MAHN Lawmakers June 10, 2019

Manhattan Lawmakers on the Move bannner

Rosenthal, Benjamin To Rally With Financial District Residential Workers

State Senator Brian Benjamin
State Senator Brian Benjamin
Assembly Member Linda B. Rosenthal
Assembly Member Linda B. Rosenthal

State Senator Brian Benjamin (D-Harlem, East Harlem (El Barrio), Upper West Side, Washington Heights, Hamilton Heights, Morningside Heights) and Assembly Member Linda Rosenthal (D-Central Park, Lincoln Square) will join workers at two financial district condos as they strike after the boards of each building have refused to provide the industry standard wages and benefits offered to the majority of residential workers across the city.

New York State elected officials are currently trying to address the issue with a condo coop bill (S.6219/A.8082), that would require family sustaining wages and benefits like paid days off and quality affordable health insurance for workers at high-end buildings that receive the Cooperative and Condominium Tax Abatement.

More than 2,000 door persons, cleaners, and maintenance persons similar to the ones on strike work at condos and coops that receive millions of dollars in benefits from the abatement, but fail to provide decent jobs. At the heart of the financial district and in buildings where apartments sell for more than a million dollars, building service workers are also taking action into their own hands. On Monday state and local elected officials, allies and 32BJ union members plan to visit the two buildings to join in the demand for fair standards at residential buildings in New York City, especially luxury condos in the heart of the financial capital of the world.

The nine doormen, porters, concierge and handymen at 40 Broad Street have been trying to negotiate a fair contract with the board of the building for more than two years, but negotiations have stalled as the board refuses to adopt the wages and pension fund that most residential workers in New York enjoy. In the two years since bargaining began, the workers’ longtime porter suffered a stroke and has not been able to retire as he would like to because he lacks a safe pension plan. As other experienced, long-term workers at the building have started families, they have also been forced to leave the job they love for jobs that pay enough to support a family in New York City. The building’s current workers are launching an indefinite strike to show just how much they support residents every day and to demand that they be able to support themselves and their families in return.

Additionally, the nine doormen, porters, concierge and handymen at 90 Williams Streethave also been bargaining for two years, trying to negotiate the same typical New York residential standards. Their negotiations have stalled because the board refuses to adopt  the union’s quality, affordable health insurance. Despite the union plan being better for workers and cheaper for the building than the current plan, the Board has refused to move on the essential benefit.

The event is slated for 8:30 a.m., today, June 10, at 90 Williams Street in Financial District.

Espaillat Celebrates LGBTQ Pride Month, To Hold 9th Annual Pride Forum

U.S. Rep. Adriano Espaillat
U.S. Rep. Adriano Espaillat

U.S. Rep. Adriano Espaillat (D-Washington Heights, Sugar Hill), a member of the Congressional LGBT Equality Caucus, celebrated the start of Pride Month last week.

June 1, 2019, marks the first day of Pride Month, which celebrates the LGBTQ+ community. The month also honors the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall Riots, otherwise known as the Stonewall Uprising, which saw members of the LGBTQ community fight back against harassment from the police in Greenwich Village in June 1969.

Espillat also announced the dates for the 9th Annual LGBTQ forum, in which he will address his legislative work in support of the LGBTQ community.

“Each year during the month of June, the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community comes together to celebrate their courage, their identity, the freedom to love who they love, and their right to equal treatment under the law. In communities across this country, LGBTQ individuals can still be fired from their jobs, evicted from their homes, and denied services simply because of who they are or who they love. It is critical that we do more to protect the dignity of the LGBTQ community and work to ensure full legal and societal equality,” said Espillat.

That is why I was proud to join my congressional colleagues last month in voting to pass the Equality Act in the U.S. House of Representatives, which would ensure comprehensive civil rights and protections for LGBTQ individuals in communities across the country.

This year is particularly important as we recognize the 50th Anniversary of the Stonewall Riots — the starting point for the LGBTQ equal rights movement – and as New York City hosts the World Pride festival. As we celebrate Pride during the month of June, we also pause in reflection of the 49 individuals killed during the attack at the Pulse Nightclub in Orlando, Florida, and countless others whose lives have been lost due to targeted attacks based on their identity. When we are inclusive of all persons, including our LGBTQ family, friends and fellow citizens, we are a stronger, more resilient and more unified society,” concluded Espillat.

The forum is slated for 8 a.m. to 9:15 a.m., Sunday, June 30, at Indian Road Cafe, 600 West 218th Street in Inwood.

Rivera’s Announces “Bike Mayor” Bill

Council Member Carlina Rivera
Council Member Carlina Rivera

City Council member Carlina Rivera (D-East Village, Gramercy Park, Kips Bay, Lower East Side, Murray Hill, Rose Hill) recently announced that she is working on a bill to establish an “Office of the Bike Mayor.”

The office will be tasked with improving coordination of safe bike infrastructure across the city. The bill follows last month’s passage of the Bike Lane Protection Bill. Rivera’s bill protecting bike lanes from construction passed in the Council in May.

The bill, officially known as Intro 1163, ensures that lanes or sufficient detour lanes are available and protected when construction and road work impact bicyclists. The bill is part of the Councilwoman’s commitment to making the city’s shared streets safer for pedestrians and bicyclists, and all users of our thoroughfares.

More from Around New York