Espaillat Demand Vote Transparency Last week, after the preliminary counts came in for the 13th Congressional District primary race, incumbent Charles Rangel declared victory and immediately set about proclaiming the race a piece of cake based on the initially wide margin of votes in his favor. State Sen. Adriano Espaillat, who many had viewed as the candidate most likely to unseat Rangel, conceded the race to the sitting representative. As the votes have continued to be counted, however, that margin of victory has shrunk to the point that Espaillat's camp is publicly pushing for transparency in the counting process. Over the weekend, Espaillat's campaign spokesman, Ibrahim Khan, confirmed that they are closely watching the counting process. "Four days after polls closed, we finally have a preliminary vote count, excluding thousands of paper ballots. With each new tally, Senator Espaillat's vote total increases," Khan said in a statement. "As paper ballots begin to be counted and this dead-heat race continues, we are grateful to all of our supporters and will continue to push for full transparency in counting every single vote." The state Supreme Court has agreed to hold a hearing on the Board of Elections' proceedings in the recount, and Espaillat has hired attorney Martin Connor, an election law expert, to monitor the process. The Dominican American National Roundtable has called on the Justice Department to step in to investigate allegations of voter suppression in the race. The latest count shows that Rangel leads by just 802 votes. rep. Maloney Hails Benefits of all Last week, Rep. Carolyn Maloney met with local health care providers, patients and advocates to tout the benefits of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), as it was recently upheld by the Supreme Court. "It's important to remember that, because of the ACA, insurance companies can no longer remove young adults under the age of 26 from their parents' health care policies, refuse to provide coverage to kids under age 19 with pre-existing conditions or place lifetime limits on coverage, all of which have been pushing families into bankruptcy when facing a catastrophic illness or condition," Maloney said. "Already, the ACA is offering significant tax credits to thousands of small businesses in our congressional district access to help insure their workers." Jeff Gold, chairman of the board of directors of the Metro New York Health Care for All campaign, an Upper East Sider and a general partner in the JI Associates tech firm, joined Maloney in praising the ACA's benefits to small businesses like his own. "With the United States paying more for medical coverage than any of our industrial/commercial competitors, we must ensure that small businesses and their employees have access to high-quality, affordable medical coverage," Gold said. "The ACA will allow millions to get affordable coverage instead of going to the most inefficient hospital emergency rooms for basic coverage, and remove the burden of shoving small businesses like mine into stratified risk pools that make coverage harder to buy, afford or even evaluate." Other local residents joined in to voice their support and explain how the ACA has personally affected them. Kenneth Davis, president and CEO of The Mount Sinai Medical Center, also expressed his support for the law. According to data from a 2012 study prepared by the House Energy & Commerce Committee minority staff, the ACA has saved 10,200 seniors in Maloney's district $7.7 million in drug costs and allowed 6,100 young adults in the district to retain their health insurance, among other local benefits from grants given to local health centers and hospitals and provisions that prevent patients from being denied coverage based on pre-existing conditions. Hunter Renovation recently Completed Last week, Hunter College president Jennifer Raab and City Council Member Dan Garodnick cut the ribbon to reopen historic Thomas Hunter Hall. The 1913 Tudor-style building, which was named after Hunter College's founding president, has been newly restored, with historically consistent new windows and stones. The renovation cost nearly $12 million and included replacing the roof, repairing existing wood window frames and leaded-glass windows and stone replacement and restoration. The building at one time held Hunter College High School and will be available again to house student clubs, lounges, classrooms and the college's dance program. Yorkville Historic Resource Survey Friends of the Upper East Side Historic Districts is holding a survey of Yorkville to catalogue the neighborhood's unique historic elements and is looking for volunteers to help with the efforts. The group will be studying a section of the Upper East Side from East 59th to 96th Street, from Lexington Avenue to the East River, encompassing a neighborhood known for its history as a center of German, Hungarian, Irish and Czechoslovakian immigrant communities. Those interested in helping can contact Matthew Coody at 212-535-2526 or firstname.lastname@example.org to sign up. Volunteers will get an introduction and instructions at the Friends office, then go out with clipboards and cameras to document building information (address, types of windows, characteristic features, construction material, architectural style) to add to the survey report.
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