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MAHN Lawmakers On The Move April 26, 2019

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Rosenthal, Actress Edie Falco Rally To Ban Sale Of Puppy Mill Dogs In Pet Stores

Assembly Member Linda B. Rosenthal
Assembly Member Linda B. Rosenthal

Assemblymember Linda Rosenthal (D-UWS, Clinton/Hell’s Kitchen), State Sen. MIchael Gianaris (D-Queens) and City Council Member Justin Brannan (D-Brooklyn) today will join Actress Edie Falco to support a statewide ban on the sale of puppy mill dogs in pet stores.

Specifically, the lawmaker and actress will discuss A.6298/S.4234, proposed legislation that will prohibit the sale of dogs, cats, and rabbits in pet stores across the state. They will be joined by representatives from the ASPCA® (The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals®), the Humane Society of the United States (the HSUS) and New York State Animal Protection Federation (NYSAPF).

Despite pet stores’ claims that their puppies come from well-regulated, humane breeders, dogs bred in these facilities often spend their entire lives in small, dirty, wire cages. Mother dogs are treated as nothing more than breeding machines, and puppies as nothing more than assembly-line products, according to advocates for the bill.

The state legislation seeks to protect animals and consumers from cruel breeders who seek to maximize profits at the expense of animal welfare. New York has one of the highest concentrations of puppy-selling pet stores in the country.

The rally is slated for 11 a.m., today, April 26 at the ASPCA Adoption Center, 424 East 92nd Street on the Upper East Side of Manhattan.

AG James Announces Investigation Into Facebook

Attorney General of NY Letitia James
Attorney General of NY Letitia James

State Attorney General Letitia James (D) yesterday announced an investigation into Facebook’s unauthorized collection of 1.5 million Facebook users’ email contact databases.

While Facebook claims that 1.5 million contact databases were directly harvested by its email password verification process for new users, the total number of people whose information was improperly obtained may be hundreds of millions.  

“It is time Facebook is held accountable for how it handles consumers’ personal information,” said James. “Facebook has repeatedly demonstrated a lack of respect for consumers’ information while at the same time profiting from mining that data. Facebook’s announcement that it harvested 1.5 million users’ email address books, potentially gaining access to contact information for hundreds of millions of individual consumers without their knowledge, is the latest demonstration that Facebook does not take seriously its role in protecting our personal information.”   

Email verification is a standard practice for online services such as Facebook. Typically, when a consumer signs up to a new service, they are asked to provide an email address, where they then receive an email with a link to verify that the email account belongs to them. Facebook’s procedure requested certain users to hand over their password to their personal email account.

Additionally, reports indicate that Facebook proceeded to access those user’s contacts and upload all of those contacts to Facebook to be used for targeted advertising. While Facebook has admitted that 1.5 million people’s contact books were directly harvested, the total number of people whose contact information was improperly obtained by Facebook may be hundreds of millions, as people can have hundreds of contacts stored on their contact databases.  

Brewer, Ayala Laud East Harlem Mixed-Use Development

Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer
Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer

Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer and City Council Member Diana Ayala (D-East Harlem, Bronx) yesterday lauded the city’s breaking ground One East Harlem, a vibrant one-acre, mixed-use development that will bring nearly 300 units of housing to East Harlem.

The One East Harlem project is a key component of the City’s East 125th Street Development Project. The project will deliver:

  • Just over 400 housing units, 300 units of which will be affordable
  • 65,000 square feet of retail space including a Food Bazaar supermarket
  • 5,000 square feet dedicated to local retail
  • 10,000 square feet of public open space
  • 5,000 square feet of cultural space to be tenanted by Groove With Me, a local development organization offering free dance classes and performance opportunities for young girls

Additionally, the project is expected to create nearly 300 construction jobs and over 140 permanent jobs. The project is expected to be complete in 2021.

City Councilwoman Diana Ayala

“The One East Harlem project will bring affordable housing, job opportunities, locally-based cultural space, and a much-needed supermarket to our community,” said Ayala. “After years of planning, I am excited to finally see this project come to fruition. I thank EDC, HPD, Community Board 11, The Carey Group, and my predecessor, Melissa Mark-Viverito — all of whom have been incredibly instrumental in making today possible.”

The project is financed under HDC and HPD’s Mixed-Middle Income Program. HDC is providing roughly $74 million in tax-exempt bonds and another $15 million in corporate reserves. HPD is contributing $33 million in subsidy. Citi provided a $63.5 million taxable participation loan and provided the credit enhancement during the construction phase. Credit enhancement during the permanent phase will be provided under a Freddie Mac/HDC risk share structure.  The project benefits from Low-Income Housing Tax Credits (LIHTC) resulting in $16.7 million in tax credit equity. Additionally, former City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito committed $3 million in Reso A funding.

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