MAHN Lawmakers On The Move May 3, 2019

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Speaker Johnson Commemorates Holocaust Remembrance Day

Council Member Corey Johnson
Council Member Corey Johnson

City Council Speaker Corey Johnson (D-Chelsea, Hell’s Kitchen) yesterday commemorated Yom HaShoah, Holocaust Remembrance Day, honoring the memory of six million Jews and millions of others who were murdered by the Nazi regime in the Holocaust.

This year the annual commemoration started in the evening of May 1 and went through until the evening of May 2. According to the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, the genocide carried out by Nazis and their collaborators killed six million Jews, as well as some 200,000 Roma (Gypsies) and others, through the use of forced labor, concentration camps, and mass execution. Between two and three million Soviet prisoners of war died from starvation, disease or murder, as the Germans swept across Europe.

In the wake of recent hate crimes and synagogue shootings, including one in San Diego on the last day of Passover, Johnson called for Yom HaShoah to serve as a reminder of how important it is to combat hate.

“On Yom HaShoah, Holocaust Remembrance Day, we honor the memory of the six million Jewish Men, Women and Children, and millions of other social and ethnic minorities who were brutally murdered by the Nazis during the worst genocide in human history. The Holocaust reminds us of the worst that can happen when people turn their backs to hatred, racism and oppression, instead of confronting them head on.  More than seven decades after the last concentration camp was forcibly closed, the vile evil of anti-Semitism is still ever present in our city and throughout the world,” said Johnson.

“From Poway to Cleveland to Overland Park, Kansas all the way to Paris and even Mumbai, Jewish people are still being deliberately targeted and killed by those who have nothing but hatred and evil in their hearts.  Today, we remember the victims of the Holocaust and we raise our voices against anti-Semitic words and deeds as we declare Never Again – Never Again,” added Johnson.

Hoylman Launches Campaign To Cancel Event Honoring President of Brazil

State Senator Brad Hoylman
State Senator Brad Hoylman

State Senator Brad Hoylman (D-Clinton/Hell’s Kitchen, Chelsea, Greenwich Village, UWS,  Midtown/East Midtown, Columbus Circle, Times Square, LES) this week launched a campaign to keep Jair Bolsonaro, the President of Brazil, from being honored with a Person of the Year award at a Marriott in his district.

Hoylman, an openly gay New York State Senator, wants the event completely cancelled on the basis that Bolsonaro in the past has said “he’d rather his son die than be a gay man,” on top of his well-documented homophobic remarks. The New York Marriott Marquis is slated to host the gala in his honor on May 14.

Just last month, The American Museum of Natural History declined to host the event after public pressure from local residents and GLAAD.

“I’m furious. It’s insulting to me as the only LGBTQ New York State Senator. And I’m deeply concerned about the message such an event would send to New Yorkers, particularly LGBTQ young people, many of whom are struggling with their identity and are watching his remarks against them be celebrated,” said Hoylman.

“I need you to sign our petition to let Marriott know that we will not welcome Bolsonaro into our neighborhood. I want this event cancelled. Public pressure has already worked. President Bolsonaro’s outrageous and harmful behavior hurts real people, and we can’t stand by as his actions are normalized and celebrated. We must stand up against his bigotry, homophobia, and misogyny,” added Hoylman.

Gillibrand Denounces Latest DOD Report Showing Increase In Sexual Assault In Military

U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand
U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand

U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) yesterday denounced the Department of Defense’s (DOD) latest report on sexual assault in the military, showing an uptick in sexual assaults.

According to the report released on Thursday, there were an estimated 20,500 instances of sexual assault – an increase over the 14,900 estimated in the previous 2016 survey. The number of women in the military who experienced sexual assault increased by 50% from 8,600 in FY2016 to 13,000 in FY2018.

Gillibrand is demanding for passage of the Military Justice Improvement Act, legislation that aims to professionalize how the military prosecutes serious crimes like sexual assault, and to remove the systemic fear that survivors of military sexual assault describe in deciding whether to report the crimes committed against them.

“Almost six years after the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs said the Pentagon was on the clock to solve this problem, sexual assaults continue to increase dramatically while the number of cases going to trial goes down. The status quo is not working. It’s time for Congress to step up and bring accountability where the Department of Defense has repeatedly failed,” said Gillibrand.

“The evidence is clear – we need to pass the Military Justice Improvement Act so that trained military prosecutors can handle these cases moving forward and give survivors confidence in the system. We must create an unbiased military justice system worthy of their sacrifice,” added Gillibrand.