MANH Lawmakers on the Move, Mar. 26, 2020

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De Blasio to Provide Daily Morning Briefings for New Yorkers

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

Yesterday, Mayor Bill de Blasio (D) announced on Twitter that, starting today, he will be giving New Yorkers daily briefings on the COVID-19 crisis.

In addition to providing updates on how the City is handling the pandemic, the mayor will also be taking questions from his constituents. New Yorkers who wish to participate can pose their questions on Twitter with the hashtag #AskMyMayor; each day, the mayor will check the tag and answer as many questions as he can.

“Everyone, I know we’ll get through this,” said de Blasio. “It will be two of the toughest months, I believe. I believe April will be tough, May will be tougher, and after that we’ll start to come out of this. It will be really, really difficult, but we can get through it, and we will get through it.”

Hoylman Gives Shoutout to RWDSU

State Senator Brad Hoylman
State Senator Brad Hoylman

Yesterday, State Senator Brad Hoylman (D-Chelsea, Midtown) posted a video on Twitter praising the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union (RWDSU) for the work they’ve done during the pandemic.

RWDSU, one of New York’s oldest unions, has worked for over 80 years to protect the City’s retail, service and maintenance workers. In his video, Hoylman thanked them profusely for keeping New Yorkers well-supplied during the outbreak.

“Just wanted to thank all of the workers who are working in grocery stores and pharmacies across the state,” said Hoylman. “Your work during this pandemic, to get groceries and lifesaving medication to New Yorkers, is so incredibly important. I want to give a shoutout to RWDSU and all the workers across New York State who are making us healthy and safe during this incredibly difficult time. I’ll do everything in my power to make sure that New York continues to have your back. Thanks.”

Jackson to Host Virtual Town Hall on Mental Health During COVID-19

State Senator Robert Jackson
State Senator Robert Jackson

State Senator Robert Jackson (D-Washington Heights, Fort George, Inwood) will be hosting a virtual town hall meeting tomorrow, entitled “Mental Health During Coronavirus”.

Jackson will join panelists from the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) and the Columbia University Medical Center to discuss how the COVID-19 epidemic is affecting our mental health. Those who wish to ask the panelists questions can submit them ahead of time.

The event will take place tomorrow from 3-4:30 p.m. at facebook.com/SenatorRJackson. To send in a question, click here.

Williams, Brewer, Adams, Diaz Release Recommendations to Fight Price Gouging

New York City Public Advocate Jumaane Williams
Public Advocate Jumaane Williams

Yesterday, Public Advocate Jumaane Williams (D), Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer (D), Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams (D) and Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz, Jr. (D) released a brief on the dangers and consequences of price gouging during the COVID-19 pandemic.

According to the brief, New York has seen a troubling trend of merchants “dramatically” inflating prices during the pandemic. For instance, a box of protective masks, which used to cost an average of $18.20, has reached peak costs of $200 since the pandemic began.

To combat this trend, the brief recommends imposing a three-strike penalty on stores for price gouging. The first offense would result in a minimum fine, along with a cease-and-desist; the second offense would result in a maximum fine; and finally, the third offense would result in the revocation of the merchant’s permits.

“Price gouging is illegal and unethical,” said Williams. “It puts personal greed over public good. And in the midst of this crisis, we have seen it around our city – bad actors taking advantage of New Yorkers in need.”

Read the brief here.