MANH Lawmakers on the Move, Dec. 24, 2019

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Espaillat Says Pelosi’s Actions Are Not Just Strategic, But Fair

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

Representative Adriano Espaillat (D-Washington Heights, Sugar Hill) appeared on CNN yesterday to discuss Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s (D) decision to withhold the articles of impeachment from the U.S. Senate.

Last week, Pelosi announced that she would not formally send the articles of impeachment to the Senate until she could be certain that there would be a fair, impartial trial. Pelosi made the announcement after Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (D-KY) vowed “total coordination” with the White House during the trial.

“I don’t think it’s just strategic; I think it’s fair,” said Espaillat. “We had a really deliberate and fair process. And now Mitch McConnell, before he even looks at the evidence, is saying that this is a done deal – that he’s coordinated with the White House. What I submit to him is that he is not the judge in this process. And I think that our leader, Nancy Pelosi, has every right to say that we won’t go into that lion’s den, unless it’s a fair, equitable and transparent process. I think we should do that; the American people deserve that.”

Velázquez Wishes New York a Happy Hanukkah

Congresswoman Nydia Velazquez
Congresswoman Nydia Velazquez

Representative Nydia Velázquez (D-LES, Brooklyn, Queens) released a tweet on Sunday recognizing the first night of Hanukkah.

Hanukkah, a Jewish holiday, is an eight-day festival commemorating the Maccabees’ military victory against the Greek king Antiochus IV.

“As the sun sets tonight on NY7, we wish all of our neighbors who are celebrating the miracle of Hanukkah a peaceful and joyous celebration,” said Velázquez. “Amidst the celebrations, this year, let’s also rededicate ourselves to economic, social and cultural justice. Chag Chanukah sameach!”

Johnson, De Blasio Announce Fair Fares Initiative Launch

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

Last Friday, Council Speaker Corey Johnson (D-Chelsea, Hell’s Kitchen) and Mayor Bill de Blasio (D) announced the launch of their “Fair Fares” public transit initiative.

As part of the initiative, all New Yorkers below the poverty line will be able to apply for reduced-fare Metrocards. Prior to the initiative, such Metrocards were only available to CUNY students, certain NYCHA residents or citizens receiving SNAP benefits.

“We know how hard it can be to make ends meet in New York and that’s why we want everyone to know about the expansion of the Fair Fares program,” said Johnson. With the launch of open enrollment and this dedicated outreach effort, we hope to assist as many New Yorkers as we can in the new year. Thank you to the all of the advocates who have partnered with us on this important endeavor. Together, we can make New York a more fair and just city.”

Open enrollment will begin on Jan. 27.

Rodriguez Greets Riders at Newly Reopened 1 Train Station

Council Member Ydanis Rodriguez
Council Member Ydanis Rodriguez

Council Member Ydanis Rodriguez (D-Washington Heights, Inwood) held a press conference yesterday to celebrate the reopening of the 1 Train station at 168th Street.

In late 2018, the MTA closed the station for renovation. After spending a year improving lighting, replacing elevators and making other repairs, they finally reopened the station on Saturday, Dec. 21. Rodriguez celebrated the occasion alongside MTA President Andy Byford, as well as several of his fellow lawmakers.

“The early opening of the 168th St. elevators is great news for our community,” Rodriguez said in a tweet. “We must continue our efforts in ensuring that all stations are accessible!”

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