Hoylman Introduces Bill to Allow CBs to Meet in Emergencies Via Telecommunication
Yesterday, State Senator Brad Hoylman (D-Chelsea, Midtown) introduced a bill to allow Community Boards (CBs) and other public bodies to convene via telecommunication and videoconferencing during a public health emergency.
The New York Open Meetings Law (OML) ensures that the public has access to the meetings of public bodies, or government-financed organizations that act independently (such as CBs). Hoylman’s bill would allow public bodies subject to the OML to meet in a way that does not jeopardize their participants during a health crisis.
“We can’t allow responsible public health precautions like self-quarantine and ‘social distancing’ to grind the work of open government to a halt,” said Hoylman. “This legislation will allow public bodies to operate with transparency while avoiding unnecessary exposure to COVID-19. I’m grateful for the feedback from local Community Board members, who inspired this bill, and look forward to working with open government advocates and my colleagues to pass this important legislation as soon as possible.”
Kallos Announces Launch of Pre-K Dual Language Programs
Last Wednesday, Council Member Ben Kallos (D-Yorkville, Lenox Hill) announced the launch of two French dual language at a Pre-K center in his district.
The center, located at 355 East 76th St., will use a side-by-side instructional model; each class will feature two Early Childhood- certified teachers, one of whom will be fluent in French. Kallos conceived the idea last December, when he hosted a petition urging the New York City Department of Education (DOE) to establish a French dual language program for School District 2. His petition accumulated 200 signatures from parents.
“I hear so many languages spoken in my district from every corner of the world and now we are working with the Francophone community to address a need in the neighborhood as we hope to increase the overall diversity of our schools,” said Kallos. “Thank you to Deputy Chancellor Josh Wallack for his ongoing partnership in expanding early education opportunities, the French Consulate for supporting the Francophone community, and especially to Stephane Lautner and Catherine Remy who worked closely with my office to put meetings together and organize hundreds of other parents.”
Maloney Campaign Suspends Petitioning
Yesterday, U.S. Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens) announced yesterday that her campaign has immediately suspended petitioning amidst Coronavirus fears.
“Out of an abundance of caution and due to concerns about public health and safety, my campaign is immediately suspending efforts to collect further petition signatures for ballot access,” Maloney said in a statement.
“In yesterday’s Oversight hearing, Dr. Anthony Fauci and other medical experts were clear that social distancing is one of the most effective tools we have to combat the spread of COVID-19. Petitioning is a contact-heavy process, and it would be irresponsible for my team to put anyone at risk in the process. Additionally, to encourage civic and public health-centered action, my campaign pledges not to challenge the petition signatures of any candidate running in the NY-12 Democratic Primary.”
Espaillat Requests Extension of 2020 Census
U.S. Rep. Adriano Espaillat (D-Washington Heights, Sugar Hill) requested that we extend the deadline for the 2020 Census during yesterday’s House session.
Espaillat argued that the COVID-19 outbreak could negatively affect the number of households who respond to the Census. He called for a three-month extension, emphasizing how important it is that we get a complete count.
“All communities across the country must be counted, particularly those who are hard to count,” said Espaillat. “The Census is for everybody. However, due to the Coronavirus pandemic, we face now difficult challenges for the Census. The Census must be extended an additional three months so we can get an accurate count.”