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October 12, 2021

WASHINGTON, DC – Today, Congressman Mondaire Jones (D-NY), Congressman Jim Himes (D-CT), and Sens. Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) and Chris Murphy (D-CT)sent a letter to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) asking USACE to allocate recently approved construction funding for the Byram River Basin project.


Flooding of the Byram River Basin has been a persistent problem for affected residents who suffer continued property damage and threat to their homes. The USACE has determined that two U.S. Route 1 bridges are major contributors to the flooding. A 2020 USACE study recommended removing and replacing the bridges. The Representatives and Senators asked that the USACE use appropriated funding provided by the Extending Government Funding and Delivering Emergency Assistance Act to begin work on this critical project.


“Our communities in Westchester and Rockland Counties have suffered immensely in the aftermath of Hurricane Ida, with flooded basements, damaged homes, and, tragically, lives lost due to this climate disaster,said Congressman Jones. “We have an obligation to protect the hundreds of families living around the Byram River Basin from the dangers of rising water. Funding this project will not only prevent destruction of our communities, but it will also save lives.” 


The  Extending Government Funding and Delivering Emergency Assistance Act, which Rep. Jones and Rep. Himes supported, includes $3 billion to accelerate the construction of authorized flood and storm damage reduction projects. Because there is a backlog of authorized projects that haven’t received an appropriation, it’s critical that USACE prioritizes funding projects in flood-prone areas, like in the Byram River Basin.


The full text of the letter can be found here.

About Mondaire: Mondaire Jones is the 34-year-old Congressman from New York’s 17th District, serving Westchester and Rockland Counties. He serves on the House Judiciary, Education and Labor, and Ethics Committees and is the first openly gay, Black member of Congress. A product of East Ramapo public schools, Mondaire was raised in Section 8 housing and on food stamps in the Village of Spring Valley by a single mother who worked multiple jobs to provide for their family. He later graduated from Stanford University, worked at the Department of Justice during the Obama Administration, and graduated from Harvard Law School. He is a co-founder of the nonprofit Rising Leaders, Inc. and has previously served on the NAACP’s National Board of Directors and on the board of the New York Civil Liberties Union. Most recently, Mondaire worked as a litigator in the Westchester County Law Department. In November, Mondaire was unanimously elected by his colleagues to be the Freshman Representative to Leadership, making him the youngest member of the Democratic House leadership team. In December, Jones was appointed a Deputy Whip of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, and became a Co-Chair of the LGBTQ Equality Caucus. Mondaire was born and raised in Rockland, and resides in Westchester.