How the Override Effort of Astorino Veto Went Down. Immigration Protection Act Thrown Out by Legislature. Proponents Promise Renewed Effort

WPCNR COUNTY CLARION-LEDGER. Special to WPCNR from the Service Employees International Union 32BJ September 25, 2017:

On Monday evening, before a packed gallery of immigrant rights supporters, the Westchester County Board of Legislators failed to override County Executive Rob Astorino’s veto of the Westchester Immigrant Protection Act by a single vote, in a vote of 11 to 6 (all Democratic Legislators voted for the override, as did two Republicans).

Despite passing the Board on August 7 with bipartisan support, the bill was vetoed by the county executive at the end of August, setting up Monday’s override attempt.

Last week Astorino also issued an executive order on undocumented immigrants that weakened a previous county directive and failed to extend the full protections of the Immigration Protection Act.

The Act would have clarified and regulated the separation of local law enforcement from federal immigration enforcement, protecting the civil rights of immigrants and improving the safety of all county residents.

Majority Leader Catherine Borgia, the lead sponsor of the bill, has promised to reintroduce the bill this week. The following comments demonstrate the  breadth of support for the act:

“We are disappointed but undeterred by the failure to override the county executive’s veto. With bullying threats, indiscriminate arrests,  and arbitrary travel bans coming from the White House, immigrants of all statuses are rightfully nervous about interacting with any government official.

In the face of this terrifying belligerence, Westchester needs the strong protections afforded by the Immigrant Protection Act. Over the coming months, we will be working hard for candidates we have endorsed who would respect this need in the future.

According to U.S. Census figures, over a quarter of the residents of Westchester County are foreign born. When County Executive Astorino issues an order that says  ‘we won’t ask about your status’ in one line and ‘we will turn over information to ICE in criminal investigations,’ in the next, it does not provide the assurances necessary to ensure that immigrants feel trust in their county officials.

Without that trust, crimes will go unreported and victims will suffer in silence. We will do all we can to make sure county residents’ needs are fully respected. The act did not pass today, but the community has not ended its fight.” — John Santos, Vice-President 32BJ SEIU Hudson Valley

“Westchester County Executive Rob Astorino and the legislators who voted against the Immigrant Protection Act today sent a clear message to their constituents that they are more than willing to help carry out the Trump Administration’s discriminatory anti-immigrant agenda.

We worked hard with our members and legislators to draft a smart, bi-partisan bill that would protect all residents, and although it did not pass tonight, we will continue to stand up for the values that truly make America great: opportunity and justice for all.” -Charlotte Gossett Navarro, New York Immigration Coalition Senior Manager of Member Engagement in the Hudson Valley

“We remain resilient and persistent in light of the news regarding the Immigrant Protection Act.  Neighbors Link is committed to ensuring that immigrants and their families with deep roots in our communities should not live in fear of deportation.

We must continue our work to pass legislation that ends the practice of information sharing between the county department of corrections and federal civil immigration authorities when there is no ongoing criminal investigation.

We must protect all residents by striking a balance between county compliance with federal law and creating guidelines for such compliance.  This Act was designed to protect us all, to ensure public safety and protect the rights of all those who call Westchester County home.

We are committed to our unyielding conviction to celebrate and cultivate integration, diversity and inclusion — and passing strong legislation is a key step toward that vision.  We must all continue this work.” -Carola Otero Bracco, Executive Director, Neighbors Link

 

“We should be concerned when government overreaches and erodes our constitutionally enshrined protections that ensure due process for all.  The County Executive Order denies immigrants in custody all constitutional protections under the New York State and United States Constitutions.  Under Astorino’s Executive Order, individuals do not have the presumption of innocence until proven guilty.  The name of any foreign born individual is reported to Immigration and Customs Enforcement creating false equivalencies between civil and criminal justice systems. The Immigrant Protection Act strikes the right balance to accommodate the legitimate needs of law enforcement as balanced against the right of the individual. Tonight’s disappointing vote and The Executive Order as decreed by Mr. Astorino represents an overreach of power by the county and creates dangerous precedents for all the residents of Westchester.”  — Grace Heyman, Executive Director, Westchester Hispanic Coalition

