Gillibrand, Donovan Take On To Trump Speech
Democratic U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand and Republican Congressman Dan Donovan (South Brooklyn, Staten Island), not surprisingly, had different takes on President Donald Trump‘s first speech last night before a joint session of Congress.
In the speech, Trump pivoted from his usual hard edges to a more conciliatory tone of both parties working together, even suggesting a openess to granting legal status to immigrants and core Democratic issues regarding child care and paid leave, while also sticking to core Republican beliefs such as tax guts and gutting the Affordable Care Act.
Gillibrand said Trump made it clear in his speech that many of his top priorities are still severely out of touch with New York values.
“I wanted to hear him outline a real plan to keep good-paying jobs in New York, but instead we heard more of the same talk about lowering taxes for rich corporations, building an expensive border wall, and gutting the Affordable Care Act that millions of Americans now rely on. These policies will not raise wages or create good-paying jobs for workers in New York,” said Gillibrand.
“President Trump also acknowledged our urgent need for paid leave, and I encourage him to support my bill, the FAMILY Act, which would create a national paid leave plan for every American who works,” she added.
But Donovan said Trump offered a bold, ambitious vision, and he extended a hand to all willing to work toward solutions to the nation’s problems.
“We all agree that families should have access to affordable health insurance, jobs that pay a respectable wage, and quality education. Let’s get to work bridging the divides to achieve those goals together,” said Donovan.
Cuomo Wants To Raise Consent To Marry Age From 14 To 18
Governor Andrew M. Cuomo yesterday announced that he is advancing new legislation to end child marriage by raising the age of consent to marry from 14 to 18-years-old in New York.
The legislation strengthens protections for minors by preventing child marriage and holding violators accountable. Under the new measures, those who issue a marriage license to anyone under 18-years-old without parental and judicial written consent will be charged with a misdemeanor.
“New Yorkers will be shocked when they learn this law has been in place for so many years, and with this new legislation, we will put an end child marriage, give our young people a voice, and provide the rights and protections to minors that they deserve,” Cuomo said. “This is a major step forward in our efforts to protect children, prevent forced marriages, and create a safer and more just New York for all.”
Under current law, children as young as 14-years-old may get married with parental permission and written consent provided by a judge. The law, which dates back to 1929, does not provide guidance to judges determining whether or not to grant consent. As a result, more than 3,800 minors were married in New York between 2000 and 2010.
Research shows that young women who marry before 19 are 50 percent more likely than their unmarried peers to drop out of high school, and four times less likely to graduate from college. In addition, women who wed before 18 are at increased risk of developing mental and physical health disorders.
Adams Hails Expansion Of State Rent Subsidy To Combat Homelessness
Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams yesterday hailed the state and city coming to an agreement to address the problems of homelessness by expanding the State’s Family Eviction Prevention Supplement (FEPS) program.
FEPS offers a critical housing subsidy for low-income families that has not only failed to meet fair-market rental values for New York City, but has unfortunately excluded New Yorkers forced to leave their homes as a result of domestic violence. Adams has been championing the inclusion of the subsidy for victims of domestic violence for at least a year as per last March’s Lawmakers on the Move.
“I am deeply heartened that, through a settlement between the City and the State, these issues facing FEPS have been resolved. I thank every elected official and community advocate who worked relentlessly to make this possible.” said Adams.
“We cannot underestimate the impact that this improved program will have in our continued battle against homelessness. This settlement undoubtedly addresses one of the largest contributors to this crisis, and it does so in a way that puts empathy first. Empathy is a resource every New Yorker of means must put first as we face this painful reality that our brothers and sisters are living in every day. We need empathy for our neighbors struggling on our streets, many of whom fear shelter due to decades of negligence, and we need empathy for communities that have been shouldering the weight of this issue without the resources or respect they deserve. Brooklyn is committed to combating homelessness, let there be no question.”
Senate Passes Golden Bill Protecting Children From Drug Dealers In Playgrounds
State Sen. Marty Golden (R-Bay Ridge, Dyker Heights, Marine Park, Gerritsen Beach) yesterday saw legislation he sponsored increasing penalties for people who sell drugs on school grounds or daycare centers, to include parks and playgrounds that may not be attached to schools pass the Senate.
The bill, (S814A), will also help law enforcement prosecute drug dealers who use parks and playgrounds in an effort to target children.
“Our parks and playgrounds should be a safe haven where children play without fear from drug dealers and the poison they sell. This bill will help to protect the safety of children and their families by providing enhanced penalties for the sale of controlled substances on park grounds and playgrounds. The Senate will continue to pass legislation that will help stop the scourge of heroin from destroying our communities and killing our children,” said Golden.
The bill will now be sent to the assembly.
Cornegy Sponsors Bill Supporting Auto Repair Industry
City Council Members Robert E. Cornegy, Jr. (D-Bedford Stuyvesant, Northern Crown Heights) and Vanessa L. Gibson (D-Bronx) today join with small business owners and advocates on the steps of City Hall to announce legislation to protect commercial lease holders and support the auto repair industry.
Inspired by issues faced by the largely immigrant-owned Auto Repair industry, the CARS Act is a response to community concerns surrounding the Jerome Rezoning and similar projects.
The Commercial and Auto Repair Stability Act (CARS Act) will prevent business owners from unwittingly leasing space that cannot be used for their intended purpose. The CARS Act will require commercial landlords to produce a certificate of occupancy and any tax liens or outstanding fines on the land to prospective tenants prior to entering into a lease agreement, potentially saving business owners thousands of dollars in fines.
“The CARS Act will protect prospective tenants from leasing fraudulent spaces which greatly impact their businesses and operations. I am pleased to co-sponsor this important piece of legislation with my colleague on behalf of the small businesses and other commercial lease holders in our city and look forward to the targeted outreach by our NYC Dept. of Small Business Services (SBS),” said Cornegy, who chairs the Council’s Small Business Committee.
Corengy and Gibson will talk about the legislation at 11 a.m. today, March 1 on the steps of City Hall in Lower Manhattan.
Richardson Holds Meeting On Proposed Homeless Shelter
Assemblywoman Diana Richardson (D-Crown Heights, Lefferts Gardens) on Saturday will hold an informational meeting on a proposed homeless shelter on Bergen Street in the northern tip of her district.
This meeting will include representatives from the New York City Department of Homeless Services, the New York City Department of Social Services, Core Services, the New York Police Department, and local elected officials. Community members are welcome to share questions and concerns during this public forum.
The meeting is slated for 11 a.m., Saturday, March 4, at 1173 Bergen Street, between Brooklyn Avenue and New York Avenue.
Mealy Endorses Daniel Who Announces Run For City Council Seat
Term-limited City Council Member Darlene Mealy (D-Brownsville, Bed-Stuy, East Flatbush, Crown Heights) was on hand last night with a glowing endorsement as Kathleen Daniel officially announced her bid for the 41st District City Council seat.
Daniel, a survivor of domestic violence and a single mother of two announced she’s running at her first official fundraiser at the Rustik Tavern, 471 DeKalb Avenue on the Bed-Stuy/Clinton Hill border.
“Since I ran four years ago, there hasn’t been enough, there simply hasn’t been enough change. There are resources out there, there are services out there. There’s not enough education and information. There is not enough access to what is out there. We have a long way to go to amplify the voices of people who have been marginalized, people who have been ignored and people who have been ostracized, and these are the people who comprise the 41st district,” said Daniel.
Daniel ran four years ago against Mealy and lost. She currently works in community outreach for Borough President Eric L Adams. Others running in what is expected to be a highly competitive race are Henry Butler, Alicka Samuel, Cory Provost and Deirdre Olivera.