Brooklyn Lawmakers On The Move Oct. 7, 2016

News Site Brooklyn

Cumbo Leads Way In New Lease For Beloved Senior Center

City Council Member Laurie Cumbo
City Council Member Laurie Cumbo

City Council Member Laurie A. Cumbo (Fort Greene, Clinton Hill, Prospect Heights) today will hold a press conference for the Fort Greene Council Inc’s renewal lease signing for 966-972 Fulton Street.

The site has long been a very popular senior center as well as providing daycare services, and a hidden treasure to see some of the best and most intimate live jazz shows in Brooklyn. Cumbo and other elected officials in Fort Greene and Central Brooklyn have been fighting for almost two years to ensure the Fort Greene Council had the funding to keep running the center at its current location.

Other key supporters, who are expected to be on hand at the press conference include Comptroller Scott Stringer, Public Advocate Letitia James, Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams, Congressman Hakeem Jeffries and Assemblyman Walter Mosley.

To celebrate the many lives that have been touched through these programs at 966 Fulton for over 40 years, the press conference will be followed by drum and dance performances by the Young Minds Program and the Grace Agard Harewood Seniors.

The press conference is slated for 10 a.m. today at 966 Fulton Street in Fort Greene.

Clarke’s Statement on Diwali Forever Stamp Unveiling

Congresswoman Yvette Clarke
Congresswoman Yvette Clarke

Flatbush Congresswoman Yvette D. Clarke released the following statement on the unveiling of the Diwali Forever Stamp, which honors the people of India, Guyana, Trinidad and Tobago, and people of Indian descent living around the world who celebrate the festival of lights, Diwali.

“As millions of people prepare to enjoy Diwali this October, honoring the triumph of good over evil, this stamp will reflect not only the importance of the holiday, but also the Indian American community’s many positive contributions to our civil society. I would also like to take this opportunity to commend the leadership of the community here in New York who have been integral to The Diwali Stamp Project, individuals such as Ranju Batra and Ravi Batra along with other leaders in the Indian American community, who worked tirelessly to build a coalition in support of this initiative,” said Clarke.

“I would also like to commend my esteemed colleague, Congresswoman Carolyn B. Maloney, who urged the Citizens Stamp Advisory Committee (CSAC) to consider issuing a commemorative Diwali stamp and introduced a resolution in the House of Representatives calling for the CSAC to issue the Diwali stamp. Through the success of her efforts in partnership with the USPS and our collective good will, let us all celebrate with the Indian American community and all of our diverse communities of New York City and our nation, Diwali – the festival of lights! Saal Mubarak!”

Gentile, Adams, Ortiz Cut Ribbon On High School Greenhouse

City Councilman Vincent Gentile
City Councilman Vincent Gentile

Bay Ridge City Council Member Vincent Gentile, Sunset Park Assemblyman Felix Ortiz and Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams, today, will cut the ribbon on the High School of Telecommunication Arts and Technology (HSTAT) brand new, state-of-the-art rooftop greenhouse.

The greenhouse is a 1,242 square foot classroom space equipped to hold 30 plus students engaged in the study of botany, hydroponics, nutrition and food production. Students will learn to nurture crops from seedlings to harvest in a series of hydroponic systems for growing vegetables.

Gentile allocated $725,000 for the capital project and advocated for an additional allocation of $250,000 from former Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz. In addition, the School Construction Authority generously allocated $1.9 million for the reconstruction of the auditorium roof which provides an additional 5,700 square feet for outdoor planting projects. The greenhouse will allow for educational programs that run throughout the year.

The event is slated for 4 p.m., today at the HSTAT Rooftop Greenhouse, 359 67th Street in Bay Ridge. Refreshments will be served and the ceremony will conclude with students planting their first seeds in the greenhouse.

Cuomo Allocates Fed Money To Brooklyn Institutions For Job Training

Gov. Andrew Cuomo
Gov. Andrew Cuomo

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo yesterday announced $9.5 million in federal funding has been awarded to 39 organizations to assist New Yorkers receiving Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program benefits.

Each of the organizations will match funds, resulting in $19 million to support education and training for SNAP recipients to enter the workforce.

“This administration has fought long and hard to help lift our most vulnerable New Yorkers out of poverty and provide them with the opportunity for a decent life,” Cuomo said. “This funding will assist with our efforts, providing much needed job training and workforce development, and brings us closer to a stronger, better, fairer New York for all.”