 

“We are disappointed that the Legislators could not find the unity to put political and electoral considerations aside and reverse the veto in this important Protection Law. There is no time to wait or deny the importance of protecting our undocumented immigrant community. Our friends, neighbors and family, like all, are an active, dynamic and constructive part for our cities and towns. ” —Luis Yumbla, Hudson Valley Community Coalition, Acting Executive Director

 

“Immigrants are the bone of Westchester, New York and our whole country. The Westchester Immigration Protection Act will provide our immigrant residents, our hardworking and tax paying residents, with additional protections in a time where they fear for their safety and the safety of their families.  It is not the job of localities to fund investigations that hunt down its own residents, especially those that are integral parts of the work force and community. Westchester needs to pass the Immigration Protection Act now!” — Susie Lozada, Unite Here Local 100

 

 

Groups supporting the Westchester Immigrant Protection Act include 32BJ SEIU, Community Resource Center, Community Voices Heard, Hudson Valley Community Coalition, Hudson Valley Justice Center, Indivisible Westchester, Neighbors Link, New York Immigration Coalition, NYIC Westchester Steering Committee , Unite Here Local 100, Westchester Hispanic Coalition Yonkers Sanctuary Movement

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LEGISLATORS OVERRIDE OF ASTORINO VETO FAILS 11-6. 1 VOT SHORT.

WPCNR COUNTRY CLARION-LEDGER. Special to WPCNR From the Service Employees International Union. September 25, 2017:

Frank Soults of the SEIU 32BJ union reports to WPCNR moments ago that the County Board of Legislators effort to override County Executive Robert Astorino’s veto of the Board of Legislator’s Immigrant Protection Act failed by one vote, 11 to override, 6 to sustain the veto.

Soults said 2 Republicans came over to the override position, but the was one short, with all 8 Democrats voting to override.

Earlier in the day, the county by coincidence issued a news release proclaiming October Hispanic Heritage Month.

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County Legislators to Vote on Overriding Astorino Veto of Immigrant Protection Act at 7 Tonight

 

WPCNR COUNTY CLARION-LEDGER. From the Westchester County Board of Legislators Democratic Caucus. September 25, 2017:

 Last month, the Board of Legislators passed the Immigrant Protection Act (IPA), a bill which will instruct the County to not use any of its precious resources to assist the federal government in an immigration crackdown from Washington.

This bill does not instruct the County to inhibit or disobey any orders from immigration officials.  44% of Latinos, including U.S. citizens, reported that they are less likely to contact police officers if they have been the victim of a crime because of potential immigrant consequences.

Local municipalities all across Westchester are passing resolutions in support of this policy.

After the IPA’s bi-partisan passage, County Executive Rob Astorino vetoed the measure. Legislators will hold a vote to override the veto of a bill aimed to create a policy of public safety for all in Westchester.

The vote takes place, 7 PM, at 148 Martine Ave., 8th Floor, White Plains, NY 10601

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 (Editor’s Note: To hear why the Service Employees International Union, the largest union membership of immigrants affected by immigration issues, is encouraging legislators to override the veto, listen to Shirley Adelbol, Vice President of SEIU 32BJ, on White Plains Television’s SPECIAL TELECAST OF PEOPLE TO BE HEARD,  at www.wpcommunitymedia.org. You can see the interview now at that web address, simply scroll down to White Plains Week-People to Be Heard to locate the program.)

 

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WHITE PLAINS WEEK THE SEPT. 22 EDITION ON YOUTUBE AND THE INTERNET NOW.

