Brooklyn Lawmakers On The Move Feb. 14, 2017

News Site Brooklyn

Felder’s Bill Increasing Penalties For Cemetery Desecration Passes Senate

Sen. Simcha Felder

Senator Simcha Felder (D-Midwood, Flatbush, Borough Park, Kensington) yesterday announced his measure to increase penalties for criminals vandalize cemeteries passed the State Senate.

Under the measure (s1109), causing even “minor” damage from cemetery desecration would be a class E felony. The bill also establishes a far more serious punishment for second-time offenders.

Every year, hundreds of cemeteries suffer crimes of toppled stones, graffiti, desecration of remains, and outright demolition.  In the United States last year, more than 1,800 individual markers were affected, costing at least $488,000 to repair.

“The consequences of cemetery vandalism are not limited to property damage, but can result in emotional trauma to the relatives and friends of the departed whose grave has been desecrated,” said Felder. “It’s about time New York State got tougher on the individuals who commit these horrific crimes.”

Cemeteries need to be respected as places of memorial and remembrance, free from attack and defilement. Senator Felder will continue to safeguard our community by penalizing criminals that defile our cemeteries.

Schumer Demands ICE Releases Info About Raids

U.S. Senator Charles Schumer

U.S. Senator Charles E. Schumer (D-NY) yesterday demanded that immigration and customs enforcement (ICE) release information about the raids that happened this past week.

“Reports that Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) targeted non-violent immigrant families over the past week are deeply disturbing. Undocumented immigrants live in fear, and they are confused and scared, ” said Schumer. “I am troubled by the lack of transparency and potential due process violations surrounding ICE’s most recent enforcement actions. That is why I’m calling on ICE to release information about the location of the raids and details of the people who were arrested.”

Schumer said that targeting law-abiding innocent immigrant families whose only wrongdoing was crossing the border to give their children a better life, instead of focusing on removing those who have been convicted of violent crimes, is a waste of limited resources and undermines law enforcement in communities across the country.

“I have always supported smart immigration enforcement that helps to keep our country safe, but raids targeting law-abiding immigrants and treating those with traffic violations the same as murderers and robbers will only achieve the opposite,” he said.

Hamilton Lobbies City ‎To Get Rid Of ‘Broken Windows’ Policing

State Sen. Jesse Hamilton

State Sen. Jesse Hamilton (D-Central Brooklyn) yesterday said it is time for the City and the NYPD to end its ‘Broken Windows’ policing.

The broken windows theory of policing holds that if you make arrests on minor crimes such as jumping the subway turnstyle, it will have an effect on bringing down major crimes. The theory has long been credited with helping bring down crime in New York City to record levels, but Hamilton maintains the theory is no longer working and it is time to end the practice.

“A true Sanctuary City does not exist for people of color. Over 85% of New York City misdemeanor arrests in 2016 involved people of color and 90% of fare evasion (turnstile jumping) arrests involved people of color.  Broken Windows is a decades-long focus on policing minor crimes and activities such as jaywalking and noise disturbance. The horrible and unproven policy has led to the criminalization and over-policing of communities of color and excessive force in otherwise harmless situations. Eric Garner, Michael Brown and countless others have died because of Broken-Windows Policing,” said Hamilton.

“If New York City really wants this to be a sanctuary city for everybody, it has to look at Broken Windows. The practice puts immigrants in danger under the Trump administration. Every arrest produces fingerprints that are sent to federal law enforcement officials, who are now answering to a man dedicated to deporting 3 million people. The continued criminalization of New Yorkers of color is fundamentally incompatible with a sanctuary city,” he added.

Hamilton’s office is sending a letter to Mayor Bill de Blasio and City Councilman Carlos Menchaca (D-Red Hook, Sunset Park) to call a hearing to discuss ending Broken Windows Policing in New York City. Please click here to join Hamilton’s Civil Rights Task Force Broken Windows.

Williams Measure Catches faulty Catch Basins

City Councilmember Jumaane Williams

City Council Member Jumaane D. Williams (D-Flatbush, East Flatbush, Midwood) yesterday announced that a measure that he sponsored into law that requires inspections, remediation, and an annual report of the City’s catch basins is working.

Also under the measure, the City’s Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) is required to unclog/repair a catch basin within nine days from when a complaint is filed. 

According to the report that was released on Feb. 2, about 58,000 catch basins have been inspected between July 1 and December 31 of last year. Of the 58,000 catch basins inspected, nearly 2,000 were identified as “non-functioning,” and about 1,800 were repaired as a result of the inspections.

“For many areas in the City, including parts in my district, rain has caused much more damage than it should because of clogged catch basins, among several other causes. When I introduced this bill, my goal was to provide relief to residents and drivers, who would have to deal with flooded streets on a regular basis. It’s an issue that not only inconveniences neighborhoods, but also can cause significant water damage to property,” said Williams.

Colton, Treyger Celebrate Opening Of New Chinese-American Community Center

Assembly Member William Colton
City Councilman Mark Treyger

Assemblyman Bill Colton (D-Bensonhurst/Bath Beach) and City Councilman Mark Treyger (D-Bensonhurst/Gravesend/Coney Island) this past Saturday cut the ribbon on a new 5,000 square foot community center at 2336 86th Street in Bensonhurst.

It is the second community center that the non-profit Health Essential Association opened with the first being on Avenue U in Sheepshead Bay.

Health Essential Association was established to provide and raise awareness of the many public services as well as promote cultural diffusion for healthier communities for the residents of Sheepshead Bay, Bensonhurst, and Sunset Park.

Many immigrants and residents in these communities lack knowledge of the many public resources that can help them – such as help with immigration, health care, education, and senior benefits. Health Essential Association works with government agencies, private doctors, schools, hospitals, and HMO to deliver beneficial informational workshops to communities.

The new center’s catchment population includes the many Chinese-, Russian- and Spanish immigrants that live in the neighborhood, and translators speaking related languages are on hand.

The Community Center is open with youth, adult and senior programs from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday Through Friday. If you have any questions or comments, please don’t hesitate to contact Lina Chen at 646-515-6898 or by email to

Montgomery, Richardson,Walker, Wright Hold Workshop On Those Formerly Incarcerated

Senator Velmanette Montgomery photographed by tracy collins
Senator Velmanette Montgomery
Assembly Member Diana Richardson

Central Brooklyn State lawmakers including Sen. Velmanette Montgomery, and Assemblywomen Diana C. Richardson, Latrice Walker and Tremaine Wright will host a forum this weekend in Albany titled, Voices from the Formerly Incarcerated.

The forum is part of the 46th Annual Legislative Conference of the New York State Association of Black and Puerto Rican Legislators held this weekend, Feb. 17-19 in Albany. The event features a number of legislative and networking events.

This workshop we will feature the forgotten voices. The people who are directly effected and have experienced what it’s like to be inside of prison and come out the other end advocating for those re-entering society.

The workshop is slated for between 3;30-4:45 p.m., Saturday, Feb. 18 at the Empire State Concourse Meeting Room 3 in Albany. For a complete schedule of events click Here.