MANH Lawmakers on the Move, Nov. 15, 2019

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Velázquez Demands Answers from NYCHA Regarding Rutgers Houses

Congresswoman Nydia Velazquez
Congresswoman Nydia Velazquez

Representative Nydia Velázquez (D-LES, Brooklyn, Queens) sent a letter to NYCHA Chairman Gregory Russ yesterday, demanding an explanation for the poor maintenance of Rutgers Houses on the Lower East Side.

Rutgers Houses consists of five 20 story buildings, and accommodates more than 1,500 residents. Velázquez heard numerous reports that the elevators were poorly maintained and that the complex on the whole was woefully understaffed.

“I understand that NYCHA has budgetary restrictions for hiring or reassigning staff,” said Velázquez. “However, the importance of timely and quality maintenance cannot be over emphasized. Residents expect management to have a daily maintenance schedule and program. The inadequate upkeep and increasing decline in service is contributing to unsanitary conditions in the common areas that threaten the health of residents and staff alike.”

Chin Discusses Vendor Permit Reform with Brooklyn Eagle

Council Member Margaret Chin
Council Member Margaret Chin

Council Member Margaret Chin (D-Battery Park City, Chinatown) took part in an interview with the Brooklyn Eagle yesterday, in which she discussed the dearth of permits offered to City vendors.

Last week, a video of several NYPD officers arresting a churro vendor for selling without a permit went viral. In the interview, Chin said that the incident was symptomatic of a larger problem – namely, the difficulty of acquiring a permit in the first place. Last September, she authored a bill that would gradually expand the number of permits for food vendors and issue a batch of new permits each year until 2029.

“A lot of vendors who are waiting for a long time on the waiting list,” said Chin. “We need to give relief to these small businesses, these mom and pop businesses. A lot of them are immigrants, and they’re struggling to support the family, and they need these permits.”

Rodriguez Holds Emergency Press Conference on Solidarity with DACAmented Community

Council Member Ydanis Rodriguez
Council Member Ydanis Rodriguez

Yesterday, Council Member Ydanis Rodriguez (D-Washington Heights, Inwood) held an emergency press conference to call on the U.S. government to support DACA recipients.

Rodriguez held the conference in anticipation of the Supreme Court’s ruling on DHS v. Regents of California, which will determine whether President Donald Trump (R) can lawfully rescind DACA. He, along with a bevy of advocates, stood in solidarity with the DACA recipients whose livelihoods are now at risk.

“We are ready to continue fighting,” said Rodriguez. “This fight will never stop. We are here to send a message to [DACA recipients] in this city; you are not fighting by yourself. We are all dreamers. We are all individuals who are so proud to be part of a nation who has been built by immigrants.”