MANH Lawmakers on the Move, June 24, 2020

Manhattan Lawmakers on the Move bannner

De Blasio Announces Illegal Fireworks Task Force

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

Yesterday, Mayor Bill de Blasio (D) established a task force to crack down on the sale of illegal fireworks.

The team will target the sellers, suppliers and buyers of illegal fireworks through investigations and sting operations. It will consist of 42 members: 10 from the NYPD Intelligence Bureau, 10 from the FDNY, and 20 from the Sheriff’s Bureau of Criminal Investigation.

Alongside the task force, the FDNY will launch a public safety campaign to spread awareness about the dangers posed by the products.

“Illegal fireworks are both dangerous and a public nuisance,” said de Blasio. “We’re cracking down on this activity at the source to ensure the safety of all New Yorkers and the ability of our neighbors to get some sleep.”

Nadler, Lofgren Denounce Trump Executive Order Expanding Suspension on Immigration

U.S. Rep. Jerrold Nadler (Photo Credit: U.S. House Office of Photography)
U.S. Rep. Jerrold Nadler

Yesterday, U.S. Reps. Jerrold Nadler (D-Manhattan, Brooklyn) and Zoe Lofgren (D-CA) released a joint statement regarding President Donald Trump’s (R) executive order limiting immigration in the U.S.

The order, signed on Monday, freezes visa applications for foreign workers until the end of the year; according to Trump, the purpose of the order was to protect American jobs during our economic recovery.

“The current U.S. unemployment rate is a real issue that cannot be ignored,” reads the statement. “But the reality is that the vast majority of immigrant workers complement the U.S. workforce and stimulate economic growth and job creation.  We must address the current economic crisis through careful deliberation and smart policy changes based on sound principles and reason, not through a politically motivated executive order grounded in nothing but speculation.

“Like much of our immigration system, our temporary visa programs are far from perfect and in need of reform.  But this order is a clear abuse of executive power.  As we have repeatedly reminded this President, Congress writes the laws, and the President enforces the laws as written, even if they don’t comport with his anti-immigrant agenda.”

Espaillat Hails INVEST Act Provision to Create Community Outreach Committee at Amtrak

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

Yesterday, U.S. Rep. Adriano Espaillat hailed the inclusion of a provision he wrote for the House’s major transportation infrastructure bill that mandates the creation of a Community Outreach Committee at Amtrak.

Last year, Amtrak incited backlash when it built an unsightly billboard at West 155th Street without community input. Throughout the whole affair, Amtrak dismissed community concerns and showed little desire to negotiate with lawmakers on the issue.

Espaillat wrote a new provision for the House’s Investing a New Vision for the Environment and Surface Transportation (INVEST) in America Act as a response to Amtrak’s obstinance.

“While I personally find the billboard to be distasteful and damaging to the beautiful panorama of the West Side Highway, the provision I championed in the INVEST in America Act was inspired by passionate local organizers in our community who continually shared their discontent for the structure since its installment, as well as the stonewalling even I received from Amtrak’s top brass,” said Espaillat. “I am pleased that Amtrak must now engage communities before initiating such projects and appreciate the partnership of my colleagues in Congress and local government for aiding in this effort.”

Chin to Host Mulberry Street Town Hall

Council Member Margaret Chin (Photo credit:
Council Member Margaret Chin

Tomorrow, Councilmember Margaret Chin (D-Battery Park City, Chinatown) will be hosting a town hall on the status of the site at 70 Mulberry St.

Last January, a fire broke out at the building, which housed several community-based organizations and the archives of the Museum of the Chinese In America (MOCA). At the meeting, an independent engineer will summarize the scope of the impact of the fire, and the efforts to rebuild the site. Representatives from city agencies will also be participating.

The event will take place tomorrow from 6:30-8 p.m. over Zoom.