New York CIty Council Member Ben Kallos

New York County Politics MANH Lawmakers on the Move, June 4, 2020 by New York County Politics

MANH Lawmakers on the Move, June 4, 2020

Nadler Calls for Protection of Voting Rights During Pandemic

U.S. Rep. Jerrold Nadler (Photo Credit: U.S. House Office of Photography)

U.S. Rep. Jerrold Nadler

Yesterday, U.S. Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-Manhattan, Brooklyn) delivered the opening statement during a Subcommittee on the Constitution, Civil Rights, and Civil Liberties hearing on preserving voting rights during the COVID-19 pandemic.

In light of the recent protests against police brutality, Nadler said that it’s more important than ever to ensure that the power of our electeds is derived from the will of the people. However, this November, we’ll have to work around a significant obstacle – namely, the global pandemic.

“‘In the face of this global pandemic, we can no longer tolerate ‘business as usual’ in our polling places,” said Nadler. “What is a government that makes its citizens choose between exercising their most fundamental constitutional right—the right to vote—and their basic human right to health and safety?

“So I would like to say directly to the American people: There is no sitting this out. Your elected representatives are either for our democracy or against it. We do not deserve that title if we deny you the right to cast your ballots this November—or if we force you to choose between exercising that right and protecting your own health.”

 

Kallos Denounces Trump’s Response to George Floyd Protests

Council Member Ben Kallos (Photo credit: council.nyc.gov)

Council Member Ben Kallos

Yesterday, Councilmember Ben Kallos (D) published an op-ed on Medium, entitled “George Floyd: Trump Must Say ‘Black Lives Matter'”.

The article has him share several of his viewpoints related to the protests, including a call to defund the NYPD and invest in violence prevention and diversion instead. The title, however, relates to a passage near the end of the piece, where he expresses his sorrow and disgust with the way President Donald Trump (R) has responded to the crisis.

“I never thought I would see the day when a President would take up arms against his own people,” Kallos wrote. “This week President Trump used our own military to push back peaceful American protestors in front of Lafayette Square in Washington D.C. Soldiers, mounted state police and Secret Service agents used rubber bullets, riot shields and tear gas to push through a peaceful crowd so that Donald Trump could take a photo in front of St. Johns Church holding a bible. He did not say a prayer, he didn’t even open the bible. There was no mention of Jesus, Christianity, or any Judeo-Christian concepts of morality. As a person of faith, I am deeply offended. We do not need a self-proclaimed “law and order president;” we need a president for all Americans who will join us in saying black lives matter.”

Read the full article here.

 

Cuomo Announces Opening of Outdoor Dining in Phase Two of Reopening

Governor Andrew Cuomo (Photo Credit: www.governor.ny.gov)

Governor Andrew Cuomo

Governor Andrew Cuomo (D) announced yesterday that restaurants will be permitted to hold outdoor dining during phase two of reopening.

Starting today, restaurants in the seven regions that have entered phase two; the Capital Region, Central New York, the Finger Lakes, the Mohawk Valley, the North Country, the Southern Tier and Western New York; can reopen for outdoor dining. However, all staff must wear masks, and tables must be at least six feet apart.

“COVID-19 is still a real threat and we’re still battling it. I know it’s not on the front pages today, but it is still in people and in society,” said Cuomo. “But thanks to the people of New York and the nurses, doctors and essential workers, today we have the lowest number of hospitalizations ever and we have the lowest death toll ever. We are continuously evaluating activities that can be safely reopened, and today we are adding outdoor seating at restaurants to phase two.”

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