Thompson, Clergy Partner To Deal With Incarceration
Brooklyn District Attorney Ken Thompson, together with Reverend Daryl G. Bloodsaw, Pastor of First Baptist Church of Crown Heights, this week announced an important community discussion to offer hope and help to families struggling while a loved one is incarcerated and to individuals having difficulty adjusting to life after prison.
“If we are going to improve the quality of life for all Brooklyn residents, then we have to help families heal. The pursuit of justice and public safety should include appropriate counseling, employment and education resources to formerly incarcerated individuals and their families. I am committed to community partnerships with houses of worship and others that are focused on re-entry,” said Thompson.
“It is essential for the faith-based community to open their doors as a place of refuge for both families and individuals during and after an incarcerative stay; if we, the Church, are not prepared to do this then we should be prepared to explain why not,” said Rev. Bloodsaw.
As part of its new Rephidim Ministry, the church is hosting a forum entitled “Rebuilding Families and Individuals: Collateral Consequences of Incarceration,” which will launch a series of events designed to provide information and support to families and individuals. The ministry is named Rephidim after a place where Moses struck a rock to give the children of Israel water, i.e., a place of refuge.
The first forum is slated for between 6:30-8 p.m., next Thursday, June 9, at First Baptist Church of Crown Heights, 450 Eastern Parkway, near Rogers Avenue. For further information related to this initiative, please call First Baptist Church of Crown Heights at 718-778-1200 or email [email protected]
Richardson Supports Health Care Reform Legislation
Assemblywoman Diana C. Richardson (Crown Heights, Lefferts Gardens) yesterday announced her support for new legislationA.5062, known as the New York Health Act, which will create a universal plan to provide access to healthcare for all New Yorkers, by minimizing high co-pays and ever increasing insurance premiums.
This legislation would extend coverage to all residents regardless of age, income, health or financial standing, and provide all participants with access to health services and doctors. Enrollee benefits will include dental, vision, hearing, outpatient care, laboratory testing, primary and preventative care and prescription drug costs. Additional options include out of state benefits when traveling and when seeking necessary clinical care out of state.
“Every resident deserves quality healthcare regardless of their social class and income level,” said Assemblywoman Richardson. “This ambitious plan will help us make progress towards reducing financial health burdens on underserved individuals and strengthen our commitment to a healthy population.”
Richardson said this new plan expressing the improved financial protection participants would gain “through the removal of additional charges and out of pocket costs.” The execution of this system would reflect an 80/20 employer employee tax contribution, and eliminate the employer/ employee tax contributions of premiums, co- pays and deductibles, which currently add to patient health costs.
Malliotakis, Ortiz Introduce new Veterans Measures
On the heels of Memorial Day Weekend, and the Governor’s recent signing of the Veterans Equality Act (A9531), Assistant Assembly Speaker Felix W. Ortiz (D-Sunset Park, Red Hook) andAssemblywoman Nicole Malliotakis (R-Bay Ridge /Staten Island) will host a press conference today in support of Assembly bills A4394-A and A6114.
A4394-A would provide for expedited licensing of military spouses with out-of-state professional licenses in equivalent occupations, which can often cause lengthy re-employment delays for military spouses moving between states. Through collaborative efforts with 27 states, the US Department of Defense has promulgated best practices for a military spouse to transfer a current license when entering a new state. These practices do not impact the standards of the state, still require military spouses to fully qualify within their occupations, and can be implemented at little or no cost to taxpayers.
A6114 would establish a certified peer counselors program for veterans who suffer from mental illness, alcohol abuse, and/or chemical dependence. Peer support programs are critical factors in mitigating Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) as they enable veterans to build healthier and positive relationships, and become more productive in dealing with stress and coping with depression or substance abuse.
The Press conference is slated for 2:30 p.m., today at the Triangle Intersection of 3rd Avenue and Senator Street in Bay Ridge.
Gentile Gets Response To Bogus Parking Tickets
Bay Ridge City Council Member Gentile received a response via a letter this week from NYPD Chief of Transportation Thomas M. 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” in a letter mailed by Gentile earlier this month.
Chan’s letter states that he has met with “subordinate parking enforcement executives” and that “rigorous retraining is currently being delivered to enforcement personnel”. He also notes that “supervisors have been directed to implement a system of “spot checks” to identify and re-instruct any personnel erroneously enforcing this violation”.
The oversight came to light after 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.
