Press Releases


NEW YORK –  “Council Member Inez Barron today notified the Council that she tested positive for COVID-19. Her husband, Assembly Member Charles Barron, had previously tested positive for the virus. Council Member Barron had already self-isolated as a precaution, as did her staff. Her District Office is closed but continuing to conduct operations via telecommuting.  

“Council Member Barron is the second member of the Council to announce they tested positive.

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 The multi-pronged approach could be funded with “Relief Bonds” 

New York, NY – Council Speaker Corey Johnson on Thursday proposed a $12 billion relief plan to help New York City businesses and workers impacted by the Coronavirus/COVID-19 pandemic. The multi-pronged proposal includes a temporary universal basic income for all New Yorkers, temporarily deferring fees and refunding business taxes, and up to $250,000 to cover fixed costs for impacted businesses.

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New York, NY – Council Speaker Corey Johnson, Council Member Rory Lancman, Chair of the Committee on the Justice System, and Council Member Donavan Richards, Chair of the Committee on Public Safety, are calling on the city’s top law enforcement officials to take all necessary measures to keep as many New Yorkers as possible out of the criminal justice system in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic. 

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New York, NY – In response to the worsening of the coronavirus pandemic and in order to lessen the burden on our court and jail systems, Council Speaker Corey Johnson urged the New York City Police Department to cease arrests for low-level offenses, including trespass, low-level minor drug possession and failure to appear in court for New Yorkers with health, family or work-related reasons.

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NEW YORK –  “Council Member Ritchie Torres alerted the Council today that he tested positive for COVID-19. He will be quarantined for the next several weeks. His staff is also quarantined.  

“As soon as we found out, we held a conference call with members so they could be informed and alert their staffs.  

“The Council is also working to find people who have been in contact with Council Member Torres to alert them to his condition in order for them to self-isolate if necessary. 

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NEW YORK – “I applaud Gov. Cuomo and Mayor de Blasio for making the responsible decision to close our schools. We must move quickly to mitigate the impact of coronavirus/COVID-19. Bold measures like school closures are difficult but critical to keep our city safe. 

Although necessary, school closures will bring new challenges. All of those challenges –

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NEW YORK – “We are in a state of emergency and we must move quickly to mitigate the impact of coronavirus/COVID-19 on our city. All non-essential services must be closed, including bars and restaurants. We should keep essentials like grocery stores, bodegas, pharmacies, and banks open. And restaurants that can make deliveries should be able to stay open to provide delivery service for New Yorkers. 

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NEW YORK – “It is time to close our public schools for the safety and wellbeing of the students, teachers, and staff. 

This is not an easy decision, but we must take aggressive measures to stop the spread of coronavirus/COVID-19. Teaching and learning cannot take place under these circumstances. 

The City must immediately come up with a plan that includes childcare relief for families who need it so that our essential workers, especially healthcare workers, can continue with their duties.

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NEW YORK – “I agree with the decision to ban large scale gatherings in New York City, as I called for yesterday.

Life is going to have to change for some period of time in order to better control this outbreak. This is no longer business as usual. It is time for a more aggressive strategy and measures to address the COVID-19 pandemic.

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