MANH Lawmakers on the Move, Dec. 9, 2020

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Hoylman Introduces “Sammy’s Law”

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

State Senator Brad Hoylman (D-Chelsea, Midtown) has recently introduced legislation to give the New York City government the power to lower speed limits on city streets.

Currently, state law mandates that the City cannot set any speed limits below 25 MPH, or 15 MPH in school zones. Hoylman’s law, which he wrote amid a recent surge in traffic fatalities, would remove that restriction. He named it “Sammy’s Law”, after a 12-year-old boy named Samuel Cohen-Eckstein who was killed by a reckless driver in 2013.

“As the New York City body count from traffic fatalities grows to a six-year high, it makes absolutely no sense that Albany won’t let the City lower its speed limit,” said Hoylman. “Sammy’s Law will give New York City the power to lower speed limits in a way that is tailored to neighborhoods’ actual safety needs.”

CHC Appoints Espaillat As New Leader

U.S. Rep. Adriano Espaillat (Photo credit: U.S. House Office of Photography)
U.S. Rep. Adriano Espaillat

The Congressional Hispanic Caucus (CHC) has appointed U.S. Rep. Adriano Espaillat (D-Manhattan, Bronx) as its Second Vice Chair.

Espaillat had already been a member of the CHC for several years, including chairing the CHC Task Force for Transportation, Infrastructure and Housing. As Vice Chair, he will be serving alongside U.S. Rep. Nanette Diaz Barragán (D-CA).

“I look forward to continuing my work with my CHC colleagues as Second Vice Chair to help amplify our legislative priorities and accomplishments throughout the Democratic Caucus helping families around the nation,” said Espaillat. “Latino communities have been devastated by the ongoing coronavirus and much work lies ahead in our efforts to reverse the failed policies of the Trump administration and to help families most in need. We have each been touched somehow by this deadly virus, and I look forward to working on this and a number of our priorities to ensure Latino communities and our interests are fully integrated into the overall national response to build back better along the road to recovery.” 

Stringer Gives Recommendations on How to Help Small Businesses

NYC Comptroller Scott Stringer (Photo credit: Thomas Good, CC BY-SA 4.0)
NYC Comptroller Scott Stringer

City Comptroller Scott Stringer (D) wrote an op-ed for Medium yesterday on how we can help small businesses during the upcoming holiday season.

On most years, the holiday season is one of the most profitable times of the year for small businesses; however, with COVID-19 spread reaching unprecedented levels, this holiday season is bound to be quite the opposite.

To help them during these troubling times, Stringer has put forth a comprehensive plan, which includes:

  • Launching an NYC Tech Corps to help small businesses develop an online presence;
  • Providing funding for warming stations at outdoor businesses;
  • Loosening regulations on awnings and canopies;
  • and allowing a one-month “cure period” for businesses to correct any violations that do not constitute an immediate threat to the public.

“This holiday season, we have to make sure we do everything in our power to save and support small businesses who are the backbone of our economy,” wrote Stringer. “The City must act with urgency, because there is no economic recovery for New York City without our small businesses.”

Read the full article here.

James, Hispanic Federation Applaud Appointment of Xavier Becerra to Secretary of HHS

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

Yesterday, New York Attorney General Letitia James (D) released a joint statement with Hispanic Federation President Frankie Miranda after President-elect Joe Biden (D) appointed California Attorney General Xavier Becerra (D) to his cabinet, as Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).

“Congratulations to Attorney General Becerra on the honor of being the first Latino nominated to lead the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services,” they said. “Attorney General Becerra has a track record of fighting for underserved communities and for expanding access to quality, affordable health care. In fact, while serving in Congress, he helped drive the passage of the Affordable Care Act, and as Attorney General of California, he has fought to protect it.

“As Hispanics and other communities of color have been most affected by this pandemic, there is no one we have more confidence in to right this wrong than Xavier Becerra. His sensitivity to this issue and proximity to the communities that will need the most support in the coming months make him a wise choice.

“We commend President-elect Joe Biden for selecting a capable and compassionate leader to help him steer our ship through these uncertain times.”