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MAHN Lawmakers On The Move April 5, 2019

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Brewer, Congress Members, Other Elected Officials Call For Release of Judith Clark

Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer
Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer

Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer joined eleven sitting members and two former members of New York’s Congressional delegation, along with members of the State Senate and Assembly in sending a letter this week to the New York State Parole Board calling for the release of Judith Clark, age 70.

The call comes in the wake of Governor Andrew Cuomo’s 2017 clemency. Clark was the getaway driver in the infamous Brinks robbery in 1981 that left two Nyack police officers and a Brinks guard dead. She is the second-longest serving woman prisoner in a New York State prison.

In the letter, the elected officials write, “During her 37 years in prison, Ms. Clark, through her words as well as her deeds, has transformed herself into a symbol of redemption, hope, and the human capacity for change.  She has disavowed violence, accepted responsibility for her actions, and issued heartfelt and public apologies dating back to 1994 when parole was not even a remote possibility.”

Also on the letter was Congress members Jerrold Nadler (Chair of the House Judiciary Committee), Yvette Clarke, Adriano Espaillat, Hakeem Jeffries, Carolyn Maloney, Gregory Meeks, Grace Meng, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Jose Serrano, Tom Suozzi, Nydia Velazquez, and former members Elizabeth Holtzman and Charles Rangel, and was co-signed by more than 60 other state and city officials.

Chin To Commemorate NYC’s First Jewish Temple

Council Member Margaret Chin
Council Member Margaret Chin

City Council member Margaret Chin (D-Battery Park City, Chinatown) will join community organization next week in commemorating the Mill Street Synagogue, the first Jewish temple to be established in New York City.

The temple was built in 1730 by the nascent Jewish community of New York City, while the Mill Street Synagogue played a pivotal role during the American Revolution promoting the patriots’ cause.

Chin will be joined by the Lower Manhattan Historical Association, the Sons of the Revolution in the State of New York, the American Sephardi Federation, the Temple of Universal Judaism, and the Jewish Learning Experience at the event.

The event is slated for 12:30 p.m., Monday, April 8, at South William Street and Broad Street in Lower Manhattan.

Nadler Holds Historic First Hearing On Equality Act, Protecting LGBTQ Community

U.S. Rep. Jerrold Nadler

U.S. Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-Western Brooklyn, Western Manhattan), House Judiciary Committee Chairman, yesterday held the first ever hearing on H.R. 5, the Equality Act.

The measure is an historic civil rights legislation that would explicitly prohibit discrimination against the LGBTQ community and strengthen non-discrimination protections for women and others.

At the hearing, Chairman Nadler also spoke directly to the LGBT community, saying: “Before I end, I want to take a moment to directly address many of those watching today’s hearing, who are undoubtedly about to hear their humanity and their right to exist questioned.  To the transgender and gender non-conforming youth, teens, and adults who are about to have their right to participate in sports and be themselves in school, work and in their daily lives challenged; to the same-sex couples who are about to hear suggestions that they just take their business elsewhere, that they adopt children elsewhere, that they exist—elsewhere:

We see you.  We support you.  And we believe in you.  If you are feeling unsafe, afraid, or at risk, please reach out for help. You are worth fighting for, and we are here to fight alongside you, which is why we will be passing this bill.”

According to  some initial reports, nearly 300 Democrats and a few Republicans support the bill. It is scheduled for hearings later this spring, and a vote this summer. The measure will likely pass the House, if not yet the Senate.

“I am deeply grateful to our witnesses today for sharing their stories and expertise. The discrimination and hardship faced by the LGBT community are heartbreaking, immoral, and require action. At the heart of the Equality Act are questions much broader than the individual provisions of the bill – who do we want to be as a country, and what is our willingness to take action to ensure that everyone, including the LGBT individuals, are able to fully participate in the American way of life,” stated Nadler.

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