I hope you enjoyed the end of Summer and are doing well as Fall begins!
As we are in full swing of the school year, I want to inform you of a bill I carried that was recently signed into law by Governor Andrew M. Cuomo. The bill, known as “Erin’s Law”, establishes age-appropriate curriculum for students in grades Kindergarten through 8th, to learn about child sexual abuse and personal body safety.
Empowering children to have autonomy over their bodies, and engaging adults at school to recognize signs of abuse, are at the core of creating a healthy and prosperous learning environment.
For eight years, Erin’s Law was stalled in the New York State legislature, but this year, New York became the 37th state to enact it. I am grateful for the unrelenting hustle of the lawmakers and advocates whose work finally means that children in New York will have access to critical preventative resources that can stop childhood sexual abuse.
As a survivor of childhood sexual abuse, it has been an honor to carry this bill and give future generations the tools I didn’t have to protect myself against harm and long-lasting trauma.
The curriculum will be implemented at the start of the 2020-2021 school year.
Finally, I want to create a space to thank everyone who has contacted my office this month to share your concerns regarding housing, education, healthcare, and senior issues. I want you to know that I always look forward to and encourage your outreach – your input helps me to better serve you in the District, as well as to shape and inform policy in Albany.
State Senator Alessandra Biaggi
41st Precinct Council Meeting – September 5th, 2019
It was a pleasure to join Captain Jeremy Scheublin and Precinct Council President Paula Fields at the 41st Precinct this month. Maintaining an open dialogue between police and community members is an important part of building better solutions for our neighborhoods!
Tour of the Jewish Board’s Henry Ittleson Center – September 6th, 2019
This month I toured the Jewish Board’s Henry Ittleson site and learned about their invaluable work supporting kids living with trauma and psychiatric challenges. Thank you for having me and continuing to help Bronx youth across District 34.
2nd Annual Wolfs Walk – September 7th, 2019
Spent the afternoon with my family and #TeamBiaggi at the 2nd Annual Wolfs Walk in Pelham! Always great to see Village Mayor Chance Mullen and Town Clerk Amy Rios (and baby!).
Sponsored Paper Shredding Event – September 8th, 2019
This month I partnered with Assemblyman Jeffrey Dinowitz, Councilmember Andrew Cohen, and AARP to host a free paper shredding event in Kingsbridge. I had a blast helping our constituents dispose of old sensitive and personal documents, safely and sustainably. Thank you to everyone who participated!
RAIN Senior Center on Boston Road – September 9th, 2019
Had the privilege of visiting and talking with constituents at RAIN, Inc. Senior Center on Boston Road. Thank you Dr. Anderson Torres, the staff, and the seniors for having me!
Senior Programming at Bronx House – September 9th, 2019
Always glad to visit with constituents at Bronx House. Thank you CEO, Howie Martin for having Mark Gjonaj and I participate in your senior programming for the day!
Woodlawn Taxpayers Association Meeting – September 9th, 2019
This month I attended the Woodlawn Taxpayers Association (WHTCA) meeting at St. Barnabas Elementary School. Thank you WHTCA members and association President Kenneth Nugent for having me!
9/11 Memorial Services in District 34 – September 11th, 2019
Eighteen years ago, 144 members of the Bronx community and 10 Pelham residents were taken from us by an act of terror. We remember their lives and pay tribute to the first responders who sacrificed theirs to save hundreds more. In their names, we must promise to fight hate and racism everywhere.
Bronx State Senate Delegation Town Hall – September 12th, 2019
Thank you to everyone who joined us for the Bronx State Senate Delegation Town Hall! It was a pleasure to take the stage with my fellow colleagues Senator Bailey, Senator Sepulveda, Senator Serrano, and Senator Rivera. Individually we each bring our own nuance and expertise to and from our districts, so when we work together we are that much better at building a stronger borough for all residents of the Bronx.
Young Adults Institute (YAI) on Glebe Avenue – September 13th, 2019
I had the pleasure of touring the Young Adults Institute on Glebe Avenue this month. YAI supports people of all ages with intellectual and developmental disabilities throughout the Bronx and Westchester. Thank you to the staff and members for showing me around!
Fun Day on the Parkway – September 14th, 2019
Got to hang out at Bronx House for Fun Day on the Parkway – thank you to the Bronx House team for putting together such a great event for our community!
