Harris Lauds State Budget Inclusion Of Affordable Housing, Tenant Protection Investments
Assemblymember Pamela Harris (D-Coney Island, Bay Ridge, Dyker Heights) this weekend announced that the 2017-18 state budget includes substantial investments in affordable housing and protections for tenants so that more New Yorkers can stay in their homes.
“The costs of living in Brooklyn continue to climb and many of our residents are being priced out of their own homes,” said Harris. “This year’s budget makes sure that affordable housing is a reality for more New York families and seniors, because the people who built our communities should be able to stay here.”
The budget provides $2.5 billion for affordable housing and anti-homelessness initiatives, including:
- $1 billion for supportive housing to construct 6,000 or more units statewide, including $50 million in operating aid;
- $200 million for New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) capital repairs to improve living conditions and make necessary upgrades; and
- $75 million for Mitchell-Lama preservation programs.
The budget also invests $4.5 million for the Tenant Protection Unit, which helps ensure safe housing by investigating patterns of landlord fraud and neglect. Additionally, $300,000 is allocated to Community Voices Heard, an organization that advocates for safe and affordable housing free of discrimination.
“With a large number of our neighbors living in public and subsidized housing, it’s essential that we invest in NYCHA and other initiatives that promote affordability,” said Harris.
In order to help seniors remain in their homes, the state budget increases funding for Naturally Occurring Retirement Communities (NORCs) and Neighborhood Naturally Occurring Retirement Communities (NNORCs) by $2 million. NORCs provide necessary support services for seniors including case management and health monitoring, as well as social activities to foster engagement, noted Harris.
Ortiz Lauds State Budget For Passing ‘Raise the Age
Assemblymember Felix Ortiz (D-Sunset Park, Red Hook) expressed great pleasure in the 2017-18 state budget inclusion of raising the age of adult criminal responsibility in New York.
“This is a great victory because it acknowledges that there is a difference between an adult and teens who commit crimes. Many of our young people who find themselves on the wrong side of the law may have the opportunity to reverse their errors without sacrificing their futures,” said Ortiz.
Under the new law, cases involving 16 and 17 year-old defendants would be adjudicated as follows:
Civil violation charges, such as open container violations and possession of small amounts of marijuana, as well as misdemeanors under the Vehicle and Traffic Law, such as DWIs, would continue to be handled in the local court;
All misdemeanor charges under the Penal Law would be handled in Family Court;
All felony charges would begin in a newly established Youth Part of the criminal court, presided over by a Family Court judge, where offenders would have access to additional intervention services and programming;
Non-violent felony charges would be transferred to Family Court, unless the district attorney makes a motion and demonstrates extraordinary circumstances that justify retaining the case in the Youth Part of the criminal court;
Violent felony charges would remain in the Youth Part of the criminal court and be subject to a three-part test that weighs the seriousness of the offense to determine whether the case will be eligible for presumptive removal to Family Court;
Juvenile cases not eligible for removal will be treated as adults for sentencing purposes, though the court will be directed to consider the defendant’s age when imposing a sentence of incarceration.
Cornegy Praises Cuomo & State Budget
City Councilman Robert Cornegy Jr. (D-Bedford-Stuyvesant, Northern Crown Heights) yesterday expressed support for Governor Cuomo‘s FY 2018 state budget totaling $153.1 billion dollars, saying it will benefit many New Yorkers and took into account, the uncertainty of federal fiscal policies which may affect city’s services.
Student debt has crippled young people across our state and nation. This year’s budget prioritizes education. The Excelsior Scholarship Program, will allow many more students a clear pathway to economic success, along with a plenitude of opportunities for upward mobility without the financial burdens.
Governor Cuomo’s plan also includes criminal justice reform by mandating the age of adult criminal responsibility be raised from 16 to 18 years old. Minors will no longer be prosecuted in the adult criminal system, which has placed devastating psychological consequences on them and their families.
“As the chair of the Council’s Small Business Committee, I am pleased to learn the cost savings for businesses through the reduction of workers’ compensation reforms,” said Cornegy.
Last month, Governor Cuomo announced the investment of $1.4 billion dollars through the “Vital Brooklyn” Initiative. Central Brooklyn will receive much-needed resources including thousands of jobs, enhanced youth services, more green space, and affordable housing. It is this type of forward thinking by Governor Cuomo, which not only makes our city and state great, but let’s us know our citizens are valued.”