Among the Brooklyn institutions that received money from this funding include:

· Agudath Israel of America Community Services, Kings County – $186,625

· Center for Employment Opportunities, Kings County – $390,900

· Edith and Carl Marks Jewish Community House of Bensonhurst, Kings County – $400,000

· El Barrios Operation Fight Back, Kings County –$150,000

· Leap, Inc., Kings County – $399,875

· Ridgewood Bushwick Senior Citizens Council, Inc., Kings County – $200,000

· St. Nick’s Alliance, Kings County – $200,125

· The Fortune Society, Kings County – $400,000

· The Research Foundation of CUNY Kingsborough Community College, Kings County – $200,000

Treyger, Colton Tong Ragusa Demand Fox News Apologize To Asian-American Community

City Councilman Mark Treyger
City Councilman Mark Treyger

City Council Member Mark Treyger (Bensonhurst, Coney Island), Assemblymember William Colton (Bensonhurst, Bath Beach) and Bensonhurst Democratic District Leaders Nancy Tong and Charles Ragusa yesterday called on Fox News to apologize for a recent “O’Reilly Factor” Segment, which featured a negative portrayal of the Asian-American community.

“Bill O’Reilly, Jesse Watters, and Fox News should be ashamed of themselves. This belittling, shameful retreading of antiquated racist stereotypes is a misguided effort to produce humor at the expense of the dignity and integrity of one New York City’s most vibrant and thriving communities,” the lawmakers said in a joint statement. “It is an embarrassing reminder that even in 2016, we still have work to do as we strive to live in an America where no one should be made to feel lesser simply because of their race, ethnicity, nation of origin, gender, sexual orientation, disability, or their religious beliefs. Asian-Americans have been a part of American history for generations, and as a group that continues to enrich our culture and society, they deserve the same kind of respect as any and all Americans do.

Assembly Member William Colton
Assembly Member William Colton

“In our day and age, we cannot be divisive and isolate any groups, for entertainment purposes or any other reasons. Our team’s main objective has always been to be inclusive and bring people together; that is the way we can truly be the voice of the people and tackle the correct issues with the proper methods. When one group is mistreated or ridiculed, it is detrimental to all groups and we should stand united against those displays of misconduct.

“We condemn this segment, as well as the program and network responsible for it, and believe that the responsible move on the part of Fox News and Bill O’Reilly would be to offer the citizens of Chinatown, and the Asian-American community as a whole, a sincere apology for airing this highly insensitive segment.”

Cymbrowitz, Golden SCRIE Bill Signed Into Law

Assemblyman Steven Cymbrowitz
Assemblyman Steven Cymbrowitz

Residents who qualify for the city’s Senior Citizen Rent Increase Exemption (SCRIE) or Disability Rent Increase Exemption (DRIE) programs will no longer be penalized for a temporary increase in income, thanks to legislation (A.8228-A) introduced by Assemblyman Steven Cymbrowitz (Sheepshead Bay, Manhattan Beach, Brighton Beach) that was recently signed into law by Governor Cuomo.

Bay Ridge State Senator Marty Golden sponsored the legislation on the senate side.

“This new law will assist those who have a non-recurring spike in income to reapply for SCRIE or DRIE and receive their previous benefit, rather than requiring them to reapply as a new applicant at their higher rent,” said Cymbrowitz, Chair of the Assembly Aging Committee.

“Just because a senior or disabled resident may have been lucky to receive a one-time windfall does not mean they can afford to pay their full legal rent going forward,” he added.

According to a recent report issued by Enterprise Community Services and LiveOn NY, while 32 percent of New York City’s single seniors are severely rent burdened, or paying over half of their income on rent, only 43 percent of those eligible for SCRIE (approximately 52,000 households out of 121,729) actually enroll.

Of those on SCRIE, 85 percent are rent burdened, or paying more than the one third of their income on housing, and 55 percent are severely rent burdened. Severely rent burdened seniors on SCRIE have a median income of about $11,000 per year, with a median residual income leftover after rent of $183/month to purchase food, utilities, basic necessities, and health care. Rent burdened seniors on SCRIE have a median income of about $20,000 per year, leaving them ineligible for food stamps or other benefits, according to the report.

“This new law is an important measure that will allow many vulnerable New Yorkers in need to continue accessing these vital programs in the midst of New York City’s ongoing affordable housing crisis,” Cymbrowitz. concluded.