City Island Fall Arts & Crafts Fair and Mount Vernon City Fest – September 14th, 2019
On the 14th, I started my day at one side of D34 and finished my day at the opposite end! Spent the first half at the City Island Fall Arts & Crafts Fair, and then made my way to the Mount Vernon City Fest. Thank you to the vendors and organizers!
Van Cortlandt Jewish Center Town Hall – September 14th, 2019
Thank you to the Van Cortlandt Jewish Center for hosting me for brunch and a community Town Hall. I really appreciate the warm welcome into the congregation and look forward to sharing more thoughtful discussions.
Constitution Day at SUNY Maritime College – September 17th, 2019
In celebration of Constitution Day, I had the honor of joining Admiral Michael Alfutis, his wife Kim, and SUNY Maritime College students from D34 at the Admiral’s house for a home-cooked meal before speaking at the College’s festivities. Thank you for your hospitality and celebration of the Woman’s Vote!
Kingsbridge Business Improvement District Membership Meeting – September 18th, 2019
Thanks to the Kingsbridge Business Improvement District for inviting me to speak at their annual membership meeting! It was a pleasure to celebrate our small businesses and discuss how we can better support them.
TIME’s UP Equal Pay Convening – September 19th, 2019
This month I had the privilege of joining a room full of women pushing for pay equity at the Time's Up Equal Pay convening. This work can often feel very lonely, so it was an incredible feeling to be surrounded by so many people in this fight.
Union and Labor Breakfast – September 19th, 2019
This month I held a breakfast in honor of the unions and labor representatives serving District 34. It was a great opportunity to celebrate the work unions have accomplished this year, and discuss what's next in the fight for labor justice and supporting New York State workers. In memory of Hector Figueroa, I presented 32BJ SEIU with a proclamation honoring his legacy and the incredible work that 32BJ continues to do on behalf of so many working Americans. Thank you to all who attended!
Riverdale Young Jewish Professionals Meeting – September 19th, 2019
Thank you Riverdale Young Jewish Professionals for having me join your September meeting at Conservative Synagogue Adath Israel!
New York City Climate Strike – September 20th, 2019
#TeamBiaggi joined thousands of New Yorkers at the NYC Climate Strike. I stand firmly with the Climate Strike and demand bold, justice-oriented action from the United Nations that will mitigate the environmental threats against humanity and protect our sacred planet. I am deeply moved by the work of global youth activists leading the charge to hold our leaders accountable for addressing climate change. They are the future, and we owe it to them to do everything we can to make sure it’s a safe and healthy one. Every nation, including the United States, has a responsibility to take ownership of this crisis. What we choose to do now will quite literally determine the future of our planet and every generation to come – for better or for worse. Trust the kids, they know what to do.
National Voter Registration Day Drive – September 24th, 2019
To celebrate National Voter Registration Day this month, #TeamBiaggi held voter registration drives across District 34. We had a great time registering students and community members outside Herbert H. Lehman High School, Pelham Memorial High School, and Manhattan College. If you didn’t have a chance to register with us in person, register online here!
(Photo Credit: The New York Times)
On September 3rd, Governor Andrew M. Cuomo signed my bill S6160 into law, granting local law enforcement access to records of applications for licenses of firearms.
The SAFE Act allows handgun holders and applicants to request that their application information be exempt from disclosure under the Freedom of Information Law, but fails to provide local law enforcement access to those records. The purpose of this bill is to close that loophole so that when a local officer responds to a situation, particularly in cases of domestic violence, they know whether or not they are entering a home where a firearm is present. Easy access to this information will allow local police to take the necessary precautions to protect both themselves and others when responding to an emergency. I thank the Governor for signing this bill into law – it is imperative that we provide our brave law enforcement officers with the necessary information to stay safe and better serve our communities.
On September 18th, Governor Andrew M. Cuomo signed my bill S6574 into law, extending the statute of limitations for rape, certain sex crimes, and incest. The bill will increase the time periods in which a prosecution for rape in the second or third degree, criminal sexual act in the second and third degree, or incest in the first and second degree may be commenced, and increase the time in which a civil suit may be brought. The bill amends the criminal procedure law (CPL) and the civil practice law and rules (CPLR).
