MANH Lawmakers on the Move, Dec. 11, 2020

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De Blasio Updates New York on Vaccine Preparedness

Mayor Bill de Blasio (Credit: William Alatriste)
Mayor Bill de Blasio

Last Wednesday, Mayor Bill de Blasio (D) announced that the City is making additional preparations for vaccine distribution.

De Blasio predicts that the City will receive 465,000 doses of the vaccine by the beginning of January. The first doses will go to the nursing homes, health care personnel and other New Yorkers at high risk for infection. The City will also prioritize vaccinations for communities of color in the City’s most affected neighborhoods.

“With a vaccine on the horizon, we are in the last big battle against the virus,” said de Blasio. “Hope is finally on the way, but we must stay vigilant to get through these winter months. We need New Yorkers to keep doing what we know works: wear a mask, get tested, socially distance, and if you’re a senior citizen or have a pre-existing medical condition, stay home as much as possible.”

Williams Calls on Biden-Harris Transition to Meet NYC, National Priorities

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

Last Wednesday, Public Advocate Jumaane Williams (D) reminded the incoming Biden-Harris Administration not to forget the issues affecting New Yorkers while planning their 100-day agenda.

In a letter to President-Elect Joe Biden (D) and Vice President-Elect Kamala Harris (D), Williams urges them to collaborate extensively with state and local officials – such as himself – to ensure that no part of the country is left behind. He proposes the creation of an Office of the Public Advocate, which would allow him and his peers to shape federal policy according to public input.

In addition to that proposal, he also lays out a number of policy requests in various areas, including voting rights, environmental justice and housing equity.

Your election has raised the spirits of millions longing for leadership that embodies decency and reason,” he wrote. “I look forward to your administration working with Congress, as well as state and local officials like myself, to create substantive reforms and systems of accountability together.”

Read the full letter here.

Espaillat Introduces COVID-19 Cold Storage Expansion Act

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

Yesterday, U.S. Rep. Adriano Espaillat (D-Manhattan, Bronx) introduced legislation to help healthcare providers store and deliver COVID-19 vaccines.

The COVID-19 Cold Storage Expansion Act would reimburse healthcare providers for the costs of the new storage equipment they will have to buy to meet CDC recommendations.

“Allowing more providers to be registered in their city, state, and region to receive and administer these mRNA vaccines will be a critical part of the wider vaccination campaign that must occur to successfully combat this COVID-19 virus,” said Espaillat. “While the priority in the near term will be vaccination of frontline health care workers, elderly residents of nursing homes and long-term care facilities and essential workers, this legislation will benefit all cities and regions as the wider vaccination campaigns begin in 2020 and continue into 2021.”

Brewer Announces First COVID-19 Mobile Testing Site on Roosevelt Island

Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer (Photo source: US Departmetn of Labor, CC BY 2.0)
Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer

Yesterday, Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer (D) announced that, staring this weekend, mobile COVID-19 testing will be coming to Roosevelt Island.

The new testing site is located at 543 Main St., Good Shepherd Plaza. Testing will be free to everyone regardless of immigration status or insurance.

“Roosevelt Islanders deserve dedicated resources for dealing with coronavirus, and I am proud to champion this effort with the NYC Test and Trace Corps., and the Roosevelt Island Operating Corporation,” said Brewer. “I encourage all Roosevelt Islanders to take advantage of this free testing resource this weekend and to share this information with their neighbors. I am grateful to NYC Test and Trace for providing mobile testing units and staff, and to the Roosevelt Island Operating Corporation (RIOC) for offering space and equipment.”

Brewer will be visiting the site tomorrow at 1 p.m.

Stringer: A True Recovery Means Empowering M/WBEs

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

Yesterday, City Comptroller Scott Stringer (D) wrote an op-ed for the Brooklyn Paper about the importance of including Minority and Women-Owned Businesses (M/WBEs) in our recovery efforts.

According to a survey Stringer released in the summer, 85 percent of M/WBEs reported that they wouldn’t survive the next six months. But M/WBEs, he wrote, are an integral part of our local economy; we can’t afford to let them die.

“Our economy is strongest when it is inclusive and representative of our city’s diversity,” wrote Stringer. “We need real reforms and meaningful action right now to protect our small businesses and our economy especially amid the holiday shopping season. It is a failure of government that, in the face of our MWBE community’s severe economic distress, the City showed little to no improvement this year toward reaching MWBE spending goals.”

Read the full article here.