August 9, 2019

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Condolences to the Victims of Mass Shootings

We at Pitta Bishop & Del Giorno LLC want to extend our heartfelt condolences to the victims of the recent mass shootings in El Paso, Texas and Dayton, Ohio, as well as all other mass shooting victims.

We also applaud Governor Andrew M. Cuomo for his leadership on sensible gun control.

In the News – State

Governor Cuomo Signs Bills Expanding Protections for Victims of Domestic Violence

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo signed three pieces of legislation expanding protections for victims of domestic violence. These measures broaden the definition of the crime of domestic violence to include forms of economic abuse such as identity theft, grand larceny and coercion (S.2625/ A.5608); give victims the choice to vote by mail-in ballot, even if they remain within the county where they are registered to vote (S.3232-A/A.219); and allow victims to report abuse to any law enforcement agency in New York State, regardless of where the violence originally took place (S.1243/A.4467A).

“Domestic violence is a quiet scourge that has the potential to leave lasting trauma on victims,” Governor Cuomo said. “By signing these measures into law, we will broaden the legal definition of domestic violence so more abusers are held accountable as well as empower victims to get help faster and provide them a measure of protection from their abuser when they vote.”  

“My mother dedicated her life to helping survivors of domestic violence, and her work has inspired me during my time in public service,” said Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul. “This legislation will protect individuals from abuse and violence, and ensure survivors are able to seek justice. As part of our Women’s Justice Agenda, our state is leading the way to protect all New Yorkers, advance full equality, and strengthen our society.”

This legislation builds on progress made in the Governor’s 2019 Women’s Justice Agenda to combat domestic violence and empower victims to seek justice. Earlier this year, the Governor signed the Domestic Violence Survivors Justice Act, which codified more meaningful sentence reductions for domestic abuse survivors in the criminal justice system.

Assembly Member Helene Weinstein said, “Abusers often use economic coercion, to keep victims from leaving. This legislation expands upon my 2013 law which recognized that economic abuse is an often overlooked form of domestic violence. I applaud the Governor for recognizing these bitter realities of the world that the victims of domestic violence live in, and for standing up for them when it counts most.”

The full report can be found at:

Melinda Katz Victory & the Numbers

Queens is a remarkably diverse County which is home to more than 2.3 million people; more than half of whom are registered to vote. The total number of registered Democrat voters exceeds all other voters combined. The below chart details the numbers. Queens is not a unified political landscape, it is more like a geographic package containing hundreds of neighborhoods where about 200 different languages are spoken. No one says “I come from Queens”. They identify with a neighborhood, as in “I’m from Little Neck”. Queens residents use the appellation “Outer Borough” proudly, and to some extent defiantly. Whether one accepts the “melting pot” or the “gorgeous mosaic” it is alive in Queens. So, why don’t the voters vote?

The recent certification of Melinda Katz’s victory in the Democrat primary for Queens District Attorney has been the subject of attention for all of those who devote their lives to New York politics. The news coverage has saturated the land of Twitter and has drawn national attention. There have been declarations from several quarters regarding the significance of the race. Some have claimed a pyrrhic victory which shifted the criminal justice dialogue. Others have smirked and said that a one vote victory is a victory. 

Eleven percent of registered Democrats voted in the District Attorney primary. 88.9% did not vote. Unfortunately, these numbers are in keeping with other recent elections in New York City. 

The Katz election attracted national attention as two presidential candidates called on their followers to vote. A popular member of Congress reached out to millions of Twitter followers in support of the same candidate. The supporters of Melinda Katz, in combatting the unprecedented support drawn by her opponent, utilized accomplished media consultants and the substantial good will generated by her years of public service. It would be a reach to say that the combined political campaigns of seven motivated candidates was somehow a secret to 90% of the residents of Queens. Apparently, the majority of voters have chosen silence. Apathy will overcome the hollow phrases like “Day of registration”, “early voting”, and “open primaries” We just need to vote – or liberty is history.

