MANH Lawmakers on the Move, May 12, 2020

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Levine Calls on City to Release COVID-19 Data by Zip Code

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

Council Member Mark Levine (D-Manhattan Valley, Manhattanville) released a tweet yesterday calling on the City to release a breakdown of COVID-19 deaths by zip code.

To illustrate his point, Levine posted a table showing a breakdown of deaths by borough. According to the table, the Bronx has suffered nearly twice as many deaths per capita as Manhattan, showing a clear discrepancy in the way our communities have been affected.

But Levine contended that the data we have, while useful, is still too broad.

“We have data on covid deaths by borough, and it certainly shows inequality,” said Levine. “But we are missing the profound inequality between neighborhoods *within* boroughs. Right now we can’t compare Harlem to the Upper East Side. That’s why we need NYC to release # of deaths by ZIP CODE.”


Hoylman, Ramos Introduce Bill to Protect Workers Who Leave Unsafe Work Environments

State Senator Brad Hoylman
State Senator Brad Hoylman

Last Friday, State Senators Brad Hoylman (D-Chelsea, Midtown) and Jessica Ramos (D-Queens) introduced a bill to protect unemployment benefits for workers who can’t work because of COVID-19.

As the City opens back up, workers across the city will be forced to return to their workplaces, which may not necessarily have adequate precautions in place to prevent the spread of COVID-19. The bill would ensure that any worker who loses their job for not showing up, or quits out of fear of infection, will be eligible for unemployment insurance.

“New York is the epicenter of a global pandemic, and public health experts are urging us all to stay safe by saying home,” said Hoylman. “Going to work every day shouldn’t be a game of Russian Roulette. It’s absolutely outrageous to force New Yorkers to choose between risking their life or losing their job. This legislation will ensure that no one is forced to expose themselves to a deadly virus simply to pay rent or put food on the table. New York State must stand up for workers—especially when it’s clear their employers won’t.”


Rivera to Host Conversation on Small Business and Freelance Survival

Council Member Carlina Rivera
Council Member Carlina Rivera

Today, Council Member Carlina Rivera (D-East Village, Gramercy Park) will be hosting a conversation on small business and freelance survival in the era of COVID-19.

Rivera, along with Council Member Rafael Espinal (D-Brooklyn) and Hospitality Alliance Executive Director Andrew Rigie, will be discussing how to support small businesses, freelancers and independent workers during the quarantine.

The event will take place tonight at 7:30 at facebook.com/councilwomancarlinarivera.


Velázquez, King Push for Higher Education Funds in Next COVID-19 Package

Congresswoman Nydia Velazquez
Congresswoman Nydia Velazquez

Last Sunday, U.S. Reps. Nydia Velázquez (D-LES, Brooklyn, Queens) and Peter King (R-NY) called for more emergency funding for higher education in the next COVID-19 relief package.

In a letter to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA), the representatives requested an additional $175 billion for the Education Stabilization Fund, $46 billion of which will go to the Higher Education Emergency Relief (HEER) Fund.

“Given the uncertainties generated by COVID-19, additional HEER funding would serve as a bridge for students to reach the fall semester,” they wrote. “Moreover, it will enable public and private, nonprofit higher education institutions to respond to the long-term financial strains of the outbreak.”

Read the full letter here.

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