MANH Lawmakers on the Move, June 12, 2020

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Stringer Issues Subpoena for Information on City’s COVID-19 Preparedness

NYC Comptroller Scott Stringer (Photo credit: Thomas Good, CC BY-SA 4.0)
NYC Comptroller Scott Stringer

Yesterday, City Comptroller Scott Stringer (D) issued a subpoena for an investigation into the City’s preparedness and response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

According to worldometers.info, City has experienced over 20,000 COVID-19 fatalities as of June 11, 2020. It accounts for more than two-thirds of the fatalities in the State.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has wrought unspeakable pain, grief and economic hardship on New Yorkers across our city,” said Stringer. “Our most vulnerable neighbors — including communities of color, lower-income New Yorkers, seniors, immigrants, and single-parent and overcrowded households — were especially devastated by this crisis. Small businesses that closed to protect the public health are now struggling to make ends meet as our city reopens. The Administration owes New Yorkers an explanation of what they knew about this deadly virus, when they knew it, and what they did about it.”


Velázquez Files Amicus Brief Supporting Amazon Workers

Congresswoman Nydia Velazquez (Photo Credit: ballotpedia.org)
Congresswoman Nydia Velazquez

Yesterday, U.S. Rep. Nydia Velázquez (D-LES, Brooklyn, Queens) led 15 of her colleagues in filing an amicus brief in support of Amazon workers suing the company for dangerous work conditions.

The suit, filed last Wednesday, alleges that several of the plaintiffs contracted COVID-19 and spread it to their loved ones due to working in unsafe conditions. It demands several changes to on-the-job guidelines, including providing them more time to wash their hands and clean their workstations.

“Amazon has made tremendous profits during this terrible pandemic as more people purchase items online,” Velázquez said. “However, it has become tragically clear that this giant corporation is willing to imperil the health and safety of its own workers, their families and the surrounding community to benefit its bottom line. Today, we are imploring the court to intervene and provide relief that protects employees from getting ill and jeopardizing the community through further COVID-19 spread.”


Espaillat, Warren Push Housing Relief for Puerto Rico

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) and Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) called on the Senate to pass the Housing Survivors of Major Disasters Act.

The act would provide relief to thousands of families who recently lost their homes in natural disasters. In a letter to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY), Espaillat and Warren underscored the need to pass this act, noting the devastation that Puerto Rico has endured in the past few years.

“The Trump Administration’s indiscriminate response to Hurricanes Maria and Irma has cost the people of Puerto Rico thousands of lives, businesses, and homes,” said Espaillat. “Federal housing relief programs we used on the island proved far too burdensome, with documentation and notarization requirements that do not comport with the reality of post-disaster conditions. This vital legislation received bipartisan praise in a recent House markup precisely because of its requisiteness to the modernization of our disaster relief programs and the immediate health and safety of thousands of US citizens in Puerto Rico.”

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