MANH Lawmakers on the Move, Nov. 9, 2020

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Ayala Reminds Us Who Suffered Under the Trump Administration

Council Member Diana Ayala (Photo credit:
Council Member Diana Ayala

Councilmember Diana Ayala (D-El Barrio, Mott Haven) released a statement yesterday, after the Associated Press confirmed that challenger Joe Biden (D) defeated incumbent President Donald Trump (R) in the national election.

The result, she said, was a victory of all Americans. But it was a particularly big victory for the groups who suffered the most as a result of Trump’s policies – namely, Puerto Ricans women and victims of COVID-19.

“As a proud Puerto Rican, with family who continues to live on the island, I have been witness to devastation left behind after Hurricane Maria when the President abandoned the American citizens who call Puerto Rico home,” said Ayala. “As a woman, I cannot imagine what it must have felt like for all of those mothers who had their children ripped away from them at the border, never to be seen again. And as a victim of COVID-19, I am further reminded of the devastating consequences this pandemic has had on my community and all those who lost their lives, their jobs, and their sanity when this government failed us.

“This win is for them.”

Cuomo, NYS to Honor Veterans with Free Fishing Day

Governor Andrew Cuomo (Photo Credit:
Governor Andrew Cuomo

Last Friday, Governor Andrew Cuomo (D) announced that New Yorkers will be able to fish without a license this Veteran’s Day: Wednesday, Nov. 11.

In 2015, Cuomo signed legislation allowing the State to host more authorized Free Fishing Days, which allow New Yorkers to try their hand at the hobby at no cost. Since then, every Veteran’s Day has been designated as such.

“The Veterans Day Free Fishing Day is just one way to acknowledge the contributions of our veterans while offering the opportunity to enjoy some of the best fishing spots in the nation, right here in the Empire State,” Cuomo said. “I encourage everyone from expert anglers to beginners to take advantage of this Free Fishing Day and enjoy everything New York has to offer.” 

Williams Expresses Disappointment in NYPD

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

Public Advocate Jumaane Williams (D) released a statement last Friday regarding the policing of election-related protests.

As the election results slowly came in, the tension incited protests across the five boroughs. The NYPD responded aggressively, resorting to kettling and frequent arrests; last Thursday night alone saw the arrest of 19 protesters.

“I was not present last night, but over the summer I personally witnessed extreme aggression by police that was excused and dismissed by the department and the Mayor,” said Williams. “After a summer of sustained protest, the administration and NYPD could have honestly acknowledged their failures in policing protests, and acted in good faith to try to correct the disparate precedent set. Sadly, that did not occur, and the Mayor still refuses to admit to the reality of the aggression that the public has seen and experienced. What we’re witnessing now are the disturbing results of the administration’s opportunity missed, obligation ignored and inability to provide the leadership needed at this moment.”

Johnson, Torres Announce Report on Improper Online Conduct from NYPD Official

Council Member Corey Johnson (Credit: Jeff Reed)
Council Member Corey Johnson

Last Friday, Council Speaker Corey Johnson (D-Chelsea, Hell’s Kitchen) and Councilmember Ritchie Torres (D-Bronx) released a Council Oversight and Investigations report, revealing the identity of an anonymous troll responsible for disgusting and inflammatory posts.

The evidence suggests that the culprit who used the moniker “Clouseau”, was Deputy Inspector James Francis Kobel. Kobel had served as the commanding officer of the NYPD’s Office of Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) since May; in light of the evidence, the NYPD has relieved him of his position. The Council will hold a public hearing on the matter in a few weeks.

“The abhorrent racist, misogynist, and homophobic messages, which our evidence reveals was posted by NYPD Deputy Inspector James Francis Kobel, are deplorable and intolerable,” said Johnson. “It is outrageous that any public servant – let alone the person in charge of handling harassment and equal opportunity at the department – would behave in this reprehensible and unprofessional manner. This Council will take immediate action to find out how this could have happened, what steps are needed to make sure someone like this is never empowered again in the NYPD, and to investigate the work this officer and his office has done in the past, all of which has been called into question by this investigation. 

“I commend the work of Council Member Ritchie Torres and the staff of the Oversight and Investigations Committee for their vital work on this investigation.”

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