MAHN Lawmakers On The Move June 27, 2019

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Nadler Calls On DOJ Inspector General To Investigate Claims of Harassment At Quantico

U.S. Rep. Jerrold Nadler
U.S. Rep. Jerrold Nadler

Congressman Jerrold Nadler (D-Upper West Side, Morningside Heights, Hell’s Kitchen, Chelsea, Greenwich Village, Soho, Wall Street,Battery Park City), Chairman of the House Judiciary Committee yesterday alongside high ranking Democrats sent a letter to Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz asking him to investigate allegations of discrimination against women at the FBI’s Training Academy in Quantico, Virginia. 

Sixteen plaintiffs have filed a lawsuit against the FBI alleging sexual harassment, a hostile work environment, and discrimination.

“We write concerning disturbing allegations of discrimination in the training and selection of FBI agents at the FBI’s Training Academy in Quantico, VA.On May 29, 2019, sixteen plaintiffs filed a lawsuit against the FBI accusing the Bureau of running a “good-old-boy network” at Quantico and discriminating against women. The suit alleges the women have been “sexually harassed, subjected to a hostile work environment and outdated gender stereotypes, constructively discharged, forced to resign under pressure or who perceived that continuing in the training would be a futile gesture, suffered retaliation, and/or suffered other types of harassment in whole or in part because of their gender since April 10, 2015. 

If true, such conduct cannot be tolerated.  The selection process employed by the FBI must be free from discrimination on the basis of factors such as gender and race, and individuals hired to these important positions should reflect the diversity of our country.  We must also ensure potential agents not be deterred from applying because they fear the possibility of such treatment.

Although this issue is now pending in the courts with respect to certain instances of past discrimination, we believe these detailed allegations require an investigation into the FBI’s training and selection practices for new agents by your office. Such an inquiry will help ensure appropriate changes be made as soon as possible, if necessary, based on your recommendations,” read a joint letter to Horowitz from top House Democrats.

Velázquez Votes To Pass Border Supplemental Legislation 

Congresswoman Nydia Velazquez
Congresswoman Nydia Velazquez

Rep. Nydia M. Velázquez (D-LES, Brooklyn, Queens) this week voted for H.R. 3401, the Emergency Supplemental Appropriations for Humanitarian Assistance and Security at the Southern Border Act. 

The bill provides significant funding for priorities to meet the needs of vulnerable children, including food, water, medical services, legal assistance, support services for unaccompanied children, alternatives to detention and refugee services. The bill also contains important oversight provisions to hold the Administration accountable and to insist the Administration start to protect the rights of immigrants.

In addition to providing humanitarian aid, the measure also contains oversight provisions to hold the Administration accountable, and to protect the rights and dignity of migrants, including: 

  • No funding for a border wall or barriers, or for ICE detention beds;
  • Prohibits the use of funds for any purpose not specifically described;
  • Places strict conditions on influx shelters to house children by mandating compliance with requirements set forth in the Flores settlement;
  • Protects sponsors and potential sponsors from DHS immigration enforcement based on information collected by HHS during the sponsor vetting process;
  • Ensures congressional oversight visits to facilities caring for unaccompanied children without a requirement for prior notice;
  • Requires monthly reporting on unaccompanied children separated from their families;
  • Requires additional reporting about the deaths of children in government custody;
  • Ensures CBP facilities funded in the bill complies with the National Standards on Transport, Escort, Detention, and Search.

“Voting no on this legislation would have meant abandoning children and families who are suffering because of a crisis at the border that has been fueled by Donald Trump’s policies. That choice was simply unacceptable,” said Velazquez. 

“Going forward, I will continue working to ensure vulnerable immigrants detained on our southern border are cared for, treated humanely and held harmless. Our nation must not abdicate its values as a compassionate, caring and welcoming home for those seeking safe refuge,” added Velazquez.  

Brewer Announces 2020 Census Initiatives

Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer
Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer

Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer last Friday alongside Manhattan Deputy Borough President Aldrin R. Bonilla held the first meeting of the Manhattan Complete Count Committee, an effort designed to ensure everyone in Manhattan is counted in the 2020 Census.

The Committee includes leaders from labor groups, non-profits, business groups, and others. At the meeting, Brewer launched a first-of-its-kind funding initiative, dubbed ‘Manhattan Counts,’ for creative solutions to reach undercounted groups. Brewer announced $50,000 toward the new initiative. 

The census, which is intended to count the entire population, is crucial for determining how federal funds are distributed and congressional districts drawn.

“Cities like ours, with diverse populations and large immigrant communities, have been preparing for the census for months. If we aren’t fully counted, we’ll be getting shortchanged in budgets and in Congress for years to come, so I’m looking forward to getting my hands dirty and ensuring we’re doing all we can to make this the most successful census in New York City history,” said Brewer. 

“The results of each decennial U.S. Census have far-reaching consequences both for political representation and federal funding distribution in every city and state. Census population counts are a factor in federal support for everything from education to healthcare, law enforcement, transportation and more,” added Brewer. 

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