Febuary 5, 2013 : by Nick ReismanGovernor Cuomo has nominated Jenny Rivera to serve on the Court of Appeals. But some senators raised concerns about her lack of experience, delaying the judiciary committee's vote on Tuesday. And at least one senator still had questions about why exactly Rivera was picked. Capital Tonight's Nick Reisman reports.ALBANY, N.Y. -- Confirmations for the state's highest court tend to be anti-climatic affairs. The governor makes a nomination to the Court of Appeals and the State Senate reviews the candidate and then confirms them. But not this time.
Recently, my office heard from a number of constituents concerned about the potential sale by the United States Postal Service (USPS) of the Old Chelsea Station, which is located at 217 West 18th Street. They had seen a letter posted in the station’s lobby from USPS to the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation (OPRHP) seeking input on a Preservation Covenant for the building, which is listed in the State and National Registers of Historic Places, in the event that it is sold. I confirmed that the aforementioned letter was not, as many had feared, an indication that sale of the building is imminent.
On February 4, I participated in a hearing as a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee to review the nomination of Jenny Rivera, Professor at the City University of New York School of Law, to serve on the New York State Court of Appeals, the state's highest court. Professor Rivera has had a long and distinguished career in public service, including as a staff attorney at Legal Aid Society of New York City, as an Associate Counsel for the Puerto Rican Legal Defense and Education Fund, and as a law clerk to the Honorable Sonia Sotomayor at the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York. She was Commissioner of the NYC Commission on Human Rights from 2002 to 2007.
On February 1, I was honored to attend the Centennial Anniversary celebration of Grand Central Terminal (GCT), which I am proud is within my Senate District. Since its opening on February 2, 1913, GCT has served hundreds of millions of passengers and remains one of the City’s most treasured and iconic landmarks. At the time it was completed, GCT was the largest construction project in New York’s history – costing more than $2 billion in today’s dollars.
As you may have read, the Boy Scouts of America (BSA) recently announced that it is considering rescinding its nationwide policy of banning gay young men from membership and gay and lesbian adults from leadership positions. However, rather than bringing discrimination within its organization to an end across the nation, BSA plans to authorize local chapters to establish their own discriminatory policies.
I was honored to be named one of the New York League of Conservation Voters’ ‘New Generation’ of environmental leaders. I am looking forward to working with the League and my colleagues to demand full funding for our state's Environmental Protection Fund, to defend our state from environmental threats--from climate change to hydrofracking--and to fight for proactive measures to ensure a more sustainable future.
Albany—New York State Senator Brad Hoylman (D, WFP Manhattan) announced today that he has been named the Ranking Democratic member of both the Consumer Protection and Investigations and Government Operations Committees. He was also named to several other law-related committees and the Senate committee that oversees tourism and parks.Senator Hoylman (D, WFP – Manhattan) said: “I am honored that Senate Democratic Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins has placed her trust in me to be the consumer and state watchdog in the State Senate. My other committee assignments reflect my background as a nonprofit lawyer and community activist and the importance of art, cultural affairs and open space in my district. I am excited to get to work on all of these issues.”
On January 28, I was named as the Ranking Democratic member of both the New York State Senate Consumer Protection Committee and the Investigations and Government Operations Committee. I am honored that Senate Democratic Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins has placed her trust in me to be the consumer and state watchdog in the State Senate. I was also appointed to the Codes; Crime Victims, Crime and Correction; Cultural Affairs, Tourism, Park and Recreation; and Judiciary committees.
On Jan 26, I had my first opportunity as a New York State Senator to address a meeting of the Stuyvesant Town-Peter Cooper Village Tenants Association (ST-PCV TA). It was inspiring to see hundreds of ST-PCV residents stream into the Baruch College Mason Hall on a freezing Saturday afternoon to hear an update on matters of importance to tenants of the complex, to voice their concerns, and to come together in unity for benefit of the community as a whole. It speaks to the TA's strength that not only local elected officials but citywide leaders attended as well.
On January 23, I submitted testimony to the New York City Planning Commission in strong support of applications for zoning changes that would allow for the transformation of the long vacant Pier 57 at 15th Street in Hudson River Park into an innovative cultural and commercial destination.
ALBANY, January 23, 2013 – Today, I fulfilled a pledge that I made to co-op and condo owners during my campaign for State Senate to vote to extend the long-standing property tax abatement program that had expired in June 2012. Without this vote of the Senate, New York City homeowners in co-ops and condos would have to pay dramatically more in real estate taxes than owners of comparably assessed one-, two- and three-family homes, and the high tax bills could force some of them to sell their homes and leave their neighborhoods.
This week the nation saw an historic first as President Obama made a passionate and eloquent defense of equality for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) Americans in his second inaugural address. I am particularly proud of his mention of Stonewall, the birthplace of the modern LGBT rights movement, which is located in the 27th State Senate District, in the same breath as Seneca Falls and Selma. I am deeply moved by President Obama’s recognition of families like mine and so many others in my district. I applaud the President’s substantive accomplishments for LGBT Americans during his first term and am heartened by his soaring declaration, at the outset of his second, that all Americans must be treated as true equals under the law.
On January 17, I joined City Council Speaker Christine Quinn, State Assembly Member Glick, Manhattan Community Board 2, the District 2 Community Education Council and many parents and community members in an information meeting about the new public school building that we, along with Congressmember Nadler and Manhattan Borough President Stringer, secured at 75 Morton Street. I was encouraged to see so many parents and community members, as well as representatives of the New York City School Construction Authority and Department of Education, at this first in a series of discussions about the school or schools we wish to see created there. To read DNAinfo.com’s coverage of the meeting, please click
On January 17, I was joined by New York State Assembly Member Dick Gottfried in submitting joint testimony at a New York City Council committee hearing on the New York City Public Housing Authority’s (NYCHA) emergency planning and management during and after Superstorm Sandy. In our testimony, we highlighted a number of alarming failures by NYCHA to properly plan for and respond to the storm, thereby leaving tens of thousands of residents without heat, water, electricity, food, means of egress, medical attention, or clear information for days on end. Certainly, the impacts of Superstorm Sandy were felt by property owners and residents throughout the region, but the disproportionate suffering of NYCHA residents is unacceptable. Please see our testimony below.
Last evening, I was proud to join my Democratic colleagues in the State Senate to provide the necessary margin of votes to pass Governor Cuomo's NY SAFE Act of 2013, which enacts the toughest assault weapons ban in the nation. This long-overdue legislation expands our State’s ban on assault weapons by closing a myriad of loopholes and, among other things, requires background checks to be conducted prior to all private gun sales and ammunition purchases, establishes a statewide gun permit database, and requires individuals who own guns to renew their permits every five years.