MANH Lawmakers on the Move – Feb. 10, 2020

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Nadler, Velázquez Demand Answers from ICE After Shooting

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

Last Thursday, Representatives Jerrold Nadler (D-Manhattan, Brooklyn) and Nydia Velázquez (D-LES, Brooklyn, Queens) sent a letter to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) following reports that one of their agents shot a man in Brooklyn.

On Thursday morning, an ICE officer was attempting to serve a deportation order to Gaspar Avendano-Hernandez, when an onlooker, Erick Diaz, saw the scuffle and tried to intervene. Diaz was shot by the agent in retaliation, and is currently recuperating at Maimonides Hospital. In the letter, the representatives ask for a detailed briefing on the incident, and warn the ICE not to impede counsel for the immigrants involved in the shooting.

“We request that your agency immediately brief us on the incident and the agent’s decision to employ his or her firearm,” reads the letter. “As part of this briefing, we request  a description of the protocol your agency employs to deescalate tensions when engaging in enforcement operations. We also wish to determine whether the agents involved in this incident were serving a warrant signed by a judge.  Lastly, we ask for confirmation that ICE agents in New York are in no way impeding these immigrants’ access to counsel.”

Read the full letter here.

Stringer Critiques De Blasio’s Housing Plan

NYC Comptroller Scott Stringer
NYC Comptroller Scott Stringer

Comptroller Scott Stringer (D) released a statement last Thursday after Mayor Bill de Blasio (D) unveiled his revised housing plan.

During his State of the City Address, de Blasio announced the addition of new elements to his affordable housing plan. His revised plan would amend zoning laws to allow homeowners to convert their basements and backyards into accessory dwelling units, or “tiny houses”.

in his statement, Stringer called the plan “a step in the right direction,” but ultimately insufficient.

“I commend this step in the right direction, but the massive scale of our housing crisis demands we do more,” said Stringer. “565,000 New York households pay over half of their income in rent, are severely overcrowded, or have been in a homeless shelter for over a year. All of them deserve safe, affordable housing, and it’s our responsibility to upend the status quo, break through existing policy paradigms, and build the housing New Yorkers need – finally.”

Brewer to Host Black History Month Reception

Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer
Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer

Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer (D) will be hosting a literature reading this Wednesday in celebration of Black History Month.

Brewer arranged the event in honor of the Harlem Renaissance’s 100th anniversary, and in memory of the late Toni Morrison. Attendees will get the opportunity to read passages from their favorite African-American novelists, poets and essayists.

The event will take place on Wednesday, Feb. 12 from 6-9 p.m. at MIST Harlem, 46 West 116th St.

Velázquez to Host 2020 Census Job Fair

Congresswoman Nydia Velazquez
Congresswoman Nydia Velazquez

Representative Nydia Velázquez (D-LES, Brooklyn, Queens) will be hosting a fair for 2020 census jobs today.

The job fair will offer both part-time and full-time positions, with salaries up to $28 an hour. State Senator Julia Salazar (D-Brooklyn) will host the event alongside Velázquez.

The fair will take place today from 4-7 p.m. at P.S. 7, 858 Jamaica Ave.