Brooklyn Lawmakers Hold Unity Vigil Following Mass Killing
Brooklyn lawmakers including Public Advocate Letitia James, State Sen. Jesse Hamilton, and City Council Members Robert Cornegy Jr. and Laurie Cumbo will bring together LGBT, Muslim, Hispanic, and anti-gun violence community groups in a vigil honoring the lost lives of those killed in the hate and terrorist attack of a gay nighclub in Orlando, Florida.
The vigil is slated for 7:30 p.m. tonight in Grand Army Plaza.
Thompson Sends Fraudster To The Hoosegow
Brooklyn District Attorney Ken Thompson yesterday announced that a Brooklyn man was sentenced to 9 to 18 years in prison for stealing three Brooklyn properties by forging deeds, pretending to be an attorney and selling, or attempting to sell, them to buyers.
He sold one empty lot twice and received bids on another home in excess of $1 million.
According to trial testimony, in early 2011, the defendant, Carl Smith, 50, of Lafayette Avenue, stole two properties by filing backdated deeds containing the forged signatures of the owners. One was a lot in Bedford-Stuyvesant, which the defendant proceeded to sell twice: in March 2011 for $12,000 and in April 2011 for $11,000. The other property was a three-story brownstone in Fort Greene, which had been owned by a woman who died in 2001, and which now belonged to her family members.
Smith filed a deed backdated to before the woman’s death and tried to sell the property for more than $1 million, but he was not able to produce a valid title to complete the sale.
“This defendant shamefully stole houses and other property from their rightful owners by using forged documents, engaging in deceit and committing outright fraud. He did so solely to exploit the lucrative real estate market in Brooklyn. And now he will spend many years in prison where scammers like him belong,” said Thompson.
The Court nullified the fraudulent deeds, returning the properties to their lawful owners.
Levin, Cumbo, Lander Lobby For State Housing Bill
Brooklyn City Council Members Stephen Levin (DUMBO, Downtown Brooklyn, Boerum Hill, Williamsburg), Laurie Cumbo (Fort Greene, Clinton Hill, Prospect Heights, Crown Heights) and Brad Lander (Park Slope, Windsor Terrace, Kensington) called on Governor Cuomo and the State Legislature to help New Yorkers who lack stable housing by passing legislation that would expand eligibility for the Family Eviction Prevention Subsidy (FEPS) and fully fund the FEPS rental assistance program.
FEPS is a housing subsidy provided by New York State to help prevent evictions and reduce homelessness by providing rental subsidies to families in need.
The lawmakers announced support for new legislation that would expand FEPS eligibility to include survivors of domestic violence, and increase the maximum rental assistance available to households in the program.
FEPS can be used to retain a current apartment or to move to a new one, but wrongly excludes families that are forced to flee from their homes as a result of domestic violence. Currently to be eligible, a family must be sued for nonpayment of rent, have been evicted, or live in housing that is subject to a current vacate order or foreclosure.
“Domestic violence is one of the most common causes of homelessness and it is imperative that it is a priority of our State government to provide vulnerable families safe and stable shelter,” said Levin.
“No one should have to choose between a perpetual cycle of violence or homelessness,” said Cumbo. “With over 60,000 homeless New Yorkers, most of whom are women and children, it is our collective responsibility to protect the most vulnerable population and provide them with a pathway towards independence. We must face facts – domestic violence is the third leading cause of homelessness among families and intimate partner violence is the leading cause of female homicide.”
With expanded eligibility and increased subsidy levels for FEPS, roughly 1,600 additional households could avoid or end homelessness in just one year.
Williams Honors Two Former Workers On Brooklyn Pride Week
City Council Member Jumaane Williams (Flatbush, East Flatbush, Midwood) honored two former communications directors in his office with proclamations as part of the Brooklyn Community Pride Party last week honoring some of the borough’s gay movers and shakers.
Stefan Ringel and William Gerlich both served under Williams before moving on to bigger and better things.
Ringel currently serves as Communications Director to Brooklyn Borough President Eric L. Adams. Gerlich is a Creative Media Strategist for Marathon Strategies, a NYC-based communications and research firm.
“I wanted to honor pride month by honoring two people who are very close to me,” said Williams. “They have both made a positive impact on my life and I am happy for the opportunity to celebrate their work and achievements.”
Brooklyn Community Pride provides a special opportunity to celebrate the history and contributions of people in the LGBT community. The kickoff featured an oral history project presented by Brooklyn Community Pride Center, an exhibition by photographer and fashion blogger Gabrielle Royal and art by Elise Peebles.
Nadler Supports Visas For Those With Special Skills
Congressman Jerrold Nadler (Borough Park, Kensington, and parts of Bay Ridge, Bensonhurst, Dyker Heights, Red Hook, Sunset Park, Midwood), yesterday praised the expected passage by the House of H.R. 3636, the Oversee Visa Integrity with Stakeholder Advisories (O-VISA) Act.
Rep. Nadler was the lead Democratic cosponsor of the bill.
O visas are reserved for individuals with extraordinary ability in the sciences, arts, education, business, or athletics to perform temporary work in their field here in the United States. For those seeking an O visa specifically to work on a motion picture or television production, the law requires that an individual have “a demonstrated record of extraordinary achievement,” which must be “recognized in the field through extensive documentation.”
“I am pleased by today’s expected passage of the bipartisan O-VISA Act by the House of Representatives,” said Nadler. “The O visa process is intended to ensure that only the most extraordinary and accomplished individuals – those who are so unique that they could not be replaced by an American worker – are granted an O visa. The O-VISA Act would bring needed transparency to this process and preserve the integrity of the program, while helping protect the jobs of American artists and craftsmen in the film and television industries.”
Civic Association News
The Madison-Marine-Homecrest Civic Association invites the public to their final meeting of the season this week before their annual summer break.
Scheduled for the meeting are the election of officers and half of the board of directors , reports from elected officials and more.
The meeting is slated for 7:30 p.m., Thursday, June 16 at the Carmine Carro Community Center in Marine Park Fillmore Ave. bet. Madison Pl. & Marine Pkwy.
Additionally, KCP wants to wish the Dyker Heights Civic Association a great summer following their meeting last night – their final meeting until September. We regret we forgot to mention them in yesterday Lawmakers on the Move.