“Representative Lowey’s vote assists legal aid providers to offer greater support as New York recovers from the devastation of Hurricane Sandy” said ABA President Laurel Bellows.
Last year, Hurricane Sandy destroyed and damaged homes in the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast regions. A proposed amendment to the Disaster Relief Appropriations Act of 2012 would have stripped the $1 million designated for LSC hurricane aid. Lowey’s opposition to the amendment protected critical funding that enhances the ability of LSC grantees to offer legal services—like insurance claims and housing eviction assistance—to families recovering from the storm.
“Superstorm Sandy devastated communities across the Northeast, and it was critical that the federal government step in to help them get back on their feet,” Lowey said. “Our successful fight to protect the funding for the Legal Services Corporation was essential for grantees to provide important legal services for families struggling to rebuild and recover.”
With 60 million Americans qualifying for assistance, LSC is the nation’s single largest provider of civil legal aid to citizens who live on incomes below or near the poverty line. LSC grantees provide direct services to approximately one million constituents, including veterans returning from combat, domestic violence victims, those coping with the after-effects of natural disasters, families involved in child custody disputes, people with disabilities and individuals facing foreclosure or other housing issues.”
Lowey will receive one of six ABA Congressional Justice Awards that will be given as part of the association’s annual effort to connect policymakers with constituents in the legal profession. ABA Day 2013 brings distinguished lawyers from 50 states to Washington, D.C., to discuss issues such as funding for Legal Services Corporation and federal judicial vacancies.
Other recipients of 2013 ABA Congressional Justice Awards include Sen. Mike Crapo (R-Idaho), Sen. Richard Durbin (D-Ill.), Rep. Frelinghuysen (R-N.J.), Sen. Tim Johnson (D-S.D.), and Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska).
With nearly 400,000 members, the American Bar Association is one of the largest voluntary professional membership organizations in the world. As the national voice of the legal profession, the ABA works to improve the administration of justice, promotes programs that assist lawyers and judges in their work, accredits law schools, provides continuing legal education, and works to build public understanding around the world of the importance of the rule of law.