MANH Lawmakers on the Move, Aug. 21, 2020

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Transit Union Representing 14,000 Workers Endorses Kallos for Manhattan BP

Council Member Ben Kallos (Photo credit:
Council Member Ben Kallos

Yesterday, Amalgamated Transit Union Local 1181 officially endorsed Councilmember Ben Kallos (D-Yorkville, Lenox Hill) for Manhattan Borough President.

ATU Local 1181 represents more than 14,000 school bus operators, matrons, and mechanics, and they endorsed Kallos due to the Councilmember’s tireless work on their behalf. As a Councilmember, he has authored legislation to give operators more time for dry runs, allowing them to flag bad routes before the school year begins. Furthermore, prior to his election, he marched with ATU Local 1181 members to support the inclusion of Employee Protection Provisions (EPPs) in their contracts.

“I am proud to have the support of our bus drivers who get our students to school and provide transportation for our disabled,” said Council Member Ben Kallos. “We must support the bus drivers who get us where we need to go from the disabled to our children going to school.”

Cuomo Signs Sweeping Election Reforms into Law

Governor Andrew Cuomo (Photo Credit:
Governor Andrew Cuomo

Yesterday, Governor Andrew Cuomo (D) signed several sweeping reforms to make it easier for New Yorkers to vote this November.

The package consisted of the following three bills:

  • S.8015-D/A.10833, which allows all voters to request an absentee ballot due to risk of contracting COVID-19;
  • S.8783A/A.10807, which allows voters to request absentee ballots immediately (instead of having to wait until 30 days before Election Day);
  • and S.8799A/A.10808-A, which allows ballots to be postmarked on Election Day. Ballots with postmarks proving that they were delivered on or before Election Day will be counted, as long as they arrive before Nov. 10.

“The federal administration has ordered an unprecedented attack on the U.S. Postal Service and with COVID-19 threatening our ability to have safe, in-person voting, these measures are critical to ensuring a successful and fair election at one of the most important moments in our nation’s history,” Cuomo said. “These actions will further break down barriers to democracy and will make it easier for all New Yorkers to exercise their right to vote this November.” 

Brewer Calls Shea’s Oversight of Policing Operations Into Question

Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer (Photo source: US Departmetn of Labor, CC BY 2.0)
Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer

Last Wednesday, Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer (D) sent a letter to Police Commissioner Dermot Shea, taking him to task over what she called a “disturbing incident” in early August.

On Aug. 7, the NYPD used facial recognition software to track down Black Lives Matter Organizer Derrick Ingram in his apartment. Dozens of officers, some in riot gear, arrived at Ingram’s front door, demanding that he turn himself in. When Ingram asked them to produce a search warrant, they refused; later, it turned out that nobody had issued a warrant for his arrest.

The NYPD has since alleged that Ingram had committed assault by blasting a bullhorn in an officer’s face during a protest in June. During a press conference on Aug. 11, Shea claimed that he was unaware of the operation until well after it started.

“Mr. Ingram, whom I do not know, is my constituent,” said Brewer. “The allegation that the NYPD attempted to detain or arrest him and did not provide a warrant when asked is outrageous. More significantly, it was an unacceptable abrogation of Mr. Ingram’s constitutional rights and a disturbingly authoritarian move by your department.”

Read the full letter here.