New York City: Today, dozens of yellow cab owner-drivers shut down the Brooklyn bound side of the Brooklyn Bridge to demand immediate medallion debt relief. The shut down followed a protest outside of Gracie Mansion as drivers testified remotely at a joint City Council Hearing on immigrant seniors. The day of action ended with a press conference outside of Senator Chuck Schumer's Brooklyn home, where drivers cheered upon learning that the Senator released a statement in support of debt relief for taxi drivers.
NYTWA Executive Director Bhairavi Desai said: "Drivers took direct action today and sent an SOS to Congress, and Senator Schumer heeded our call. We are so grateful for the support of Senator Schumer. The Mayor has no more excuses. De Blasio said he was waiting for federal funds before taking action. Now, we have a commitment of support from the official that the mayor relies on to deliver that federal aid to the city. It's time to act now and put an end to this crisis of poverty and debt."
Senator Chuck Schumer released the following statement in support of medallion debt relief:
“There are few frontline workers who put in longer hours or suffer from more severe financial challenges than our taxi drivers. I stand with the New York Taxi Workers Alliance in their urgent mission to forge a financial lifeline for their hard-pressed members to restructure medallion debt, salvage their future retirement, and have a fair chance at earning a living wage for all of their many hours behind the wheel. I am fighting like hell right now to deliver robust local aid for New York City, send another round of direct payments to low- and middle-income New Yorkers, extend the pandemic unemployment assistance that has helped keep so many taxi drivers afloat, secure additional rent and mortgage relief, and more. We can—and should—honor the work of our taxi drivers by finding a way to make these drivers whole again."