Brooklyn Lawmakers On The Move May 23, 2016

News Site Brooklyn

Adams, Local Pols Hold Sunset Park Workshop For Tenants

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

Brooklyn Borough President Eric L. Adams announced that his office will hold a free “Tenants: Know Your Rights” workshop tomorrow in Sunset Park.

Additional partners in the event include Congresswoman Nydia M. Velázquez, State Senators Jesse Hamilton and Velmanette Montgomery, Assembly Member Félix W. Ortiz, and Council Member Carlos Menchaca, all of whom represent parts of Sunset Park.

Tenants will have an opportunity to speak in English or Spanish with advocates and lawyers from Brooklyn Legal Services Corporation A (Brooklyn A) about their rights under federal, state, and local laws to protection from unfair practices by landlords.

“To rent a home in Sunset Park, the average household must spend nearly six of every 10 dollars earned on rent, an unsustainable burden that prevents families from saving and leaves them vulnerable to displacement from the neighborhood,” said Adams. “As we work to create affordable housing, we must also provide the resources that allow longtime residents to remain in their homes and resist tenant harassment. I will remain vigilant in pursuing and promoting every avenue available for tenants to learn about their legal rights and to exercise them in the pursuit of housing justice.”

According to recent data compiled by StreetEasy, median rent in Sunset Park amounts to more than 58 percent of the average monthly income. A separate analysis revealed over 100 buildings in that neighborhood had lost at least half of their rent-stabilized units between 2007 to 2014.

The workshop is slated for between 6-8 p.m., Tuesday, May 24 in the cafeteria of Sunset Park High School, 153 35th Street in Sunset Park.


Schumer, Gillibrand Demand Emergency Ziki Funding

U.S. Senator Charles Schumer
U.S. Senator Charles Schumer

U.S. Senators Chuck Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand yesterday joined forces in calling on the U.S. House of Representatives to pass a bill allocating at least $1.1 billion in emergency funding to the spread of the mosquito-borne Zika Virus.

Thus far over 1,200 Americans including over 100 here in New York and thousands more in Latin America.

Schumer and Gillibrand say that despite great urgency, the federal government still does not have guaranteed resources to stop the spread of Zika this summer. The senators say local health department officials have already been forced to draw down on funds allocated for other public health preparation and emergencies to instead fund Zika prevention programs.


Gentile Pushes For Wrongly Ticketed Refunds

City Councilman Vincent Gentile
City Councilman Vincent Gentile

Bay Ridge City Councilman Vincent Gentile wants drivers who were wrongly ticketed for parking in front of T-intersection/mid-block pedestrian ramps reimbursed as quickly as they were issued tickets for the legal parking spots.

Gentile still awaits response from NYPD Chief of Transportation Thomas Chan after the Councilman requested an all-out effort by his division “to inform all traffic control commands of the correct parking rules at certain T-intersections and instruct all commanders to educate and inform their rank and file” via a letter mailed by Gentile last week.

The oversight came to light after a Village Voice report cited Pratt Institute City & Regional Planning Program statistics professor Ben Wellington’s alarming research using NYC Open Data to discover the egregious error that has cost drivers nearly $6 million in summonses since 2013. Since the rule change was adopted in 2009, the total figure is most likely even higher. Councilman Gentile is calling on the City and to find a solution for a citywide refund for drivers who were unjustly ticketed.

“The DOT adopted a rule change in 2009 after I had pushed for legislation to allow parking in front of mid-block pedestrian ramps at T- intersections due to safety hazards for pedestrians. Apparently, NYPD traffic agents did not get the memo. Whether this has been a “gotcha” ticketing scenario, an extreme oversight, or a giant mistake, all that matters to me at this point is putting cash back in our driver’s wallets. I will be closely monitoring the situation and will not relinquish my push for a citywide refund to those affected,” Gentile said.

The Department of Finance has informed Councilman Gentile that they will review wrongfully issued pedestrian ramp tickets going back more than one year using the form found here: http://www1.nyc.gov/site/finance/about/contact-by-email/contact-general-correspondence.page. Drivers must type Pedestrian Ramp Ticket Issue in the subject heading and they must have either the relevant summons number or their license plate number to provide so the DOF can accurately search for the ticket in their system.

