NY Lawmakers on the Move March 4, 2022

Lawmakers on the Move

Gillibrand Joins Biden for signing of her Ending Forced Arbitration of Sexual Assault and Sexual Harassment Act

U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand

U.S. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) joined President Joe Biden at the White House yesterday for the signing of her Ending Forced Arbitration of Sexual Assault and Sexual Harassment Act.

The legislation will prevent perpetrators from being able to push survivors of sexual harassment and sexual assault into the secretive, biased process of forced arbitration. The bill will invalidate existing forced arbitration clauses that prevent sexual assault and sexual harassment survivors from seeking justice and public accountability under the laws meant to protect them.

The bill passed the Senate—unanimously—on February 10, 2022. Gillibrand first introduced the bill in 2017 and reintroduced it last year alongside her Senate co-lead, Senator Lindsey Graham, and House lead Representative Cheri Bustos. They were joined by former Fox News anchor Gretchen Carlson.

“The Ending Forced Arbitration of Sexual Assault and Sexual Harassment Act represents one of the most significant workplace reforms in American history and I am so proud to see President Biden sign our bill into law today,” said Gillibrand. “This law will void the forced arbitration provisions for sexual assault and sexual harassment cases in the contracts of more than 60 million Americans, giving survivors a real chance at justice. 

“The arbitration process has not only allowed corporations to hide sexual harassment and sexual assault cases in this secretive and often biased process, but it has also shielded those who have committed serious misconduct from the public eye. Today, we are entering a new era of accountability and delivering real change for survivors and for working people across the country.”

Reichlin-Melnick leads bipartisan group pressuring Comptroller to divest from all companies doing business with Russian entities 

State Sen. Senator Elijah Reichlin-Melnick

State Sen. Elijah Reichlin-Melnick (D-Rockland/Westchester) recently circulated a letter that was signed by 30 of his Senate colleagues urging NYS Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli to divest the $279 Billion New York State pension fund from companies based in the Russian Federation or that do business with citizens of, or businesses based in, the Russian Federation. 

“New York’s economy is the 10th largest in the world, and we should use our economic leverage to support the effort to punish Putin and stop Russian aggression in Ukraine,” said Reichlin-Melnick. “The actions taken so far by the Comptroller are important first steps in divesting from Russian interests, but they do not go far enough. We must take a stand against Vladimir Putin’s murderous invasion of Ukraine by making the Russian Federation a pariah state and supporting the international effort to isolate and degrade Russia’s economy until the war is ended and Ukraine’s sovereignty is restored.”

The letter comes after Senator Reichlin-Melnick’s introduction of S.8446, the “Stop Russian Aggression Act” which will block the awarding of New York State contracts to any company conducting business in Russia, and will instruct the New York State Comptroller to begin the process of divesting the state retirement system pension fund from any investment in companies that do business in Russia. 

Aviles Give Participatory Budgeting Update 

City Council Member Alexa Aviles

City Council Member Alexa Aviles (D-Brooklyn) yesterday announced in her e-newsletter that District 38 participatory budgeting is well underway. 

We are about halfway through the current cycle, which will culminate with vote week in April,” wrote Aviles. “We received over 85 initial idea submissions, of which 44 were sent to agencies for vetting. This year we will be funding up to $1 million through participatory budgeting, and our goal is to present between $1.5 million to $2.5 million in capital projects for residents to choose from in April.

Aviles said her office received many great project ideas through participatory budgeting that were not eligible for funds but that interested residents can continue to pursue in other ways.

Maloney, Menin Unveil New Eleanor Roosevelt High School Gym

Photo credit: Carolyn Maloney for Congress website (https://www.carolynmaloney.com/)
U.S. Rep. Carolyn Maloney
City Council Member Julie Menin

U.S. Rep. Carolyn B. Maloney (D-Manhattan,Queens, Brooklyn), City Council Member Julie Menin (D-Manhattan), former Council Member Ben Kallos, and Eleanor Roosevelt High School Principal Dimitri Saliani today will cut the ribbon for the new $6.5 million gym at Eleanor Roosevelt High School (ERHS). 

The gym occupies the 6th floor of a new Pre-K Center at 355 East 76th Street built by the School Construction Authority following advocacy from local elected officials and Eleanor Roosevelt High Schoolers who gathered more than 5,000 signatures as part of a petition to push the City to build a gym.

Eleanor Roosevelt High School is one of the top high schools in New York City and America with 500 current students from Community School District 2 and the surrounding city with representation from 40 different countries. The school was founded in 2002 after a neighborhood effort led by Maloney and a special task force advocating for the need of a new East Side High School. It is located in a school building without a gym despite boasting 12 varsity sports that participate in the Public School Athletics League including: boys football, girls flag football, girls and boys soccer, volleyball, girls and boys basketball, girls and boys tennis, coed track, baseball, and softball. 

The ribbon cutting is slated for 1:15 p.m., tomorrow March 4 355 East 76th Street between 1st and 2nd Avenues in Manhattan.

Malliotakis Delivers Flag Flown Over U.S. Capitol to Guild for Exceptional Children

U.S. Rep. Nicole Malliotakis. Photo from her Congressional website.

U.S. Rep. Nicole Malliotakis (R-Staten Island, Brooklyn) recently delivered a new American flag to the Guild for Exceptional Children (GEC).

The GEC is a Brooklyn-based non-profit that has aided children, adults, and seniors with developmental and intellectual disabilities for over 60 years. The GEC provides schooling, residence, family support, and more to individuals with special needs, such as autism, epilepsy, down syndrome, and cerebral palsy.  

“The Guild for Exceptional Children has been a cornerstone of the New York City community for decades, providing invaluable resources to individuals with disabilities and their families,” Malliotakis said. “It was an honor to deliver a new flag to the Guild and show my appreciation for the incredible work they do for families in our community.”


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