Assembly Passes O’Donnell’s Gender Neutral Bathroom Bill
Last Tuesday night, the State Assembly passed legislation from Assemblymember Daniel O’Donnell (D-Manhattan Valley, Morningside Heights) to make all public single-occupancy bathrooms in New York gender neutral.
The bill would apply to bars, schools, restaurants and other public facilities across New York. Its purpose is to ensure that transgender and non-binary New Yorkers can use said facilities without fear of harassment or violence.
On July 21, it passed the Assembly unanimously with a vote of 142-0.
“This is a proud day for New York,” said O’Donnell. “Everyone should be able to access public accommodations without fear of discrimination or harassment, no matter their gender identity. Placing restrictions on who can use public restrooms not only violates individuals’ basic civil rights; it all too often threatens the privacy and safety of transgender, nonbinary and gender nonconforming people who are just trying to go about their day.
“Today, New York State is affirming transgender, nonbinary and gender nonconforming people’s right to be themselves.”
Gottfried, Biaggi Call for Passage of Budget Equity Act
Assemblymember Richard Gottfried (D-Chelsea, Midtown) and State Senator Alessandra Biaggi (D-Bronx) wrote an op-ed for the Gotham Gazette yesterday, making the case for their Budget Equity Act.
The bill includes several provisions to give the State Legislature an equal role with the Governor in the annual budget negotiation process. Their primary concern is the disproportionate level of power the New York Governor holds during this process; according to the article, the Governor can add legislation directly to the state budget, and legislators can do little to stop him (aside from voting against the budget entirely).
“Our proposed amendment to the New York State Constitution would correct this imbalance of power,” they wrote. “It simply requires that the Governor clearly indicate any non-budgetary policy changes contained within their proposed budget, and ensure that the Legislature has the authority to amend those policy changes through the normal amendment process.
“We live in a time when more and more of the residents we serve feel disenfranchised by their government and worry about the concentration of power in the hands of fewer and fewer individuals. By passing the Budget Equity Act – which then would be voted on in a statewide referendum – we can give the people the more representative government they are rightfully owed.”
Read the full article here.
Nadler Voices Support for NO BAN Act
Yesterday, U.S. Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-Manhattan, Brooklyn) delivered a statement on the House floor in support of H.R. 2214, the National Origin-Based Antidiscrimination for Nonimmigrants (NO BAN) Act.
The bill would abolish any federal directive involving discrimination against immigrants based on their religion. It would also prevent any similar directives from being issued in the future.
As Nadler pointed out, the bill specifically targets the Trump Administration’s infamous “Muslim ban”, issued in 2017.
“When the Trump Administration issued its first version of the ban in January 2017, it was immediately apparent that it was unconstitutional, discriminatory, and morally reprehensible,” said Nadler. “Its chaotic rollout only magnified the cruelty underlying this policy.
“The United States has always been, and must continue to be, a place that welcomes and embraces people of all religions and nationalities. But, as a result of the Muslim Ban, our country’s reputation as a beacon of hope, tolerance, and inclusion for those fleeing persecution, reuniting with their families, or simply seeking a better life has been forever tarnished.”
The act passed later that day with a vote of 233-183.
Brewer, NYCHA Tenant Leaders to Accept Donation of 100,000 Masks
Today, Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer (D) and several NYCHA tenant leaders will accept a donation of 100,000 masks for NYCHA residents.
Although New York has flattened the curve, low-income communities are still experiencing high rates of COVID-19 transmission. To help, SC Health, a US-owned medical supplier, will donate 100,000 medical masks at NYCHA’s Rangel Houses Senior Center. Brewer will accept the donation alongside SC Health representative Michael Beys and former Manhattan CB7 Chair Liz Caputo, among others.
The event will take place today at 12 p.m. at Ralph J. Rangel Houses Senior Center, 159-36 Harlem River Dr.
Krueger to Host Town Hall on Navigating the Healthcare System
Tonight, State Senator Liz Krueger (D-Upper East Side, Lenox Hill) will be hosting a virtual town hall on navigating New York’s healthcare system in the time of COVID-19.
Krueger will be joined by Dr. Peter Steel, Director of Clinical Services for the Department of Emergency Medicine, New York Presbyterian Hospital. Steel will provide information on telemedicine sessions, how to schedule an in-person appointment, and where to go for COVID-19 testing.
The event will take place tonight from 7-8 at facebook.com/statesenatorlizkrueger. To RSVP, click here.