This Monday, January 18th, 2021, is Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Day and we have much to reflect on from 2020.
We have an obligation — now more than ever — to re-embed Dr. King’s message of hope, unity, and nonviolence again within the fabric of our society. Given last week’s violence at the Capitol, many of us now question the starkly different responses in comparison to the BLM protests last summer. Let’s honor and commit to Dr. King’s message as we welcome in a new President and new Administration next week with renewed hope for our country, future, and economy with meaningful reform.
As always read on for the latest community happenings and events from around the state and 109th District!
LEGISLATIVE NEWS AND PRESS
- Over 75 New York State Assemblymembers, Speaker Heastie Sign My Letter to Congress Urging Removal of Donald Trump as President: 🚨 This past week, over 75 of my Assembly Majority colleagues joined me and New York State Assembly Speaker Carl E. Heastie in sending a letter to Congress urging the immediate removal of Donald Trump as President of the United States in order to safeguard American democracy and our Republic. 📃 Read the full letter at the link in this section or by clicking on the image below.
- WYNT 13: Over Half of NY Lawmakers in State Assembly Urge Congress to Remove the President. Click here to view some of the statewide media coverage of the letter sent this past week.
- Port of Albany to be Home to Nation’s First Wind Turbine Manufacturing Tower: 🏗 The Port of Albany and Capital Region will be home to the nation’s first wind turbine manufacturing tower. Offshore wind will rapidly become a centerpiece of New York State’s energy infrastructure in the years to come, and this will cement the Capital Region as the nation’s first real hub for offshore wind energy infrastructure. In addition to helping New York achieve its ambitious energy efficiency and carbon emission goals set forth under the Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act (CLCPA), this project will create 500, good-paying long-term jobs for Capital Region residents at a time when they are sorely needed. I commend Governor Andrew Cuomo and NYSERDA for their continued leadership on the transcendent threat of climate change, and the Port of Albany for their vision and investment in the clean energy grid of tomorrow. By 2040, the International Energy Agency (IEA) projects that worldwide offshore wind capacity will grow fifteen-fold into a $1 trillion industry. Now, #Albany is poised to capitalize on that.
- WNYT 13: State of the State Reactions: 🎥 Spoke with Kumi Tucker WNYT yesterday following the first segment of the Governor’s #SOTS — I emphasized the need to get the rollout of #VaccinateNY right in order to jumpstart New York’s #COVID19 economic recovery. As we look ahead to that recovery I share the Governor’s vision for a robust and rapid build-out of clean, green energy infrastructure, and a state-led jobs program to reemploy thousands of New Yorkers with tailored, good-paying jobs.
- Times Union: Solar, Wind Produces Back Direct Tesla Sales Push. As the sponsor of several electric vehicle bills in the legislature to make them more affordable and accessible in New York, I’m considering introducing legislation that would help to address the direct sale issue primarily Upstate to further increase our state’s overall electric vehicle inventory.
- Washington Post: A Black Officer Faced Down a Mostly White Bob at the Capitol. Meet Eugene Goodman. Despite all of the horror and outrage over last week’s riots and insurrection at the US Capitol, there are many individual heroic acts, which helped make a true difference and prevent an even bigger disaster. This is a one story of one of those individual acts of bravery that made a tremendous difference.
- Groups Representing NYS Freelance Artists and Musicians Back New Works Progress Administration. I sponsor legislation in the legislature to create a new, statewide New Deal-style public jobs program that would include a focus on the arts and music industry: “Groups representing freelance artists and musicians facing dire straits due to the COVID pandemic are panning Gov. Cuomo’s plan to revitalize New York’s art scene by holding star-studded ‘pop-up shows’ across the state. The Freelancers Union, the Union of Musicians and Allied Workers, the League of Independent Theater and the Music Workers Alliance are calling on the governor to instead raise taxes on the wealthy and create a new Works Progress Administration that could support artists and help get them back to work. ‘New York’s performing artists don’t need livestream concerts and comedy shows — we need you to end tax breaks for the wealthy and fund our state so we can survive,’ the groups wrote in a letter sent to Cuomo.”
