News Sparks: City Council Moves to Provide Voting Rights for Non-Citizens; Belgium Boycotts Israeli Products; and Gov Hochul Leads in Latest Poll
By Yehudit Garmaise
NY City Council Moves to Grant Voting Rights to Non-Citizen Residents, Mayor has “Reservations”
The New York City Council is set to pass a measure that would grant the right to vote for city dwellers who are work visa holders, green card holders, and Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) recipients, a program former President Barak Obama created to allow work permits and to protect immigrants from deportation the right to vote in municipal elections
The move, which is poised to be passed with a veto-proof majority, would allow such residents to vote for mayor, city comptroller, and members of the City Council, however, yesterday, Mayor Bill de Blasio said he has "reservations” about the legality of the City Council's intention to pass voting rights legislation for non-citizen residents.
"I do have reservations, but obviously I want to see exactly what they're doing,” the mayor said. “On the plus side, we're talking about our fellow New Yorkers and folks who contribute to this city and a part of the life of the city, and we've tried in so many ways to reach them and support them, but I'm also concerned about the legal question, which is unclear whether it's something that can be done on the local level.”
Belgian Government Announces it is Negatively Labelling Israeli Products Produced in Contested Areas to Discourage Sales
The Belgian government announced today that, not only is it considering a full boycott of Israeli products that are produced in Yehudah and the Shomrim, but that Belgian officials will begin labeling products in a negative way that will discourage sales.
In addition, Belgium, which is home to 42,000 Jews: two-thirds of whom live in Antwerp, will also warn companies not to involve themselves in “human rights violations” in Yehudah and Shomron, and the Belgian government will exclude the controversial areas, along with East Jerusalem in any agreements reached with Israel.
The Belgian government might have been influenced by Ben & Jerry’s, which on July 20, said that it would pull its ice cream from all shelves in Yehudah, Shomron, and East Jerusalem.
NY Comptroller Tom DiNapoli has moved to divest millions of dollars from Unilever, which purchased the ice cream company in 2000, however Attorney General Letitia James was not among the coalition of 12 state attorneys general who signed a letter two days ago to call on Unilever to reverse Ben & Jerry’s controversial Israel boycott.
Gov. Hochul, Edges out James, Leads Pack of Hopefuls in Governor’s Race
Gov. Kathy Hochul, who has been out ahead since she said announced more than a month ago that she would run in next year’s gubernatorial election, showed she currently leads the pack when 36% of New Yorkers, who were surveyed by Data for Progress, said they supported the incumbent.
Attorney General Tish James, who just came out swinging by blaming Hochul for the recent uptick of COVID in the state, came in second with 22% of New Yorkers’ support, and, surprisingly, disgraced former Gov. Andrew Cuomo, came in third with 15%
Public Advocate Jumaane Williams, who announced his candidacy last week came in fourth with 7%, and Long Island Congressman Thomas Suozzi ranked fifth with 6%.
Mayor Bill de Blasio, who garnered only 3% of New Yorkers’ allegiance, came in a distant sixth, while 11% of likely primary voters say they are not sure of their choices.