From Ben Kallos, City Council Member <[email protected]>
Subject COVID-19 Update #8: New Relief Package Signed into Law, Absentee Ballot Applications for All NYers, and New Essential Worker Protection Legislation
Date April 24, 2020 8:52 PM
  Links have been removed from this email. Learn more in the FAQ.
  Links have been removed from this email. Learn more in the FAQ.
View this email in your browser ([link removed])

Dear Neighbor,

As of Friday afternoon, New York State has seen 16,162 deaths. New York City’s death count was at 11,267, and the number of hospitalized COVID-19 patients in New York City was at 36,723. Over the past 24 hours, a total of 422 New Yorkers died as a result of the virus. Key indicators show that the crisis is abating as long as we continue with strict social distancing and an aggressive comprehensive response.

The end of the week saw major updates on the response to the Coronavirus pandemic from our city, state, and nation:
* BREAKING: New $484 Billion Relief Package (#484Billion)
* UPDATE: Governor Cuomo Signs Executive Order to Send Absentee Ballot Applications to All New Yorkers (#cuomo)
* Legislation to Protect Essential Workers (#essential)
* City Cancels Public Events Through June (#june_cancelled)
* Mayor’s Plan to Help NYCHA Residents (#Bdb_testing-nycha)
* Supporting Nursing Homes (#nursing_homes)

While there are no words to describe the staggering loss of life that our City has suffered over the past two months, the economic fallout from this pandemic is also creating pain, especially for small businesses and their employees. Friday afternoon, the federal government approved a new $484 billion relief package, primarily aimed at helping small businesses maintain their payroll.

Our essential workers must have rights and protections from wrongful termination during this time and, with the City Council back in session (over Zoom), I introduced legislation to grant that protection.

On Friday afternoon, Governor Cuomo signed an executive order to send absentee ballots to all registered New Yorkers, a step toward ensuring that our democracy does not also fall victim to this deadly virus.

I urge you to continue to practice social distancing and to follow all of the experts’ advice on washing your hands and wearing face masks if you have to venture outside.

To my Muslim constituents, I wish you all the blessings of the holy month. Ramadan Mubarak.


Ben Kallos
Council Member

P.S. For access to our previous COVID-19 updates, visit ([link removed])

Today a $484 billion COVID-19 relief package aimed at helping small businesses stay afloat became law.

This latest lifeline to businesses was a bipartisan measure that pumps $320 billion into the Paycheck Protection Program so that smaller companies can continue to pay their workers during the pandemic. More information on PPP including how to apply will available from the Small Business Administration ([link removed]) .

The massive relief package also has funds $100 billion for public health:
* $75 billion to reimburse health care providers for health care related expenses or lost revenues that are attributable to the coronavirus outbreak; and
* $25 billion for expenses to research, develop, validate, manufacture, purchase, administer, and expand capacity for COVID-19 tests to effectively monitor and suppress COVID-19.

You can read Paycheck Protection Program and Health Care Enhancement Act ([link removed]) at ([link removed]) . At least one additional larger and more comprehensive relief package is expected to be proposed in Congress over the next couple of weeks, and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer has said he will prioritize including funds for state and local economies.

Today, Governor Cuomo stated in a press conference that he is ordering the New York State Board of Elections to mail all registered voters absentee ballot applications. I called on the Governor to make it easier to vote by mail in an op-ed I co-authored in Gotham Gazette ([link removed]) earlier this month and I praised this order today ([link removed]) .

You may now vote by mail in the Federal and State Primary on Tuesday, June 23, 2020. Primaries for President, Congress, Senate, and Assembly will be on the ballot. You MUST APPLY for an absentee ballot. You do not have to wait for an application to be sent by mail. I strongly encourage you to apply NOW by calling 866-VOTE-NYC for a postage-paid application or downloading the form at When applying, you must check off “temporary illness,” and submit by fax (in New York County to 646-638-2047 or email [email protected]) or mail postmark by Tuesday, June 16, 2020.

You will receive your absentee ballot up to 32 days before the election and it must be postmarked by Monday, June 22, 2020.

On April 22nd, the New York City Council came together for its first stated meeting—and our first virtual legislative meeting ever—in more than a month. The hearing, which was conducted over Zoom, saw the introduction of several new pieces of legislation geared at addressing this coronavirus pandemic, including a bill to protect essential workers from termination without ‘Just Cause’ that I authored with Council Member Brad Lander and Speaker Corey Johnson.

