MANH Lawmakers on the Move, Jan. 12, 2021

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Hoylman Attempts to Get Giuliani’s License Revoked

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

Yesterday, State Senator Brad Hoylman (D-Chelsea, Midtown) announced that he will be filing a formal complaint with the New York State Appellate Division, requesting that they revoke Rudy Giuliani’s license to practice law in New York.

Hoylman made the announcement at yesterday’s Senate Judiciary Committee meeting. Hoylman argued that Giuliani proved he was unfit to practice law last Wednesday, when he helped incite the massive attack on the Capitol.

“During a speech last Wednesday, immediately prior to the storming of the United States Capitol, Rudolph Giuliani repeated baseless claims to sow doubt about the results of the 2020 Presidential Election, and urged the angry mob to seek ‘trial by combat,'” said Hoylman. “The profession of law is a sacred and noble one that we, as members of the Judiciary Committee, need to protect. And there can be no room, in our profession, for those who seek to undermine the rule of law. I’ll do the same for any other attorney licensed in New York who participated in last week’s assault on democracy. There must be consequences for seditious acts.”

Cuomo Announces Proposal to Connect High Line to Moynihan Train Hall

Governor Andrew Cuomo (Photo Credit:
Governor Andrew Cuomo

Yesterday, as part of the 2021 State of the State, Governor Andrew Cuomo (D) announced a proposal to extend Manhattan’s High Line to give pedestrians easy access to the newly opened Moynihan Train Hall.

Under the proposal, Manhattan would see the construction of an L-shaped connection between the 10th Avenue terminus of the High Line and Brookfield’s Manhattan West public space. The construction would be facilitated by a public-private partnership between Brookfield Property Group, the Empire State Development, the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, and Friends of the High Line.

“This will be the most ambitious redevelopment that New York City has seen in decades,” Cuomo said. “When the private sector economy lags, state governments build infrastructure and spur development. The beautiful Moynihan Train Hall is open, the renovation of Penn Station and this High Line extension project begin this year. This connection is part of a district-wide redevelopment of the West Side that will jumpstart the private market in a post-COVID world.” 

Velázquez Addresses Chinatown Exclusions from Storefront Loan Program

Congresswoman Nydia Velazquez (Photo Credit:
Congresswoman Nydia Velazquez

Last Friday, U.S. Rep. Nydia Velázquez (D-LES, Brooklyn, Queens) wrote a letter to Commissioner Jonnel Doris of the New York City Department of Small Business Services (SBS), inquiring about the exclusion of Chinatown businesses from critical business loan programs.

The SBS Low-to-Moderate Income (LMI) storefront program grants financial aid to businesses suffering from the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. However, the entire Chinatown business district west of the Bowery was deemed ineligible for the program, due to it sharing a zip code with the affluent Tribeca and SoHo neighborhoods.

“The area in question includes Chinatown’s gateway to Canal Street,” wrote Velázquez. “It contains the streets most visited by tourists, houses various Chinatown cultural activities, and parades. To arbitrarily use a business’ zip code as the primary qualifier for assistance programs shows lack of community awareness and cultural insensitivity by SBS.

“Given the precarious state of many of Chinatown’s businesses, I urge your agency to take immediate actions to help the businesses left out of the assistance programs by securing them access to alternative sources of funding. In addition, for all future SBS LMI neighborhoods programs, I recommend your agency to consider additional eligibility criteria in forthcoming grant selections.”

Maloney Calls on Trump Admin to Stop Shielding CBP Officers Who Engaged in Hateful Facebook Groups

U.S. Rep. Carolyn Maloney (Photo credit:
U.S. Rep. Carolyn Maloney

Yesterday, U.S. Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens) sent a letter to Customs and Border Protection (CBP) head Mark Morgan, calling on him to release documents relating to CBP employees who participated in Facebook groups that posted racist, misogynist, violent and inflammatory material.

On Nov. 2, 2020, the Committee on Oversight and Reform issued a subpoena for documents regarding those employees, their misconduct, and how the CBP intends to discipline them. The CBP stubbornly refused to comply with the subpoena; they rarely produced documents, and they applied numerous redactions when they did.

Although that subpoena has since expired, Maloney announced her intention to file another one in her letter.

“CBP seems to believe, incorrectly, that CBP may defy a duly authorized subpoena because the Committee may decide at some point in the future to inform the American people about the findings of its investigation,” wrote Maloney.  “CBP’s apparent position—that the Constitution includes a privilege for CBP to withhold documents from Congress merely because CBP fears public disclosure—is without any basis in law.”

Read the full letter here.