MANH Lawmakers on the Move, June 25, 2020

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Espaillat, Castro Urge Pompeo to Provide Info on Foreign COVID-19 Disinformation

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

Yesterday, U.S. Reps. Adriano Espaillat (D-Manhattan, Bronx) and Joaquin Castro (D-TX) lead a bipartisan letter to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo (R), requesting information on foreign entities attempting to spread disinformation on COVID-19 and sow discord in the United States.

The letter came after the release of a report from the European Union, alleging that China and Russia have been spreading disinformation about the virus throughout Europe.

“The unprecedented distress felt by the American people and people around the world due to the
COVID-19 pandemic necessitates a holistic government response built on science, evidence, and
constant anamnesis,” they wrote. “Therefore, we respectfully reiterate our interest in any information on
initiatives by foreign actors that aim to use the COVID-19 pandemic to sow discord among the
American public, as well as your converse efforts to counteract such initiatives. We also hope
you will seek to inform the American people of such actions by making USG-verified instances
of disinformation available to the public. Our constituents deserve to know fact from fiction.”

Read the full letter here.


Brewer Hails Opening of Parks to Summer Camps

Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer
Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer

Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer (D) released a statement yesterday following Mayor Bill de Blasios (D) announcement on summer camps and city parks.

This summer, the City will allow private summer camps to utilize space in parks, as part of the City’s Cool It! NYC program.

“As we reopen our city and parents return to work, families need places for their children to be safe, and for many, that means summer camp,” said Brewer. “Summer camps in our city rely on park space for organized activities. When the Parks Department did not approve applications for organized activities within city parks, depriving children of working families of access to organized outdoor activities, parents who could afford to send their children to camps outside the city did so. 

“Today, I am pleased to announce that the City has heeded my request from earlier this month to approve summer camp use of our parks and our young people can finally have places to recreate in a supervised and supportive environment. While the city’s review of 350 summer camps parks permits is a major step in making our public parks accessible to the young people who need it most, we still need funding for the summer camps and the Summer Youth Employment Program in the budget. The summer season must remain equitable, safe, and enriching for all families and their children.”


Gottfried to Host Free Face Mask and Hand Sanitizer Giveaway

Richard N. Gottfried (Photo Credit: nyassembly.gov)
Assembly Member Richard N. Gottfried

Assemblymember Richard Gottfried (D-Chelsea, Midtown) will be hosting a hand sanitizer and mask giveaway in his district today.

Both supplies will be distributed on a first-come, first-served basis. Those who need hand sanitizer will have to bring their own empty bottles for Gottfried and his team to refill.

The event will take place today from 12-2 p.m. at the corner of 26th Street and 9th Avenue. For more information, call 212-807-7900.


James Issues Fraud Alert to Protect New Yorkers from Unemployment Benefits Scam

Attorney General of NY Letitia James
Attorney General of NY Letitia James

New York Attorney General Letitia James (D) released a warning yesterday regarding new reports of scammers using citizens’ personal information to fraudulently apply for unemployment benefits.

According to the reports, these scanners have gained access to databases storing New Yorkers’ Personally Identifiable Information (PII). They then use the PII to file claims for unemployment benefits online.

“We must remain vigilant about potential scams and ensure residents remain alert,” said James. “During these uncertain times, unemployment benefits are a safety net for many individuals and families who have lost their jobs. To exploit the use of these funds and overload a system that is already processing unprecedented numbers of claims per day is as shameful as it is illegal. My office remains committed to holding accountable anyone who violates the law, and I continue to encourage the public to report suspected scams to my office.”

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