MANH Lawmakers on the Move, June 29, 2020

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Maloney Rebuffs Accusations of Voter Suppression

U.S. Rep. Carolyn Maloney (Photo credit:
U.S. Rep. Carolyn Maloney

U.S. Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens) released a statement on Friday in response to challenger Suraj Patel’s accusations of voter suppression.

As of now, Maloney still holds a narrow lead in her Congressional race; however, there are still 30,000 absentee ballots that we have yet to count. Patel appeared on MSNBC last Friday to claim that Maloney intends to “challenge every ballot” as they come in.

“Today, one of my opponents made an outrageous and baseless accusation of voter suppression before a single absentee ballot has even been counted,” said Maloney. “This accusation calls into question both my integrity as an elected official, and the integrity of our electoral system, and comes straight out of Donald Trump’s playbook. 

“This is a serious charge and a cynical abuse of voter confidence, and I will not stand for it.”

Benjamin Applauds Enforcement of Anti-Chokehold Act

State Senator Brian Benjamin (Photo by T.E.Shaw, CC BY-SA 4.0)
State Senator Brian Benjamin

State Senator Brian Benjamin (D-Harlem, Upper West Side) released a statement last Friday following the City’s first usage of the Eric Garner Anti-Chokehold Act.

The day before, Queens District Attorney Melinda Katz (D) charged Officer David Afanador with second degree strangulation, after an incident in which he used a chokehold on a citizen in Queens. Benjamin, who sponsored the Eric Garner Act, had this to say:

“The ink is barely dry on my law, the Eric Garner Anti-Chokehold Act, and already we see a police officer using a dangerous and illegal chokehold on a civilian. I commend Queens District Attorney Melinda Katz for charging the officer under the new statute. We passed this law to hold police officers responsible when they use excessive force, and we will.  With vigilance and accountability, we will rebuild trust in our communities and reform law enforcement in this state.”

Williams Weighs in on City Budget Process

New York City Public Advocate Jumaane Williams (Photo credit:
Public Advocate Jumaane Williams

Public Advocate Jumaane Williams (D) wrote an op-ed for the Gotham Gazette yesterday to assess New York’s currently proposed city budget.

As Williams explained, putting together a budget this year will be a tremendous challenge. This year, the State will suffer $10 billion in lost tax revenue, and will have to make sacrifices accordingly. However, he maintained that the current budget proposal put forth by Mayor Bill de Blasio (D) makes deeper cuts to social services than we should be willing to tolerate.

According to Councilmember Daniel Dromm (D-Queens), the Mayor’s budget proposal included no money allocated for food pantries, senior services or LGBTQ outreach, among other programs.

“Austerity is bad policy, no matter who proposes it,” wrote Williams. “It deepens the existing inequities that COVID-19 has already exposed and exacerbated. Make cuts where they are needed, like at the NYPD, but not where such cuts would have deep, lasting, devastating impact on our city’s youth and its future.”

Read the full article here.

Stringer Calls on City to Provide Roadmap to Safely Reopen Schools

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

Last Friday, City Comptroller Scott Stringer (D) called on the City to release data on the future of remote learning and a school reopening plan for this September.

In a letter to Mayor Bill de Blasio (D) and Department of Education (DOE) Chancellor Richard Carranza, Stringer outlined several questions that we need to answer ahead of the next school year; among those questions were how to ensure the safety of students and faculty, how to help students make up for lost ground, and what the school-day hours will be going forward.

“As you know, this conversation about reopening schools is happening at a critical juncture for our democracy,” wrote Stringer. “New York City and the nation are engaged in a civil reckoning around class and race the depth of which has not been experienced in generations. It is worth noting, then, that nothing strengthens the values of our democracy better than the promise of a high-quality neighborhood public school – a place where the goal of learning is to ensure a more educated, informed society, where parents want to send their children, where teachers want to teach and develop their craft, and most importantly, where children grow into critical, independent thinkers, strong and confident in their ability to navigate an increasingly complex world.”

Read the full letter here.

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