2017-11-29 / Political Page

I On Politics


Inadequate Supplemental Disaster Funding Request From President Trump’s White House: “The people of Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, Texas, Florida, and California are still suffering, and this supplemental disaster funding request from President Trump is wholly inadequate to address their needs. This meager plan would not allow for the rebuilding of the economies, homes, and infrastructure devastated by recent natural disasters. We owe our fellow Americans so much more.

“The federal government’s commitment to these communities must be long-term and comprehensive. The plan put forward by President Trump falls far short of that goal. I encourage the administration to reevaluate its request to ensure that impacted Americans are given the support needed to truly recover.”

President Trump’s Planned Repeal Of TPS For Haitians: “President Trump’s anti- immigrant bias is once against putting our communities and economy at risk. The decision to end Temporary Protected Status for Haitians with long-standing ties to America will have a devastating impact on families and individuals who seek nothing more than the American Dream of safety, stability, and opportunity.

“This decision is unnecessary and only serves to underscore how anti-immigrant forces in the White House now dictate the GOP agenda, despite volumes of evidence that show immigrants contribute to their communities and build up the American economy for all.”

Trump Administration’s Planned Repeal Of Net Neutrality Rules: Crowley issued the following statement after FCC Chairman Ajit Pai said the Trump administration plans to dismantle net neutrality regulations:

“We must continue the fight for Americans’ access to a free and open internet. The decision by the FCC to dismantle existing net neutrality regulations will hurt consumers who rely on the internet to reach the world and realize new opportunities. It is consumers who should be in control of the content they see online.

“Congress must act to ensure access to the internet is guaranteed for all Americans. I urge Republicans and Democrats to work together to fix another unnecessary problem created by the Trump administration.”

TRUMP ADMINISTRATION BLOCKS RELEASE OF DHS INSPECTOR’S INVESTIGATION INTO TRAVEL BAN: Rep. Grace Meng (D-NY) is calling for the immediate release of the Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) Inspector General’s (IG) report on President Trump’s travel ban. The report is the product of an investigation requested by 38 members of Congress.

In a letter submitted to Congress this evening, Inspector General John Roth stated: “With regard to [withholding] this specific report, it would deprive Congress and the public of significant insights into the operation of the department. Moreover, because we have concluded that CBP (Customs and Border Protection agency) appears to have violated at least two separate court orders, we will be unable to describe the factual basis behind our conclusion.” Further, Roth stated that the administration’s decision to block the release of the report “can mask discovery of decisions made based on illegitimate considerations, or evidence of outright misconduct.”

“President Trump’s travel ban was unlawful in its conception and chaotic in its implementation,” said Meng. “38 members of Congress requested an investigation. And now, after defying multiple court orders, DHS is defying Congress. The American people deserve to know what their government is doing.”

Meng was the first member of Congress to introduce legislation to prohibit President Trump’s travel ban from taking effect, H.R. 722: the “No Funds for Unconstitutional Executive Orders Act,”

The DHS IG report was prompted by a letter led by Rep. Jose Serrano and signed by 37 members of Congress.

TRUMP ADMINISTRATION ENDING TPS FOR 60K HAITIANS: Majority Leader Jimmy Van Bramer released a statement on the Trump administration ending TPS for 60,000 Haitians:

“By cruelly terminating TPS (Temporary Protected Status) for Haitians, Trump is again sacrificing the most vulnerable among us just to placate his anti-immigrant base. Deporting people en masse from our neighborhoods will not make our city and our country safer or more prosperous. New York needs to be a fortress city against the onslaught of attacks from the federal government and fight back against racism and xenophobia. I call on the Trump Administration to reverse this decision and extend TPS for all Haitians currently in the United States”

Approximately 5,000 Haitian immigrants live in New York City and 60,000 in the United States via TPS. Council Member Van Bramer was proud to support the right to counsel for immigrants and refugees facing deportation. This policy, funded in the City Budget passed this spring, ensures that all immigrants have access to legal counsel, regardless of immigration status or income. Majority Leader Van Bramer urges all current Haitian recipients of TPS to apply for TPS and work permission one last time to be able to remain in the U.S. through July 2019 and to see a lawyer to see if they qualify to stay in the U.S. through other means.

POTENTIAL CENSUS APPOINTEE BRUNELL IS ‘ANTI-DEMOCRACY’: In response to reports that the Trump Administration’s top pick for deputy director of the U.S. Census Bureau is Thomas Brunell, author of the book “Redistricting and Representation: Why Competitive Elections Are Bad for America,” Congress Member Carolyn B. Maloney (NY-12), author of the 2020 American Census Investment Act and co-Chair of the Congressional Census Caucus, issued the following statement:

“I am deeply disappointed that the Administration is considering Thomas Brunell for the position of Deputy Director at the Census Bureau. The Deputy Director should be apolitical and have strong management experience. Mr. Brunell falls far short in these areas and has gone so far as to write that ‘competitive elections are bad for America.’ Someone who doesn’t seem to believe in democracy shouldn’t be allowed anywhere near the federal agency that is at the heart of our democratic system. The 2020 Census is already in jeopardy and a pick like this will only make things worse.”

