MANH Lawmakers on the Move, Apr. 6, 2020

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Hoylman Denounces Court Decision Weakening Tenant Protections 

State Senator Brad Hoylman
State Senator Brad Hoylman

Last Friday, State Senator Brad Hoylman (D-Chelsea, Midtown) released a statement following a controversial ruling from New York State Court of Appeals.

The previous day, a narrow majority of the Court struck down a section of the Housing Stability and Tenant Protection Act of 2019 (HSTPA). The section allowed the state to look back at six months of rent history when prosecuting landlords for overcharging their tenants.

“When we passed the HSTPA last year, the State Legislature carefully considered legislative text that would protect affordability and ensure tenants could hold their landlords accountable for misconduct,” said Hoylman. “The Court of Appeals’ ruling will make doing so far more difficult.We cannot let this ruling derail the progress the Legislature secured for tenants last year. I fully support a potential U.S. Supreme Court appeal of this ruling, and will work with my colleagues to determine an appropriate legislative response.”

Nadler to Appear as Guest at DID Virtual Happy Hour

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

Tonight, U.S. Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-Manhattan, Brooklyn) will appear as a guest at the Downtown Independent Democrats’ (DID) first-ever virtual Happy Hour.

The DID Happy Hour is a monthly event, during which its members convene to socialize and discuss matters important to their district. This month, the DID will be hosting the event online, due to concerns about the COVID-19 pandemic.

The event will take place tonight from 6:30-8:30 pm.

Williams Calls for Disclosure of Racial Impact of COVID-19 Testing and Treatment

New York City Public Advocate Jumaane Williams
Public Advocate Jumaane Williams

Last Thursday, Public Advocate Jumaane Williams (D) publicly requested information on the racial impact of the COVID-19 crisis.

In a letter to Mayor Bill de Blasio (D) and Department of Health Commissioner Oxiris Barbot, Williams claimed that his office has been receiving numerous accounts of marginalized New Yorkers being denied access to COVID-19 testing. He also noted that people of color make up a disproportionate amount of essential frontline workers in NYC.

“My office has heard complaints that the most marginalized New Yorkers are experiencing more difficulty accessing COVID-19 testing,” wrote Williams. “Current guidance instructs the majority of New Yorkers who are experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 to stay home and manage their symptoms on their own; tests are reserved for people who are hospitalized as a result of their symptoms or people who have underlying illnesses whose condition is not improving. Many sick New Yorkers have reported difficulty locating a medical office that provides COVID-19 tests, long wait times, and confusion and miscommunication after being tested. However, the Brooklyn Nets, for example, were criticized by both Governor Cuomo and Mayor de Blasio for securing COVID-19 tests for their entire team.”

Read the full letter here.

James Demands NYSC to Stop Charging Dues During COVID-19 Closures

Attorney General of NY Letitia James
Attorney General of NY Letitia James

Last Friday, New York Attorney General Letitia James (D) sent a letter to the parent company of New York Sports Club (NYSC), demanding that they stop charging their members during the pandemic.

In March, Governor Andrew Cuomo (D) ordered the closure of non-essential businesses, including gyms and health clubs. In response, most health clubs in the state agreed to freeze membership fees until their spaces could reopen; NYSC, however, has not, nor have they responded to cancellation requests.

“As the COVID-19 pandemic has plunged our country into an unprecedented public health crisis, businesses have shuttered their doors, leaving millions without a paycheck and scraping to get by,” said James. “While the closure of all New York Sports Club facilities may have also placed a strain on the company, its financial straits do not relieve NYSC of its obligation to follow the law. New Yorkers have enough to worry about and should not be forced to pay for services NYSC is no longer providing. If NYSC refuses to do the right thing voluntarily, I will not hesitate to take every legal step necessary to protect New Yorkers from NYSC’s unlawful conduct and get their money back.”

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