Brooklyn Lawmakers On the Move Feb. 26, 2016

News Site Brooklyn

Jeffries Praises Dismissal Of Charges In Brownsville Rape Case

Congressman Hakeem Jeffries
Congressman Hakeem Jeffries

Central Brooklyn Congressman Hakeem Jeffries, whose district includes Brownsville, yesterday praised Kings County District Attorney Ken Thompson for dismissing the charges against five teens in an alleged gang rape case inside the Osborn Playground in the Brownsville section of Brooklyn.

Thompson this week dismissed the charges after saying the complainant, as well as her father, provided multiple inconsistent accounts to NYPD Detectives and to experienced Special Victims prosecutors about important material facts in this case.

“District Attorney Ken Thompson should be commended for conducting a thorough and fair investigation. From the very outset of this troubling case, the actions of the father appeared highly questionable. Yet, there was an unfortunate rush to judgment in many quarters throughout New York City,” said Jeffries.

This case must serve as a cautionary tale for all who seem more inclined to conduct a public lynching rather than allow the judicial process to run its course. Where do these young men go to get their reputations back?”


Cymbrowitz Proposes Property Tax Exemptions To House Seniors

Assemblyman Steven Cymbrowitz
Assemblyman Steven Cymbrowitz

Sheepshead Bay Assemblyman Steven Cymbrowitz this week introduced legislation that would give local governments the option to allow owners of residential property that is their principal place of residence to make changes in order to house a senior citizen or a person with a disability without experiencing an increase in the property’s assessed value.

Current law limits this exemption to alterations made to house a parent or grandparent. This bill would expand the list of eligible persons to include certain relatives who are at least 62 years of age as well as persons with disabilities.

Cymbrowitz noted the number of senior citizens in New York State is increasing rapidly — and along with that is a push to have a greater number of older adults remaining in their own communities, either in their own homes or living with family members.

“Any legislation that makes it possible for more seniors to age in their own communities is beneficial to us as a society not just in terms of economics but because of the message it sends about caring humanely and compassionately for our elders,” Cymbrowitz said.

Bay Ridge Sen. Marty Golden is sponsoring the bill in the senate.


Ortiz Calls For Better Police CPR Training

Assembly Member Feliz Ortiz
Assembly Member Feliz Ortiz

After one more tragic death and a criminal conviction, Sunset Park Assemblyman and Assistant Speaker Felix W. Ortiz called for better and improved cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) for police officers.

Former NYPD  Office Peter Liang’s recent admission that he was not properly trained to perform demonstrates once more how our police officers are poorly trained and ill prepared to administer CPR when it counts the most, said Ortiz. 

Ortiz noted that Liang, convicted of killing a man in a Brooklyn housing complex, told a court that his police academy instructor did not adequately train  police cadets  in proper CPR procedures.  His partner also testified that that he barely practiced CPR for less than two minutes on a mannequin. According to news reports, the NYPD Internal Affairs Bureau is now finally reviewing departmental CPR procedures.

“I’ve asked Commissioner Bill Bratton to mandate CPR retraining several times in the past and never heard back  that it  was a priority,” said Ortiz. “I expect  the commissioner and his department finally realizes that CPR saves lives and that there is absolutely no excuse not to properly  train officers.”

Ortiz is the sponsor of “Briana’s Law, (A.8232) , legislation introduced in response to the tragic death of Briana Ojeda in 2010. The bill will require every police officer in New York State to be retrained and tested in CPR, and that the state and a local department may choose to reimburse officers for training costs or administer their own training programs for officers. 


Adams’ Heroes of the Month Honored Today

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

Brooklyn Borough President Eric L. Adams today will honor an emergency room doctor in East Flatbush dedicated to ending gang violence and two animal lovers who rescued a malnourished dog in Prospect Park that was left chained to a tree with her paws frozen to the ground as the borough’s ‘Heroes of the Month.’

Dr. Robert Gore of Kings County Hospital Center and Kings Against Violence Initiative (KAVI) will be declared “Hero of the Month” for January, while good Samaritan Jennifer Williams and animal activist Sean Casey will be named “Heroes of the Month” for February.

Adams’ monthly “Hero of the Month” events honoring the accomplishments of Brooklynites from all walks of life.

The ceremony is slated fro 12:30 p.m., today at Brooklyn Borough Hall, 209 Joralemon Street in Downtown Brooklyn.


