MANH Lawmakers on the Move, Apr. 30, 2020

Manhattan Lawmakers on the Move bannner

Johnson, De Blasio Announce “Project Cupid”

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

Yesterday, Council Speaker Corey Johnson (D-Chelsea, Hell’s Kitchen) and Mayor Bill de Blasio (D) announced the launch of “Project Cupid”, a joint effort to instate an online marriage licensing process.

All New Yorkers who want to get married must obtain a marriage license. Until recently, the law required that both parties have to obtain their marriage licenses in person. Since Governor Andrew Cuomo (D) waived the requirement, the Office of the City Clerk and the New York City Department of Information Technology and Telecommunications (DoITT) have been working together to make online marriage licensing a reality.

“Coronavirus has changed the world in so many ways but our ability to love and commit to each other hasn’t wavered,” said Johnson. “Now couples ready to marry don’t have to wait for the pandemic to end to say ‘I do.’ We deserve some good news and this is definitely wonderful news for all of New York City,”

Velázquez Calls for Puerto Rico Aid in Next Stimulus

Congresswoman Nydia Velazquez
Congresswoman Nydia Velazquez

Last Tuesday, U.S. Rep. Nydia Velázquez (D-LES, Brooklyn, Queens) lead ten of her colleagues in calling for the inclusion of Puerto Rico aid in the next wave of stimulus regulation.

In a letter to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA), Velázquez argued that the $300 million allocated to Puerto Rico in the CARES Act is insufficient to meet its current needs. As of the letter’s writing, more than 63,000 Puerto Ricans filed for nutritional assistance since the quarantine.

The letter outlines a number of specific proposals to include in the next stimulus bill, including a surge in nutritional assistance for the island, and the expansion of the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) to include Puerto Rican nonprofits.

“The last three years for the Island have been more than challenging,” reads the letter. “Devastation brought by Hurricane Maria, hundreds of earthquakes that struck the southwest of the Island back in January, now followed by a pandemic that is likely to strain the local government’s response capabilities. As the Coronavirus wreaks economic havoc in the U.S., the Puerto Rican economy will experience an even greater decline.  We must ensure that Puerto Rico receives the fair treatment it deserves in forthcoming legislation.”

Read the full letter here.

Brewer Recognizes Tenth Annual “Denim Day”

Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer
Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer

Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer (D) released a video on Twitter yesterday recognizing the tenth anniversary of “Denim Day”.

Denim Day is a civil awareness holiday, during which participants are encouraged to wear jeans to spread awareness about sexual assault. Its origins stem from an infamous Italian Supreme Court ruling in the 90’s. The court was evaluating an 18-year-old girl’s allegation of sexual assault against her 45-year-old driving instructor; the court ruled that the plaintiff’s jeans were too tight for the defendant to remove without the plaintiff’s help.

In accordance with New York’s social distancing guidelines, Brewer conducted her annual Denim Day rally virtually.

“We cannot let this pandemic, this virus, make us any less mindful of the danger our friends and neighbors could be in,” said Brewer. “We’ll join together online as a community of survivors and advocates and allies, in order to work towards a future free of sexual violence and sexual assault.”