By Martin Heinrich Press Office
U.S. Senator Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.) joined a bipartisan group of Senators in pressing for robust community safety funding in any FY19 appropriations package. Specifically, the Senators have called for a minimum of $50 million for the Urban Areas Security Initiative (UASI) and $10 million for the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Nonprofit Security Grant program which helps nonprofit organizations like religious institutions, schools, and community centers make security improvements. This follows the mass shooting last month at the Tree of Life Congregation in Pittsburgh, the third mass shooting event in a house of worship in three years and the deadliest attack on the American Jewish community in our country’s history.
“We regret that nonprofit organizations – especially religious institutions, schools, and community centers – have become targets for violent attacks and believe we have a responsibility to address the motivating factors behind these threats,” wrote the Senators. “But as long as the threat remains, we must take steps to ensure these facilities have the necessary resources to improve their security if they wish to do so. While we recognize much more remains to be done beyond investing in security, we urge your strong support for robust funding of the Nonprofit Security Grant program in the FY19 appropriations cycle and stand ready to work with you on this issue.”
Senator Heinrich has been a strong advocate of improving funding and resources for faith-based community centers and has led efforts to combat anti-Semitism at home and abroad.