Wright Announces New Endorsement for CWA District 1
Assemblymember Tremaine Wright (D-Bed-Stuy, Northern Crown Heights) announced a new endorsement from the Communication Workers of America (“CWA”) District 1.
“I am honored to have the support of CWA District 1. The union is committed to protecting the lives of working and middle-class workers in New York, and I am proud to have their support as I fight for improving the lives of working families in my community.” Dennis Trainor, Vice President for CWA District 1, states, “CWA District 1 is proud to back Tremaine Wright in her bid for NYS Senate for the 25th District. Working people need proven, accountable leadership, and as the current NYS Assemblywoman for the 56th District and candidate for NYS Senate, we are confident that Tremaine Wright will best champion our members’ rights and get results,” said Wright.
CWA is a union representing 700,000 workers in the private and public sector employment, in sectors such as telecommunications and information technology, the airline industry, news media, broadcast and cable television, healthcare, public service and education, law enforcement, manufacturing and other fields.
Adams Holds Meeting with NYPD on Social Distancing
Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams held a meeting yesterday with members of the New York City Police Department (NYPD) and local community groups throughout Brooklyn to discuss strategies for promoting and enforcing social distancing in a non-punitive manner.
The meeting comes after several controversial videos recently surfaced showing violent arrests by NYPD officers for social distancing violations, along with data from the Department showing that a disproportionate amount of arrests and summonses were targeted toward Black and Latino New Yorkers.
In recent days, Adams has compared the disparate enforcement measures to “stop-and-frisk,” of which he was a vocal critic during his time serving in the New York State Senate. He has urged the City to shift social distancing enforcement from the NYPD to community organizations on the ground, including Cure Violence groups, except in egregious circumstances.
Clarke: Small Businesses Needs More Access to PPP Loans
U.S. Rep. Yvette Clarke (D-Brownsville, Crown Heights, East Flatbush, Flatbush, Kensington, Midwood, Prospect Heights, Prospect Lefferts Gardens, Park Slope) led a letter to House Leadership urging Paycheck Protection Program (PPP)-reform to better direct funds to the small businesses most acutely impacted by the coronavirus pandemic.
“As we do all that we can to respond to this unprecedented crisis, we cannot allow the urgency of the moment to distract us from what is happening on the ground. Congress designed the Paycheck Protection Program to give small businesses across the country the opportunity to keep their employees on staff and stay above water throughout the crisis. Instead of providing the assistance the public requires to stay afloat, large financial institutions have used the program as a veritable printing press for free money with no consideration for those in need. We must restructure the program to both give large financial institutions an explicit mandate to lend to small businesses as well as streamline the process to give local businesses a fighting chance to survive,” said Clarke.
Clarke said after two rounds of PPP funding, the evidence suggests that large financial institutions have failed to equitably distribute loans to the businesses most in need. Instead, they have continued to lend primarily to their largest, most lucrative clients. Large financial institutions have a vested interest not to lend to local small businesses when they have more lucrative alternatives.
Writing a single $10 million check to a large national food chain generates the same volume as 100 loans to small local restaurants with the added benefit of fostering a relationship with a valuable client. As long as this is true, in the absence of further regulation the large banks will continue to lend heavily to their concierge clients regardless of whether or not that crowds out lending to smaller borrowers, Clarke said.
Jeffries in Support of the Heroes Act
U.S. Representative Hakeem Jeffries (D-Fort Greene, Clinton Hill, Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brownsville, Canarsie, East New York, East Flatbush, Bergen Beach, Gerritsen Beach, Beach, Marine Park, Mill Basin, Brighton Beach, Coney Island) released the following statement in support of the Heroes Act, a legislative initiative introduced by House Democrats to address the Coronavirus pandemic:
“The COVID-19 pandemic has ravaged America and left millions unemployed. New York has borne the burden of this public health crisis and our communities have experienced unthinkable pain, suffering and death. It’s an all hands-on deck moment at every level of government.
