MANH Lawmakers on the Move, Mar. 31, 2020

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Stringer Writes Op-Ed on How to Protect Our Frontline Workers

NYC Comptroller Scott Stringer
NYC Comptroller Scott Stringer

Yesterday, City Comptroller Scott Stringer (D) published an opinion piece on Medium explaining how we can protect our frontline workers during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Stringer described the current conditions in our public hospitals as “alarming”, likely referring to the shortages of equipment and the rising rates of infection among medical staff.

Last week, he released a demographic profile of our frontline workers, in order to determine how exactly we can help them. What he found was that most were low-income women and people of color who rely on public transit to get to work; he also found that nearly one-fifth of them were non-citizens.

As such, his recommendations include expanding accessible childcare, expanding access to citizenship and ensuring that the federal stimulus funds the MTA.

“In times of crisis, it is important that we come together as a city to serve the hard-working New Yorkers who make this the greatest city in the world,” said Stringer. “Let’s ensure that these workers have the support they need to take care of their own health and families — just as they care of us.”

Read the full article here.

Nadler, Bass Call on AG Barr to Protect Incarcerated Population from Coronavirus

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

Yesterday, U.S. Reps. Jerrold Nadler (D-Manhattan, Brooklyn) and Karen Bass (D-CA) wrote a letter to U.S. Attorney General William Barr (R), urging him to use the power granted under the CARES Act to protect vulnerable prisoners from COVID-19.

On Mar. 28, the federal Bureau of Prisons (BOP) reported the first death of a prisoner in its custody from COVID-19. The victim was a 49-year-old African-American man with preexisting conditions, which made him more susceptible to the disease.

The CARES Act grants the Attorney General the authority to release prisoners to home confinement during the pandemic.

“We ask that both you and the Director of the BOP interpret and exercise this new authority as broadly as possible, given that thousands of lives are at stake,” reads the letter.

Cuomo Mourns Passing of Josef Neumann

Governor Andrew Cuomo
Governor Andrew Cuomo

Governor Andrew Cuomo (D) released a statement yesterday, mourning the passage of Monsey stabbing victim Josef Neumann.

Neumann was one of the victims of a mass stabbing that took place at a Chanukah celebration on Dec. 28. Following the attack, Cuomo announced a legislative proposal to equate hate crimes with domestic terrorism.

Although Neumann survived the initial encounter, he succumbed to his injuries last Sunday. In his honor, Cuomo has renamed his proposal the “Josef Neumann Hate Crimes Domestic Terrorism Act”.

“This repugnant attack shook us to our core, demonstrating that we are not immune to the hate-fueled violence that we shamefully see elsewhere in the country,” said Cuomo. “The morning after that horrific night, I went to Rabbi Rottenberg’s home and apologized on behalf of the family of New York and I promised him we would enact a first-in-the-nation law that calls this hate what it is: domestic terrorism. White supremacists, anti-Semites, anti-LGBTQ white nationalists — these are Americans committing mass hate crimes against other Americans, and the punishment for their vile acts must fit their crimes. These acts of hate may not have started in New York, but they must end in New York.

“I am going to rename this legislation in honor of Mr. Neumann, and I am calling on the state legislature to pass it in the budget due April1. We owe it to Mr. Neumann, his family and the entire family of New York to get it done now.”

Velázquez May Have the Coronavirus

Congresswoman Nydia Velazquez
Congresswoman Nydia Velazquez

Yesterday, U.S. Rep. Nydia Velázquez (D-LES, Brooklyn, Queens) released a statement announcing that she was showing symptoms of a COVID-19 infection.

“In the wee hours of Sunday morning, I began to feel under the weather,” said Velázquez. “I developed the abrupt onset of muscle aches, fevers, nasal congestion and stomach upset.  I noticed that I could no longer smell my perfume or taste my food. After speaking with The Attending Physician by phone, I was diagnosed with presumed coronavirus infection.  My symptoms are mild at the present time and I am taking Tylenol for fever, and isolating myself at my home. 

“At the advice of The Attending Physician, neither COVID 19 laboratory testing nor a doctor’s office visit was recommended. I am carefully monitoring my symptoms, working remotely and in constant contact with my staff.  I’ll continue my work on behalf of New Yorkers as together we overcome this virus. In that regard, I encourage everyone to stay at home and continue practicing social distancing.”