Savino, Hamilton, IDC Pass Religious Freedom Legislation Package
State Senators Diane Savino (D-Coney Island, Stetn Island) and Jesse Hamilton (D-Central Brooklyn) along with colleague member’s of the Senate’s Independent Democratic Conference yesterday announced they have succeeded in passing a Religious Freedom package of legislation to combat hate-inspired crimes in New York State and to promote tolerance amongst those of different cultures and ethnicities.
The legislative package came on the heels of threats made against four New York Jewish Community Centers early last week, incidents of anti-Semitic and anti-Islamic graffiti on mass transit, and bomb threats as recently as yesterday in Brighton, DeWitt and Manhattan. Nationally, a wave of anti-Semitic incidents has occurred nationally, with 100 bomb threats called into JCCs and acts of cemetery desecration.
The Senate passed legislation to:
Create a specified offense for graffiti making as a hate crime – Currently graffiti is a class A misdemeanor, but S.4777 sponsored by Senator David Carlucci (D-Rockland) would elevate this offense by one degree to a class E felony, if graffiti is made to target a person’s race, color, national origin, ancestry, gender, religion, religious practice, age, disability or sexual orientation.
Heighten penalties for damaging property in a house of worship or desecrating a cemetery – Criminal penalties are elevated by a degree for damaging property or stealing property in a house of worship and desecrating or raiding valuables from a cemetery, under Senator Klein’s S.1786.
Prohibit funding to college groups that participate in boycotts of Israel and other countries that have a Regents chartered school – State aid would be prohibited from funding any academic entity or activities if engaged in a boycott of Israel or other countries.
“New York has the largest Jewish population outside of Israel and a rich diversity of numerous cultures and backgrounds from countries around the world that allow our communities to thrive. It is for these reasons that bold and swift action are necessary in order to provide our people of all creeds with the peace of mind that these hate-crimes will be promptly met with the full force of law,” said Savino.
“With the NYPD reporting that hate crimes overall are up 55% so far this year, and anti-Semitic hate crimes up a staggering 94%, the passage of this Religious Freedom package sends a timely message. We will not allow our friends and neighbors to be intimidated or marginalized. New York will continue to champion the values of inclusion that have served us well for generations. I am proud to stand with my Senate colleagues and reaffirm our commitment to every New Yorker practicing their faith freely,” said Senator Hamilton.
De Blasio Big Day In Brooklyn
Mayor Bill de Blasio has two events scheduled in Brooklyn today.
In the first event, de Blasio will meet with Assemblymember Steve Cymbrowitz (D-Sheepshead Bay, Manhattan Beach, Brighton Beach) and local seniors to discuss the proposes “Mansion Tax” at 1:30 p.m., at the Mirage Diner, 7171 Kings Highway in Midwood.
Then, this evening de Blasio and City Council Member Robert Cornegy Jr. (D-Bedford-Stuyvesant, Northern Crown Heights) will host a Town Hall Meeting.
The meeting is slated for 7 p.m., at P.S. 23 Carter G. Woodson Elementary School, 545 Willoughby Avenue in Bedford-Stuyvesant.
Mosley On GOP Healthcare Plan
Assemblymember Walter Mosley (D-Fort Greene, Clinton Hill, Prospect heights, Crown Heights) yesterday sharply criticized the Republican new health care plan floating through congress, which would dismantle the Affordable Health Care Act, also known as ObamaCare, which saw millions of uninsured Americans get healthcare coverage.
“Under President Obama, our country was closer than ever to the ideal of every citizen having access to affordable healthcare. Unfortunately, with the Republican plan removing the tax penalty and federal insurance subsidies, there is no consequence to not having healthcare and no method for citizens to obtain affordable insurance. A complicated system of tax credits will do very little to incentivize people to buy insurance, especially those who can barely afford insurance today. By replacing the federal subsidies with state grants, the Republican Party is creating location-based inequalities. Low-income people are now at the mercy of their state government, and no one’s life should depend on what party is in power in their state capitol,” said Mosley.
“This plan also makes Planned Parenthood, one of the largest health providers for women, ineligible for Medicaid reimbursements of federal family planning grants. An estimated 1 in 5 women have used Planned Parenthood at some point in their lives, for many different reasons. Planned Parenthood also provides many services that are used by men, and it is dangerous and irresponsible to cut Medicaid reimbursement for an organization that provides high-quality healthcare for over 10% of the United States’ population and 20% of women in the country.
“There is no precedent for Congress reversing a social program that has already taken effect and benefited millions of Americans. The Affordable Care Act is working, it has been working, and it would continue to help millions of people, given the proper funding from the government. It’s unfortunate that the House Republicans would return us to the days when families had to choose between paying for cancer treatment and paying their mortgage or rent. Quality and affordable healthcare is not something that should be available only to a few, and this move by the GOP will serve to make our country sick again.”
Simon On International Women’s Day
Assemblywoman Jo Anne Simon (D-Downtown Brooklyn, DUMBO, Boerum Hill, Carroll Gardens, Cobble Hill) yesterday celebrated International Women’s Day and #ADayWithoutAWoman with the following statement:
“As the daughter of a strong woman who raised three strong daughters to take their rightful places in the world, and as an aunt and a grandmother who fights for a world where my niece and granddaughter will be able to live their lives unencumbered by the burdens not be subjected to unequal treatment, today is a day to recognize women, their strengths, their accomplishments and the many challenges that women face around the world. In far too many parts of the globe, women are still treated as chattel, and even in the industrialized world, women are victims of underestimation, underrepresentation, undereducation, underemployment and medical undertreatment,” said Simon.
“Today women are under unprecedented attack. From misguided, misogynistic efforts to defund our healthcare and control our bodies, to the intractible pay gap, to the gender gap in board rooms and executive suites, elective offices, medicine and law, our STEM classrooms, and our athletic fields, young girls learn early that they are undervalued in American society. This comes back to haunt them and manifest later in life when women are pushed into frustrating and traditional roles instead of being encouraged to aspire and achieve. It harms their families’ opportunities to live a better life and sends a bad message to their sons and daughter alike.
“#ADayWithoutAWoman is a day to honor the women who fought for our right to vote, our right to reproductive health care, our right to be educated and our still unfulfilled right to equal pay for equal work. It is a day lift ourselves up and demand that others do so as well. Women’s contributions to our society and culture are incalculable. I hope that today, everyone in our society will experience what it means when women take the day off. I salute these efforts and wish you and your family a very happy International Women’s Day.”
Golden To Attend Grand Opening Of Birthing Center
State Sen. Martin J. Golden (R-Bay Ridge, Dyker Heights, Marine Park, Gerritsen Beach) tomorrow will be among the elected and community representatives attending the ribbon cutting and grand opening ceremony of The Birthing Center of New York.
The Birthing Center of New York is a modern, freestanding birthing facility with a mission to provide a safe, comfortable, family-centered location for low risk pregnancies. The goal of the Center is a healthy
delivery for all mothers and babies.
The event is slated for 11 a.m., tomorrow March 10 at 6700 3rd Avenue In Bay Ridge. For more information on the Center visit their website at www.nybirthingcenter.com.