Clarke Bill Would Require ICE Agents To Wear Body Cameras
Congresswoman Yvette D. Clarke (D-Crown Heights, Flatbush, East Flatbush, Brownsville Sheepshead Bay) last week introduced the ICE Body Camera Act of 2017, which would require Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents to wear body cameras during field operations and removal proceedings.
The bill would mandate that ICE develop procedures for training agents and deploying body cameras – including the storage of digital information obtained through the cameras – and would require ICE agents to start wearing body cameras within 18 months.
“As Donald Trump has dramatically expanded the number of undocumented Americans who are a priority for deportation, many immigrants in Brooklyn and across the United States now fear a knock on the door in the middle of the night or checkpoints on their drive home from work. These immigrants as well as advocates are concerned about the possibility of abuse, particularly when individuals detained by Immigration and Customs Enforcement have only severely limited access to attorneys and to the due process of law. We need to establish procedures that protect their rights,” said Clarke.
“In recent years, many law enforcement agencies in the United States have required their officers to wear body cameras when conducting arrests or interacting with the community, in order to increase accountability and build the public’s trust in law enforcement officials. The early results are promising. A study cited by President Obama’s Task Force on Twenty-First Century Policing found that police officers wearing body cameras were involved in 87.5 percent fewer incidents where force was used and received 59 percent fewer complaints than police officers who did not wear cameras.
“We should apply this same approach to immigration enforcement. Immigrants and their families are entitled to respect for their humanity and to the full rights guaranteed under the law. With the ICE Body Camera Act of 2017, we will secure their rights.”
Schumer Warns Trump Cuts Would Endanger Security
U.S. Senator Charles E. Schumer (D-NY) yesterday sounded the alarm and expressed serious concerns with the Trump administration’s proposed cuts to the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) and the U.S. Coast Guard (USCG)—cuts Schumer says would put New York and Long Island security at risk.
“New York is terror target number one and that’s why cuts that hamstring New York airport security and compromise the safety of our waterways must be vociferously defended — before the damage is done,” said Schumer. “In an age of terror threats and lone wolves, the Trump administration’s budget cuts to the TSA and USCG would spell real trouble for security here in New York City. We know from recent attacks at airport baggage areas how real the threat TSA faces is, and they need MORE support to keep us safe, not less — especially when the plan is to divert the money for a border wall we don’t need, and that won’t keep us any safer from would be terrorists.”
According to a budget proposal and reports, the White House is seeking a 14 percent cut to the USCG budget and an 11 percent cut to the TSA budget in an effort to pay for the proposed Mexico border wall. A border wall that, Schumer says, is ineffective, would not increase safety and is profoundly expensive, and that President Trump has promised again and again would be, “Paid for by Mexico.”
Schumer said as a top terror target and popular traveling destination, these cuts could impact New York the most. Schumer also noted that the budget severely cuts back on canine detection teams, which offer a unique and effective way for the TSA to accurately and efficiently screen passengers.
“The border wall is impractical and unpopular, a pointless burden that this administration is trying to pay for by taking money away from the programs that actually keep Americans safe,” said Schumer.
Donovan Introduces Bill To Support Wildlife Conservation
Congressman Dan Donovan (R-South Brooklyn, Staten Island) last week helped advance the protection of endangered animals by introducing the Multinational Species Conservation Funds Semipostal Stamp Reauthorization Act.
This bill extends the availability of the Save Vanishing Species Semipostal Stamp, a special postage stamp that helps fund conservation programs for endangered animals at no cost to the taxpayer.
“I want my daughter to grow up in a world where the animals she learns about in the classroom, or sees at a zoo, can still be found in the wild. This legislation is a small step in helping ensure our wildlife will be preserved for future generations. Just last week, we celebrated World Wildlife Day to highlight the importance of conservation, and we must commit to these efforts every day. I look forward to helping pass this bill,” said Donovan.
According to the Wildlife Conservation Society, more than 30 million specialty stamps have been sold since their introduction in 2011, raising more than $2.9 million. The funds have supported more than 3,500 grants in more than 54 countries to help save endangered species from extinction. A recent World Wildlife Fund report found that the global populations of vertebrates mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians, and fish have declined by 58 percent between 1970 and 2012.
Lander Funds Green Roof For Windsor Terrace Library
City Councilmember Brad Lander (D-Park Slope, Kensington, Windsor Terrace) allocated funding through the participatory budgeting process to pay for a new green roof for the Brooklyn Public Library’s Windsor Terrace branch.
The roof’s green elements will reduce stormwater runoff and make the building more energy efficient by reducing the amount of heat it absorbs during the day and releases at night. The new roof will feature extensive plantings, including shrubs, perennial groundcovers, and ornamental grasses like sedum, witchhazel, butterfly weed, and carolina rose that will attract birds and other pollinators.
The green aspects of the roof replacement were made possible by the residents of Windsor Terrace, who voted to approve $250,000 for the project through the participatory budgeting process. Participatory budgeting empowers community members to decide how to spend part of the city’s budget.
“This project was recognized and supported by the very community the library serves through the PB process,” said Lander. “The sustainable green roof will provide tremendous benefits to the community—from helping to improve air quality to providing a wildlife habitat. Without a doubt, it shows the incredible environmental leadership by the Windsor Terrace Library.”
The building will close for the replacement work starting today, March 13, and the Library anticipates that it will be able to reopen in mid-April, with the entire project to be completed this summer. Until then, Bookmobile service will be provided outside the branch on Wednesdays and Fridays from 11:00 am to 4:00 pm beginning Wednesday, March 15. Nearby branches open for use include Cortelyou Library (1305 Cortelyou Road), Flatbush Library (22 Linden Boulevard) and Kensington Library, (4207 18th Avenue).
Richardson Reminds Constituents About Youth Conference
Assemblywoman Diana Richardson (D-Crown Heights, Lefferts Gardens) is reminding constituents to come out to the Community Board 14 Youth Conference this Wednesday.
“This conference will give our youth the opportunity to meet and great with over 70 organizations, which currently offer jobs, internships, and other amazing opportunities. Additionally, there will be various workshops to gain more insight on, job applications, college funding, as well as addressing issues like bullying and more. In addition, there will be mock interviews where groups of professionals from a variety of industries will give teens insight on proper interview etiquette,” said Richardson in her newsletter to constituents.
Heastie To Speak At TJ Club Meeting
State Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie (D-Bronx) is slated to be the guest speaker at this week’s Thomas Jefferson Democratic Club meeting.
The TJ Club is Kings County Democratic Chair Frank Seddio‘s home club and it also spawned the late Assemblyman Stanley, who was the Assembly Speaker 32 years ago.
The meeting is slated for 8 p.m., this Thursday, March 16, at 77 Conklin Avenue in Canarsie.