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MAHN Lawmakers On The Move June 6, 2019

Manhattan Lawmakers on the Move bannner

Krueger, Hoylman Applaud Passage of Domestic Animal Welfare Package

State Senator Liz Krueger
State Senator Liz Krueger
State Senator Brad Hoylman
State Senator Brad Hoylman

State Senators Liz Krueger (D-Upper East Side, Lenox Hill) and Brad Hoylman (D/WF-Clinton/Hell’s Kitchen, Chelsea, Greenwich Village, UWS, Midtown/East Midtown, Columbus Circle, Times Square, Stuyvesant Town-Peter Cooper Village, the East Village, LES) yesterday applauded passage of legislation to protect the rights and improve the health and safety of domestic animals across New York State.

On Wednesday, the Senate Democratic majority passed a series of bills including legislation that will raise awareness of safety standards for domestic animals, increase the punishment for cruelty against animals, prohibits the declawing of cats, requires the installation and testing of fire protection systems in pet stores, veterinary requirements for pet dealers, and allows report for suspicious animal cruelty.

The package included Kreuger’s legislation, S.2723, that removes the term “serious” in regards to a physically injured animal to ensure a perpetrator’s attempt to harm an animal is penalized appropriately despite the success of said assault.

“The health of our society can be measured in part by the way we treat the animals in our care. It’s just common sense that if you set out to cause extreme physical pain to an animal, that counts as ‘cruelty,’ and you should get more than a slap on the wrist,” said Krueger.

“Animal abuse has no place in a civilized society. With the legislation passed today under the leadership of Leader Stewart Cousins and Domestic Animal Welfare Committee Chair Martinez, we are putting firm protections in place to keep animals safe and free from harm. I’m immensely grateful to my colleagues for their work to make New York more humane,” said Hoylman.

Nadler Fights Against Threats To Women’s Reproductive Rights

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

House Judiciary Chairman Congressman Jerrold Nadler (D-Western Brooklyn, Western Manhattan) this week delivered opening remarks during the Committee’s first hearing on abortion rights in the 116th Congress.  

The hearing, which took place in the Subcommittee on the Constitution, Civil Rights, and Civil Liberties, focused on threats to reproductive rights at the state and court level, and how Congress can respond.

In recent weeks, multiple states have passed new reproductive laws— known as early abortion bans — explicitly outlawing abortion when performed after a certain point early in the pregnancy. The laws vary, with some forbidding abortion after six weeks of pregnancy, and some after eight weeks. Alabama’s law is the most extreme: It aims to outlaw abortion at any point, except if the woman’s health is at serious risk. So far in 2019, nine U.S. states have passed laws of this type, and more states are considering similar legislation, including Alabama, Georgia, Louisiana, Missouri, Mississippi, Arkansas, Kentucky, Utah and Ohio, according to NPR.

“This country has reached a crisis point for women’s constitutional right to control their own bodies and reproductive choices. States have passed unconstitutional bill after unconstitutional bill imposing new, extreme restrictions on abortion, setting the most direct challenge to Roe v. Wade we have seen in decades. The right to have an abortion is fundamental to women’s equality, autonomy, and personal liberty,” said Nadler.

“We will not go backward. Enough is enough. Congress must now stand up with women and men around the country to say we will not turn back the clock on women’s constitutional rights and women’s autonomy.  It is my hope that today’s hearing is Congress’s first step towards shoring up the right to abortion across this country through legislation. We must act to ensure that every woman, regardless of state, income, race, or any other factor, retains her constitutional right to access abortion. I stand with the members of this Committee and millions of women and men around this country ready to fight for that freedom,” added Nadler.

PA Williams Calls For Investigation Into ‘Central Park Five’ Prosecutor

New York City Public Advocate Jumaane Williams
Public Advocate Jumaane Williams

Public Advocate Jumaane Williams joined by a coalition of elected officials and activists yesterday called for Manhattan District Attorney Cy Vance to investigate his predecessor, Linda Fairstein, in light of her conduct during the ‘Central Park Five’ case.

The case is drawing new attention following the release of the miniseries When They See Us, which documents the stories of the young men wrongfully convicted in the death of Trisha Meili in 1989.

During a press conference outside the David N. Dinkins Municipal Building and in a letter sent to District Attorney Cy Vance, Williams asked thatVance investigate all past cases overseen by Fairstein to determine whether there are additional victims of her misconduct. He further called for Elizabeth Lederer, also involved in the prosecution, to be removed from her current position with the Manhattan District Attorney’s office.

Additionally, Williams called for Fairstein to be disbarred and removed from her role as an adjunct Professor at Columbia University, and for Penguin to stop selling her book. Together with the advocates, he linked the injustice wrought against the five young men in 1989 to the ongoing trial a few hundred yards away at 1 Police Plaza, where Officer Daniel Pantaleo faced a departmental disciplinary trial five years after the death of Eric Garner and the lack of justice thus far in that case.

“It is even more clear today than it was before that former District Attorney Linda Fairstein, prosecutor in the case, engaged in immoral, unethical, and illegal conduct. She took advantage of vulnerable, young, Black and Latino youth by orchestrating false confessions from the teenagers. Fairstein’s actions were not only unjust, but possibly criminal, which many believe could be reason for disbarment. It is crucial that we now re-examine and investigate all of her past cases, particularly those where were no DNA evidence was found. I suspect we will find more victims in her wake,” read the letter to Vance.

“We cannot bring back what was taken from these five young men. We also can not bring back Trisha Meili, or the other victims of the man who went free while these boys were incarcerated. We were not the people in power back then, but we have the power now. I implore you to exercise the authority you now possess to help right the wrongs of the past, to bend the arc toward justice,” said Williams in a letter to Vance.

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