February 8, 2019

Dem Reps Signal Support for U.S. Recognition of Israeli Sovereignty Over Golan Heights

Source: Washington Free Beacon

By Andrew Kugle

Two Democratic lawmakers from New York signaled on Monday that they might support the United States officially recognizing Israeli sovereignty over the Golan Heights.

“The only thing the Golan has ever been used for by the Syrians is to bombard Israel,” Rep. Jerry Nadler (D., N.Y.) told Jewish Insider. “They can’t have that again. It’s unsafe.”

Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D., N.Y.) said she would support U.S. recognition of Israel’s sovereignty over the region if Democratic leadership is on board.

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February 8, 2019

How Gillibrand Defied The Odds To Get 9/11 First Responders Long-Awaited Help

Source: Talking Points Memo

By Cameron Joseph

When the House finally managed to pass a bill to care for the first responders and other survivors suffering from 9/11-related illnesses in late 2010, few thought it stood much of a chance of becoming law.

Senate Republicans promised a filibuster. Democrats, just weeks away from losing the House, were running out of time to pass top priorities. The impending lame-duck session of Congress was already so packed with other top issues — repealing Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell, the DREAM Act, extending the Bush tax cuts — that it appeared almost impossible to get another big-ticket item on the schedule.

A failure then might been the final blow to the bill that would eventually become the James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act. Zadroga was a NYPD detective who’d died from his exposure to Ground Zero chemicals. The eponymous bill promised health care and financial relief to tens of thousands of first responders, volunteers and others suffering from 9/11-caused cancers and other health problems.

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February 8, 2019

Dismal Conditions Continue at Brooklyn’s Metropolitan Detention Center, Which Is Still Without Heat

Source: Rolling Stone

By Peter Wade

Feds have promised heating will return by Monday, but prisoners have been forced to endure freezing temperatures for a week.

As New York experienced freezing cold temperatures as low as two degrees, inmates at the Metropolitan Detention Center (MDC) in Brooklyn have gone nearly a week without consistent heat, electricity, hot water, sanitation, proper medical attention, or the ability to contact their families. More than 1,000 prisoners held at MDC have been made to suffer in these inhumane conditions without extra clothing or blankets, shivering in the dark in their short-sleeves and banging on the windows in a desperate attempt to get the attention of people outside. Now, officials are promising that heat will be restored by Monday.

Haunting videos have been posted to Twitter where you can hear the prisoners banging on their windows to get the attention of the outside world. They have also reportedly been yelling “We’re freezing!” and “No hot food no hot water!” One prisoner told a federal defender that a guard took the temperature in one of the housing units, which are warmer than the cells, and found it was 34 degrees, the New York Times reported.

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February 8, 2019

Lawmakers Call Conditions at Brooklyn Prison a Human Rights Violation

Source: Splinter

By David Boddiger

Update, Sunday, 1:15 p.m.: In an increasingly tense situation, corrections officers reportedly have pepper sprayed some demonstrators at the prison’s entrance.

Original post continues here:

The heat and power crisis at Brooklyn’s Metropolitan Detention Centercontinued over the weekend as hundreds of detainees were forced to endure unbearably frigid temperatures and a lack of power due to an electrical fire and other infrastructure problems.

Detainees hadn’t been able to contact family members for days and were forced to live in temperatures hovering just above the freezing point in short-sleeve clothing and without blankets. It took an emergency visit by lawmakers and a Saturday night delivery by New York City’s Emergency Management services of blankets, hand warmers, and generators to provide some relief.

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February 8, 2019

Protests held outside NYC correctional facility with limited heat

Source: CBS News

A tense rally was held outside the Metropolitan Detention Center in Brooklyn on Saturday following news reports that hundreds of inmates there have spent the past week largely without power or the ability to communicate with their attorneys or families.  The federal Bureau of Prisons said Saturday work to restore power to a detention center in New York City where inmates have gone without heat and electricity for a week will be completed by Monday.

A group at the rally vowed to camp outside the facility until conditions improve, CBS New York reports. Video posted to social media showed protesters shining flashlights on the dark correctional facility.

 A congresswoman who visited the Metropolitan Detention Center in Brooklyn for the second time on Saturday said officials are not taking the situation seriously enough.

“The inmates are very, very angry and complaining,” said Rep. Nydia Velazquez, a Democrat whose district includes the jail. “We expressed our frustration that the warden is not approaching this with a sense of urgency.

