Brooklyn Lawmakers On The Move June 20, 2017

News Site Brooklyn

Adams On Cuomo’s Tale Of Two Commutes, Holds Vigil Following Bicyclist Attack

Brooklyn Borough President Eric L. Adams  yesterday lauded Governor’s Cuomo’s call to reduce fares during Penn Station repairs, but called on him to do the same discount for subway riders that have to adjust their commutes amid continued repair work across the five boroughs.

Brooklyn Borough President Eric L. Adams

“Just today, after five months of their commutes being altered by repairs, service was restored to the Sutter Avenue-Rutland Road and Junius Street stations on the 3 line, which serve thousands of taxpaying commuters in Brownsville. I would hope Governor Cuomo uses his bully pulpit and controlling influence over the MTA to call for retroactive relief to straphangers in this economically challenged community,” said Adams.

“Similarly, I would hope Governor Cuomo lays out a plan for relieving New Yorkers impacted by repairs to the 2/3 line’s Clark Street Tube, F line’s Rutgers Tube, and L line’s Canarsie Tube, as well as repairs along the M line in Bushwick and to stations on the N and R lines. We have one regional transportation network. We cannot have two different ways of treating commuters amid this ongoing transit crisis,” the borough president added.

Seperately, Adams will join family members of 38-year-old Domingo Diego-Tapia this evening in a candlelight vigil to pray for his recovery resulting from a violent attack earlier this month, while urging the community to assist in the apprehension of the at-large perpetrator.

The attack ocurred in the early morning hours of Thursday, June 8, as the Bed-Stuy father of two was sucker punched off his bicycle by an attacker on the corner of Fulton and Albany streets, causing him to fall and fracture his skull. Diego-Tapia remains in a medically induced coma at Kings County Hospital.

A representative of the Consul General of Mexico, community activists, faith leaders, and local residents will join with Adams to stand in solidarity with the family of Diego-Tapia, a Mexican immigrant who owns a fruit stand on Church Avenue.

Adams will call for a unified community response on violence against cyclists. He will also address the issue of police responsibility in commenting on open cases of cyclist collisions, a matter that has resurfaced in the wake of recent traffic fatalities in Chelsea.

The vigil is slated for 8:30 p.m., tonight, June 20 on the corner of Fulton and Albany streets in Bedford-Stuyvesant.

Clarke Calls Trump’s Reversal of Obama’s Cuba Policies Short Sighted

Congresswoman Yvette Clarke

Congresswoman Yvette D. Clarke (D-Crown Heights, Flatbush, East Flatbush, Brownsville, Sheepshead Bay) yesterday called President Donald Trump‘s reversal of former President Barack Obama’s policy of opening relations between the United States and Cuba misguided and short-sighted.

Trump announced recently that he will limit travel by American citizens to Cuba and restrict financial transactions with many sectors of the island nation’s economy.

“President Obama worked to transcend past mistakes and build a future defined by the common interests and aspirations of the United States and Cuba. Collaboration on issues such as family reunification, human rights, the interdiction of narcotics, and investment offer enormous benefits to the people of both nations. Now, Donald Trump wants to undermine those achievements, and turn toward a policy of mutual mistrust,” said Clarke.

“The vast majority of Republicans and Democrats understand that the Cold War policy separating families and restricting economic development has outlived its usefulness. I urge my colleagues in the House of Representatives and the Senate to join in an effort to restore President Obama’s practical, common-sense approach,” the lawmaker added.

Squadron Testifies on Behalf of Fairness For Transgender NY’ers

Sen. Daniel Squadron

State Senator Daniel Squadron (D-Northern Brooklyn, Lower Manhattan), lead sponsor of the Gender Expression Non-Discrimination Act (GENDA — S.502) to codify basic fairness for transgender New Yorkers, yesterday submitted the following edited testimony to the New York City Council supporting Council Res. 614 (which urges passage of GENDA):

“As lead sponsor of the Gender Expression Non-Discrimination Act (GENDA) in the State Senate, I thank Councilmember Dromm and the City Council’s LGBT Caucus for sponsoring Res. 614 in support of GENDA and Res. 1287 in support of the Equality Act. I also thank Chair [Darlene] Mealy (D-Brownsville, East Flatbush, Crown Heights, Bed-Stuy)  and the Committee on Civil Rights for the opportunity to submit testimony today.

“Many New Yorkers are surprised to learn that the basic fairness guaranteed for protected classes by state law — ensuring New Yorkers are not fired, denied housing, or access to public accommodations — does not explicitly include gender identity or expression.

“New York City embraced similar provisions in 2003. Similar protections exist in localities across the state, including the cities of Binghamton, Buffalo, Ithaca, Rochester, Syracuse, and the counties of Albany, Suffolk, Tompkins, and Westchester. The police leadership of New York City, Albany, Binghamton, Ithaca, Rochester, Syracuse, as well as Tompkins and Suffolk counties have all come out in support of the basic fairness guaranteed by GENDA.