Chapters of the Laws of 2019

Chapter 140 – Sponsored by M of A Joyner / Senator RiveraRelates to establishing maternal mortality review boards and the maternal mortality and morbidity advisory council

Chapter 141 – Sponsored by Senator Salazar / M of A Cruz Relates to participation in the address confidentiality program

Chapter 142 – Sponsored by Senator Rivera / M of A Joyner Relates to the maternal mortality review board

Chapter 143 – Sponsored by Senator Martinez / M of A Jean-Pierre Enacts “Shannon’s law”

Chapter 144 – Sponsored by Senator Jordan / M of A Ashby — Relates to designating a portion of the state highway system as the Roger J. Mazal Memorial Bridge

Chapter 145 – Sponsored by M of A Magnarelli / Senator Kennedy Relates to statewide school bus cameras

Chapter 146 – Sponsored by Senator Savino / M of A Colton Prohibits the manufacture, transport, shipment or possession of an undetectable knife

Chapter 147 – Sponsored by Senator Brooks / M of A Jean-Pierre Relates to enacting Brianna’s Law

Chapter 148 – Sponsored by M of A Peoples-Stokes / Senator Kennedy — Relates to establishing in the city of Buffalo a demonstration program implementing speed violation monitoring systems in school speed zones by means of photo devices.

In the News – City


The New York City Council has crafted a policy agenda to advance food equity and advance every New Yorker’s right to healthy food. In New York City, one of the richest cities in the world, everyone should have equitable access to healthy food, every community should have greater control over their food options, every person should have enough nutritious food to live a healthy life, and every neighborhood should have food businesses that reflect that community’s cultures and diversity.

Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams reports that even in New York City, structural inequities have contributed to neighborhoods that are predominantly low-income communities of color having less access to healthy food and experiencing greater food insecurity and food-related illnesses. Borough President Adams said “When it comes to promoting food justice and equity, Brooklyn Borough Hall hasn’t just talked the talk; we’ve walked the walk. Under my administration, we have notched important victories in the fight against health disparities and food insecurity. We’ve catalyzed a movement for City agencies to introduce Meatless Mondays in schools and hospitals; gotten the City to end its procurement of processed meat; invested millions of capital dollars in rooftop farms and hydroponic gardens; partnered with Bellevue Hospital on a revolutionary plant-based lifestyle medicine program that has a wait list of more than 600 people to date; mobilized hundreds of families and advocates in major demonstrations to demand the Department of Education serve healthy, scratch-cooked meals, and so much more.

“But our work is far from done. I am glad to hear that Speaker Johnson is fast-tracking legislation authored by me and Council Member Espinal, a great champion for food justice, to boost the growth of urban agriculture in the five boroughs. Our bill to create the City’s first-ever comprehensive urban agriculture plan — which has been sponsored by 46 City Council members and Public Advocate Williams — is essential to untangling the bureaucracy that’s holding back the multi-billion dollar potential of this local industry. Urban farming is a win-win-win-win for our city: It makes communities healthier and more equitable, reduces our carbon footprint through reduced trucking, enhances local resiliency, and beautifies our neighborhoods. I thank Speaker Johnson for adding his support for Intro 1058 and our push for the City to use its procurement policy to promote healthier lifestyles. Cutting agency purchases of processed meat was a start, but now we need to make investments in more plant-based options and healthier ingredients, starting in our school cafeterias. The City shouldn’t be in the business of feeding the health care crisis, and we must be even bolder in combating the twin challenges of Big Pharma and Big Farm that are profiting off our poor health,” said Brooklyn Borough President Eric L. Adams.

The full report can be found at

A Matter of Demographics? An Increasing Number of New Yorkers Are Aided by Adult Protective Services

In 2010, 1.0 million New York City residents were age 65 or older. The Department of City Planning projects this number will grow to reach 1.36 million, or nearly 16 percent of the population, by 2030. With age often comes physical or cognitive impairments, and because seniors frequently live alone, these conditions can make it hard for them to care for themselves at home. This demographic shift may already be having an effect, reflected in the rising caseload and budget of the Adult Protective Services division of the Human Resources Administration.

