Schumer Floats Legislation to Help Fed Employees Affected From Shutdown

    U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer

    U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer (D-NY) over the weekend pushed a new legislation to protect 800,000 federal workers, thousands across New York, and their families, from potentially losing their homes, facing apartment eviction or falling behind on bills that could then go to collection due to the federal government shutdown.

    Dubbed the The Federal Employee Civil Relief Act, the measure The legislation will prohibit landlords and creditors from taking action against federal workers or contractors who are hurt by the government shutdown and unable to pay rent or repay loans. The bill would also empower federal workers to sue creditors or landlords that violate this protection.

    The bill is modeled after the Service Members Civil Relief Act (SCRA) and addresses the real threat of federal workers and contractors losing their homes, falling behind on student loans and other bills, having their car repossessed, or losing their health insurance because they have been furloughed during a shutdown or required to work without pay.

    “Across New York City and Long Island thousands of people and their families continue to suffer through a needless government shutdown that has absolutely nothing to do with the federal agencies they so diligently serve. Their bills are piling up and their worry for how they will pay their rent, mortgage, car payment, student loan, as well as other bills just keeps growing with each passing day,” said Schumer. “That is why, amidst another push to open the government, I am fighting with my colleagues for necessary financial protections for impacted federal workers during this shutdown and for workers of any future shutdown, because no federal public servant should have their financial well-being held hostage by a President unwilling to simply open the government in the middle of a debate.”  


     Meeks Urges Political Stability In Guyana

    U.S. Rep. Gregory Meeks

    U.S. Rep. Gregory W. Meeks (D-Jamaica, Laurelton, Rosedale, Cambria Heights, Saint Albans, Springfield Gardens, The Rockaways, JFK Airport), senior member of the Foreign Affairs Committee,  last week urged political stability in Guyana where the coalition government of President David Granger has fallen due to an Opposition-inspired motion of no confidence last month.

    The main Opposition People’s Progressive Party (PPP) has named former Government minister Irfaan Ali as its presidential candidate for the elections, which it said must be held by March this year in accordance with the Guyana Constitution.

    “I continue to closely monitor the unfolding political situation in Guyana, and affirm the bond that the United States and Guyana share.  It is because of that bond that I urge continued talks,” said Meeks.

    “I want to see democracy prevail as it must in all strong and thriving democracies. Guyana, is one of our hemisphere’s most strategically important partners, and it stands at the brink of potentially transformative economic development. As an emerging economy, political stability is key to the advancement of Guyana and the people of that great nation.”


    Dromm Demands Justice for Anti-Gay Hate Crime Survivor

    City Council Member Daniel Dromm

    City Council Member Daniel Dromm (D-East Elmhurst, Elmhurst and Jackson Heights) today will stand with the LBGTQ community and local activists to denounce anti-gay business Village Moon and demand that the NYPD charge employee Mohammed Hoque, the perpetrator, with a hate crime.

    The demands stem from a Nov. 3, 2018 incident in which Elmhurst resident Jeremy Valarezo and his husband made a small purchase using a credit card at Village Moon, 78-01 Roosevelt Avenue in Jackson Heights. After the purchase, store employee Mohammed Hoque insisted on photocopying Valarezo’s drivers license.  When Valarezo and his husband objected, Hoque allegedly launched into an anti-gay tirade, calling them “faggots” among other slurs. When Valarezo and his husband exited the shop, Hoque allegedly assaulted Valarezo.

    While the police were shown video evidence clearly indicating that this assault was a hate crime, they allegedly chose to ignore it. Instead, the NYPD charged one of the victims with a felony, which was later reduced to a class A misdemeanor. Hoque, the perpetrator of the hate crime, was given a desk appearance ticket.

    Dromm and the activists will make their demands at 10 a.m., today, Jan. 22 on the Northwest corner of 78th Street and Roosevelt Avenue (near parking lot) in Jackson Heights.


    Van Bramer Holds Hearing On Stonewall 50

    City Council Member Jimmy Van Bramer

    City Council Member Jimmy Van Bramer (D-Astoria, Long Island City, Sunnyside, Woodside), chair of the Cultural Affairs Committee, will hold a hearing on Stonewall 50.

    This hearing comes as this June the city will host one of the world’s largest LGBTQ Pride celebrations to mark the 50th anniversary of the uprising at the Stonewall Inn and WorldPride. The celebration will feature extensive programming on the history of Stonewall, LGBTQ culture, and performances from LGBTQ artists.

    Van Bramer is encouraging all to come to the hearing to learn more about how the city’s vibrant cultural institutions are planning to participate in this historic celebration of LGBTQ culture and history.

    The hearing is slated for 1 p.m., today, Jan. 22 at City Hall in LOwer Manhattan.

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