Brooklyn Lawmakers on the Move Jan. 22, 2021

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Parker Wants to Divest Pension Funds Away from Trump 

Sen. Kevin Parker

State Kevin Parker (D-East Flatbush, Flatbush, Midwood, Kensington, Park Slope) introduced S1664, which would require the State Comptroller to divest the state pension funds from the Trump Organization and prohibit any future investment.

New York State’s pension funds have a history of responsible investment. The funds are already in the process of divesting from fossil fuels, and have policies against investing in companies operating private prisons, boycotting Israel, or doing business in Iran or Sudan. During the 80’s and early 90’s, there was a policy not to invest in companies conducting business in apartheid South Africa. Divestment from the Trump Organization represents a natural extension of our investment principles.

“The state must divest from the Trump Organization,” Parker said. “Enriching Trump today is tantamount to enriching Jefferson Davis in the 1860’s. We cannot put cash in the pocket of someone encouraging armed insurrection against us.”

He added, “I implore the state legislature to pass my bill, and as New York City Comptroller I will institute a like minded policy with the city’s pension funds.”

James’ Lawsuit Against NRA to Continue in Manhattan Court 

Attorney General of NY Letitia James
New York Attorney General Letitia James

New York Attorney General Letitia James yesterday applauded a court order in her lawsuit against the National Rifle Association (NRA), when Judge Joel Cohen of the New York County State Supreme Court ruled in her favor and ordered that the case be permitted to continue in a Manhattan court, and not be moved to an Albany court or dismissed outright.

After the Office of the Attorney General filed the proceeding against the largest and most influential pro-gun organization in the nation last year, the NRA filed motions to dismiss the complaint in its entirety, stay the action, and change the venue to an Albany court. Today, Judge Cohen denied all motions made by the NRA. 

“Today’s order reaffirms what we’ve known all along: the NRA does not get to dictate if and where they will answer for their actions,” said James. “We thank the court for allowing our case to move forward and look forward to holding the NRA accountable.”

Additionally, Judge Cohen denied all other procedural actions the NRA attempted to utilize to stay or dismiss Attorney General James’ lawsuit.

Gillibrand Announces Health Force

U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand

U.S. Senators Kirsten Gillibrand and others announced the introduction of the Health Force, Resilience Force, and Jobs to Fight COVID-19 Act, legislation that would invest billions in the nation’s public health jobs and infrastructure and aid the country’s lagging vaccine distribution campaign. 

The Health Force, Resilience Force, and Jobs to Fight COVID-19 Act (Health Force), championed by the senators, would invest billions in local public health infrastructure to recruit, train and employ hundreds of thousands of Americans to build public health capacity in underserved communities. 

Additionally, the Resilience Force would complement the Health Force by bolstering the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) workforce in the whole-of-government effort to combat the COVID-19 outbreak. These public health workers could respond to a surge in COVID-19 patients and administer and distribute vaccines. As the United States continues to battle the coronavirus pandemic and rebuild the economy, the Health Force would support already overburdened state and local health departments, provide jobs for thousands of recently unemployed Americans, and directly support the nation’s efforts to recover from the current crises. 

“Implementing the Health Force is a critical step for the new Congress, and new administration, to combat this pandemic. Enacting a Health Force as part of a robust federal plan would enable us to train hundreds of thousands of public health workers, create jobs in struggling communities, and ensure that every community has the resources to reach every American in need of the vaccine,” said Gillibrand. “I’m proud to introduce this legislation alongside my colleagues and I will continue fighting for the creation and implementation of this life saving program.”

Persaud To Hold COVID Testing & Vaccination Community Conversation

Roxanne J. Persaud
State Senator Roxanne J. Persaud

State Sen. Roxanne Persaud (D-Canarsie, East New York, Brownsville, Mill Basin, Sheepshead Bay, Bergen Beach, Marine Park, Flatlands, Mill Island, Georgetown, Ocean Hill, Starrett City) tomorrow will host a virtual community conversation on COVID-19 Testing and Vaccination.

The event is in partnership with the NYC Department of Health & Mental Hygiene and NYC Test & Trace. Joining Pewrsaud will be Dr. Torian Easterling, First Deputy Commissioner & Chief Equity Officer of NYC DOHMH, and Laura Atlas, Director of Government Affairs for NYC Test & Trace.   

There are two ways to participate or interact: 

  • Option # 1: Join the Zoom webinar via (webinar ID: 825 2767 9350 | passcode: 972776). With this option, you are encouraged to submit questions using the Zoom Q&A function.  
  • Option # 2: Watch via FacebookLive –  Questions can be submitted in the chatbox.  

You are encouraged to submit questions in advance by sending a separate message to