Brooklyn Lawmakers On The Move April 27, 2016

News Site Brooklyn

Gentile, Williams React To de Blasio Exec Budget

City Councilman Vincent Gentile
City Councilman Vincent Gentile

Bay Ridge City Council Member Vincent Gentile and Flatbush, East Flatbush, Midwood City Council Member Jumaane Williams were both quick to react to Mayor Bill de Blasio’s $82.2 billion Executive Budget for the City’s Fiscal Year 2017

Click here to view the FY17 Executive Budget.

“Congratulations to Mayor de Blasio on his Executive Budget proposal which contains several important elements for my constituents. While the City’s economy show signs of slowing, the FY 2017 budget is still very promising,” said Gentile.

Gentile said the highlights of de Blasio’s spending plan include:

  • Public health will see a $5.4 million influx to tackle opioid addiction treatment.
  • Concerning transportation, $186 million will be invested to repave 1,300 lane miles.
  • The elimination of the remaining $122 million Water Board rental payment to the City will benefit 664,000 homeowners citywide.
  • Our students’ educational development is always a top priority as the Beacon Program will see an investment of $5.7 million that will enhance community programming and afterschool services at all 80 sites.
  • In wake of the Board of Elections transgressions, the budget also seeks to implement large-scale strategy reforms for the BOE.
  • Parks — our escape to nature from the hustle and bustle of the City — will see a $12 million investment to enhance park and playground maintenance and extend operating hours of comfort stations and additional park features from dawn to dusk.

“I look forward to working with the Mayor to craft the final FY17 budget over the next several weeks and I am pleased with the direction we are headed,” said Gentile.

City Councilman Jumaane Williams
City Councilman Jumaane Williams

Williams, the Council’s Deputy Leader and co-chair of the Council’s Task Force to Combat Gun Violence, said for the past year, many of his colleagues have made clear that the most significant priority is the expansion of employment for young people – including fully funding summer youth employment and doubling All-Year Round jobs.

“Given that the Council has made its importance clear, it is disappointing to see that no additional funding was included in the Mayor’s Executive Budget for expansion. This means that the budget dance begins with a lower amount of job slots than was available last year. This dynamic risks giving the false impression that achieving the same number of jobs as last year would be a victory,” said Williams.

“Thankfully, the Executive Budget is but one step in a larger process, and I remain hopeful that through negotiations, funding for a significant expansion, combined with a commitment to achieve universal youth employment in the next two years will be included in the final budget.”

The City Council and de Blasio must agree to a final balanced budget by June 30.

Central Brooklyn Lawmakers Hold ThriveNYC Town Hall

State Sen. Jesse Hamilton
State Sen. Jesse Hamilton

Flatbush Congresswoman Yvette D. Clarke, Central Brooklyn State Sen. Jesse Hamilton, East Flatbush Assemblyman Nick Perry and Brownsville City Councilwoman Darlene Mealy will join First Lady Chirlane McCray and Deputy Mayor Richard Buery in holding a ThriveNYC Brooklyn Town Hall on Thursday.

ThriveNYC is an initiative under the de Blasio Administration to provide more mental health services to youths and families.

The Town Hall is slated for 6 p.m., Thursday, April 28 at the New Dimension Seventh-Day Adventist Church, 1062 Winthrop Street in Flatbush.

 Menchaca Announces Participatory Budgeting Projects 

City Councilman Carlos Menchaca
City Councilman Carlos Menchaca

City Council Member Carlos Menchaca (Sunset Park, Red Hook) yesterday announced his district collected over 6,300 votes, claiming the highest citywide participation rates for the third consecutive year for participatory budeging.

“While keeping vote numbers high, we also maintained high levels of participation by non-English speakers and youth. This was the result of months of hard work and dedication from many community members and our office,” said Menchaca.

The five winning projects are:

#1: Sunset Park Renovation ($500,000)—3,494 votes

Repaving, installing 20 new benches, replacing existing dilapidated chain-link fences, and adding picnic tables.

#2: School Library Update ($450,000)—3,168 votes

Renovating Middle School 88 and Sunset Park High School’s library media center.

#3: Electronic “Locator” Sign Throughout the District ($600,000)—2,828 votes

Installing electronic arrival time bus signs along area bus routes.

#4: South Brooklyn Community H.S. & P.S. 169 Upgrades ($380,000)—2,546 votes

Building lockers at SBHS and renovating bathrooms at P.S. 169.

#5: Auditorium Upgrade for M.S. 88 and M.S. 136  ($375,000)—2,527 votes

Building multi-purpose auditoriums that are handicapped-accessible community spaces.

Donovan Blasts HUD For Forcing Homeowners To Provide Rental Units To Convicted Felons

Congressman Dan Donovan
Congressman Dan Donovan

Southern Brooklyn/Bay Ridge Congressman Dan Donovan yesterday blasted the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s (HUD) plan to punish homeowners who do not consider offering rental units to criminals.

The new regulation, announced earlier this month, prohibits landlords from banning rental applicants with criminal records. If landlords fail to justify their decision to deny housing for criminals, they could face lawsuits for discrimination.

“Government has no business dictating that people accept criminals in their own homes. How does HUD expect landlords to provide a safe living environment when they cannot prohibit criminals? I wonder if (HUD) Secretary Castro plans to rent his basement to a convicted murderer,” said Donovan.

Donovan noted the Fair Housing Act protects certain classes from housing discrimination. For example, property owners may not deny housing to applicants based on race, gender, religion, or national origin. HUD’s new regulation – which effectively adds “criminals” to the list of protected classes – is an erroneous interpretation of the law.

The government already has restrictions on where criminals can live – for example, sex offenders may not reside near schools or day care facilities. Now, the federal government is saying its citizens cannot devise their own reasonable restrictions, said Donovan.

“This policy is an insult to basic American principles of freedom and private property rights. It is not the government’s role to subject its citizens to punishment because they choose not to entertain criminals as tenants,” he added.

Adams Announces Celebration Of Prince In Fort Greene Park

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

Brooklyn Borough President Eric L. Adams announced that he will host a celebration of Prince, the global music icon who passed away last week at the age of 57, starting at 5 p.m., this Friday, April 30 at Fort Greene Park.

The salute, organized in partnership with NYC Parks, Fort Greene Conservancy, and Fort Greene City Council Member Laurie A. Cumbo, will feature a concert of DJs playing three hours of his music, followed by a screening of his cult classic film “Purple Rain” at 8:00 PM.

“‘If you feel like dancing’ and ‘u got the look,’ join me at Fort Greene Park as we celebrate the life and music of Prince,” said Adams. “‘Money don’t matter 2 night,’ so put on your ‘supercute’ ‘purple medley,’ hop in your ‘little red corvette,’ and ‘let’s go crazy.’”

City Council Member Laurie Cumbo
City Council Member Laurie Cumbo

On the night of his passing, Borough President Adams illuminated Brooklyn Borough Hall in purple light in memory of Prince, joining with iconic landmarks across the world such as the Eiffel Tower and Niagara Falls.

“Brooklyn and beyond lost Prince far too soon, but he will live on through his art and the millions of fans who will enjoy it for generations to come,” said Cumbo. “We’re going to ‘party like it’s 1999’ at this celebration that will be truly fitting for a prince, all in the spirit of bringing our borough closer together.”