NY Lawmakers on the Move Feb. 25, 2022

Lawmakers on the Move

Clarke, Torres Lead Call on NYSDOT to Include Needs of Underserved Communities

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

U.S. Reps. Yvette D. Clarke (D-Brooklyn) and Ritchie Torres (D-Bronx) yesterday sent a letter to New York State Department of Transportation (NYSDOT) Commissioner, Marie Therese Dominguez, urging her agency to consider the needs of underserved and disadvantaged communities in the development and implementation of the first-of-its-kind EV Infrastructure Deployment Plan for New York State.

The Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, passed by Congress at the end of 2021, created a National Electric Vehicle Infrastructure (NEVI) Formula Program to provide states with the necessary funding to build a network of electric vehicle charging stations along designated Alternative Fuel Corridors and other publicly accessible locations. 

Under the program, New York State is slated to receive nearly $26 million within its first year. With New York’s transportation sector accounting for a total of 47% of statewide energy-related CO2 emissions, this funding has the potential to meaningfully and equitably transform the state’s approach to tackling climate change. 

“The communities facing the greatest burdens from the climate crisis and environmental pollution must be prioritized and fully incorporated in our solutions to address these immense challenges, and this is particularly true as we work to build out a robust and modernized transportation sector that is powered by clean, renewable energy,” said Clarke.

“As our New York State Department of Transportation moves ahead in leading this change, it is imperative they consider the needs of underserved and disadvantaged communities throughout the deployment of our state’s electric vehicle charging infrastructure, and ensure they are provided the same opportunities for greener, more sustainable modes of transportation that these communities have been historically denied,” ashe added.

Torres said as America begins to shift toward greener, cleaner energy technology, it is abundantly clear that communities of color must be prioritized to create an accessible and equitable clean vehicle economy. 

“Electric charging infrastructure is a key step in reaching our climate goals, but it cannot be done without the inclusion of historically underserved communities. We urge NYSDOT to find creative ways to deploy EV charging technology so that all New Yorkers can benefit from the clean vehicle revolution,” said Torres. 

Louis on Ahmaud Arbery killing conviction of federal hate crimes.

City Councilwoman Farah Louis

City Councilwoman Farah Louis (D-Brooklyn), while thankful that a jury found Gregory McMichael, his son, Travis McMichael, and William Bryan guilty on all counts of hate crimes, for their hateful, racist, and abhorrent murder of Ahmaud Arbery, a 25-year-old black man out for a jog in the Georgia neighborhood of Satilla Shores, she noted some things for which she was disappointed for concerning the trial.

“Justifying their crime on a series of recent robberies in their neighborhood, when seeing a man “running while black” past their houses, they deemed it just for them to take justice into their own hands and arrest the man, citing the shooting as an act of self-defense. Hoping for the same stamp of approval Kyle Rittenhouse received last autumn, these men were thankfully denied any acquittal, as cooler heads prevailed and both the Georgia jury and the federal jury rejected these claims, and now these three vile and evil men will spend the rest of their lives behind bars,” said Louis.

“It was disheartening at first to hear that prosecutors had offered these men a plea deal initially, as it shows just how imbalanced and racist our justice system truly is, but its rescinding, and the subsequent conviction, can finally bring justice to Ahmaud Arbery and his grieving family,” she added.

Rosenthal, Stavisky Distribute Free COVID-19 Test Kits 

State Sen. Toby Ann Stavisky
Assembly Member Daniel Rosenthal

State Sen. Toby Ann Stavisky (D-Queens) and Assemblyman Daniel Rosenthal (D-Queens) recently distributed free COVID-19 testing kits at the Pomonok Community Center. 

During the two hour event the legislators handed out hundreds of kits, which were provided to them by the Governor’s office. The kits consisted of an N95 mask, COVID-19 tests and hand sanitizer. 

“New York State has been relentless in its efforts to vaccinate our residents and emerge from the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Stavisky. “However, both vaccinated and unvaccinated individuals can still catch and spread the virus. These tests, combined with wearing the N95 mask, will help prevent the spread of the virus and keep our community safe.”

“As we move closer towards the end of the COVID pandemic, it is important to ensure the personal protection needs of each individual,” said Rosenthal. “My office will continue to supply PPE and tests as long as constituents need them. I would like to thank Senator Stavisky and Queens Community House for collaborating on this event.”  

Residents interested in receiving free COVID-19 test kits can visit www.covidtests.gov or call (800) 232-0233. Each household will receive 4 free kits. 

Hoylman to Discuss New Legislation to Support Restaurant Owners & Workers

Sen. Brad Hoylman

State Sen. Brad Hoylman (D-Manhattan) will join New York restaurant workers and owners in support of legislation newly introduced by Hoylman (S.8386) and Assemblymember Jessica Gonzalez-Rojas (D-Queens) which establishes a restaurant and restaurant worker recovery relief fund and loan program. 

The legislation would provide loan forgiveness for restaurants who pay or seek to transition to paying workers One Fair Wage – a full minimum wage with tips on top – in order to recruit staff during the Great Resignation. 

The bill is a companion to S.808, led by Senator Alessandra Biaggi (D-Bronx) and Assemblymember Catalina Cruz (D-Queens), which will raise the subminimum wage for tipped workers to the full minimum wage, and allow tips to be shared with back-of-house employees. Both bills moving together are aiming to support restaurant owners and workers by getting restaurant workers back to work.

The rally for the legislation is slated for 12 noon, today, Feb. 25 at Charm’s, 200 8th Avenue in Manhattan.