Brooklyn Lawmakers On The Move Jan. 5, 2017

News Site Brooklyn

James, Cumbo On LIRR Crash At Atlantic Terminal

Public Advocate Letitia James

Public Advocate Letitia James and City Council Member Laurie Cumbo (Fort Greene, Clinton Hill, Prospect Heights, Crown Heights) both issued comments following the Long Island Railroad crash beneath the Atlantic Terminal Mall at the Atlantic/Flatbush avenues intersection.

The crash, which occurred during yesterday morning’s rush hour occurred because the train went up and over the “bumping block” at the end of the track, derailing the first car of the train, according to Thomas Prendergast, head of the MTA. There were 103 injuries, none life threatening.

“My thoughts today are with the passengers on the LIRR train that crashed at Atlantic Terminal. I join millions of New Yorkers in wishing them a full and speedy recovery. I thank all the first responders who arrived quickly at the scene. My office is monitoring the situation closely,” said James.

“There have been several high-profile rail crashes in the past two years — including collisions in Philadelphia and Hoboken that killed nine people total, and another LIRR derailment in New Hyde Park just this past October. This is the most recent reminder of why we must remain committed to maintaining safe transportation infrastructure,” she added.

Cumbo, whose district includes the Atlantic Terminal, noted that it is one of the busiest transportation hubs in the City, serving thousands of commuters daily.

“While the majority of the incidents have been reported as non-life-threatening, we recognize that occurrences such as these can be traumatic events that will be carried for a lifetime. As the investigation into this incident remains ongoing, I want to thank our incredible emergency personnel for their immediate response,” she said.

Cymbrowitz Appointed Chair of Housing Committee

Assemblyman Steven Cymbrowitz

Assemblyman Steven Cymbrowitz (Sheepshead Bay, Manhattan Beach, Brighton Beach) yesterday announced that Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie appointed him as Chair of the Assembly’s powerful Housing Committee.

“I want to thank Speaker Carl Heastie for appointing me Chair of the Housing Committee,” he said. “I look forward to advancing legislation that will help provide safe, affordable, and accessible housing to millions of New Yorkers.”

Among its duties, the Housing Committee addresses important issues that directly affect low- and middle-income families across New York State, including public housing, the Mitchell-Lama housing program and rent regulation protections.

Cymbrowitz has an extensive background in housing issues that makes him well qualified for the leadership position. Before he was elected to the Assembly in 2000, he served as the New York City Housing Authority’s Director of Intergovernmental Relations, where he was responsible for developing the Housing Authority’s legislative initiatives.

He also served as Assistant Commissioner of the Division of Homeless Housing Development for the New York City Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD), Assistant Commissioner of the Division of Housing Production and Finance for HPD and Deputy Commissioner of Development at HPD.

“For our fixed-income seniors, for families working to make a better life for their children, for homeless people struggling for financial stability, and for so many other vulnerable New Yorkers, housing can be an all-consuming issue that makes or breaks their lives,” Cymbrowitz said. “As Housing Committee Chair, I look forward to the challenge of advocating for all New Yorkers and ensuring that our residents have safe, affordable and quality housing.”

Williams Applauds 2016 Crimes Statistics Recording A Record Low

City Councilmember Jumaane Williams

Council Member Jumaane D. Williams (Flatbush, East Flatbush, Midwood) yesterday hailed yesterday’s announcement from Mayor Bill de Blasio at the Brooklyn Museum that the 2016 year end crime statistics were at record lows in every major felony crime category with the exception of felony assaults.

“The City’s record low crime rate is worth applauding. Even more encouraging is Mayor de Blasio discussing the rethinking of how we address crime and public safety. That included acknowledging partners like the Cure Violence and community organizations that make up the City’s Crisis Management System,” said Williams.

“Today’s press conference was a stark contrast to just four years ago where the former administration touted the ‘success’ of Stop, Question and Frisk (SQF) in dealing with crime in the City. My visceral and impromptu reaction then was —  ‘It’s not true! That’s wrong!’ Today the mention of SQF, more specifically the abuses of it, was only in context of how wrong the approach was. The mistaken notion that the City could not drop the number of stops and still keep the City safe is clearly false. SQF’s are down 93%; and at the same time crime fell 4.1%.  Gun arrests are up, and shootings are at an all-time low. This becomes increasingly important as we have a President that wishes to take us backwards.

“We must commend the department and police force for their work and obvious role. We must also pay tribute to community groups like the Crisis Management Systems who have been on the ground every day and on the front lines, fighting a war against gun violence in New York City’s streets. Kudos to the Mayor for doing so today.”

