Brooklyn Lawmakers On The Move May 6, 2016

News Site Brooklyn

Golden Bill Renames BQE To Brooklyn Veterans Memorial Highway

State Sen. Marty Golden
State Sen. Marty Golden

Bay Ridge State Senator Martin J. Golden yesterday announced the State Senate passed legislation he introduced, S. 4422-A, that seeks to rename a portion of Interstate Route 278, a.k.a the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway to Brooklyn Veterans memorial Highway.

The portion would include from the Southern boundary at the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge continuing North to the Queens county line.

“This afternoon, the State Senate approved legislation that seeks to honor the many brave men and women from Brooklyn who have served this country. This renaming of a major thoroughfare in Brooklyn will also honor the military history or Brooklyn that stems from the Fort Hamilton Army Base and the Brooklyn Navy Yard.  We must recognize the historic contributions of Brooklyn to the defense of our Nation and our military power, so that the citizens of today and tomorrow will be inspired and
never forget,” said Golden.

Assemblyman Peter Abbate (Sunset Park, Bensonhurst) is set to co-sponsor the
legislation in the State Assembly.

Treyger, Maisel Bills Protecting Sandy Homeowners Passes City Council

The City Council yesterday unanimously passed a package of bills that City Council Members Mark Treyger (Coney Island, Bensonhurst) and Alan Maisel (Canarise, Bergen Beach, Mill Basin) sponsored that protects homeowners affected by Superstorm Sandy from fines levied against them by the Department of Buildings or the Department of Sanitation.

City Councilman Mark Treyger
City Councilman Mark Treyger

Treyger’s bill prevents property owners, lessees, or occupants from receiving civil or criminal fines and penalties on Department of Buildings or Department of Sanitation violations while City-operated natural disaster recovery programs are evaluating or have already scheduled their properties for repair or remediation.

The legislation would also give residents an extended period of time to clean their properties or make necessary repairs, while also creating a reimbursement program for anyone who has already been forced to pay a penalty.

“People should not be penalized when a building or sanitation violation is caused by something outside of their control, like a disaster or a recovery program. Penalizing these people would serve no public purpose. Instead, such fines might make a true recovery from a disaster that much more difficult by adding to their financial burdens and undermining the public’s trust, faith and willingness to participate in these recovery programs,” said Treyger.

City Councilman Alan Maisel
City Councilman Alan Maisel

Maisel’s bill protects owners, lessees, or occupants from receiving fines or penalties on violations for work performed by City employees or third-parties contracted by the City. The measure also includes a method of reimbursement for those already forced to pay.

“In the aftermath of Superstorm Sandy, in my district alone, we saw hundreds of property owners struggle to find licensed professionals for needed recovery work. New York City’s Rapid Repairs and Build It Back programs were formed and while the intention was good, some of the recovery efforts may have resulted in property owners receiving fines for that same work which was completed by the City recovery programs’ designated contractors. In these cases, it is critical that the city not penalize property owners for joining a program that elected officials and city agencies directed them to join,” said Maisel.

Gillibrand Says DoD Report Reveals Crackdown On Military Sexual Assaults Needed

U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand
U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand

U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand yesterday said the latest Department of Defense report on sexual assault in the military once again displays why Congress and the Obama Administration needs to create unbiased military justice system.

The report found among other things that:

– The number of sexual assaults of U.S. Service Members was approximately 20,000.

– Over 6,000 military sexual assaults were reported in 2015.

– The DoD prevalence data, combined with the 2015 figures, suggest that roughly 8 out of 10 military sexual assault survivors (75.4%) did not have the confidence in the military justice system to report their crime.

“Last month we learned that Pentagon officials intentionally misled Congress when they falsely claimed that in 93 instances, civilian prosecutors declined to pursue cases. Now they are undercutting their own findings from last year’s report on the massive retaliation problem against service members who reported being sexually assaulted with a survey that their own report calls ‘not representative’. All the while, the number of reported sexual assaults remains the same as it was last year, and the prevalence of sexual assault remains at the same level as it was in 2010,” said Gillibrand.

“Congress and this Administration must step up and bring accountability where the Department of Defense has repeatedly failed. We need to create an unbiased military justice system where trained prosecutors handle these cases, so that sexual predators can get punished instead of protected as they are today. It is our responsibility to the men and women who serve our country to create a military justice system worthy of their sacrifice.”