- Empire State Trail Opens to the Public: New York’s 750-mile Empire State Trail opened to the public at the beginning of January. As a longtime supporter of this project, I’m thrilled that multi-use trails (or greenways) continue to grow in New York State as well as our outdoor tourism market. Greenways help provide #Upstate communities and Main Streets with increased revenue, foot traffic, and more — the need for which has only grown since the outbreak of #COVID19. I look forward to partnering with NY State Parks & Historic Sites, Parks & Trails New York, and more as we look to capitalize even further on this achievement! Map: empiretrail.ny.gov/map
VACCINATE NEW YORK RESOURCES & UPDATES
- 📲 Capital Region residents and #109AD constituents can utilize this information, updated daily (linked and below), on how to schedule appts. with NYSDOH — New York State Health Department, eligibility, upcoming eligible phases, and more: bit.ly/vaccine109 | ny.gov/vaccine
- Following constituent concerns our office has received related to the rollout of the state’s vaccination program, we’ve been in regular contact with our partners in the Governor’s office, Albany County, and local government to rectify some of the serious issues with accessibility and more. A major obstacle to accelerating the dispersment of vaccinations in New York State is the federal government’s weekly supply of just 300,000 doses, while 7 million New Yorkers are eligible and awaiting or scheduling their appointments. By this timetable, the New York State Department of Health projects it will take up to 14 weeks (April 2021) to vaccinate all eligible persons in phases 1a and 1b. Please be patient and continue to try — appointments will be scheduled throughout this winter and spring, so patience is advised.
- 💉 NYers aged 65 years and older are now eligible to receive the #COVID19 vaccine.
- ☎️ As always, my office is here to help you navigate this process with any questions and concerns that you may have: (518) 455–4178.
Click on the image below:
COMMUNITY EVENTS, RESOURCES
- COVID-19 Emergency Eviction and Foreclosure Prevention Act Resources: The Legal Aid Society of Northeastern New York has released resources for tenants, renters, and homeowners to use that are a result of the COVID-19 Emergency Eviction and Foreclosure Prevention Act passed by the state legislature shortly before the New Year. You can reach LASNNY at (833) 628–0087 for an intake call. A hardship waiver is available that can help to prevent displacement, you can download these documents by clicking here. Please note: our work is not finished and the bill we passed last month will be followed with new federal assistance of $1.3 billion. We need assistance targeted particularly at small landlords who were not covered in this legislation.
- Paid Sick Leave Law Goes Into Effect: Available Starting This Year: 📣 Beginning this year (effective January 1st, 2021), most workers in #NYS are now able to access and use Paid Sick Leave when needed regardless of part-time status or occupation — I’m proud that New York again leads on this issue nationally and will join the 140+ countries around the globe who already provide some form of paid sick leave to workers.
- COVID-19 Small Business Assistance Program: Applications are now available for the CERT’s Small Business Grant Program on the Community Loan Fund’s website. To be eligible, applicants must: ✅Be a sales-tax-generating for-profit business, with no more than 50 employees and located within Albany County. ✅The business must show that its revenue has decreased by at least 25 percent due to COVID-19; ✅Show how the current COVID-19 economic conditions make the grant request necessary to support the ongoing operations of the business.
PODCAST: The Fahy Files: What Makes the NY Capital Work (Or Not!) — Connecting in a Time of Chaos
- To highlight some of the individuals in the Capital Region who exemplify what it means to remain connected within our community and cope with the chaos of the past year, I’ve launched a new series of my podcast The Fahy Files, ‘Connecting in a Time of Chaos’.
For more on my work in the state legislature, please visit my official Assembly website, Facebook page, Twitter, Instagram, or Medium to stay updated in 2021 and beyond! As always, please don’t hesitate to reach out to my office with any questions or concerns during this time at firstname.lastname@example.org or (518) 455–4178.