Bichotte Reintroduces Bill For Free Community College
Assemblymember Rodneyse Bichotte (Flatbush, Ditmas Park) last week said Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s announced plans for free college tuition at all state and city universities would actually hurt low-and middle-income households and reintroduced her own bill from last year, the NY Promise Bill (A0929), which calls for free community college tuition.
The bill, which Senator James Sanders, Jr. (Queens) is sponsoring on the senate side, is based on President Obama’s America’s College Promise initiative for free community college tuition.
“I am delighted to see that my bill, the NY Promise Bill (A0929), introduced in the 2015 legislative session and reintroduced this session, along with Senator James Sanders, Jr. was more or less adopted by Governor Cuomo to finally make free college tuition a priority issue. Our bill will allocate $450 million and provide free tuition for community college, both city and state,” said Bichotte. “Unfortunately, the amount of $163 million that he is proposing to allocate towards making college tuition free is not enough and it will do little to help low-income families.”
Bichotte noted that Cuomo’s vision of offering free college tuition to all state colleges is being critiqued by many as yet another unrealistic vision that will not be carried out given the kinds of financial constraints and “limited revenue” that the Governor himself noted last year.
“The Governor’s plan although well intended, is not adequately funded, will hurt community colleges and small private colleges, and it will do little if anything at all to help low-income students and their families. In contrast, the NY Promise Bill (A0929), which allocates $450 million, will be able to help more families because the cost to fund community college tuition is lower so dollars will go further, it will help low-income and middle-income families because it will provide grants up to $1000 to help offset additional costs, and it will allow families to save more money over time. It will ultimately help baccalaureate colleges because many students will transfer after two years, debt-free,” said Bichotte.
“The Governor needs to be cautious in his message, which is being misinterpreted by the people of New York to mean that his proposal will provide absolute free tuition and that it will be passed in our State Senate legislature, which is currently politically divided. In order to avoid empty promises, as elected officials we need to be transparent in our messaging and fiscally responsible with the people’s budget. Creating the opportunity to obtain an affordable degree that prepares people for the demands of a global economy requires and deserves our best thinking. Our duty is not to over promise and under deliver. My bill, the NY Promise Bill (A0929), if passed will uphold its promise to the people this great State.”
Nadler On Why He Won’t Attend Trump Inauguration
Congressman Jerrold Nadler (Borough Park, Kensington, and parts of Bay Ridge, Bensonhurst, Dyker Heights, Red Hook, Sunset Park and Midwood, Western Manhattan) yesterday released his reasoning behind his refusal to attend the inauguration on Friday of Donald Trump as the 45th President of the United States:
“The rhetoric and actions of Donald Trump have been so far beyond the pale – so disturbing and disheartening – and his continued failure to address his conflicts of interest, to adequately divest or even to fully disclose his financial dealings, or to sufficiently separate himself from the ethical misconduct that legal experts on both side of the aisle have identified have been so offensive I cannot in good conscience participate in this honored and revered democratic tradition of the peaceful transfer of power,” said Nadler.
“We cannot normalize Donald Trump, and we certainly cannot turn our heads and ignore such a threat to the institutions and values of our democracy. His refusal to adequately address his business conflicts of interest, to show remorse for the inflammatory rhetoric in which he engaged during his campaign, his attempts to intimidate the press, and his continuing failure to demonstrate any interest in uniting Americans reveal a deep disrespect for the office of President.
“I refuse to sit idly by as he flaunts his illicit behavior without regard for the American people’s interest. I refuse to abide any effort to undermine a free and independent press, which serves a pivotal role in any democratic system and whose rights are guaranteed by our Constitution. I refuse to applaud for a man with a history of offensive and abusive behavior to women and minorities. I refuse to treat January 20, 2017, as business as usual.
“For these reasons, I have no interest in participating in the inauguration ceremony of Donald J. Trump.”
Brooklyn Congress Members Yvette Clarke and Nydia Velazquez will also not attend the inauguration out of protest, setting the stage for an increasingly rocky start to the Trump Administration.
Lentol Calls For Increased Safety on Nassau Avenue After Young Boy is Hit
Assemblyman Joseph R. Lentol (Williamsburg, Greenpoint) last week sent a letter to New York City Department of Transportation Commissioner Polly Trottenberg in response to a young boy who was hit by a vehicle on Friday, January 6, 2016.
The letter requested the installation of a traffic light at Nassau Avenue and Russell Street, where the young boy was hit. The letter also asked for an investigation of Nassau Avenue between Russell Street and McGuinness Boulevard, a highly trafficked stretch of Greenpoint.
“I am happy to hear the young boy’s injuries were not too serious. With the community growing, the BQE under construction and the filming that occurs, traffic is dispersed to new and unfamiliar patterns to drivers and we naturally see higher chances of accidents. I am glad that all of North Brooklyn will be receiving a traffic study in the coming months. However, we need some safety improvements to Nassau Avenue immediately. I look forward to Commissioner Trottenberg’s response,” Lentol said.
The letter can be found at: https://www.scribd.com/document/336203345/Nassau-Ave-Russell-St-to-McGuinness-Traffic-Light-Request.
Cumbo’s Second Community Session Focuses On Getting City Funding
City Council Member Laurie Cumbo (Fort Greene, Clinton Hill, Prospect Heights, Crown Heights) will hold her second of seven “Community Exchange Series” tomorrow night with the focus being on how to apply for city council funding.
The first in the series was held last Tuesday with the topic being “Everything You Need to Know About Area Median Income (AMI) and Affordable Housing.” If you missed the event, please click here for a comprehensive recap, including event footage and the presentation given by New York City Housing Preservation and Development (HPD).
At tomorrow night’s meeting/workshop Leora Estersohn, Managing Director of The Non Profit HelpDesk, will go through the entire application, step-by-step. This hands-on workshop will cover exactly what you need to know in order to win city council funding for your non-profit organization.
The event is slated for between 6:30-8:30 p.m., tomorrow, Jan. 18 at Medgar Evers College, 1638 Bedford Avenue in Crown Heights. Click here to RSVP. For further information contact Cumbo’s Budget Director, Matthew Pitt, at [email protected].
Richardson Reminds Constituents About Civil Service Employment Opportunities
Assembly Member Diana Richardson last week reminded all residents who are seeking employment to take advantage of the Annual Civil Service Exam applications.
Many of these exams are taking place this month.
“There are many available job opportunities open to the public. New York City is recruiting individuals to take this exam and obtain various positions with benefits that include holiday pay, vacation days, prescription coverage, dental and eyeglass coverage, as well as a choice of health plans,” said Richardson in her e-newsletter.
“In addition, individuals seeking employment are encouraged to visit their local Work Force 1 site.