MANH Lawmakers on the Move, Feb. 6, 2020

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Johnson to Host Reusable Bag Giveaway

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

Council Speaker Corey Johnson (D-Chelsea, Hell’s Kitchen) will be hosting a reusable bag giveaway this Saturday.

On Mar. 1, New York state law will prohibit businesses from using plastic carryout bags. To prepare the populace for this new law, Johnson and his team will be handing out hundreds of free reusable tote bags.

The event will take place on Saturday, Feb. 8 from 11 a.m. – 1 p.m. at the northwest corner of West 23rd Street and Eighth Avenue.

Velázquez Slams Trump’s SOTU

Congresswoman Nydia Velazquez
Congresswoman Nydia Velazquez

Yesterday, Representative Nydia Velázquez (D-LES, Brooklyn, Queens) released the following statement evaluating President Donald Trump’s (R) State of the Union Address.

Velázquez sharply criticized Trump for lying about his economic record, making disingenuous promises to tackle prescription drug costs, and failing to mention Puerto Rico even once, among other things.

“The President offered little new tonight,” said Velázquez. “He spent significant time distorting economic figures in an attempt to burnish his record.  In particular, the President’s lies about rising incomes and manufacturing expansion painted a rosy and wholly nonfactual picture. While Donald Trump inherited a strong economy from President Obama, his Administration has done little to expand on this opportunity and create additional, sustained prosperity.   

“Rather than seeking to unite our nation and meaningfully address core issues working people care about, tonight Donald Trump retreated to his usual tactic of demonizing immigrant communities, castigating the vulnerable and sowing division.  I suppose when impeachment hangs over your head and you’ve little new and substantive to offer the country, hateful rhetoric and cheap showmanship become your last resort. Our nation can do better than this and Democrats are offering a better vision – one that unites us and tackles the real challenges ahead.”

Read the full statement here.

Rosenthal, Biaggi Introduce Three Bills to Strengthen Laws Against Sexual Assault

Assembly Member Linda B. Rosenthal
Assembly Member Linda B. Rosenthal

Yesterday, State Senators Linda Rosenthal (D-Upper West Side, Hell’s Kitchen) and Alessandra Biaggi (D-Bronx, Westchester County) introduced three bills to strengthen New York State laws against sexual assault.

The bills are as follows:

  • S7089A/A8928, which amends the Penal Law so that a fare-paying passenger in a vehicle-for-hire is incapable of consenting to sex with the driver;
  • S7090/A104, which amends the crime of Forcible Touching by removing the element of the actor’s intent, which is usually unprovable;
  • and S7128/A9110, which amends the Penal Law so that a person on probation is incapable of consenting to sex with their probation officer.

“The vast majority of laws around rape and sexual assault were written decades ago, mostly by male legislators,” said Rosenthal. “All across the country, and right here in New York, survivors are demanding justice and helping to lead what is nothing short of a revolution in the way society views rape and sexual assault. Together, we are changing minds and changing laws. And we will continue to do the hard work necessary to manifest that change.”

Rodriguez Calls Out MTA for “Blatant Disrespect” of Livery Bases

Council Member Ydanis Rodriguez
Council Member Ydanis Rodriguez

Council Member Ydanis Rodriguez (D-Washington Heights, Inwood) released a statement yesterday denouncing the MTA’s decision to subsidize late night rides for Uber and Lyft users.

Earlier this week, MTA Chief Innovation Officer Mike Dowd introduced that he’s seeking proposals from rideshare companies to parter on their new “Late-Shift” pilot program. The program will subsidize e-hail rides for residents who live at least half a mile from the nearest subway station.

“The MTA proposal… is a blatant disrespect to Livery Taxi bases that have been serving those communities for decades,” said Rodriguez. “Livery bases have the capacity and technological competence to fill the gap in service to New Yorkers living in transit deserts as well as Uber and Lyft, and have the added benefit to already have meaningful relationships with the communities in need. The MTA should have looked into ways to partner with local Livery bases before prioritizing the high-volume app-based companies.”

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