MANH Lawmakers on the Move, Aug. 24, 2020

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Kallos Speaks Out Against Violence at UES4BLM March

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

Councilmember Ben Kallos (D-Yorkville, Lenox Hill) released a statement following a recent incident at a Upper East Side For Black Lives Matter (UES4BLM) meeting.

For weeks, UES4BLM members have been facing escalating levels of racial harassment at their nightly gatherings. On Aug. 17, activist Angela Honor was marching alongside the group when an unknown assailant rushed her and shoved her to the ground. The assailant then lashed out at a marcher who tried to intervene. Thankfully, Honor’s injuries from the attack were minor, and the other marchers were able to defuse the situation.

“Upper East Siders are standing together against bigotry and systemic racism,” said Kallos. “What happened to Angela Honor is not acceptable here or anywhere. Thank you to residents who were present who de-escalated the situation and prevented a larger incident from occurring. This cannot and should not happen again, ever. I stand with residents who are protesting, and I condemn any violence directed at peaceful protestors.”

Hoylman Calls on NYPD to Allow Remote Access to Community Meetings

State Senator Brad Hoylman (photo provided by Avi Small)
State Senator Brad Hoylman

State Senator Brad Hoylman (D-Chelsea, Midtown) released a statement last Friday calling on the NYPD to start holding community meetings with a call-in option.

Last June, Hoylman sent a letter to NYPD Chief of Patrol Fausto Pichardo, urging him to enable New Yorkers to participate in community meetings via call-ins or video conferencing, so as to curb the spread of COVID-19. Pichardo responded with a promise to permit remote access for future Build the Block meetings; however, since then, he has failed to live up to that promise.

“While we received an encouraging response from the NYPD promising changes in August, it is extremely unfortunate that precincts are still holding in-person meetings with no remote accessibility,” said Hoylman. “The NYPD must make good on its commitment and provide remote access for community meetings. Our residents should not have to choose between protecting their health and joining their neighbors to discuss issues of public safety.”

Espaillat Speaks in Favor of Delivering for America Act

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

Last Saturday, U.S. Rep. Adriano Espaillat (D-Manhattan, Bronx) spoke on the House floor in support of H.R. 8015, the Delivering for America Act.

The act would prevent the Postmaster General from making any further changes to USPS operational procedures until after the pandemic. It also requires that the U.S. Postal Service (USPS) treats all election mail as First-Class mail.

“While the committed activism of Democrats and the American people forced the Postmaster General into announcing a so-called ‘pause,’ it is a wholly insufficient step that does not reverse damage already wreaked,” said Espaillat. “The Postmaster General even admitted that he has no intention of replacing the sorting machines, blue mailboxes and other key mail infrastructure that have been removed and that plans for overtime, which are critical for the timely delivery of mail, are not in the works. Therefore, in the name of our democracy and the New York veterans, seniors, families and small businesses who depend on the Post Office, I proudly joined my colleagues to pass the Delivering for America Act to undo the damage and ensure the Postal Service has the resources necessary to fulfill its vital role at this pivotal moment.”

The House voted to pass the act later that day, with a vote of 257-150.

Maloney Releases Troubling New Documents Showing Nationwide Mail Delays

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

Last Saturday, U.S. Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens) released new internal Postal Service documents showing steep declines in USPS service performance over the past two months.

The documents show that mail delivery has slowed considerably since the beginning of July. Postmaster General Louis Dejoy has still not taken responsibility for the delays, even though the drop in performance immediately follows his sweeping changes to the USPS.

“After being confronted on Friday with first-hand reports of delays across the country, the Postmaster General finally acknowledged a ‘dip’ in service, but he has never publicly disclosed the full extent of the alarming nationwide delays caused by his actions and described in these new documents,” said Maloney.  “To those who still claim there are ‘no delays’ and that these reports are just ‘conspiracy theories,’ I hope this new data causes them to re-think their position and support our urgent legislation today.  We have all seen the headlines from every corner of our country, we have read the stories and seen pictures, we have heard directly from our constituents, and these new documents show that the delays are far worse than we were told.”