Meng Measures in National Apprenticeship Act Pass House
U.S. Rep. Grace Meng (D-Bayside, Flushing, Forest Hills, Fresh Meadows, Glendale, Kew Gardens, Maspeth, Middle Village, Rego Park) announced on Friday that she voted to pass the National Apprenticeship Act of 2020, H.R. 8294, which would increase investments in registered apprenticeships and create one million new apprenticeship opportunities nationwide.
“We are facing the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression. The pandemic has created severe economic dislocation for millions of Americans who have lost their jobs through no fault of their own. I am proud to help pass the National Apprenticeship Act which is essential to building a strong American workforce,” said Meng. “I’m pleased this includes my measure to provide clarity and language access of apprenticeship programs for many immigrant families. My measure also gives the FCC a seat at the table in ensuring tomorrow’s apprenticeships—especially those that relate to broadband buildout—are reflective of the future job market. For the sake of our nation’s workforce and working families, the Senate must immediately pass this bill.”
The National Apprenticeship Act of 2020 passed the House of Representatives by a vote of 246 to 140.
A text of Meng’s measure can be viewed here.
De Blasio Calls for Presidential Transition to Begin
Mayor Bill de Blasio issued a letter on Sunday to Emily Murphy, Administrator of the U.S. General Services Administration (GSA), demanding the Trump Administration immediately begin the presidential transition process.
“The time to act is now. The outcome of the election is more than ascertainable. It is fully knowable,” wrote Mayor Bill de Blasio. “Joe Biden has won, and it is in our national interest to aid the transition of power to him and help the American people.”
In the letter, de Blasio called on the GSA to comply with the Presidential Transition Act and ascertain President-elect Joe Biden as the winner of the 2020 presidential election. In refusing to do so, the GSA has recklessly delayed the transition.
The mayor noted the GSA’s delay not only further erodes trust in public institutions; it actively jeopardizes the national COVID-19 pandemic response as cases rise in New York City.
“My city knows all too well the importance of robust Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) supply chains and the life-threatening consequences that emerge when they fail,” wrote de Blasio. “By inhibiting government officials from speaking with the Biden Transition, you make further vulnerable the federal government’s ability to ensure critical PPE is available to doctors, nurses, and first responders.”
DA Katz Joins Motion to Vacate Murder Conviction
Queens District Attorney Melinda Katz announced last week that she filed a joint motion with the defense to vacate the murder conviction of Ernest “Jaythan” Kendrick, who has been incarcerated for nearly 26 years.
This motion is based on newly discovered witnesses and the results of agreed-upon DNA analysis, which contradict significant aspects of the evidence used during trial testimony to convict Kendrick. The new DNA testing – which was not available in 1995 – revealed that the victim’s DNA was not found on or inside a black purse that was recovered in the defendant’s apartment and believed to have belonged to the victim.
“Mr. Kendrick’s case was submitted earlier this year to the Conviction Integrity Unit that I created at the start of my term,” Katz said. “This case is a prime example of why the CIU exists. We can’t stand idly by when new evidence is presented that undermines confidence in an original jury verdict.”
“Submitted for review by the Innocence Project and the WilmerHale Law Firm, the CIU began a thorough re-investigation,” the DA continued. “In addition to DNA testing, the CIU’s investigation included interviews of new witnesses and multiple crime scene visits by me and my team that demonstrated several trial witnesses were not reliable. Therefore, I have recommended Mr. Kendrick’s conviction be set aside and he immediately be released from prison.”