Brooklyn Lawmakers On The Move Aug. 14, 2017

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BK Fed & Local Lawmakers React To Violence In Virginia

Congresswoman Yvette Clarke
City Councilman Robert Cornegy Jr
City Councilmember Jumaane Williams

Congress member Yvette Clarke (D-Crown Heights, Flatbush, East Flatbush, Brownsville, Sheepshead Bay) and City Council members Robert Cornegy (D-Bedford-Stuyvesant, Northern Crown Heights) and Jumaane Williams (D-Flatbush, East Flatbush, Midwood) decried the outbreak of violence in Charlottesville, Virginia over the weekend, demanding President Donald Trump condemn the actions of neo-nazi and white supremacist groups.

On Saturday a so-called “Unite The Right” rally was planned, in support of a statue of Confederate General Robert E. Lee, that included white nationalist and white supremacist. The group was fighting to keep the statue in it’s current location after local residents and advocates pushed for it’s removal citing it’s historical context as a symbol of racism.

However, a group of counter protesters formed in response that included members of the Black Lives Matter Movement (BLMM) which then lead to a rash of violence between the groups. On Sunday, a 20-year-old man was charged with killing 32-year-old, Heather D. Heyer, after running his car through a group of counter protesters.

“I applaud Governor Cuomo’s leadership and his efforts to hold President Trump accountable. I, like the Governor, denounce the violence in Virginia and the recent actions of extremist groups,” said Cornegy.

“Here we are in the seventeenth year of the Twenty-First Century. To watch hatred and violence unleashed on peaceful protestors, in a peaceful American city, ranks among the lowest of the lows of Donald Trump’s presidency. Americans who were doing nothing more than exercising their right to assemble against the hatred represented by the statue of Robert E. Lee in the city’s Emancipation Park was nothing short of an atrocity and Donald Trump owns it. What occurred in Charlottesville, Virginia, was an act of domestic terrorism committed by white supremacists whose despicable beliefs represent the worst of American history. As we mourn the people who were killed and injured, yesterday in Charlottesville, Virginia, we must stand shoulder-to-shoulder in opposition to hatred. Notwithstanding Donald Trump, and his White House cohorts, this white supremacist mentality cannot and will not stand,” said Clarke.

“At this point, in terms of “many sides” they are; 1)Those who do NOT believe in White supremacist and Nazism and, 2) You and Making America Great Again supporters,” said Williams.

Hamilton Condemns Offensive Loeb Remarks

State Sen. Jesse Hamilton

State Senator Jesse Hamilton (D-Central Brooklyn) condemned the offensive remarks of Daniel Loeb, chairman of Success Academy, who attacked State Senator Andrea Stewart-Cousins through a racially charged Facebook post over the weekend.

The post, which read, “hypocrites who pay fealty to powerful union thugs and bosses do more damage to people of color than anyone who has ever donned a hood,” singled out Stewart-Cousins, who is the Senate Minority leader and an African-American woman. Loeb’s post comes on the heels of a long-simmering racial divide in Albany, that has pinned the Independent Democratic Conference (IDC) against mainstream Democrats, who have been attempting to make Stewart-Cousins the majority leader.

In addition, Loeb, not only is the head of a major charter school network but also a hedge fund manager who is one of Governor Andrew Cuomo’s biggest supporters, raising $170,000 for the New York State Governor over the last couple of years. On Friday, Mayor Bill de Blasio called for Loeb to step down and Cuomo to return the funds  in light of the racially charged comments.

Hamilton continued, “When we have political disagreements, we can and should do so without acrimony, bitterness, anger; and certainly without hurling deeply offensive remarks referencing the KKK, a truly abhorrent group that literally murdered, brutalized, and terrorized African-Americans decade after decade. Loeb’s remarks failed that basic test of decency.”

“Let’s not advance a political culture of disagreement through demonizing one another, but instead advance a political culture where we can have differences of opinion and still treat each other with the dignity and respect everyone deserves,” said Hamilton.