If drivers received this type of ticket recently and have yet to dispute it, they are encouraged to dispute the ticket using for form found here: http://www1.nyc.gov/site/finance/vehicles/dispute-a-ticket.page


Colton, Treyger Lead Community Clean-Up

Assembly Member William Colton
Assembly Member William Colton

Assemblyman William Colton (Bensonhurst, Beth Beach) partnered with City Councilman Mark Treyger (Bensonhurst, Gravesend, Coney Island) and community Democratic District leaders Nancy Tong and Charles Ragusa this weekend sponsored a neighborhood clean-up event, in response to concerns about cleanliness in the community.

Volunteers, who are local youth from neighborhood schools and organizations, have signed up to clean a large stretch of 86th Street from 25th Avenue to 16th Avenue, and 18th Avenue from Benson Avenue to 82nd Street, as well as the streets surrounding Bensonhurst Park.

“There are several goals this campaign has aimed to accomplish, beyond physically cleaning up our local streets and parks. First, we believe that increased cleanliness in our community will increase commerce for our local small businesses. Secondly, we aim to inform residents and businesses about proper sanitation rules and guidelines, to make sure they are following correct practices when disposing waste. Third, we want our youth to become examples for the rest of the community to follow,” said Colton.

City Councilman Mark Treyger
City Councilman Mark Treyger

Treyger said every New Yorker deserves safe, clean streets, which are a sign of a thriving, caring and welcoming community.

“It has been great to see so many teens and community members get involved and give back and it has had a tremendous impact on our neighborhood. After all, there is no greater civics lesson for our youth than the chance to take ownership of their community and give back. I urge everyone to take some time out of their day on Friday and join us as we continue our efforts to beautify Bensonhurst and make it an even greater place to live, work and shop,” he said.

The list of volunteers included students from Stuyvesant High School’s Red Cross Club and Key Club, members of District 9 High School Key Club, students from New Utrecht High School, members from Our Lady of Grace Teen Group, students from Midwood High School’s Key Club, students from Brooklyn Technical High School’s Red Cross Club and Key Club, and students from Edward R. Murrow’s Key Club, Brooklyn CPC’s volunteers, among others.


Richardson Legislation Addresses Mental Health Issues

Assembly Member Diana Richardson
Assembly Member Diana Richardson

Assembly Member Diana Richardson, who is on the Assembly’s Mental Health Committee, is pushing several measure to address the importance of mental health awareness month, which serves as an opportunity to both educate and celebrate the positive impact of integrating mental health initiatives into local neighborhood.

“Because of the imputations surrounding mental health, as well as the misconceptions about what is treatable, many individuals often go their entire life without knowing of available resources that can improve their lives. It is my hope that we remain encouraged in the process of identifying solutions which include immediate steps to protect and support residents of the 43rd Assembly District and beyond,” said Richardson.

Among the legislation surrounding mental health that Richardson has been involved in introducing includes A9148, which relates to creating mandatory continuing education for teachers relating to mental health issues, A9430 requiring maternal health care providers to screen new mothers for maternal depression and A9385, which helps to create a statewide database of community resources which treat maternal depression.


Hamilton Sheds Light On Maternal Depression

State Sen. Jesse Hamilton
State Sen. Jesse Hamilton

Central Brooklyn State Senator Jesse Hamilton is shedding light on battling maternal depression that if left untreated, can lead to significant negative consequences, not only for those mothers who are directly affected, but for their families and children as well.

According to the New York State Department of Health and Office of Mental Health, there are four recognized types of maternal depression: prenatal depression, “baby blues,” postpartum depression and postpartum psychosis. Although postpartum depression may affect 10-20% of all new mothers, outcomes for both mother and baby can be greatly improved with proper screening.

“My Senate Democratic colleagues and I have made it a priority to pass legislation that improves the lives of New York’s hardworking families.  With this in mind, one of our proposals would make readily available a central, accessible list of providers offering treatment for maternal depression.  It also calls for further investment in treatment resources,” said Hamilton.

To learn more about maternal depression, go to the New York State Department of Health’s website at https://www.health.ny.gov and type in maternal depression in the search box. There you will find many informative articles about this important health issue.

For more information, visit Hamilton’s website at: Hamilton.nysenate.gov.

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