“I appreciate NYPD Chief of Transportation Chan’s response and I am glad to see he and the department have been proactive in remedying this situation and seek to eliminate this error from recurring. If drivers have been wrongly ticketed for parking legally at T-intersection pedestrian ramps and have paid their summons I encourage them to submit a refund request through the Department of Finance. In addition, if you have received this type of ticket recently I encourage drivers to dispute it immediately,” said Gentile.
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: http://www1.nyc.gov/site/finance/about/contact-by-email/contact-general-correspondence.page.
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
Golden Child Abuse Study Bill Passes Senate
State Senator Martin J. Golden (Bay Ridge, Dyker Heights, Bensonhurst, Marine Park, Gerritsen Beach, Gravesend) announced yesterday that the State Senate has approved legislation he introduced, S. 824, that will establish a temporary New York State Commission to study child abuse prevention and make recommendations for the
implementation of child abuse prevention programs in the state.
“I introduced this legislation because it is time that we take a stand against child abuse and make prevention a priority. There is no place for child abuse within our society, and
unfortunately, it is happening all too often throughout New York. We must truly examine and figure out how to stop this violence that is destroying too many children and families,” said Golden.
Child abuse and neglect has been rising across New York State and more resources are being expended to treat the consequences including incarceration, court costs, foster care and more. A study by Prevent Child Abuse New York estimated these costs to be approximately $2.4 billion each year, while the amount spent on primary prevention is than $30 million.
Prevention programs, while proven to be effective, are currently only available to a small number of families at risk of abuse and neglect. Home visitations are only available to about 10% to 14% of eligible families.
The temporary Commission would study the availability of successful prevention programs and recommend to the Governor and the State Legislature the most appropriate ways to increase the availability of these services to more at risk families.
The bill was sent to the Assembly. Assemblywoman Sandy Galef (D-95th
District) is the sponsor.
Clarke Hosts Fourth Annual Shining Star Awards
Flatbush Congresswoman Yvette D. Clarke will host her fourth annual Shining Star Award tomorrow celebrating the achievements of 15 great socially aware young men and women across the state.
The young professional honorees range in age from 18 to 40, and represent a variety of fields, including government, nonprofits, communications and more. Hundreds, including local officials and public figures, are expected to attend this event.
The Yvette D. Clarke’s Shining Star Award is part of the Congresswoman’s plan to build a talent pool of individuals who want to change society. One thing these recipients share in common is their service to their community. Clarke wants to encourage them to join the government to bring social changes to the country.
Previous recipients of this award include Beverly Bond, Founder of Black Girls Rock!, Harold Miller, Deputy Commissioner of NYC Mayor’s Office of Community Affairs, Tamika Mallory, Community Activist and Founder of Mallory Consulting, and Erin Stevens, New York State Political Director of Hillary for America.
The event is slated for 1 p.m., tomorrow, June 4 at the Milk River Restaurant, 960 Atlantic Avenue on the Fort Greene/Bed-Stuy border.
Lander Unveils New Kensington Plaza
City Council Member Brad Lander (Park Slope, Windsor Terrace, Borough Park) on Sunday will unveil a new pedestrian plaza at the intersection of Avenue C and McDonald Avenue in Kensington.
The plaza’s opening weekend celebration will feature music, art performances, and community portraits. Throughout the month of June the plaza will host a temporary “mobile studio” structure that will serve as a space for local artists and community organizations to engage the public on local issues and welcome Kensington residents to the plaza.
The ribbon cutting event is slated for 1 p.m., Sunday, June 5 at the plaza, Avenue C and McDonald Ave.
Cymbrowitz Hosts 13th Annual Health Fair
Sheepshead Bay Assemblyman Steven Cymbrowitz will host his 13th Annual Lena Cymbrowitz Community Health Fair on Sunday.
The fair, named for his late wife, will offer free screenings, giveaways and health-related information. Cymbrowitz sponsors the fair in conjunction with Maimonides Medical Center and Kiwanis International. Thousands of neighborhood residents attend the popular and much-anticipated event. The event raises funds for Dynamic Youth Community, Inc.
While grown-ups are exploring dozens of tables with stay-healthy tips, nutrition and exercise advice and potentially lifesaving information, children can explore a functioning ambulance and fire truck. Entertainment will include Zippy the Clown and continuous music with DJ Victory Entertainment.
The fair is slated for between 11:30 a.m. and 2:30 p.m., Sunday, June 5 on Emmons Avenue between East 14th Street and Ocean Avenue. In case of rain, the fair will be held at Bay Academy, 1401 Emmons Avenue.