Lawmakers On The Move Sept. 29, 2017

News Site Brooklyn

Treyger Introduces Bill To Create Hurricane Recovery Taks Force

City Councilman Mark Treyger

In a bipartisan effort,  City Council Member Mark Treyger (D-Coney Island, Bensonhurst, Gravesend) this week teamed up with Staten Island Borough President James Oddo (R) to craft legislation creating a Hurricane Recovery Task Force Task charged with giving the city specific recommendations regarding preparation for future natural disasters.

Dubbed the Hurricane Sandy Recovery Task Force, the appointed group would analyze recovery efforts undertaken by city agencies in response to 2012’s Superstorm Sandy. Among the things they will look at include how the City could best meet any remaining Sandy recovery or rebuilding needs, as well as what the City can do to improve the resiliency of facilities and private property in high-risk flood zones.

Task Force members would include representatives from government agencies, the non-profit sector, the faith-based community, and residents from Sandy-impacted neighborhoods across the city – including some who have been participants in the City’s recovery programs – to reflect the wide range of experiences with recovery.

“Over the course of the last few weeks, we have all been reminded of the tragic devastation that hurricanes and other natural disasters are capable of as we witness recent events across our country and our continent,” said Treyger. “This task force would allow us to develop a holistic understanding of the recovery process, provide other localities that are now embarking on their own recovery process with an opportunity to learn from our experiences, and give us a chance to use those same experiences to better our own approach.”

Persaud Meets With Merchants of Rockaway Parkway Corridor

State Sen. Roxanne Persaud

State Sen. Roxanne Persaud (Canarsie, East New York, Brownsville, Mill Basin, Sheepshead Bay, Bergen Beach, Marine Park, Flatlands, Mill Island, Georgetown, Ocean Hill, Starrett City) continued the never-ending tour of her district in convening a meeting with merchants of the Canarsie Rockaway Parkway business corridor.

Attendees included NYC Small Business Services Commissioner Gregg Bishop and staff, a representative from the Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce, representatives from Capital One Bank and the NYPD’s 69th Precinct Community Affairs.

“This is a continuation of surveys and meetings which began in 2016.  I am looking forward to continued dialogue and strong participation from the stakeholders as we collectively work to improve the business corridor,” said Persaud.

Cymbrowitz, Weinstein, Maisel, Kings Bay Y Team Up On Puerto Rican Humanitarian Relief Effort

Assemblyman Steven Cymbrowitz

 Assemblymembers Steven Cymbrowitz (D-Sheepshead Bay, Manhattan Beach, Brighton Beach)  and Helene Weinstein (D-Sheepshead Bay, Marine Park, Flatlands), and City Councilmember Alan Maisel (D-Bergen Beach, Canarsie, Flatlands, Georgetown, Gerritsen Beach, Marine Park, Mill Basin, Mill Island, Sheepshead Bay), and the Kings Bay Y are teaming up to ask people to donate critically needed items to help fellow Americans in Puerto Rico whose lives were devastated by Hurricane Maria.

As per the city’s Office of Emergency Management, only the following items are being accepted for donation:

* Baby Food, * Batteries, * Canned Food, * Diapers, * First Aid Supplies, * Feminine Hygiene Products

“We have failed as a country to respond to our fellow American citizens,” said Cymbrowitz. “Our community learned firsthand from Hurricane Sandy how long the recovery process takes and how important it is to come together and help those whose lives have been devastated by a natural disaster.”

Assembly Member Helene Weinstein
City Councilman Alan Maisel

“While the destruction in Puerto Rico is devastating and disheartening, it is reassuring to see our community come together in this tremendous outpouring of support for fellow Americans,” Weinstein said. “I urge all who can, to donate non-perishable foods and home goods to the Kings Bay Y for delivery to the victims of this tragedy.”

“The devastation that is affecting our fellow Americans in Puerto Rico is unbearable and heart wrenching. I implore everyone who is able to offer assistance to do so by providing the critical items needed. This is truly a desperate situation and while the average New Yorker can’t help with the major recovery that is needed, I know that everyone can do one little thing  and it will make a huge difference in the lives of the thousands of people who are fighting for survival,” said Maisel.

All items should be dropped off at the Kings Bay Y, 3495 Nostrand Avenue (between Avenues U and V), anytime between 9 a.m. and 7 p.m. Monday through Friday. There is a designated drop-off area in the lobby. For further information, call the Kings Bay Y at (718) 648-7703.

Schumer Urges Fast Tracking Of Fed Plan To Test Sleep Disorders

U.S. Senator Charles Schumer

Ahead of the one-year anniversary of the tragic Hoboken train crash involving sleep apnea, U.S. Senators Charles E. Schumer (D-NY) and Cory Booker (D-NJ) announced new legislation that would require the U.S. Department of Transportation to test train- and commercial-vehicle operators for sleep disorders, like sleep apnea, which had been long ignored until a series of deadly, related accidents.

“In the face of compelling facts that show sleep apnea is a direct cause of several tragic train accidents, the Trump administration has backed off a new mandatory testing rule. This is dangerous and ill-advised. A federal law would force all rail lines—in New York, New Jersey and across the country—to conduct these tests in perpetuity and with clear federal guidelines. Across-the-board sleep apnea testing must be law of the land for train operators and commercial drivers to help ensure us that the tragedies that happened in Brooklyn and in Hoboken will be prevented in the future,” said Schumer.

Schumer and Booker have repeatedly urged USDOT to reverse course and re-start the rule making process that they abandoned earlier this year would have required sleep apnea screening. However given USDOT’s unwillingness to move forward with this important safety requirement, the Senators will now be pushing for legislation that would require them to move forward.

A rule proposed by the Obama Administration in March 2016 would have expanded sleep apnea testing and treatment requirements for train operators and commercial truck drivers across the nation.  Last month, the Trump Administration unexpectedly announced that the rule was withdrawn. From as early as 2001, the NTSB, and Schumer himself, have recommended that rail operators be tested and treated for sleep disorders like sleep apnea following a series of deadly derailments.

Schumer and Booker’s legislation would require the federal Secretary of Transportation to issue a final rule to provide for the screening, testing and treatment for sleep disorders of individuals operating commercial vehicles, including train operators.

Schumer and Booker said that while some agencies like the MTA have committed to sleep apnea testing, that decision only came at the insistence of the Senators and a federal law would force all rail lines to conduct these tests without wiggle room.

Carroll Opens Up Office For Supplies To Puerto Rico

Assembly Member Robert Carroll

Assemblymember Robert Carroll (D-Park Slope, Windsor Terrace, Kensington) announced yesterday that his Park Slope District Office is collecting critically needed supplies for those impacted by Hurricane Maria.

“Communities in Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands have been absolutely devastated, and it’s important that we support them in this time of need.” Carroll said. “These items are often overlooked or run out, so it’s important that we give what they need the most and as quickly as possible. Hopefully our District Office can be a more convenient location for those in the district to get to and drop items off.”

Those interested in donating supplies can do so from 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday – Friday. The district office is at 416 7thAvenue in Park Slope.