Lawmakers on the Move, Jan. 25, 2022

Lawmakers, prescription drugs

Salazar, Jackson, Anderson Demand TAP Funding for People In Prison

State Sen. Julia Salazar
State Sen. Robert Jackson
Assemblymember Khaleel Anderson

State Senators Julia Salazar (D-Brooklyn) and Robert Jackson (D-Manhattan), and Assembly Member Kahleel Anderson (D-Queens) and prison reform advocates today will hold a virtual rally calling on the State Legislature to restore Tuition Assistance Program (TAP) funding for people behind bars through (S4464/A2322). 

The event will feature key legislators, directly impacted experts and college-in-prison providers speaking to the value of access to state funding for higher education in prison. The event comes following a recent Siena poll that showed huge, bipartisan majorities for programs that lower barriers to incarcerated New Yorkers re-entering society.  

The rally will coincide with legislative meetings with advocates throughout the day that will center TAP restoration as a means to achieve educational equity, racial justice, and strengthen democracy. 

The call to restore TAP benefits builds on the momentum from Governor Hochul’s announcement of her intention to repeal the ban on TAP for people in prison in her State of the State address and her 2023 Executive Budget. 

Following the December 2020 restoration of Pell Grants for incarcerated students, funding for college-in-prison programming as a means for equity of opportunities became a national conversation. Robust college-in-prison programs require a mix of federal and state funding. 

The rally is slated for 12 noon, today, Jan. 25 on Facebook and YouTube.

Tannousis Calls for Plan to Combat Inflation & Provide Relief to Consumers

Assemblyman Michael Tannousis

Assemblyman Michael Tannousis (R- Staten Island/Brooklyn) yesterday joined his Republican colleagues for a press conference in the state Capitol to advocate for the Conference’s “Inflation Relief & Consumer Assistance Plan” (A.8481). 

The proposal would suspend state sales tax on many everyday items that New Yorkers rely upon that have become increasingly expensive due to inflation.

“The mismanagement and inconsistent fiscal policies enacted by liberals in Albany have had serious negative impacts on our families and communities,” said Tannousis. “New Yorkers are facing record levels of inflation and they’re paying for it at the gas pump and at the grocery store. The Inflation Relief & Consumer Assistance Plan attacks this reality head-on and will be a lifesaver to families in New York. I support this legislation and I hope we have the opportunity to pass it for the sake of New Yorkers across the state.”

Brewer, Osse Call On NYC to Fully Fund Fair Futures

City Council Member Gale Brewer
City Council Member Chi Ossé.

City Council Members Gale Brewer (D-Manhattan) and Chi Osse (D-Brooklyn) today will virtually call on the City to baseline $35M in the FY2023 City budget for Fair Futures to provide the full model for all young people ages 11-26 who are in or have left foster care. 

Fair Futures, a transformative model implemented at all 26 foster care agencies in New York City, connects youth in foster care — 85% of whom are Black or Latinx — with 1:1 dedicated coaches, tutors and education, employment and housing specialists starting in middle school. Ensuring all youth in care and youth who have aged out have access to Fair Futures is essential to giving them a fair shot at success and uprooting systemic injustices that disproportionately affect children in foster care.

Fully funding the model would ensure that every Fair Futures participant has access to a housing specialist to help them navigate the City’s complex housing programs and find safe, stable housing to dramatically reduce the number of young people who become homeless after leaving foster care.  

The rally is slated for 1 p.m., today, Jan. 25. RSVP to [email protected] for a virtual rally link. 

QBP Richards Announces Chris Barca as Director of Communications

Queens Borough President Donovan Richards

Queens Borough President Donovan Richards Jr. yesterday announced the appointment of Chris Barca as his new Director of Communications. 

Barca succeeds Breeana Mulligan, Borough President Richards’ first Director of Communications, who has departed Queens Borough Hall to explore other professional opportunities.

As the Director of Communications, Barca is charged with advancing Borough President Richards’ vision through the development and execution of effective external outreach strategies, managing relationships with members of the news media, including Queens’ expansive array of ethnic media, and building public confidence in the Office of the Queens Borough President’s ability to effectuate positive change in communities across the borough.

Joining Barca, Press Officer Michael Scholl and Digital Manager Shameela Ramprasad in the Communications Department in the coming weeks is Angelica Acevedo, who will assume Barca’s former Press Officer position. Acevedo comes to the Office of the Queens Borough President from the Queens Courier, where she currently serves as Digital Editor.

“Chris Barca is a talented communications professional who has demonstrated a high level of dedication to the important work of this administration, as well as the overall health and well-being of our borough. I look forward to his leadership and the continued success of the entire Communications Department as Queens’ historic comeback advances into 2022 and beyond,” said Richards. “In a little more than one year, our administration has achieved so much for the families of Queens, and Breeana Mulligan has been instrumental in that success. An exemplary public servant and friend, Breeana will be deeply missed at Queens Borough Hall. I wish her nothing but the best in her future endeavors and thank her for all she has done to uplift The World’s Borough.”

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