Brooklyn Lawmakers On The Move Feb. 17, 2016

News Site Brooklyn

Donovan Gets House Subcommittee Chair

Congressman Dan Donovan
Congressman Dan Donovan

House Committee on Homeland Security Chairman Michael McCaul (TX-10) yesterday appointed Southern Brooklyn/Staten Island Congressman Dan Donovan chair of the House Subcommittee on Emergency Preparedness, Response, and Communications.

The leadership position grants Donovan jurisdiction over terrorism prevention and disaster response, issues critical to Staten Island, South Brooklyn, and New York City.

“I’m humbled by Chairman McCaul’s confidence in me. Staten Island and South Brooklyn have seen first-hand our government’s triumphs and failures in disaster prevention and response. Now, you’ll have a hometown voice leading the subcommittee responsible for the work that’s so important to our community,” said Donovan.

In the past several months, the subcommittee Donovan will chair has probed the Department of Homeland Security’s capacity to detect biological weapons and FEMA’s capability to respond to large-scale disasters like Hurricane Sandy.

Donovan intends to continue that valuable work in focusing on three areas: the preparedness of American cities against terrorist attacks; work to defend coastal regions like New York against the next major storm; and the capacity of federal agencies to respond to major disasters and attacks.

Clinton Draws Brooklyn Lawmakers

0413_hillary-clintonA large contingent of Brooklyn lawmakers attended Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton’s remarks delivered yesterday at the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture in Harlem.

In her remarks, Clinton laid out her agenda to tear down all the barriers that are holding neglected communities back and build ladders of opportunity in their place. Clinton addressed a number of steps she will take to bring more equity and opportunity to African American communities, including ending the school-to-prison pipeline by investing $ 2 billion of support to school districts to reform their school discipline practices and dramatically expand behavioral support programs for students.

Clinton also spoke about the need to end the era of mass incarceration, eliminate the disparity in sentencing between crack and cocaine, and invest $125 billion to revitalize the economy in communities that have too often been left out and left behind.

Among the Brooklyn lawmakers attending the speech were Congress Members Yvette Clark, and Nydia Velazquez, Public Advocate Letitia James, a large contingent of Brooklyn members of both the New York State Black, Puerto Rican, Hispanic and Asia caucus and members of the New York City Council.

Donovan, Malliotakis Call To Expand Drug Takeback Program

Assembly Member Nicole Malliotakis
Assembly Member Nicole Malliotakis

Southern Brooklyn/Staten Island Congressman Dan Donovan and Bay Ridge/Staten Island Assemblywoman Nicole Malliotakis yesterday called on the NYPD to expand to every police precinct a drug takeback initiative that the two legislators previously started.

In 2014, Donovan, then the Richmond County District Attorney, and Malliotakis teamed up to purchase prescription drug drop boxes for each of Staten Island’s police precincts. Through the initiative, residents may drop off unused prescription drugs at any precinct in the borough at any time, no questions asked. In the 18 months since the boxes were installed, more than 68 cubic feet – tens of thousands of pills – have been safely deposited, keeping them off the streets.

Prescription drug abuse often gives way to heroin addiction. According to a recent survey, 75 percent of heroin users were introduced using prescription drugs. Further, the CDC says that people who are dependent on prescription painkillers are 40 times more likely to abuse heroin.

“Too many parents have buried their sons or daughters. It’s time for a concerted push from every level of government to take back our children’s future. Staten Island’s drop box program has been an enormous success – I hope the NYPD can quickly act on this common-sense solution,” said Donovan.

Malliotakis said the prescription drug drop box program has proven to be a successful tool in the ongoing war against drug addiction in the community.

“It’s an easy, no-questions-asked way to safely remove prescription drugs from medicine cabinets and out of the reach of those who might abuse them. The Drug Enforcement Agency’s annual drug take-back day is just not enough. Expanding the drop-off program citywide will ensure that more highly-addictive opioids can be taken off the streets 24 hours a day, seven days a week,” she said.

At the federal level, Donovan will continue working toward comprehensive action in the House to provide the resources necessary for education, treatment, and enforcement. At the state level, Malliotakis recently joined her Assembly colleagues in unveiling their “Heroin Elimination & Prevention (HELP) Plan,” derived from community input gathered from seven forums held across the state.

Malliotakis has also been working to change a New York State law that allows drug dealers convicted of multiple felonies to be sent to drug treatment diversion programs instead of mandatory jail sentences.

Cumbo Reacts to Staten Island Triple Homicide

City Council Member Laurie Cumbo
City Council Member Laurie Cumbo

Fort Green/Clinton Hill City Council Member Laurie A. Cumbo and Staten Island City Council Member Deborah Rose issued the following statement yesterday in response to the NYPD apprehension of the alleged suspect in the Staten Island triple homicide of a mother and her two children.

Rebecca Cutler, 26, and her two daughters, Maliyah Sykes, 4 months old, and Ziana Cutler, 1, were killed by her boyfriend and alleged suspect, Michael Sykes on Wednesday in a Ramada motel in Staten Island where they lived temporarily. Miracle, 2 years old, was the sole survivor. Sykes was later apprehended by police on Saturday. He was charged with three counts of first-degree murder and one count of attempted murder.

“As Chair of the Committee on Women’s Issues and on behalf of the 35th Council District, I would like to extend our deepest condolences to the family of Rebecca Cutler as well as our prayers for the speedy recovery of 2-year-old Miracle Cutler. We live in a society where women have increasingly become victims of domestic and intimate partner violence – too many have been abused or even killed at the hands of their boyfriends or spouses. Countless others continue to suffer in silence. We must end the stigma and empower survivors of domestic violence to share their stories and inspire others in similar situations to find the courage to end the vicious cycle of violence. I look forward to working with Commissioner Cecile Noel and the NYC Mayor’s Office to Combat Domestic Violence to expand their capacity to provide families with legal counseling, housing and financial assistance,”said Cumbo.

“Mental health often plays a role in these tragic events, but the warning signs are often unseen or left untreated. We need to do more to connect New Yorkers to critical programs and services through ThriveNYC, which will streamline access to the necessary support and treatment for mental wellness,” she added.

According to the Mayor’s Office to Combat Domestic Violence, there were 63 family-related homicides in 2014 and the New York City Police Department responded to over 282,000 domestic incidents.

Hamilton, Persaud To Hold Black Male Achievement Hackathon

Assemblywoman Roxanne Persaud
Assemblywoman Roxanne Persaud

Brooklyn State Senators Jesse Hamilton and Roxanne Persaud will hold their second Black Male Achievement Hackathon this weekend.

A Hackathon (also known as a hackfest or codefest) is an event in which computer programmers and others involved in software and hardware development collaborate intensively on software projects. The purpose of the Pipeline Technology Initiative is to expose youth to future career opportunities that are available in the fields of information technology and coding.

The 24-hour event is slated to begin at 8 a.m., Saturday, Feb. 20 at Brookdale Hospital, 1 Brookdale Plaza.

Contact or 718-284-4700 to register your child (Ages 12 to 18) or complete our online pre-registration form.