MANH Lawmakers on the Move – Nov. 22, 2019

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Brewer Calls on DoT Commissioner to Make Queensboro Bridge More Accessible

Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer
Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer

Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer (D) sent a letter to Department of Transportation Commissioner Polly Trottenberg yesterday, calling on her to improve walking and cycling conditions on the Queensboro Bridge.

In the letter, Brewer proposes converting the South Outer Roadway into an ADA-accessible pedestrian-only path. She also suggests converting the North Outer Roadway into a bicycle-only path. These changes, she says, would help New York adapt when congestion pricing is enacted.

“As I have long said, if we are to increase charges for one transportation option,
we should improve others to make any transitions as seamless as possible,” reads the letter. “And as the city’s population continues to increase, especially in Long Island City, and we require more interborough travel, we must do what we can to ensure that that these travel patterns are achieved through sustainable modes.”

Read the full letter here.

Maloney Argues that State Lawmakers Should Protect Abortion Access

Last Monday, Representative Carolyn Maloney (D-Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens) wrote an editorial for Ms. Magazine, arguing that state lawmakers are responsible for protecting their constituents’ right to an abortion.

In the article, Maloney cites several examples of state officials using their power to deny women access to reproductive health care. Earlier this year, Dr. Randall Williams, director of the Missouri health department, ordered Planned Parenthood to perform invasive pelvic exams on all women seeking an abortion. Maloney called this measure “invasive state-sponsored abuse” – precisely the sort of measure that women need protection from.

“It is time to let women speak, and it is time for everyone to listen,” said Maloney. “It is time for the elected representatives in Congress, and in state houses across the country, to protect the right to privacy and a woman’s right to abortion services—rather than attack it, undermine it and try to eliminate it.”

Read the full article here.

Rodriguez Speaks at TransAlt “Teach-In”

Council Member Ydanis Rodriguez
Council Member Ydanis Rodriguez

Yesterday, Council Member Ydanis Rodriguez (D-Washington Heights, Inwood) spoke at a “teach-in” hosted by the nonprofit organization Transportation Alternatives.

A “teach-in” is an informal educational forum, designed to inform the public about a complex issue. In this case, the issue on tap was the task of addressing “transportation deserts” and providing transportation to underserved communities. In particular, Rodriguez brought up the 14th Street Busway, calling it a step in the right direction, but not enough to address the full scope of the problem.

“Let’s think about other areas,” said Rodriguez. “42nd Street, 86th Street, 96th Street. And let’s not forget about those whose voices we need to hear: the immigrants, the working class. Fortunately, in the city of New York, when we are middle class and upper class, we know how to fight. We know our rights. But what if you live in the South Bronx? And as someone born and raised in another country, as an immigrant, I have seen how we as a city have failed.”

Rivera to Sponsor Drag Queen Story Hour

Council Member Carlina Rivera
Council Member Carlina Rivera

The office of Council Member Carlina Rivera (D-East Village, Gramercy Park) will be sponsoring The New York Public Library’s Drag Queen Story Hour next month.

Drag Queen Story Hour has become a nationwide trend, intended to get children acquainted with LGBTQ role models. This iteration stars Drag Queen Harmonia Sunbeam, who will will read stories to children and lead them in movement activities. It is one of the events slated for the weekend-long East Village Arts Festival.

The event will take place on Saturday, Dec. 7 from 11 a.m. – 12 p.m. at the Tompkins Square Library, 331 East 10th St.