Adult Protective Services can aid anyone over the age of 18 found to be in need of help managing routine daily functions or at risk of exploitation or abuse, although the agency’s caseload largely skews older. IBO has examined the referrals, assessments, and types of care most typically provided through Adult Protective Services. Among our findings:

Over the five city fiscal years from 2014 through 2018, the average number of cases under care by Adult Protective Services grew 37.0 percent, from 5,406 to 7,407. While anyone can make a referral to Adult Protective Services about someone in need of assistance, referrals most often come from government and private agencies. A review of the June 2018 cases under care by Adult Protective Services found that the most common sources of referrals were the city’s housing court and housing authority.

Among the cases under care in June 2018, the most common reasons that caseworkers determined assistance was warranted were the inability to manage finances, help needed with daily activities, and eviction. Accordingly, the three most common forms of assistance provided to clients under the agency’s care were home care, financial management, and legal intervention.

Because many referrals come from public and private agencies, clients are often already facing a crisis when Adult Protective Services staff reach out—facing eviction in housing court, for example. Increased public awareness of the assistance offered by Adult Protective Services might mean earlier referrals, potentially averting crises before they occur.

Report available at:


Governor Signs Pet Dealers Safety Standards Legislation

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo signed legation (S.3828/A.216) this week to increase safety and health standards in animal care for pet dealers. These new requirements include annual veterinary examination, regular grooming, sanitary living enclosure and food receptacles, diurnal light cycles and separate spaces for pregnant and nursing dogs. The new law also requires that pet dealers clean and sanitize primary animal enclosures every two week as well as require that isolation areas for ill animals be at the same standards as healthy animal housing. 

“If pet dealers are going to profit from the sale of living animals, they should at the very least adhere to basic standards of decency and care,” said Governor Cuomo. “These new rules will create safer, more sanitary and more humane conditions for animals while they wait for a new permanent home.”

Senator Jen Metzger said, “This legislation, which I was proud to sponsor, provides much needed protections and standards for treatment of companion animals under the care of pet dealers and breeders. Now that this legislation has been signed into law, New Yorkers can be assured that the animals they purchase have been properly cared for, which is so important to their long-term health.”

Assembly Member Paulin said, “Starting today, New York State will ensure that pet dealers will be held to standards that will promote the safety, good health, and overall well-being of the animals in their care.”

Staging Motor Vehicle Accidents Criminalized

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo this week signed legislation (A.3985/S.2508) that will make it a Class E felony to intentionally cause a car crash in order to collect an insurance payout. This new law will create a Class D felony when such staged car crashed result in the physical injury of an individual who was not a participant in the crime.  

“In New York, we have zero tolerance for insurance fraud, and anyone who puts others in physical danger to further their scheme should be punished accordingly,” Governor Cuomo said, “By signing this legislation into law, we are holding reckless individuals accountable by strengthening penalties for motor vehicle insurance fraud and taking a significant step to make our roads safer for every New Yorker.”

Assembly Member David Weprin, who sponsored the bill, said “The signing of this legislation closes loopholes in the insurance law, adds higher penalties for those who stage auto accidents, and rightfully honors the memory of Alice Ross.”

The bill was named “Alice’s Law” for Alice Ross, a grandmother who was killed in Queens in a 2003 crash where a driver looking to commit insurance fraud intentionally hit her vehicle. 

Moody’s Recommends to Tax the Rich to Save Subways

In a recent report, Moody’s recommends that New York State raise taxes on the richest New Yorkers in order to pay for modernizing the Metropolitan Transportations Authority and the New York City Subway. Moody’s noted that the ever growing gap between the high earners and low earners will make it impossible for the MTA to continue using fare hikes as a funding stream. This large concentration of wealth by high earners also makes its attractive to use a “tax-backed support” according to Moody’s.

“Lagging income growth among the lowest-earning residents of its service area will weaken the MTA’s ability to raise fares and balance its operating budgets,” Moody’s Baye Larsen. “However, the essential role of mass transit in the New York economy provides a strong incentive to tap the region’s high and growing overall wealth to subsidize transit operations.”

Moody’s recommendations are similar to Mayor Bill de Blasio’s 2017 proposal to pay for subway improvements through a city income tax on individuals making more than $500,000 and individuals making more than $1 million. However, Governor Cuomo rejected this proposal in favor of congestion pricing. The State Legislature has not taken up any measures similar to de Blasio’s proposal or Moody’s recommendation either. 

