Adams Holds Meetings for the Youth
Borough President Eric Adams held two meetings yesterday for the youth, one virtually, with preschool students to answer their questions regarding COVID-19, and another at the intersection Utica Ave and Eastern Parkway to speak to young people about the importance of social distancing alongside Brooklyn clergy leaders.
Regarding the virtual preschool meeting, Adams has spoken to people of all ages throughout Brooklyn about basic steps they can take to keep themselves and their families safe from the virus, including practicing social distancing and wearing a face covering.
The second meeting comes after a video filmed on Saturday, May 3 that was posted to social media showing a New York City Police Department (NYPD) officer who was making a social distancing arrest punching a bystander.
Many have reported that recent enforcement of social distancing has been uneven, with people in black and brown communities bearing the brunt of more aggressive crackdown measures.
Rose Slams Partisan Attacks on State and Local Aid
U.S. Rep. Max Rose (South Brooklyn, Staten Island) issued the following statement slamming partisan attacks on critical aid needed by states and local governments who have been impacted most:
“When I put on a uniform, we didn’t fight for blue or red states—we defended the United States. Governors from both parties are asking to be reimbursed for fighting the pandemic. That’s not a bailout—that’s what the federal government is there for. This kind of divisive, tone-deaf and disingenuous nonsense from the President and Republican leaders is an insult to all those on the frontlines and the memories of those we lost. Let’s do our jobs, stop the games and save lives.”
As part of his continued efforts to ensure New York and all those impacted by this crisis are made whole, Rose has called on the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to waive the 25 percent state match for FEMA funding and to approve all outstanding requests by New York State for badly needed aid, including Individual Assistance, as well as to include pandemic response efforts as eligible for hazard mitigation funding.
Velázquez-Make Pandemic Unemployment Help Tax-Free
U.S. Rep. Nydia M. Velázquez (D-Northern Brooklyn, Lower Manhattan, Queens) has introduced legislation that would make the $600 weekly benefit provided in the “CARES Act” tax free.
“With millions of workers suffering from the most severe economic downswing since the Great Depression, we shouldn’t be imposing an additional tax burden on families struggling to get by,” Velázquez said. “This legislation will protect New York’s working families from paying tax on this assistance or facing an additional tax burden if the economy picks back up and they are able to return to work.”
In April, Congress created the Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (FPUC) benefit, which provides an extra $600 a week for any worker who is eligible for state or federal unemployment compensation (UC) benefits.
Under Velázquez’s bill, the “Excluding Pandemic Unemployment Compensation from Income Act”, laid-off workers would not count the $600 payments as taxable income.
Ortiz- We Need to Take Care of our Elders
Assistant Speaker Félix W. Ortiz (D-Sunset Park, Red Hook) is calling on the federal government to assist senior centers and nursing homes to obtain personal protective equipment and sanitizing supplies.
“Seniors are at the highest risk for contracting and perishing from COVID-19,” Ortiz said. “The medical staff and other dedicated workers at nursing homes and senior centers are unable to get the supplies needed in order to protect themselves and prevent the spread of the virus.”
“I have received many calls from my constituents who are front line workers or have elderly relatives in nursing homes who are extremely frustrated and concerned about the lack of appropriate safety equipment and supplies. Many feel they have been neglected by the federal government during this pandemic,” h added.
Myrie Shares COVID-19 Updates (Again)
State Sen. Zellnor Myrie (D-Brownsville, Crown Heights, East Flatbush, Gowanus, Park Slope, Prospect Heights, Prospect Lefferts Gardens, South Slope, Sunset Park) reminded everyone that Governor Cuomo shared more plans for NY’s in reopening:
“Phase 1 includes construction, manufacturing and select retail (with curbside pickup). Phase 2 includes professional services, finance and insurance, retail, administrative support and real estate/rental leasing. Phase 3 includes restaurants, food services and hotels. And Phase 4 includes arts, entertainment, recreation and education,” said Cuomo
- There are now 19,645 deaths statewide, with another increase of 230 over the past day. In New York City, the numbers of hospitalizations, ICU admissions and positive tests are all down.
Guidelines for Reopening:
- The governor outlined specific requirements for businesses that will reopen. Upon reopening, businesses will be ordered to implement new safety precautions including strict cleaning and sanitation standards, restricting nonessential travel, adapting the workplace to allow for social distancing, and requiring masks to be worn if employees are in frequent contact with the public. Read all the requirements here.
- The enrollment period for health insurance will remain open through June 15. New Yorkers without health insurance can apply for a plan through NY State of Health.
State Partnering with Gates Foundation:
- The governor announced plans to work with the Gates Foundation, the philanthropy run by Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates, with the stated goal of improving New York’s education system.
Milestone on PPE:
- The city reported that “for the first time since March, NYC will enter a week with a sufficient supply of PPE at crisis standard. This includes N95 masks, surgical masks, gloves, surgical gowns, and face shields.”