-523-5152.

Englewood and Lyndhurst 201-935-2248

Passaic 973-472-4510.

In reference to the House hearings’ witnesses on poverty “Dante’s Inferno is where people who gain  from other people’s pain should go.”

In answering a question about the lack of competition and high prices in the cable industry, Pascrell said that cable industry deregulation is the fault of both parties. He is looking into what can be done about the problem.

By Stephen Tencer

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