MANH Lawmakers on the Move, June 10, 2020

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De Blasio Announces Street Paintings to Commemorate BLM

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

Yesterday, Mayor Bill de Blasio (D) announced that New York will begin street paintings in all five boroughs to commemorate the Black Lives Matter movement.

His Administration will co-name one street in each borough “Black Lives Matter” and work with community activists to paint them.

“The streets of our city will now affirm the vital work activists have done to bring us forward,” said de Blasio. “With a street in every borough painted with the words Black Lives Matter, we are recognizing where we have been and looking forward to where we will go.”

Chin, Brewer Commend City for Renaming Street After BLM

Council Member Margaret Chin (Photo credit: council.nyc.gov)
Council Member Margaret Chin

Yesterday, Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer (D) and Councilmember Margaret Chin (D-Battery Park City, Chinatown) released statements commending the City for renaming a Manhattan street “Black Lives Matter Way”.

The street will be in Manhattan’s Civics Center, which covers One Police Plaza, City Hall and several courthouses.

“Renaming and repainting a street is a modest testament to the massive challenge ahead of us, said Brewer. “But in so doing we will, literally, set down a marker for our current goals and mark this era for future generations. I’m a history buff; as New Yorkers and visitors walk downtown past some of America’s most historic landmarks, ‘Black Lives Matter Way’ will add to that history.”

Chin was, by all accounts, just as enthused.

“‘Black Lives Matter.’ We have seen the best of New York City when people come together and take to the streets to affirm these words boldly and courageously, and now we will be able to see this every time we walk downtown to some of the most important buildings and landmarks in our city’s government and history,” said Chin.


Espaillat Supports Justice in Policing Act

U.S. Rep. Adriano Espaillat (Photo credit: U.S. House Office of Photography)
U.S. Rep. Adriano Espaillat

Yesterday, U.S. Rep. Adriano Espaillat (D-Manhattan, Brooklyn) announced his support for the Justice in Policing Act, a bill to end the pattern of police violence.

The act serves to make it easier to prosecute police misconduct and obtain restitution from officers who violate civilians’ rights. It also includes measures like mandatory body cams and a ban on chokeholds.

“I have long fought for communities of color in my district and will continue my fight for African American and Latino families to ensure all persons are treated equally under the law,” said Espaillat. “Now is the time for systemic and transformational reform of America’s policing system, to transition away from a policing-first model. The best anti-crime policies are anti-poverty policies, and we must invest in our communities to foster opportunity. If we fail to act and implement real change, history will judge us by our inaction and failure to ensure life, liberty and justice for all persons in our nation.”


Williams Pushes for “Right to Record” Police Reform Legislation

New York City Public Advocate Jumaane Williams (Photo credit: ballotpedia.org)
Public Advocate Jumaane Williams

Public Advocate Jumaane Williams (D) is pushing for legislation that would codify a civilian’s right to record police activity.

During a City Council hearing on police reform, Williams brought up Int. 721-A, the Right to Record Act, which would allow any citizen to record an officer acting in official capacity (with few exceptions). To make the case for its passage, he cited several recent incidents in which police misconduct was caught on camera.

“Were it not for recordings of officers, we would not know videos of officers hitting a cyclist with batons, an officer physically pushing a woman to the ground, and officers arresting an essential food delivery worker, or many others,” said Williams. “All of these incidents were recorded. I used my own phone to record incidents that were not believed. Imagine if they were not. Imagine if we were not aware. Would justice be sought?” 

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