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PETER KATZ        JOHN BAILEY          JIM BENEROFE

RKOTower

WHITE PLAINS WEEK  for 9-22 has been posted.  
The YouTube link is

 

 

 the link to whiteplainsweek.com is

THE LINEUP
1-OPENER
HOTTEST WHITE PLAINS JAZZ FESTIVAL EVER
6-MOONEY
WHY ISN’T WESTCHESTER PITCHING AMAZON?
5-ASTORINO PRESS RELEASE
IS THE ASTORINO EXECUTIVE ORDER JUST A FACE-SAVER FOR THE LEGISLATURE?
ASTORINO HAMMERS LATIMER ON TAXES
LATIMER TELLS ASTORINO PAY BACK THE COST OF THE AIRPORT MAILING
AND
7-TRUMP THE PRESIDENT

 

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WHAT’S WRONG WITH THE ASTORINO EXEC ORDER COMPROMISE IN A SPECIAL PEOPLE TO BE HEARD 7:30 PM SATURDAY NIGHT– SERVICE EMPLOYEES UNION V.P, MAKES CASE FOR THE COUNTY LEGISLATURE OVERRIDE VOTE

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SATURDAY NIGHT, 7:30 ON WHITE PLAINS TV

EXCLUSIVE!

and on

www.wpcommunitymedia.org

RIGHT NOW

A SPECIAL PEOPLE TO BE HEARD ON WHITE PLAINS TV

JOHN BAILEY INTERVIEWS

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SHIRLEY ALDEBOL

VICE PRESIDENT, SECURITY

TRI STATE SERVICE EMPLOYEES INTERNATIONAL UNION 32BJ

On

www.communitymedia.org

OR FIOS CHANNEL 45 COUNTYWIDE AND WHITE PLAINS ALTICE CABLEVISION, CHANNEL 76

ON

THE IMPACT OF THE ROBERT ASTORINO EXECUTIVE ORDER ON THE IMMIGRANT PROTECTION ACT

WHY IT DOES NOT PROTECT THE IMMIGRANT COMMUNITY AT ALL

THE TACTICS ICE IS USING ON LEGAL IMMIGRANTS, MEMBERS OF HER UNION NOW.

DETENTION WITHOUT DUE PROCESS

HER SOLUTION TO THE ILLEGAL RESIDENT CRISIS

WHAT SEIU WILL PURSUE IF ASTORINO OVERRIDE IS NOT PASSED.

 

 

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ON PEOPLE TO BE HEARD–A TOUR OF THE NEW WHITE PLAINS LIBRARY AND PREVIEW OF THE HUB–on YOUTUBE AND www.whiteplainsweek.com

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JOHN BAILEY AND JIM BENEROFE

INTERVIEW

BRIAN KENNEY

LIBRARY DIRECTOR

AND

NANCY RUBINI

EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR

WHITE PLAINS LIBRARY FOUNDATION

ON YOUTUBE OR WHITEPLAINSWEEK.COM

RKOTower

INSTANTLY ON THESE WORLDWIDE LINKS:

the link to whiteplainsweek.com

ON

THE HUB

ADDITION TO THE LIBRARY

AND

THE OCTOBER 21 LIBRARY FOUNDATION GALA

SATURDAY AT 7 PM

VERIZON FIOS CH. 45 COUNTYWIDE

AND ON WHITE PLAINS TV

ALTICE-CABLEVISION CHANNEL 76

And you may see it INSTANTLY NOW on

www.wpcommunitymedia.org

(Scroll down to White Plains Week People to Be Heard)

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County Executive Issues Executive Order Compromise Said to Avert Police Questioning of Immigrants Reporting Suspicious Activity. Averts Possible Override of Immigrant Protection Act Veto

WPCNR COUNTY CLARION-LEDGER. From the Westchester County Department of Communications. September 20, 2017 

Westchester County Executive Robert P. Astorino today issued an Executive Order that states county law enforcement will “continue to cooperate with federal authorities in investigating and apprehending aliens involved in criminal activity,” but will be prohibited, as has been the policy since 2006, from inquiring about “a person’s immigration status unless such officer is required by law to do so or is investigating illegal activity other than mere status as an undocumented alien.”

Astorino said the Executive Order is a balanced compromise designed to foster trust within the immigrant community, while not providing sanctuary to criminals.

Astorino added that the Executive Order reinforces existing County Police procedure, and replaces a 2006 Executive Order by then-County Executive Andrew Spano that was determined by the County Attorney to be in violation of federal law.