Deutsch Bill To Educate Seniors Against Scams

City Councilman Chaim Deutsch
City Councilman Chaim Deutsch

City Councilman Chaim Deutsch (Brighton Beach, Manhattan Beach, Sheepshead Bay, Homecrest, Trump Village, Luna Park, Brightwater Towers) yesterday introduced a bill that would require the Department of Consumer Affairs to educate seniors and their caregivers about various scams that target older adults.

Deutsch said the bill addresses that many older adults have fallen victim to fake telemarketing or IRS calls, consumer fraud, or the “fake grandchild scheme”.

The bill would mandate Consumer Affairs to do outreach to seniors and their caregivers about ongoing scams, how to protect oneself from these kinds of calls or interactions, and how to report it to the proper authorities.

In order to guarantee that this information will be accessible to all, Deutsch ensured that the educational material will be distributed in seven different languages: Spanish, Chinese, Korean, Haitian Creole, Russian and Italian.

“This valuable information will target our senior population and their caregivers, explaining how – as potential victims – they can protect themselves from fraud. My district has a significant amount of senior residents, and concerns about deceitful telemarketing calls are increasingly common,” he said.


Velazquez Gets 100% Environmental Rating

Congresswoman Nydia Velazquez
Congresswoman Nydia Velazquez

Northern and Central Brooklyn Congress Member Nydia M. Velázquez yesterday received a 100% rating from the League of Conservation Voters (LCV) on her environmental issue voting record for 2015.

“I’m proud of my record of voting to preserve our planet and protect healthier communities,” Velázquez said.  “The League of Conservation Voters is one of our nation’s most vocal environmental advocates and their rating of my voting record reflects my commitment on these issues.”

The LCV scorecard examined lawmakers’ votes on a wide range of issues including climate change, clean energy, the Keystone XL Pipeline, the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal and genetically modified food labeling.

“Certain special interests and large companies are pushing an extreme, anti-environmental agenda in Washington and it is critical we stand up to them,” Velázquez noted.  “I will continue basing my votes on what’s good for New York City, our neighborhoods and the planet.”

In addition to her strong voting record in support of the environment, she has worked to obtain “Superfund” status for sites in New York’s 7th Congressional District, including the Gowanus Canal, Newtown Creek and the Wolff-Alport Chemical Company.  This allows federal resources to be used in remediating these sites.


Williams, Adams Host Young Men’s Empowerment Day

City Councilman Jumaane Williams
City Councilman Jumaane Williams

City Council Member Jumaane D. Williams (East Flatbush, Flatbush, Midwood) in partnership with Brooklyn Borough President Eric L. Adams, will host the first annual Answering The Call: A Young Men’s Empowerment Day conference tomorrow.

Sponsoring this conference as community partners areOpportunities For A Better Tomorrow, GMACC- Gangstas Making Astronomical Changes, 500 Men Making A Difference, Bain Consulting, Flatbush Development Corporation, Black Market Wares, New York Knicks, Brooklyn Nets, Haitian American Caucus, Hot 97, NYC Department of Youth & Community Development and theNYC Human Rights Commission.

The event will feature a panel presentation featuring actor Jaime Hector (The Wire; Power; The Strain); GMACC activist Reginald “Wink Loc” Purvis; ACA Branding Agency entrepreneur Jean Alerte; and, Wayne Devonish of 500 Men Making A Difference.
There will also be guest appearances for words of encouragement during break-out sessions by actor Malik Yoba (Empire; New York Undercover; Why Did I Get Married?) and former New York Knick’s players Larry Johnson and Herb Williams.
 
“In celebration of Black History Month, I am happy to collaborate with my colleagues in government and local community organizations to present this much-needed conference about our young men for our young men,” said Williams. “With the prevalence of gun violence and the lack of job opportunities, particularly for young men of more color in our City, it is important that we host this kind of event to showcase the opportunities that are available and showcase the organizations that are doing the real work on the ground.
“Additionally, its important that we facilitate a conversation with these young men to understand the challenges they face and get them to understand that there are people who care. I want to encourage everyone who has a young man in their household to bring them to Borough Hall this Saturday afternoon.”
The event is slated for between 1-5 p.m., tomorrow, Feb. 27 at Brooklyn Borough Hall, 209 Joralemon Street. Anyone interested in attending must RSVP by Friday, February 26 or by emailing [email protected].

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