MANH Lawmakers on the Move, Feb. 24, 2020

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AG James to File Suit Against City for Fraudulent TLC Practices

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

Last Thursday, New York Attorney General Letitia James (D) sent a notice of claim for $810 million to the City of New York, accusing the Taxi and Limousine Commission (TLC) of fraudulently inflating the price of taxicab medallions.

An investigation by the AG revealed that, between 2004 and 2017, the TLC artificially inflated taxi medallion prices by hundreds of millions of dollars. Furthermore, they continued to market these overpriced medallions after internal reports raised warnings about the inflated values.

“Government should be a source of justice, not a vehicle for fraudulent practices,” said James. “The very government that was supposed to ensure fair practices in the marketplace engaged in a scheme that defrauded hundreds of medallion owners, leaving many with no choice but to work day and night to pay off their overpriced medallions. What’s worse is that the TLC knew their actions were affecting some of the city’s most financially exposed immigrant families. We are taking action to ensure New York’s hard-working taxi drivers can be made whole again and are repaid the hundreds of millions the city unlawfully pocketed.”

Hoylman Commends Cuomo for Supporting His Bill to Ban Flavored E-Cigs

State Senator Brad Hoylman
State Senator Brad Hoylman

State Senator Brad Hoylman (D-Chelsea, Midtown) released a statement last Friday commending Governor Andrew Cuomo (D), when the latter voiced his support for a statewide ban on flavored e-cigs.

Currently, Hoylman and Assemblymember Linda Rosenthal (D-Upper West Side, Hell’s Kitchen) are sponsoring a bill that would prohibit the usage of flavored liquid in e-cigarettes. He’s also co-sponsoring a bill with Assemblymember Rodneyse Bichotte (D-Brooklyn) that would ban all flavored tobacco products, including menthols.

“I’m pleased to see Governor Cuomo reiterate his support for banning all flavored e-cigarettes, as I carry legislation with Assembly Member Linda Rosenthal to do just that,” said Hoylman. “We must pass this as a standalone bill as quickly as possible, to protect our children from the growing threat of vaping-related illness and nicotine addiction.

“We must also pass the legislation I carry with Assembly Member Rodneyse Bichotte to ban stores from selling flavored tobacco products like menthol cigarettes, which have been used by Big Tobacco to lure in people of color and members of the LGBTQ community.

“Big Tobacco has killed too many New Yorkers with their toxic products already; we can’t let them kill these bills with millions of dollars in lobbying.”

Espaillat Calls for Reinvestigation of Assassination of Malcolm X

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

Representative Adriano Espaillat (D-Washington Heights, Sugar Hill) released a statement last Thursday calling for the reinvestigation of the case involving the assassination of El-Hajj Malik El-Shabazz, also known as Malcolm X.

The statement came shortly after Espaillat watched “Who Killed Malcolm X?”, a Netflix docuseries covering the case. The series follows activist Abdur-Rahman Muhammad, who alleges that two of the three suspects in Malcolm X’s assassination were innocent.

“The events around his assassination and how the case was improperly handled are indicative of the political landscape, disparities in the judicial system, racial injustices and sentiments toward individuals of color that have remained persistent throughout our nation’s history,” said Espaillat. “It’s time to reopen this case, and it is time to investigate fully and with the assistance of modern technology to find truth and justice to finally resolve who was responsible for the assassination of Malcolm X once and for all.”

Rivera to Sponsor Reusable Bag Giveaway

Council Member Carlina Rivera
Council Member Carlina Rivera

Council Member Carlina Rivera (D-East Village, Gramercy Park) will be sponsoring a free tote bag giveaway this Wednesday, in collaboration with Friends of Corlear’s Hook.

On Mar. 1, New York state law will prohibit businesses from using plastic carryout bags. To prepare the populace for this new law, Rivera and her team will be handing out hundreds of free reusable bags.

The event will take place on Wednesday, Feb. 26 from 5:30 – 7 p.m. at Fine Fair, 545 Grand St.

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