Dear Chairman Carter and Ranking Member Price,
Thank you for your service in ensuring that adequate resources are available to protect our communities from threats and disasters. As you consider programs that deserve additional funding, we respectfully ask you to fund the Urban Area Security Initiative (UASI) Non-Profit Security Grant Program (NSGP) at $19 million in the FY2015 Homeland Security Appropriations Bill. This program is vital to the security of vulnerable non-profit facilities.
As you know, the Nonprofit Security Grant Program, administered by the Federal Emergency Management Agency, provides critical support for physical security enhancements to nonprofit organization at high risk of a terrorist attack.
Several recent events illustrate the vulnerability of non-profits such as houses of worship to terrorism and hate crimes. Less than two years ago, a gunman killed six people and wounded four others in a tragic mass shooting at a Sikh temple in Oak Creek, Wisconsin. In 2011, a string of anti-Semitic hate crimes targeting synagogues in Northern New Jersey culminated in arson when an incendiary device was thrown through the window of an Orthodox temple, that was the home of a Rabbi, his wife, five children and father. Five years ago, two synagogues in New York City were targeted by domestic terrorists, and a security guard was killed at the Holocaust Museum in Washington, DC in 2009. During a 2006 incident, an attacker shot six women at a Jewish community center in Seattle, killing one of them.
Credible threats against non-profit institutions across the country continue to be a problem. Last year, the FBI warned the Jewish Federation of Metropolitan Detroit last year that it was on the top of a hit list of a known white supremacist who was found in possession of a large cache of weapons and ammunition.
These incidents highlight the continuing need for the Nonprofit Security Grant Program, which was designed precisely so that at-risk nonprofit organizations that serve as community centers can acquire and install equipment to secure themselves against a potential terrorist attack. These capital improvements include upgraded security measures, such as installing cameras, physical barriers, or controlled entry systems.
We strongly urge you to provide $19 million for the Nonprofit Security Grant Program in the FY2015 Homeland Security Appropriations Bill. Thank you for your consideration of this request.
(Signatories of the letter include Reps. Pascrell, Nadler, Yvette Clarke, Holt, Loretta Sanchez, Keating, Sires, Brady, McCarthy, Cicilline, Schakowsky, Maloney, Payne, Hastings, Shea-Porter, Meng, Gary C. Peters , Wasserman Schultz, Ruppersberger, Rangel, Engel, Sarbanes, Fudge, Gwen Moore, Barbara Lee, Fattah, Cleaver, Conyers, Andre Carson, Heck, Meehan, Pallone, Enyart and Danny Davis.)