“For years, Washington has failed us,” Astorino said.  “We have a broken immigration system and borders that are not secure.  This is a failure of Congress, both parties and multiple Presidential administrations.  While we wait for Washington to finally get its act together, Westchester will continue to protect all of its residents. However, if you end up in our jail for committing a crime, and you’re not here legally, we’re not providing a sanctuary to you and we will cooperate fully with federal immigration officials.(Italics, The editor)

In August, Astorino vetoed an Act passed by the Board of Legislators because of strong objections by many in law enforcement, the County Attorney and others who said that the bill would turn Westchester into a “Sanctuary County,” as defined by the U.S. Department of Justice.

In his veto message, Astorino said the Act “violates federal law, infringes upon long-established principles of law enforcement cooperation, and jeopardizes millions in federal public safety grants.”

Westchester County Department of Public Safety Commissioner George Longworth added that “anything that inhibits our ability to work with federal law enforcement partners like the FBI, the Department of Homeland Security and other agencies is a bad and reckless idea.”

Hector Lopez, president of the Westchester Hispanic Law Enforcement Association, said the Act would have placed  “handcuffs on our law enforcement officers, not the criminals” and would have opened the doors for undocumented immigrants involved in criminal activity, such as the ruthless MS-13 gang, to migrate to Westchester and prey on other immigrants.

The Legal Aid Society of Westchester was concerned that restricting Homeland Security from the county jail would have caused them to “move to other areas to find non-citizens such as courts, houses of worship, schools, etc.”

Astorino said he believes his Executive Order should calm the stated fears of undocumented immigrants that they cannot report crimes or seek medical assistance for fear that they will be deported.

“Everyone in Westchester, no matter what their immigration status is, should feel safe to report crimes and seek medical attention,” said Astorino.  “However, Westchester cannot and must not become a ‘Sanctuary County’ that provides a safe haven to criminals.  My Executive Order protects the former, and my veto of the Act prevents the latter.”

The new Executive Order has support of members of the Board of Legislators throughout Westchester.

“This Executive Order strikes the right balance between the concerns of law enforcement and the concerns of the immigrant community and I’m happy to support it,” said Board of Legislators Minority Leader John Testa, R-Peekskill.

“I support immigrants and they should always feel welcome in our community,” said Legislator Francis Corcoran, R-Bedford. “This Executive Order moves us to the proper place to protect all of our residents and gets to the heart of the concerns raised by some of my constituents.”

“The Executive Order is a common sense measure designed to support law enforcement, protect public safety and give peace of mind to the immigrant community should they need to seek medical or police assistance, or are simply walking down the street,” said Legislator Margaret Cunzio, C-Mount Pleasant.

“I worked diligently with the stakeholders in my district and County Executive Astorino to codify these protections for all residents in this Executive Order,” said Legislator David Tubiolo, R-Yonkers. “Westchester County will continue to welcome everyone regardless of where they came from or who their parents were. That’s what the American dream is all about.”

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Natalie Weiss to Star in White Plains Performing Arts Center’s GHOST. Opens October 13 Through 29

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WPCNR STAGE DOOR. From the WPPAC. September 21, 2017:

The White Plains Performing Arts Center (WPPAC) is proud to announce that YouTube Sensation and American Idol Semi-Finalist NATALIE WEISS will star as Molly in GHOST THE MUSICAL, the Center’s first major offering of its Fall Season on-stage October 13-29.

 Ms. Weiss rose to  fame as a semi-finalist on Season 4 of American Idol and on her widely successful YouTube videos and web series “Breaking Down the Riffs” which collectively have reached over 3 million views, but Broadway theatre fans know her from her roles in Saturday Night Fever, Les Misérables, Everyday Rapture and Wicked.

Natalie has toured the world teaching and performing solo concerts.  She has the privilege of singing on the Original Broadway Cast recording of Dear Evan Hansen and will soon be heard on the soundtrack for the upcoming Hugh Jackman movie musical, The Greatest Showman, based on the life of P.T. Barnum, with original music by Pasek and Paul.

