NY Lawmakers on the Move, Feb. 1. 2022

Lawmakers on the Move

Espaillat to Host Annual State of the District Address

U.S. Rep. Adriano Espaillat

U.S. Rep. Adriano Espaillat (D-Manhattan, Bronx) will host his annual State of the District address this week streamed live on Facebook. 

During the virtual event, Espaillat will highlight his legislative accomplishments for New York’s 13th congressional district and present an overview of his legislative priorities during the 2022 calendar year. 

Additionally, Rep. Espaillat will highlight his collaboration with New York state and local leaders to address the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and U.S Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) will make special appearances.

The speech is slated for 7 p.m., Thursday, Feb. 3, streamed live at fb.com/RepEspaillat/ 

Hanif Pushes Back Against Adams’ Ending Gun Violence Plan

City Council Member Shahana Hanif

City Councilmember Shahana Hanif (D-Brooklyn) in her e-newsletter ripped several parts of Mayor Eric Adams’ “Blueprint to End Gun Violence” plan released last week.

Hanif said that while she mourned recent violence in the city including the murder of two police officers, Wilbert Mora, 27, and Jason Rivera, 22, she can not go along with Adams’ plan calling for the rollback of recently passed bail reform laws and to repeal the Raise The Age law which ensures 16 and 17-year-olds couldn’t be tried as adults. 

“The Mayor also is pushing forward with reviving the NYPD plainclothes unit and implementing facial recognition surveillance measures despite the serious civil rights issues involved. These regressive policies are reminiscent of the Guliani era when young Black and brown men were harassed in this city by the NYPD with impunity. Make no mistake, this plan is a massive step backward when we need to be looking forward towards a more caring future for NYC,” wrote Hanif.

“I am concerned that the mayor’s plan will simply put more people behind bars. As a member of our City Council’s Criminal Justice Committee and as someone who visited Rikers at the start of my term, I am committed to ensuring our City is safe but doing so without increasing the population at Rikers. Cages do not make our City safer, community care does. I will do everything I can to support the positive and community-centered parts of the Mayor’s plan, but I was not sent to City Hall to send teenagers to jail or provide camouflage to cops. We need to invest in the social services that make our communities whole and the anti-violence programs that keep our communities safe. This is what I will fight for to make our community, and our City, safe for everyone.”

Meng Introduces Legislation to Make Lunar New Year a Federal Holiday

U.S. Rep. Grace Meng

U.S. Rep. Grace Meng (D-Queens), First Vice Chair of the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus, announced yesterday that she has introduced new legislation to create a federal holiday for Lunar New Year, as Asian Americans prepare to ring in the Year of the Tiger on Tuesday.

Meng’s measure would make Lunar New Year a federally recognized holiday in the United States, adding it to the list of eleven federal holidays that are currently recognized. The bill was introduced with 44 cosponsors.

In addition to the legislation, Meng reintroduced a House resolution that would recognize the cultural and historical significance of Lunar New Year, as well as wish a happy and prosperous holiday to everybody celebrating, and express the deepest respect for Asian Americans and all individuals throughout the world who observe the holiday.

Meng on Tuesday will also mark the anniversary of Lunar New Year becoming a school holiday in New York City, a public school holiday that she played a role in creating in 2016. The Congresswoman first proposed closing New York City schools for Lunar New Year when she was a member of the New York State Legislature in 2009.

“For Asian Americans, Lunar New Year is an incredibly important, festive and deeply traditional holiday,” said Meng. “It’s the most significant time of year for the Asian American community, and is celebrated in the U.S. and across the globe. It has also been observed for thousands of years. With Asian Americans being the fastest growing population in our country, and with the popularity of the holiday continuing to grow, it makes sense to make Lunar New Year a federal holiday. The time has come to make this happen. My bill, coupled with my resolution, would demonstrate that the holiday celebrated by millions is also valued by their government. I look forward to shepherding these measures through the House, and I am excited to wish everyone celebrating a very happy Lunar New Year!”

Lunar New Year celebrates the culture, heritage and contributions of Asian Americans, and this year begins the year of the Tiger which symbolizes a competitive nature, courage, and ambition.     

Meeks Announces White House’s Guide to Help New York Communities Access Historic Investments in Bipartisan Infrastructure Law

U.S. Rep. Gregory Meeks

U. S. Rep. Gregory W. Meeks (D-Queens) yesterday touted a comprehensive new guide from the Biden Administration to help New York communities navigate all the historic investments under the bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act.  

This guidebook, available here, highlights how local communities can take full advantage of urgently needed infrastructure funding for road maintenance, expanded public transit, airport upgrades and other critical projects.

“The $1.2 trillion Bipartisan Infrastructure Law is the largest long-term investment in our infrastructure and competitiveness in nearly a century, and with the largest federal investment in public transit in history, we’ve already begun to see its impact locally with Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) fare hikes and service cuts postponed indefinitely. The law also includes investments to deliver clean drinking water, connect every American to reliable high-speed internet, upgrade our power infrastructure, and enhance our resiliency efforts so that New York’s infrastructure can better withstand future storms,” said Meeks.

The “Building A Better America” guidebook is a one-stop-shop on the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law and contains the most comprehensive information to date. The guidebook clarifies the available funding opportunities: what to apply for, who to contact, and how to get ready to rebuild.

Maloney’s Oversight Committee Considers Bills to Strengthen Federal Cybersecurity

U.S. Rep. Carolyn Maloney

U.S. Rep. Carolyn B. Maloney (D-Manhattan, Queens, Brooklyn), the chairwoman of the Committee on Oversight and Reform, will hold a business meeting this week to consider bills to strengthen federal cybersecurity and improve hiring practices and operations for federal agencies. 

The Committee will consider the following legislation:

H.R. 6497, the Federal Information Security Modernization Act of 2022 (FISMA 2022);

H.R. 6419, the Fair Chance Improvement Act;

H.R. 6361, the District of Columbia National Guard Commanding General Residency Act; and

H.R. 5962, the Supply Chain Security Training Act.

The Committee will also consider several postal naming measures.

The Oversight and Reform Committee Markup is slated for 10 a.m., tomorrow, Feb. 2. The livestream will be available on YouTube and the Committee website.