Hamilton Applauds Passage of Black History Education Bill
State Senator Jesse Hamilton (D-Central Brooklyn) applauded the passage of his Amistad Commission bill (S.6323) that will move the commission from the Department of State to the New York City Department of Education.
The Amistad Commission, established in 2005, is in charge of reviewing the State’s black history curriculum with particular regards to the American slave trade. Their goal is to ensure Americans are educated on the legacy of slavery, the history of racism and on the principles of human rights and dignity in a civilized society.
“By moving the Commission to the Department of Education, we refocus high level attention on getting black history into schools. With passage of this bill, we draw one step closer to our children learning about the later Shirley Chisholm and her pioneering achievements. We draw one step closer to our children learning about Seneca Village and the struggle black New Yorkers faced. We draw one step nearer to representing black history in schools across our state,” said Hamilton.
“A crossroads for the world, New York’s black history intersects with the experiences of the Afro-Caribbean community, the Afro-Latino community, and the entire African diaspora. We will revive an important Commission whose work will benefit students and better prepare New York’s young people for the careers and the communities of tomorrow,” the lawmaker added.
Cymbrowitz Addresses Quality-Of-Life Issues With Party Boat Owners
Assemblyman Steven Cymbrowitz (Sheepshead Bay, Manhattan Beach, Brighton Beach) held a quality-of-life meeting with party boat owners over the weekend.
Alongside, local police and parks officials, Cymbrowitz discussed ways to resolve the rowdy behavior of party patrons before and after the nighttime excursions for this season.
Issues raised at the meeting included crowd control when passengers board and disembark, a problem exacerbated by the presence of additional boats this year; loud music that disturbs some residents especially on the Manhattan Beach side of the bay; and passengers loitering at 3 or 4 a.m. after disembarking from late-night cruises, leaving behind litter and causing noise and other quality-of-life issues.
“Things worked well last year and we didn’t get complaints from the community, but this year the situation is different and there have been some complaints. Our goal is to work together and find solutions that will make things better. We want to have a safe summer for the boats, for the people who use the boats and for the people in the community.”
“The lines of communication are open and everybody is working together to address any concerns raised by both the community and boat owners,” Assemblyman Cymbrowitz said.
Wright Praises Passage Of Child Marriage Bill
Assembly Member Tremaine S. Wright (D-Bedford-Stuyvesant, Northern Crown Heights) is praising the passage of the Child Marriage Bill (A.5524-B), which will increase the minimum age of marriage in New York State, from 14 to 17.
The bill will also require court approval for children ages 17 seeking to marry in the state. Between 2000 and 2010, nearly 3,900 child marriages took place in New York and of those, 40 involved 14- and 15-year-olds. Many were girls wed to adult men, with the marriages arranged by their parents through the use of coercion, bullying, ostracism and beatings at times.
“The passage of this bill comes two months after the highly praised Raise the Age Initiative which was historic in the protection of juvenile defendants. The two bills work hand-in-hand in realizing the delicacy and susceptibility of the adolescent mind. We recognize marriage to be an indefinite legal contract – the passage of this bill further cements that a child is not capable of discerning potentially dangerous situations that could diminish their life’s prospects before they’ve entered high school,” said Wright.
Bichotte Protects Childhood Sexual Abuse Victims
Assembly Member Rodneyse Bichotte (D-Flatbush, Ditmas Park) is praising the recent passage of her Child Victims Act (A.5885-A), giving victims of childhood sexual abuse the opportunity to bring charges against their abusers in a court of law.
The Child Victims Act bill will amend the criminal procedure law, extending the criminal statue of limitations by five years, starting the clock at age 23, rather than at age 18, and pushing back the statute of limitations to permit civil actions to be brought up until the victim’s 50th birthday. The measure also creates a one-year window for past sexual abuse victims to commence a civil action. This one-year window would permit courts to consider claims by victims which were previously dismissed or were not brought at all due to the limitations previously contained in the law.
The legislation will also require judges to undergo additional training for cases involving the sexual abuse of minors, give revived civil cases a trial preference so they are more rapidly moved forward in court and treat public and private entities equally by removing the current notice of claim requirement for public entities. Under current law, an individual who plans to sue a public entity must notify the entity of the intent to do so within 90 days.
“Victims of childhood sexual abuse carry the trauma and pain with them for the rest of their lives. That’s why we must do all we can to empower victims, allow them more time to seek justice and help them move on with their lives. The time for talk is over. Failure to pass this law is inexcusable,” said Bichotte.
“We need to change our laws to reflect the fact that victims often take years to come to terms with what happened to them and disclose their past abuse. By passing this legislation, we are allowing child sex abuse victims to hold their abusers accountable as well as helping them heal. It’s now time for the Senate to help ensure justice is always served and join us in passing this crucial legislation,” she added.
BK Lawmakers Unveil Transparency System For School Cafeteria Inspections
State Senators Diane Savino (D-Coney Island, Staten Island) and Jesse Hamilton (D-Central Brooklyn) alongside other members of the Independent Democratic Conference (IDC) unveiled a new, online transparency system where parents will be able to search for cafeteria health code inspections on Friday.
The recently passed legislation, S.4173A, requires the New York City Department of Education (NYC DOE) to post cafeteria health inspection data online and send secondary notices home with students.
Parents and guardians will be able to access the reports by the start of the 2017-2018 school year online at www.schoolfoodnyc.org. They will also receive copies of health inspections and steps taken to remedy violations with the City’s Department of Health (DOH) by the school. Starting this Fall, parents can visit the site and enter a school’s number or name and it’s inspection data will pop up for review.
“Parents of students who depend on their school cafeterias for breakfast and lunch deserve to know the conditions of the facilities where their food is prepared. This new easy to use system will allow for greater transparency and help ensure that cafeterias are clean and sanitary,” said Savino.
“Giving parents accurate information serves as an important safeguard for all our students. This new system delivers the transparency and the up-to-date information parents need – providing reassurance and allowing parents to voice their concerns about any shortcomings. This step opens an additional avenue to parent participation to the benefit of all,” said Hamilton.