Brooklyn Lawmakers On The Move Sept. 27, 2016

News Site Brooklyn

De Blasio Waives CUNY Application Fee For Low-Income Students

Mayor Bill de Blasio
Mayor Bill de Blasio

Mayor de Blasio, Schools Chancellor Fariña, and CUNY Chancellor Milliken announced yesterday that $65 CUNY application fee will be eliminated for all low-income NYC public high school seniors starting this fall.

The expansion, dubbed College Access To All, increases the number of CUNY fee waivers more than fivefold – under the expansion, an estimated 37,500 high school seniors will qualify for fee waivers, up from approximately 6,500 waivers issued annually in previous years.

“We need to give all our children – no matter the neighborhood they live in, or background they come from – the opportunity to succeed in the 21st century, and that means removing barriers to applying, enrolling, and succeeding in college. Eliminating the application fee for low-income seniors will have a profound impact for thousands of students and their families” said de Blasio.

Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams called college access to all a critically-important goal in the greater mission of eliminating inequality that has historically dictated which communities have the ability to produce successful young men and women.

“I am a proud graduate of CUNY schools – twice over, in fact – and I believe every student who enters the hallowed halls of these institutions has the capability to achieve beyond their preconceived potential. My administration is working hard in Brooklyn to create educational pipelines to prosperity for our youth that directly engage colleges such as Brooklyn College, City Tech, Medgar Evers, and Kingsborough,” Adams said.

Cuomo Signs Bill Allowing New Yorkers To Be Buried With Their Pets

Gov. Andrew Cuomo
Gov. Andrew Cuomo

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo yesterday signed legislation allowing New Yorkers to be buried with their pets at not-for-profit cemeteries.

“For many New Yorkers, their pets are members of the family,” Cuomo said. “This legislation will roll back this unnecessary regulation and give cemeteries the option to honor the last wishes of pet lovers across New York.”

The bill (S.2582/A.2647) will allow humans to be buried with their cremated pet with the cemetery’s written consent. Cemeteries will also be required to place all payments for the pet internment in its permanent maintenance fund and provide customers with a list of charges pertaining to the burial of the pet. This legislation will not apply to cemeteries owned or operated by religious associations or societies.

“When this bill becomes law, owners and their pets will finally be allowed to have their pet interred with them. The pet/caregiver relationship is a very special one and I am happy that this relationship will finally be honored,” said Assemblyman James F. Brennan (Park Slope, Windsor Terrace, Kensington).

Cymbrowitz Launches ‘Lifeline Recertification Month’ 

Assemblyman Steven Cymbrowitz
Assemblyman Steven Cymbrowitz

Assemblyman Steven Cymbrowitz (Sheepshead Bay, Manhattan Beach, Brighton Beach, Homecrest) yesterday launched a month-long initiative in his Sheepshead Bay district office to recertify area Lifeline customers for the valuable program.

Lifeline is a government assistance program that offers telephone discounts to qualified low-income customers. They must recertify in order to continue receiving the discount during the following year. The recertification period began yesterday and Cymbrowitz recommends that recipients of the lifeline program complete their recertification by October 15.

While recipients of the program should receive a recertification form in the mail, two years ago approximately 50 percent of NYS Verizon Lifeline recipients were de-enrolled from the program without warning and found themselves hit with unexpectedly high phone bills. After his office was flooded with phone calls from angry Lifeline customers, Cymbrowitz successfully petitioned Verizon to hold off on disconnecting phone service and collections activity for anyone with a pending Lifeline application. This year, recipients will also receive phone calls reminding them to recertify.

“As the name indicates, Lifeline gives financially struggling residents, including many seniors, the ability to stay in touch with family and friends and reach out in an emergency if necessary,” said Cymbrowitz, who is Chair of the Assembly’s Aging Committee. “After last year’s recertification disaster, I want to make sure that everyone who receives Lifeline is able to continue this service uninterrupted during 2016.”

