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MANH Lawmakers on the Move, Feb. 12, 2020

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Nadler Demands Answers on Giuliani Back Channel to DOJ

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

Last Monday, Representative Jerrold Nadler (D-Manhattan, Brooklyn) penned a letter to Attorney General William Barr (R), after Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC) unwittingly implicated Rudy Giuliani, the President’s personal attorney, in a massive scandal.

Earlier this week, on CBS’ Face the Nation, Graham claimed that Giuliani was receiving information on the Bidens from Ukraine and sending it to the Department of Justice via a specialized intake process.

“At a press conference this morning, you confirmed that DOJ has in fact established such a process to receive information concerning Ukraine, including ‘anything Mr. Giuliani might provide,’ reads the letter. “As you know, the Department has formal, established channels by which to receive information and begin investigations. This new channel to Mr. Giuliani would seem to be a significant departure from those traditional channels.”

Read the full letter here.


Stringer Calls for More Inclusive Interpretation Services

NYC Comptroller Scott Stringer
NYC Comptroller Scott Stringer

Yesterday, City Comptroller Scott Stringer (D) called for new funding in the City’s FY 2021 budget to expand interpretation service programming.

Currently, there are 1.2 million New Yorkers who speak languages with limited diffusion (LLDs). The City defines LLDs as languages spoken by less than 1 percent of the City’s population. In a letter to Mayor Bill de Blasio (D) and Council Speaker Corey Johnson (D-Chelsea, Hell’s Kitchen), Stringer outlined two major budget proposals that would help mitigate this problem.

The first proposal was for a Community Legal Interpreter Bank (CLIB), a program to recruit, train and deploy legal interpreters throughout the City. The second would launch three cooperatives for language services workers, which would specialize in helping speakers of African, Asian and Latin American LLDs, respectively.

“Language impacts every aspect of  life, and too many New Yorkers who speak languages of limited diffusion are underserved and deprived of basic services due to a lack of quality frontline interpreters,” said Stringer. “This has to change. Investing in truly inclusive language services will widen the circle of opportunity for thousands of immigrant New Yorkers and help them gain access to meaningful support. Let’s uphold New York City’s promise as a sanctuary in this year’s budget, by promoting equity for all, in every language.”


Johnson Launches Reimagining Brooklyn Bridge Competition

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

Yesterday, Council Speaker Corey Johnson (D-Chelsea, Hell’s Kitchen), alongside the Van Alen Institute, announced Reimagining Brooklyn Bridge, an international competition to redesign the Brooklyn Bridge walkway.

The competition is looking for imaginative designs that both respect and enhance the walkway’s landmark status, without disregarding accessibility and mobility. This competition will be open to all.

“People from all over the world flock to the Brooklyn Bridge to soak in its history and breathtaking views of Manhattan,” said Johnson. “Commuters rely on it to easily walk or bike ride between boroughs. We need to make sure they are not competing for space because we want the number of people using the bridge to continue growing. Everyone who uses the bridge should have a pleasant experience, not a stressful one. The long-term vitality of the Brooklyn Bridge is essential to our goal of being an environmentally sensitive, pedestrian-friendly city.”

The deadline to submit proposals is Sunday, Apr. 5.


Chin, Rivera to Kick Off Campaign to Support Chinatown Small Businesses

Council Member Margaret Chin
Council Member Margaret Chin

Today, Council Members Margaret Chin (D-Battery Park City, Chinatown) and Carlina Rivera (D-East Village, Gramercy Park) will join the Chinatown Partnership to launch the “Show Some Love in Chinatown” campaign.

Although there have been no confirmed cases of the coronavirus in New York, Chinatown businesses have experienced a decline in sales due to anxieties surrounding the global outbreak. Chin and Rivera will stand alongside Chinatown leaders to disavow the bigotry and baseless paranoia, while encouraging New Yorkers to patronize Chinatown businesses.

The event will take place today at 12:30 p.m. outside the Chinatown Information Kiosk.

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