Patrick Swayze, Demi Moore and Whoopi Goldberg made GHOST one of the biggest hit films of all time. Now the Oscar-winning film comes alive on stage in a smart, funny, suspenseful and romantic musical for the whole family. Or just a great date night!

With a fresh pop/rock score by Grammy winners Dave Stewart (Eurythmics) and Glen Ballard (Michael Jackson’s “Man in the Mirror,” Alanis Morissette’s “You Oughta Know”), GHOST THE MUSICAL follows Sam and Molly, a young couple whose connection takes a shocking turn after Sam’s untimely death.

Trapped between two worlds, Sam refuses to leave Molly when he learns she is in grave danger. Desperate to communicate with her, he turns to a storefront psychic, Oda Mae Brown, who helps him protect Molly and avenge his death.

 

 

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Bicycle Lane Money on Capital Projects Agenda This Afternoon 4 PM

WPCNR INSIDE CITY HALL. From the City Clerk. September 19, 2017:

The Capital Projects Board meets today at 4 in City Hall to rearrange spending plans.

They will discuss amending the Capital Improvement Program to execute planned-for improvements to Transit District Pedestrian and Bicycle facilities into the current 2017-18 fiscal year, by contributing $300,000 in city dollars.

To do this, the Board will consider decreasing the money spent on Storm Water Drains by $150,000, reducing Storm Water Drain expenditures from $400,000 to $250,000.

The other half of the $300,000 will come from taking $150,000 from the project to replace off-street space meter replacement, reducing that project from $350,000 to $200,000.

 

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Westchester County: Perfect for Amazon HQ: Mooney

WPCNR THE LETTER TICKER. From Bill Mooney, Westchester County Association. September 18, 2017:

A Community View by Bill Mooney
Dear Members and Friends of the WCA,
We wanted you to see a copy of Bill Mooney’s Community View posted today on lohud.com:
Amazon recently set off a frenzy when it announced that it was issuing an RFP to establish a location for its second hub. “HQ2,” as it’s called, needs a location with at least 1 million people; that is within 30 minutes of a major metropolitan area; that has proximity to an international airport and a network of highways and mass transit; that is near multiple colleges and universities that would provide its future workforce; and that has “the presence and support of a diverse population.”
The RFP also is seeking a downtown or suburban development site that could house its future campus (and the 50,000-plus people it would employ).
Sound like it should be Westchester? You bet.
Clearly, the growth of Amazon and other such companies is leading them to seek more space and access. This presents great opportunity for Westchester. But can we attract these companies here?
On the face of it, we have the features they are seeking, plus a great lifestyle, good schools, diverse communities, and a few million square feet of available inventory. To be even more competitive, we will need great incentives from New York State and our local communities. But it will take one other thing: the right digital infrastructure. Not having super-speed connectivity could make or break future deals. So, if we want to attract these tech giants, we need to step up to the plate, and that means updating our fiber networks to accommodate gigabit-speed internet.
A year ago, the WCA launched “Gigabit Westchester” and announced the formation of the “Smart Cities ComPACT,” signed by Westchester’s four largest cities. The idea was for the cities to work with the WCA to bring gigabit-speed broadband to every household, business, healthcare, and educational institution within three to five years.
Since then, we’ve rolled up our sleeves, done considerable research, and met with providers and business groups. What we’ve learned is that upgrading our digital infrastructure doesn’t have to take years, not with 5g wireless deployment made possible by transmitters the size of frisbees, which can be placed on rooftops and telephone poles. It can take just months, provided we work together to make it happen.
If Westchester aspires to become a key part of America’s digital economy, the time is now to start putting that infrastructure in place. In doing so, we will be able to spur business development, create jobs, and attract R&D investment. As tech industries are what’s driving the new wave of economic development, we need to reinvent how we do business and we need to think big.
Hopefully, Westchester and New York State will reply to Amazon’s RFP. Whether we become Amazon’s future home remains to be seen. But this I know: there will be more Amazons coming. The time is now to upgrade our digital infrastructure. In a fast-growing global digital economy, super-speed broadband is a key ingredient for prosperity.
Westchester, it’s time to take your shot.
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