MANH Lawmakers on the Move, Dec. 6, 2019

Manhattan Lawmakers on the Move bannner

Tish James Intervenes in Lawsuit Against Chester, New York

Attorney General of NY Letitia James
Attorney General of NY Letitia James

Attorney General Letitia James (D) filed a motion yesterday to intervene in a lawsuit against the Town of Chester and Orange County, alleging that the town has systematically tried to prevent Hasidic Jewish families from moving into the town.

The lawsuit, originally filed in July 2019, identified several discriminatory actions that the town had taken to stop the construction of new homes. According to the lawsuit, the Town and County specifically targeted Hasidic Jewish land developers.

“Blocking the construction of homes to prevent a religious group from living in a community is flat out discriminatory,” said James. “This campaign to deny housing to members of the Jewish community is not only a clear violation of our laws, but is antithetical to our basic values and blatantly anti-Semitic. New York has a longstanding commitment to ensure equal housing opportunities for all residents – regardless of race, gender, or religious identity – and we will ensure this commitment is upheld.”

Rivera Condemns Trump Administration for Food Stamp Rollback

Council Member Carlina Rivera
Council Member Carlina Rivera

Council Member Carlina Rivera (D-East Village, Gramercy Park) released a tweet yesterday condemning the Trump Administration for tightening restrictions on food stamps.

Currently, able-bodied adults without dependents can only receive three months of Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits unless they work at least 80 hours a week. However, a state can waive the work requirement if its unemployment rate is 20 percent higher than the national rate.

The new rule, which the Trump Administration announced on Wednesday, would revoke the states’ privilege to waive the work requirement. The rule will disqualify over 700,000 food stamp recipients from continuing to receive benefits.

“$1.40 is the SNAP average spent on a meal today,” said Rivera. “It hasn’t been enough to sustain our poorest families for a long time. A ‘savings’ excuse while Trump’s tax cuts for the wealthy helped increase the deficit by $200B in 2019 is math that discounts morality.”

Espaillat Celebrates Capture of César Emilio Peralta

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

Representative Adriano Espaillat (D-Washington Heights, Sugar Hill) released a statement yesterday applauding the apprehension of Colombian drug trafficker César Emilio Peralta.

Peralta, alias César el Abusador, was the head of one of the most powerful drug trafficking networks in South America. Between 2007 and 2017, Peralta’s gang operated in several countries in the Western Hemisphere, including the Dominican Republic, Venezuela and the United States.

“I congratulate U.S., Colombian and Dominican authorities, especially the Colombian Police, the Latin American and Caribbean Community of Police Intelligence (CLACIP), Interpol, DEA and the FBI, for the investigation, intelligence operation, persecution and capture in Colombia of César Emilio Peralta, alias César el Abusador, suspected leader of a drug trafficking network that operated in the Dominican Republic with links in Panama and several countries in Central America to traffic drugs to the United States,” said Espaillat. “We hope that the alleged narco cooperates with the authorities, so that all the people involved – both his accomplices and those who gave him protection – are arrested and brought to justice.”

Jackson Urges York College Students to Fight for Fair Public School Funding

State Senator Robert Jackson
State Senator Robert Jackson

State Senator Robert Jackson (D-Washington Heights, Fort George, Inwood) visited York College on Wednesday to persuade its students to start fighting for fair funding for public schools.

Jackson visited York to spread awareness about the state’s budget cuts for public education. Although New York’s FY 2020 Executive Budget allocates $7.6 billion in funding for higher education, Jackson said that New York’s CUNY and SUNY schools could still use more.

“Like anything else, keep the pressure on all of us,” said Jackson. “If you’re a CUNY student or a SUNY student, communicate with your legislators. We need to increase funding for CUNY and SUNY.”