Speaking from my own experience of staying silent after surviving sexual abuse, it can take decades for a person to come forward and feel ready to pursue justice against their perpetrator. By extending the statute of limitations for certain offenses of rape, sexual criminal acts, and incest, New York State is adopting procedures that allow survivors of sexual violence to report on their own terms.
It is critical that we continue to enact laws that hold offenders accountable, and prioritize the safety and wellbeing of survivors.
EXTENSION OF THE STATUTE OF LIMITATIONS UNDER BILL S6574:
For the offense of second degree rape, second degree sexual criminal acts, and second degree incest, the statute of limitations is extended from 5 years to 20 years.
For the offense of third degree rape and third degree sexual criminal acts, the statute of limitations is extended from 5 years to 10 years.
Eliminates statute of limitations for incest in the first degree.
✔ A constituent in our district was living in a house that did not have heat, hot water or electricity for 45 days. In partnership with Con Edison representatives, we were able to restore all services to his home.
✔ After an excessive amount of trash was found at the Spuyten Duyvil Metro-North station, we worked with the offices of Assemblyman Jeffrey Dinowitz, Councilman Andrew Cohen, and U.S. Representative Eliot Engel and issued a joint letter to Metro-North asking for the trash to be removed immediately. The issue was resolved swiftly and the train station is now clean!
✔ Through a joint effort with concerned Throggs Neck community members and the New York City Police Department's 45th precinct, we were able to deter a large pick up truck from continuously blocking essential crosswalks and fire hydrants.
Biaggi bill closes gun data loophole for police (Riverdale Press)
Cuomo makes Erin's Law law (Riverdale Press)
Lawmakers earn perfect enviro rating (Riverdale Press)
Push to change state law hindering rape prosecutions (Times Union)
'Drunk consent' doesn't exist (Riverdale Press)
The 2019 Bronx Power 100 (City & State)
Anti-IDC state senators come out swinging for ranked choice voting (New York Daily News)
NY hopes to lead on anti-gun violence agenda (Times Union)
Cuomo signs law making it easier to prosecute rape cases (New York Post)
SAVE FIOS NEWS? THE FUTURE OF LOCAL MEDIA IN WESTCHESTER (Yonkers Tribune)
New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, New York City Council Speaker Corey Johnson, and the City University of New York (CUNY) to invite you to participate in The New York City Complete Count Fund Request for Proposals. The program is the first of its kind in the city and represents an investment of $19 million in community-based organizations to mobilize New Yorkers to self-respond to the 2020 census. Having all New Yorkers counted is critically important for the future of our city, particularly for the communities that have gone undercounted and underrepresented for too long. A complete and accurate count will ensure that New York City receives full representation in Congress and its fair share of $650 billion in federal funds for health care, education, housing, economic development, social services, transportation, and more.
We know that our city’s community-based organizations (CBOs) are its most trusted voices, and this effort can only succeed with your leadership. We are launching this program to resource local CBOs in every corner of the city to mobilize the communities they serve to participate in the 2020 census. We anticipate that with these funds, organizations will be able to plan events, invest in technology, produce materials, engage in direct contact via phone-banking and street canvassing, and more, to ensure that all New Yorkers know about the importance of the census and how easy and safe it is to participate.
The application period is now open and the online application for funding will remain open through October 18, 2019, at 11:59 PM EST. We encourage all organizations that have deep connections to historically undercounted communities to apply, and the City’s support will range from $25,000 to $250,000, depending on organizational size and capacity. Selection criteria and eligibility are fully explained in the Request for Proposals, and will ensure that the New York City Complete Count Fund will resource organizations of different sizes and types that work most closely with the communities most at risk of being undercounted.
We are incredibly thankful for the work that you and all of the city’s trusted CBOs do to serve New Yorkers. In many ways a test of our city’s resilience, the 2020 census is also a welcome opportunity for the city to forge new partnerships and to strengthen the fabric that weaves together our many diverse communities.
Please apply at www.getcounted2020.nyc. Further resources are available on CUNY’s Census 2020 website, and you can direct questions to firstname.lastname@example.org. CUNY and NYC Census 2020 look forward to receiving your applications and working with you over the coming months towards a complete and accurate count of all New Yorkers.