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OVER 200 9/11 FIRST RESPONDERS, FAMILY MEMBERS AND SUPPORTERS RALLY AT CAPITOL HILL IN CALL FOR NATIONWIDE ATTENTION TO ISSUE


WASHINGTON DC - 02.21.08 - Over 200 9/11 First Responders, family members and supporters will be rallying on Capitol Hill this Tuesday, February 26th.

From 10:00am to 12:00pm, First Responders will rally on the West Lawn of Capitol Hill.

Scheduled speakers include Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney (NY), Congressman Jerry Nadler (NY), Congressman Tim Bishop (NY) Congressman Dennis Kucinich (OH) and other Congressional leaders. Advocates of several 9/11 health organizations as well as family members and first responders from September 11, 2001 will also be discussing the health issues they currently face.

The rally is aimed to address the following issues:

* The federal government just cut 9/11 Health Care funding by 77%. A paltry $25 million was designated for fiscal year 2009, down from $108 million in 2008. This means every program in existence (including Mt. Sinai) will be operating on a severely reduced budget.

* This past December 2007, Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Michael Leavitt canceled plans for the World Trade Center Business Process Center. This center was designed to provide treatment for the 10,000-plus First Responders who reside outside the New York metropolitan area, many of whom are seriously ill.

* The 9/11 Health & Compensation Act (aka the James Zadroga bill) has still not been passed. This very important piece of legislation that would help all 9/11 families has been ignored within Congress up until now--it is time to speak up to to get it passed!

After the event, 9/11 health leaders have several scheduled meetings, including with the offices of Congressmembers Eliot Engel, Jim Moran, Chris Smith, Albio Sires, John Conyers, Kristen Gillibrand, Gary Ackerman, Chris Murphy, Joe Donnelly, Lois Capps, David Drier, Duncan Hunter, John Murtha, Stephanie Tubbs Jones, Gregory Meeks, Dennis Kucinich, John Conyers, John Hall and Chris Shays and meetings with the offices of Senators John McCain, Judd Gregg, Sherrod Brown, Elizabeth Dole, Chuck Schumer and John Warner.

The event is being organized and hosted by John Feal and the Fealgood Foundation (www.fealgoodfoundation.com)

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This post about the 9/11 families rallying in D.C. next week, leads me to suggest that all of you out there who have not already done so, get a copy of Phillip Shenon's recently published book about the 9/11 commission investigation. I secured a copy last weekend and have almost finished it.

Although I suspect Frederick C probably has finished the book, I'm sure if he hasn't read it, he will be particularly interested in the acount of Phillip Zelikow, the commission director with whom Frederick C has so much "fun" in his posts.

It is a fascinating read and I would recommend that the families try to arrange for Mr. Shenon to be present during their rally next week. His appearance could make for some interesting developments.

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