Velazquez, Menchaca, Red Hook Organizes Emergency Response to Trump Cuts to HUD
Congresswoman Nydia Velazquez (D-Northern Brooklyn,Queens, Manhattan) and City Councilmember Carlos Menchaca (D-Red Hook, Sunset Park) today will join an alliance 16 Community Groups and Leaders in Brooklyn’s Largest NYCHA Development to host a forum to discuss the Trump administration’s proposed $6 billion cuts to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).
Specifically, the alliance will coordinate an emergency response to the impending cuts affecting NYCHA’s Red Hook Houses, Section 8 housing vouchers, and rent-regulated housing. Red Hook is home to Brooklyn’s largest public housing development with close to 10,000 residents living in NYCHA Red Hook East and West, and serves as one of the few affordable housing options in the area.
“We must work at all levels of government to ensure adequate resources are invested in housing,” said Velázquez. “I will continue standing with my colleagues and the local community to oppose these unconscionable cuts, which would be devastating to New York families.”
NYCHA’s ability to respond to dangerous conditions in Red Hook is already crippled by a current lack of city and federal funding. The impact of budget cuts of up to $350 million could mean long wait times for NYCHA residents to receive maintenance repairs; no replacements for faulty and old boilers and heat outages; no replacements or repairs for elevators, increased elevator service interruptions; and the elimination of up to 1200 workers. The cuts would also enforce time limits forcing families to leave NYCHA after five years of residency, and the loss of more than 10,700 vouchers through flat funding of Section 8.
“Any cuts to HUD funding will severely damage our City’s ability to preserve affordable housing. Delayed repairs, dangerous mold, and deferred building maintenance are already part of daily life for too many residents,” said Menchaca. “Our affordable housing stock needs increased funding to address urgent needs, not short-sighted and harmful cuts. Red Hook’s unified response to the proposed HUD budget shows our community will stand up and demand no loss of progress repairing NYCHA properties and preserving Section 8 voucher and all rent-regulated housing.”
Local Red Hook groups and stakeholders hosting the forum include Red Hook Initiative, Carroll Gardens Association, Fifth Avenue Committee, Village of Red Hook, Aesthetic Soul Community, Red Hook Community Justice Center, Summit Academy, Resurrection Church, Friends of P.S. 15, PAVE Academy, Good Shepherd Services, Berning Green, and Pioneer Works.
The forum is slated for 6:30 p.m., tonight, April 13 at PAVE Academy, 732 Henry Street in Red Hook.
Persaud, Stewart-Cousins Host Healthcare Town Hall
State Sen. Roxanne Persaud (D-Canarsie, East New York, Brownsville, Mill Basin, Sheepshead Bay, Bergen Beach, Marine Park, Flatlands) tonight will bring Senate Democratic Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins to her district to host a Healthcare Town Hall.
The town hall will address the Trump Administration’s first failed attempt to repeal and replace Obamacare, but remaining threats to healthcare access in New York and across the nation. Persaud and Stewart-Cousins will discuss what could be in store for the Affordable Care Act and how the Senate Democrats, local activists and healthcare unions plan to combat efforts to strip 3.6 million New Yorkers of their coverage.
Representatives from 1199 SEIU-UHE, Brookdale Hospital and other health care experts on providers will also be on hand.
The Town Hall is slated for 6:30 p.m., tonight, April 13, at the Canarsie JCC, 1170 Pennsylvania Avenue in Canarsie.
Cuomo, Mosley On Death Of Justice Sheila Abdus-Salaam
Gov. Andrew Cuomo and Assemblymember Walter Mosley (D-Fort Greene, Clinton Hill, Prospect Heights, Crown Heights) were among those who mourned the death of Justice Sheila Abdus-Salaam yesterday.
Abdus-Salaam, 65, was found dead floating in the Husdon River yesterday with reportedly no signs of criminality. She was the first black woman and Muslim to be appointed a judge on the New York Court of Appeals – the state’s highest court, and the first Muslim woman to serve on the bench in the United States
“Justice Sheila Abdus-Salaam was a trailblazing jurist whose life in public service was in pursuit of a more fair and more just New York for all. As the first African-American woman to be appointed to the State’s Court of Appeals, she was a pioneer. Through her writings, her wisdom, and her unshakable moral compass, she was a force for good whose legacy will be felt for years to come,” said Cuomo, who appointed her to the Court of Appeals. “On behalf of all New Yorkers, I extend my deepest sympathies to her family, loved ones and colleagues during this trying and difficult time.”
Mosley said he was deeply saddened to hear of the news of Judge Abdus-Salaam’s passing.
“From her earliest days, Judge Abdus-Salaam was a trailblazer. The first Muslim and the first African-American woman to sit on the state’s highest court, Judge Abdus-Salaam was known for her brilliant legal mind, fairness and kindness. Her loss leaves a tremendous hole in our state, and in the lives of all who knew her. My thoughts and prayers are with her family, and I pray that she is at peace,” said Mosley.
