MANH Lawmakers on the Move, Aug. 14, 2019

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Espaillat Reintroduces No Funding for Confederate Symbols Act

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

On Monday, Representatives Adriano Espaillat (D-Washington Heights, Sugar Hill) and Dwight Evans (D-PA) reintroduced the No Funding for Confederate Symbols Act in congress.

The legislation would prohibit federal funds from being used to create, maintain, or display any Confederate symbol on federal public land. This includes any highway, park, subway, federal building, military base or public street.

“The Confederate Battle Flag remains one of the most intractable symbols from the darkest chapter in U.S. history representing racism, slavery, the oppression of African Americans,” said Espaillat. “In the two years since the violence and death that occurred in Charlottesville, Virginia, we must remember that in our recent history we witnessed men and women don white hoods and torches in the light of day to venerate a symbol of the Confederacy. Since that day of violence and death, our nation has continued to witness tragedy after tragedy inspired by white-supremacist ideologies and efforts to memorialize white-nationalist screed. These sentiments are manifest inConfederate symbols that remain present to this day and their continued presence will only further inflame our country as inspiration for those who seek to use their example to stoke division and fear.”

Johnson Voices Tentative Support for Busway Pilot Program

City Council Speaker Corey Johnson (D-Chelsea, Hell’s Kitchen) weighed in on the 14th Street busway pilot program yesterday.

Council Member Corey Johnson
Council Member Corey Johnson (Credit: Jeff Reed)

The 14th Street busway plan had experienced a delay when several block associations filed a suit against it, claiming that the City had failed to conduct an environmental review of the project. State Supreme Court Judge Eileen Rakower, after reviewing a traffic analysis, found that the health and safety impacts of the project fall within the city’s typical traffic management work. Thus, she allowed the project to move forward.

Johnson said that he supports the program – as long as it’s placed under continued scrutiny.

“I want to be clear that I support the pilot program to get bus riders moving across 14th Street,” Johnson said in a tweet. “The DOT has agreed to my request to hire a third party firm that will help monitor this pilot and collect and analyze data. This will provide concrete data in real time on what is working and what needs to be adjusted during the pilot.

“We need to use this opportunity to improve the way people, especially bus riders, get across 14th Street.”

Maloney Helps Out at Lower East Side Back-to-School Backpack Giveaway

Representative Carolyn Maloney (D-Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens) assisted at a Lower East Side backpack giveaway on Monday.

The congresswoman helped to hand out hundreds of backpacks full of school supplies to students getting ready to resume classes this fall. The giveaway took place on East Broadway between Clinton and Jefferson, and was sponsored by the Primitive Christian Church, Apple Bank and Vision Urbana, Inc.

She was joined by Rev. Dr. Marcos Rivera, Senior Pastor of the Primitive Christian Church and President of Vision Urbana.