MANH Lawmakers on the Move, Mar. 25, 2019

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Levine Calls for Amsterdam Avenue to be Redesigned

Council Member Mark D. Levine
Council Member Mark D. Levine

City Councilman Mark Levine (D-Hamilton Heights, Manhattan Valley, Manhattanville) got on Twitter yesterday to make another call for Amsterdam Ave.’s renovation.

Levine was reacting to a recent news story of a 26-year-old woman who, on Saturday, was struck by a reckless driver and pinned against a parked car as she was stepping off the curb at 141st St. and Amsterdam Ave. The councilman cited the story as proof of how dangerously designed the avenue is.

“This absolutely heartbreaking death occurred on a stretch of Amsterdam Ave with little protection for pedestrians, where on average there are 100 injuries/year in crashes,” Levine said in a tweet. “It is long past time we put safety first and implement the Amsterdam Ave. redesign. We have been calling for this redesign for years. The time for waiting is over.”

Johnson Heartbroken Over How We Treat Undocumented Immigrants

Council Member Corey Johnson
Council Member Corey Johnson

City Council Speaker Corey Johnson (D-Chelsea, Hell’s Kitchen) took a tour of the Immigration Court on Varick St., and was horrified by what he saw.

Johnson, accompanied by City Councilman Carlos Menchaca (D-Red Hook, Sunset Park), was walked through the facilities and shown firsthand how the court treats undocumented defendants. A day later, he relayed a harrowing account of what he saw to El Diario, claiming that he witnessed families being torn apart and defendants being denied due process.

“What I saw in immigration court was very disturbing, very emotional,” said Johnson. “The deportation machine is alive and real.”

Brewer Testifies in Support of Vacant Storefront Registry Bill

Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer
Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer

Last week, Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer (D) testified before the NYC Committee on Small Business in support of City CouncilwomanHelen Rosenthal’s (D-Central Park, Lincoln Square) storefront registry bill.

Int 1472 mandates the creation of a public online database of the City’s commercial storefronts. Each one would have its size, address, status and monthly rent listed, among other details.

Brewer praised the measure, claiming that the data it would make publicly available would prove invaluable to lawmakers who want to help Manhattan’s local businesses stay afloat.

“As the primary sponsor of the Open Data Law of 2012, I know the value of data,” said Brewer. “It allows us to track and identify issues and measure results. This database will identify vacancy trends throughout the city, spot areas where vacancies are rapidly increasing, and identify specific property owners and managers who demonstrate a pattern of forcing out small business. Additionally, it will be a resource for small business owners looking for new space. Everyone I have talked to about this issue agrees we need a database to track the problem and to develop effective responses.”