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MAHN Lawmakers On The Move April 18, 2019

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Levine Helps Launch Campaign Against Flavored Tobacco, Flavors Hook Kids

City Councilman Mark Levine

City Council member Mark Levine (D-Manhattan Valley, Manhattanville, Morningside Heights, Hamilton Heights) yesterday alongside other electeds and the American Heart Association of New York launched Flavor Hook Kids NYC.

The campaign aims to push legislation that would make it harder for a new generation of teens to get hooked to tobacco. The campaign announced Wednesday, called Flavors Hook Kids NYC, is a partnership of the NAACP, the Campaign For Tobacco-Free Kids, the American Cancer Society and other organizations, according to the Times Union.

The coalition says it will launch advertisements to educate the public about the dangers of menthol and flavored tobacco and how many children get hooked on cigarettes after trying flavored products.

The group says that more than three-fourths of kids who reporting having tried tobacco say they started with a flavored product.

“Teen vaping has reached epidemic level, hooking kids as young as middle school on nicotine. The tobacco industry is hooking a new generation with flavored ecigs designed to appeal to children. Let’s prevent our kids from getting hooked,” said Levine.

Rivera Applauds Release of Judith Clarke

Council Member Carlina Rivera
Council Member Carlina Rivera

City Council member Carlina Rivera (D-East Village, Gramercy Park, Kips Bay, Lower East Side, Murray Hill, Rose Hill) this week tweeted her support of Judith Clarke being granted parole for being the getaway driver in the 1981 Brink’s robbery that left a guard and two Nyack police officers dead.

Clark, who had a history of radical activism, was one of three defendants who refused representation by counsel and disrupted the courtroom to the point that the judge ordered them removed. The three were sentenced to three consecutive 25-to-life terms.

After being implicated in an escape plan in 1985, Clark spent two years in solitary confinement, but then began a years-long transformation: She apologized and expressed remorse, publicly and repeatedly, earned a bachelor’s and then a master’s degree in psychology and was certified as a chaplain. She led support programs for inmates with AIDS, for incarcerated moms and their kids on the outside, and helped set up an inmate board to bring college courses to the prison.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo in 2016 commuted Clark’s sentence to 35 years to life, making her eligible for parole. But the Parole Board turned her down in 2017, calling her release “incompatible with the welfare of society.” Recently, though, a judge ordered a new hearing, ruling the board had focused largely on the severity of her crime and had failed to give much weight to her rehabilitation.

“Judith Clark was remorseful and made clear efforts to improve both herself and the lives of others who were incarcerated. Her parole does not excuse her crime, but it shows people can change for the betterment of society,” said Rivera on social media.

Kallos Announces Spirit of Service Day Event

Council Member Ben Kallos
Council Member Ben Kallos

City Council member Ben Kallos (D-Upper East Side’s Yorkville, Lenox Hill, Carnegie Hill, Roosevelt Island, Midtown East, Sutton Place, El Barrio in East Harlem) this week announced the Spirit of Service event to take place later this month.

The annual event celebrates the work of volunteers who work to improve conditions within their local community. The event is being co-hosted with Community Board 11.

The event is slated for 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., Saturday, April 27, at Dream Charter School, 1991 Second Avenue in East Harlem.

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