MANH Lawmakers on the Move, Jan. 13, 2021

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Kavanagh Votes in Support of Nine Election Reform Bills

State Senator Brian P. Kavanagh (source:
State Senator Brian P. Kavanagh

Last Monday, State Senator Brian Kavanagh (D-Lower East Side) voted in favor of nine election reform bills that he had previously co-sponsored.

The bills, all of which passed the State Senate, were as follows:

  • S. 1027, which would speed up the absentee ballot counting process;
  • S. 253, which would outlaw the voiding of absentee ballots based on technicalities;
  • S. 492, which would permanently authorize absentee ballot drop boxes;
  • S. 1028, which would require the New York State Board of Elections to create a statewide absentee ballot tracking system;
  • S. 632, which would permanently allow voters to apply for absentee ballots online;
  • S. 516, which would establish a mandatory timeframe for the processing of absentee ballots and applications;
  • S. 631, which would allow the Board of Elections to receive absentee ballots more than 30 days before Election Day;
  • S. 360, which would allow any voter to vote absentee without needing an excuse;
  • and S. 264, which would set the deadline for mail-in absentee ballot applications at 15 days before the election.

The nine bills now await their vote in the Assembly, which has yet to be scheduled.

Rodriguez Conducts Hearing to Address Illegal Parking

Council Member Ydanis Rodriguez (Photo credit:
Council Member Ydanis Rodriguez

Yesterday, Councilmember Ydanis Rodriguez (D-Washington Heights, Inwood), Chair of the Transportation Committee, conducted a hearing to address illegally parked delivery trucks and bike lanes.

At the hearing the New York City Department of Transportation (DOT) testified about their plan to crack down on illegal parking and expand the City’s bike lanes. The hearing also saw the introduction of Intro. 2159, which would impose a civil penalty for “hazardous obstruction by a vehicle” of a bike lane, bus lane, sidewalk, crosswalk or fire hydrant.

“I thank all of the advocates for testifying today,” Rodriguez said in a tweet. “We have certainly made progress addressing pedestrian, cyclist & motorist deaths. Since 1990, traffic fatalities in NYC have fallen from 701 deaths in 1990 to an all-time low of 202 deaths in 2018. In addition, traffic deaths have fallen by a third since the year before Vision Zero began.

“Although these results are encouraging, the past 2 years have seen an increase in the number of traffic fatalities. In 2020, at least 243 people died due to traffic crashes, marking the deadliest year since the implementation of Vision Zero.”

Espaillat Calls for Ethics Investigation of Any Elected Who Supported Attack on U.S. Capitol

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) released the following statement, after introducing a resolution urging the House Ethics Committee to investigate any elected official who supported or participated in the insurrection at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6.

“Donald J. Trump is public enemy number one and has never been fit to serve in the office of United States President. Trump fueled the attacked on the United States Congress with the hate-based rhetoric we have witnessed from his bully pulpit and social media accounts, since day one in office. Enough is enough and through his reckless engagement and provocation of his supporters, his actions lie at the heart of Wednesday’s violence and the lives that were lost as a result of it.

“President Trump and any individual, including those who serve in elected offices, should be investigated and held fully accountable.”