Persaud Passes Resolution Congratulating South Shore Girls Basketball Team
State Sen. Roxanne Persaud (D-Canarsie, Mill Basin, Bergen Beach, Brownsville, East New York, Sheepshead Bay) las week passed a state resolution congratulating the South Shore High School Girls Basketball Team and Head Coach Anwar Gladden upon the occasion of capturing the 2017 PSAL AA Championship.
The team captured their third straight Championship on Saturday, March 11, 2017, at Madison Square Garden in New York, New York.
“Head Coach Anwar Gladden and his expert coaching staff worked hard to hone the skills of this championship team, teaching these outstanding athletes lessons, which will prove invaluable both on and off the court,” said Persaud in her weekly newsletter.
“Athletic competition helps to enhance both the moral and physical development of young athletes, preparing them for the future by instilling in them the importance of teamwork, encouraging a standard of healthy living, and developing a sense of fair play and competition.”
Jeffries Delivers House Weekly Democratic Address
Congressman Hakeem Jeffries (D-Central Brooklyn, Coney Island, Western Queens), Co-Chair of the House Democratic Policy and Communications Committee, delivered the Weekly Democratic Address last week.
In this week’s address, Jeffries called on President Trump to release his tax returns so that the American people can better understand the extent of Trump’s ties to Putin’s Russia.
“Growing up in Brooklyn, my Grandmother often told my younger brother and me that if you get a good education, work hard on your job and play by the rules, you can make a life for yourself in this great country. I’ve never forgotten those words. Abraham Lincoln once said, we deserve a government of the people, by the people and for the people. Everyone, including the President of the United States, should play by the rules. That’s the American way,” said Jeffries.
“Unfortunately, Donald Trump sees things differently. As we approach tax day, it’s important to remember that every President since Gerald Ford, Democrats and Republicans, have released their tax returns to the American people. Before the election, Donald Trump repeatedly promised to release his tax returns, just like Jimmy Carter, Ronald Reagan, George H.W. Bush, Bill Clinton, George W. Bush and Barack Obama before him. But as President, Donald Trump has broken this promise.
“Is he hiding something from the American people? I certainly hope not. Here’s what I do know. The American people deserve an answer to that question. The tax return issue is about fairness. It’s about being straight with the American people. It’s about playing by the rules.
“There is a cloud of uncertainty hanging over the White House when it comes to our President. He came to Washington on a promise to drain the swamp. But instead, by failing to keep his word and release his tax returns, Donald Trump is a living, breathing conflict of interest.
“Seventeen different United States intelligence agencies have concluded that Vladimir Putin and his Russian operatives interfered with our election in order to help Donald Trump. The FBI is conducting a criminal investigation into the Russian hacking scandal, including possible collusion between the Trump campaign and Putin’s Russia.
“This is not a Democratic issue or a Republican issue. This is an American issue. Our Democracy was attacked. The release of the President’s tax returns will help the American people better understand the extent of Trump’s financial ties to Putin’s Russia. The American people have a right to know whether financial conflicts of interest exist between the President of the United States and a hostile foreign power.”
Bichotte, Williams Wish Jewish Constituents A Happy Passover
Assembly Member Rodneyse Bichotte (D-Flatbush, Ditmas Park) and City Council Member Jumaane Williams (D-Flatbush, East Flatbush, Midwood) this weekend separately wished their Jewish constituents and all Jews a Happy Passover.
“May the eating of the various ritualistic food and the drinking of the four cups of wine on the night of the Seder and reliving the story of the Exodus from Egypt into freedom be one that inspires us and carries us throughout the year,” said Bichotte. “Hag Kosher V’Sameach.”
“I would like to wish my Jewish brothers and sisters a ‘Chag Kasher V’Sameach,’ or happy and Kosher holiday,” said Williams.
“Passover is a joyous celebration that reminds all of the power of redemption and hope. It gives us all an opportunity to renew our faith in the unseen as the future remains uncertain. The Israelites’ freedom from slavery in ancient Egypt is a reminder to reflect on modern injustices of the world, and how we can make sure we don’t repeat historical evils.”
Willaims also reminded those Jews that traditionally burn chametz (bread products) in the street to be mindful of taking safety precautions. Here is a list of fire safety tips to ensure a happy, peaceful and safe Passover, he said.