Brooklyn District Attorney Kenneth P. Thompson, 50, Dies Of Cancer
Kenneth P. Thompson, 50, the first black district attorney of Brooklyn and a voice for racial justice and criminal justice reform, died yesterday from from cancer, he family announced.
Thompson’s death at Manhattan’s Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center with his loved ones at his side comes just five days after Thompson said he was taking a sick leave to battle the unspecified type of cancer and that his chief assistant, Eric Gonzalez, would take over as interim district attorney. Governor Andrew Cuomo is charged with appointing his successor.
Kings County Politics offers its deepest condolences and prayers to his wife of 17 years, Lu-Shawn Thompson, and his two children, Kennedy and Kenny, as well as to his parents and siblings, all of whom survive him.
The first post this morning after Brooklyn Lawmakers On the Move will be dedicated to the outpouring of grief and deep sympathy from Brooklyn’s elected and civic leaders for Mr. Thompson, may he rest in peace.
Malliotakis Applauds Feds For Giving Olympic Athletes Tax Break
Assemblywoman Nicole Malliotakis (R – Bay Ridge, Staten Island) on Friday applauded the federal government for adopting a new law that exempts Olympic athletes from paying income tax on prize money and the value of Olympic medals received and said New York State should follow suit.
Malliotakis announced plans in August to introduce legislation next session to eliminate the state tax on income earned as an award for Olympic medal recipients. A total of 30 Olympians from New York participated in the Rio games with half earning medals.
The United States Olympic Committee (USOC) awards American athletes with $25,000 for each gold medal, $15,000 for silver, and $10,000 for bronze. Tax collectors at the federal and state level treat these awards as income and subject to taxation. Furthermore, gold and silver medalists are taxed for the value of the medals themselves – $564 and $305, respectively.
“These Olympians bring much pride to our state and nation and they should be celebrated not taxed for their achievements. The State of New York should follow the federal government’s lead and allow them to keep their hard-earned award money by exempting Olympic awards from income tax,” said Malliotakis.
The federal tax will still apply to high-profile athletes who earn at least $1 million a year, like swimmer Michael Phelps.
Cornegy Holds Final Participatory Budgeting Meeting
City Council Member Robert Cornegy Jr. (Bedford-Stuyvesant, Norther Crown Heights) will hold his final neighborhood assembly for participatory budgeting tomorrow night.
Participatory budgeting, which a good many of Brooklyn’s city council members now utilize, has the city council member put a portion of their discretionary and/or capital budgeting before constituents to chose how they want the money spent in the district.
In Cornegy’s district, he has put $1 million of discretionary for constituents to decide on where the money should be spent. The meeting is the final chance to present ideas on how they want the money spent.
The neighborhood assembly is set for 6-8 p.m., tomorrow, Oct. 11 at P.S. 81 located at 990 DeKalb Avenue. RSVP: [email protected].
Central Brooklyn Pols Celebrate Lease Renewal For Beloved Senior Center
City Council Member Laurie A. Cumbo (Fort Greene, Clinton Hill, Prospect Heights) Friday led several elected officials in celebrating the Fort Greene Council Inc.’s 10-year lease renewal for 966-972 Fulton Street.
The address houses the Young Minds Child Care Program, the Grace Agard Harewood Neighborhood Senior Center, and the 966 Jazz Program. After serving the area for over 40 years, contract disputes led to a lengthy battle for funding and put what many residents view as a community staple in jeopardy.
“This is the result of working together. Our effort to keep 966 and 972 Fulton Street involved everyone from senior citizens to four-year-olds. We had support from Black people, White people and everyone in between. You had rich and poor, young and old, people from the neighborhood and high-level elected officials fighting for this. This victory shows that when we unite, and are diligent and persistent, we can hold on to the treasures of our community and interrupt the vicious cycle of gentrification,” said Cumbo.
“Sadly, this is happening all across our city,” noted Public Advocate Letitia James. “We are fighting to save daycare centers, not just in Fort Greene, but I can name the communities where I’ve had to go into meetings with the Administration and talk about how we can save them.”
“I am so pleased that the Grace Agard Harewood Senior Center and Young Minds Day Care will be able to remain in their home,” said State Senator Velmanette Montgomery. “It is important that we demand quality services stay in our communities and I am so proud of my friends, neighbors and colleagues who stepped up to support these programs. I would especially like to thank my Councilwoman for her leadership in preserving these two important institutions in our community.”
Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adam recalled his days as a police officer in the neighborhood. “This was my precinct as a cop. I know this area so well and what this center represented.” He continued, “Laurie, you brought us all together, you made it happen. You made sure the support was there. People heard your voices. Government responds when we come together and compel them to respond.”
Also showing up for the celebration were New York City Comptroller Scott Stringer, Congressman Hakeem Jeffries and Assemblyman Walter Mosley.
Schumer, Gillbrand Get Fed Money For NYPD Bullet Proof Vets
U.S. Senators Charles Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand this weekend announced $808,198.45 in new federal funding for the State of New York to purchase 13,005 bullet proof vests for police officers across 192 jurisdictions.
The funding was allocated through the DOJ’s Bureau of Justice Assistance Bulletproof Vest Partnership program to purchase new bullet proof vests for police office and would also provide reimbursement to state and local law enforcement agencies for purchase of bulletproof vests.
Under the program, New York City will receive 8,569 vests.
“This massive federal investment will ensure that the men and women who put their lives on the line every day to keep our communities safe are equipped with the life-saving gear they need to protect themselves,” said Schumer. “With over 13,000 new bulletproof vests, officers and other law enforcement officials across New York can feel safer while they’re out on the beat keeping our communities safe.”
“This federal funding for new vests is welcome news for New York’s police officers, who put their lives on the line every day to keep us safe,” said Gillibrand. “In a dangerous situation, a bulletproof vest might be the only barrier between life and death for an officer. We have to make sure our brave officers are using equipment that is up-to-date and effective. I was proud to fight for this funding and I will continue to support efforts in the Senate to protect our officers in the line of duty.”