Mosley Takes Cuomo To Task On Opening Day Of Legislative Session

Assemblyman Walter Mosley

Assembly Member Walter Mosley (Fort Greene, Clinton Hill, Prospect Heights, Crown Heights) yesterday said he looked forward to tackling ongoing issues and was critical of Gov. Andrew Cuomo while commenting on the beginning of the 2017 state legislative session in Albany.

“As my colleagues and I begin the 2017 session, our attention turns to the unfinished business of 2016 regarding the affordable housing crisis, criminal justice reform, and education policies of New York,” said Mosley.

“It is a shame that the Governor has broken with long standing tradition and will not deliver the annual State of the State to members of the legislature. This speech, historically, has set the agenda for the state’s legislative session and outlined the executive branch’s goals. In order to resolve the many pressing issues of this state this year, we must work together to ensure that the plight of common New Yorkers is addressed and not be divided on petty quarrels.”

Cumbo To Hold Seven-Part Community Exchange Event

City Council Member Laurie Cumbo

City Council Member Laurie Cumbo (Fort Greene, Clinton Hill, Prospect Heights, Crown Heights) yesterday announced an invitation to the public of her upcoming seven-part Community Exchange event series beginning on January 10.

“This is a free, public forum focused on affordable housing, City Council funding, and proposed changes in the community,” she wrote in a newsletter to constituents.

The purpose of this workshop series is to discuss topics that are affecting our local district and city at-large. It will provide local stakeholders with an opportunity to hear updates directly from city leadership about community projects, like the Bedford Union Armory, to ensure that all voices are heard, diverse perspectives are discussed, and community concerns and recommendations are included in the negotiation process. This exchange is a platform to share ideas to help shape the future of our growing and changing community.”

The first event, “Everything You Need to Know About Area Median Income (AMI) and Affordable Housing,” is slated for between 6:30-8:30 p.m. at Medgar Evers College, 1650 Bedford Avenue in Crown Heights. There will be a panel discussion, as well as a mini-expo where city agencies, community groups, and non-profit organizations will be on-site as a resource for affordable housing and advocacy opportunities.

Golden To Host Volunteer Income Tax Assistance Program

State Sen. Marty Golden

State Senator Marty Golden (Bay Ridge, Dyker Heights, Bensonhurst, Marine Park, Gerritsen Beach, Gravesend) yesterday announced that he will again host the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) Program, offering free tax preparation services to residents making less than $30,000 annually.

“I once again look forward to helping hundreds of my constituents complete their tax returns at no charge.  This will be the 20th year that my office has hosted the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance Program, an invaluable service to those who qualify, saving constituents hundreds of dollars they would otherwise spend in tax preparation services. I urge all those who qualify to call now to make an appointment,” said Golden.

According to the VITA guidelines, the program does not permit tax returns to be prepared for individuals with investment income or loss, income from rental property, and/or self-employed taxpayers with business expenses above $5,000 or losses.

Appointments will be available at Golden’s district office, 7408 5th Avenue in Bay Ridge, on Sundays and Mondays, from February 19 through April 10. Sunday appointments will be scheduled from 10 a.m. to 3:00 p.m., and Monday appointments will be scheduled from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. Services are by appointment only and can be scheduled by calling Golden’s district office at (718) 238-6044.

Colton Hosts Youth Talent Show

Assembly Member William Colton

Assemblyman William Colton (Bensonhurst, Bath Beach, Gravesend) will be co-hosting a talent show for the children, organized by a local community club “A-ELITA”.

The show is expected to have over 30 young participants, all of whom will receive awards and participation trophies. Colton considers this event a great opportunity to positively engage and unite the community and is looking forward to supporting the children showing off their talents.

The talent show is open to kids of all ages and is slated to begin at 5 p.m., this Saturday, Jan 7 at the Contello Towers II Community Room, 2740 Cropsey Avenue in Bath Beach.

Independent Neighborhood Democrats Holiday Party

The Independent Neighborhood Democrats, the Reform Democratic Club of the 52nd Assembly District, is holding their annual holiday party from 4-7 p.m., this Sunday, Jan. 8 at the home of  District Leader Anne Swern & Steve Brounstein, 15 Clark Street, Apt. 3B, in Brooklyn Heights.

Please e-mail IND at [email protected] to RSVP if you are able to attend. They also invite you to bring an appetizer, dessert or drink to share.  When you RSVP, please also let us know what you are bringing.