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MANH Lawmakers on the Move, Aug. 16, 2019

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Rivera Calls Out Ben Shapiro for Bigotry

Council Member Carlina Rivera
Council Member Carlina Rivera

City Council Member Carlina Rivera (D-East Village, Gramercy Park) released a tweet yesterday denouncing conservative pundit Ben Shapiro for his remarks on income inequality.

On a recent podcast, Shapiro said that he doesn’t sympathize with working-class Americans who have to work more than one job to get by. He argued that the blame was on them for not seeking out higher-paying work.

“My mom worked two jobs to pay for family basics–things like rent, laundry, school books, transportation,” said Rivera. “She sacrificed daily. Privilege and a mic gives many bigots a platform to misinform. But these talking points are rooted in ignorance & ill will. It’s sad hate is for hire.”


Chin to Hold Press Conference on Public Charge Rule

Council Member Margaret Chin
Council Member Margaret Chin

City Council Member Margaret Chin (D-Battery Park City, Chinatown) will be holding a press conference on the public charge rule today.

The new rule, published Wednesday by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, states that the use of public benefits can now hinder a legal immigrant’s chance of getting a green card. Other factors, including wealth, age, and English proficiency, will now also determine whether a person is a “public charge.”

The event will take place at 11 a.m. today, at the Offices of the Asian American Federation, 120 Wall St., 9th Floor.


Espaillat Weighs in On Omar, Tlaib’s Ban from Israel

U.S. Rep. Adriano Espaillat
U.S. Rep. Adriano Espaillat

Representative Adriano Espaillat (D-Washington Heights, Sugar Hill) released a statement yesterday after Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu decided to deny Representatives Ilhan Omar (D-MN) and Rashida Tlaib (D-MI) entry into Israel.

Espaillat, the co-chair of the Latino-Jewish Caucus, said that he “strongly disagreed” with the decision.

“While I may not share all of my colleagues’ opinions on these issues, this action flies in the face of our values as a nation, which Israel has long said it shares,” said Espaillat. “Criticism should not be silenced and this attempt to close off dialogue undermines the ability to attain mutual understanding.

“I strongly urge the Israeli government to reverse this decision and allow Congresswomen Tlaib and Omar to continue with their travel.”


Johnson Split on Proposed Fifth Avenue Renaming

Council Member Corey Johnson
Council Member Corey Johnson (Credit: Jeff Reed)

City Council Speaker Corey Johnson (D-Chelsea, Hell’s Kitchen) expressed ambivalence about the new movement to rename the street outside Trump Tower after former President Barack Obama (D).

A petition to rename the stretch of Fifth Avenue that accommodates Trump Tower after Obama has recently started gaining ground. As of now, the petition has accumulated over 133,000 signatures.

“As much as I love the idea of celebrating President Obama, I am not positive this is the best way,” Johnson said in a statement. “The Obamas epitomize class, dedication to public service and respect for the Oval Office. I’m pretty confident we can find a better way to honor the greatest president of my lifetime than by trolling the worst president of my lifetime.”

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