Brooklyn Lawmakers On The Move Aug. 10, 2017

News Site Brooklyn

Squadron Resigns; Calls On DEM Chairs To Count All Votes In Senate Selection Process

Sen. Daniel Squadron

State Senator Daniel Squadron (D-Northern Brooklyn, Lower Manhattan) who early yesterday announced he is vacating the 26th State Senate seat on Friday, called on the New York County Democratic Committee Chair Keith Wright and Kings County Democratic Committee Chair Frank Seddio to ensure Brooklyn’s votes are counted in the nomination of a Democratic candidate for the 26th Senate District.

Squadron, who was initially elected in 2008, resigned after citing corruption and the country’s growing divide as represented by President Donald Trump’s victory in the November election, as reasons for his decision. The state senator plans to address the country’s growing “crisis” by launching a national effort alongside entrepreneur Adam Pritzker and Jeffrey Sachs of Columbia University to fight against those opposing forces “that threaten our democracy and future.”

Under Democratic Party rules, the party nominee for the November election will be chosen in a selection process run by the chairs of the New York County and Kings County Democratic Committees for the 26th Senate District. The rules allow for those chairs to run a process whose outcome is determined solely by party activists from Manhattan, or to give party activists throughout the senate district a vote. Squadron has long pushed for his legislation (S.1797/A.522) to require non-partisan special elections in cases like this one.

“The prescribed process for choosing a nominee in most circumstances of a vacancy — a vote of the Democratic County Committee — leaves much to be desired, which is why I have long pushed legislation for a better process. It is left up to you to decide whether the voice of Brooklyn will be heard at all, due to a peculiarity in the practical application of a ‘weighted’ voting system,” said Squadron.

Squadron continued,“I have worked hard to represent every of part of the 26th Senate District. Every neighborhood, including those in Brooklyn, where I live, should have a say in choosing a nominee. To disenfranchise Brooklynites would be unfair and undemocratic. I strongly urge you to make this process as democratic as possible: to allow a full vote of the County Committee across both Manhattan and Brooklyn, and to be bound by its result.

BK Lawmakers Applaud Expansion Of Property Tax Relief Legislation

Sen. Diane Savino
State Sen. Jesse Hamilton

State Senators Diane Savino (D-Coney Island, Staten Island) and Jesse Hamilton (D-Central Brooklyn) alongside City Council member Chaim Deutsch (D-) applauded the City Council’s passage of an enabling clause to expand the Senior Homeowners’ Exemption (SCHE) and Disabled Homeowners’ Exemption (DHE), yesterday.

The legislation raises the income cap for SCHE/DHE to $50,000 for a full 50% property tax exemption and to $58,400 for a partial exemption, which will provide much-needed relief to New York City homeowners. The eligibility levels have not been raised since 2006. The current income limit for a full 50% reduction is just $29,000.On average a homeowner who qualifies for the program under the expanded income threshold could save up to $1,750 a year. The legislation will now go to Mayor de Blasio’s desk for approval, who included the proposal in his Executive Budget.

City Councilman Chaim Deutsch

“The passage of today’s bill codifies into law the raising of the SCHE/DHE maximum income limit. This is an important step towards easing some of the financial burdens that many of our senior and disabled homeowners face. Tens of thousands of additional New Yorkers will now be able to qualify for a property tax break of up to 50% and fewer seniors will be forced to choose between paying bills and paying for essentials each month,” said Councilman Deutsch.

“Our seniors and disabled New Yorkers, who live on fixed incomes, deserve to reside in their communities without the fear of losing their homes. Many of our senior citizens choose to age in place in the neighborhoods where they’ve raised their families, worked and enjoyed throughout their lives. I thank Councilman Deutsch for moving this vital piece of legislation forward in the City Council,” said Savino.

“Property taxes represent an affordability challenge particularly important to New York City seniors and those living with disabilities. This law takes a step forward in meeting that challenge. Recognizing the unique circumstances these households face and accommodating their needs means keeping our communities whole. Now on the ground, in our communities, we need to ensure seniors and those living with disabilities take full advantage of this exemption,” said  Hamilton.

