Lawmakers on the Move: Jan. 13, 2022

New York City, Mayor Eric Adams

U.S. Rep. Yvette Clarke
City Councilman Ritchie Torres
U.S. Rep. Ritchie Torres

Clarke and Torres push for federal security through multi factor authentication

In an effort to stave off cyber security threats, U.S. Reps. Yvette Clark (D-Brooklyn) and Ritchie Torres (D-Bronx) wrote a letter to the director of the country’s top cyber security agency, requesting more information on efforts to reduce security risks to federal networks through the adoption of multi-factor authentication requirements. 

Multi-factor authentication is a way that software can protect accounts a user has by requiring more than just a password to access them. In a press release, the two stated that, following the requirement by Congress to implement these security measures across federal agencies through the Federal Cybersecurity Enhancement Act of 2015, and the Biden Administration’s Executive Order 14028, it has become apparent that not all agencies have complied.

“It is essential that agencies adopt multi-factor authentication that reduces the risk of phishing attacks and provides the greatest level of security. Accordingly, we were glad to see that as part of the Office of Management and Budget’s draft zero trust strategy released in September, Federal agencies would be required to adopt phishing-resistant multi-factor authentication for agency staff, contractors, and partners,” wrote Clarke and Torres. 

Clarke is the Chairwoman of the Cybersecurity, Infrastructure Protection and Innovation Committee, and is doing this to make sure that Biden’s executive order on multi-factor authentication is effective. Federal agencies failed to meet the November 2021 deadline. 

 

State Senator James Sanders Jr.

Sanders to hold health fair with free food distribution

This Saturday, State Sen. James Sanders Jr. (D-Queens) will be holding an event in honor of MLK weekend of service. He will hold an event in Jamaica, Queens in partnership with South Queens Women’s March that includes a health fair and so much more. Volunteers will hand out masks, period products, safe sex products, COVID testing, and administer COVID-19 vaccines for adults and children. They’ll also have mental health resources and resources for those who experienced gender-based violence. Everything is free, and it is co-sponsored by several community organizations, including The Campaign Against Hunger and Grand Care Pharmacy. 

This event will take place at 1 p.m. on Saturday, Jan. 15 at 130-01 Liberty Avenue, Richmond Hill, Queens.

Assemblymember Fred Thiele
State Sen. James Gaughran

Thiele and Gaughran pass bill to extend open meeting law

Assemblymember Fred Thiele (D-Long Island) and Senator Jim Gaughran (D-Long Island) passed a bill in both houses of the legislature that extends the ability to conduct meetings remotely. Open meeting law is extended by their bill. The idea to allow remote attendance started at the beginning of the COVID-19 state of emergency, and allowed legislatures all over the country to conduct their work remotely, and now in hybrid fashion. Thiele said he was glad to see the bill receive the support it did. 

“As New York State and local governments continue their ongoing and ever-evolving response to the COVID-19 pandemic, it is nothing short of a necessity for local governments to have the authorization to meet safely and without delay. Having heard from local leaders in my constituency and across New York State, it has been made abundantly clear that this bill will continue to ensure safer and more accessible public meetings,” he said in a statement. 

This allows not only the legislature but all New York State governments and public bodies to meet virtually as well. New York State School Boards Association Executive Director Robert S. Schneider said, “School boards across New York state greatly appreciate this action extending their ability to meet virtually for the duration of the COVID-19 disaster emergency. This legislation provides school boards with continued flexibility that enables them to carry out their governance responsibilities safely, while also preserving the rights of members of the public to observe meetings and the democratic process.”

 

U.S. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez

AOC PAC releases questionnaire for 2022 candidates

To prepare for the 2022 election season, U.S. Rep Alexandria Ocasio Cortez (D-Queens/Bronx) and her Courage to Change PAC released a questionnaire for candidates for office in 2022. Candidates who fill out the questionnaire, whether for local, state or national office, could earn the honor “Courage to Change Policy Pledge Distinction.” To do so, they must agree to several campaign promises: rejecting all donations from corporate PACs; increasing funding for crisis response services; making public undergraduate programs free; ending exclusionary zoning; repealing the Faircloth and Hyde amendments; and limiting cooperation between local law enforcement and federal immigration authorities.

According to a press release, “The Courage to Change PAC was founded by Rep. Ocasio-Cortez with the goal of elevating candidates who display political courage — people who refuse to bow to establishment pressure, who advocate ferociously for working-class families, and who have lived the same struggles as the people they seek to represent.” Sixteen candidates who earned this new distinction last year won their race, including new Councilmember Shahana Hanif (D-Brooklyn). 

 

More from Around New York