Felder Renews Call For Armed Guards In Schools
State Sen. Simcha Felder (D-Borough Park, Flatbush, Midwood, Sheepshead Bay) this week renewed his call — for the second time in the last several weeks — for armed New York City police officers in schools following a shooting at a California elementary school that left five dead, including the gunman.
“An armed guard outside would have neutralized this insane attacker the moment he arrived,” said Felder, a Democrat who conferences with Senate Republicans. “It’s crucial that the students were in lockdown; but that is not the solution.”
Felder has made this call before, including earlier this month after a man killed eight people using a rental truck in New York City.
“New York public schools are protected by unarmed resource officers. But times have changed and the days of unarmed guards are over,” Felder said. “When a situation calls for immediate action, all they can do is call the police.
“That makes every school a soft target and every student a potential victim. My proposed legislation places a well-trained, armed NYPD officer in front of every school.”
The call so far has not been taken up, with officials citing the cost of staffing every school in New York City with a police officer.
Cymbrowitz Gets Perfect Rating For Environment Record
The state’s leading health and environmental advocacy group has once again given Assemblyman Steven Cymbrowitz (D-Sheepshead Bay, Manhattan Beach, Brighton Beach, Homecrest) a perfect legislative rating.
On the annual scorecard released by Environmental Advocates of New York, the lawmaker earned 100 out of 100 points, placing him among the state’s greenest legislators.
The advocacy group grades lawmakers according to their votes on a wide variety of environmental and health issues and publishes the results in its Voters’ Guide, which has been distributed for roughly 40 years and is the only scorecard of its kind.
During the last legislative session, Cymbrowitz supported legislation that would further protect freshwater wetlands; establish take-back programs for prescription medications, batteries and solar panels; reduce toxic mercury in light bulbs; create an affordable green residential building grant program; and align New York’s water efficiency standards with federal guidelines.
He also supported the New York State Climate and Community Protection Act, the Environmental Bill of Rights, the Clean Water Bond Act and legislation to require the collection of recyclable materials at state parks, historic sites and recreational facilities. That piece of legislation became law in September.
“I am honored to have this important recognition from Environmental Advocates for the work I’ve been doing to safeguard the environmental both in my own community and throughout New York State,” said Cymbrowitz.
“Legislatively, we will continue to confront issues that force us to take a long, hard look at the potential risks to our environment and residents and to examine how we will ensure that our planet lives on far longer than we do. Our work continues and I am pleased to take on this challenge,” he added.
PA James Calls for New Leadership at NYCHA
Public Advocate Letitia James today called for New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) Chair Shola Olatoye after it was reported that NYCHA’s repeatedly failed to inspect 55,000 low-income apartments for lead-paint hazards.
According to a city Department of Investigation report she knew the apartments were not inspected and signed off on them anyway.
“After meeting with the NYCHA Chair today, it has become clear to me that it is time for sweeping operational changes, independent monitoring, and transparency at the City’s Housing Authority. Most importantly, it’s time for new leadership and a fresh start at NYCHA,” said James.
“The circumstances surrounding the City’s failure to conduct lead inspections and the false reporting that followed are simply unacceptable. Every man, woman, and child who calls a NYCHA apartment unit home deserves to live in safe, decent conditions and the City must do everything in its power to ensure that these residents are protected.”
Donovan Votes “No” on House Tax Package
Congressman Dan Donovan (R-South Brooklyn, Staten Island) yesterday voted “no” on the proposed tax reform package, turning against most of the House Republicans who passed the package.
The legislation would end the state and local income tax deduction on which thousands of local families rely; cap the mortgage interest deduction for loans that are below that median home price in Donovan’s Congressional district; and cap the property tax deduction at $10,000.
“The math just doesn’t add up. This would be a tax increase for far too many families that I represent. I will not support legislation that cuts taxes for everybody else in the country and sends my constituents the bill. For every dollar New York sends to Washington, we get $0.79 back. We’re already subsidizing the rest of the country.”
Donovan said according to the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy, four states – New York, New Jersey, California, and Maryland – would pay $16.7 billion more in taxes over the next 10 years, while the other 46 states would see a $101.5 billion tax cut.
“Let’s stop pretending this bill is good for everybody. It’s shifting the tax burden to families in states that already pay exorbitant taxes in order to fund tax cuts elsewhere. Folks in Washington view New York as a piggy bank to continue subsidizing services for other parts of the country, but the party won’t last forever,” said Donovan.
CM Williams Bill Securing Personal Data Passes City Council
City Council Member Jumaane William (D-Flatbush, East Flatbush, Midwood) today saw the City Council pass his legislation providing additional protections to secure personal data that city agencies collect.
The bill, Intro. 1588-A , requires City employees and contractors to protect identifying information-such as contact information, sexual orientation, religion, and immigration status-by limiting its collection, disclosure, and retention.
It also establishes the position of privacy officer within each agency who will review and approve the collection, disclosure, and retention of identifying information to ensure such actions further the purpose or mission of such agency and protect identifying information from unauthorized disclosure.
This bill works in conjunction with a bill from Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito, Int. No. 1557, which requires the review of how every City agency’s current data collection, retention, and disclosure policies and practices.
“For years, it has become increasingly clear that the personal data of citizens needs to be emphatically and unequivocally protected.” said Williams. “In this time, this is a public safety issue, and people are looking to New York City to lead the way. The city has already stood strong in that defense technologically, taking steps to protect data from being accessed by hackers and other bad actors. But in this time, it’s important that we recognize those bad actors can come from anywhere, and these bills provide a safeguard against New Yorker’s private data being accessed and utilized to unjust ends.”
Bichotte New Office Opens
Assembly Member Rodneyse Bichotte (D-Flatbush, Ditmas Park) this week had a gran opening for her new district office.
The office is open from 12 noon – 8 p.m., Monday Thru Friday. It is located at 1312 Flatbush Avenue at Foster Avenue.