Jeffries Brings Issues Facing Millennials Into Discussion

Congressman Hakeem Jeffries
Congressman Hakeem Jeffries

Central Brooklyn Congressman Hakeem Jeffries today will bring Future Forum Chairman U.S. Representative Eric Swalwell (CA-15) to Brooklyn for a listening forum and panel discussion on critical issues facing millennials.

The panel is part of a bi-coastal listening tour led by Rep. Swalwell on behalf of the Future Forum, a group of the youngest Democratic members of Congress focused on bridging the gap between Capitol Hill and young Americans by addressing critical issues such as crushing student debt, job opportunities, home ownership and STEM.

Besides Brooklyn tours stops include Boston, Seattle, Houston, Denver and the Bay Area, where Future Forum members meet with millennials at universities, breweries, community colleges, companies and start-ups.

The panel discussion and listening forum is slated for 4 p.m. today at Medgar Evers College, 1650 Bedford Avenue in Crown Heights.

James Dresses Down Airbnb On Discriminatory Practices

Public Advocate Letitia James
Public Advocate Letitia James

New York City Public Advocate Letitia James wrote a letter to Airbnb’s Chief Product Officer calling on the company to address mounting evidence that it enables discrimination against both hosts and guests.

Two recent studies conducted at the Harvard School of Business show the patterns of discrimination that people of color have experienced for years. In their 2014 study, the school found, among other findings, that in New York City, non-Black hosts earned approximately 12 percent more than Black hosts for equivalent rentals.

The 2015 study, “Racial Discrimination in the Sharing Economy: Evidence from a Field Experiment,” found using fake profiles in national urban markets, that guests with typically Black sounding names were approximately 16 percent less likely to be accepted than those with typically White sounding names.

“Discrimination of any kind will never be tolerated in our City, and that includes our rental market and shared economy,” said James. “Airbnb must implement safeguards to prevent the racism and bigotry that are pervasive on its platform. I urge Airbnb to take swift action to reform its policies so New Yorkers who use its platform are protected from discrimination.”

In her letter, James outlines three suggested policy changes that Airbnb should adopt. First, Airbnb should conduct and disclose a review of data on response rates and revenue of non-white guests seeking accommodation compared to white guests. Second, Airbnb should revise its anti-discrimination policy to clearly state zero tolerance. Third, Airbnb should conceal host and guest names and photos until after a transaction is complete, eliminating potential instances of racism and discrimination based on the appearance or name of individuals.

Greenfield Giving Away Bike Helmets

City Councilman David Greenfield
City Councilman David Greenfield

City Councilman David G. Greenfield (Borough Park, Midwood) on Sunday is partnering with the NYC Department of Transportation to host his fifth free bike helmet fitting and giveaway this Sunday in Borough Park.

“Bike riding is a fun and healthy activity for children and adults alike. All cyclists should wear a helmet to reduce the risk of serious injury, and it is especially important that every child and teenager has a quality helmet that has been properly fitted for them. That’s why I am proud to partner with the DOT to distribute hundreds of free helmets to our community and to encourage safe cycling,” said Greenfield, who is sponsoring this event.

According to the DOT, bike riding has more than doubled in New York City since 2007. At the same time, as a result of infrastructure improvements and safety initiatives including helmet giveaways, the rate of serious injuries and fatalities among commuter bike riders has dropped by 75 percent over the past decade. Helmets have been shown to reduce the chance of death or serious injury in a bicycle accident by 85 percent. Meanwhile, more than 90 percent of cyclists who were killed while riding a bike were not wearing a helmet at the time of their accident.

Attendees are encouraged to arrive as early as possible to help ensure that a helmet will be available. Children under the age of 18 should bring a parent or legal guardian who can provide permission for their child to receive a helmet.

The helmet giveaway is slated for between 12 noon and 3:30 p.m., Sunday, May 8 at Gravesend Park between 18th and 19th Avenues, and between 55th and 58th Streets. The helmets are given away on a first-come, first-served basis while supplies last. 

For more information, please contact Councilman Greenfield’s office at (718) 853-2704.