Lander, Chin On Albany Stopping City’s Nickel Fee For Plastic Bags
City Council Members Brad Lander (D-Park Slope, Windsor Terrace, Kensington) and Margaret Chin (D-Lower Manhattan) expressed disappointment at Governor Cuomo signing a state law putting a moratorium on the their city measure that would have charged residents a five-cent fee on any plastic bags they needed when out shopping.
The City measure was slated to go into effect this month, but the state delayed the measure until the next City Council takes office next year, and they can then revisit the issue.
“We fought plastic bags, and for now, plastic bags won. They are stubborn and toxic forms of solid waste. They never biodegrade, so they pollute our trees, oceans, and landfills forever. And they are hard to dislodge from the State Legislature, too,” Lander and Chin said in a joint statement.
“Carry out bag fees are the right policy – that’s why they have been adopted in cities from Washington DC to Seattle, the entire state of California, and in countries from Ireland to Israel to South Africa. In city after city, all the evidence shows that the vast majority of people, across lines of race and income, switch to reusable bags once a fee is in place.
“It is disappointing that the State Legislature and the Governor killed NYC’s Bring Your Own Bag Law, which was democratically adopted by the City Council after two years of hearings, reviewing evidence, reusable bag giveaways, and public debate. By nullifying only New York City’s law – but leaving nearly identical laws in Suffolk and Nassau Counties intact – the Legislature has put in jeopardy the basic concept of ‘home rule.’
“Despite this loss, we are proud of the coalition we have built, which took the issue of plastic solid waste – over 9 billion plastic bags every year, adding up to 91,000 tons of solid waste, trucked through our neighborhoods to landfills, polluting our trees, parks, and oceans along the way – and raised it to the very highest levels of New York State government. Someday, not soon enough, but someday, we will win action to get rid of them.”
Williamsburg Electeds Condemn Swastika Vandalism
Williamsburg lawmakers including State Senator Daniel Squadron, Congresswoman Nydia Velázquez, Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams, Senator Martin Dilan, Assemblymember Joe Lentol, and City Councilmember Stephen Levin, – all Democrats – released the following statement in response to reports of swastika vandalism at the Schaefer Landing building at 450 Kent Avenue in South Williamsburg, a community with a large Jewish population.
“The swastika represents some of humanity’s darkest history, and has no place in our communities. For years it incited hatred, and it continues to incite deep pain.
“This reprehensible symbolism — in a largely Jewish community — is simply unacceptable. Let us be very clear: the politics of hatred and fear have real consequences locally, nationally, and around the world. It is incumbent on the Trump Administration to denounce the rise in these acts.
“We stand united with all Brooklynites in saying not in our borough, not in our city, and not in our country. We urge anyone with information on this or any other hate incidents to contact NYPD Crime Stoppers at (800) 577-8477. Thank you to the NYPD, 90th Precinct, and Hate Crimes Task Force for their quick response to this crime.”
Richardson Pursues Criminal Justice Reforms
Assemblywoman Diana C. Richardson (Crown Heights, Lefferts Gardens) joined Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie, alongside numerous representatives of the Assembly Majority yesterday to announce plans to pass a comprehensive package of legislation addressing disparities in the State’s criminal justice system.
The package includes sweeping legislation that would help ensure fair and effective prosecution, reduce recidivism and promote the success of individuals following incarceration and overall create a more equitable justice system.
“Too many communities in this state and too many families are living under the harsh realities of an unfair justice system. Families deserve every opportunity to remain a part of each other’s lives and seek the help they need to live as healthier, safer and law-abiding members of our society,” said Richardson. “I am very proud to sponsor legislation in this justice reform package that would expand judicial diversion so that individuals who need help to overcome substance dependency receive treatment instead of a prison sentence.”
Among the measures in the legislative package include a bill that raise the age of adult criminal responsibility from 16 to 18 years of age, and prohibit the placement of anyone under the age of 18 in any adult jail or prison, allow for special prosecutors to be appointed when a civilian dies either in law enforcement custody or after an encounter with a law enforcement officer, the allowance of a court to release limited grand jury information in certain high-profile cases, speedy trial provisions, and sentencing and wrongful conviction reforms.
