Friday Odds & Ends Jan. 29, 2016


Transit Union Back Pedicab Workers In Fight To Stay In Central Park

TWU Local 100 – the largest transport workers local in the country – is helping vulnerable pedicab drivers fight for their jobs, Local 100 President John Samuelsen announced Friday.

The union has begun helping the drivers organize and will be providing training, legal advice and other assistance. Pedicab worker representatives were at the Union Hall in Brooklyn today and a large gathering is planned at TWU Local 100 headquarters for Monday.

Mayor de Blasio is pushing a plan that would ban pedicabs from Central Park below 86th St. where all the business is located.

The plan also would shrink the number of the popular horse-drawn carriages, and have the carriage industry vacate now-valuable real estate on the West Side where the horses are now stabled.

“No credible person believes this is about animal welfare at this point,” Samuelsen said. “Obviously, there’s more than meets the eye at play. These vulnerable workers are being thrown under the bus in a way that is the opposite of progressive. It’s anti-worker, anti-immigrant, and these workers shouldn’t have their livelihoods ripped away from them just so the mayor can reward his campaign donors. This fugazy deal stinks to high heaven. These workers now have a voice and the backing of the 42,000-strong TWU Local 100.”

Menchaca Gears Up Immigrant Community For Supreme Court Decision

City Councilman Carlos Menchaca
City Councilman Carlos Menchaca

City Council Member Carlos Menchaca (Sunset Park, Red Hook), chair of the Committee on Immigration, this week pushed a resolution calling on the U.S. Supreme Court to uphold the implementation of President Obama’s expanded DACA and DAPA programs, which would allow underage and longtime undocumented immigrants to work in this country and avoid deportation.

“These programs have the potential of impacting approximately 200,000 individuals in New York City by providing temporary relief from deportation and work authorization,” said Menchaca.

“Connected to this issue is the importance of ensuring the continued existence and success of ethnic and community news sources, which many members of our community turn to for reliable information. A strong partnership between ethnic and community press, local government and non-profits is crucial for making sure that our city is prepared to immediately inform our diverse communities about the Supreme Court’s decision on DACA and DAPA.”

Deutsch Could Get Challenge From Greenfield Operative

City Councilman Chaim Deutsch
City Councilman Chaim Deutsch

Sources say that Attorney Kalman Yeger, a longtime political operative who is very close to Midwood/Boro Park City Councilman David Greenfield is considering a challenge to Sheepshead Bay City Councilman Chaim Deutsch in next year’s Democratic primary.

The sources say that Greenfield isn’t happy that two Orthodox Jews from adjacent districts are sharing the spotlight in the City Council. While Greenfield has garnered a well-earned reputation as being an able legislator and negotiator to get bills passed that are important to his constituents, Deutsch’s style is much more hands on in providing constituent services.

It’s all about who is going to be the go-to person for Orthodox Jews, said a very knowledgable source in the Orthodox community.

Brooklyn Lawmakers Laud Tourist Helicopter Deal

Assemblymember Jo Anne Simon
Assemblymember Jo Anne Simon

Brooklyn lawmakers including Congress Members Jerrold Nadler and Nydia Velázquez; State Senator Daniel Squadron; Assembly Member Jo Anne Simon; and City Council Members Stephen Levin, and and Brad Lander today lauded the deal Mayor Bill de Blasio made with the tourist helicopter industry limiting their flights over Downtown Brooklyn, DUMBO and other Brooklyn neighborhoods, which has drawn numerous resident complaints for several years.

The deal requires 50% reduction in flights, cessation of all flights on Sundays, and 3rd party monitoring of industry compliance with the deal.

“We have long called for a complete ban on nonessential tourist helicopters from the Downtown Manhattan Heliport (DMH), and still support a full ban. The Mayor’s deal with the helicopter industry is a positive step in our years-long battle to eliminate this nuisance. We hope that it will have a real impact on the communities we represent,” they said in a joint statement.

“The near constant drone heard in parks, homes and neighborhoods has long been unacceptable. The impacts of tourist helicopter noise are a reality no affected neighborhood has ever found tolerable, going back to the 1990’s. As a result, tourist flights at the city’s other heliports have been shut down over the years, concentrating all tourist helicopter flights in our communities,” they added.

Also signing onto the statement were Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer, State Senator Brad Hoylman, Assemblymember Deborah Glick and Assemblymember Linda Rosenthal.


The Kings County Politics team wishes all of our viewers a great weekend!