MANH Lawmakers on the Move, Jan. 15, 2020

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Maloney Introduces Bill to Ensure Breastfeeding Rights for Working Moms

Last Monday, Representative Carolyn Maloney (D-Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens) introduced a bill to secure protections for working women who need to breastfeed.

The PUMP (Providing Urgent Maternal Protections) for Nursing Mothers Act will close the gaps in coverage left by the Break Time for Nursing Mothers Act. Specifically, it will extend the act’s coverage to include salaried employees and others excluded from the act’s protections, like teachers.

“As the first woman to give birth while serving on the New York City Council, I know firsthand the difficulties new mothers face in the workplace,” said Maloney. “Those difficulties should not include breastfeeding and millions of nursing mothers are still without a clear right to pump at work. Without these protections, nursing mothers face serious health consequences, including risk of painful illness and infection, diminished milk supply, or inability to continue breastfeeding – this is why we must pass the PUMP for Nursing Mothers Act to strengthen the 2010 Break Time law by making sure more working moms are guaranteed the right to pump at work.”

Velázquez, Schumer Demand Answers on HUD’s Neglect of Puerto Rico

Congresswoman Nydia Velazquez
Congresswoman Nydia Velazquez

Yesterday, Representative Nydia Velázquez (D-LES, Brooklyn, Queens) and Senator Charles Schumer (D) lead more than 40 members of Congress in demanding a meeting with the Secretary of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) regarding their refusal to release disaster funds for Puerto Rico.

Velázquez and Schumer penned a letter to the agency following the catastrophic earthquake that hit Puerto Rico last week. Despite the desperate state of the island, HUD has continued to refuse to release funds that were congressionally approved as early as 2018.

“It has been more than two years since Hurricane Maria and Irma made landfall on the island,” reads the letter. “However, Puerto Rico has not been able to move forward with reconstruction of the island and provide adequate and secure housing for its residents because the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) has illegally withheld the funds that Congress appropriated for these purposes.

“Due to the new emergency at hand and the urgency of the situation, we are officially requesting an in-person meeting.  It is your responsibility as Secretary of HUD to provide members of Congress an explanation as to why your Department has chosen to violate the law by withholding these critical resources. Puerto Ricans have waited too long.”

Read the full letter here.

Nadler Announces Investigation into Trump’s “Remain in Mexico” Policy

U.S. Rep. Jerrold Nadler
U.S. Rep. Jerrold Nadler

Representative Jerrold Nalder (D-Manhattan, Brooklyn) announced yesterday that the House would be investigating the Trump Administration’s “Remain in Mexico” immigration policy.

The term refers to the Trump Administration’s policy of forcing asylum seekers to wait in Mexico while the government processes their asylum claims. In a letter addressed to DHS Secretary Chad Wolf, Nadler said that he and his peers are calling the legality of the policy into question. He delivered the letter on the one-year anniversary of the Keep Families Together Act, a bill to stop family separations at the border.

“We write to renew our objections to the ‘Migrant Protection Protocols’ (MPP), as we continue to question the policy’s legality and remain deeply concerned about its impact on vulnerable populations,” reads the letter. “The policy has nearly eliminated the already scarce due process protections available to asylum-seekers — such as access to counsel — further reducing the likelihood that legitimate asylum-seekers can obtain asylum. Moreover, MPP forces women, children, and families to remain in areas that the federal government recognizes as especially unsafe. As of today, there are 31 active travel advisories for Mexico, including 5 warnings in which the State Department explicitly advises Americans against travel. It is difficult to understand why this administration is sending children and families to areas where they will face certain harm.”

Espaillat Annouces Open Applications to U.S. Military Service Academies

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

Yesterday, Representative Adriano Espaillat (D-Washington Heights, Sugar Hill) announced the opening of applications for high school seniors to attend the U.S. Service Academies.

Representatives can nominate candidates for four of the five academies: the U.S. Military Academy, the U.S. Naval Academy, the U.S. Air Force Academy, and the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy. The fifth, the U.S. Coast Guard Academy, does not require a congressional nomination for appointment.

I encourage all eligible high school seniors in my district to submit applications to be considered for placement to attend any of the U.S. Service Academies to have an opportunity to serve our country,” said Espaillat.

The deadline for submitting an application is Friday, Jan. 31.

Chin, Carranza, Goldmark To Announce Expansion of Millennium HS

Council Member Margaret Chin
Council Member Margaret Chin

Today, Council Member Margaret Chin (D-Battery Park City, Chinatown), Department of Education Chancellor Richard Carranza and Deputy Chancellor Karin Goldmark will announce the expansion of Millennium High School to a new floor.

The announcement marks the culmination of a several year effort – led by school faculty, community leaders and Chin herself – to acquire more space to serve its sizable student body.

The event will take place today at 9 a.m. at Millennium High School, 75 Broad St.