MANH Lawmakers on the Move, Mar. 27, 2020

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Kallos to Host Virtual Chess Tournament

Council Member Ben Kallos
Council Member Ben Kallos

Council Member Ben Kallos (D-Yorkville, Lenox Hill) will be hosting a virtual chess tournament this Saturday.

Each year, Kallos hosts a citywide chess tournament for students in collaboration with Chess in the Schools, an organization dedicated to fostering intellectual development in low-income students through chess education. This year, due to the threat of the COVID-19 pandemic, Kallos will be hosting the tournament online.

The event will take place on Satuday, Mar. 28 from 12-3 p.m. on chess24.com.

Johnson, Dromm Call for Tax Lien Sale Postponement

Council Member Corey Johnson
Council Member Corey Johnson (Credit: Jeff Reed)

Last Wednesday, Council Speaker Corey Johnson (D-Chelsea, Hell’s Kitchen) and Council Member Daniel Dromm (D-Queens) urged the city’s Department of Finance (DOF) to postpone the annual tax lien sale in light of the COVID-19 crisis.

As of now, the deadline to pay into a payment agreement plan to avoid the tax lien sale is May 14. In a letter to Finance Commissioner Jacques Jiha, Johnson and Dromm argued that the deadline should be extended until the crisis subsides.

“People are struggling, and we as a city government must be doing what we can to help alleviate some of their burdens,” said Johnson. “As we battle this unprecedented pandemic, we have to make sure we provide assistance to all New Yorkers in need. The city is in a state of pause, and outstanding debt collection should also pause until this crisis passes.”

Stringer Releases Profile of New York Frontline Workers

NYC Comptroller Scott Stringer
NYC Comptroller Scott Stringer

Yesterday, City Comptroller Scott Stringer (D) released a demographic profile of New York’s frontline workers who are helping battle the COVID-19 pandemic.

The profile provides our government with a guide to address the needs of frontline workers during the crisis. Stringer hopes that it will also help New Yorkers better appreciate their struggles of the people who risk their lives daily to provide us with essential services during the pandemic.

“As our City faces the unprecedented challenge of COVID-19, frontline workers are putting their safety on the line to keep our city running,” said Stringer. “Nurses, janitors, grocery clerks, child care staff, EMS workers, bus and truck drivers and so many more. And yet, these same essential workers whom we trust with our health, our nourishment, our loved ones, and our lives are too often ignored, underpaid, and overworked.

“To get through this crisis and beyond, they need and deserve accessible healthcare and childcare, safe and reliable transit, financial stability and pathways to citizenship and naturalization. These New Yorkers are risking their own health and that of their families by putting their lives on the frontlines of this fight every single day — and we need to have their backs.”

Brewer Calls on Cuomo to Exclude Construction from Executive Order

Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer
Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer

Yesterday, Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer (D) wrote a letter to Governor Andrew Cuomo (D) regarding his recent “New York State on PAUSE” executive order.

The order, which he announced on Mar. 20, mandated that all statewide businesses aside from “essential businesses or entities” must close all in-office personnel functions. Among the businesses classified as “essential” are hospitals, grocery stores, pharmacies and post offices.

However, in the letter, Brewer objects to the order’s classification of construction as “essential work”.

“I am concerned about this for several reasons,” reads the letter. “First, I believe the safety of construction workers is at risk if they continue to travel to work and to work in sites and engage in work that necessarily puts them in close contact with others. Second, as our residents are required to stay at home and work from home, excessive noise and often dust, are great impediments to their well being and productivity.”

Read the full letter here.

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