MANH Lawmakers on the Move, July 2, 2020

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Hoylman’s “Tenant Safe Harbor Act” Signed Into Law

State Senator Brad Hoylman
State Senator Brad Hoylman

Last Tuesday, Governor Andrew Cuomo (D) signed a new law to protect at-risk New Yorkers from eviction.

The Tenant Safety Harbor Act, sponsored by State Senator Brad Hoylman (D-Chelsea, Midtown), protects renters who have experienced financial hardship during the COVID-19 pandemic. Under this law, the court cannot evict any such tenant for unpaid rent.

“There’s tidal wave of evictions looming over New York,” said Hoylman. “No one should be forced onto the street during a pandemic. We have a moral obligation to do everything possible to keep New Yorkers in their homes.

“Now that the Tenant Safe Harbor Act has been signed into law, those New Yorkers most affected financially during this pandemic will have immediate protection from eviction. No single law can single-handedly solve the eviction crisis—but the Tenant Safe Harbor Act is one crucial step to address the looming tidal wave of evictions.”

Williams Vows to Fight Passage of FY2021 Budget

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

Public Advocate Jumaane Williams (D) released a statement yesterday after the City Council voted to adopt the Fiscal Year (FY) 2021 budget.

Williams’ primary grivances with the budget were that it did not include an NYPD hiring freeze or a true commitment to school safety reform. In his statement, he vowed to prevent its execution during the final tax warrant process.

“These are not my only objections in this budget, but they are the most glaring, the clearest actions that this administration could have corrected, and emblematic of such an unwillingness to commit to real transformational change that I am compelled to act in my charter mandated capacity as Public Advocate,” said Williams. “This action cannot be taken lightly. But it seems that when New Yorkers raised their voices for change, when my office called for specific, tangible actions, this administration either did not listen, did not care, or did not take us seriously. Nor, it seems, did they read the charter.”

Velázquez Calls for Election Reforms

Congresswoman Nydia Velazquez (Photo Credit:
Congresswoman Nydia Velazquez

Yesterday, U.S. Rep. Nydia Velázquez (D-LES, Brooklyn, Queens) wrote to the New York City Board of Elections (BOE), calling on them to reform election procedures and improve voting access.

The letter came after several reports of problems that took place during the primary on June 23. As the letter recounted, thousands of New Yorkers did not receive their absentee ballots on time; furthermore, on the day of the primary, several poll sites opened late, and some voters only received one of the two ballots they were eligible for.

“New Yorkers deserve to have confidence that their elections systems are transparent and fair,” wrote Velázquez. “With the General Election now less than 125 days away, I strongly encourage the Board to implement swift changes that could help remedy to the problems that were apparent in the June 23rd primary.”

Read the full letter here.

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