TRAFFIC AGENTS NEEDED TO EASE CONGESTION AROUND LAGUARDIA AIRPORT: House Democratic Caucus Chair Joe Crowley (DNY), NYS Assembly Member Aravella Simotas, and NYC Council Member Costa Constantinides announced they sent a letter to Mayor Bill de Blasio requesting traffic enforcement agents at intersections along 82nd Street, between Marine Terminal Road and Astoria Boulevard, to ease congestion near LaGuardia Airport.

“This particularly complicated stretch of 82nd Street presents a series of challenges to the local community, due to the confluence of 23rd Avenue, Ditmars Boulevard, the Grand Central Parkway, and traffic in and out of the airport,” wrote the lawmakers.

With the ongoing redevelopment of LaGuardia, the officials stressed the need for action to address the flow of traffic.

“Between the airport and the swath of commercial and industrial properties that border it, it is easy to forget that there is also a significant residential component to the neighborhood. Even under ideal circumstances, this stretch of 82nd Street can be a nightmare to traverse, but the recent renovations at LaGuardia have significantly worsened the congestion issues.” They noted, “With the holiday season upon us, these issues will likely only be exacerbated by the spike in travel. As such, we would like to request that traffic officers be positioned at these intersections during peak traffic hours to ensure the smooth and orderly flow of cars and minimize congestion,” the lawmakers stated.

WEPRIN RECEIVES PERFECT SCORE ON ENVIRONMENTAL ADVOCATES LEGISLATIVE SCORECARD: EPL/Environmental Advocates awarded Assembly Member David I. Weprin with a perfect score in their annual Legislative Environmental Scorecard for 2018. Weprin joined NYS Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie and Environmental Conservation Chair Steve Englebright in receiving a perfect score of 100/100. EPL/Environmental Advocates tracks the environmental voting records of the New York State Legislature on bills that could help or harm our air, land, and water to ensure elected officials are committed to protecting the environment. The group was formed in 1969 as one of the first organizations in the nation to advocate for the future of a state’s environment and the health of its citizens. “We have a responsibility to ensure a clean environment for our children and grandchildren,” said Weprin. “I have always considered environmental health and protection a priority during my time in the Assembly and am pleased to support legislation backed by New York’s environmental advocates.”

PARTICIPATORY BUDGETING IN FULL SWING IN DISTRICT 19: NYC Council Member Paul Vallone has announced that Participatory Budgeting in northeast Queens has reached the next step in this year’s cycle, where volunteer budget delegates will meet at the district office to discuss, research, and prioritize the top projects in each committee. If you have a project idea that you would like to discuss, Vallone invites you to email his office at District19@council.nyc.gov.

The four committees that you can volunteer to be a part of are the following:

1) Education & Youth

2) Parks & Recreation

3) Cultural & Community Facilities

4) Streets, Safety & Transit.

The duties of the budget delegates are listed below. Delegates do not need to do each task below, but are expected to contribute meaningfully to the committee’s work:

• Participate regularly in committee meetings (one or two per month).

• Review community needs data, assess needs in the district, research local needs related to proposed projects; discuss and prioritize initial project ideas.

• Learn about the budget funds and the budget process.

• Help develop a proposal for at least one project.

• Help keep the community informed on the committee’s progress, and incorporate community feedback into the proposals when appropriate.

• Participate in outreach for the PB Vote and serve as volunteers at voting sites.



PASSES ON: House Democratic Caucus

Chair Joe Crowley (D-NY) released the following statement on the passing of former

Congress Member Maurice Hinchey:

“Maurice Hinchey was a true advocate for the people of New York and a dear friend.

He will be remembered for many achievements, but most especially for his advocacy for a cleaner environment.

“It was an honor to serve with Maurice.

He was a proud New Yorker, an honorable public servant, and a true statesman. My thoughts and prayers are with Maurice’s family at this time.”



CONGRESS: Following news reports alleging sexual misconduct by Senator Al Franken and Congress Member John Conyers, Jr.,

Congress Member Carolyn B. Maloney (NY-

12) released the following statement:

“These allegations against sitting members of Congress are deeply troubling and must be fully investigated by the House and Senate Committees on Ethics.

“There can be no tolerance – whether in Congress or any workplace – for sexual misconduct. We have spent too many years allowing these incidents to be kept a secret, and predatory behavior to go on without consequence. Enough is enough. Standards need to change, and we in Congress must start with ourselves. The current system for reporting such incidents in Congress is antithetical to justice. Forcing victims into mandatory mediation with their abusers revictimizes those who chose to come forward. No one should be mandated to wait 90 days to file their formal complaint. This long, dragged out process places an undue burden on victims while shielding abusers. I support a rewrite of these rules through currently proposed legislation like the ME TOO Congress

Act (Member and Employee Training and

Oversight On Congress Act) which will make the reporting process fairer and require staff and (Congress) member training to punish and prevent such behaviors.”

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