Comptroller DiNapoli appoints Anastasia Titarchuk as Chief Investment Officer of the New York State Common Retirement Fund

New York State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli this week announced his appointment of Anastasia Titarchuk as the new chief investment officer of the New York State Common Retirement fund. Titarchuk has been serving as the Fund’s interim CIO since July 2018. 

“Anastasia Titarchuk’s leadership and talents as a skilled investor are reflected in the success of our state’s pension fund,” DiNapoli said. “She joined the state pension fund eight years ago and earned a reputation for delivering results, making her an outstanding candidate for CIO.”

Titarchuk was born in Moscow, Russia and moved to the United States as a teenager. She graduated Summa Cum Laude from Yale University with a B.S. in applied Mathematics. She joined the Comptroller’s office in 2011.  

The Fund is the third largest public pension fund in the United States with an audited value of $210.5 billion. The fund invests the assets of New York State and the Local Retirement System on behalf of its 1.1 million members.  

City’s Curbside E-Waste Program Announces Pickup of 100,000 Electronic Waste Devices

New York City Council Minority Leader Steven Matteo and New York City Department of Sanitation (DSNY) Commissioner Kathryn Garcia announced that the City’s curbside e-waste program has now collected more than 100,000 electronic waste items from residential homes since the start of the just under three years ago.

The curbside pickup program was launched by DSNY and ERI – one of the largest electronics dispositions and destruction companies in the United States – and serves more than 2.5 million New Yorkers. The program has successfully gathered over 1,700 tons of e-waste through those 100,000 devices since its inception.  

Additional e-waste programs offered by ERI and DSNY for New Yorkers also include the successful ecycleNYC program, which has gathered over 11,000 tons of e-waste.

David Hirschler, Director of OEM, Sustainability and Legislative Affairs for ERI, said that “The curbside pickup program and the 100,000 devices we’ve collected to date are just the beginning as the program continues to grow and serve more and more New Yorkers. It’s rewarding to help so many in our city do the right thing and collect and responsibly recycle their e-waste – the fastest growing waste stream in the world today – and keep toxic electronics out of New York landfills!”

DSNY Rolls Out “Trucks of Art”

The New York City Department of Sanitation (DSNY), unveiled its new “Trucks of Art” program. The program allows five artists to create hand-made painted designs on the side of five DSNY vehicles. The winning artists were Dister, Lady K-Fever, Jillian White, the collaboration of Misha Tyutyunik and Victor A. Saint-Hilaire, and a class from Energy Tech High School.

The five trucks all have unique imagery with the Dister painted trucks showcasing the city’s own sanitation workers, and Lady K-Fever depicted her truck with animals and plants. The trucks were debuted at Times Square, and will be seen collecting trash with the rest of the New York City fleet. The cans of paint were collected from the DSNY’s SAFE Disposal Events and Special Waste Disposal Sites.

Kathryn Garcia, New York City’s Sanitation Commissioner, stated in a release, “These Trucks of Art truly are works of art, and they’ll beautify our cityscape while reminding New Yorkers that they’re our partners in keeping New York City healthy, safe and clean.”

Former Governor David Paterson to Wed Mary Sliwa

Former Governor David Paterson is set to wed Mary Sliwa, the ex-wife of Guardian Angels founder Curtis Sliwa, at a Manhattan ceremony this Saturday. Former New York Mayor David Dinkins will perform the ceremony.

Coming Up

New York State

The Legislature is not in session

New York City

Tuesday August 13th 

Committee on Housing and Buildings, Committee Room – 250 Broadway, 16th Floor, 11 a.m.

Committee on General Welfare, Committee Room – City Hall, 12 Noon

Tuesday August 14th  

Committee on Finance, Committee Room – City Hall, 10 a.m.

Subcommittee on Zoning and Franchises, Council Chambers – City Hall, 10:30 a.m.

Committee on Land Use, Council Chambers – City Hall, 10:45 a.m.

City Council Stated Meeting, Council Chambers – City Hall, 1:30 p.m.

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