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Michael Blake Announces Major New Legislation and Actions to Help New York Workers Affected by Shutdown

NY State Assembly Member and Candidate for Public Advocate unveiled new proposals to support NY workers affected by recent and possible future federal government shutdowns

January 25, 2019

New York, NY— This afternoon, at LaGuardia Airport, New York State Assembly Member and Candidate for NYC Public Advocate Michael Blake announced plans for major new legislation that he will introduce to support New York federal employees harmed by the #TrumpShutdown, and to ensure that they are protected from future federal government shutdowns.

As Public Advocate, Michael Blake will propose legislation in the city council to ban New York City contracts to companies that are working to build the border wall. He also announced a halt to campaign fundraising over the weekend to direct resources and attention to supporting New Yorkers who continue to need support due to the shutdown, including by donating a portion of his salary to help employees and families in need and encouraging others to support organizations providing assistance.

The proposed state legislation will make unemployment insurance available to qualified federal employees who are required to work without pay in this or any future shutdown and are not eligible for unemployment benefits, due to the shutdown.

Blake also announced that he will explore legislation to create an emergency relief fund for federal contractors, including janitors, cafeteria workers, security guards, and private contractors working in state facilities, who have lost pay because of a federal government shutdown. Contractors are not promised back pay, despite being similarly situated to furloughed employees. Non-profit organizations with federal contractors, such as people with disabilities hired under federal programs, will also be addressed.

“Today’s announcement of a three-week solution provides temporary relief, but, it is not long-standing relief for federal employees, contractors and nonprofit organizations in New York and across the country. It’s time for real leadership to step up and fight for people across our state and across our country,” said Assembly Member and Candidate for Public Advocate Michael Blake.

Blake also announced that if elected as Public Advocate that he will introduce city council legislation to lawfully ban funding and contracts to companies who work on the proposed Trump wall.

“New York City should not be in the business of supporting this wall.  Not one dime should be spent towards the wall, and, I hope that our congressional delegation agrees that we should invest in building schools, not walls.  This crisis of leadership is exactly why we need new leadership with federal, state, and local experience to provide #JobsAndJustice #ForThePeople. We need leaders that will step up for all federal employees so that they have the dignity and support that they deserve,” he added.

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New York State Assembly Member Michael Alexander Blake has been elected to represent the 79th District in The Bronx for a third term. He has helped lead the efforts to create the first and only statewide My Brother’s Keeper education program in the country and helped lead the charge to Raise The Age of criminal responsibility.

As a member of the Housing committee, he has fought to increase funding for New York City public housing and been a consistent advocate for affordable housing, rent stabilization and pushing back against gentrification. Blake has championed legislation for Minority and Women-owned Business Enterprises and fought for democracy reform throughout the State of New York and the country.

Previously, Blake served as Associate Director of Public Engagement and Deputy Associate Director of the Office of Intergovernmental Affairs under President Obama. He has helped expand the electorate nationwide through his work in President Obama’s campaigns and his current service as DNC Vice Chair.