Brooklyn Lawmakers On The Move May 26, 2016

News Site Brooklyn

Hamilton Hosts Reflection Of Hope Awards

State Sen. Jesse Hamilton
State Sen. Jesse Hamilton

Central Brooklyn State Senator Jesse Hamilton today will host the inaugural Reflection of Hope Awards and Luncheon, which recognize the contributions of individuals and organizations making a positive contribution in the fields of mental health and developmental disabilities.

The program will include a musical performance, a poetry performance, awards presentation to the 22 honorees, including First Lady of NYC Chirlane McCray, and a roundtable discussion touching upon Mental Health First Aid in schools, building upon ThriveNYC, advancing wellness, and working together to erase stigma.

The awards are in partnership with the City’s Public Advocate Letitia James, Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer, Brooklyn Borough President Eric L. Adams, State Assembly Member Marcos Crespo, and City Council Members Andrew Cohen and Corey Johnson. Humana and Emblem Health are sponsoring the luncheon.

“As Ranking Member of the NYS Senate Mental Health and Developmental Disabilities Committee, I have met so many passionate advocates, caring professionals, and selfless family members working to help New Yorkers. The Reflection of Hope Awards shines a spotlight on people and organizations whose work goes, all too often, unrecognized or under appreciated by the wider community,” said Hamilton. “Young people, seasoned professionals, or community-based groups, these honorees reflect the best of New York. We raise awareness as to the critical areas of mental health and disabilities their work touches upon and we celebrate their achievements on behalf of fellow New Yorkers.”

The Reflection Of Hope event is slated for between 12 noon – 3 p.m., today at John Jay College, 524 West 59th Street in Manhattan.

Treyger Legislation Protects Drivers From Faulty Signage

City Councilman Mark Treyger
City Councilman Mark Treyger

City Council Member Mark Treyger (Coney Island, Bensonhurst, Gravesend) introduced legislation yesterday designed to protect drivers from receiving tickets for failing to observe parking signage that is impossible to read or decipher.

The bill would ensure that, should a driver or vehicle owner receive a violation for parking in a restricted location where the relevant signage is damaged, worn, or improperly installed such that the driver or vehicle owner cannot understand the regulation, the illegibility of the signage would constitute a rightful defense against the notice of violation.

Drivers or vehicle owners would need photographic or other evidence to prove the illegibility of the signage in order to utilize the defense.

“This is a common sense bill. I don’t believe New Yorkers should have to be held financially responsible when the City fails to perform maintenance on parking signs. The idea behind this legislation is to make sure that if New Yorkers are unfairly ticketed for violating a rule they could not have been aware of, they should not have to pay for it. This bill protects New Yorkers from undue financial burden, something I am striving to protect New Yorkers from whenever possible,” said Treyger.

City Councilman David Greenfield (Borough Park, Midwood) agreed with the measure, saying drivers should not be penalized for disobeying rules that could not reasonably be expected to know about.

“If a parking sign is illegible or obscured from view, tickets should not be issued until the problem is remedied. To do otherwise is absurd. This is just one of many ways in which drivers are often treated unfairly in New York, which is why I have passed several bills aimed at restoring common sense to parking rules,” said Greenfield.

Adams Wants DOT Study Of Flatbush Avenue Section

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

Brooklyn Borough President Eric L. Adams yesterday advocated for the City’s Department of Transportation (DOT) to perform a study analyzing the feasibility of improved traffic-calming infrastructure on Flatbush Avenue between Grand Army Plaza and Empire Boulevard.

The study is part of a greater effort to advance street safety around the full perimeter of Prospect Park as well as to improve the quality of life along its eastern border.

Adams said the goal is to replicate the positive impact of similar efforts taken along the Prospect Park West corridor in order to protect bicyclists, motorists, and pedestrians traveling around Crown Heights, Prospect Heights, and Prospect Lefferts-Gardens.

“We need to take a common-sense approach to studying how our streets can be properly supportive and safe for all who use them, especially in our higher-trafficked areas like Prospect Park,” said Adams. “I believe Flatbush Avenue between Grand Army Plaza and Empire Boulevard is a sensible stretch for exploring and implementing traffic-calming infrastructure, and I look forward to working with DOT leadership and community members on this effort.”

Golden Bill Gets Tough On Hit & Run Drivers

State Sen. Marty Golden
State Sen. Marty Golden

State Senator Martin J. Golden (Bay Ridge, Dyker Heights, Bensonhurst, Marine Park, Gerritsen Beach, Gravesend), a former City police officer announced yesterday that the senate adopted legislation he sponsored, S. 1108, that would increase penalties for leaving the scene of an accident when a death, injury or damage of property occurs.

