MANH Lawmakers on the Move, July 13, 2020

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Cuomo: NY’s COVID-19 Numbers Remain Low and Stable

Governor Andrew Cuomo (Photo Credit:
Governor Andrew Cuomo

Yesterday, Governor Andrew Cuomo (D) had reassuring news when he updated New Yorkers on the State’s efforts to contain COVID-19.

Of the 62,418 tests conducted in New York last Saturday, only 677, or 1.08 percent, came back positive. The State also saw only two new hospitalizations, while 88 patients were discharged.

Cuomo emphasized, however, that we have to stay vigilant in order to maintain our progress.

New York State continues to move forward combatting COVID-19 with its phased, data-driven reopening in the face of alarming increases in cases throughout the country and in the nationwide death rate,” said Cuomo. “What’s happening elsewhere in the United States is very concerning to us here at home, and our ability to avoid the same fate rests on New Yorkers’ willingness to wear masks, socially distance and wash their hands, and local governments’ willingness to enforce state guidelines. Today’s numbers remain low and stable, but it is up to us to keep it that way. Being New York Tough isn’t easy, but New Yorkers have shown the nation that we can effectively fight the virus when we all come together, and I urge them not to give up any ground now.”

Stringer Releases Troubling Report on M/WBEs

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

Last Friday, City Comptroller Scott Stringer (D) released an analysis detailing the economic challenges facing minority and women-owned business enterprises (M/WBEs) during the COVID-19 crisis.

Of the more than 500 M/WBEs surveyed for the analysis, more than 85 percent predicted that they won’t survive the next six months with the cash they have on hand. 30 percent claimed that they won’t even survive the next thirty days.

The report also found evidence that M/WBEs are facing systemic barriers. Of the 62 M/WBEs that bid for COVID-related contracts, 60 percent never made contact with the City and only 10 actually received a contract.

“These findings are alarming and underscore the structural inequities facing M/WBEs and the urgent need for immediate action and relief before M/WBEs in our city are decimated,” said Stringer. “We will redouble our commitment to holding City agencies accountable and continue our efforts to identify and dismantle systemic barriers to participation. Our economy is strongest when it is equitable and inclusive, and our road to recovery must reflect those values.”

Maloney, Nadler Call for Investigation into Stone’s Sentence Commutation

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

Yesterday, U.S. Reps. Carolyn Maloney (D-Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens) and Jerrold Nadler (D-Manhattan, Brooklyn) released a joint statement following the Trump Administration’s decision to commute the sentence of Roger Stone.

Stone, former political consultant for the Trump campaign, was sentenced to 40 months in prison for witness tampering and obstruction of justice, among other charges. On Friday, July 10, President Donald Trump (R) announced a full commutation of his sentence.

“The facts are clear:  Roger Stone lied to investigators,” said Maloney and Nadler. “He threatened to harm a witness to his crimes.  A jury of our fellow Americans found him guilty of obstruction of justice.  Throughout it all, he promised he would do whatever it takes to avoid telling the truth about the President’s behavior in the 2016 presidential campaign—provided that President Trump protect him from the consequences.

“President Trump’s unprecedented decision to commute the sentence of Roger Stone, an individual that could directly implicate him in criminal misconduct, undermines the rule of law.  By this action, President Trump abused the powers of his office in an apparent effort to reward Roger Stone for his refusal to cooperate with investigators examining the President’s own conduct.  No other president has exercised the clemency power for such a patently personal and self-serving purpose.”

Espaillat Announces Nearly 6,000 PPP Loans to District

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

Last Friday, U.S. Rep. Adriano Espaillat (D-Manhattan, Bronx) announced the release of Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) information to New York’s 13th congressional district.

Espaillat announced that the Small Business Administration (SBA) has doled out 5,678 PPP loans to his district, retaining over 33,000 jobs. He also announced that the SBA has extended the PPP through Aug. 8.

“In the early days of the PPP loans, we saw that minority owned small businesses were not seeing the resources and support with the expediency they expected,” said Espaillat. “So, we went back and made sure that mission-based lenders like CDFIs, credit unions, minority depository institutions, and smaller local depository institutions in our community had the ability and lending authority to help their neighbors. And they delivered helping to keep small businesses open and over thirty-thousand jobs retained so far. These businesses are vital to our communities and it is critical that they have the support and assistance necessary to rebuild.”