Manhattan COVID-19 News Roundup, Apr. 23, 2020

COVID-19 molecule
COVID-19 (Credit: CDC/ Alissa Eckert, MS; Dan Higgins, MAMS)

City Council Begins Meeting Virtually

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

The New York City Council held its first of many scheduled remote sessions Wednesday, Patch reported. 

Conducted over Zoom, the fifty councilmembers in attendance voted on various business and housing issues, as well as more services to Flushing Queens. They also declared five buildings in Lower Manhattan’s Tin Pan Alley historic landmarks.

“I am so proud of the work we are doing together despite the physical challenges we’re facing right now,” said Speaker Corey Johnson (D-Midtown West, Chelsea, West Village). “This is what we owe the more than 14,000 New Yorkers who have died from this virus.”

Johnson, Brewer, Jackson Fight to Salvage Summer Youth Jobs Program

Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer
Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer

As the city seeks to cut its budget due to the fallout from the coronavirus, its summer youth jobs program risks removal from the budget. 

City Council Speaker Corey Johnson (D-Midtown West, Chelsea, West Village), Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer (D), and State Senator Robert Jackson (D-Upper West Side, Harlem, Washington Heights) are just a few figures proposing a more budget-friendly alternative program, the City reported Wednesday. Instead of the usual job placements, training would take place remotely, and job sites could include food pantries, as call representatives at city service agencies, or as trackers of the coronavirus throughout the city, also called “disease detectives.”

“If beaches are not open in their full way, if schools are closed, if playgrounds are closed, and if school is out, what are young people gonna do?” Johnson aksed reporters. “We need to figure out what those options are.”

Hoylman Wants Taxes Reduced for Healthcare Workers

State Senator Brad Hoylman
State Senator Brad Hoylman

State Senator Brad Hoylman (D-Chelsea, Midtown) introduced a bill on Apr. 15 creating a tax deduction on transportation and equipment for first responders and frontline healthcare professionals, the Legislative Gazette reported Tuesday. 

“New York owes frontline medical workers an enormous debt, one we will never be able to fully repay,” said Hoylman. “Medical personnel serving our state during the COVID-19 pandemic deserve all the help our state can give them – and this tax deduction is a crucial first step to accomplishing those goals.”