Donovan Hearing Provides Recommendations To Strengthen FEMA
Congressman Dan Donovan (R-South Brooklyn, Staten Island), Chairman of the House Subcommittee on Emergency Preparedness, Response, and Communications, yesterday hosted a hearing entitled, The Future of FEMA: Stakeholder Recommendations for the Next Administrator, on Capitol Hill.
The hearing focused on providing the next FEMA (FEderal Emergency Management Agency) Administrator with recommendations from emergency management experts to improve agency capabilities.
“FEMA has made significant improvements to strengthen its emergency response capabilities over the past decade, and we must continue to build on this momentum. Testimony from today’s hearing will help improve FEMA disaster recovery and resiliency efforts. It’s crucial that the next Administrator has the information needed to effectively lead and improve our nation’s ability to plan, prepare for, and respond to emergencies,” said Donovan.
Testimonies from each witness, as well as a full recording of the hearing, are available at homeland.house.gov.
Hamilton Declares His Office A Sanctuary Senate District
In light of President Trump’s Executive Order putting in jeopardy the rights of our immigrant population in New York and their families who have lawfully obtained permission to come to this country to live, work or visit, Senator Jesse Hamilton has declared his office to be a Sanctuary Senate District (SSD) for the term of President Trump’s executive order.
Hamilton’s office will provide services related to and protecting the rights of immigrants as they face legal challenges to their immigration status as well as delays in citizenship applications and potential deportation orders based on the misapplication of President Trumps executive order and the US Constitution.
Residents who have questions or issues regarding their immigration status can call the 1-800 number (1-800-213-6385) for assistance. In addition, Hamilton’s Office will have on site specialists on certain days of the month to provide direct support to residents. Over 20 community based organizations will serve as partners for the Sanctuary Senate District.
Hikind Launches Online Petition To Oppose Ellison As Next DNC Chair
Assemblyman Dov Hikind (D-Brooklyn) yesterday launched an online petition addressed to Senator Charles E. Schumer (D-NY), calling on him to rescind his support for Congressman Keith Ellison to be the next Chair of the Democratic National Committee.
Hikind is a hawk on Israeli foreign policy, and the petition is based in large part on Ellison’s past criticism and voting record regarding that policy.
“Keith Ellison has disqualified himself from becoming the next chair of the DNC,” said Hikind. “Ellison is the most polarizing choice. Not only are his views radical, but they are divisive. Whether his embracing of Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan or his support of the one-sided Goldstone Report, Ellison is clearly not the leader anyone should embrace.
“Ellison’s record clearly reflects he is no friend and is certainly dangerous to the State of Israel. In 2014, he voted against funding for Israel’s Iron Dome missile defense system. In 2010, at a fundraiser, he said that American foreign policy is governed by Israeli interests. Is this the future leader of the Democratic Party?
“Senator Schumer, are there no mainstream candidates to lead us? Instead of bringing Democrats together, Ellison will further divide the Party. Senator Schumer, pull the plug on your support for Ellison. He will be a disaster for the Democratic Party.”
To sign the petition to Senator Schumer, click HERE.
Mark-Viverito To Deliver State Of The City Speech In Flatbush
City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito (D-Bronx) will deliver her State of the District Address this Thursday at the Kings Theater in Flatbush.
The event is slated for 11 a.m., Thursday, Feb. 16 at the KIngs Theater, 1027 Flatbush Avenue in Flatbush. People wishing to attend must RSVP via phone or email at 212-482-6731 or [email protected]
New Kings Democrats Meet Thursday
The New Kings Democrats political club will hold their February General Meeting on Thursday.
The meeting will include a new member orientation.
The meeting is slated for 7-9 p.m., Thursday, Feb. 16 with the new member orientaion slated for 6:30 p.m. at the Event Space at Genius, 92 3rd Street in GOwanus. RSVP: newkingsdemocrats.com/