Brooklyn Lawmakers On The Move July 17, 2017

News Site Brooklyn

Greenfield To Step Down From City Council

City Councilman David Greenfield

Late last night, sources told KCP that City Councilman David Greenfield (D-Borough Park, Bensonhurst, Midwood) will not seek re-election because he is taking a job as head of the Metropolitan Council of Jewish Poverty (Met Council).

Sources say that Greenfield’s political operative Kalman Yeger will take Greenfield’s seat in the City Council. Yeager is currently registered with the New York City Campaign Finance Board to run in the 48th District City Council seat against incumbent City Councilman Chaim Deutsch.

Greenfield said he was going to meet with community leaders this week to discuss possible candidates to replace him in the council. He did not confirm or deny that Yeger will be chosen to replace him, or if he could do so under current election laws,

Stay tuned to KCP during the day for possible updates.

 Schumer Urges Amtrak To Not Skimp On Legroom

U.S. Senator Charles Schumer

U.S. Senator Charles E. Schumer yesterday urged Amtrak to scrap a new idea that could cut inches off legroom of the seats on-board its Acela and Northeast Regional trains.

According to the outgoing Amtrak Co-chief Executive, Wick Moorman, the railroad is looking at creating new ‘economy’ seating that would add more rows of seats in an effort to make more money.

“Airing the idea to create new economy seating and shrink seats, well, it is right out of the airline’s playbook,” said Schumer. “When it comes to money-making ideas, railroads shouldn’t let the airline industry play conductor, and travelers would agree. In fact, travelers choose Amtrak because it offers a more comfortable traveling experience, but if Amtrak starts on the slippery slope of shrunk seating, my view is that it could become the norm to pack people in like sardines.

“So, I’m urging Amtrak to scrap the shrinking seats idea and look at other ways to make money. One of those ways is my job: fighting hard so that the federal government fully invests in Amtrak, which it historically has not done. The solution is for the feds to fully invest in Amtrak and our national railroad system each and every year — not to nickel-and-dime the consumer,” he added.

Schumer also said that the federal government should fully invest in Amtrak each year so they don’t have to resort to proposals that ultimately hurt the consumer.

Cymbrowitz Commends City For Water And Sewer Bill Rebate

Assemblyman Steven Cymbrowitz

Assemblyman Steven Cymbrowitz (D-Sheepshead Bay, Manhattan Beach, Brighton Beach) on Friday commended the city for extending an existing rebate on water and sewer bills for low-income homeowners to include an additional 12,000 senior citizens.

The $115 rebate is currently provided to more than 53,000 residents who meet certain income qualifications such as those qualifying people for federal energy assistance programs. The extension will take into account additional factors to open it to more seniors during this fiscal year.

The New York City Water Board also approved a new $250 per residential unit credit for next year for multi-family buildings that meet certain affordability, conservation and performance criteria. The new credit will give $10 million to properties — as many as 40,000 units — and is also meant to promote affordability.

“As chair of the NYS Assembly Housing Committee, I know that water and sewer costs play an expensive role when it comes to keeping low- and fixed-income individuals in their homes,” Cymbrowitz said. 

The $115 credit will appear on the next water and sewer bill for almost 17,000 Brooklyn households.

In 2015, the Home Water Assistance Program provided the first annual credit to 12,500 low-income homeowners who qualify for the federal Home Energy Assistance Program (HEAP).

In 2016, the program was expanded to also include low-income senior and disabled homeowners who receive a DOF property tax exemption. Beginning in FY18, the program will reach senior citizens with a combined annual income of less than $50,000. Also eligible for the credit are residents receiving a HEAP benefit, those with property tax exemptions, and multi-family buildings that conserve water and enter into an agreement to keep rents affordable.

Hamilton Continues Economic Empowerment Tour with Long Island Visit

State Sen. Jesse Hamilton

State Senator Jesse Hamilton (D-Central Brooklyn), chair of the Senate Banking Committee, last week, partnered with Assembly Subcommittee on Banking in Underserved Communities Chair, Assemblywoman Kimberly Jean-Pierre, to host a discussion about economic inclusion and the future of financial services at the Western Suffolk BOCES Conference Center in Wheatley Heights, NY.

The state legislators were joined by representatives from local banks, credit unions, and financial services firms.

Topics of discussion included access to capital, credit, small business finance, related challenges minority and women-owned business enterprises (MWBE) face, and fintech. Key questions for the evening included: How we can ensure more equity in provision of financial services for currently underserved communities? How we can advance financial literacy? How we can overcome challenges households and businesses face with respect to access to credit and investing? What challenges the institutions face?

“We need financial services that meet the needs of all New Yorkers. This Economic Empowerment Tour serves as a critical part of hearing out leaders in the sector from across New York State and learning from their experiences. I am also pleased to have the opportunity to present what I have been hearing from consumer advocates and small businesses about the challenges they face and work to forge a pathway forward,” said Hamilton.

Cumbo Announces Affordable Housing Agreement

City Council Member Laurie Cumbo

City Council Member Laurie A. Cumbo (D-Fort Greene, Clinton Hill, Prospect Heights, Crown Heights) tomorrow will join Housing Preservation and Development Commissioner Maria Torres-Springer, and city and state elected officials to announce an agreement between the City and Alma Realty to create nearly 600 affordable apartments at the Brooklyn Jewish Hospital Apartment Complex in Prospect Heights. 

Other elected officials slated to take part in the announcement include Public Advocate Letitia James, Comptroller Scott Stringer and Assemblymember Walter T. Mosley.

The announcement is slated for 6 p.m., tomorrow, July 18 at Brooklyn Jewish Hospital Complex, 545 Prospect Place  in Prospect Heights.

 Williams Salutes De Blasio Affordable Housing Announcement

City Councilmember Jumaane Williams

City Council Member Jumaane D. Williams (D-Flatbush, East Flatbush, Midwood), Deputy Leader and Chair of the Committee on Housing and Buildings, over the weekend applauded Mayor Bill De Blasio’s recent affordable housing announcement that his administration secured 24,293 affordable apartments in Fiscal Year 2017, and preserved 52,000 homes since 2014.

“I commend the Administration on exceeding their goals for creating and preserving affordable housing in New York. This is welcomed news and I applaud the Mayor for making this important issue a priority.

“While this is welcomed news, I also keep in mind that many believed the original plan was not aggressive enough in matching the need for income-targeted housing that exists in this City.

“We must also ensure that there is an even dispersion of newly-created affordable units across the City. As we push forward to combat the homelessness and overcrowding crisis, we must prevent and reform policies and practices that undermine efforts to create quality inexpensive housing options for New Yorkers. This includes breaking up our segregated city by ensuring efforts to preserve and expand affordable housing are not concentrated in only select areas of the City.

“I look forward to working with the Administration in ensuring that New York is an affordable place to live for all of its residents,” said Williams.