2017-07-12 / Political Page

I On Politics

TRUMP STUMPED FIGHTING MEDIA: Donald Trump, getting nowhere with his speeches of late, tweeted that phony wrestling stunt last week trying to get some reaction, but all he’ll get if that keeps up is a lot of laughs from the public.

His campaign against the media will get him nowhere because there’s no substance to it, and the public won’t be taken in because they know him so well that he can’t drum up any sympathy these days. Better if he sticks to the old script, judging from another story that was in the same editions that day which was headlined: “Fearful migrants stop short of U.S.” The tagline under it read, “Trump policies lead many to remain in Central America.”

This little glimpse of the millionaire’s woes might be funny if it wasn’t true in some respects. Trump’s proposed migration ban was knocked down by the courts but it had some effect anyway.

It could work as a scare tactic, and forces many poor people in Central and South America, for instance, who might be considering taking a chance to come here with the hope of bettering their lives to stay in their home countries. That would really be sad. Tourism from around the world to the U.S. is also down and is expected to continue dropping.

Meanwhile Trump (and some other elected officials) cannot make any advancement in their careers. Republicans, for instance, control both houses of the Congress, but can’t seem to find a way to put any legislation together to get moving presently. In Trump’s case, his fight with the media appears to be going nowhere, so perhaps he should try another tactic.

CROWLEY PUSHES VOTER REGISTRATION: House Democratic Chairman Joe Crowley (D-NY) and Congressman Brendan F. Boyle (D-PA) have introduced legislation to require that all newly sworn-in U.S. citizens be uniformly provided voter registration forms at naturalization ceremonies, making it easier for them to exercise their core right as citizens: the right to vote.

Currently, only some states and local election officials provide such materials to newly sworn-in citizens. The Citizenship Empowerment Act (H.R. 3113) would require officials to provide voter registration forms in citizenship packets and would allow election officials to set up informational tables outside naturalization ceremonies.

“We should do everything within our power to make it easier for Americans to vote, as that is the fundamental tool for ensuring a more perfect union,” said Chairman Crowley. “Newly sworn-in Americans have demonstrated their commitment and dedication to our country, and they are often eager to make their voices heard. Providing voter registration forms at naturalization ceremonies would go a long way into making that a reality. I applaud Congressman Boyle for his leadership on this important issue and hope my colleagues will be inspired by the Independence Day holiday to support this legislation.”

“The right to vote is the foundation of our democratic system. We should make it easier, not harder, for citizens to vote or register to vote whenever possible,” said Congressman Boyle. “We should do all we can to provide all citizens a fair opportunity to participate in our democracy – and in fact encourage them to do so – regardless of the location they happen to be naturalized as a U.S. citizen.

“I am proud to introduce this legislation with Joe to cap off Immigrant Heritage Month and commemorate July Fourth,” Boyle concluded.

The legislation is endorsed by Common Cause and the National Partnership for New Americans.

“Many immigrants to the United States fought and died for the right to vote,” said Aaron Scherb, Director of Legislative Affairs at Common Cause. “Ensuring that new American citizens can fully participate in our democracy is a common-sense reform, and Common Cause commends Representative Boyle for introducing the Citizenship Empowerment Act.”

Providing new citizens with voter registration forms at their naturalization ceremonies is allowed, but not required by federal law. This is an obvious disparity, whereas one new U.S. citizen can be sworn-in and immediately be given the opportunity to register to vote, while another may have to jump through multiple hoops to track down the necessary paperwork, Crowley concluded.

VALLONE ENDORSED BY WORKING FAMILIES PARTY, NYC CENTRAL LABOR COUNCIL: As the groundswell of union support continues to grow for NYC Councilman Paul Vallone, the Working Families Party and New York City Central Labor Council have officially endorsed him for reelection to the 19th Council District, seat.

The New York City Central Labor Council (NYCCLC) is a non-profit organization dedicated to supporting, advancing and advocating for the working people of New York City, Vallone stated. The NYCCLC represents 1.3 million workers, including teachers, nurses, construction workers, electricians, firefighters, retail workers, janitors and many more who form the backbone of today’s workforce.

The Working Families Party is powered by people who believe in a better future for working families. Today, hundreds of thousands of individuals are part of the Working Families community, along with a growing number of labor, community, environmental, youth and faith organizations. Northeast Queens is home to thousands of active and former members of these two organizations and their support is a testament to Vallone’s efforts to fight for the hard working families in his communities, the Astoria lawmaker noted.

