Bay Ridge Candidates On Breast Milk, Bikes, Garbage & Education Funding

While candidates in other city council races around the borough are busy building their campaign war chests, there isn’t so much as a sidewalk crack needing a fix that is immune from candidates in the competitive 43rd District City Council writing a press release about it.

The open seat covering Bay Ridge, Dyker Hights and parts of Bensonhurst and Bath Beach is Brooklyn Democracy at its best with a number of both Democrats and Republicans running in their respective primaries. The following are some of their latest dispatches:

Quaglione Calls On City To Expand Breast Milk Services

John Quaglione

Republican Candidate John Quaglione issued a statement recently saying he was disheartened to learn that a state proposal allowing Medicaid coverage of breast milk as formula, donated to milk banks, to foster the healthy development of babies born too early in no longer advancing in Albany.

“In light of this, as a father of two daughters born prematurely, I believe it is now necessary that New York City take action to expand access to breast milk. That is why I am calling upon the NYC Department of Health and the City Council Health Committee to develop an initiative that will put the well-being of all Big Apple babies first. We already have milk banks throughout NYC, so it makes perfect sense for the City to partner in an effort to magnify the positive results,” said Quaglione.

“We have to help mothers who cannot produce breast milk and families who cannot afford it for their newborn. The last thing we want is for those who need it to be forced to turn to cheaper, unregulated sources. The positive effect of breast milk on premature babies has been repeatedly proven, and any such City program, will surely yield a long term positive health impact.”

As strange as this idea may sound, the idea might just take hold as the City under the de Blasio Administration could well lead the nation in breast milk initiatives. Bedford-Stuyvesant City Council Member Robert Cornegy Jr. has an annual Lactation Awareness march through the streets of Bed-Stuy and Northern Crown Heights and boasts of being the first City Council Member with a lactation room in his district office where nursing mothers can feed their babies in privacy.

Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams also has a lactation room in Borough Hall. In fact, one can honestly surmise without too much editorialize that Brooklyn’s nursing infants have never had it so good with public places their mom can now stop to give them a nip from the goddesses’ white nectar of nature.

McCabe Inplies Sanitation Tickets A Bunch Of Garbage

Liam McCabe

Republican Candidate Liam McCabe this week called upon the Department of Sanitation to provide data for the number of tickets they have issued since the March 14 service change, in which several small streets in Bay Ridge have been dropped from regular garbage pickups.

“The Department of Sanitation says it uses ‘discretion’ when it comes to ticketing in cases like these.  I want to see what that discretion looks like in real numbers and whether our community is being unfairly targeted by another de Blasio era got-cha ticketing scheme,” said McCabe. “The mayor picks and chooses what rules he has to enforce and when and how to exercise discretion. In this case, the mayor has discretion, and he needs to exercise it.”

McCabe says, “we are once again seeing what it is like not to be on Bill de Blasio’s radar as a community that matters.  According to the mayor’s logic, we can pile the garbage from more than fifteen houses in front of one house on a corner, and we can pay extra in tickets and fines for that privilege.”

In addition to the cost of tickets, McCabe cites the public health hazards, the degradation of quality of life, and the undue burden that the DSNY service changes place on residents.  “We have seniors living on many of these streets, we have individuals who are not able to drag their garbage all the way up their street to the corner,” says McCabe.

Capano Says City Needs to Take Wheels Off Spending On Citi Bike Program

Bob Capano

Republican Candidate Bob Capano this week called the City Council’s plan to spend $12 million in public funds to finance the expansion of the Citi Bike program “a bad use of tax dollars and a scheme that doesn’t past the smell test.”

THe proposed money would finance the expansion of the Citi Bike program by 2,000 bikes into areas of the city it does not currently serve and left the door open to future subsidies to the Citi Bike program.

“The New York City Council’s plan to finance Citi Bikes expansion in areas outside of Manhattan is ludicrous.  When the Citi Bike program was originally presented to the city it was pitched as a positive revenue generator. Now the City Council is looking to spend $12 million in tax dollars to expand the Citi Bike program in upper Manhattan and the outer boroughs and they opened the possibility that the $12 million could become a reoccurring burden for city taxpayers.  It’s simply a bad use of tax dollars and a scheme that doesn’t past the smell test,” said Capano.

“Mayor de Blasio and the City Council need to stop spending our tax dollars like drunken sailors. We have a municipal hospital system bleeding billions of dollars and an ever-growing  homeless population. Perhaps the  $12 million would be better spent alleviating human suffering than adding 2,000 new bikes to the city’s streets.”

Brannan Mounts Social Media Campiagn For More School Funding

Justin Brannan

Democratic Party Candidate Justin Brannan this week announced a new social media campaign calling on parents and educators to see education dollars owed to individual schools using a new database created by advocates.

The money comes from the decade-old legal settlement through the campaign For Fiscal Equity (CFE), which found that some of the state’s poorer school districts were not getting their fair share of taxpayer money. Brannan said as much as $40 million is owed to local schools in Bay Ridge and surrounding neighborhoods.

“Every New York child deserves a quality education. It’s a right enshrined in our state constitution and confirmed by the Campaign for Fiscal Equality lawsuit,” said Brannan. “More than 10 years after CFE was settled, NYC public schools still aren’t getting their fair share from Albany. It’s time our elected officials stand up for public school students and fight for this funding in the current state budget.”

 Brannan‘s comments comes in response to mounting pressure on state legislators to secure funding for New York City public schools during the current, fraught budget negotiations in Albany. According to the Alliance for Quality Education, the schools are owed $1.9 billion in so-called Foundation Aid intended to fund basic classroom operating costs and other school services.

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