MANH Lawmakers on the Move – Jan. 22, 2020

Manhattan Lawmakers on the Move bannner

De Blasio, Stringer Take Next Step to Achieve Fossil Fuel Divestment

Mayor Bill de Blasio (Credit: William Alatriste)
Mayor Bill de Blasio

Yesterday, Mayor Bill de Blasio (D) and Comptroller Scott Stringer (D) announced the next major step towards their goal to divest New York City’s largest pension funds from fossil fuel companies.

De Blasio and stringer have finished selecting the advisers to evaluate options and recommend divestment actions. The board of advisors will develop a comprehensive strategy to address climate change risks and preserve the retirement funds of City employees.

“While the Trump Administration fails to address global warming as the crisis it is, New York City is taking action,” said de Blasio. “We are dedicated to delivering what we owe to our children and grandchildren, which is why we’re the first in the nation to take major steps to divest from fossil fuels and invest in climate solutions.”

Tish James Leads Coalition Fighting to Halt Immigration Arrests at State Courthouses

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

Last Friday, New York Attorney General Letitia James (D) led a coalition of 14 attorneys general in an effort to stop federal immigration arrests of non-citizens without a warrant or court order in and around state courthouses.

Last month, the Office of the Washington State Attorney General filed suit against the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP). The office argued that practice of arresting non-citizens at or around state courthouses violated the Administrative Procedure Act and the Tenth Amendment. In an amicus brief, James and her colleagues argue in support of Washington State’s request for a preliminary injunction to immediately halt said arrests.

“With every arrest in and around state courthouses, ICE continues to endanger our communities and our public safety,” said James. “These arrests not only have chilling effects on immigrant communities, but stop our courts from operating properly and thus prevent justice from prevailing. While we pursue our own lawsuit against ICE to halt these illegal arrests, we are leading a coalition of attorneys general from around the nation to stop the Trump Administration’s attempt to target and intimidate immigrant communities.”

Hoylman, Lentol Introduce Student Suicide Prevention Act

State Senator Brad Hoylman
State Senator Brad Hoylman

Last Friday, State Senator Brad Hoylman (D-Chelsea, Midtown) and Assemblymember Joseph Lentol (D-Brooklyn) announced the introduction of the Student Suicide Prevention Act (S7138/A9032).

The bill would require school districts to adopt comprehensive policies on suicide prevention, intervention, and support for the grieving loved ones of the students who take their own lives. These policies would equip school staff and students with the tools necessary to assist students in crisis. The bill also calls for the implementation of policies that specifically address at-risk groups, such as LGBTQ youth, homeless youth, and those with mental health problems.

“There’s a mental health crisis happening in our schools,” said Hoylman. “In recent years, nearly 4,500 kids visited an emergency department in New York for self-harm. We have a solemn responsibility to help these students – especially the students in high-risk groups, like LGBTQ youth. Our schools need resources and contingency plans to address mental health so staff and students are able to help students in crisis and prevent the tragic loss of life. I’m honored to be working with my colleague Assembly Member Lentol on this important issue.”

Espaillat Requests Extradition of Cesar Peralta-Adamez

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

Yesterday, Representative Adriano Espaillat (D-Washington Heights, Sugar Hill) released a statement in support of the extradition of César Peralta-Adamez.

Peralta-Adamez, also known as “César El Abusador”, was the head of one of the most powerful drug trafficking networks in South America. Between 2007 and 2017, Peralta’s gang operated in several countries in the Western Hemisphere, including the Dominican Republic, Venezuela and the United States. He was finally captured and apprehended last December.

“El Abusador operated a vast criminal network that not only trafficked tons of heroin and cocaine through the Caribbean and into the United States over the last decade, but also coordinated countless acts of violence and corruption across Latin America,” said Espaillat. “For years, in communities across the eastern seaboard, including in the district I represent, heroin and cocaine trafficked by El Abusador and his cronies have ripped apart families and taken innocent lives.

“Several weeks ago, I formally asked Ambassador Francisco Santos Calderon for the Colombian government’s assistance in my effort to promptly extradite El Abusador to the United States, so that the families who have lost loved ones due to his illicit activities can finally receive justice. I was delighted by the ambassador’s earnest commitment to lending his assistance in this matter, and I remain committed to working with authorities in both Colombia and the United States to ensure that El Abusador is not simply brought to justice but held accountable on American soil.”