MANH Lawmakers on the Move, Nov. 25, 2019

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Jackson Releases PSA on Fire Safety

State Senator Robert Jackson
State Senator Robert Jackson

State Senator Robert Jackson (D-) released a PSA on Saturday about fire safety and the importance of having a smoke alarm.

Robert, speaking on behalf of the Red Cross, pointed out that home fires cause seven fatalities every day in the U.S. To address the problem, the Red Cross started an initiative to install free smoke alarms in high-risk neighborhoods.

“If you don’t have a working smoke alarm, please call my office today and set up an appointment,” said Jackson. “Or you could visit soundthealarm.org to get free smoke alarms installed in your home. Don’t wait. Thank you.”

Gottfried Writes Op-Ed on Getting Money Out of Politics

Richard N. Gottfried
Assembly Member Richard N. Gottfried

Last Friday, Assemblymember Richard Gottfried (D-Chelsea, Midtown) wrote an editorial for Chelsea Community News on getting special interest money out of New York politics.

This has been one of Gottfried’s biggest goals since he took office. He introduced New York’s first bill on public campaign financing, which passed the Assembly several times (but has yet to pass the State Senate). Despite his efforts, big donors continue to dominate New York elections. A report from New York University’s Brennan Center for Justice revealed that small donors account for a paltry 5 percent of all they money donated to New York candidates in 2018.

“Along with demanding greater transparency about the source of campaign funding, New York State needs to create and implement a small-donor matching system for elections for State offices,” said Gottfried. “By matching small donations with public funding, we can strengthen the voices of all New Yorkers, instead of letting them be overwhelmed by well-heeled special interests.”

Read the full article here.

Brewer to Host Public Hearing on Religious Facilities

Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer
Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer

Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer (D) will be hosting a public hearing tonight about issues facing religious facilities.

Last month, she founded the Religious Facilities Task Force (RFTF), primarily to help religious congregations that may need to move or close due to real estate challenges. This forum will cover how properties designed as houses of worship can be repurposed as affordable housing.

The meeting will take place tonight from 6-8 p.m. at Gale Brewer’s office, 1 Centre St.

Espaillat Introduces Transportation Alternatives Enhancements Act

U.S. Rep. Adriano Espaillat
U.S. Rep. Adriano Espaillat

Last Friday, Representative Adriano Espaillat (D-Washington Heights, Sugar Hill) introduced H.R. 5231, the Transportation Alternatives Enhancements Act, a bill which would strengthen the Transportation Alternatives (TA) program.

The TA program funds several small-scale community transportation projects other than traditional highway construction, such as improving pedestrian safety and constructing bicycle facilities. Espaillat’s bill would increase funding for TA and ensure more of it is available for local governments and agencies.

“I am proud to introduce the Transportation Alternatives Enhancements Act to help communities around the nation build better bicycling and walking infrastructure, such as trails, pedestrian and bike bridges, and various other projects that will connect and provide residents with alternative routes to travel in their local communities,” said Espaillat. “I strongly believe this bill will encourage local governments to rethink the way they use transportation dollars to make their infrastructure not only more accessible, but also better for our environment and better for residents’ health. These projects will also contribute to better pedestrian and biker safety, stemming the recent, disturbing growth in fatalities.”