MANH Lawmakers on the Move, Apr. 16, 2020

Manhattan Lawmakers on the Move bannner

Johnson Announces First Ever City Council Remote Stated Meeting

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

Council Speaker Corey Johnson (D-Chelsea, Hell’s Kitchen) announced yesterday that the City Council will be holding a stated meeting on Wednesday, Apr. 22.

This will be the first meeting that the Council has held in over a month; more notably, it will be the first time in the Council’s 82-year history that a meeting is conducted remotely.

“It isn’t easy to get an 82 year-old legislative body up and running remotely for the first time in its history, but I am proud of the work that the staff put in to make this happen in a secure and publicly accessible fashion,” said Johnson. “I speak for all members in saying we are eager to resume legislating for the people of New York. The coming weeks and months will not be easy for us a city, but I can guarantee that the Council will do everything in its power to help us weather this difficult time.”

Stringer Calls for COVID-19 Victims Fund

NYC Comptroller Scott Stringer
NYC Comptroller Scott Stringer

Yesterday, City Comptroller Scott Stringer (D) wrote an op-ed for the New York Daily News, to advocate for a federal fund for the families of frontline workers who have contracted COVID-19.

He begins by paying respects to Sandra Santos-Vizcaino, a Brooklyn schoolteacher who went to work every weekday until Mayor Bill de Blasio (D) closed public schools on Mar. 19. A week later, she fell ill, and five days afterward, she died, leaving behind a husband and two children.

They, said Stringer, are just one of the thousands of families who deserve compensation for their loss.

“It’s impossible to fully repay Santos-Vizcaino or her family for her 25 years of service she gave to our children, or the scores of other frontline workers across the nation who — simply by following orders and going to work — exposed themselves to heightened risk of infection,” said Stringer. “But there is one, critical step that we as a nation should take; Congress should create a Victim Compensation Fund to help the surviving family members of all frontline workers who went to work — caring for our sick, teaching our children, stocking our grocery shelves, staffing our pharmacies, performing essential government services — and died from COVID-19.”

Read the full article here.

Levine to Appear at Four Freedoms General Body Meeting

Council Member Mark D. Levine
Council Member Mark D. Levine

Council Member Mark Levine (D-Manhattan Valley, Manhattanville) will appear tonight at the Four Freedoms Democratic Club’s second virtual general body meeting.

At the meeting, Levine will brief club members on the City’s response to COVID-19, and share his own experience with contracting and recovering from the virus.

The event will take place tonight at 7 p.m.

Espaillat Responds to Updated Guidelines for Essential Workers

U.S. Rep. Adriano Espaillat
U.S. Rep. Adriano Espaillat

Yesterday, U.S. Rep. Adriano Espaillat (D-Washington Heights, Sugar Hill) released a statement after the CDC issued updated guidelines for essential workers.

Late last month, Espaillat sent a letter to the Coronavirus Task Force (CTF) calling for “updated, prescriptive guidance” for essential workers. In his statement, Espaillat said that the new guidelines, while a step in the right direction, are not sufficient.

“I appreciate Vice President Pence, the CDC and the Coronavirus Task Force’s attention to our recent letter and nod the recent changes and expansions made to the CDC’s guidance,” said Espaillat. “However, these fall far short of providing the clarity necessary for essential workers to discharge their duties, we owe them more clarity.”