Morning Political Odds & Ends Nov. 12, 2021

Chalk loudspeaker and inscription odds and ends on black chalkboard
Black chalkboard with drawing of a loudspeaker and inscription odds and ends

Bowman Gets Challenger for his Congressional Seat

U.S. Rep. Jamaal Bowman

U.S. Rep. Jammal Bowman (D-Bronx/Westchester), who along with U.S. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-Queens/Bronx) were the only two New York City Area Congress members to vote against the recently passed $1 trillion infrastructure bill, is expected to get a strong primary challenge from New Rochelle Democrat Manuel Casanova in next year’s congressional primary.

Bowman, a member of the far-left Democratic Socialists of America, beat 16-term incumbent Eliot Engel in 2020, but his failure to vote for the infrastructure package that is expected to bring roughly $26 billion to the city and state may make him vulnerable to losing the seat.

“I am appalled and dismayed that Rep. Jamaal Bowman would vote against a bill that would create millions of jobs, rebuild our nation’s infrastructure, ensure clean water for all, drastically improve transportation and combat climate change,” Casanova said. “And while I applaud President Biden and  Congress for passing this landmark legislation, I am extremely disappointed that our community’s  own representative voted against helping his own neighbors.”

Casanova is a naturalized citizen from Chile. He is a Democratic District Leader, member of the Hispanic Democrats, Westchester Democrats, Fuerza  Latina, and Indivisibles New Rochelle. 

Hochul Signs Kaplan’s Legislation Supporting Women Veterans

Kathy Hochul
Gov. Kathy Hochul

Gov. Kathy Hochul on Veterans Day, yesterday, signed legislation sponsored by State Senator Anna M. Kaplan (D-North Hills) and Assemblymember Monica P. Wallace (D-Lancaster), S.701a/A.1140, that creates a Women Veterans Advisory Committee to support and assist the Division of Veterans’ Services in locating, educating, and advocating for all women veterans in the State

The bill was signed along with a full legislative package to support and protect veterans and their families.

“Our active service members and veterans have served a high calling to protect our democracy and freedoms, and now it is our turn to support them and their families,” said Hochul. “By signing these bills into law today, we are taking steps to ensure veterans and active duty military members have the benefits and resources they need, and the flexibility their circumstances require, to best take care of themselves and their families.”

Kaplan said that women who serve our country in the Armed Forces have earned more than just the admiration of a grateful community, they’ve earned the right to access programs and services that support them when they come home. 

“Too often, women Veterans face barriers in accessing the services available to them, and we need to do better as a government when it comes to serving all of our heroes,” said Kaplan.

Wallace noted that today, women account for about one in six service members, and nearly two million women have served the nation with honor and distinction. 

“We owe it to them to help identify and address the challenges these brave heroes face upon returning to civilian life. This committee will ensure that veterans programs and services in New York meet the unique needs faced by women who have answered the call,” said Wallace.

The new law takes effect immediately.

Assembly Members Cruz, Ashby Advocate for Immigrant Veterans

Assemblywoman Catalina Cruz

Assemblymembers Catalina Cruz (D-Queens) and Jake Ashby (R-Castleton) joined veterans and their families to commemorate Veterans Day and in a bipartisan effort called on the state senate to pass pro-immigrant veteran legislation.

The lawmakers, community advocates, veterans, and their families commemorated Veterans’ Day and in support of the Staff Sergeant Alex R. Jimenez New York State Military Immigrant Family Legacy Program. The program would become state law via legislation (A.4660-A/S.4710-A) that has already passed the NY State Assembly but has not seen action in the State Senate. 

Earlier this year, the assembly unanimously passed legislation that will provide the State’s Division of Veterans’ Services with a clear mandate to help immigrant veterans, active enlisted immigrant military personnel and their families with assistance in obtaining legal status and other services offered to our military servicemen and servicewomen. 

Since 2002, over 139,000 immigrant service members have legalized their status with many of them living in the state.