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February 8, 2019

Reed leads renewed efforts to constitutionally guarantee equal rights

Source: The Ripon Advance

By Ripon Advance News Service

U.S. Rep. Tom Reed (R-NY) is leading a bipartisan contingent of lawmakers and public activists who want to make the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA) part of the U.S. Constitution.

“Discrimination in any form is never acceptable,” Rep. Reed said during a Jan. 30 press conference. “We will continue our bipartisan campaign and as we work to ensure this historic amendment has a fair shot at being enshrined into our constitution – not only for the thousands of women who have been discriminated against, but for the next generation of women.”

During the press conference to announce their efforts, Rep. Reed was joined by U.S. Reps. Carolyn Maloney (D-NY) and Jackie Speier (D-CA), as well as by actresses/activists Patricia Arquette and Alyssa Milano and other stakeholders who want to ratify the ERA to the U.S. Constitution and guarantee equal legal rights for all American citizens regardless of sex.

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February 8, 2019

City and feds reach agreement to overhaul NYCHA developments across the five boroughs

Source: QNS

By Bill Parry

The city has reached an agreement with the federal government that provides a new roadmap forward for NYCHA and the 400,000 residents who live in its 334 development across the five boroughs.

In a joint appearance by Mayor Bill de Blasio and U.S. Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson Thursday, they announced a federal monitor would be selected by HUD and the Southern District of New York with input from City Hall to address the longstanding issues at the housing authority’s properties.

“The families who have endured unimaginably poor housing conditions deserve better from their housing authority,” Carson said. “Today we are presenting NYCHA residents with bold new solutions for decades-old problems.”

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February 8, 2019

Daily Bulletin: The House Will Hold Its First Hearing on Gun Violence in 8 Years

Source: The Trace: Daily Bulletin

By Jennifer Mascia

Good morning, Bulletin readers. In today’s briefing, a gun researcher who’s also a proud gun owner makes the case for raising the minimum age to buy semiautomatic rifles. A House rep wants to require liability insurance before purchasing a gun. And more revelations contradict the NRA’s official story on its involvement with admitted covert Russian agent Maria Butina.


NEW from THE TRACE: A gun researcher and “proud gun owner” makes a case for raising the minimum purchase age for semiautomatic rifles. Cassandra Crifasi is the deputy director of the Center for Gun Policy and Research at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. In a commentary, she argues that age requirements to buy guns like the AR-15 should be increased in the name of public safety. “While an 18-year-old’s brain is similar to that of a fully mature adult, key cognitive processes continue to develop until age 26. These include impulse control, which can affect an individual’s ability to safely and appropriately use a gun,” she writes.

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February 1, 2019

The Constitution Doesn’t Give Women Equal Rights — Congress Wants To Change That

Source: Refinery29

By Andrea Gonzalez-Ramirez

In the United States of America, women are still not equal to men in the eye of the U.S. Constitution. This is because the Constitution fails to include language that guarantees equal rights for all citizens, regardless of their gender. The Equal Rights Amendment, first introduced in 1923, aimed to correct that. But nearly a century has gone by and lawmakers have failed to advance this constitutional amendment.

That might change with the 116th Congress.

On Tuesday, a bipartisan group launched a new push to fight for the passage of the ERA. The effort has two key components: restart the ratification process and getting rid of a decades-old deadline that could hinder its progress.

The endeavor is led by Reps. Carolyn Maloney and Tom Reed, who are sponsoring legislation to restart the amendment’s ratification process; Rep. Jackie Speier, who introduced a joint resolution to remove the ratification deadline; and Sens. Ben Cardin and Lisa Murkowski, who introduced a companion join resolution to Speier’s.

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February 1, 2019

Abandon the appeal

Source: Manhattan Times

By Gregg McQueen

Let it go.

Immigrant advocates in New York rejoiced when a New York federal judge ruled on January 15 against the Trump administration’s effort to add a citizenship question to the 2020 Census – and they want to keep it that way.

That relief was short-lived, as the administration moved two days later to appeal the ruling, with the U.S. Justice Department filing a notice to ask the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals to review the ruling by District Judge Jesse Furman ordering that the citizenship question be removed.

On January 18, New York City elected officials and immigrant rights groups gathered at the headquarters of service worker union 32BJ SEIU to call on President Donald Trump administration to drop his opposition to the ruling.

They repeated their concerns that the inclusion of a question asking “Is this person a citizen of the United States?” would prevent noncitizens from participating in the Census, leading to a massive undercount.

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