“The Heroes Act provides substantial assistance to New York and other hard-hit states so that public health, public education, public transportation, public safety and other essential services can be maintained in the midst of this pandemic. The $3 trillion legislation supports our frontline workers and healthcare providers; bolsters coronavirus testing, tracing and treatment; creates additional direct payments to cushion the economic blow; extends unemployment benefits and will help the American people weather this storm.
“This is an extraordinary crisis and the Heroes Act is a necessary and extraordinary intervention. I strongly support this legislation and thank the Speaker and our distinguished Committee Chairs for their leadership,” said Jeffries.
Rose Pushes for DHS to Increase Intel on China
U.S. Rep. Max Rose (South Brooklyn, Staten Island) and U.S. Rep. Mark Walker (R-NC), in a bipartisan push, urged the Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) Office of Intelligence & Analysis (I&A) to increase its focus on China and provide the subcommittee with details of its intelligence assessments on China’s actions related to the pandemic.
“While the coronavirus pandemic traveled the world and devastated my district, China continues to hide critical information for their own benefit,” Rose said. “The Communist Chinese government cannot be trusted, but I trust our intelligence community can help us get the facts in order to help us beat this pandemic and save lives.”
“China’s blatant disregard for humanity during the coronavirus pandemic has endangered the lives of Americans in North Carolina’s 6th district and across this nation,” Walker said. “Enough is enough. I urge the Department of Homeland Security Office of Intelligence & Analysis to fully investigate these atrocities and get to the bottom of China’s apparent malpractice.”
According to media reports, DHS I&A recently assessed with medium confidence that China was manipulating public knowledge of the extent and severity of COVID-19 in their country in order to stockpile resources for their own pandemic response.
Myrie Updates on COVID-19
State Sen. Zellnor Myrie (D-Brownsville, Crown Heights, East Flatbush, Gowanus, Park Slope, Prospect Heights, Prospect Lefferts Gardens, South Slope, Sunset Park) updated the public on COVID-19.
- There are now 22,013 total deaths statewide, including 166 yesterday. 340,661 people have tested positive in the state and almost 7,000 are currently hospitalized.
- Governor Cuomo specified four areas in the state that will begin limited reopenings on Friday: North Country, Southern Tier, Mohawk Valley and Finger Lakes.
- The U.S. House of Representatives proposed a new relief package that would include another $1200 stimulus payment to individuals, extended unemployment benefits through next year, and support for local governments. However, the Senate has called it “dead on arrival,” leaving the particulars of the next agreement up in the air. Governor Cuomo and Mayor de Blasio have consistently urged the federal government to provide additional support to local governments, without which they say we will not be able to recover from the crisis, pay our first responders, and put in place the testing and tracing infrastructure needed over the long term.
- The State Senate held a virtual public hearing on small businesses, framing, and the federal response to the economic crisis created by COVID-19.
City Caps Delivery Charges:
- The city will cap fees charged by food delivery companies like Seamless and Grubhub for the duration of the crisis.
Treyger Reiterates Call For Summer Safety Plan
City Council Member Mark Treyger (D-Coney Island, Bensonhurst, Bath Beach, Gravesend) yesterday reiterated his call for Mayor Bill de Blasio to have a summer safety plan now after a woman nearly drowned in the water at Coney Island Beach.
The incident occurred at about 4 p.m. yesterday when 60th Police Precinct officers, school safety officers, FDNY, and EMS all worked collectively and were able to revive the young lady. She was transported directly to Coney Island Hospital for further observation.
“We cannot wait until the first day of summer — June 20 — to have a summer safety plan. It is dangerous and unlawful for any person to go into the water when beaches are closed and swimming is unauthorized. There are no lifeguards while the beaches are still closed. It also places further strain on emergency workers already dealing with a pandemic,” said Treyger.
“On Coney Island and Brighton Beach we want to make sure our people are safe and that our small business community can survive. We need a plan that’s workable, feasible and is supported by strong science and public health experts. We need our lifeguards trained and enforcement mechanisms in place to ensure the public can adhere to social distancing practices. I’m once again urging the Mayor to issue a summer safety plan immediately for our Coney Island and Brighton Beach coastline communities.”