MANH Lawmakers on the Move, May 1, 2020

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Benjamin Distributes Hand Sanitizer, Masks to NYCHA Residents

State Senator Brian Benjamin
State Senator Brian Benjamin

State Senator Brian Benjamin (D-Harlem, East Harlem, Upper West Side) has partnered with community organizations to distribute hand sanitizer and face masks to NYCHA residents across Northern Manhattan.

In total, Benjamin managed to deliver 500 gallons of hand sanitizer and 45,000 masks to 47 different locations. In the past month, Benjamin has also headed a program to deliver meals to high-need NYCHA developments.

“NYCHA is ground zero for the conversation we are having about racial and economic disparities in COVID-19,” said Benjamin. I represent the largest number of NYCHA developments in the Senate, so I know first hand that our neighbors in public housing need help to keep their families healthy. I want to thank Governor Cuomo for providing us with the resources to give NYCHA tenants the tools they need to keep themselves healthy and safe. It is that sort of direct investment in the community that we need in times like this. I am very grateful for Bishop Brown of Bethel Gospel Assembly and Dean Daniel of Saint John the Divine who provided critical support to the effort.”

Rosenthal, Richards to Lead Hearing on Domestic Violence and COVID-19

Council Member Helen Rosenthal
Council Member Helen Rosenthal

Tomorrow, Council Members Helen Rosenthal (D-Central Park, Lincoln Square) and Donovan Richards (D-Queens) will be leading an oversight hearing on domestic violence during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Rosenthal and Richards – who chair the Committees on Women & Gender Equity and Public Safety, respectively – will be examining how the pandemic has further isolated survivors from support networks. They will also discuss how to better provide services to those survivors during the crisis, and share long-term plans to address DV as the City recovers.

The hearing will take place tomorrow at 1 p.m., and will be streamed live at

De Blasio Announces Extension of Citi Bike Critical Workforce Membership Program

Mayor Bill de Blasio (Credit: William Alatriste)
Mayor Bill de Blasio

Yesterday, Mayor Bill de Blasio (D) announced that Citi and Mastercard have partnered to commit $1 million in funding to the Citi Bike Critical Workforce Membership Program.

The program, which began in March, provides free one-month Citi Bike memberships to first-responder, healthcare and transit workers. Since its enactment, more than 5,500 workers have joined the program.

The most effective interventions in the fight against COVID-19 are ones that help essential workers get us through this crisis, while laying the foundation for a fairer and better city in the future,” said de Blasio. “I’m grateful to Lyft, Citi, and Mastercard for standing with our city’s heroes – and for helping our city provide expanded access to bikeshare in underserved areas.”

Gillibrand, Schumer Urge USDA to Approve New York State’s EBT Program

U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand
U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand

Yesterday, U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) and US. Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) wrote a letter calling on the Trump Administration to respond to New York State’s request to enact the Pandemic Electronic Benefit Transfer (P-EBT) program authorized under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act.

P-EBT programs provide nutritional assistance to families with children who are eligible for free or discounted meals during school closures. New York submitted their plan for a P-EBT to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) on Mar. 25. The USDA has yet to respond to it.

“Currently ten states have been approved to operate a Pandemic EBT program, with the most recent approvals coming on April 24, 2020,” reads the letter. “With New York State being the epicenter of the COVID-19 pandemic, and school closures beginning in New York City on March 15 and statewide on March 18, it is imperative that New York State’s request be approved so they can start feeding hungry kids immediately.                               

“Over a million children in New York continue to be hungry while this request remains unapproved. We urge you to immediately approve their Pandemic EBT request. Thank you for your careful consideration of this request.”

Brewer Begins Distribution of 50,000 Face Masks

Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer
Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer

Today, Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer (D) will be distributing 50,000 face masks at three different nursing homes and senior centers.

The masks will be provided by Mark Schienberg, President of the Greater New York Automobile Dealers Association (GNYADA). Brewer will distribute them at the following locations:

  • Jewish Home Lifecare, 120 W. 106th Street, 10:45–11 AM (approx.)
  • Greater Harlem Nursing Home, 30 West 138th Street, 11:30–11:45 AM (approx.)
  • Stanley M. Isaacs Neighborhood Center, 415 East 93rd Street 12:45–1 PM (approx.)

The event will take place today from 10 a.m. – 1 p.m.

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