MANH Lawmakers on the Move, June 26, 2020

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Nadler Voices Support for George Floyd Justice in Policing Act

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

U.S. Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-Manhattan, Brooklyn) spoke on the House floor yesterday in support of H.R. 7120, the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act.

The act would establish national guidelines for police departments, and mandate data collection on police interactions with civilians. It would also reallocate existing funds towards community-based policing programs.

“”The George Floyd Justice in Policing Act would finally allow for meaningful accountability in cases of police misconduct and it would begin the process of reimagining policing in the 21st Century,” said Nadler. I want to thank the sponsor of this legislation, the Gentlelady from California, Ms. Bass, for her tremendous work in crafting a bill that is, at once, bold and transformative, while also taking a responsible and balanced approach to the many complicated issues associated with policing.

“I also want to thank the activists who are leading protests across the country.  It is because of you that we are here today, considering the most significant reforms to policing in a generation.  It is because of your energy, your determination, and your demands for justice that the nation has awakened to the need for action.”

Velázquez Calls Out Trump Administration for Mishandling of PPP

Congresswoman Nydia Velazquez (Photo Credit:
Congresswoman Nydia Velazquez

U.S. Rep. Nydia Velázquez (D-LES, Brooklyn, Queens) released a statement yesterday following the release of a troubling Government Accountability Office (GAO) report involving the distribution of Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans.

The report revealed that the Small Business Administration (SBA) has processed over $512 billion in PPP loans; however, it has no concrete plan for overseeing the loans or insulating the program from fraud.

“As our nation continues to reel from the suffering and economic damage inflicted by this Administration’s botched response to the COVID-19 pandemic, today’s GAO report lays bare new findings of mishandling and negligence,” said Velázquez. “Instead of implementing the CARES Act as Congress intended, the Administration failed to issue proper guidance for small business loans and conduct oversight, exposing the program to fraud and putting hard-earned taxpayer dollars on the line. This mismanagement of taxpayer funds should expedite the calls that my colleagues and I have made repeatedly for an immediate and comprehensive release of data on loan recipients.”

James Leads Coalition of AGs to Endorse Biden

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

Yesterday, New York Attorney General Letitia James (D) lead a coalition of 23 attorneys general in endorsing former Vice President Joe Biden (D) for president.

In a public letter, the attorneys general praised Biden for having “the commitment and compassion to unite, [and] the character and dedication to lead.” The letter also expressed confidence that Biden could guide us out of our public health and economic crises.

“Only one person on the presidential ballot this fall can be trusted to defend the ACA, rebuild our economy & fight for all Americans,” James said in a tweet. “That person is Joe Biden.”

Chin Passes COVID Relief Bill for Small Property Owners in Her District

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

Yesterday, the City Council passed Councilmember Margaret Chin’s (D-Battery Park City, Chinatown) to provide relief to small property owners in the Lower East Side and Chinatown.

The bill allows certain small property owners to defer their July 1 property taxes to Oct. 15. It also slashes their interest rates from 18 to 7.5 percent. According to Chin, the intention of the bill is to help communities that have been disproportionately affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

“In order to have an honest conversation about neighborhood preservation, we need to explore every tool in our arsenal to protect the most deeply affordable housing stock we have left,” said Chin. “These small property owners operate centuries-old tenement buildings that house longtime low-income residents who pay rent as low as $50. Yet they continue to suffer the consequences of a broken property tax assessment system. Now with commercial tenants having to close their doors practically overnight, we can’t allow the City to continue to ignore the needs of these property owners any longer or — worse — profit off of their vulnerability.

“This bill is a first step to pushing the City to being a stronger partner to this neglected constituency and get them on the road to recovery. I am committed to fighting for more opportunities for more and even deeper relief.”