Additional Information on Nydia Velazquez

* At the Rainbow Coalition Leadership Summit on February 19, 1993, Velázquez delivered a speech that paid tribute to the late Communist Party USA member Jesus Colon, author of the 1982 book A Puerto Rican in New York. Emphasizing America’s allegedly intransigent racism against Hispanics, Velasquez said:

“The plight of America today, particularly the nation’s people of color, reminds me of the stories of Jesus Colon, a writer, who with piercing accuracy, poignantly chronicled the struggles of early Puerto Rican migrants in this country. Sixty years after the experiences of Colon, I would arrive in New York, and like him, would be shocked at the unbearable conditions of the people. I too would be subject to harsh and threatening words, merely for the olive tone of my skin, or the sound of my name. I too would feel the sting of discrimination.”

* In October 1994, Velazquez and fellow Congressional Progressive Caucusmembers Maurice HincheyBernie Sanders, and Major Owens introduced into Congress a “Jobs and Investment Bill” designed to appropriate $42 billion in taxpayer funds over several years for construction and infrastructure projects (involving schools, housing, hospitals, libraries, public transportation, highways, parks, etc.)

* In 1995, Velazquez supported the “Living Wage, Jobs for All Act” introduced by Rep. Ron Dellums, a member of the Democratic Socialists of America. Other supporters of this legislation included John ConyersLane EvansBob FilnerAlcee HastingsMaurice HincheyJim McDermott,Cynthia McKinneyEleanor Holmes NortonMajor OwensNancy Pelosi, and Bernie Sanders.

* In 1997 Velazquez was one of 33 original co-sponsors of the Job Creation and Infrastructure Restoration Act which was introduced into Congress by California Rep. Matthew Martinez. This emergency federal jobs legislation, supported by the New York State Communist Party, was designed to create jobs at union wages in financially foundering cities by putting the unemployed to work on infrastructure projects such as rebuilding schools, housing, hospitals, libraries, public transportation, highways, and parks. Rep. Martinez had already introduced an earlier version of this bill in the previous Congress at the request of the Los Angeles Labor Coalition for Public Works Jobs, whose leaders were known supporters or members of the Communist Party USA. To view a list of all the co-sponsors, click here.

* On June 26, 2002, the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco ruled that because America’s Pledge of Allegiance contained the words “under God,” it violated the U.S. Constitution’s First Amendment prohibition against government making any law respecting an “Establishment of Religion.” Within hours of this decision, members of the U.S. Senate had gathered on the Capitol steps to recite the Pledge for television cameras, and had voted 99-0 to denounce the ruling. The following day, the House of Representatives voted416-3 to likewise condemn the court ruling. The three who sided with the court were Democrats Michael Honda, Robert Scott, and Pete Stark. Velazquez was one of eleven other Democrats who voted “Present” rather than “Yes,” thereby taking no formal position on the matter. Also voting “Present” were Gary Ackerman, Earl Blumenauer, Michael CapuanoBarney FrankLuis GutierrezAlcee HastingsJim McDermottJerrold Nadler, James Oberstar, and Melvin Watt.

* In May 2005, Velazquez was one of only 22 House Members who chose tovote against HR 193, a bill that: (a) expressed support for “the historic meeting of the Assembly to Promote the Civil Society in Cuba,” which was slated to take place later that month in Havana; (b) urged “the [Bush] Administration and international community to actively oppose any attempts by the Castro regime to repress or punish the organizers and participants of the Assembly”; and (c) affirmed that the House “shares the pro-democracy ideals of the Assembly … and believes that this Assembly and others will hasten the day of freedom and democracy for the people of Cuba.” To view a list of all 22 congressional opponents of this measure, click here.

* In 2006, Velazquez was one of just 37 House Members who voted against the Palestinian Anti-Terrorism Act prohibiting U.S. aid to the Hamas-led Palestinian government “until it renounces violence, recognizes Israel’s right to exist as a Jewish state, and accepts all previous Israeli-Palestinian agreements.” To view a list of the 37 Representatives who voted against this measure, click here.

* On December 6, 2006—three days before the 25th anniversary of the murder of Philadelphia Police Officer Daniel Faulkner by former Black Panther Party member Mumia Abu-Jamal—Velazquez was one of 31 U.S. House Members (all Democrats) who voted against a resolution “condemning the decision of St. Denis, France, to name a street in honor of … Abu-Jamal.” To view a list of all 31 House Members who voted this way, click here.

* On September 17, 2009, the House of Representatives voted by a 345-75 margin to defund the notoriously corrupt community organization ACORN. Velazquez was one of the 75 (all Democrats) to vote in support of ACORN. Among the others were: Tammy BaldwinCorrine BrownMichael Capuano,Andre CarsonJames ClyburnKeith EllisonSam FarrChaka FattahBob FilnerRaúl GrijalvaMaurice HincheyJesse Jackson Jr.Sheila Jackson-Lee,Dennis KucinichBarbara LeeJohn LewisJim McDermottJames McGovernJim MoranJerrold NadlerCharles RangelBobby RushJan SchakowskyJose SerranoPete StarkBennie ThompsonNydia Velazquez,Maxine WatersDiane WatsonHenry Waxman, and Lynn Woolsey.

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