Brooklyn Lawmakers On The Move Dec. 9, 2016

News Site Brooklyn

Treyger Bill Tracking Trade Programs In Schools Passes Council

City Councilman Mark Treyger

A bill that City Councilman Mark Treyger (Bensonhurst, Coney Island, Gravesend) sponsored that would track Career and Technical Education (CTE) programs (commonly known as trade programs) in public schools, passed the City Council this week.

Treyger’s measure, Introduction 1099-A, would require the DOE to annually report on CTE programs in the City. This report would require reporting in several areas, including the number and types of CTE schools and programs available to students, the number of full-time and part-time certified CTE instructors at each high school, the number and percentage of students who listed a CTE-designated high school as their first and second choice in the high school application process, the 4- and 6-year graduation rates for CTE-designated high schools, and the number of staff in each CTE school or program who received professional development from the DOE related to CTE.

The bill would further require that student-level data be disaggregated by demographic information, special education status, community school district, eligibility for the free and reduced price lunch program, and English language learner status.

“Although a growing number of students are pursuing four-year degrees, it is our responsibility in government to ensure that we support the educational goals of those students who may not see four-year postsecondary education in their immediate future, particularly as costs for four-year options continue to rise,” said Treyger, a former public high school school history teacher.

“I have seen firsthand how dedicated CTE high schools, programs and certified CTE instructors provide vital flexibility for high school students. My bill would require the Department of Education to report data regarding the availability and status of these beneficial programs, providing welcome transparency for parents of public school students, as well as labor organizations and employers. This data will serve as a starting point for further advocacy to better connect students with real world career skills and opportunities. We must advance and protect postsecondary options for all of our high school students,” he added.

Clarke Decries Trump Appointment of Puzder as Labor Secretary

Congresswoman Yvette Clarke

Congresswoman Yvette D. Clarke (Crown Heights, Flatbush, Sheepshead Bay) yesterday urged the Senate to reject President-elect Donald Trump’s nomination of fast food mogul Andrew Puzder as Secretary of the Department of Labor.

“As the Chief Executive Officer of CKE Restaurants, which operates chain restaurants Hardee’s and Carl’s Jr., Andrew Puzder has compiled a deplorable record on the rights of workers. When the Department of Labor investigated Hardee’s and Carl’s Jr., more than half of the restaurants were found to have Fair Labor Standards Act violations. Mr. Puzder has been an outspoken opponent of the minimum wage, reciting the false claim that higher wages result in job losses. He also urges the repeal of the Affordable Care Act, even as many of his workers are not offered any kind of health insurance. Mr. Puzder’s actions in business and his public statements demonstrate a complete lack of interest in building a strong middle class in the United States by supporting working families. In addition, his companies have for many years advertised their products with commercials that degrade women,” said Clarke.

“The nomination of Mr. Puzder as Secretary of Labor constitutes an insult to American workers, the proud women and men whose labor has built our nation. How could an individual who wants to pay poverty wages without benefits represent the interests of millions of workers who dream of a prosperous life for themselves and their children? How could we expect someone who approved sexist commercials that define women entirely as objects of male sexual desire to enforce laws that prohibit sex discrimination at work? After a campaign in which the President-elect promised to speak for ‘forgotten Americans,’ it appears that the incoming administration has forgotten American workers. I call on the Senate to oppose this nomination.”

Mosley’s Deplores Trump’s Pick Of Pruitt To Head EPA

Assemblyman Walter Mosley

Assemblyman Walter T. Mosley yesterday called President-elect Donald Trump’s appointment of Scott Pruitt, current Attorney General of Oklahoma, as the next head of the Environmental Protection Agency, another disheartening moment in a string of announcements for cabinet positions.

“Mr. Pruitt has been actively suing the EPA as Attorney General and is a clear antagonist to the current administration’s environmental protection policies. Likewise, Mr. Pruitt is an avid opponent of government regulation and a climate change denier,” said Mosley. “With this nomination, President-elect Trump is signaling a dynamic shift in the way our government will approach preserving our environment. I fear that our hard work with other nations, through the Paris agreement, will be undone leading to an acceleration of climate change.”

Mosley said the state now needs to stand united to protect shared green spaces for generations to come.

“I have consistently been a proponent of our environment in Albany. As such, I have sponsored legislation that would ban hazardous hydro-fracking waste being transported throughout our state or being used as a cheap and dangerous agent on our road networks. This coming year I pledge to continue to fight to protect our water systems and nature preserves for all New Yorkers,” he said.

Donovan Starts Outreach Initiative For Area Veterans

Congressman Dan Donovan

Congressman Dan Donovan (South Brooklyn, Staten Island) and the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) yesterday announced a new outreach initiative intended to deliver better casework services to the local veteran population.

Starting in December, the VA will station a representative one day per month at Donovan’s Staten Island and Brooklyn District Offices. The representative will meet with local veterans at scheduled times to resolve outstanding issues related to VA benefits and services, help file claims, answer questions, and provide case and appeals updates.

“This is a step in the right direction for the VA. Complaints about customer service and delays have persisted for years, and the men and women who served our country deserve quality, efficient treatment. Hopefully, this new outreach initiative marks a new responsiveness from the VA. I encourage all veterans and their loved ones who need help accessing benefits to reach out to my office,” said Donovan.

Staten Island and South Brooklyn veterans who would like to meet with the VA to discuss a pending case or open a new case may contact Donovan’s office to schedule an appointment. Each veteran will be allotted a one hour time slot for a personal meeting, and appointments are currently available on December 9 (Brooklyn) and December 16 (Staten Island).

Donovan’s Brooklyn District Office telephone number is (718) 630-5277.  His Staten Island District Office telephone number is (718) 351-1062.

Espinal Urges Public Safety Campaign Following Subway Death

City Councilman Rafael Espinal Jr.

City Council Member Rafael Espinal Jr., (Bushwick, East New York, Brownsville) yesterday said he will pursue a public safety campaign for straphangers following the tragic death of 14-year-old boy was run over by a train as he tried to perform a stunt at a subway station in East New York.

Police said the teen was riding between two train cars on a southbound L train around 10:30 p.m. Wednesday when the accident happened.

As the train was pulling into the New Lots Avenue station, he attempted to do some sort of stunt that involved jumping onto the subway platform from the train, but when he jumped, he missed the platform and fell onto the tracks, where he was run over by the train, police said.

“I am heartbroken to hear of the loss of a 14 year old boy as he attempted to perform a stunt on an L train riding through East New York, Brooklyn,” said Espinal. “My thoughts and prayers go out to this young man’s family, but in the wake of a similar incident only four days ago on the F line, I wonder if there is more that can be done to raise public awareness amongst our youth of the dangers of extreme joy riding on trains. I urge the MTA to include statistics and warnings about riding on the outside of trains in their advertisements. I would also like to work with the City Council’s Transportation Committee to host an oversight hearing with NYC Transit on accidents of this nature and possible actions we can take to protect our commuters from these avoidable fates.”