The bill would bring these protections to all essential workers, including healthcare workers, first responders, utility workers, and employees on the front line, including those at supermarkets, making deliveries, and anyone working at an essential business ([link removed]) as defined by the Governor’s Executive Order ([link removed]) .

Since the COVID-19 crisis started, heroic health care ([link removed]) and warehouse workers ([link removed]) have faced retaliation for speaking out against unsafe conditions at their place of work. The bill also requires Essential businesses would be required to provide progressive discipline and a ‘Just Cause’ within a week of termination subject to arbitration, a private right of action, with essential employees able to recover back pay and employers subject to fines of up to $2,500 per violation.

No one should lose their job simply for asking for protective equipment during a pandemic. Our city’s essential workers are heroes and deserve to be treated that way, complete with job protections for putting their lives on the line. Thank you to Speaker Corey Johnson and Council Member Brad Lander for co-sponsoring this bill, and to our brothers and sisters in labor for joining us in our fight to protect essential workers. For more information on the bill see coverage in amNY ([link removed]) , Forbes ([link removed]) , or read the release at ([link removed])

Days after canceling all May events in mid-April, Mayor de Blasio announced the cancelation of public events in New York City through the month of June. This includes very popular annual events like the Pride Parade, the Puerto Rican Day Parade, the Coney Island’s Mermaid Parade and the Brooklyn Half Marathon.

The Mayor has stated that these cancellations are necessary in order to maintain the progress we have made so far in decelerating the spread of coronavirus, according to Politico ([link removed]) . Whether these events will be rescheduled for a later date is not yet known.

1. Testing: In addition to the five community-based testing sites already established, the City will be adding six new sites in the coming days. NYCHA residents will be given priority at these new sites. Three of the sites will be at NYCHA locations.

H+H community testing sites opening Friday:
* Cumberland Health Center - Crown Heights, Brooklyn
* Belvis Health Center - Mott Haven, Bronx
* Gouverneur Health Center - Lower East Side, Manhattan

NYCHA testing sites opening next week:
* Jonathan Williams Houses - Williamsburg, Brooklyn
* Woodside Houses - Woodside, Queens
* St. Nicholas Houses - Harlem, Manhattan

2. Supplies: The City will provide face coverings and gloves to all NYCHA residents and hand sanitizer to NYCHA seniors.
3. Food: As part of the larger GetFood program, the City will enroll all NYCHA senior buildings in a food delivery program.
4. Wellness: The City will make live calls to every NYCHA senior and vulnerable resident to check on their health and see if they need anything, including food, toiletries, and other supplies.
5. Combating Isolation: In partnership with T-Mobile, the City will give free tablets with internet to 10,000 NYCHA seniors to combat isolation, starting in Brownsville, East New York, Mott Haven, Red Hook, Bushwick, and Coney Island.

Our City’s nursing homes have been hit particularly hard by the virus, with over 3,500 nursing home residents having passed away from the illness statewide. Our office has been working to secure PPE to support nursing homes who need them, and Mayor de Blasio has taken the following actions:
* The City is increasing clinical personnel in nursing homes and increasing PPE shipments this week:
+ To date, the City has sent nearly ten million pieces of PPE in weekly distributions to all 169 nursing homes including N95s, surgical masks, gowns, eye protection, and gloves.
+ To meet urgent staffing needs in nursing homes across the city, we have sent 210 clinical staff volunteers to 40 nursing homes citywide and will double this amount, bringing the total number of added personnel to over 420.
* The City has provided nursing homes with up-to-date guidance on isolation and testing procedures. The Department of Health and Mental Hygiene has continued to work with providers to implement this guidance and troubleshoot as necessary.
* A new task force will work with approximately half of all nursing homes to collect data on staffing, PPE, decedent management, and any other needs.

** @BenKallos ([link removed])
** Instagram ([link removed])
** YouTube ([link removed])
** Facebook ([link removed])
** ([link removed])
Copyright © 2020 City Council Member Ben Kallos, All rights reserved.
You are receiving this email to be kept up to date on events by the office of City Council Member Ben Kallos.

Our mailing address is:
City Council Member Ben Kallos
244 E 93rd St
New York, NY 10128
Want to change how you receive these emails?
You can ** update your preferences ([link removed])
or ** unsubscribe from this list ([link removed])
Screenshot of the email generated on import

Message Analysis