MANH Lawmakers on the Move, Sep. 22, 2020

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Rivera Writes Op-Ed on COVID-19 and Incarceration

Council Member Carlina Rivera (Photo credit: council.nyc.gov)
Council Member Carlina Rivera

Councilmember Carlina Rivera (D-East Village, Gramercy Park) wrote an op-ed for the Gotham Gazette yesterday, entitled “Covid Must Change How We Handle Rikers and the Future of Jails in New York City”.

At the pandemic’s peak, Rikers Island suffered a COVID-19 infection rate several times higher than the citywide average. This was largely due to a dearth of PPE and testing at correctional facilities, and it lead to the deaths of countless inmates and prison staff.

Going forward, she said, we need to start talking about how we can reduce our incarcerated population – even beyond the pandemic.

“This won’t happen overnight, but we can take steps while prioritizing safety and public health,” she wrote. “First, we as a city and state must take every possible action to reduce the number of arrests made, remove officers with histories of police misconduct, and work to dismantle the system that enables the ‘blue wall of silence.’ The state can also pass laws to remove unnecessary criminal statutes. and reinstate the portions of historic bail reforms that were sadly rolled back in the wake of pressure from police unions. And we can continue to redistribute funding from our police departments towards community programs proven to be more effective at reducing recidivism.”

Read the full article here.


Cuomo Announces Executive Order Extending Eviction Moratorium

Governor Andrew Cuomo (Photo Credit: www.governor.ny.gov)
Governor Andrew Cuomo

Yesterday, Governor Andrew Cuomo (D) announced an Executive Order extending the moratorium on COVID-related evictions until Oct. 20.

Last March, Cuomo enacted a statewide moratorium on commercial and residential evictions, ensuring no tenant could be kicked out at the peak of the pandemic. Since then, he has continually pushed back its expiration date; with the latest Executive Order, he has pushed it a month past its previous expiration date of Sep. 20, giving tenants even more time to get back on their feet.

“The pandemic remains far from over, and we need to continue protecting the business owners supporting their families amid restrictions necessary to protect the public health,” Cuomo said. “That’s why it’s the right decision to extend the eviction ban for commercial tenants another 30 days.”


Seawright to Host Restaurant Re-Opening Townhall

Assembly Member Rebecca A. Seawright (Photo credit: Zbroner, CC BY-SA 4.0)
Assembly Member Rebecca A. Seawright

Today, Assemblymember Rebecca Seawright (D-Upper East Side, Roosevelt Island) will be hosting a virtual townhall on the upcoming re-opening of indoor dining.

Last week, it was announced that restaurants will be allowed to serve customers indoors at limited capacity, starting on Sep. 30. Seawright will be discussing the details of the new rule with three restaurant owners: Mansion Diner founder John Phillips, Maz Mezcal owner Mary Silva, and Gracie Mews owner Steve Kreatsoulas.

The event will take place tonight at 7 p.m. at facebook.com/rebeccaseawright. To register, call 212-288-4607.

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