MANH Lawmakers on the Move, Feb. 9, 2021

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Maloney Demands Docs Related to Parler’s Financing

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

Yesterday, U.S. Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens) sent out a letter demanding information on Parler’s financing and potential ties to foreign organizations.

Unlike other major social media platforms, Parler allowed disinformation to flourish on its platform unchallenged in the weeks leading up to the 2020 election. When American hosting services cut ties with Parler in response, it reemerged on DDos-Guard, a hosting service with ties to the Russian government. Furthermore, a recent study from USA Today showed an uptick in calls for violence on Parler coinciding with former President Donald Trump’s (R) speech preceding the Capitol riot on Jan. 6.

“Since the attacks, numerous Parler users have been arrested and charged for their roles, with the Department of Justice citing in several instances the threats that individuals made through Parler in the days leading up to and following the attack,” wrote Maloney.  “Individuals with ties to the January 6 assault should not—and must not—be allowed to hide behind the veil of anonymity provided by shell companies.”

Read the full letter here.

Rodriguez and Co. Urge Cuomo to Expand Indoor Dining

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

Last Friday, Councilmember Ydanis Rodriguez (D-Washington Heights, Inwood) and his colleagues in the City Council sent a letter to Governor Andrew Cuomo (D), requesting that he reexamine the indoor dining plan he released earlier that week.

Said plan would allow restaurants to resume indoor dining at 25 percent capacity. Rodriguez and his peers, however, insisted that 25 percent is not enough, and beckoned Cuomo to increase the maximum to 50 percent. They also pitched a number of alternative measures to make dining safer, including offering contact tracing for all customers, requiring temperature checks for all customers and employees, and mandating hand sanitation stations.

“Aside from the declining winter weather, many of the restaurants in our districts throughout the five boroughs have reported an approximate 60-80 percent decline in outdoor dining over the past few weeks,” they wrote. “We have an obligation and a duty to the constituents we represent, including commercial establishments, to advocate for a fairer and more equitable approach from Albany on the issue of indoor dining. To that end, we are respectfully requesting that you re-examine the plan which was announced earlier this week to reopen indoor dining in New York City at only 25 percent capacity beginning Feb. 14.”

Espaillat Discusses Efforts to Abolish Death Penalty on MSNBC

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

Last Sunday, U.S. Rep. Adriano Espaillat (D-Manhattan, Bronx) appeared on MSNBC’s Politics Nation to discuss his continuous campaign to abolish the death penalty.

The Federal Death Penalty Abolition Act of 2021, which Espaillat introduced last Friday, has already received endorsements from over 200 organizations. While his ultimate goal is to codify its abolishment into law, he stressed that the federal government should start working as soon as possible to phase it out. He also called for the re-sentencing of anyone who is currently on death row.

“We want to codify it; we want to abolish [the death penalty] in law,” said Espaillat. “In the meantime, we want to see the federal government take steps not to pursue any capital cases – to dismantle the death chamber in Indiana – and to take further measures to prevent anyone from being put to death again.”

The clip is available here.

Brewer to Sponsor COVID Self-Testing Popup Site

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

Today, the office of Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer (D) will be sponsoring a COVID-19 self-testing popup site at the Word Up Community Bookshop.

Brewer’s staff will supply self-swab kits to attendees, collect the swabs on-site, and send them to the lab. Attendees will receive their results via email within 48 hours. Children aged 4-17 must have a parent or guardian present in order to receive a test.

The event will take place today from 12-4 p.m. at the Word Up Community Bookshop, 2113 Amsterdam Ave.