Brooklyn Lawmakers On The Move May 10, 2016

News Site Brooklyn

Jeffries Addresses Inadequate Summer Youth Employment Funding

Congressman Hakeem Jeffries
Congressman Hakeem Jeffries

Central Brooklyn Congressman Hakeem Jeffries and Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. today will address the city’s inadequate funding of the Summer Youth Employment Program.

The Summer Youth Employment Program provides youths in New York City aged 14 to 24 with paid summer employment for up to six weeks in July and August.

In 2015, only 41% of 131,897 applicants were accepted into the program after a lottery, resulting in a total of 54,263 enrolled participants. Ethnically, Hispanic and Black students represent the largest proportion of applicants to the program, with many coming from Brooklyn and the Bronx.

Both Jeffries and Diaz Jr. are often mentioned as possible opponents to Mayor Bill de Blasio in next year’s mayoral primaries.

The two will hold a press conference on the issue at 11:30 a.m., today, on the steps of City Hall in Lower Manhattan.


Malliotakis Joins Movement To Block Five-cent Plastic Bag Fee

Assembly Member Nicole Malliotakis
Assembly Member Nicole Malliotakis

Bay Ridge/Staten Island Assemblywoman Nicole Malliotakis yesterday joined several of her colleagues who represent the City in a push to block the collection of any tax, fee or local charge on paper or plastic carry out merchandise bags provided by a retail store.

Following last week’s 28-20 vote in the New York City Council to accept a five cent tax on a carry out bags, Malliotakis signed on as a co-sponsor of Assembly Bill 9904. This bill, which was introduced by Assemblyman Michael Cusick and Sen. Simcha Felder (Boro Park, Midwood) would prohibit the decided upon tax.

“New York City officials leave no stone unturned when it comes to nickel-and-diming residents,” said Malliotakis. “When you calculate this fee by the amount of carry out bags regularly used by consumers to transport needed goods like food and clothing to their homes, the cost quickly adds up. Encouraging individuals to practice more environmentally friendly behavior is one thing, but it is impractical to expect all New York City residents to always provide their own carry out bags to avoid this additional cost. This is just another gimmick to squeeze more money from the poor and middle-class families who are already over-taxed.”


Adams Forges Partnership With Brooklyn Tech Company

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

Brooklyn Borough President Eric L. Adams yesterday announced a three-month partnership with Brooklyn-based flowthings.io and Dell to implement “internet-of-things” (IoT) solutions at Brooklyn Borough Hall to establish New York City as a leader in smart city development.

Flowthings.io is a DUMBO-based IoT company that uses its on-demand platform to process and orchestrate real-time data. The flowthings.io solution enables apps, dashboards, and data visualization that monitor things such as energy usage, Americans with Disability Act (ADA)-accessibility, environmental conditions, and equipment.

“Government must keep pace with the technological changes that are transforming our economy in the 21st century,” said Adams. “Deploying state-of-the art technologies in Brooklyn Borough Hall will allow us to protect the safety of staff members and visitors, expand accessibility, and create energy and operating efficiencies that produce savings for taxpayers. Brooklyn Borough Hall has now, literally, become a critical center for research and development in the vibrant technology sector of our borough.”

This partnership with Dell and flowthings.io will allow Brooklyn Borough Hall to serve as a research and development venue in helping to advance these innovations.

Beyond the gains in energy and governmental efficiencies, Adams is committed to ensuring that the burgeoning IoT sector is one that also creates long-term jobs for Brooklynites.

“I want Brooklyn to be the leader in smart city technologies, and the jobs that they will create,” said Adams. “There are currently dozens of smart city companies in New York City, and through investments I’ve made to support STEM education, I am committed to creating a workforce that will be able to fill those future jobs.”


Donovan Rallies For Fed Bill To Reduce Opioid Use

Congressman Dan Donovan
Congressman Dan Donovan

Southern Brooklyn/Staten Island Congressman Dan Donovan together with Staten Island Borough President James Oddo, Bay Ridge/Staten Island Assemblywoman Nicole Malliotakis, and Council Member Joe Borelli, yesterday rallied in support of federal legislation to address Staten Island and South Brooklyn’s substance abuse epidemic.

The Comprehensive Opioid Abuse Reduction Act will come up for a vote in the House of Representatives this week. The legislation authorizes new grant funding for substance abuse treatment, education, and enforcement. 

“Pills and heroin are claiming a generation before our eyes, and it’s about time we got the resources to fight back. Today, Congress recognized that the federal government’s response hasn’t been enough. Because of this legislation, new grant programs will fund increased treatment, education, and enforcement efforts,” said Donovan.

Nationwide, the number of heroin-related deaths has quadrupled since 2002. In New York City, nearly 797 people died from unintentional overdoses in 2014, with 57 percent of them involving heroin.

The Comprehensive Opioid Abuse Reduction Act accomplishes the objectives Donovan says are necessary to turn the tide on substance abuse.

Among other provisions, the bill authorizes new grants available to cities and non-profit providers to prevent opioid abuse by juveniles, expand opioid treatment programs, establish and expand drug courts, support investigations into opioid distributers, equip first responders with life-saving overdose medications like Naloxone and implement and expand Prescription Drug Monitoring Programs.


Parker Hosts Educational Leadership Awards

Sen. Kevin Parker
Sen. Kevin Parker

State Senator Kevin Parker (Flatbush, East Flatbush, Midwood, Ditmas Park, Kensington, Windsor Terrace, and Park Slope) Friday held his 5th Annual Educational Leadership Award Breakfast Ceremony at the Grand Prospect Hall in Park Slope.

Over 200 community members came together to honor various educational leaders in Parker’s 21st Senate District and the larger Brooklyn community. George Hulse, Vice President, of Community Engagement at Healthfirst, served as the MC for the event and New York City Comptroller Scott Stringer delivered the keynote address.

“It is with great pleasure that I take the time to celebrate the educators in our community for the hard work and dedication they pour into our students each and everyday,” said Parker.

Parker has always recognized the positive effects of the Department of Education’s Beacon Schools and their after school and weekend programs on students, their families, and the school community. To this effect, he has legislation in the State Senate that will make every public school a Beacon School, and his acknowledgement of local community based providers speaks to his commitment to improving the lives of children and families across the state.


Cymbrowitz Bill To Save Swans Passes Assembly

The Assembly has given the thumbs-up to Assemblyman Steven Cymbrowitz’ (Sheepshead Bay, Manhattan Beach, Brighton Beach) continuing battle to save New York’s mute swans, and now he’s calling on the Senate to act on the bill, which has been stalled there since February.

This was the third year in the row that the Assembly passed the legislation (A.9289), which establishes a moratorium on the Department of Environmental Conservation’s controversial plan to declare the mute swan a “prohibited invasive species” and eliminate the birds by 2025 by either shooting or gassing them.

Cymbrowitz, a member of the Environmental Conservation Committee, launched an outcry two years ago when DEC announced that it would kill the swans because of the damage they reportedly do to the environment.

Environmentalists have refuted these claims, making it imperative to examine the issue further, Cymbrowitz said.

About 2,200 mute swans currently take up residence in various parts of New York State, including in Assemblyman Cymbrowitz’ district, where they’re a favorite with residents and visitors to Sheepshead Bay and Manhattan Beach.

In 2014 and 2015 the bill passed both the Senate and Assembly but was vetoed by Governor Cuomo. 

“With less than six weeks of session remaining, the Senate needs to act now to pass this legislation,” Cymbrowitz said. “We’ve done what we promised all along to do and the burden is now on the Senate to help save the swans.”

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