Early voting in NYC starts tomorrow, Saturday October 24. All week long, I’ll be hosting events throughout the district, I hope to see you there – more information below.
Unfortunately, as many of us know, NYCHA residents are often forced to wait far too long for basic and needed repairs in their homes and communities. This week, I reached out to Chair Russ to demand that the repairs needed at Campos II and Astoria Houses be completely immediately – the conditions under which these residents have been living are absolutely unacceptable. More on this, and updates from Washington, DC below.
Demanding NYCHA Repairs
For far too long, NYCHA’s maintenance system has not met the needs of residents. Earlier this year, I proposed a new de-centralized system so that each community would have its own dedicated maintenance staff, increasing the accountability for residents. These repairs are particularly important during the COVID-19 crisis as New Yorkers remain stuck indoors. During this crisis, numerous communities, including Campos II, Astoria Houses, and Queensbridge, are in desperate need of repairs. I am working with NYCHA to make sure that they are completed effectively and immediately.
Following an outpouring of complaints from Campos Plaza II residents at a tenants association meeting last week, I reached out to NYCHA Chairman Gregory P. Russ to demand that NYCHA immediately fix desperately needed repairs at the development. The needed work includes resolving an odor stemming from rodent extermination, unfinished repairs in the community center, external repairs, and security concerns. These are all health and quality of life emergencies made all the more urgent by the COVID-19 pandemic. You can read my full letter to Chairman Russ here.
After speaking with NYCHA staff about the on-going gas outage at 1-04 Astoria Blvd, I formally requested that NYCHA Chair Russ provide a clear timeline for gas restoration at Astoria Houses. Residents have been without cooking gas since it was shut off on September 23, 2020 due to a leak. With the COVID-19 pandemic, New Yorkers in lockdown are more reliant on their kitchens than ever before, and this situation is a significant hardship for residents who have been relying on a single hotplate to prepare meals. You can read my full letter to Chairman Russ here.
New IG Report on USPS Delays
This week, the Postal Service Inspector General (IG) released a new report on Postmaster General Louis DeJoy’s disastrous operational changes. The report confirms that Postmaster General Louis DeJoy’s sweeping changes — which were hastily implemented without analyzing their potential impact — caused serious delays across the country. I’m particularly concerned with the IG finding that the Postmaster General was aware of the reduction and elimination of overtime — despite his testimony before our Committee that this was not taking place. The IG found that the Postal Service was not fully forthcoming with Congress and the American people and calling into question whether the Postmaster General is continuing to mislead Congress and the American people to this day.
Since July, the Oversight Committee has been working to hold the Postmaster General accountable for operational changes that caused massive, ongoing delays to the delivery of mail, medicines, and mail-in ballots.
On August 24, 2020, I chaired a hearing with the Postmaster General and Chairman of the Postal Service Board of Governors, at which they failed to provide adequate answers as to why these changes were made without any consultation or analysis.
As a result, on September 2, 2020, the Committee issued a subpoena to Postmaster General DeJoy for documents related to the delays. The Committee is currently negotiating with the Postal Service over production of additional documents and the investigation is ongoing.
Requesting an Inspector General Probe on Ventilator Shipments from Russia
On Wednesday, my colleagues and I sent a letter to State Department Acting Inspector General Matthew Klimow and Department of Homeland Security Inspector General Joseph Cuffari requesting an independent investigation into the shipment of ventilators to and from the Russian Federation during the early stages of the coronavirus pandemic in the United States.
Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Eliot E. Engel, Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Crisis Chairman James E. Clyburn, Oversight and Reform’s National Security Subcommittee Chairman Stephen F. Lynch and I have asked the IGs to consider whether the Trump Administration’s decision to accept a shipment of Russian-produced ventilators on April 1, 2020, may have violated U.S. sanctions law or guidance, how the shipment of U.S.-manufactured ventilators to Russia in May furthered U.S. foreign policy objectives, and to what extent, if any, the arrangement may have been inappropriately influenced by President Donald Trump or other White House officials.
You can read more here.
Trump’s Executive Order Politicizing Federal Civil Service
On Thursday, President Trump signed a new executive order that effectively politicizes the federal civil service through the creation of Schedule F, a classification that will remove civil service protections from thousands of federal employees and allow the President to fill policy-making roles with his supporters. This new executive order would overturn a 150-year-old precedent that created an expert non-partisan civil service and return us to the “spoils system” and a new era of political patronage in government. This action confirms his continued disregard of our expert, professional, and nonpartisan federal workforce. Congress must ensure President Trump isn’t allowed to politicize these critical policy positions.
Trump’s Attempt to Exclude Undocumented Immigrants from the 2020 Census Ruled Unconstitutional
This week, a federal court confirmed what four former Census Directors testified to the Oversight Committee in July: the President’s attempt to exclude undocumented immigrants from the census count is unconstitutional.
The court held, “The Constitution’s text, drafting history, 230 years of historical practice, and Supreme Court case law all support the conclusion that apportionment must be based on all persons residing in each state, including undocumented immigrants.”
Six federal judges have now unanimously rejected this nakedly partisan power grab. I’m reiterating my call for President Trump to follow the Constitution and drop his attempt to corrupt the 2020 Census for political gain.
You’re Invited: Early Voting Week Events
Early voting in NYC starts tomorrow, Saturday October 24. All week long, I’ll be hosting Carolyn on Your Corner events and other gatherings around the district. I hope you’ll come say hello.
As always, your concerns still and always remain my top priority. Please do not hesitate to email me through my website.
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Carolyn B. Maloney
Member of Congress