MANH Lawmakers on the Move, Nov. 13, 2020

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Hoylman Announces Signage of Bill Requiring Courts to Provide Demographic Data on Judges

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

Last Wednesday, Governor Andrew Cuomo (D) signed legislation written by State Senator Brad Hoylman (D-Chelsea, Midtown) and Assemblymember Latoya Joyner (D-Bronx) that requires the Office of Court Administration (OCA) to publish annual reports on the demographic makeup of New York’s judges.

A recent report revealed that 51.8 percent of New York City’s judges are white; by comparison, white people only make up 31.7 percent of the overall City population. By regularly reporting these statistics, the OCA can help inform lawmakers’ efforts to ensure that the demographics of the courts are more reflective of the City as a whole.

“Our courts should reflect the diversity of our state, but policymakers lack a complete picture of the demographics of our judiciary,” said Hoylman. “To begin to fully understand and remedy this problem, I passed a law alongside Senator Luis Sepulveda and Assembly Member Latoya Joyner to require the Office of Court Administration to collect demographic information about the composition of the bench, including ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation and disability status. I am extraordinarily grateful to Governor Cuomo for signing it into law today.”


De La Rosa Pays Respects to Flight 587 Victims

Assembly Member Carmen De La Rosa (Photo credit: nyassembly.gov)
Assembly Member Carmen De La Rosa

Yeserday, Assemblymember Carmen De La Rosa (D-Upper Manhattan) released a statement in honor of the victims of the American Airlines Flight 587 crash.

On Nov. 12, 2001, an airplane bound for Santo Domingo crashed shortly after departing from JFK International Airport. The crash killed all of the people on the plane – 260 in total – as well as five people on the ground. To this day, it stands as one of the deadliest crashes in United States history.

“Nineteen years have passed since our community experienced the tragic loss of every individual on American Airlines Flight 587, bound for Santo Domingo,” said De La Rosa. “Though almost two decades have passed, the loss does not hurt any less; our communities have been changed forever. My thoughts, love and prayers are with the families and friends of individuals that we lost on November 12, 2001.”


Rosenthal Protests Shuttering of West End Avenue Open Streets Program

Assembly Member Linda B. Rosenthal (Photo credit: Steven Barall, CC BY-SA 3.0)
Assembly Member Linda B. Rosenthal

Yesterday, Assemblymember Linda Rosenthal (D-Upper West Side, Hell’s Kitchen) wrote a letter to Mayor Bill de Blasio (D), Police Commissioner Dermot Shea and Department of Transportation (DOT) Commissioner Polly Trottenberg after the City abruptly decided to drop West End Avenue from its Open Streets program.

For months, West End Avenue had been designated as an “open street” for pedestrians and bicyclists; from 87th to 96th Street, the avenue was blocked off from vehicle traffic. But last night, the DOT suddenly decided to revoke that designation, cutting it from the program. This was partly because drivers routinely ignored the designation, often driving around or through barricades.

“It is critical that DOT work with residents to improve the area along the avenue instead of taking the path of least resistance and shuttering the program,” wrote Rosenthal. “As [COVID-19] cases increase across the City, and the possibility of another lockdown looms, the need for these spaces will only continue to grow. I request that the City reinstate West End Avenue as an Open Street, and provide residents with enough time to seek out another community partner.”

Read the full letter here.

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