Lifeline recipients can recertify for the program either in person or over the phone. Cymbrowitz’ district office is open from 9 a.m. – 5 p.m., Monday-Friday, at 1800 Sheepshead Bay Road. The phone number is (718) 743-4078. Note that you must be currently enrolled in the Verizon Lifeline program to recertify. Please have your Social Security number and Verizon phone bill handy.

Customers may also recertify themselves online at or call an automated toll-free number, (855) 332-3919, where they can key in their responses. Both the website and phone number will be available 24/7 during the recertification period.

Common, Jeffries Celebrate Charter Schools’ Impact On Communities Of Color

Common, the Academy Award, Grammy and Golden Globe-winning musician and actor, will perform and speak at the upcoming #PathToPossible March tomorrow in Prospect Park.

The civil rights activist, whose Common Ground Foundation serves teens from low-income Chicago communities, will stand with families, elected officials, and other advocates to call for an end to New York City’s racial achievement gap.

The march will launch the #PathToPossible campaign, which will celebrate the transformative impact that public charter schools have had on New York City’s highest-need students and call on city leaders to help the public charter sector double in size to reach 200,000 students by 2020.

As of this fall, New York City’s public charter schools enroll one out of every 10 students in the city, and educate more than 100,000 children per year. The city’s charter sector serves more kids than the school districts of Washington D.C., Baltimore, Boston and San Francisco, and serves a study body that is 92% black and Hispanic and 77% low-income.

“Every kid from every neighborhood deserves a great education, and New York City’s public charter schools are bringing this vision to life,” said Common. “I’m proud to support charter school families in their fight to put 200,000 students on the path to possible.”

Central Brooklyn Congressman Hakeem Jeffries will be among the elected officials on hand.

The rally is slated for 10 a.m. in Prospect Park.

Adams Announces $27 Million Investment For STEM Education

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

Brooklyn Borough President Eric L. Adams today will announce more than $26 million invested in schools across Brooklyn, focused on STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering & Math) education and technology initiatives, from his Fiscal Year 2017 funds.

The figure represents more than half of his capital budget and a doubling of his educational spending from last year.

Adams will make the announcement at PS 228 David A. Boody in Gravesend, which is set to receive a $570,000 allocation for the construction and outfitting of a state-of-the-art STEM lab. The facility will be utilized as part of the South Brooklyn Engineering Pipeline — a new curriculum and teacher training partnership between local elementary, middle, and high schools as well as Kingsborough Community College.

Adams will also highlight projects throughout Brooklyn in schools ranging from pre-kindergarten to higher education, including public, charter, and private institutions. Joining him will be elected officials, principals, and a number of representatives of close to 150 schools across the borough that will benefit from the budget allocations.

The announcement is slated for 10 a.m., today at PS 228 David A. Brody School, 228 Avenue S in Gravesend.

Williams Responds To Hate Mail For His Protest

City Councilman Jumaane Williams
City Councilman Jumaane Williams

City Council Member Jumaane D. Williams (Flatbush, East Flatbush, Midwood), yesterday responded to hate mail he received to his protest of not reciting the pledge of allegiance las week.

Williams stated why he did not do this in an Op-Ed for KCP. For the record, while KCP does not agree with Williams stance on this matter, it defends absolutely his right to do so and further deplores in the strongest terms any hate mail or any other hateful communication he receives regarding this or any of his views. Below are his statements:

“First, I want to thank those who sent positive messages and emails of support. The over-the-top responses shows where we are in this country. There are some who complain about a peaceful protest, so it begs the question what are people really angered by – is it the act of protesting irrespective of what form it takes, or they simply believe there is nothing to protest about.  It seems to me that some have a problem with protesting in general whether it’s peaceful prayer, an act of civil disobedience, or in the form of engaging in destructive behavior. I am exercising my right as an American to speak out about something I believe in and the hateful responses underscores the need for it.

“Lastly, the irony should not be lost on anyone that these are racist responses to a protest about continued racial inequality. I invite all New Yorkers of goodwill to join me at City Hall this Wednesday at noon to continue the discussion about a practice this is rooted in the best values of America.”

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