Brooklyn Lawmakers On The Move Aug. 9th, 2017

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Schumer Demands Continuation of Sleep Apnea Testing and Screening Law For Railroad, Commercial Truck Workers  

U.S. Senator Charles Schumer

U.S. Senator Charles E. Schumer (D-Brooklyn) demanded that the U.S. Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) and the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) reverse their decision on halting a nation wide sleep apnea screening and treatment law, yesterday.

The abrupt decision would derail a rulemaking process that would have paved the way for required sleep apnea screening and treatment mandates for rail workers and commercial truck drivers across the nation.

For more than a decade, the National Transportation Safety Board has recommended that railroads test and treat vehicle operators for sleep disorders, like sleep apnea, which was long ignored until a series of deadly, related accidents. Following a 2013 Metro-North derailment in the Bronx that tragically killed four people, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) began developing a pilot project to screen and treat Metro-North engineers for sleep disorders and later expanded the program to the LIRR.

Similarly, following a 2008 accident on the T in Boston, the New York City Transit system began screening and treating subway train operators for obstructive sleep apnea syndrome. Finally in 2016, the FRA and FMCSA began to move forward with a rule-making process that would have paved the way for required sleep apnea testing across the board, however, this past week, FRA and FMCSA withdrew the proposed rule.

“It doesn’t take Albert Einstein to understand why it is so important to begin the process of requiring sleep apnea testing across-the-board and at the federal level. We don’t want train engineers with undiagnosed sleep apnea, who actually hold lives in their hands, to fall asleep at the switch and we don’t want big-rig drivers to doze off at the wheel,” said Schumer.

Schumer continued, “That’s why NTSB’s recommendations to get this done should be the law of the land and why I have pushed so hard on this subject for years.  This abrupt and uncalled for withdrawal by USDOT commemorates a disaster waiting to happen and that’s why I’m now calling on the both of these agencies  to get these rules and this process back on track. It is high time to move forward with making sleep apnea testing a federal requirement, no ifs ands or butts about it.”

Adams Praises Mayor’s “Fair Fix” Tax Proposal For MTA Woes

Brooklyn Borough President Eric L. Adams

Brooklyn Borough President Eric L. Adams praised Mayor Bill de Blasio’s “Fair Fix” Tax proposal as a solution to the recent Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) crisis.

The new proposal, unveiled on Monday, is aimed at raising as much as $800 million annually for New York City’s deteriorating subway and bus system. The proposed tax adjustment – levied on fewer than 1% of the city’s wealthiest tax filers – would go toward modernizing he subways and buses and funding half-priced metrocards to low-income riders.

“The income tax surcharge that Mayor de Blasio has proposed for the most financially prosperous among us, vested stakeholders in this city, and its critical infrastructure, is a plan all New Yorkers can rally around to meet the long-term needs of our subways. It is a sound revenue stream for funding future upgrades that improve straphangers’ daily commutes, while expanding access to public transportation for hundreds of thousands of our low-income neighbors who face barriers to economic opportunity because they cannot afford to ride a bus or train,” said Adams.

Adams continued, “We deserve a sensible and sustainable solution to our city’s subway crisis, one that does not additionally burden the most economically strained among us who have already contributed so much to this mass transit system while receiving diminishing returns in safe, reliable service. We deserve a fair fix.”

 Davila Partners With BK Chamber Of Commerce To Bring Services to Small Business

Assemblywoman Maritza Davila

Assembly member Maritza Davila (D-Bushwick, Williamsburg) will partner with the Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce to bring services to small businesses in her district later today.

Chamber On-the-Go deploys trained specialists to connect with small business owners in neighborhoods across the five boroughs. This essential resource helps small businesses thrive by getting them the support they need to better serve their customers.

Chamber-On-The-Go’s services include: conducting a snapshot assessment of a business’ strengths and needs, connecting business owners with free resources to help their business thrive from the NYC Department of Small Business Services, Chambers of Commerce, and local organizations, providing immediate business support and making appointments for future services, answering questions and collecting feedback on the challenges and opportunities facing a specific business community.

The event is slated for 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., today, August 9, at the corner of Knickerbocker and Stanhope in Bushwick. 

Harris Tours NYCHA Housing Units; Evaluates Public Housing Conditions

Assembly Member Pamela Harris

Assembly member Pamela Harris (D-Coney Island, Bay Ridge) toured New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) buildings in her community to asses the conditions of public housing units earlier this week.

Alongside City Council member Mark Treyger (D-Coney Island, Bensonhurst) and Assembly woman Diane Savino (D-Coney Island, Staten Island) the group was able to hear and discuss the public housing conditions with NYCHA residents.

Most recently, Harris has been fighting for legislation against illegal conversions, which create unsafe and overcrowded apartments (A.8249),  as well as introducing legislation to make it easier for many seniors and disabled New Yorkers to obtain rent increase exemptions by requiring translation services for the SCRIE and DRIE programs (A.6915-A).

“All too often, we hear from NYCHA residents that their homes or the buildings they live in are not up to par. It’s absolutely unacceptable that families and seniors are forced to live in conditions that are unsafe,” said Harris.

Harris continued, “In Brooklyn, we take a lot of pride in where we come from, but too many of us have seen the places we call home neglected,” added Harris. “I’m working every day so that nobody in our community feels ignored, and will continue fighting to ensure that we have safe, clean and affordable housing available.”

Williams Takes Part In 4th Annual Source 360 Festival & Conference 

City Councilmember Jumaane Williams

Council Member Jumaane D. Williams (D-Flatbush, East Flatbush, Midwood) will take part in the 4th Annual Source 360 Festival and Conference tomorrow.

The SOURCE360 offers a full spectrum of activations designed to engage and educate the community with the latest in arts & culture, music, film & television, fashion, sports, business, and digital technology. SOURCE360 celebrates the innovation and creativity inspired by Hip-Hop and represents Brooklyn’s diverse cultural tapestry.

Williams will be sitting on the Community & Policing: Innovative Solutions To Increase Trust panel alongside Dana Rachlin, Council Member Antonio Reynoso (D-Bushwick, Williamsburg), L. Joy Williams, Brooklyn District Attorney Eric Gonzalez and Chief Jeffrey Maddrey.

The event is slated to begin at 9 a.m. and go until 9 p.m., on August 10 though August 13, at Brooklyn Borough Hall, 209 Joralemon Street at Court Street in downtown Brooklyn. 

Donovan Applauds US Stance Against North Korea Nuke Threat

Congressman Dan Donovan

U.S. Senator Dan Donovan (R-South Brooklyn, Staten Island) is applauding the Trump administration’s aggressive stance toward North Korea’s most recent nuclear threat.

On Tuesday, Trump issued North Korea an ultimatum warning Pyongyang not to make any more threats against the United States or they will “face fire and fury like the world has never seen.” Earlier in the week, US intelligence analysts assessed that the “Hermit Kingdom” has produced a miniaturized nuclear warhead.

After the Trump ultimatum, North Korea issued a statement saying it was “examining the operational plan” to strike areas around the US territory of Guam in the Pacific, including the Andersen Air Force base. However, the administration believes the nuclear capability of the nuke has yet to be tested.

“It’s about time we met North Korean aggression with strength. The President’s fundamental priority is defending the homeland, and Kim Jong-Un’s provocations and disregard for human life are destabilizing the entire region. I support the President’s posture along with the steady hand of his new Chief of Staff, General Kelly, as the Administration navigates a situation that’s the result of years of appeasement. I remain committed to ensuring the resources are in place to keep America and its allies safe from madmen like Kim Jong-Un,” said Donovan.

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