Lawmakers on the Move, Jan. 12, 2022

QBP Richards Calls For Creation on NYC Office of COVID Recover

Queens Borough President Donovan Richards

Queens Borough President Donovan Richards Jr. on Thursday will host a virtual media roundtable to call for the establishment of the New York City Office of COVID Recovery.

The call comes as COVID-19 cases continue to rise, nearly two years after the start of an unprecedented pandemic that has killed more than 10,000 Queens residents and devastated our borough’s economy.

The NYC Office of COVID Recovery would create a more streamlined and centralized approach toward fighting the COVID-19 pandemic, alleviating unnecessary administrative burdens from both the NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene and the NYC Health + Hospitals system. 

The Office’s duties would include strengthening and expanding the City’s COVID-19 testing apparatus, improving language access for City residents, fostering more cohesive communication between City agencies and elected officials, partnering with community-based organizations, distributing vaccine incentives and more.

The NYC Office of COVID Recovery would also oversee the Test and Trace Corps, which is currently operated by NYC Health + Hospitals.

The event is slated for 12 noon, Thursday, Jan. 13. It will be held via Zoom and live-streamed at www.queensbp.org.

Parker Sponsors Legislation To Expand New Yorkers’ Voting Rights

State Sen. Kevin Parker

State Sen. Kevin Parker (D-Brooklyn), together with the Senate Majority Conference, passed major legislation this week that will expand voting rights in New York and empower more voters to get to the polls. 

The legislation Parker sponsored known as, Polling Place On College Campuses: Senate Bill, S.4658, will designate polling places for voting on college campuses. 

“Voting and access to the polls are the building blocks of our democracy.  My bill establishing polling sites on college campuses lays a foundation for some of our newest voters and begins the habit of participation in our representative government,” said Parker. “I am proud to join my colleagues in the Senate Democratic Majority as we kick off the 2022  Legislative Session with major voting reforms and reaffirming our commitment to advancing New Yorkers’ rights.” 

Long Island GOP Assembly Members Call Attention to Rising Crime Rates

Assembly Member Michael Montesano
Assembly Member Joe DeStefano

Five Republican Assembly Members representing Nassau and Suffolk Counties in Long Island yesterday called attention to rising crime rates in the state and suggested some responsibility lies with Democratic control of the executive and legislative branches on the state level.

Assembly Members Michael Montesano (R-Glen Head), Joe DeStefano (R-Medford), Ed Ra (R-Franklin Square), Jarett Gandolfo (R-Sayville), and Melissa “Missy” Miller (R-Atlantic Beach) all issued separate releases calling for repeal of several criminal justice-related bills that they say contributed to the rise in crime.

“It is high time we restore order to this state and address the vast increase in crime that has occurred over the past two years. It is no coincidence that this crime increase directly correlates with the failed implementation of bail reform measures, which is why we are calling for a full repeal of this flawed ‘fix’ to the criminal justice system. Not only are we putting New Yorkers at risk, we are also further burdening our already overworked law enforcement agencies,” said Montesano.

“New York is facing an unsafe surge in crime, it is time to end the lawlessness and disorder happening throughout the state,” said DeStefano. “One-party rule has been nothing short of a disaster for New York state. Crime is running rampant through our communities. We need to address this rise in crime and protect our neighbors. That begins with repealing bail reform and putting discretion back in the hands of judges.”

Assembly Member Ed Ra
Assembly Member Jarett Gandolfo

“As New York continues to see our residents flee the state at a troubling rate, it’s clear we need to take action to address this disturbing rise in crime and violent activity,” said Ra. “Instead of rewarding criminals for their behavior and allowing them back into our neighborhoods with no repercussions for their unlawful actions, we need to stop letting them off the hook.

Assembly Member Melissa “Missy” Miller

“New York has seen a surge of crime, thanks to progressive lawmakers trying to seem tolerant rather than protecting our citizens,” Gandolfo said. “The state’s gun violence deaths alone have increased over the last five years by 60.1%, according to our Division of Criminal Justice Services. We need to repeal bail reform and once again empower local law enforcement to do their job of protecting our communities.”

“Many parents tell me how frightened they are for their children’s safety. This isn’t the community I grew up in, and it’s not one I want my kids to experience either. It’s abundantly clear that we need to take steps to roll back policies like bail reform and judicial discretion and work hand-in-hand with our police officers to ensure our communities are protected,” said Miller.

Nadler Applauds President Biden’s Remarks on Voting Rights

U.S. Rep. Jerrold Nadler (Photo Credit: U.S. House Office of Photography)
U.S. Rep. Jerrold Nadler

U.S. Rep and House Judiciary Committee Chair Jerrold Nadler (D-Manhattan/Brooklyn) yesterday applauded President Biden’s remarks on voting rights and the need to pass the John R. Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act: 

“The right to vote, which countless Americans have fought, marched, and given their lives for, lies at the very core of our democracy. It is fundamental to all our freedoms and it must be protected at all costs. I commend President Biden and Vice President Harris for their efforts to stem the tide of voter suppression laws in our nation, and I join them in calling on the Senate to reform the filibuster rule, a relic of the Jim Crow era, and pass the John R. Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act,” said Nadler. 

“Since the passage of the Voting Rights Act of 1965, protecting Americans’ right to vote had not been a partisan issue. In 2006, the Senate supported the same principles in the John R. Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act when it voted 98-0 to reauthorize the VRA, which was signed into law by President George W. Bush. Yet, that same political party that worked to safeguard this essential right is now leading the charge to suppress it,” he added.

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