Mosley, Savino Call for Independent Monitor to Oversee NYCHA
City Council member Walter T. Mosley (D-Fort Greene, Clinton Hill, Prospect Heights, Crown Heights) and State Senator Diane Savino (D-Coney Island, Staten Island) alongside other elected officials will call for the creation of an independent monitor to oversee the New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) today.
Last week, it was revealed that head of NYCHA Shola Olatoye lied about lead poisoning inspections in approximately 55,000 potentially dangerous NYCHA apartments. Olatoye is accused by investigators of submitting false paperwork on the inspections and putting thousands of kids at risk by blowing off mandatory inspections. Many elected officials have even started demanding Olatoye in the light of the revelations.
At the event the group will unveil a new report, “Public Housing Peril: The Need to Hold NYCHA Accountable,” conducted with City Council Public Housing Chair Ritchie Torres (D-Bronx) and Community Voices Heard, on poor NYCHA conditions and the slow responses to requests from tenants to remedy their complaints.
The event is slated for 12:30 p.m., today Nov. 20, at 250 Broadway, 20th floor, in Lower Manhattan.
Hamilton Urges Passage Of Bill Preventing Predatory Towing
Senator Jesse Hamilton (D-Central Brooklyn) applauded fellow Independent Democratic Conference colleague Senator Jose Peralta (D-Queens) on distributing a pamphlet detailing the rights of automobile owners last week.
Peralta co-sponsors a Senate bill introduced by Hamilton and Assembly member Ron Kim (D-Queens) to protect consumers against predatory towing. In 2015, more than 1,400 drivers filed complaints with the City denouncing that tow trucks operators illegally removed their vehicles. A year earlier, the Legal Aid Society and the City’s Department of Consumer Affairs were able to obtain approximately $30 million in fines and restitution for consumers.
The “Know Your Rights” pamphlet informed car owners of the fines associated with towing, their rights while on private property, the laws associated with storage of a towed vehicle, procedures when arriving to the scene prior to removal of a vehicle and violations faced by corrupt towing operators.
“Senator Peralta’s ‘Know Your Rights’ pamphlet for automobile owners is an important step in preventing predatory towing. Educating the public helps ensure consumers are not exploited by unscrupulous operators. I am grateful to have Senator Peralta as a partner in supporting Senate Bill 5994-A. This bill would enact further consumer protections, holding operators who abuse their license accountable and ensuring the authorities can act appropriately on consumer complaints. Working together, both in Albany and in the community, we can stop predatory towing and the abusive practices that cost New Yorkers millions,” said Hamilton.
Levin To Receive Award For Fighting Hunger In NYC
City Council member Stephen Levin (D-Brooklyn Heights, DYMBO, Williamsburg, Boerum Hill) will be recognized by the Food Bank of NYC with the “Freedom From Want” Award today.
Levin, alongside City Councilman Barry Grodenchik (D-Queens), will be honored for his leadership in the fight to eradicate poverty and hunger across the five boroughs by working to strengthen New York’s emergency food network. Nearly one in five New Yorkers relies on Food Bank for food and other resources.
At the legislative breakfast, the Food Bank of NYC will also release a new report on the state of hunger and the Emergency Food Network in NYC. The report analyzes food insecurity among New York’s communities in the face of looming uncertainty at the federal level.
The White House and both houses of Congress have proposed budgets that would impose large-scale cuts to SNAP, and the House of Representatives has announced plans to release a new version of the Farm Bill by early 2018, which would set hunger policies for the next five years.
BK Electeds ‘March4Justice’ To Defend DACA, TPS Program
City Council member Jumaane D. Williams (D-Flatbush, East Flatbush, Midwood) and Assembly member Rodneyse Bichotte (D-Flatbush, Ditmas Park) rallied with other elected officials and advocacy groups yesterday to demand Congress restore Deferred Action For Childhood Arrivals (DACA) and extend Temporary Protective Status (TPS) to immigrants.
The group was joined by Public Advocate Letitia James, City Comptroller Scott Stringer and local leaders of the Haitian community in demanding the federal government develop a comprehensive plan for granting TPS recipient’s permanent legal status in the US.
Earlier this year, President Donald Trump decided to phase out DACA, ordering the end of a five-year-old executive action protecting young undocumented immigrants from deportation and setting a March 25, 2018 deadline for it’s termination. Trump gave Congress a six-month delay with the hopes that they will pass a replacement in time. As part of the order, the Trump administration will not accept any new DACA applications. The decision to roll back the Obama-era policy is slated to affect nearly 30,000 New York City residents that could potentially face deportation.
In May of this year, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary, John Kelly, extended TPS to immigrants of Haiti for only six additional months, 12 months shy of the usual 18 months given. The extension deadline only granted TPS designation to eligible Haitians until January 22, 2018. This month, DHS will formally declare if it will keep the 6-month extension in place or if it will grant a longer extension to TPS recipients.
Gentile Addresses Hate Crimes Against Muslim Community
City Council member Vincent Gentile (D-Bay Ridge, Dyker Heights, Bensonhurst, Bath Beach) convened a meeting of the Unite Task Force in South Brooklyn yesterday to address the recent hate crimes against the Muslim community.
On Sunday, the Unity Task Force, a diverse group of local community leaders of differing backgrounds, including elected officials and religious leaders met at Fatih Camii, a Turkish Mosque. The group addressed their main mission at the meeting, to eradicate acts of hate, violence, or vandalism from the community.
The Mosque was one of two locations recently vandalized, along with Beit El-Maqdis Islamic Center by an unknown man who used a hammer to smash windows, a door knob and a camera at the two mosques.
“Our goal is to reinforce a sense of unity in the community. We are going to push against these types of acts and reaffirm our belief that all backgrounds add to the richness of our neighborhoods,” said Gentile.