NY Lawmakers on the Move, May 5, 2022

Lawmakers on the Move

AG James Calls for Full Cancelation of Federal Student Loan Debt

Attorney General Letitia James

New York Attorney General Letitia James this week led a multi state coalition of eight attorneys general in urging U.S. President Joe Biden to fully cancel federal student debt owed by every federal student loan borrower in the country. 

In a letter to President Biden, James and the coalition stress that immediate relief is needed for borrowers struggling with the unmanageable burden of student loan debt. The attorneys general acknowledge the administration’s commitment to addressing the issue, however, the coalition urges President Biden to immediately exercise his authority under the Higher Education Act to cancel all federal student loan debt for every borrower.

“While I commend President Biden for giving serious consideration to forgiving $10,000 per borrower, we must take bolder, more decisive action to end this crisis and provide Americans with the tools they need to thrive,” said James. “Student debt keeps millions of struggling borrowers from reaching financial stability and leads to a cycle of financial burdens that follow them throughout their lives. I join my colleagues in urging President Biden to lead one of the most impactful racial and economic justice initiatives in history by canceling this debt, in its entirety, for all.”

Currently, student borrowers owe more than $1.7 trillion to the federal government. In their letter, the coalition argues that a full cancelation of student debt is necessary to address the sheer enormity of debts owed, systemically flawed repayment and forgiveness systems, and the disproportionate impact of the debt burden on millions of borrowers. 

While state attorneys general have taken key actions to ease debt burdens wherever possible, the coalition contends that only permanent action by the Biden administration can provide the widespread relief that is needed by millions of federal student loan borrowers.

Brewer Lobbies NYPD to Crack Down on Illegal Parking & Placard Abuse

City Council Member Gale Brewer

City Council Member Gale Brewer (D-Manhattan) this week wrote to New York City Police Commissioner Keechant Sewell to express her concern about the NYPD’s lack of enforcement on illegal parking and placard abuse. 

Illegal parking and placard abuse impacts the quality of life of all New York City resident and visitors. All car-users must be held accountable to the same rules, including our city officials, said Brewer.

“My office receives complaints regarding illegal parking by city officials, residents,  businesses, and delivery trucks. Illegal parking impacts the quality of life of all New York City  residents and visitors,” wrote Brewer.

“Last year the City Council conducted an investigation into the NYPD’s handling of 311 service  requests regarding illegal parking, including placard abuse, from May to July 2021, and found  that in 72% of cases, the NYPD did not respond properly. The other 28% were simply not  responded to at all,” the letter added.

Meng Encourages Queens Houses of Worship & Nonprofits to Apply for Funding

U.S. Rep. Grace Meng

U.S. Rep. Grace Meng (D-Queens), New York’s senior appropriator on the House Appropriations Committee, yesterday encouraged local houses of worship and nonprofit organizations to start preparing their applications for the federal government’s Nonprofit Security Grant Program if they are interested in seeking funding from the initiative this year.

The program provides synagogues, churches, mosques, temples, and nonprofit institutions such as community centers, schools, and other facilities with federal grants to improve the safety and security of their properties so that they can guard against threats and attacks.

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), the agency that administers the program, has informed Meng’s office that it will soon open this year’s application process. The Congresswoman’s office was also alerted by the New York State Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services that there will be an extremely quick turnaround time for the applications this year, likely less than two weeks. Although the Nonprofit Security Grant Program is a federal grant program, applicants must submit their applications to the state government. 

Those that submit applications from Meng’s congressional district can contact the Congresswoman’s office for assistance and letters of support. The phone number for Meng’s office is 202-225-2601.

Clarke Presents Check to the Brooklyn Museum

U.S. Rep. Yvette Clarke

U.S. Rep. Yvette D. Clarke (D-Brooklyn) on Saturday will present a check for the Community Project Funding awarded to Brooklyn Museum to support critical costs for the upcoming creation of the first-ever permanent galleries for the museum’s world-renowned Arts of Africa collection. 

The galleries will be the second-largest freely accessible collection of African art permanently on view in New York City, and the only one located in Brooklyn. A full description of the project, as well as those of other approved FY22 community projects, is available here.

The presentation is slated for 5:30 p.m., Saturday, May 7 in the Brooklyn Museum Lobby, 1st Floor, 200 Eastern Parkway in Brooklyn.

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