News from Senator Brad Hoylman - March 2017
For those of you in SoHo who are concerned with Transgender rights and equal protection, including the rights of seniors and tenants, stay in touch with Brad Hoylman's office.
Protecting Our Transgender Kids
On February 23, the LGBT community and our allies rallied outside Stonewall to protest President Trump’s decision to rescind President Obama’s Title IX guidelines that ensured transgender students have access to bathrooms and locker rooms matching their gender identity. In response, I’m introducing legislation that would codify the Obama-era Title IX guidelines in New York State law. Every child deserves a safe and secure classroom. You can see a copy of the announcement of my legislation here as well as local coverage of the bill here.
Make New York State a Sanctuary State
I’m partnering with NYS Senator Jose Serrano to introduce two bills that will protect refugees, immigrants, and foreign students from the Trump Administration’s ongoing discriminatory attacks against members of the immigrant community. The NYS Liberty Act would make New York the first sanctuary state in the nation and protect immigrants from being victimized by unjust deportation procedures and racial profiling. The legislation would also prevent state and local governments from participating in any federal registry or database based upon race, color, creed, gender, sexual orientation, religion, or national or ethnic origin. This would prohibit state and local agencies from expending any resources to assist the federal government in the creation of a database with the purpose of tracking these groups. A copy of our announcement of the legislation can be found here.
Demanding Release of Documents from Corporate Polluters
On February 27, I sent a letter to the Chairs of the Senate Environmental Conservation and Health Committees requesting the immediate release of documents obtained in response to subpoenas issued to the corporate polluters in the PFOA water contamination cases in Hoosick Falls and Petersburgh, New York. With the Village of Hoosick Falls currently grappling over a settlement agreement with the corporate polluters, it's critical that they have all the facts. I was joined in my effort to release documents by the Albany Times-Union, which published an editorial calling on the Senate to publicly release the documents. A copy of my letter is available here. You can read more about my ongoing push to release these documents here.
We Need a Traffic Study of the West Side Highway
On February 27, I along with eleven of my government colleagues wrote to NYS Department of Transportation Commissioner Matthew Driscoll to request a study on how to improve traffic safety on the West Side Highway, where several deaths and over 200 injuries of motorists, pedestrians and cyclists occurred last year. Use of the highway will only likely grow as new developments are built, such as Pier 40/St. John's Terminal, Pier 55, and the Superpier at Pier 57. I’m grateful to my colleagues who joined me in this effort: Congressman Nadler, Borough President Brewer, Senators Squadron and Alcantara, Assemblymembers Niou, Glick, Rosenthal, and Gottfried, and Council Members Chin, Johnson, and Rosenthal. Please see our letter here and coverage of our effort here.
Reviewing a Nominee to NY’s Highest Court
New York State Court of Appeals nominee Rowan Wilson was confirmed by the Senate on February 6. As the Ranking Member of the Judiciary Committee, during the confirmation hearing I asked him questions about how we can strengthen tenant protections in housing court. According to the New York City Office of Civil Justice, 73% of tenants who are in New York City Housing Court for eviction proceedings go unrepresented by an attorney while 99% of landlords have legal representation. We must ensure that housing court proceedings are fair and that low-income New Yorkers who are struggling to remain in their homes have access to legal resources. I am hopeful Mr. Wilson will stand up for tenant rights as the newest member of New York State Court of Appeals. Click here to watch our exchange.
Upcoming Community Meeting on the L Train Shutdown
In 2019, all Manhattan L train stops will be shut down for repairs for 18 months. The MTA and DOT, along with Manhattan elected officials, are hosting the second of two public workshops to allow those impacted by the shutdown to give input on potential mitigation plans and share concerns. If you were unable to attend the West Side meeting last week, I hope you will join the upcoming East Side workshop as follows:
East Side L Train Workshop
Thursday, March 9th, 7-9pm
Town and Village Synagogue
334 East 14th St
New York NY 10003
Demanding Stronger & Safer Transit
On February 15, I attended the State Legislature's budget hearing for transportation issues, where I questioned MTA Executive Director Ronnie Hakim and Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) Deputy Commissioner Theresa Egan. I asked the MTA director several questions about plans for 14th Street during the forthcoming L train closure, including accommodations for traffic overflow on side streets, plans for community engagement as the MTA develops its traffic study, and options to renovate subway stations to include ADA accessibility during the shutdown. With the DMV, I raised the issue of double-decker sightseeing tour buses in NYC, which appear to be exempt from certain state laws governing safety. You can view my comments to the MTA at http://bit.ly/2kr95VD and to the DMV at http://bit.ly/2lla09s. Additionally, as pictured above, I joined colleagues and advocates in speaking out against the $65 million cut to the MTA budget in the Executive Budget.