Adams, Savino, Weinstein Applaud Expansion of Runaway & Homeless Youth Act
Brooklyn Borough President Eric L. Adams, State Senator Diane Savino (D-Coney Island, South Brooklyn, Staten Island) and Assembly Member Helene Weinstein (Flatlands, Sheepshead Bay) yesterday hailed the inclusion in the recently passed New York State Fiscal Year 2018 (FY18) budget of their proposal to expand the application of the New York State Runaway and Homeless Youth Act to include individuals under the age of 25 who need services and are without a place of shelter where supervision and care are available.
The current upper age limit of of the measure is 21.
The provision addresses longstanding concerns that have been reported by many homeless New Yorkers between the ages of 21 and 25 regarding accessing adult homeless shelters, including fears of bullying, harassment, sexual assault, and violence. As a result of these issues, a significant number of young people have chosen to risk sleeping in the streets and subways, deepening the damaging financial and psychological costs of chronic homelessness.
Adams, Savino and Weinstein called this measure a progressive step towards ensuring young people, particularly LGBT youth, get the care they deserve.
“As we continue to combat the homelessness epidemic in our society, taking care of the youngest among us in a compassionate and age-appropriate way is essential,” said Adams. “This ‘raise the age’ measure will ensure that young people who are escaping their homes to seek refuge from abuse and neglect, particularly LGBT young people, get the care they need at a safe location. I thank Assembly Member Weinstein and State Senator Savino for successfully championing this measure in the State Legislature.”
“I am pleased that as part of this budget, we were able to raise the age to allow runaway and homeless youth to access needed shelters and services,” said Weinstein. “The lives of many young people will be much safer once this is fully implemented. I want to thank Borough President Adams and his legislative advisor Lew Fidler for bringing this issue to my attention and the many advocates who work day and night to help our youth.”
“Many homeless youths between the ages of 21 and 25 are afraid to access adult homeless shelters, and many report experiencing violence and harassment in them,” said Savino. “The fear of violence in adult shelters causes many youths to brave the uncertainty and safety risk by sleeping in the streets and subways. These youths often report feeling much safer in the shelters mandated by the Office of Children and Families under the Runaway and Homeless Youth Act. The language in the budget to expand the application of the Runaway and Homeless Youth Act to those under 25 years of age will not only help make many youths safer, it will also help prevent chronic homelessness for many. It will further enable New York State’s ability to access federal funding for which we may otherwise not be eligible. This change in the law is the right thing to do and makes economic sense. I was proud to fight for its inclusion in the budget.”
Golden Statement On Gravesend Bay Fuel Spill
State Senator Martin J. Golden (R-Bay Ridge, Dyker Heights, Bensonhurst, Marine Park, Gerritsen Beach, Gravesend) this week commended Bayside Fuel Oil for their quick response and immediate corrective action to clean up the recent fuel spill at their Gravesend terminal.
“Bayside Fuel Oil is cooperating and working closely with city, state and federal authorities to ensure a safe and comprehensive cleanup of the location,” said Golden. “Bayside Fuel Oil takes full responsibility for the human error that led to this spill and will pay all expenses associated with the remediation. For almost a hundred years, Bayside Fuel Oil Depot Corp. has a long history of job creation and economic activity here in Brooklyn. They have employed thousands of local men and women, generating millions of dollars in tax revenue, and actively involved in community affairs. I am confident that Bayside Fuel Oil working with local environmental agencies will not only clean up the oil spill but will also work to ensure the prevention of future accidents. “
According to reports, the fuel spill occurred at about 2:30 a.m., March 30 and was due to human error. Immediately upon learning of this spill, a QI (qualified individual) was on the scene to access the situation. Within two hours of this spill, as required by law the QI informed the relevant city, state and federal authorities and implemented a comprehensive clean-up process.
Eugene Introduces Measure Creating Disconnected Youth Task Force
City Council Member Mathieu Eugene (D-Flatbush, East Flatbush), Chairman of the Youth Services Committee, this week sponsored legislation calling on the city to create a disconnected youth task force charged with examining the challenges that prevent young men and women ages 16 – 24 from enrolling in school or being employed.
The task force will be composed of 25 members, including representatives from various city agencies, and both mayoral and City Council appointees.
The group will provide the Mayor and the Speaker with a report that includes an analysis of what obstacles prevent disconnected youth from obtaining the education and skills employers require, and the policies and programs that affect their progress towards career success.
“This important legislation will help us improve the services we are providing to young people, especially disconnected youth,” said Eugene. “According to the last census, we have about 172,000 disconnected youth – young men and women who are not in school and are not working. We always say that the next generation is future of this city, and because of that, we are obligated to do everything that we can do to provide them with the best opportunities that they need to become productive citizens.
Cumbo Hosts Community Easter Egg Hunt
City Councilmember Laurie A. Cumbo (D-Fort Greene, Clinton Hill, Prospect Heights, Crown Heights) in partnership with community-based organizations on Saturday will host a community egg hunt on the eve of Easter Sunday.
Children from Fort Greene to Crown Heights will enjoy live entertainment including storytime, arts & crafts, face painting, a magic show, and special appearance by the Easter Bunny. Among the participating organizations include the Myrtle Avenue Brooklyn Partnership, the Fort Greene Park Conservancy, the Brooklyn Public Library and the Brooklyn Academy of Music.
The event is slated for between 11 a.m. and 2 p.m., Saturday, April 15 at Fort Greene Park (intersection of Myrtle and North Portland avenues) in Fort Greene.