MANH Lawmakers on the Move, Jan. 24, 2020

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Chin Releases Statement in Response to Chinatown 3-Alarm Fire

Council Member Margaret Chin
Council Member Margaret Chin

Last night, Council Member Margaret Chin (D-Battery Park City, Chinatown) released a statement following a 3-alarm fire at 70 Mulberry St.

The fire broke out around 8:45 p.m. on Thursday, tearing through a five-story building that accommodates several nonprofit organizations and a senior center. No fatalities have been reported, but one civilian and two firefighters were injured.

“70 Mulberry is the building where I went to school, P.S. 23, after my family immigrated to New York from Hong Kong in 1963,” said Chin. “It has been an anchor in the Chinatown community for generations, serving as home to community groups like Chinatown Manpower Project (CMP), Museum of Chinese in America (MOCA), United East Athletics Association (UEAA), Chen and Dancers, and Chinese American Planning Council (CPC) senior center to provide cultural and youth programming, workforce development, and critical senior services. 

“I am grateful to all the first responders from Ladder 20 FDNY and the 5th Precinct for your swift action and bravery. I look forward to working with you and the Chinatown community to restore what was lost.”

Jackson Critiques Cuomo’s FY2021 Education Budget

State Senator Robert Jackson
State Senator Robert Jackson

State Senator Robert Jackson (D-Washington Heights, Fort George, Inwood) released a statement yesterday evaluating Governor Andrew Cuomo’s (D) FY2021 Executive Budget – specifically, his planned education spending.

Jackson opened by saying that Cuomo’s education budget, on the surface, comes off as “sensible and reasoned”. However, he harshly criticized his proposal for a mere 3 percent increase in school aid funding, calling it a “slap in the face” to New York public school students. He also called out Cuomo for using “deliberately misleading” language in regards to Foundation Aid, the main source of state funding for New York public schools.

“There are two main problems,” said Jackson. “First, the increase of $826 million is a slap in the face to all New York State public school students. The Board of Regents, governing body for education in New York State, is requesting $2 billion…Educators, administrators, parents, and other allies on the front lines know how under-resourced our public schools are, and they will understand how woefully inadequate Governor Cuomo’s proposal is.

“Second, the language Governor Cuomo uses is deliberately misleading. Foundation Aid is not whatever amount he decides is most politically palatable that year. Foundation Aid is the law, one that came out of a 2006 court decision on the CFE lawsuit I helped fight since 1993.”

Gottfried Endorses Maloney for Re-Election

Richard N. Gottfried
Assembly Member Richard N. Gottfried

Yesterday, Assemblymember Richard Gottfried (D-Chelsea, Midtown) released a video on Twitter endorsing Representative Carolyn Maloney (D-Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens) for re-election.

Maloney officially kicked off her 2020 re-election campaign on Wednesday. She will be running against political operative Suraj Patel and New York City budget staffer Erica Vladimer, among several others.

“I am delighted to be supporting Carolyn Maloney for re-election,” said Gottfried. “I’ve worked with Carolyn for a long time; she’s a terrific, strong, progressive voice for our community. She’s a national leader on women’s rights, and she strongly supports real Medicare for all, including here in New York supporting the New York Health Act. We really need to get Carolyn Maloney re-elected with a strong, solid vote.”

Powers Bids Farewell to Andy Byford

Council Member Keith Powers
Council Member Keith Powers

Council Member Keith Powers (D-Upper East Side, Carnegie Hill) released the following statement following the retirement of New York City Transit Authority Chief Andy Byford:

“Andy Byford’s resignation is a terrible loss for a public transportation system that needs accountability and leadership. Throughout his tenure, Andy approached projects with grace and optimism. Whether it was working together on the L Train project, the 14th Street Busway, or simply running into him riding the 6 train, Andy Byford demonstrated an enthusiasm for not only creating a better public transportation system for the City of New York, but a genuine enthusiasm for public service.

I am thankful to Andy Byford for his service to the city and I hope that his successor will approach this role with a similar candor and focus on improving the public transportation experience for all New Yorkers.”