Protecting local businesses

Bronx Councilmen Ritchie Torres, Mark Gjonaj and Andrew Cohen all had COVID legislation passed today.
File photo

By Councilman Mark Gjonaj

Although I typically write about events and initiatives my district office undertakes for the constituents of District 13, I have two key updates from the legislative end of my office. Throughout the pandemic I have introduced, supported and voted to pass several legislative items to ease the plight of the COVID-19 pandemic on New Yorkers. Examples include my bill package that dictates an equitable relationship between restaurants and app delivery services, outdoor dining legislation, prohibition against age discrimination, and others in issue areas like education, general welfare, public safety and more.At the previous Council Stated meeting, where we vote on legislation and introduce new legislation, I voted to pass Intro 2151-2020, which once signed by the Mayor, will extend the gas piping inspection compliance deadline for buildings owners in Community District 10 to the Summer of 2021. This gives building owners considerably more time to get their required inspections taken care of and avoid hefty fines, at a time when they, like many others, are under immense financial constraint. This bill will join a whole roster of other bills the council has passed to extend deadlines for all sorts of city requirements. I also introduced a bill that would commission a study of the potential for above-ground power lines to be relocated underground. The Bronx, like many of the outer boroughs, is dominated by above-ground power that are vulnerable to outages amidst storms, even posing safety concerns when wires are downed. This is yet another illustration of the lack of parity between Manhattan and the outer boroughs. This bill, once passed, would provide the city administration with options for power line relocation and offer recommendations.For additional information about legislation, policy, or any other concern, please contact my office at either (718) 931-1721 or at MGjonaj@council.nyc.gov. Stay safe, stay healthy and enjoy your holiday season.

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