Donovan Participates In Energy Security Conference; Decries HBO Hack

Congressman Dan Donovan

Congressman Dan Donovan (R-South Brooklyn,Staten Island), Chairman of the House Subcommittee on Emergency Preparedness, Response, and Communications, announced his participation in the “Energy for America: Opportunities, Challenges and Solutions” conference yesterday.

The policy conference explores issues related to U.S. energy security, including alternative energy, industry research and development, global market demands, energy defense policies, and anti-terror preparedness. The week-long event, which is being held in Oslo, Norway, is focused on bringing together a bi-partisan group of congressional representatives, as well as international political members and energy industry experts, to put forth policy ideas that strengthen U.S. energy security and competitiveness.

“To meet the energy needs of the future, Congress must support affordable, reliable, and secure energy solutions. Our energy infrastructure must be able to withstand terror threats and high demand, while also benefiting consumers and creating a more robust energy market. I’m pleased to join my colleagues and leading experts to help develop solutions to meet these challenges, as well as discuss innovative policies that will ensure U.S. energy security for the 21st century,” said Donovan.

The Congressman who also serves on the House Committee on Homeland Security’s Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Protection Subcommittee, took the time to address the recent Home Box Office (HBO) hack.

HBO was recently hacked by an anonymous  group who are demanding an undisclosed amount of money in exchange for sensitive documents and information. The sensitive information in the hack is said to contain a draft of an upcoming Game of Thrones (GOT) episode set to air this Sunday and personal phone numbers, email addresses and home addresses of the GOT Season 7 cast, as well as confidential emails from HBO’s Vice President of film programming, Leslie Cohen.

“HBO and similar companies invest a lot of time and energy into producing world-class entertainment, which unfortunately makes them targets for hackers around the world who think they can act with impunity. Preying on peoples’ love for movies and television is becoming the new hacking saga, and I hope HBO and future companies remain active in securing their data and take advantage of the technical expertise available from the federal government. Investigators continue working to learn exactly what happened and to coordinate with law enforcement, who are working diligently to bring the perpetrators to justice,” said Donovan.

Espinal Applauds Passage of Sweeping Tenant Protection Legislation

City Councilman Rafael Espinal Jr.

City Council member Rafael Espinal (D-) applauded NYC Council’s passage of the Stand for Tenant Safety (STS) legislative package which included his bill  Intro No. 924-A, aimed at at reforming the Department of Buildings (DOB) and strengthening tenant protections throughout the city.

Intro. 924-A will require the DOB to include the date by which an owner must certify the correction of any and all violations along with a written vacate order.

“It is no secret that unscrupulous building owners use vacate orders as a tool to evict tenants from their lawful apartments. By requiring DOB to set a date by which building owners must correct the violations pertaining to the vacate order, building owners will no longer be able to exploit DOB procedures to evict tenants, especially rent stabilized tenants who are most vulnerable,” said Espinal.

Espinal continued, “Now, these landlords will be held accountable for their actions and crucial repairs will be made in a timely fashion. This, along with the entire STS package will go a long way to provide clarity for tenants and landlords, prevent tenant displacement and maintain safe living conditions for New Yorkers.”

Gentile To Host “Power Rangers” For Family Movie Night Event

City Councilman Vincent Gentile

City Council Member Vincent J. Gentile (D-Bay Ridge, Bensonhurst, Bath Beach, Bath Beach) continues his Family Movie Night Series with the presentation of “Power Rangers” at Owl’s Head Park this weekend.

The Family Movie Night Series, which is a completely free event hosted by Gentile with NYC Parks, has had much success this year as families from around the neighborhood have come out to enjoy popcorn and free giveaways.

Those in attendance are asked to please bring their own chairs and picnic blankets.

The event is slated for 8:15 p.m., Friday, Aug. 11, at Owl’s Head Park, 68th Street and Colonial Road in Bay Ridge.