E-newsletter: "The Paris Attacks, SCOTUS Must Protect Collective Bargaining, and Stop the Chop: Loud and Dangerous Helicopters"

Nov 23, 2015

Dear Friends,

After the Paris and Beirut Attacks, We Stand With the Victims

This past week, we were shocked and deeply saddened upon hearing of the attacks in Paris and Beirut, tragedies that claimed the lives of more than 160 individuals, including a young American college student. These attacks have left an especially profound hole in our hearts as New Yorkers, because we have experienced the same grief, pain, and outrage when terrorism struck our city on 9/11.

In 2001, more than 3,000 lives were lost at the World Trade Center, the Pentagon, and in Shanksville, PA. After these horrific events, France stood in solidarity, displaying the American flag by the Eiffel Tower, and the headline in Le Monde reading, “NOUS SOMMES TOUS AMÉRICAINS / We Are All Americans.”

As we mourn for the victims of the attacks in Paris and Beirut we must not confuse the refugees fleeing from the conflicts in the Middle East with the terrorists who committed these heinous attacks. In times of panic and fear, it can be easy to look for someone to blame. Since its founding, America has welcomed those in search of refuge and a better life -- the tired, the hungry, the huddled masses from around the world, who have greatly contributed to the American melting pot. We cannot compromise our values when faced with terrorism and close off our borders to those refugees fleeing persecution, torture and even death.

Urging the Supreme Court to Protect Collective Bargaining

In its upcoming term, the Supreme Court will hear a case that could potentially undermine decades of settled employment law, affecting the rights of unions to collectively bargain with management. Recently, I was proud to join New York State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, and many more elected officials and labor organizations to urge the U.S. Supreme Court to uphold the law as it currently stands. Our laws have long established the role states have in managing labor relations in order to protect workers from unfair management practices. As we lose more and more jobs overseas, strong unions that protect organized labor also serve in the promotion and protection of middle class American jobs. If unions are handcuffed in their ability to stand up for their membership, it ends up hurting all American workers.

Stop the Chop: Ending the Nuisance of Loud and Dangerous Helicopters

Earlier this month, I testified at a New York City Council hearing on two pieces of legislation that would restrict tourist helicopter traffic in New York City. For years, I have worked with my colleagues from all levels of government both in New York and New Jersey to bring an end to the “wild west” nature of our airspace. The sheer numbers of tourist helicopters departing from the Downtown Manhattan Heliport have created an untenable living situation for residents along the helicopters’ flight pattern, including those who live along the West Side of Manhattan and parts of Brooklyn.  My office fields hundreds of complaints each season from residents who are inundated with noise from tourist helicopters. Residents did not sign up for this non-stop nuisance, which poses a serious threat to their quality of life and the safety of our airspace, and I will continue to work with my colleagues and constituents to call for an end to tourist helicopter traffic in New York.


Wishing Everyone a Happy Thanksgiving,