MANH Lawmakers on the Move, Aug. 3, 2020

Manhattan Lawmakers on the Move bannner

Levine to Host Town Hall on COVID-19 and the Future of Housing

Council Member Mark D. Levine (Photo source: Wikipediting, CC BY-SA 3.0)
Council Member Mark D. Levine

Today, Councilmember Mark Levine (D-Manhattan Valley, Manhattanville) will be hosting a virtual town hall on New York hosing in the COVID-19 era.

Rodrigo Sanchez-Camus and Kimberly Warner from the Northern Manhattan Improvement Corporation (NMIC) will join him to discuss the housing court system and the protections still available to tenants.

The event will take place today from 5-6 p.m. on Zoom. To register, click here.

Espaillat Secures Key Funding Increases, Policy Wins in House Funding Bills

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 a series of legislative policy and funding victories he recently secured.

The first and most important victory was an amendment banning the Office of Refugee Resettlement from working with any for-profit contractor for the purpose of housing unattended migrant children.

“I am glad the recent House funding package included my critical amendment to prohibit the Office of Refugee Resettlement from contracting with for-profit contractors to house unaccompanied migrant children,” said Espaillat. “I have been directly involved over these past three and a half years reunifying children and families separated at the southern border at the hands of this administration. Our broken immigration system should not enrich those enabled by the least compassionate.”

Espaillat also announced that he secured the passage of two other key amendments: one to foster greater minority inclusion by National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAD) in clinical trials for treatments and vaccines for COVID-19, and one to provide additional support to local education agencies for English Language Acquisition.

Rivera and Co. Demand Investigation into Arrest of Nikki Stone

Council Member Carlina Rivera (Photo credit:
Council Member Carlina Rivera

Last Friday, Councilmember Carlina Rivera (D-East Village, Gramercy Park) and several other electeds wrote a letter to Mayor Bill de Blasio (D) and NYPD Commissioner Dermot Shea, demanding an investigation into the arrest of Nikki Stone last Tuesday.

The incident in question happened on July 28 in Manhattan, during a Black Lives Matter protest. Several plainclothes officers appeared on the scene in an unmarked van and arrested 18-year-old protester Nikki “Stickers” Stone. A video of the incident showed her being apprehended off the street, forced into the van and driven away.

Allegedly, the officers were responding to a vandalism complaint.

“We seek immediate clarity on the need for unidentified personnel and such violent tactics for a fairly simple case of public vandalism,” they wrote. “In fact, we ask that you explain why this dramatic method of arrest is needed in any circumstance. Some news reports in the aftermath of Stickers’ arrest mention NYPD sources describing this response as ‘textbook’. We would like to see exactly what your policy is on the use of plainclothes officers and unmarked vans.”

Cuomo Lays Out Roadmap to Eliminate Testing Delays

Governor Andrew Cuomo (Photo Credit:
Governor Andrew Cuomo

Last Friday, Governor Andrew Cuomo (D) wrote an op-ed for the New York Times outlining a plan to reduce delays in receiving COVID-19 test results nationwide.

Among the steps he suggests are mobilizing small, local labs to lighten the load on national ones; streamlining supply chains to allow for mass production and delivery of testing supplies; and investing in innovative solutions, like pooled testing.

“New York is proof that a real testing strategy can control Covid-19,” he wrote. “But our future success depends on other states to do the same — a virus anywhere is a virus everywhere. “There can be no economic recovery without each state having a sustainable testing strategy. New York has already advised other cities, and we stand ready to help any state or local government replicate our success.”

Read the full article here.