Update on COVID-19 Vaccination Efforts, NYC Council Passes and Introduces New Legislation, NYCEDC President to Step Down
February 16, 2021
February 16, 2021
Last week, Governor Cuomo provided several updates on New York’s COVID-19 vaccination efforts. The Governor announced that over 1 million New Yorkers have been fully vaccinated after receiving both doses of the vaccine. Further, the State has administered almost 2 million doses of the first vaccine, which you can track on the State’s vaccine dashboard. The Governor also announced the opening of two more mass vaccination sites in Brooklyn and Queens with the goal of targeting underserved communities and increasing equitable vaccine access. The sites at vaccination sites at Medgar Evers College in Brooklyn and York College in Queens will open next week and will vaccinate approximately 3,000 New Yorkers per day. After expanding vaccine eligibility to people with comorbidities and underlying conditions, who are able to make appointments at State sites as of last Sunday and City sites as of yesterday, there are now approximately 10 million New Yorkers who are currently eligible to receive the vaccine. However, the Governor stated that while federal supply will increase 20% over the next three weeks, New York’s eligible population and demand far outweighs the federal supply of vaccines, and Cuomo has encouraged patience.
Last Thursday, the NYC Council convened a stated meeting, where they passed and introduced multiple pieces of legislation. The Council passed legislation that will transfer the land, buildings and facilities of Rikers Island from the Department of Correction (DOC) to the Department of Citywide Administrative Services (DCAS). They also passed a bill that will create a pilot program to test sewage for SARS-CoV-2, as well as a bill that creates an advisory board to study gender and racial equity in hospitals. The Council introduced a legislative package of 11 bills and one resolution aimed at reforming the New York City Police Department. The package includes bills that would require Council confirmation of the NYPD Commissioner, end qualified immunity for police officers, and investigate police officers with a history of bias. There was also legislation introduced that would expand the city’s temporary outdoor dining program to include food service establishments not located adjacent to sidewalks or roadways. For the full list of legislation passed and introduced, click here.
Last Wednesday, New York City Economic Development Corporation (EDC) President James Patchett announced that he will be leaving the agency in early March. Patchett has served as President and CEO of EDC since early 2017, where he focused on comprehensive neighborhood and industry investments, shepherded several complicated land use projects, and led the agency’s response to COVID-19. Prior to EDC, he served as Chief of Staff to Alicia Glen, Mayor Bill de Blasio’s former Deputy Mayor of Housing and Economic Development. Upon his resignation, Patchett will be pursuing opportunities in the private sector. His successor is still to be determined.
Please contact Katie Schwab or Rose Christ of Cozen O’Connor Public Strategies with any questions you may have regarding this note or if you’re interested in ways to engage on these issues.
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