Harris Announces New Traffic Signal For Busy Bay Ridge Intersection

Assembly Member Pamela Harris

Assembly member Pamela Harris (D-Coney Island, Bay Ridge) on Friday announced the installment of a traffic light at the intersection of Colonial Road and 91st Street in Bay Ridge.

Harris had written a letter requesting that the New York City Department Of Transportation (NYCDOT) install a traffic light at the intersection, citing the concerns of residents. After conducting a traffic study on the need for additional measures, the NYCDOT granted the request and is set to begin work soon. The project is set to be completed by the end of this upcoming November.

“The intersection of Colonial Road and 91st Street is a busy one, with lots of homes close by and a bike path that runs through it,” noted Harris. “Drivers in Brooklyn were recently caught on camera breaking the rules carelessly and endlessly gliding and in some cases speeding right through the stop signs at a three-way stop, and frustrated residents say they’ve had enough,” said Harris.

Harris continued, “It’s a great feeling knowing how responsive the NYCDOT is. I really appreciate all the hard work they are doing throughout the city. This has been an ongoing issue for the people in this neighborhood and I’m glad that together, we’ve worked to make our streets safer.”

Deutsch Pushes For Increased Regulation of Party Boats In South Brooklyn

City Councilman Chaim Deutsch

City Council member Chaim Deutsch (D-) is pushing for increased regulations on the party boats that have been causing quality-of-life-issues for residents in Sheepshead Bay.

In recent weeks, Deutsch met with local officials including the Mayor’s Office, Commanding Officer of the 61st Police Precinct, Chief of Staff of Brooklyn Parks, the Brooklyn Parks dock-master and Assembly member Helene Weinstein, to respond to the safety issues surrounding the party boat season. Just a couple of weeks ago, a dedicated police detail was announced to specifically address safety concerns surrounding party boat revelers.

“During these last four weeks of the season, NYPD and Parks Enforcement will be ramping up patrols and visibility on Friday and Saturday nights. Parks Department’s legal counsel has also issued legal notice to all boat owners, emphasizing their contractual obligations to maintain the decorum of their customers and serve alcohol responsibly,” said Deutsch.

Deutsch continued, “At my request, NYC Parks is seriously considering reducing the number of permits issued to party boats next season. I will not tolerate anything that undermines the safety of residents, visitors, or first responders.”

CM Williams Doubles Down On Plea For Improvements In NYPD EDP Protocols

City Councilmember Jumaane Williams

City Council Member Jumaane D. Williams (D-Flatbush, East Flatbush, Midwood) doubled down on his call for a special investigation and task force into the New York Police Department’s (NYPD) protocols for handling Emotionally Disturbed Persons (EDP) cases.

Over the weekend, Officer Hart Nguye, was injured after responding to a 9-1-1 call for Andy Sookdeo, who was identified as an EDP. Nguye took a gunshot wound in the right forearm after taking on a barrage of bullets set off by Sookdeo. Police Officer Nguy was spared a fatal injury thanks to his protective vest and was let out of the hospital on Friday afternoon. Sookdeo eventually took his own life in an apparent suicide late Thursday afternoon. He was found dead with a gun shot wound to the head.

“This incident reminds us of the humanity of both sides of an EDP call and the inherit unknowns and dangers for everyone involved when there is an interaction between civilians and officers, in particular because of the unfettered access to guns in this country. As in most ‘routine’ calls no two EDP calls are exactly the same. There have been a number of incidents over the past several years that highlight the concern in the way EDP calls are handled,” said Williams.

Williams continued, “In light of this recent unfortunate incident, I am doubling down on my call for a special investigation and taskforce looking into NYPD protocols for handling EDP cases. My hope is that this call for reform is not met with animosity or framed as an ‘anti-police’ effort, but an effort to safeguard all involved in these cases; and just as important, restore public trust in calling 911 for assistance. While it seems we’ve lost another to the disease of mental illness, I am happy that the family of Officer Nguye get to have him come home. Lets move forward with both in mind.”

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