Firefighters Endorse McMahon for Congress
Standing with UFOA and UFA, McMahon Outlines Proposals to Care for Ailing 9/11 First Responders
September 4, 2008 – The Uniformed Fire Officers Association and Uniformed Firefighters Association, the political voice for New York's firefighters, today announced their endorsement of Michael McMahon for United States Congress in New York's 13th Congressional District. The announcement came in front of FDNY Engine Company 168 on Staten Island’s South Shore, where McMahon worked with his fellow Council members to include much needed fire services during the station’s construction in 2004.
McMahon has a long record of fighting for the resources our first responders need to keep New Yorkers safe including his work on the City Council to provide health coverage for first responders sickened by their work following the September 11th attacks, vocally supporting victims and relatives in their effort to receive payments from the Victims’ Compensation Fund, ensuring firefighters are equipped with necessary tools like personal safety ropes while on duty, ending the city practice of sending bills for housing and meal allowances to city employees – including firefighters – who returned from service overseas, and fighting to keep a fifth firefighter on each engine company.
In addition, McMahon has ardently urged Congress to act on medical funding for first responders sickened by their work at Ground Zero following the attacks on September 11th. He voted in favor of a Council resolution urging Congress to pass the James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act, and has pledged to support the legislation once elected.
"Firefighters are on the front line every day ensuring our safety, and its essential that the government is there for them too. From fires to terrorist attack, firefighters never say no when duty calls. It’s time for government to repay that debt. When elected to Congress, I pledge to push for the funding our first responders need to get medical care for 9/11-related illnesses. I’ll also fight to get the funding for state of the art communications systems and devices like life-saving personal safety alarms so that our firefighters can better protect not only New Yorkers, but themselves as well,” McMahon said.
“Mike McMahon has always been a strong voice for this city’s firefighters, and the UFOA is proud to endorse him for Congress. From 9/11 health issues, to readiness and funding for equipment, Mike understands the life and death needs New York firefighters face every day. He’ll be the advocate New York firefighters need in Washington,” said UFOA representative Captain John Dunne.
“When Staten Island’s South Shore needed a fire station, Mike McMahon was there, and when New York’s firefighters needed better health care and necessary equipment, he was there too. Mike McMahon has always been there for New York’s firefighters, and he’ll be there in Congress when we need him to fight for expanded health care and equipment,” added UFA Staten Island Trustee Don Ruland.
In Congress, McMahon will fight for dedicated resources for the first responders sickened by their work responding to the terrorists attack on September 11th and on the pile after the towers fell. He has pledged to support the creation of a coordinated, permanent program to provide medical monitoring and assistance to first responders affected by the attacks. Currently, medical assistance for first responders relies in annual appropriations which do not guarantee continued care and support. By creating an entitlement fund for first responder care, our bravest would be assured sufficient resources for their medical needs.
McMahon also supports the reopening of the 9/11 Victim Compensation Fund (VCF) to provide compensation for economic loss and injury related to September 11th. Reopening the fund would allow those affected by the attacks, but who did not file or became ill after the initial December 22, 2003 filing deadline, to claim losses. It would also allow for earlier awards to be readjusted if the initial judgment proved to be too low in the intervening years. The fund would replace the costly and time-consuming litigation-based system currently in place.
McMahon fully supports the James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act of 2008 (H.R. 6594), named after the NYPD detective who died in January 2006 after working 450 hours at Ground Zero, which would create both the dedicated medical fund and reopen the VCF. The bill extends resources to all eligible first responders and community members affected by the attacks. It is currently pending in the House.
The firefighters’ endorsement is another sign of the of the McMahon campaign’s continued momentum. In the past month, McMahon has picked up key labor endorsements, including the New York State AFL–CIO, the United Federation of Teachers, 1199 SEIU Healthcare East, CSEA, the New York League of Conservation Voters, and the Public Employees Federation. McMahon has also received endorsements from elected leaders including Senator Charles Schumer, Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton, Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz, former Mayor Ed Koch, and members of the New York City Congressional Delegation.
Last month, the Staten Island Advance and New York Times also endorsed McMahon in the Democratic Primary, citing his long record of accomplishment and history of reaching across the aisle to achieve results in a moderate district.
McMahon has also earned a spot on the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee's vaunted "Red to Blue" program, signaling that the campaign is a top national priority for the Democratic Party. The "Red to Blue" program was a proven success in the 2006 cycle, raising nearly $22.6 million for 56 campaigns. It highlights top Democratic campaigns across the country and offers them financial, communications and strategic support.
The Democratic Primary will be on September 9th, and the General Election will be held on November 4th.