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BRONX TIMES R 12 EPORTER, MAY 15-21, 2020 BTR
Assemblyman Michael Blake Photo credit: FEMA/Bill Koplitz
BY ASSEMBLYEMEBER MICHAEL BLAKE
After the House of Representatives
unveiled the HEROES Act as the next
proposed coronavirus stimulus package,
candidate for Congress in NY-15
and New York State Assembly Member
Michael Blake released the following
The HEROES Act proposed by
House Congressional Democrats is a
productive step in combating the devastating
health and economic impacts
of the coronavirus. I am particularly
encouraged by the proposed funding
allocated to food, housing, and small
business and hospital relief, all of
which will help low-income communities
like my own in The Bronx.
However, since the pandemic of
poverty existed long before the coronavirus
pandemic, the HEROES Act
must press further to ensure equity in
We need to offer more substantial
economic support to immigrants
whose struggles are too often overlooked
simply because of their citizenship
status. Our essential workers
and fi rst responders must receive hazard
pay. Restaurants may need to stay
closed for longer than expected, but
they still need to be able to keep their
employees on the payroll, which is
why the time period for funding spent
towards payroll must be extended.
Low-income families need increased
SNAP benefi ts — a direct investment
in the health and welfare of our communities.
We also need to target more
funds towards small businesses and
communities that typically rely on
nearby sporting events, such as those
businesses in The Bronx that count on
revenue from Yankees and New York
City FC games. These businesses are
now reeling from the economic consequences
of canceled sports seasons.
I appreciate that the New York Congressional
Delegation has proposed
an “Americans First Law” to help prevent
corporate bailouts following the
COVID-19 pandemic. First proposed
by the governor on May 10, the law
states that a corporation cannot be eligible
to receive government funding if
it doesn’t maintain the same number
of employees that the corporation had
before the COVID-19 pandemic. This
concept is another step in the right direction,
and one that we should all support
so that hard working Americans
are the fi rst in line to receive federal
funds. However, we must resist any
and all efforts to cut Medicaid funding
in our state, an act which cannot and
should not be justifi ed from the proposed
We must continue celebrating our
healthcare and essential worker heroes.
One critical way to show our support
is by passing federal legislation
that will provide funding for our communities
so that we can recover and
rebuild for a better future.
Congressional candidate says
that HEROES Act must ensure
equity for Bronx residents