Bklyn Lawmakers On The Move April 21

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Brooklyn College Controversial Speaker      Angers School’s Dems

A scheduled Brooklyn College speech by controversial Islamphobic blogger/activist Pamela Geller has the school’s progressive Democratic club up in arms.

According to an early morning Brooklyn College Democrats press release, Geller is scheduled to speak tomorrow at the Brooklyn College Student Union Building (SUBO) on the Penthouse Floor. The organization does not believe that the Brooklyn College Administration should openly allow her hateful rhetoric on its grounds.

Controversial blogger/activist Pamela Geller
Controversial blogger/activist Pamela Geller

Geller is notably one of the U.S staunchest opponents of Islam and was responsible for transportation ads in San Francisco and New York City, which pulled quotes from oppressive radical Muslims in order to promote Israeli support.

Geller is also the co-founder of Stop the Islamization of America. The Southern Poverty Law Center, based in Alabama, identified Geller’s organization as an active anti-Muslim hate group, according to the release.

“The Brooklyn College Democrats oppose the viewpoints of Pamela Geller whose actions have been heavily criticized by Jewish and Muslim organizations. The Brooklyn College Democrats collectively support the protection of freedom of speech, but condemn hate rhetoric that further endangers the livelihood of our diverse student body,”  wrote Brooklyn College Democrats President John Wasserman.

Brooklyn college has both a large Jewish and Muslim student body, and controversial speeches and sanctioned school activities centered around Israeli, Middle Eastern policies, Jews, Muslims and Palestinians has drawn the ire of several Brooklyn elected officials in the past few years.

Expect a further KCP updates to this story later in the day.

Williams, Cornegy, Treyger Joint Statement Following Violent Weekend

Brooklyn City Council members Jumaane Williams, Robert Cornegy and Mark Treyger released the following statement after at least 20 people were shot, one fatally, in 15 separate incidents last weekend throughout the five boroughs.

City Councilman Jumaane Williams
City Councilman Jumaane Williams

“The tragic shootings this weekend reminds us that when temperatures rise too often gun violence follows, but this year that does not have to be the case. Our prayers for peace, comfort and healing are with each of the gun violence victims and their families as they deal with this horrific loss. Our hearts go out to them.

“Sixteen years ago today, two teenagers wearing ski masks marched into Columbine High School and shot dozens of students before committing suicide. As a nation, we mourned that tragedy and asked pertinent questions about the mental and social health of the young gunmen. But when shootings happen here, particularly in communities of more color, we often dismiss the opportunity to ask the same pertinent questions asked in the Columbine tragedy, or worse, label the incidents as typical. As we rightfully seek to hold shooters here in New York criminally responsible, we must not neglect to ask deeper questions that are important to understanding root causes and developing effective, community-based responses.
City Councilman Mark Treyger
City Councilman Mark Treyger

“To properly combat gun violence, we must deal with the supply and demand of guns. We must also treat gun violence as the public health crisis it truly is by providing resources these communities desperately need, including jobs and mental and social/health programs.

Our city has allocated $15 million to lower gun violence by employing evidence-based community interventions, anti-violence messaging, and support services in areas the Crisis Management System has been implemented. It’s our hope that with this and joint community efforts we will put an end to tragedies like those we saw this weekend by lowering the gun violence rate once and for all.”

Bichotte Stock Rises in the Assembly

Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie appointed Flatbush Assemblymember Rodneyse Bichotte as Chair of the Oversight of Minority- and Women-Owned Business Enterprise (MWBE) Subcommittee.

The appointment comes as Heastie and Assemblymember Crystal People-Stokes, Chair of Government Operations, worked together to provide additional funding for MWBE initiatives in the enacted 2015-2016 state budget.

Assembly member Rodneyse Bichotte
Assembly member Rodneyse Bichotte

“I am ready and eager to work with my colleagues in the state legislature to make significant progress, especially in our cities, in promoting MWBEs and ushering in a new generation of minority and women entrepreneurs across the state. Promoting economic diversity only serves to strengthen our state’s economy and our competitiveness regionally and nationally. I know I can bring to bear my knowledge and skills to push us forward toward that goal,” said Bichotte.

The MWBE government contracting industry has gained much attention given the billions of procurement opportunities across the state of New York, allowing MWBE firms to conduct business with New York State’s and the city’s local government agencies.

“Although the promise and the intent to increase participation has been instituted in various state and local laws, there still exists constraints in meeting aspirational goals for the historically underrepresented groups; ultimately preventing the needed quantum leap to happen in the MWBE sector. The way we change this is to implement and enforce the law,” said Bichotte.