|Address||411 9th Avenue |
Paterson, New Jersey 07514, United States
|| January 25, 1937
Nov 24, 2020 08:24pm
|Info||William J. Pascrell, Jr. was born on January 25, 1937 and raised in Paterson, New Jersey, where he still resides. He was first elected to the United States House of Representatives the Eighth Congressional District of New Jersey on November 5, 1996 and re-elected to a fourth term on November 7, 2002. The Congressman is married to the former Elsie Marie Botto and together they have three children, William III, Glenn Martin, and David Joseph. Bill and Elsie are also the proud grandparents of three, William IV, Christopher and Megan Margaret. |
The grandson of Italian immigrants, Bill attended St. George's Elementary School in Paterson and graduated in 1955 from St. John the Baptist High School, where he served as Student Council President. Following graduation, Bill continued his education at Fordham University New York, receiving a Bachelor's degree in Journalism and a Master's degree in Philosophy. He is also a veteran of the United States Army and the Army Reserve, having received an honorable discharge in 1967.
Bill began his professional career as a high school teacher in New Jersey, where he taught for 12 years. He was appointed to the Paterson Board of Education, and served thereafter as President of the Board. Additionally, Bill served for seven years on the Board of Trustees of Passaic County Community College. In 1987, he was elected to the New Jersey General Assembly, soon thereafter being elevated to the position of Minority Leader Pro Tempore. In 1990, Bill was elected Mayor of Paterson, New Jersey's third largest city.
Bill�s efforts, both as a Mayor and Assemblyman, were recognized in 1996 as he was named New Jersey�s "Mayor of the Year" by his fellow Mayors, and "Legislator of the Year" by the New Jersey Chamber of Commerce. He has brought the same commitment to his service in the Congress of the United States. Immediately after taking office, he began to address critical projects that had been repeatedly ignored or delayed, including the construction of Route 21 and the cleanup of hazardous waste sites in Wayne and Glen Ridge/Bloomfield. This steadfast work has paid off, as the Route 21 highway has been opened after decades of delay, and the Wayne thorium site is finally free of hazardous waste after years of bureaucratic red tape. In Glen Ridge, Bill once again cut through years of government inaction, resulting in the long-awaited cleanup and re-opening of the Barrow�s Field Superfund site.
This commitment to the needs of those he represents was no more evident than in his steadfast opposition to the Transco Marketlink pipeline project. Beginning in 1998, Bill led the fight to stop the Transco company from building an unnecessary natural gas pipeline through northern New Jersey. He worked tirelessly to coordinate opposition of the project, joining with a bipartisan group of elected officials, the New Jersey State Attorney General�s office, and residents throughout New Jersey to challenge the market need basis of this project. In April 2000, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) affirmed Bill�s long-standing opposition by rejecting Transco�s bid to proceed with the project through northern New Jersey. The agency found, as Bill had long argued, that the project was speculative.
Bill has also been a forceful leader in Washington, D.C. on issues critical to his district. He is a nationally recognized leader in Congress on the issue of fire safety, having proudly authored the F.I.R.E. (Firefighter Investment and Response Enhancement) Act, the first ever comprehensive federal commitment to our local fire departments. His grant program, run by the Federal Emergency Management Agency, delivers federal dollars directly to local paid, part-paid, and volunteer departments -- what he has called "too often, the forgotten part of the public safety equation." The legislation is the first of its kind and the most ambitious fire services bill ever written. Dozens of fire departments in New Jersey have already benefited, including Little Falls, Passaic, West Orange, Clifton, Verona, Paterson, Bloomfield, Belleville, Montclair, and Wayne.
Congressman Pascrell has also been at the forefront of the battle to provide Americans with a real Patients' Bill of Rights. He believes Congress should ensure that the focus on our health care system is where it belongs -- on preserving the special relationship between the patient and doctor.
Bill is also a proud co-sponsor of legislation that would provide all seniors with a prescription drug benefit under Medicare, and has been a leader in fighting to protect and strengthen the Social Security and Medicare programs for today�s-and tomorrow�s beneficiaries. After witnessing scandals such as Enron, he also worked to pass historic legislation addressing corporate responsibility.