“These protections are important in their own right and also send an important message. Progress on LGBT equality correlates with reductions in LGBT suicide risk — and discriminatory legislation correlates with negative mental health outcomes. GENDA could have similar impacts in New York, which makes passage all the more urgent.

“In 2015, Governor Cuomo clarified that existing Human Rights Law covers gender identity and expression. As the Trump Administration’s actions and the ongoing escalation of federal anti-LGBT rhetoric has highlighted, however, the codification of civil rights progress is critical to ensuring it remains in place regardless of administration,” Squadron said.

Donovan Joins House Task Force To End Sexual Violence

Congressman Dan Donovan

Congressman Dan Donovan (R-Southern Brooklyn, Staten Island) last week announced that he joined the House Bipartisan Task Force to End Sexual Violence.

As Staten Island District Attorney, Donovan focused extensive resources on domestic and sexual abuse and secured the approval to build and the funding for the Staten Island Family Justice Center, which opened last year.

In Congress, Donovan cosponsored the Pet and Women Safety Act, which expands the definition of stalking and directs grant funding to shelters and support services for domestic violence victims. Donovan also cosponsored the International Violence Against Women Act, which establishes an Office of Global Women’s Issues to spearhead international efforts to combat violence against women.

“I’ve been passionate about combatting domestic and sexual abuse for my entire career. It’s a true privilege to be in a position to make a difference, first as a prosecutor and now as a member of Congress. Hopefully I can help make the world a safer place for millions of women, including my daughter. I look forward to diving into the Task Force’s work,” said Donovan.

The Task Force unites a diverse group of House members to advocate for legislation to support victims and their families, educate communities to prevent violence, and implement solutions to reduce and prevent sexual assault. The Task Force is chaired by Reps. Ann McLane Kuster, Patrick Meehan, Jackie Speier, and David Joyce.

Williams, Cornegy Host Caribbean Heritage Month Celebration

City Councilmember Jumaane Williams
City Councilman Robert Cornegy Jr

City Council Members Jumaane D. Williams (D-Flatbush, East Flatbush, Midwood), Robert Cornegy Jr. (D-Bedford-Stuyvesant, Northern Crown Heights) and co-chair of the Black, Latino, and Asian Caucus, along with Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito today will host a  Caribbean Heritage Month celebration at City Hall.

Attendees will be treated to a night of food, music and cultural entertainment as the lawmakers will honor three Caribbean Americans, who have made an impact in their community and careers.

The honorees include Leroy Morrison, President of Alexis Van Lines; Hector Ricketts, President of Commuter Van Association of New York; Shradhanand Pirtam,  Member of Bronx Community Board 11; and the West Indian American Day Carnival Association.

Morrison and Ricketts were the main advocates behind the Commuter Van Safety Act, which was signed into law on February 15. The Commuter Van Safety Act is composed of three bills, which cracks down on illegal, rogue commuter van operators who pose a danger to commuters, while also ensuring that licensed and insured operators can operate safely across the city.

The West Indian American Day Carnival Association (WIADICA) celebrates their 50th year anniversary this year. WIADCA runs the annual 5-day costumed-filled carnival and street fair, which is one of the largest festivals in the U.S., along Brooklyn’s Eastern Parkway.

The event is slated for 5:30 p.m. today, June 20 in the City Hall Council Chambers.

DA Gonzalez Launches Initiative To Better Serve LGBTQ Community

Acting Brooklyn District Attorney Eric Gonzalez

Acting Brooklyn District Attorney Eric Gonzalez yesterday announced the launch of an initiative to better serve the LGBTQ community.

The multi-pronged initiative includes office-wide training of prosecutors to ensure they are culturally competent in relating to LGBTQ crime victims and outreach to the LGBTQ community to get the word out that the District Attorney’s Office is a safe space to report crime, and, where appropriate, offer alternative sentencings with relevant programming for LGBTQ defendants.

“As prosecutors charged with keeping the community safe, it is important that we establish a safe space for the LGBTQ community to report when they are victims of crime, especially since crimes against this community have historically been underreported and violence against transgender women of color continues to rise. Also, in an effort to prevent future crimes, our office will offer, where appropriate, alternative sentences to LGBTQ youth defendants including programs that specialize in their particular needs to help reduce recidivism and connect them with appropriate services,”said Gonzalez.

Gonzalez also announced that his office will celebrate pride month with an event planned for today, in which attorney Kylar W. Broadus of the Transgender Legal Defense and Education Fund will receive the Legal Excellence Award. Additionally, the Ali Forney Center, Brooklyn Community Pride and Caribbean-American Pride will receive Community Social Impact Awards. Jamel Gaines of the Jamel Gaines Creative Dance Outlet is set to perform.

The event is slated for 12:30-2 p.m., today, June 20 at the Brooklyn Law School, Feil Hall, 205 State Street, 22nd Floor in Downtown Brooklyn. Food and refreshments will be served.