Brooklyn Lawmakers On The Move Feb. 8, 2016

News Site Brooklyn

Southern Bklyn Pols Make Stand For Increased MTA Service

City Councilman Mark Treyger
City Councilman Mark Treyger

Amid all the hoopla, for Mayor de Blasio’s announced plan for a $2.5 billion waterfront trolly service from Sunset Park to Queens last week, a coalition of Southern Brooklyn lawmakers once again called for improved public transportation for their hundreds of thousands constituents.

Among the lawmakers issuing the joint statement were City Council Members Mark Treyger (Coney Island), Chaim Deutsch (sheepshead Bay, Manhattan Beach, Midwood),  and Vincent Gentile (Bay Ridge), State Senator Diane J. Savino (Coney Island) and Assembly Members William Colton (Bath Beach, Bensonhurst) and Pamela Harris (Coney Island, Dyker Heights, Bay Ridge).

“How does the Mayor’s new $2.5 billion transportation plan address the needs of underserved Southern Brooklyn residents? We will not tolerate City Administration transportation proposals that leave out Southern Brooklyn and other areas of the city that are in dire need of transit upgrades. The recently agreed-upon $29 billion MTA Capital Agreement, $2.5 billion of which is to come from the City, fails to address the capital transportation needs of Southern Brooklyn. Additionally, Coney Island was left out of the initial ferry plan,” said the lawmakers in their statement.

“These are areas dealing with a lack of transportation options, lengthy, delay-ridden commutes, and overcrowding. Meanwhile, residents from Coney Island to Gravesend to Midwood have been clamoring for the return of the F express for more than thirty years. Bay Ridge residents are dealing with the poor quality of service and frequent delays of the R line. In Coney Island, we have felt the sting of cuts to express bus service with the loss of the x29 and Saturday service on the x28. The B1, which is one of only two public transit options to bring students from Bay Ridge, Bensonhurst and Gravesend to Kingsborough Community College, is overcrowded, creating unsafe conditions. In West Brighton, one of the city’s highest density areas of senior citizens and disabled persons, the lack of an elevator limits the ability for many residents to use the F train at the Neptune Avenue station, a major problem during emergency circumstances like Superstorm Sandy. Staten Island, meanwhile, is a transit desert.

“Plans to improve transportation options for New Yorkers need to benefit all of the city’s residents. A five-borough transportation plan must account for all regions of the boroughs.”

Adams Reopens Borough Hall Tourism Center

Brooklyn Borough President Eric L. Adams
Brooklyn Borough President Eric L. Adams

Brooklyn Borough President Eric L. Adams and Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce President & CEO Carlo A. Scissura on Friday unveiled a partnership on a revamped Brooklyn Tourism Visitors Center and Gift Shop, an interactive information hub located in Brooklyn Borough Hall.

The Tourism Center continues to feature historic photographs of local attractions, memorabilia related to the Brooklyn Dodgers and other borough institutions, and guides to places of interest. Honoring the connection between Brooklyn’s past and present, it includes an ongoing exhibit on local sections of the Underground Railroad in Brooklyn that enabled slaves in their search for freedom, created in collaboration with the Weeksville Heritage Center.

The center also presents a rotating display with various aspects of the borough’s history, curated by Brooklyn Borough Historian Ron Schweiger.that provides tourists with guidance on what to do and see in the borough.

“The popularity of our brand must translate into prosperity for all Brooklynites, and tourism is a vehicle to achieve that mission,” said Adams. “Reinvigorating the Brooklyn Tourism Visitors Center and Gift Shop has long been a dream of mine, and the partnership with the Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce is turning that into reality. Tourists want a memorable experience when they travel, and our new and improved center will set the stage for a day trip, weekend getaway, or longer excursion that excites their senses and expands their horizons. Efforts like these are reflective of my commitment to helping maximize the dollars generated through local tourism right here in our borough.”

An estimated 15 million tourists visited the borough in 2014.

Velazquez Delivers Fed Money To Brooklyn Head Start Centers

Congresswoman Nydia Velazquez
Congresswoman Nydia Velazquez

Northern and Central Brooklyn Congresswoman Nydia M. Velázquez on Friday announced five Brooklyn Head Start and Early Head Start centers located in the Brooklyn side of her district were among the centers awarded with over $30 million in federal resources for the initiatives.

The Head Start Program is an initiative through the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) that provides comprehensive early childhood education, health, nutrition, and parent involvement services to low-income children and their families.

HHS provides grant funding to local community partners who deliver health, nutritional and educational services to local families. Similarly, Early Head Start is a federally funded program for low-income families with pregnant women, infants, and toddlers up to age 3.  The grant funding will support services expected to assist over 2,500 New Yorkers.

“Head Start and Early Head Start provide comprehensive services supporting the development of children from low-income and working families,” Velázquez noted.  “These federal dollars will go a long way to helping kids in our communities prosper, grow and succeed in life.”

Local Brooklyn agencies and service providers received the following grant amounts: Brooklyn Chinese-American Association, Inc., 5002 8th Avenue in Sunset Park received $1,093,011; Catholic Charities Neighborhood Services, Inc., 191 Joralemon Street in Downtown Brooklyn received 11,450,503; United Academy Inc.,722 Wythe Ave. in Williamsburg received $5,292,504; Yeshiva Kehilath Yakove, Inc., 638 Bedford Williamsburg received $2,276,189; and Y M & Y W H A of Williamsburg, Inc., 64 Division Ave., in Williamsburg received $2,449,150.

Adams, Cornegy, Cumbo Bill Tag Team On Bill For Nursing Moms

City Councilman Robert Cornegy Jr
City Councilman Robert Cornegy Jr

Brooklyn Borough President Eric L. Adams and Council Members Robert E. Cornegy, Jr. (Bedford-Stuyvesant) and Laurie A. Cumbo (Fort Greene, Clinton Holl, Prospect Heights), along with Manhattan City Council Member Corey Johnson joined forces to introduce legislation that would require the City to create dedicated space for nursing moms in municipal government offices that serve the public.

Under the measure, the City’s Human Resources Administration (HRA) job centers and Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) offices, Administration for Children’s Services (ACS) borough offices, Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DOHMH) facilities, and other public-facing locations associated with City agencies will be outfitted with private, non-bathroom spaces where mothers can relax and nurse their babies or pump milk, should they so choose.

The proposed public lactation rooms will include comfortable seating, electricity, and nearby access to running water, will advance New York City’s commitment to quality maternal and newborn health.

Adams and Cornegy have been leading advocates for nursing stations with Cornegy providing a public lactation room in his Restoration Plaza district office in 2014 and Adams putting one in Borough Hall last year.

“We must always promote and protect mothers’ right to nurse wherever they choose, but a diverse city like New York must recognize that mothers have a variety of needs,” said Cornegy. “Some crave privacy, or have babies that need quiet to focus on feeding. Other mothers need accessible outlets to pump for a baby at home. This bill is an opportunity for NYC to exhibit leadership and demonstrate its support for mothers in a meaningful way.”

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