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MANH Lawmakers on the Move, Aug. 28, 2019

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Johnson Interviewed by Irish America

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

City Council Speaker Corey Johnson (D-Chelsea, Hell’s Kitchen) recently sat down for an interview with Irish America Magazine.

Over the course of the interview, Johnson spoke about his experience coming out in high school, his life following his diagnosis with HIV, and his pride in his Irish heritage, among other subjects. On the subject of his diagnosis, Johnson thanked the LGBT activists who preceded him for his survival and subsequent success.

“I would not be alive today if it were not for those who came before me: Peter Staley, Ann Northrop, Vito Russo, and particularly Larry Kramer, who co-founded the Gay Men’s Health Crisis and created ACT UP,” said Johnson. “I think about those activists every day. We lost a generation of people, and we would have lost more if it weren’t for them. I am alive because of activism. I will always be grateful and live a life of service in their honor.”

Read the full interview here.


Stringer Writes Open Letter to NYC Immigrants

NYC Comptroller Scott Stringer
NYC Comptroller Scott Stringer

New York City Comptroller Scott Stringer (D) wrote an open letter yesterday reminding New Yorkers that they all have labor rights, regardless of immigration status.

In the letter, Stringer implores immigrant workers to let his office know if they think they were underpaid or deprived of benefits that they would otherwise be entitled to.

“Often, workers are unaware that our office has collected money on their behalf,” said Stringer. “Other times, the workers are afraid to come forward because of fear of retaliation by their employer or because of their immigration status. If you believe you were underpaid on a City-funded job — no matter who you are, or where you’re from — let us know. We work to recoup unpaid wages with interest, and we collect money for workers regardless of their immigration status or whether they still live in New York City or have moved to another state or country.

“Because informed workers are their own best advocates, my office has started a new initiative to fine contractors that fail to provide written notice to their employees of their right to receive prevailing wages and benefits. Workers that know their rights are less likely to be exploited by unscrupulous employers.”

Read the full letter here.


DOT Lowers West Side Highway Speed Limit at Hoylman’s Behest

State Senator Brad Hoylman
State Senator Brad Hoylman

Thanks to tireless activism from State Senator Brad Hoylman (D-Chelsea, Midtown), the NYC Department of Transportation (DOT) has finally lowered the speed limit on the West Side Highway from 35 to 30.

Hoylman had been pushing for a speed limit decrease sine 2016, after several cyclists died on the highway that year. He was the point person on a letter to the DOT in 2017 urging them to address the crisis.

“A combination of high multi-modal use and a lack of improved traffic safety measures is of great concern to us,” read the letter. “As elected officials representing the neighborhoods alongside the West Side Highway, we urge NYSDOT to undertake a major study to identify appropriate actions to mitigate the high number of traffic incidents along this road.”

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