MANH Lawmakers on the Move, Oct. 1, 2020

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Maloney, Nadler Introduce Bill Giving Emergency Relief to Arts & Culture Nonprofits

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

Yesterday, U.S. Reps. Carolyn Maloney (D-Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens) and Jerrold Nadler (D-Manhattan, Brooklyn) introduced legislation to provide emergency relief funding for arts and culture nonprofit organizations.

The arts and cultural industry employs over 5 million Americans nationwide and accounts for 5 percent of our GDP. However, the pandemic has devastated the industry, costing it millions of jobs and forcing the closure of countless museums, libraries and other institutions. The Culture, Arts, Libraries, and Museums Emergency Relief (CALMER) Act would expand CARES programs like the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) to include all 501(c) nonprofit organizations. Additionally, it would give 501(c) nonprofits a payroll tax holiday for the remainder of 2020.

“Our nation’s museums, libraries, concert halls, and arts and cultural nonprofit organizations were among the first businesses to close because of COVID-19, and they will be the last to reopen,” said Maloney. “While arts and cultural nonprofits across the country have worked tirelessly to create digital content and support their communities through online programming, there is no way they can account for the loss in revenue resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic, which is upwards of $6 billion and continues to grow. This bill will give libraries, museums, and arts groups the assistance they need to pull through and continue enriching our communities nationwide.”

Williams, De La Rosa, Ramos Demands Cuomo Tax Billionaires and Fund Excluded Workers

New York City Public Advocate Jumaane Williams (Photo credit:
Public Advocate Jumaane Williams

Yesterday, Public Advocate Jumaane Williams (D), Assemblymember Carmen De La Rosa (D-Upper Manhattan) and State Senator Jessica Ramos (D-Queens) held a rally outside 740 Park Ave. to demand that Governor Andrew Cuomo (D) instate a billionaires’ tax.

The three electeds are currently sponsoring a bill called the Billionaire’s Tax and Worker Bailout Fund (S.8277/A.10414), introduced last July. The bill would impose a capital gains tax on billionaires and use the revenue to create a bailout fund for the workers excluded from salary subsidy programs.

“I stand with excluded workers left behind in this pandemic, and stand up to billionaires profiting off of it,” said Williams. “The Governor needs to decide where he stands. There are common sense revenue raising measures we can enact and the Governor refuses to even consider them, In New York, we support neighbors when they are struggling — and we support making millionaires and billionaires pay their fair share to get critical services to people in need.”

Powers, Kallos to Speak at Meeting on Urgent Need for Childcare

Council Member Keith Powers (Photo source: New York City Council)
Council Member Keith Powers

Tonight, Councilmembers Keith Powers (D-Upper East Side, Carnegie Hill) and Ben Kallos (D-Yorkville, Lenox Hill) will be speaking at a Community Board meeting about childcare provisions during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The meeting, hosted by CB8’s Women and Families Committee, will brief attendees on the available childcare resources within their district. They will also go over Mayor Bill de Blasio’s (D) newly announced plan to secure daycare for 100,000 children.

The event will take place tonight at 6:30 p.m. over Zoom. To sign up, click here.

James Sues NYSC for Illegal, Fraudulent Activity

Attorney General of NY Letitia James (Photo by KCP)
Attorney General of NY Letitia James

New York Attorney General Letitia James (D) has filed a lawsuit against against the parent company of New York Sports Clubs (NYSC) and Lucille Roberts for continuing to charge their members during the COVID-19 pandemic.

James sent the company a letter last April, ordering them to put a freeze on membership fees while their gyms were closed due to the lockdown. The company agreed, and also promised their members that they would provide credits later; however, on Sep. 1, they went back to charging their customers, including those who are members of gyms that still have yet to open. Furthermore, the company has repeatedly failed to respond to members’ requests for cancellation.

“Since the COVID-19 pandemic began, New York Sports Clubs and Lucille Roberts have done everything possible to flout their obligations and take advantage of members,” said James. “Time and again, these gyms have illegally sought to lift up their precarious financial state at their members’ expenses, even though many of these very members were simultaneously being crushed under the weight of financial hardships. Today’s suit aims to end TSI’s illegal efforts to run its members ragged, simply to spot its bottom line.”