MANH Lawmakers on the Move, May 22, 2020

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Maloney Endorsed by Gloria Steinem

U.S. Rep. Carolyn Maloney

U.S. Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens) has received an endorsement for re-election from feminist icon Gloria Steinem.

The news came on the 100th anniversary of the passage of the 19th Amendment, which secured voting rights for women. Steinem congratulated Maloney for having the distinction of being the first woman to chair the Oversight Committee, and lauded her continued advocacy for the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA).

“I am just so humbled to have the support of Gloria Steinem, a trailblazer whose pioneering efforts and strong leadership in the cause of women has meant so much to women and families across the nation,” said Maloney. I thank Gloria for placing her trust in me, and I in turn am committed as ever to continue to fight for New York and this nation’s women, children and families, especially now, in one of the most difficult times in our nation’s history.”

Stringer, Williams Call on City to Ramp Up Emergency Food Programs

NYC Comptroller Scott Stringer
NYC Comptroller Scott Stringer

Last Wednesday, City Comptroller Scott Stringer (D) and Public Advocate Jumaane Williams (D) sent a joint letter to COVID-19 Food Czar and New York City Department of Sanitation Commissioner Kathryn Garcia, calling on her to ramp up emergency food programs amid the COVID-19 crisis.

Since the outbreak reached New York, 30 percent of our food pantries have suspended operations. But as unemployment is skyrocketing and thousands of New Yorkers are sheltering in place, we need food assistance programs now more than ever.

The letter lists several suggestions for Garcia to consider, including assessing neighborhoods with high levels of food insecurity and starting a public information program to inform seniors about their available food options.

“We are still in the midst of an unprecedented crisis, and the City’s commitment to ensuring that
New Yorkers do not go hungry is vitally important,” reads the letter. “We want to thank you for your efforts to make sure that New York’s existing and newly created food systems meet rising needs, and we appreciate your taking our recommendations under consideration as you continue to ramp up our food supply.”

Read the full letter here.

Gillibrand Cosponsors Bill to Establish VCF for Essential Workers Affected by COVID-19

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

U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) is co-sponsoring a bill that would establish a Victims Compensation Fund (VCF) for essential workers who have contracted COVID-19.

The Pandemic Heroes Compensation Act was modeled after the September 11th VCF, which provided aid for 9/11 first responders. Gillibrand is cosponsoring the legislation alongside U.S. Senators Tammy Duckworth (D-IL), Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) and Ed Markey (D-MA).

“Our essential workers risk their health and their lives daily to keep us safe,” said Gillibrand. “From the beginning of this crisis they have been serving on the front lines, getting sick, and some unfortunately are dying. Essential workers stepped up for our country; now Congress needs to step up for them. The Pandemic Heroes Compensation Act will provide a critical fund to ensure our nation’s heroes and their families receive the resources they need. I am proud to support this important bill in the Senate, and I will work with my colleagues to ensure it becomes law.”

Johnson, Women’s Caucus Write Statement in Support of Dr. Barbot

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

Yesterday, Council Speaker Corey Johnson (D-Chelsea, Hell’s Kitchen) and the Women’s Caucus wrote a joint statement denouncing Sergeants Benevolent Association President Ed Mullins for his misogynistic comments against Department of Health and Mental Hygiene Commissioner Dr. Oxiris Barbot.

Last week, Mullins called Barbot a “b—h” on Twitter after the latter told Chief Of Department Terence Monahan that she didn’t care about cops getting safety masks.

“The use of such language is offensive, inappropriate, and demeaning, and its implications are serious,” they wrote. “The dynamics of this interaction can set a dangerous precedent of harassment for Black and brown women.

“We are all public servants, and as such, we expect better decorum and civility from the President of a police union as we continue efforts to combat the current COVID-19 pandemic. Dr. Barbot, a Latina woman, has been on the front lines leading the DOHMH during an unprecedented, traumatic time in New York City’s public health history. Her position as a leader is unprecedented, but her work on the front lines mirrors the experience of women across the country. According to census data, one in three jobs held by women have been deemed essential during the COVID-19 pandemic, and women of color are more likely to be doing this essential work than any other demographic.

“On Monday, Dr. Barbot publicly apologized for her words during a private conversation in March with Chief Of Department Terence Monahan. When we misspeak, we correct ourselves and she did just that. We have yet to see SBA President Ed Mullins follow suit.”