Closing Out 2017

Dec 22, 2017
Newsletter

Dear Friend,

With 2017 drawing to a close, I wanted to update you on some recent news from Congress and back home in New York’s 12th Congressional District. While most of our attention has rightfully been on the terrible GOP tax bill, there have been other events that I wanted to take the time to highlight.

Earlier this week, I announced two new pieces of legislation to combat workplace sexual harassment. The first, the No Tax Deductions for Sexual Harasser Buyouts Act will no longer allow companies to treat Bill O’Reilly-like severances to sexual harassers as tax-deductible costs of doing business. The second, the Ending Secrecy About Workplace Sexual Harassment Act, will require companies to report the number of settlements with employees regarding claims of discrimination on the basis of sex, including sexual harassment and sexual assault, to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. As a result, companies will have stronger incentives to prevent sexual discrimination from happening in the first place.

We are experiencing a moment of reckoning and we owe it to all the women coming forward with their #MeToo stories, and those still suffering in silence, to act. We must seize this moment to inspire lasting change that keeps everyone safe from sexual harassment - in the workplace, at universities, in Congress – and everywhere in between. With these bills, we can help do that.

Last week, as the Republican commissioners at the FCC voted to roll back net neutrality protections, I joined with my colleagues to introduce legislation that will reverse this vote. I am all in on the fight to save net neutrality and save the free and open internet we know today.

Back home in New York, I am working to make sure that we are investing in our city and doing all we can to make NYC the best it can be for all who work and live here.

Western Queens is evolving into a place of great opportunity for economic growth and affordable housing, so when Amazon announced that it was seeking a new location for its headquarters, I was pleased to write a letter touting the benefits of Long Island City (LIC). The City has chosen LIC as one of four sites it is presenting to Amazon.

I also recently submitted testimony at a scoping hearing about the importance of rezoning Anable Basin, an area filled with aging warehouses, to be a new residential and commercial community. This new neighborhood would boast a new school, open space, artist studios and cultural space, and commercial spaces for start-ups. If we ensure adequate transportation, schools, street access and infrastructure, this could be a wonderful opportunity to transform this underdeveloped waterfront area into a great new neighborhood.

As you know, right now plans are being developed to provide alternative modes of transportation during the 15 months, starting April 2019, when the L Train will be shut from Bedford Avenue to 8th Avenue to repair damage caused by Superstorm Sandy. While these repairs are badly needed, we need to make sure that commuters have adequate service to reach their destinations.  A plan was unveiled at the beginning of December, but it raises many questions, particularly relating to its impact on Northern Brooklyn.  Businesses and residents are justifiably concerned that the plan will add to traffic congestion without ensuring that patrons and workers can reach businesses in Greenpoint/Williamsburg and that residents won’t face extraordinary commutes. I’m proud to have helped secure $5 billion in federal funds to repair this damage to the East River tunnels and bridges but my work doesn’t stop there. I will continue to be in touch with the MTA, the City and the State about mitigation techniques during the shutdown.

Finally, we’re approaching the one-year anniversary of the completion of the first phase of the Second Avenue Subway. Built with $1.3 billion in federal funds that I helped secure, the new line is already transforming the way people travel around the city. But our work must not stop here. We need to move forward quickly with Phase 2 which will go up to 125th Street.  The MTA has been working with the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) to complete an updated environmental review and preliminary engineering and design.  I met with the acting head of the FTA to stress the importance of this project for New York City.  The State has already set aside nearly $2 billion for the second phase which is expected to cost a total of $6 billion, and I’m working with Rep. Adriano Espaillat to ensure the federal government provides at least $2 billion, when this project is eligible for it. I’m calling for federal legislation to increase the gas tax by one cent to help raise these funds and power this project and others like it all across the country.

As always, your concerns for our country and city remain my top priority. Please visit my website to let me know what is on your mind.

Sincerely,

Carolyn B. Maloney

Member of Congress


Maloney: Why I Voted No on the GOP Tax Bill

 

I voted no on the Republican tax bill because Americans deserve a much better deal than a plan that guts the State and Local Tax (SALT) deduction and double-taxes sates like NY for taking care of our own, robs the middle class to provide tax breaks for big business, and rips away healthcare from millions of Americans. We deserve a better deal than this sham of a tax bill that is going to add more than one trillion dollars to the national debt. It’s shameful that the GOP would pass a bill as harmful as this.

Read my full statement here.


Huff Post: House Democrats Push to End 'Corporate Culture of Secrecy' Around Sexual Harassment

 

We need to end the corporate culture of secrecy surrounding sexual harassment settlements and no longer allow companies to treat Bill O’Reilly-like severances to sexual harassers as tax-deductible costs of doing business. I announced two bills to do just that.

 

Read more here.


amNewYork: L Train Shutdown Explained: Facts, Figures, Proposals and more

 

As we near the date for the L Train shutdown, concern was growing that the MTA and the city Department of Transportation (DOT) had not yet submitted for comment a plan for how people would travel to neighborhoods that depend on L Train service. After months of meetings, calls, and press conferences, the agencies finally presented an L Train Shutdown Mitigation plan which leaves open many questions.

The plan anticipates that 85% of L Train riders would transfer to other lines. The plan proposes a new busway on 14th street, a bikeway on 13th Street in Manhattan, increased service on connecting subway lines, an HOV3 restriction over the Williamsburg Bridge, 3 shuttlebus routes, a new ferry route, and a strategy to improve subway access that includes reopening several station entrances in Brooklyn and free transfers at several new connection points. The MTA and DOT will be holding public hearings in the near coming months and we have a chance to improve the plan.

Read more about the plan here.


NY1: Lawmakers call for Gas Tax Increase to Finish Second Ave. Subway

 

I was proud to bring in $1.3 billion in federal funding to see Phase 1 of the Second Avenue Subway completed. Now, almost a full year since its opening, the new line is a resounding success. Nearly 200,000 daily riders are finding their commute times slashed, with an average reduction of 10 minutes for those traveling between the Upper East and Upper West Sides, and it has also greatly improved access to Brooklyn, Queens and many parts of Manhattan. The Lexington Avenue Line is significantly less crowded, with 26% fewer riders on an average weekday. But, we have much more work to do to finish the full build Second Avenue Subway. I am fighting hard to ensure Phase 2 moves forward, extending the subway to 125th Street. I am urging my colleagues in Congress to support legislation that would help fund local infrastructure projects, including the Second Avenue Subway.

Read more about that effort here.


LIC Post: Long Island City Leaders, Residents, Wary of Plaxall's Anable Basin Rezoning in Light of Area Development Boom

 

Anable Basin is currently a gloomy industrial area with few roads, limited access to and from it, sparse public transportation, and very little retail. We have seen the success of Queens West and Hunters Point South in Long Island City and in Northern Brooklyn and it is time for that trend to reach Anable Basin — an extraordinary area with magnificent views of Manhattan and the East River.

Read more about the project here.