MANH Lawmakers on the Move, Oct. 29, 2020

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Powers, Hoylman, Small Businesses Win Major Rent Relief from MTA

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

Yesterday, after months of advocacy from State Senator Brad Hoylman (D-Chelsea, Midtown) and Councilmember Keith Powers (D-Upper East Side, Carnegie Hill), the MTA Board voted in favor of a major rent relief package for small businesses at Grand Central Terminal.

For qualifying tenants, the package offers rent abatement for all rent between April 1, 2020 and July 31, 2020. It also adjusts the current rent to match either 10 percent of all gross sales through 2020 or 10 percent of the tenant’s original rent (whichever’s larger). The rent reduction will be in effect until Jan. 31, 2023, or until ridership rates reach 75 percent of their pre-COVID levels.

“Rent relief is the number-one need for small businesses to get through the pandemic,” said Powers. “This new program ensures small business owners have a future at Grand Central Terminal, a hub of commerce and transportation, for when we welcome New Yorkers and commuters back in full.

“I want to thank Senator Hoylman for his work to secure this deal, as well as the MTA for its willingness to negotiate on behalf of our small businesses in a way that provides real help.”

Cuomo Commends State for Second Lowest COVID Positivity Rate in the US

Governor Andrew Cuomo (Photo Credit:
Governor Andrew Cuomo

Yesterday, Governor Andrew Cuomo (D) announced that New York now has the second lost COVID-19 positive test rate in the United States.

As of Oct. 28, New York has an average positive test rate of 1.39 percent, according to data from Johns Hopkins University. This places it second-to-last among the 50 states; just above Maine, which boasts a rate of 0.77 percent. It is also one of the only 15 states keeping its rate below the recommended threshold of 5 percent.

“New York’s test positivity rate remains second to the lowest in the US, but we have to stay cautious,” Cuomo said in a tweet. “Wear a mask. Avoid large gatherings. Wash your hands. Get tested.”

Hoylman Voices Support for Joe Biden in Op-Ed

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

Yesterday, State Senator Brad Hoylman (D-Chelsea, Midtown) wrote an op-ed for the Washington Post, entitled, “Joe Biden loves his son. We should all be so lucky.”

In the article, Hoylman shares stories of his abusive father, who practically disowned him when he came out as gay. He shared the story to contrast it with the relationship between former Vice President Joe Biden (D) and his son Hunter – which has become the subject of national speculation, due to partisan attacks from the Trump campaign.

“We heard from Biden at the second presidential debate: ‘I’m proud of my son,'” wrote Hoylman. “We read allegedly leaked texts from Joe Biden to Hunter in rehab: ‘Good morning my beautiful son. I miss you and love you. Dad.’ We see a photograph of the two together: Hunter looking into the camera, Joe pulling him into an embrace and a kiss on the cheek. That picture is beautiful enough to make me cry. I would have given up a lot for that kind of love from my dad.

“Still, President Trump and his supporters are intent on making Biden’s love for his son into a liability. I see what the president and his supporters are doing, and my blood boils. I know I’m not alone.”

Read the full article here.

Schumer, Williams Electeds Urge New Yorkers to Vote WFP 

U.S. Senator Chuck Schumer (Photo credit:
U.S. Senator Chuck Schumer

Last Tuesday, U.S. Senator Chuck Schumer (D), Public Advocate Jumaane Williams (D) and several Manhattan electeds held a press conference to call on New Yorkers to vote on the Working Families Party (WFP) ticket.

The WFP is a progressive party, organized in 1998 as a coalition of unions, advocacy groups and community organizations. Since its inception, it has been instrumental in helping the Democratic Party secure progressive victories in both Albany and New York City.

“Mission number one is getting rid of Donald Trump — and we can hold Harris and Biden accountable immediately by voting Working Families Party here in New York state,” said Williams. “That’s why I am excited to be here, encouraging all of the folks who are waiting in line to vote on Row D, the Working Families Party line. If it wasn’t for the Working Families Party, I may not be here. The Democratic Party in New York would not have moved to be more progressive as quickly as it did if it wasn’t for the Working Families Party.”

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