MANH Lawmakers on the Move, Aug. 21, 2019

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Velázquez Calls for Comprehensive Review of Facility Where Epstein Died

Congresswoman Nydia Velazquez
Congresswoman Nydia Velazquez

Representative Nydia Velázquez (D-LES, Brooklyn, Queens) wrote a letter to FBI Director Christopher Wry and DOJ Inspector General Michael Horowitz calling for an investigation of the Metropolitan Correctional Center (MCC), the facility at which Jeffrey Epstein was found dead.

In her letter, Velázquez asks the agencies, which are examining the circumstances surrounding Epstein’s death, to conduct a broader review looking at systemic problems at the long troubled facility.

“It is vital that we continue ensuring the victims of Mr. Epstein’s deeds receive the justice they deserve, including a full accounting of Mr. Epstein’s death under federal custody,” reads the letter. “Likewise, it is important that broader management problems pervading MCC, which may have enabled Mr. Epstein’s suicide, be examined, rooted out and corrected.”

Read the full letter here.

Governor Signs Gottfried’s Bill to Ban Floating Billboards

Richard N. Gottfried
Assembly Member Richard N. Gottfried

Governor Andrew Cuomo (D) recently signed a bill to prohibit “floating billboards” from operating in New York State waters.

The bill, sponsored by Assemblymember Richard Gottfried (D-Chelsea, Midtown), prohibits vessels from operating in the navigable waters of the state while sporting a billboard that uses flashing, intermittent or moving lights. Violators will be subject to a $1,000 fine for the first offense and $5,000 for subsequent offenses.

“Billboards belong in Times Square, not in the middle of the Hudson or East Rivers,” said Gottfried. “Vessels that feature electronic ads pose a dangerous distraction to boaters and drivers, not to mention an eyesore.”

Tish James Sues to Block Trump’s Public Charge Rule

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

Yesterday, New York Attorney General Letitia James (D) filed a federal lawsuit against President Donald Trump (R), challenging his newly instated “public charge” rule for immigrants.

The new rule enables the government to reject green cards for immigrants who are likely to depend on government assistance, such as food stamps and public housing.

“Generations of citizens landed on the welcoming shores of Ellis Island with nothing more than a dream in their pockets,” said James. “Quite simply, under this rule, more children will go hungry, more families will go without medical care and more people will be living in the shadows and on the streets. We cannot and we will not let that happen.”

Espaillat to Join Colleagues for ICE Facility Inspection

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

Representative Adriano Espaillat (D-Washington Heights, Sugar Hill) and a few of his fellow representatives will be touring Elizabeth Contract Detention Facility (CDF) today.

The CDF is an Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) facility in New Jersey that holds 300 immigrant detainees. The Members will exercise their Congressional oversight responsibilities by taking a tour to view the conditions of the facility and detainees. After touring the facility, the Representatives will have press availability to give comments on their observations.

The tour will begin today at 10 a.m. at the Elizabeth CDF, 625 Evans St, Elizabeth, NJ.

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