Morning Political Odds & Ends, Nov. 5, 2021

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Downstate, Upstate Assembly Members Call for NYS Supply Chain Task Force

Assembly Member Michaelle Solages
Assembly Member Billy Jones

Assembly Members Michaelle Solages (D-Long Island) and Billy Jones (D-North Country) yesterday urged Governor Kathy Hochul to create a New York State Supply Chain Task Force.

The call to action comes as the State has seen unprecedented shortages of a variety of vital products from cars to baby diapers due to disruptions in the supply chain stemming from the COVID19 Pandemic. 

A NYS Supply Chain Task Force would alleviate these disruptions by creating partnerships with local governments and the White Houses’ newly-announced Supply Chain Disruptions Task Force to create a “first mile to last mile” approach to tackling supply chain issues.  

The task force would also be able to partner with the New York Department of Labor to address dire worker shortages and recommend necessary investments to specific private sector industries in New York to reduce strain on the supply chain. 

“The shortages that we are seeing due to supply chain disruptions are putting a strain on the people of New York’s 22nd Assembly District,” said Solages. “While the pandemic caused most of these disruptions, COVID19 has also exacerbated many issues that contribute to supply chain issues such as worker shortages due to a lack of affordable childcare. It is imperative that we are well-positioned to address these issues as they arise. A Supply Chain Task Force will enable the state to maneuver flexibly and mitigate potential impacts disruption may have on our state.”

Jones said since the COVID-19 pandemic began, global supply chain issues have caused shipping delays, raised prices, and exacerbated existing shortages in the commercial driver’s license (CDL) workforce. 

“And while this disruption has hit local small businesses the hardest, it requires statewide action to help correct them. That is why Assemblywoman Solages and I sent a letter urging Gov. Hochul to create a NYS Supply Chain Task Force to tackle these challenges head-on and enact meaningful legislation that benefits both businesses and consumers,” said Jones.

Frontus’ Law Protecting Juveniles in Family Court Takes Effect

Mathylde Frontus
Assembly Member Mathylde Frontus

Assembly Member Mathylde Frontus’ (D-Brooklyn) legislation inspired by the infamous Central Park 5 Case requiring video recordings of all juveniles accused of a crime took effect this week.

The legislation (S.6533/A.7979), was sponsored by former Senator Velmanette Montgomery in the upper chamber and signed by the governor into law last year. Known as the “Central Park 5” law, it closed a loophole that only required video recordings in cases where minors were accused of violent crimes. 

The bill was named for the Central Park 5, who were all juveniles when they were convicted of sexually assaulting a jogger in 1989. They later became known as the Exonerated 5 when their convictions were overturned following the identification of the real attacker. 

‘“We need to make sure that the questioning of minors is done in a fair, proper manner that is free from coercion, intimidation or manipulation. I am proud to have championed this legislation to help ensure that the tragedy of the Central Park 5 is not repeated. We can now be confident that questioning of juveniles is done appropriately and transparently and that there will be a video record of all interrogations of minors in New York State,” said Frontus. 

Under the measure, video recordings are required of all juveniles accused of delinquency in family court. While New York’s Raise the Age legislation increased the age of criminal responsibility to 18 and treats 16- and 17-year-olds as adolescent offenders, some parts of the juvenile justice system are not covered by that law.

NY Congressmembers Participate in No Shave November

U.S. Rep. Gregory Meeks

New York Congressmembers Gregory Meeks (D-Queens), Jamaal Bowman (D-Bronx/Westchester) and Mondaire Jones (D-Rockland/Westchester) are not shaving this month as part of the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC) partnership with the American Cancer Society for a month-long campaign to raise awareness for Prostate Cancer in Black men. 

The initiative known as ‘No Shave November’ has a number of CBC members participating.

Black men are 1.8 times more likely to be diagnosed with—and 2.2 times more likely to die from—Prostate Cancer than white men. Additionally, a recent study found that Black men diagnosed with early-stage Prostate Cancer were less likely than white men to receive any type of treatment for that cancer.

“Prostate cancer steals far too many lives every year, killing Black men at more than twice the rate of our white counterparts,” said Jones. “Ending this crisis starts with raising awareness, which is why, this November, I’m joining my CBC colleagues in urging Black men to talk to their doctors about prostate cancer screening.”

“Prostate cancer is not only a health issue but also a race issue. Black men are more likely to be diagnosed and more likely to die from prostate cancer than our white counterparts.  I urge my brothers to make sure they get screened for prostate cancer this month – early detection is key,” said Meeks.

Clarke Lauds Perry’s Appointment as U.S. Ambassador to Jamaica

U.S. Rep. Yvette Clarke

U.S. Rep. Yvette D. Clarke (D-Brooklyn) a proud Jamaican-American yesterday lauded the appointment of Assemblyman Nick Perry (D-Brooklyn) as U.S. Ambassador to Jamaica

Perry, a longtime assemblyman, immigrated to America from Jamaica, and is a decorated U.S. Army veteran.

“I wholeheartedly welcome the exciting news of the appointment of New York State Assemblyman Nick Perry as the new U.S. Ambassador to Jamaica. Mr. Perry brings a host of experience and the cultural background necessary to successfully fulfill his new mission. He possesses the utmost integrity, a commitment to service, and a unique perspective and personal understanding of the Jamaican socio-political landscape that will further strengthen the ties between both our nations,” said Clarke.

“Mr. Perry’s deep cultural and political ties to his Jamaican roots as well as the broader Caribbean communities makes his appointment as U.S. Ambassador to Jamaica the right choice at the right moment in our progressive trajectory as a nation. I was honored to nominate him for this important service to the country, and I am confident he will represent the United States and Jamaica well. This is certainly a proud moment, not only for New Yorkers, but for all those rooted in the rich heritage of Jamaica. On behalf of everyone I represent in New York’s 9th District, congratulations Mr. Ambassador,” she added.

Williams, Lander Call for NYPD to Halt Use of Easier-to-Fire guns

Public Advocate Jumaane Williams
Comptroller-elect Brad Lander

Public Advocate Jumaane D. Williams and City Comptroller-elect Brad Lander yesterday called on Mayor Bill de Blasio and Police Commissioner Dermot Shea to halt the issuing of easier-to-fire weapons to new NYPD recruits until several concerns are addressed. 

In a letter to de Blasio and Shea, the leaders reject the notion that these new weapons are either necessary or an improvement in policing.

“Guns with triggers that require only five pounds of pressure to fire are unlikely to enhance public safety in our city. In a year where our city budget struggled, the decision to take on the cost of these weapons is a concern,” the lawmakers wrote, questioning both the cost of the new guns and the decision-making process to authorize them – a process which did not include community input or involvement.

Williams and Lander also highlighted the potential risks associated with the weapons.

“Our offices are not aware of any complaints that the weapons currently used by NYPD officers are, or have been, insufficient. We are aware there are too many instances when NYPD officers resorted to pulling the trigger and leading to innocent people losing their lives. Guns that fire more quickly would not have prevented deaths or increased the safety of either officers or communities,” they wrote.

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