MANH Lawmakers on the Move, Aug. 26, 2020

Manhattan Lawmakers on the Move bannner

Espaillat to Hold Press Conference on COVID-19 in His District

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

Today, U.S. Rep. Adriano Espaillat (D-Manhattan, Bronx) will be hosting a press conference about the impact of COVID-19 on Washington Heights and Inwood.

Espaillat will be hosting the conference in front of a new neighborhood testing site that opened this week. The site offers both diagnostic and antibody testing; both are free, but patients should bring their insurance cards and some form of identification.

The event will take place today at 11 a.m. at Holyrood Church/ Iglesia Santa Cruz, at 715 West 179th St.

Nadler Calls for Justice for Jacob Blake

U.S. Rep. Jerrold Nadler (Photo Credit: U.S. House Office of Photography)
U.S. Rep. Jerrold Nadler

U.S. Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-Manhattan, Brooklyn) released a statement on Monday following news of the shooting of Jacob Blake in Kenosha, Wisconsin.

The shooting unfolded in the early evening on Sunday, Aug. 23. Following a struggle with police officers, Blake, 29, tried to enter his car, only for the officers to shoot him seven times in the back. The shooting left him paralyzed, although it is not yet known whether his condition is permanent.

“I am heartbroken by this tragedy that has been visited upon the Blake family, and I am appalled at the brazenness in which this violence was perpetrated,” said Nadler. “But above all else, I am angry. I am angry that the system of racism and police brutality that put seven bullets into Mr. Blake is the same that took the lives of George Floyd and Alton Sterling and Breonna Taylor and so many countless others. I am angry that we can come together to say ‘black lives matter’ and yet, we are reminded every day that in the eyes of so many, they do not.

“There must be an immediate investigation into the circumstances that led to Mr. Blake’s shooting and there must be justice. I wish to express my deepest condolences to Mr. Blake, his family, and his community; I will keep them in my thoughts as they begin to recover from this senseless act of violence.”

Velázquez, AOC Want to Give Puerto Rico Self-Determination

Congresswoman Nydia Velazquez (Photo Credit:
Congresswoman Nydia Velazquez

Yesterday, U.S. Reps. Nydia Velázquez (D-LES, Brooklyn, Queens) and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-Bronx) wrote an op-ed for NBC News, about a bill they recently introduced to allow Puerto Rico to determine its own statehood.

The article explains that the movement to grant Puerto Rico statehood, while well-intentioned, is misguided. Unlike the District of Columbia (which has also received a push for statehood), Puerto Rico has a unique cultural heritage that existed long before its annexation. More importantly, there’s no real consensus among Puerto Ricans over the issue of statehood.

The Puerto Rico Self-Determination Act would allow the territory to make that decision itself. Under its terms, Puerto Rico would create a Status Convention made up of directly elected delegates; the Convention would then determine Puerto Rico’s fate, be it statehood, independence or any other option.

“It would be an affront to that goal for the U.S. Congress to blindly push the island toward one political solution without Puerto Ricans’ full participation,” they wrote. “Rather, Congress must establish a mechanism to allow the proud people of the island to chart their own course forward.”

Read the full article here.