Advocating for Vulnerable New Yorkers in the Budget
March is known as "budget month" in Albany, which is when negotiations occur for the $152 billion state budget prior to its April 1 passage. I’ve been helping lead efforts to increase funding in the budget for programs assisting vulnerable populations in New York, runaway and homeless youth, the LGBT Health and Human Services Initiative, and the Foster Youth College Success Initiative. You can view letters I wrote to the legislative leadership on these topics on my website. I’ll keep you apprised as I continue to fight for these and other important budget priorities.
Submit Your Nominations for 2017 NYS Senate Women of Distinction and Veteran’s Hall of Fame
Each year the New York State Senate honors a select group of outstanding women who enrich their communities and strengthen our state as “Women of Distinction.” The Senate also honors outstanding veterans for their service and their continued contributions to our communities during a “Veteran’s Hall of Fame” celebration. I will soon be choosing the 27th State Senate District’s 2017 honorees and I welcome your nominations. Please send me your suggestions at firstname.lastname@example.org. Put “Woman of Distinction Nomination” or “Veteran’s Hall of Fame” in the subject line, provide the full name and address of your nominee, and tell me why you think she or he deserves this recognition. Nominees should live or work in the 27th State Senate District (you can look up the district by address at www.nysenate.gov).
Peter Cooper Village-Stuyvesant Town Affordable Housing Lottery Reopens!
From, February 6 until March 10, Peter Cooper Village-Stuyvesant Town (PCVST) has reopened its affordable housing lottery. One and two bedroom apartments are available for households with incomes between $84,150 and $149,490. Even if you applied last year, you can still reapply. The initial waiting list created in 2016 is still in effect for unit types not included in this lottery. Applicants who have already applied and have not yet been contacted are not required to take any action. The lottery is an important step to help ensure that PCVST remains a bastion of middle-income families for the next generation of New Yorkers. I'm grateful to Council Member Garodnick, Mayor de Blasio, the Department of Housing and Development, and the Housing Development Corporation for their commitment to this important affordable housing complex and I'm committed to working with the tenants to ensure a good working relationship with management. Please visit www.stuytownlottery.com for more information and to enter the lottery for an affordable unit.
State Resources Available for People Affected By Chelsea Bombing
Governor Andrew Cuomo's Chelsea Bombing Grant Program is designed to provide assistance to businesses, property owners, residents, and employees affected by the September 17, 2016 bombing in Chelsea. While private insurance will cover the majority of the losses associated with the bombing, this grant will provide additional assistance for those losses not covered by insurance or other sources. The application deadline is March 31 at 4 pm. More information can be found through the New York State Homeland Security and Emergency Services website here.
Free Tax Preparation Assistance
Trained volunteers are available to provide free tax preparation assistance throughout New York City. These services can save you time and money. Below is a list of sites where AARP has arranged for tax preparation services and for which there are no income restrictions.
Project Find Hamilton Senior Center, 111 West 71st Street
Site Hours: Tuesdays 10am-2pm
Riverside Library, 127 Amsterdam Avenue
Site Hours: Thursdays 11am-3pm
Muhlenberg Branch Public Library, 209 West 23rd Street
Site Hours: Tuesdays and Fridays 11am-3pm
Fulton Senior Center, 119 9th Avenue – Appointment Required
Site Hours: Thursdays 10am-2pm
Center on the Square, 20 Washington Square North
Site Hours: Fridays, 10am-2pm
Science, Industry and Business Library, 188 Madison Avenue
Site Hours: Tuesdays and Wednesdays, 10am-2pm.