MANH Lawmakers on the Move, Oct. 6, 2020

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Kallos Cuts Ribbon Celebrating New French Dual Language Programs on UES

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

Last Friday, Councilmember Ben Kallos (D-Yorkville, Lenox Hill) attended a ribbon-cutting ceremony to celebrate the opening of two new French dual language classes at the District 2 Pre-K Center.

Kallos first proposed the idea for the classes last December; he hosted a petition urging the New York City Department of Education (DOE) to establish a French dual language program for School District 2. His petition accumulated 200 signatures, and the programs were greenlit three months later.

“I am incredibly proud of the people who did the work in order to make this program a reality,” said Kallos. “Knowledge is power so any opportunity we get to expand and improve education in my district I will be supportive of. We all know the benefits of dual language education and I am proud that we were able to bring them to this district. Thank you to Deputy Chancellor Josh Wallack for his ongoing partnership in expanding early education opportunities, the French Consulate for supporting the Francophone community, and especially to Stephane Lautner and Catherine Remy who worked closely with my office to put meetings together and organize hundreds of other parents.”

James Renews Suspension of Debt Collection for Seventh Time

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

Yesterday, New York Attorney General Letitia James (D) announced that the State has renewed its suspension on the collection of medical and student debt for an additional 30 days.

In response to the continued effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, James has renewed the suspension orders through Tuesday, Nov. 3. At that point, her office will reassess the needs of New York to decide whether to renew the suspension again.

“Coronavirus is not gone, and neither are the financial hardships New Yorkers are facing as a result of it,” said James. “It is my hope that by again renewing the suspension of state student and medical debt referred to my office, we can reduce the burden faced by individuals and families during these difficult times. I will continue to do everything in my power to support our state’s economy so that New Yorkers can support themselves.”

Rivera Votes to Expel Andy King

Council Member Carlina Rivera (Photo credit:
Council Member Carlina Rivera

Councilmember Carlina Rivera (D-East Village, Gramercy Park) released a statement yesterday explaining her vote to expel Councilmember Andy King (D-Bronx).

King had received several allegations of sexual harassment and misuse of government funds over the past few years. After a recent report from the Standards & Ethics Committee, the Council refused to give him any more chances, voting 48-2 to dismiss him.

“Even in the wake of the most severe sanctions our body has ever issued, he has continued his unconscionable abuses and his staff has continued to be exposed to a hostile, violent work environment,” said Rivera. “He has shown that he is unfit to hold elected office or any position of power. Therefore, I voted yes to expel.”

The Council had previously held a vote to expel him last October, but it failed to pass. Rivera, who voted against his expulsion in 2019, expressed severe regret for not acting sooner.

“Given the revelations of the Committee’s most recent report, I now see that we could have and should have acted much earlier and for that I sincerely apologize,” she said. “We must address the failures in our process for reporting and adjudicating misconduct which enable corruption and abuse to persist, and our failure to act continues to hurt our employees and our constituents. It must end.”