Golden Urges Cuomo To Veto New Definition Of Gravity Knife
State Sen. Martin J. Golden (Bay Ridge, Dyker Heights, Bensonhurst, Marine Park, Gerritsen Beach, Gravesend), a former New York City Police Officer, last week echoed the sentiments of Mayor Bill de Blasio and law enforcement union leaders, urging Governor Andrew M. Cuomo to veto legislation that seeks to change the definition of a gravity knife.
Under the measure, A.9042-A/S.6483-A, the current penal law will be amended to exclude knives that have a spring, detent, or other mechanism, from the definition of “switchblade knife” and “gravity knife”.
“I join with Mayor Bill de Blasio, the District Attorneys of New York, Bronx, Kings and Queens County, and the law enforcement community, in calling upon Governor Andrew Cuomo to veto this legislation. This year in New York City there has been a significant increase in knife assaults and if this legislation becomes law, it will only further amplify the danger of knives on our streets. I believe strongly that the City and State must work together to establish a more appropriate solution to this issue that will maintain safety of all as the priority,” said Golden.
“The brave men and women of the New York City Police Department work to keep New York City safe each and every day. Our uniformed officers are threatened, encounter, and unfortunately at times injured by knife violence. Additionally, the success of the NYPD’s recently established Operation Cutting Edge initiative, specifically designed to target knife-attacks, is challenged by this legislation.”
Donovan Condemns Anti-Israel Resolution
Congressman Dan Donovan (South Brooklyn, Staten Island) on Friday condemned both the approved United Nations Resolution 2334, and the U.S. abstaining from the vote, which essentially passed it.
The resolution states that Israel’s building of Jewish settlements on territory occupied by Palestinians prior to the 1967 war “had no legal validity, constituting a flagrant violation under international law and a major obstacle to the vision of two States living side-by-side in peace and security.”
“The U.S. was mistaken in failing to veto the U.N. Security Council resolution regarding Israel. One-sided resolutions are not a path to peace, and I condemn this resolution which underscores dangerous anti-Israel sentiments,” said Donovan.
“Lasting peace will only come through direct negotiations between Israel and Palestine. With so much turmoil and conflict in the Middle East, it’s critical that our nation defends our greatest ally in the region. I’ll always be committed to supporting Israel, and I look forward to working with a unified government next year to strengthen our partnership,” he added.
Treyger Bill Monitoring Trade Schools Becomes Law
City Council Member Mark Treyger‘s (Coney Island, Bensonhurst, Gravesend) legislation requiring the Department of Education to produce an annual report about the status of the City’s Career Technical Education (CTE) programs was signed into law late last week by New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio.
The City Council unanimously approved the bill earlier this month. CTE programs are commonly known as trade programs, in which students in high school get a leg up on learning a trade along with regular academic programming.
The new law requires the DOE to report annually to the City Council with data that would provide the City, labor organizations, prospective employers, and public school parents with greater transparency about the state of CTE schools and programs, while also serving as a starting point for further advocacy to better connect students with real world career skills and employment opportunities.
A 2008 study from Johns Hopkins University found that when CTE programs were offered alongside an academic curriculum, dropout rates decreased while student motivation and school attachment rose. CTE programs cover a broad spectrum of fields where labor demand is outpacing the supply of qualified candidates, including STEM, law, information technology, health science, and public safety.
“As a former high school educator, I recognize the transformative ability of high-quality CTE schools and programs to galvanize students and foster their undiscovered talents,” said Treyger. “This legislation will provide us with valuable insights into the status of CTE programs across the city, serving as a springboard to augmenting and improving these programs so that our students are better prepared for meaningful career opportunities in a rapidly evolving 21st century workforce.”
Persaud Gets Major Funding For Kingsborough Community College
State Senator Roxanne J. Persaud (Canarsie, East New York, Brownsville, Mill Basin, Sheepshead Bay, Bergen Beach, Marine Park, Flatlands, Mill Island, Georgetown, Ocean Hill, Starrett City) recently helped secure $600,000 in state funding of the estimated $1.5 million needed for Kingsborough Community College’s proposed Student Union & Intercultural Center.
The large community college is both in her district and includes a student body, of which a large number comes from her district.
“The purpose of the new space is twofold,” said Kingsborough President Farley Herzek. “Primarily, the Center will be dedicated to learning more about what we share as a diverse educational community. Kingsborough students represent 162 countries and speak approximately 73 languages. We plan to offer events in the space to encourage students to have the types of meaningful exchanges that help bridge cultural, religious, ideological, political, and lifestyle divides and differences.”
“Secondly, the Center will encourage student engagement, which studies have shown is tied to student success,” noted Herzek. “Students who are actively engaged in their campus communities are more likely to stay the course and complete their studies.”
“I’m very happy that I was able to be of service to Kingsborough Community College and help them reach their goals for their new Student Union and Intercultural Center. Bridging the gap between the diverse student body is such a wonderful and important way to promote tolerance all while enriching the educational experience,” said Persaud.
The first phase of reconstruction began in last month. The entire project is expected to be completed by June.
Williams, Menchaca Comment On Another Construction Worker Death
City Council Members Jumaane D. Williams (Flatbush, East Flatbush, Midwood) Chair of the Housing and Buildings Committee, Ben Kallos (Manhattan), Chair of the Government Operations Committee, and Carlos Menchaca (Red Hook, Sunset Park), Chair of the Immigration Committee released the following joint statement after a construction worker fell to his death after falling down an elevator shaft on the Upper East Side last Friday morning.
“We’re saddened to offer our prayers of peace and comfort to the family and friends of yet another young man who lost his life on a New York City construction site. If it is even possible to make such news worse, getting it during the holiday season must be unimaginable.
“This fatality marks the 30th construction worker death this City has experienced since 2015. There is no other industry where workers would die at this rate without significant preventative recourse. The atmosphere of safety belongs to the developer, construction company and the worker. Government must be unyielding in making sure that the atmosphere truly exists and is compulsory.
“While we have seen some progress in improving safety on job sites, the progress is not happening fast enough as the casualty number rises. The time has passed when condolences are not enough; only action will do. If we cannot provide answers to New Yorkers, we should start shutting down sites that have had persistent safety problems immediately.”