MANH Lawmakers on the Move, Sep. 16, 2019

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Johnson Summarizes the Conversion Therapy Debacle

Council Member Corey Johnson
Council Member Corey Johnson

Council Speaker Corey Johnson (D-Chelsea, Hell’s Kitchen) wrote an article on Medium explaining his decision to try to repeal the conversion therapy ban.

The City Council first outlawed conversion therapy, a form of psychotherapy whose purpose is to “reprogram” LGBTQ people, in 2017. Shortly afterward, the Council faced a lawsuit from the Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF), an anti-gay hate group based in Arizona.

Although the suit was unsuccessful, Johnson feared that the law could be vulnerable to a legal challenge, since New York’s courts have become increasingly conservative. He also pointed out that New York has an existing statewide ban on conversion therapy for minors.

“This was a difficult decision,” said Johnson. “The risks were just too high. I couldn’t in good conscience risk a bad decision that could have a chilling effect nationwide on the important and growing movement to ban this horrible practice.”

Chin Introduces Anti-Ageism Bill Package

Council Member Margaret Chin
Council Member Margaret Chin

Council Member Margaret Chin (D-Battery Park City, Chinatown) introduced a package of bills last Friday to combat workplace age discrimination.

The bills mandate that the City employs new tools to test for cases of age discrimination, builds resources for advocacy for older adults, and expands outreach and training. It includes provisions to establish an Office of Older Workforce Development and an Age Discrimination Task force, among others.

“With one in two New Yorkers over the age of 50 experiencing or witnessing age discrimination, we need to talk honestly about how pervasive this form of prejudice is, instead of attempting to sweep these cases and fears under the rug,” said Chin. “Sadly, age discrimination is rarely treated with the same level of urgency as other types of workplace discrimination. The result is a culture of silence and shame around ageism that devalues older workers.”

Espaillat Honors Legacy of Former Representative Powell

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

Representative Adriano Espaillat (D-Washington Heights, Sugar Hill) released a statement in recognition of the unveiling of the official portrait of former Representative Adam Clayton Powell, Jr.

Espaillat made his statement during a ceremony hosted by the House Committee on Education and Labor and Chairman Robert C. “Bobby” Scott earlier this week.

“I was honored to join my dear friend and Chairman of the House Education & Labor Committee Bobby Scott, to officially unveil a portrait of former Education & Labor Committee Chairman Adam Clayton Powell, Jr. in Washington, D.C. to honor his life, legacy and contributions to civil rights and our nation,” said Espaillat. “Chairman Adam Clayton Powell, Jr. spoke truth to power and never relented in his efforts to advance African-American rights and ensure civil rights and equity for all persons. It was during his tenure on the Committee on Education and Labor, where he solidified his mark in the United States Congress and American history.”

Rodriguez to Host Educational Resource Town Hall

Council Member Ydanis Rodriguez
Council Member Ydanis Rodriguez

Council Member Ydanis Rodriguez (D-Washington Heights, Inwood) will be hosting an town hall meeting today.

The meeting will brief attendees on new educational programming opportunities that Rodriguez has introduced for his community.

The event will take place today at 5:30 p.m. at George Washington High School, 549 Audubon Ave.