The bill would deter drivers from leaving injured victims on the road, facilitate police investigations and enable timely chemical testing of a driver if warranted.

“All too often we learn of a reckless driver who injures or kills an innocent victim, and leaves the scene of the accident, making the situation only worse. Stronger action is clearly required and additional increases are warranted,” said Golden. “These criminal motorists blatantly disregard human life and we must increase penalties to reflect the
seriousness of their actions. I urge the Assembly to act before the end of session, so that we can make our streets safe and bring hit and run drivers to justice.”

Under provisions of the bill, drivers who flee from the scene of an accident where someone was killed would now fact a Class C Felony. The measure also increases the
penalties for drivers who leave the scene of an accident without stopping and/or reporting it, and causing property damage, from a Class A Misdemeanor to a Class E Felony.

Sheepshead Bay Assemblyman Steven Cymbrowitz is sponsoring the measure in the assembly.

Jumaane Williams Police Reporting Bill Passes Council

City Councilman Jumaane Williams
City Councilman Jumaane Williams

The City Council yesterday passed City Council Member Jumaane D. Williams’ police reporting bill requiring the NYPD to provide quarterly reports to the Mayor’s Office and City Council on criminal and civil summonses issued.

The data will be categorized into number of summons by offense, race, gender, age, borough and patrol precinct or housing police / transit district the summons was issued in. It also calls for all data to be published online and in a format that allows for automated processing. Each report is required to include comparative data for summons information for the past five years.

“We know police disproportionately issue summons in Black, Brown and poorer communities. This bill will allow us to document and have on record these unfair practices, which will allow us to advocate and implement a change,” said Williams. “Simple truth of the matter is people do what’s right and fair when there are steps in place for oversight.”

“This bill doesn’t change enforcement or encourage crime. It’s about a balanced approach and equity. It’s my hope that this bill changes how communities are engaged by the NYPD,” he added.

Jaime Williams Supports GMO Labeling

Assembly Member Jaime Williams
Assembly Member Jaime Williams

Newly elected Assembly Member Jaime Williams (Canarsie, Mill Basin) said yesterday she support a bill that would requires labeling of all Genetically Modified Organism products.

Genetic engineering (genetic modification) is a type of biotechnology that allows for the altering of genetic material contained in an organism such that it changes the character traits displayed by the organism while it develops and grows. The altering of an organism’s genetic material can occur by the introduction of new genetic material derived from similar species or unrelated species, or by altering the organism’s existing genetic material.  Genetic engineering is not the same as traditional breeding techniques in that it involves methodologies that transcend natural reproductive processes.

“The majority of all conventionally grown corn and soy in this country are genetically modified. Corn and soy and their derivatives are the majority of all of our packaged foods that our children are consuming on a daily basis, this includes baby formula. Labeling foods that have GMO ingredients would allow those who have food allergies, autoimmune disorders and other sensitivities to be able to make an informed choice in choosing a product that will not be detrimental to their health and well-being,” said Williams.

” The only true way to not eat GMO products is to purchase organic products. The downside to this is the cost of buying all organic. The importance of having all of the information to make an informed choice regarding GMO at least allows for the better understanding of the product we are consuming,” she added.

Reynoso Celebrates Asian Pacific American Heritage Month

City Councilman Antonio Reynoso
City Councilman Antonio Reynoso

City Council Member Antonio Reynoso (Bushwick, Williamsburg) today will hold a community celebration to honor for Asian Pacific American Heritage Month in partnership with Asian Americans for Equality (AAFE).

“I’m excited to celebrate Asian Pacific American Heritage Month with AAFE, other community partners, and local residents.  Though this community is majority Latino, Lindsay Park is the home of 800 Asian American families that have contributed to its identity and diversity.  This event gives us the opportunity to celebrate the vibrant and diverse cultures of Asian Americans and Pacific islanders,” said Reynoso.

The event is slated for 1:30 p.m., today, at the Most Holy Trinity Church Gymnasium,  140 Montrose Avenue.

Parker Funds Flatbush YMCA

Sen. Kevin Parker
Sen. Kevin Parker

Senator Kevin S. Parker (Flatbush, Midwood) today will present $200,000 in funding to the Flatbush YMCA to support its Teen Centered Program and the branch renovation.

The check presentation reinforces Parker’s support for the YMCA’s steadfast commitment to developing community and helping the area’s youth. As one of the 24 branches of the YMCA of Greater New York, The Flatbush YMCA has been vital in tackling key issues like childhood obesity, childhood hunger, diabetes, and significantly reversing the downward achievement trends for children who utilize the YMCA’s enrichment programming.

Parker will present the check at 10 a.m., today, at the Flatbush YMCA, 1401 Flatbush Avenue.

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