Brooklyn Lawmakers On The Move Jan. 3, 2018

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De Blasio Signs New Campaign Finance Rules Into Law

Mayor Bill de Blasio

Mayor Bill de Blasio yesterday held a public hearing for and signed Intro. 1288, which makes all elections between now and the 2021 primary, including the upcoming special election, eligible for stronger campaign finance laws.

The laws, which passed in a referendum during the 2018 general election, would not have gone into effect until 2021. However, with the public hearing and the city council passing the law, it allowed for it to be expedited to start with the special election for public advocate set for Feb. 26.

“With the upcoming special election, we’re expediting an important piece of legislation that will strengthen the voices of average New Yorkers by reforming campaign finance laws,” said de Blasio. “Originally, these reforms were set to go into effect in 2021, but New Yorkers deserve to have these reforms in place when choosing their new Public Advocate. I want to thank {Manhattan City Council members] Council Speaker Corey Johnson, Council Member Ben Kallos and the rest of the City Council for passing this piece of legislation.”

Intro. 1288 allows candidates currently running in special elections to choose between two public financing options. Candidates can access the current system, which allows a maximum contribution of $2,550 from each New York City resident. The City will match the first $175 six to one.

Candidates may also have access to a second option that caps donations at $1,000 per New York City resident, but provides an eight-to-one match on the first $250.

Nadler,Velázquez, Menchaca Laud De Blasio Pick of Julie Menin For Census Czar

U.S. Rep. Jerrold Nadler
U.S. Rep. Nydia Velazquez

U.S. Reps. Jerrold Nadler (D-Borough Park, Kensington, parts of Bay Ridge, Bensonhurst, Dyker Heights, Red Hook, Sunset Park, Midwood, Western Manhattan) and Nydia Velázquez (D-Northwestern Brooklyn, Lower Manhattan, Queens), along with City Council Member Carlos Menchaca (D-Sunset Park, Red Hook)  yesterday, lauded Mayor Bill de Blasio’s appointment of attorney Julie Menin in a duo role as Director of the Census for New York City and as Executive Assistant Corporation Counsel for Strategic Advocacy.

In her new roles, Menin will organize extensive outreach efforts to encourage every city resident to participate in the upcoming 2020 Census. An accurate census count will ensure that New York receives its fair share of education, healthcare, housing and infrastructure funding and its proper electoral representation in Congress.

As Executive Assistant Corporation Counsel for Strategic Advocacy, Menin has been tasked to aggressively pursue innovative strategies to protect New Yorkers who may be hurt by federal actions, including exploring avenues for litigation, legislation and rule-making. In this role, she will collaborate with partners including other cities and advocacy groups to change the legal landscape on a wide range of issues from immigrant rights and citizenship, to voter protections, gerrymandering and critical federal funding grants directed toward the city and its most vulnerable New Yorkers.

“It is absolutely essential that every single New Yorker is counted as part of the census,” said Nadler. “It is good news that Mayor de Blasio is appointing Julie Menin to lead New York City’s effort on the census.  The census is not just a collection of academic statistics. It holds the key that unlocks political power for New Yorkers, and that delivers much-needed federal assistance to our city and state.  I look forward to working with Julie as we make sure every New Yorker is counted in the census.”

Velázquez noted the census serves as a fundamental bedrock of our democracy and, under this administration, the city must be especially vigilant to ensure every New Yorker is counted.

“With the White House pushing anti-immigrant policies, including efforts to add a citizenship question to the Census, it’s more important than ever that we have a strong voice at the city level working to ensure a fair, accurate census count. Julie Menin is an outstanding choice for this role and I applaud her appointment,” said Velázquez.

City Councilman Carlos Menchaca

Menchaca, who chairs the council’s Committee on Immigration, noted the census determines the most fundamental elements of the country’s democracy, from the number of representatives in Congress, to how much federal funding goes towards the city’s social welfare programs.

“As such, any attempt to lower participation – such as Trump’s addition of a citizenship question – will dramatically undercount how much New Yorkers – including our immigrant New Yorkers – deserve of both. I applaud the appointment of Commissioner Menin as Director of the Census and Executive Assistant Corporation Counsel for Strategic Advocacy, and this commitment on the part of the City to prioritize an aggressive outreach campaign and legal strategy to counter the citizenship question’s legality,” said Menchaca.

Salazar Endorses Williams For Public Advoacte

Julia Salazar
State Sen. Julia Salazar
Jumaane Williams
City Council Member Jumaane Williams

State Sen. Julia Salazar (D-Bushwick, Williamsburg, Greenpoint, Cypress Hills, East New York, Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brownsville) yesterday endorsed City Council Member Jumaane Williams (D-Flatbush, East Flatbush, Midwood) for public advocate.

In announcing her support, Salazar cited Williams’ long track record of advocating for pro-tenant legislation, and pushing Mayor de Blasio and Governor Cuomo to reform the rent laws and protect tenants. Jumaane recently released his Housing Justice For All platform, which aims to end housing displacement, improve tenant protections and increase the affordable housing stock across the city.

“Jumaane Williams is an activist elected official who has worked relentlessly to advocate for the people of this city,” said Salazar. “As longtime a tenant organizer, he has dedicated his life to fighting for tenants’ rights and affordable housing, which is why his people-powered campaign is committed to rejecting contributions from the real estate lobby and the forces trying to price people out of their homes. Jumaane’s bold leadership is exactly what we need as our city’s next public advocate, and I’m proud to endorse his grassroots campaign.”

Salazar is a member of the Democratic Socialists of America who recently ran an insurgent campaign to defeat longtime incumbent State Sen. Martin Dilan. She was recently appointed as Chair of the State Senate’s newly created Women’s Health Subcommittee.

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