MANH Lawmakers on the Move, Feb. 22, 2021

Manhattan Lawmakers on the Move bannner

Maloney, Electeds Applaud $70 Billion in COVID Aid for NYS

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

Last Saturday, U.S. Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-Manhattan, Brooklyn) joined other electeds to applaud the $70 billion in COVID-19 aid approved for New York State.

The American Rescue Plan package, courtesy of President Joe Biden (D), includes $70 billion for rent relief, small business assistance, MTA funding and unemployment insurance for New Yorkers.

“Having been the epicenter of the pandemic in the early months, our city and state are in desperate need for federal aid and relief – and I’m proud to report that the COVID relief bill that the House will pass next week provides just that,” said Maloney. “This bill, the embodiment of President Biden’s American Rescue Plan, is projected to provide more than $70 billion dollars to New York State, our communities, and our families — and this is just the beginning. This is the rescue plan – the life preserver we need to stay above water as we fight this virus. Next up, is the recovery plan which will enable us to build back better. Hope and help are on the way.”

Velázquez Demands Answers Regarding Death of MCE Detainee Edwin Segarra

Congresswoman Nydia Velazquez (Photo Credit:
Congresswoman Nydia Velazquez

Last Friday, U.S. Rep. Nydia Velázquez (D-LES, Brooklyn, Queens) and thirteen of her colleagues sent a letter to the Metropolitan Detention Center (MDC) and Federal Bureau of Prisons (BOP), demanding answers about a man who recently died in their custody.

On Feb. 5, MDC detainee Edwin Segarra died from COVID-19. As of this writing, the MDC has still not released information on Segarra’s treatment prior to his hospitalization. As such, Velázquez and her peers are demanding a detailed account of what happened.

“While we understand that Mr. Edwin Segarra suffered from preexisting conditions, what has been less clear is the overall treatment and management of his care prior to his hospital admission,” wrote the lawmakers. “It is also unclear if he was tested for COVID-19 before being vaccinated, and if so, when those test results came back to the institution; what treatment he received prior to being found unresponsive in his cell on the morning of February 5; how long after he was hospitalized he passed away; and what information has been shared by the BOP with his family.”

Read the full letter here.

Gottfried, Rivera Speak for New York Children in Need of Mental Healthcare

Richard N. Gottfried (Photo Credit:
Assembly Member Richard N. Gottfried

Last Thursday, Assemblymember Richard Gottfried (D-Chelsea, Midtown) and State Senator Gustavo Rivera (D-Bronx) wrote an op-ed for the NY Daily News about the mental health crisis facing New York’s children in the era of COVID-19.

According to the article, more than 4,000 children in New York have lost a parent or guardian to COVID-19, and more than 300,000 have been pushed into poverty or near-poverty. This trend correlates with increasing rates of anxiety and depression among minors, and a growing number of young people checking into the hospital for psychiatric emergencies. Even worse, the pandemic has dampened their access to the mental health services that they now need more than ever.

To address the issue, Gottfried and Rivera have authored legislation that would ensure that Child Health Plus – which insures more than 400,000 children in New York – covers mental health and substance abuse services.

“We see it all too often; as children struggle to cope with the traumas of the pandemic, their parents simply can’t get them the behavioral health support they need,” they wrote. “Service providers are underfunded and overbooked. Countless parents who are under unprecedented stress themselves face obstacle after obstacle in trying to get their kids quality, affordable care close to home.

“If we force parents to remain trapped in this battle for care, even more children will suffer life-altering mental health conditions well into adulthood. Addressing New York’s children’s behavioral health crisis will require a long-term, comprehensive approach.”

Read the full article here.

Kallos to Host Smoke Alarm Presentation

Council Member Ben Kallos (Photo credit:
Council Member Ben Kallos

Tonight, Councilmember Ben Kallos (D-Yorkville, Lenox Hill) and the New York City Fire Department will be hosting a presentation on fire safety and the importance of smoke alarms.

In addition to learning about home fire prevention, attendees will also get the chance to schedule a free appointment for a smoke and carbon monoxide detector installation. The fire department will schedule appointments on a first-come, first-served basis.

The event will take place tonight from 6:30-7:30 p.m. To RSVP, click here or call 212-860-1950.