“Now more than ever, we need to fight for and support the working families that make our communities so great. The endorsement of the Working Families Party and Central Labor Council will help communicate to voters throughout Northeast Queens that I am committed to our working families and that I will strongly oppose any efforts to take away their rights,” said Vallone. “I am honored by these endorsements, and look forward to working with them for the next four years.”

“The Working Families Party is thrilled to support Paul Vallone for reelection to the 19th Council District. Paul Vallone has shown his commitment to enacting policies of fairness and opportunity for working families and will continue to be a champion of labor in Northeast Queens and throughout the city,” WFP officials stated.

“We are proud to endorse Paul Vallone to represent the working men and women of the 19th District on the City Council,” said Vincent Alvarez, President of the New York City Central Labor Council, AFL-CIO. “During his time on the City Council, Paul has consistently shown his support for working people, and we look forward to continuing to stand together with him to protect the rights and working conditions of hardworking New Yorkers.”

CUOMO ON FAMILIA; SHOOTER’S MENTAL HEALTH TREATMENT: “Reports that the individual responsible for the death of Officer Miosotis Familia sought a psychiatric exam, and was quickly released from hospital care only days before this horrific attack raise many questions,” stated Governor Cuomo.

“Under tragic circumstances such as these, it is critical to ensure all proper procedures and safeguards were taken. At my direction, the state Department of Health and Office of Mental Health are launching an immediate review of St. Barnabas Hospital’s actions and policies in admitting, treating and discharging this individual. This review will determine if all relevant state laws, regulations and guidelines were followed.

“Officer Familia dedicated her life to protecting her community, and her death is mourned by all New Yorkers. I once again extend my deepest condolences to her family, loved ones and fellow members of the New York City Police Department.”

MENG ON ‘SHORT-CHANGING’ ASIAN ACTORS: U.S. Rep. Grace Meng (D-NY) issued the following statement on Asian American actors Daniel Dae Kim and Grace Park leaving the CBS show “Hawaii Five-0” after reportedly being offered 10 to 15% less in salary than their co-stars,” said Meng.

“I am disturbed to hear reports that ‘Hawaii Five-O’ stars Daniel Dae Kim and Grace Park were not offered equal pay to their colleagues on the TV series. Kim and Park were principal characters on the show for seven seasons, and decided to leave after CBS reportedly offered them both a significantly lower salary than their fellow co-stars,” said Meng.

“Asian Americans already face many issues in Hollywood, including typecasting and whitewashing. The entertainment industry continues to struggle with accurately portraying Asian American stories and including diverse characters. Not paying artists fairly further increases these problems by putting up barriers for Asian American performers to break through in the industry. I call upon Hollywood studios and producers to address pay inequity, offensive stereotypes, and lack of Asian American representation on and off screen.”

CROWLEY CALLS FOR PROPER FUNDING FOR 2020 CENSUS: House Democratic Caucus Chairman Joe Crowley (D-NY) and Congresswoman Yvette D. Clarke (D-NY), along with members of the New York City congressional delegation, called on the U.S. Department of Commerce to support full and appropriate funding for the New York City operations of the Census Bureau and the 2020 Census.

Census data is used to determine the number of congressional seats each state receives, how state legislative districts are drawn, and how more than $400 billion in federal funds is allocated each year to local, state, and tribal governments. New York City, although heavily populated, is traditionally undercounted in the Census, which causes the city and state to lose out on important federal support. In 2010, problems with field operations in two local census offices in the boroughs of Brooklyn and Queens resulted in undercounted neighborhoods that have been left underserved. As a result, over the past seven years, New York City has had to manage this shortfall and take its own corrective actions to modify the 2010 Census numbers so that city agencies had access to accurate data.

“New Yorkers cannot afford to be undercounted in the 2020 Census,” said Chairman Crowley. “I am calling on the U.S. Department of Commerce to allocate appropriate funding for the 2020 Census to ensure New York is accurately represented and to avoid the previous undercounts that have impacted the fair representation and fair share of resources my Queens and Bronx constituents deserve.”

MENG SEEKS MORE BUDGET $: The House Appropriations Committee included three of U.S. Rep. Grace Meng’s (D-NY) initiatives in the Defense Appropriations and Legislative Branch Appropriations bills that were recently approved by the Committee.

The Defense Appropriations bill accounts for half of all U.S. discretionary spending, and this year’s bill provides $658.1 billion for Department of Defense operations, readiness activities, and quality of life programs for our service members and their families. The Legislative Branch Appropriations bill funds the offices of Members of the House of Representatives, support agencies of Congress, security and police forces, services for visitors, and Capitol operations and maintenance. This year’s bill provides $3.58 billion in funding.

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