In the wake of the attacks of September 11th and the subsequent anthrax scare, Bill led the push for enhanced terrorism preparedness and response measures. He was appointed to the House Democratic Caucus' Homeland Security Task Force and asked to Chair the Emergency Preparedness and Response Working Group. After an emergency meeting in his district with public safety personnel, emergency services officials, and health care professionals, he helped draft BioPACT, the Task Force's Bioterrorism Protection Act of 2001.
In the 107th Congress, Bill was named co-chair of the Democratic Livable Communities Task Force. In this role he is promoting the redevelopment of Brownfield sites in urban centers and educating his colleagues about transportation alternatives to get people out of their cars and onto mass transit.
Bill has also fought to have the Great Falls National Historic District made a part of the National Park Service. His bill to authorize a study to determine the feasibility of adding Great Falls National Historic District to the National Park Service passed the House and Senate and has been signed into law by President George W. Bush.
As a member of the House Transportation Committee, Bill has worked to modernize our region�s roads, bridges, airports and mass transit systems. He has secured millions in new funding for the Eighth Congressional District to reconstruct some of North Jersey�s most dangerous intersections. He has delivered additional federal dollars to provide communities throughout New Jersey with a "jitney" shuttle bus service and the funds to operate it. The Jitney provides towns and cities an innovative mass transit alternative to shuttle commuters to and from the train station, alleviating traffic and air pollution while easing the commute for hundreds each day.
As Bill�s stature in Washington has increased, so have his responsibilities to the nation. When President Bush signed the Homeland Security Act of 2002 into law, a congressional committee was needed to oversee the implementation of this landmark legislation. House leadership immediately turned to Congressman Pascrell to fill a critical post on the new House Select Committee on Homeland Security. An established leader in Congress on meeting the needs of our nation�s first responders, Bill was a natural choice to take on this difficult assignment. A member of the Subcommittee on Infrastructure and Border Security and the Subcommittee on Emergency Preparedness and Response, he continues to be strong voice in strengthening our homeland defense by fighting to provide those on the front lines, our firefighters, police officers, and health care workers, with the resources they need to meet the new threats we face.
Bill�s work and successes in Washington have not gone unnoticed by his peers. In March of 2003, he was chosen by his House Democratic colleagues to be a Regional Whip within the Democratic Caucus leadership team. In his role as Regional Whip, Congressman Pascrell helps frame the Democratic Caucus� policy agenda in the House of Representatives. He works closely with fellow Members to determine legislative priorities, ensures his colleagues know the details of pending legislation and the schedule by which it will be considered by the House, and serves as a liaison between his colleagues and the Democratic Caucus leadership.
In New Jersey, Bill has been widely recognized for his service and leadership. In May of 1999, he was awarded an honorary Doctor of Laws degree from William Paterson University for his �Humanitarian attitude, zealous commitment to the people of his region, leadership, steadfast persistence and consequent accomplishments.�
This past year alone, he has been named Outstanding Legislator of the Year by the Veterans of Foreign Wars and has received the Humanitarian Award from the New Jersey State Fireman�s Mutual Benevolent Association. He was also presented with a Special Recognition from the Brain Injury Association of America for his leadership in establishing the Congressional Brain Injury Task Force, and recognized by Ceasefire New Jersey for his efforts to reduce gun violence in our communities.
Bill is a member of numerous community and civic organizations, as well as the Ukrainian, Portuguese, Hellenic, Baltic, Armenian, Sri Lankan, Albanian and Human Rights Caucuses in Congress . He is also a member Congressional Ad Hoc Committee for Irish Affairs and the Italian-American Leadership Council.
Whether it is by legislation, untangling government red tape, or simply through day-to-day constituent service, Bill Pascrell has focused on the priorities of the people he represents. He continues to fulfill his promises, pursuing an agenda that improves the lives of the people he serves.