Weekly Update: Combatting Anti-Asian Racism, One Step Closer to the ERA, Immigration Reform
This week, we witnessed a horrific act of racist, misogynistic violence Atlanta, GA. My heart goes out to the families of those killed and the entire AAPI community. We must do everything we can to drive out the scourge of hate against Asian Americans. I will be joining the Asian American Federation for a peace vigil this evening in Union Square – I hope you can join us.
Earlier this week, the House of Representatives passed two important bills to advance women’s rights, equality, and safety – H.J.Res. 17 to remove the arbitrary time limit set on the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA) and H.R. 1620, the Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act. We also passed two immigration reform bills - H.R. 6, the American Dream and Promise Act and H.R. 1603, the Farm Workforce Modernization Act. And, in celebration of Sunshine Week, I introduced five pieces of legislation to increase government transparency and accountability.
More on these and other updates below.
If you missed this week’s NY-12 COVID-19 Update, you can read it here.
Fighting Anti-Asian Hate
This week, I joined with the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus (CAPAC) in mourning the victims of the Atlanta spa shootings and condemning anti-Asian violence. Later tonight, I will be joining the Asian American Federation for a peace vigil in Union Square.
Tuesday’s attack in Atlanta, GA was horrifying and it disturbingly is far from an isolated incident. We have seen an alarming increase in anti-Asian racist incidents over the last year and I am proud to stand with the AAPI community here in New York City and across the country as we fight to stop Asian hate.
Removing the Arbitrary Time Limit from the Equal Rights Amendment
On Wednesday, I was thrilled to join with my colleagues in voting to throw out the arbitrary time limit imposed on the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA).
There is no time limit on equality and this vote brought us one step closer to finally adding the ERA to the U.S. Constitution. By enshrining gender equality in the Constitution, we give ourselves the legal bedrock to finally achieve justice for women in the workplace, in the courts, against gender-based violence, and beyond.
You can watch and read my remarks from the press event with Speaker Pelosi here.
No Liquified Gas in Brooklyn
Last week, I submitted testimony at The New York City State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Hearing against the issuing of an Air State Facility (ASF) permit to The Brooklyn Union Gas Company Grid to install 2 liquefied natural gas vaporizers at The Greenpoint Energy Center located at 287 Maspeth Avenue.
As I said in my testimony, granting this permit would inflict disastrous environmental and health damage to the surrounding community. New York City’s BIPOC communities continue to have disproportionately high rates of asthma and other illnesses related to air pollution, and I worry about the harmful effects that this facility and associated vehicular traffic would have on an already underserved community.
You can read my full testimony here.
The Violence Against Women Act
On Wednesday, the House voted to reauthorize the Violence Against Women Act, one of the most important bills in our nation’s history to protect women and girls. In a world where 1 in 4 women have experience sexual violence, this legislation is critical to ensuring a future where all those experiencing dating and gender-based violence feel supported to seek help and where survivors are given the tools they need to heal.
Ahead of the vote, I went to the House floor to urge all my colleagues to join me in voting yes for this legislation. You can watch and read that speech here.
COVID Recovery Must Be Equitable
During Wednesday’s Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Crisis hearing: “From Rescue to Recovery: Building a Thriving and Inclusive Post Pandemic Economy,” I highlighted the need to make sure that equity is at the center of our economic recovery policy.
I discussed with witness Dr. Joseph E. Stiglitz, Professor at Columbia University and Nobel Laureate in Economics, the need to better analyze data, why women have disproportionately been harmed by job losses during the pandemic, and how the American Rescue Plan will help bring women back to the workforce.
You can read more and watch my full exchange with Dr. Stiglitz here.
On Thursday, I was proud to join my colleagues in voting to pass H.R. 6, the American Dream and Promise Act to provide a commonsense pathway to lawful permanent resident (LPR) status and citizenship for Dreamers and Temporary Protected Status (TPS) and Deferred Enforced Departure (DED) recipients.
Following the vote, I went to the House floor to urge the Senate to act. Each day that we fail to act, these Americans are facing uncertainty and the threat of their home being taken away.
You can read and watch my full speech here.
The U.K. Must Return the Parthenon Marbles to Greece
On Thursday, I joined with Congressman Gus Bilirakis (FL-12), my Co-Chair on the Congressional Caucus on Hellenic Issues, to introduce a resolution calling on the United Kingdom to return the Parthenon Marbles to Greece.
The Marbles were removed from Greece 200 years ago by Thomas Bruce, seventh Earl of Elgin and transported to Great Britain. The Marbles were part of a frieze that wrapped around the Temple of Athena. In 1816, the British Parliament voted to purchase the Marbles and they now reside in the British Museum. Despite years of efforts by the Greek Government to reclaim the Marbles, it has been unable to negotiate an agreement with its British counterparts to return the Marbles to Greece.
As we celebrate the bicentennial of Greek independence from the Ottoman Empire next week, we cannot forget that Greece continues its fight to have the Parthenon Marbles – some of the country’s greatest examples of artistic expression and beauty – returned to their rightful home. These vital pieces of Greece’s history must be returned to their rightful home in the Acropolis.
This week was the 16th Annual Sunshine Week – a nationwide initiative meant to highlight the importance of government transparency. In recognition of this week, and in dedication to ensuring transparency and open government, I introduced five bills to enable the public to hold their government accountable.
Holding the Sackler Family Accountable
Today, I joined with senior Oversight Committee Member Rep. Mark DeSaulnier to introduce the Stop Shielding Assets from Corporate Known Liability by Eliminating Non-Debtor Releases (SACKLER) Act.
By ensuring that individuals cannot use bankruptcy court to evade responsibility for their misconduct, this legislation would hold members of the Sackler family accountable for their significant role in fueling an opioid crisis that has claimed nearly half a million lives.
The Committee has released documents showing that members of the Sackler family pushed Purdue to flood the market with OxyContin and made billions as a result. This bill is one more step to addressing the harm the Sacklers have inflicted on our communities and providing justice for the thousands of families who have lost loved ones to the opioid epidemic.
Read more about the SACKLER Act here.
Urging the Biden Admin to Finalize Organ Procurement Reforms
Earlier this week, I joined with a coalition of congressional leaders from the Senate Committee on Finance and the House Committee on Oversight and Reform to urge the Biden Administration to finalize a rule to reform the organ procurement system in the United States.
We wrote to the Biden Administration in strong support of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services final rule which would revise performance and outcomes measures, increase accountability, and improve transparency through changes to the Organ Procurement Organization Conditions for Coverage and to request that it be expeditiously implemented. This rule would make long overdue improvements to the organ transplant system that will save lives and improve health equity.
You can read more here.
Snapshot from NY-12
Last Saturday, my office partnered with New York State, local elected officials, and Somos Health to bring a pop up COVID-19 vaccine site to the Campos Houses Community Center on the Lower East Side. I am proud to report that 350 Lower East Siders received their shots at the pop-up.
If you need any help scheduling an appointment, please do not hesitate to contact my district office at (212) 860-0606.
As always, your concerns still and always remain my top priority. Please do not hesitate to email me through my website.
If you have friends who you think should be receiving my newsletters, tell them they can sign up here.