MANH Lawmakers on the Move, Jan. 11, 2021

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Espaillat Inducted into Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity

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

U.S. Rep. Adriano Espaillat (D-Manhattan, Bronx) released a statement on Saturday following his induction into Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Inc.

Phi Beta Sigma was founded at Howard University by three male African-American students in 1914. They conceived it as a means to deliver resources to the community – a fraternity that would embody the values of brotherhood, scholarship and service. Since then, it has become a global organization with more than 800 chapters chartered around the world.

“I join with humility and welcome the opportunity to continue my decades long journey in public service now as a member of the ‘blue and white’,” said Espaillat. “I recognize the work that lies ahead and vow to continue to serve as a champion of the people while upholding my duty as a public servant and honoring the legacy congressional giants, the late Honorable John Robert Lewis and the late Honorable Elijah E. Cummings, on whose shoulders I stand and will forever cherish dearly.”    

Brewer Opens CB Applications for 2021

Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer (Photo credit: New York County Politics)
Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer

Last Friday, Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer (D) officially opened membership applications for Manhattan’s 12 Community Boards.

Community Board members are appointed for two-year terms; the Borough President is responsible for appointing half of them, while the City Council appoints the other half. As Borough President, Brewer has refined the selection process by introducing a robust review process and allowing online applications.

“Community Boards are the most local form of government, comprised of everyday New Yorkers who care about their community and want a shot at tackling their city’s biggest policy questions and how it impacts their neighborhood,” said Manhattan Borough President Gale A. Brewer. “They are pivotal to shaping the culture, infrastructure, and development of their community and they help New York work: encouraging affordable housing, ensuring that streets are safer, preserving public space, exploring the role of racial justice in landmarking and historic preservation, leading the conversation about resiliency and sustainability, asserting the community’s needs when it comes to NYCHA’s long-term fiscal sustainability, planning neighborhood cleanups in the face of budget cuts, and holding city agencies and elected officials accountable. I encourage all New Yorkers to apply and serve their community in this powerful way.”

Jackson, Meeks Help Launch Invest In Our New York Act

State Senator Robert Jackson (Photo Credit:
State Senator Robert Jackson

Last week, State Senator Robert Jackson (D-Washington Heights, Inwood) and Assemblymember Demond Meeks (D-Monroe County) joined grassroots organizations to announce a new legislative package, entitled the Invest In Our New York Act.

The act consists of six state bills to help New York recover from its COVID-induced economic crisis. Jackson and Meeks are sponsoring the Personal Income Tax bill, which would raise $12-18 billion in tax revenue by raising taxes on the wealthy.

“I’m ready to raise revenue so that NYS can provide for all those who are struggling during the current crisis,” said Jackson. “As New York faces an unprecedented budget deficit of $60 billion over the next four years, we need to turn away from the failed austerity lens that plagues our failing economy. Instead, we need to seek budget justice as the only solution to save our state.”

Cuomo Launches Investigation Into Potential Hate Crime in Manhattan

Governor Andrew Cuomo (Photo Credit:
Governor Andrew Cuomo

Last Friday, Governor Andrew Cuomo (D) directed the New York State Police Hate Crimes Task Force to investigate an incident in downtown Manhattan, in which a confederate flag was tied to the front door of the Museum of Jewish Heritage.

The incident came on the heels of the attempted insurrection in Washington, D.C. on Wednesday. During the incident, several of the culprits were seen brandishing Confederate flags and wearing anti-Semitic clothing.

“The Confederate flag is a repulsive symbol of hate, and I am disgusted by reports that someone attempted to intimidate our Jewish neighbors by tying one to the door of the Museum of Jewish Heritage in New York City,” said Cuomo. “As we saw earlier this week when hate-filled mobs stormed our nation’s Capitol, violent white supremacists have been emboldened by Donald Trump’s divisive rhetoric — but we will not let them succeed. In New York, we will always defend against crimes that target New Yorkers for who they are or what they believe, and I am immediately directing the New York Police Hate Crimes Task Force to offer assistance in this investigation.”