MANH Lawmakers on the Move, Dec. 1, 2020

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Cuomo Urges State Agencies to Prepare Emergency Response Assets

Governor Andrew Cuomo (Photo Credit:
Governor Andrew Cuomo

Last Sunday, Governor Andrew Cuomo (D) directed State agencies to prepare emergency response assets in anticipation of thunderstorms and high winds and other inclement weather.

Weather forecasts are predicting rain and thunderstorms throughout the State, with some regions seeing wind gusts over 50 MPH. Cuomo has cautioned New Yorkers to prepare for potential outages, floods and wind damage.

“With forecasts calling for potentially severe weather in a number of areas throughout the state, I have directed state agencies to not only ensure staff and response assets are ready to support our local partners, but to also remain in contact with utility companies to ensure any power outages are addressed as quickly as possible,”  Cuomo said. “While the state stands ready to address any issues this storm may cause, I am also urging all New Yorkers to closely follow their local forecasts and take the steps necessary for protecting themselves, their families and their property.”

James Defends Census Against Trump Admin Before the Supreme Court

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

Yesterday, New York Attorney General Letitia James (D) lead a large coalition of states, cities, and counties in arguing before the Supreme Court against the Trump Administration’s attempts to exclude undocumented immigrants from the Census.

The Trump Administration is seeking to exclude undocumented immigrants from the apportionment base, which determines how many seats in the House of Representatives each state receives. This is the latest of several attempts by the Administration to cut undocumented immigrants out of the Census; last July, James sued the Administration after it issued a “Memorandum on Excluding Illegal Aliens From the Apportionment Base Following the 2020 Census”. Two months afterward, a three-judge court ruled in James’ favor.

“President Trump’s illegal proclamation is the latest in a long list of anti-immigrant actions and statements he has made since the beginning of his first campaign,” said James. “The U.S. Constitution and the Census Act are crystal clear — every person residing in the U.S. during the census, regardless of legal status, must be counted. And despite this lame-duck president’s repeated attempts to politicize the census and strip immigrant-rich states, like New York, of representation, the simple truth is that no one ceases to be a person because they lack documentation or ceases to live here because the president would prefer them to leave; that’s why we filed this lawsuit and numerous others like it before. We will continue to do whatever is necessary to stop the president from putting politics above the law.”

Velázquez Bill Would Reestablish Program Promoting Affordable Housing

Congresswoman Nydia Velazquez (Photo Credit:
Congresswoman Nydia Velazquez

U.S. Rep. Nydia Velázquez (D-LES, Brooklyn, Queens) has introduced legislation to reestablish the Federal-Financing Bank and Risk Sharing Program.

The Risk Sharing Program, established under the Obama Administration, played a major role in the creation and sustainment of affordable rental housing in the City. Through the provision of low-cost financing options for multifamily housing, it sparked the creation of over 20,000 units of affordable housing nationwide. Velázquez’s bill would reinstate them both, and expand them to allow community development financial institutions (CDFIs) to participate.

“Over the past year, the pandemic has presented our nation with unique challenges, and has magnified our existing housing crisis,” said Velázquez. “The Federal-Financing Bank and Risk Sharing Program has proven time and time again to successfully expand affordable housing, providing homes for working families across the country. Its reimplementation will bring back the profound success the program once had in helping state and local communities meet their housing needs.”