Brooklyn Lawmakers On The Move Feb. 21, 2018

News Site Brooklyn

Adams, BK Lawmakers Demand Funding For Burn Unit

Brooklyn Borough President Eric L. Adams

Brooklyn Borough President Eric L. Adams and Brooklyn’s entire New York City Council delegation demanded funding for the borough’s first burn unit yesterday amid rise in local fires.

In a letter to Mayor Bill de Blasio, the group joined in calling for the allocation of $10 million in the City’s Fiscal Year 2019 (FY19) budget to complete the capital and operating costs for the creation of the landmark burn unit. Cost estimates for the first year of operation for a new eight-bed burn unit, including build-out and operating costs, are approximately $14.5 million. A burn center provides all four phases of health care for burns, including treatment of wounds and surgery, interventions to prevent shock, rehabilitation services, and reconstructive surgery.

Adams already committed $4.15 million from his Fiscal Year 2016 (FY16) capital budget to go toward the construction of a burn center in Brooklyn. According to the group, last year, the New York City Fire Department (FDNY) responded to 8,206 structural fires and 4,974 non-structural fires in Brooklyn alone, an increase of nearly two percent and 6.5 percent over 2016 statistics, respectively.  Currently, burn victims in New York City are either sent to Columbia-Presbyterian Hospital in Manhattan, Jacobi Hospital in the Bronx, and Staten Island University Hospital North.

“The welfare of Brooklyn’s children and families compel us to act. Fire prevention education and outreach are critically important, but so is ensuring we have local health care infrastructure that can mean the difference between life and death,” said Adams.

City Councilman Robert Cornegy Jr
City Councilmember Mathieu Eugene Photo by Phoebe Taylor Vuolo

“With a population of 2.6 million, it is critical we devote the resources necessary to ensure Brooklynites have access to care that gives them the best opportunity to survive injuries that result from tragedies like fires. Siting and building a burn center in Brooklyn must be a budget priority in FY19,” said City Council member Robert Cornegy Jr. (D-Bedford-Stuyvesant, Northern Crown Heights)      

“There have been far too many incidents of structural fires in our neighborhoods for our borough to be lacking in this critical need. It is vital that we continue to improve the quality of care available to burn victims in Brooklyn, so that they may receive better treatment and have an improved chance of recovery. We have a moral obligation to ensure that our constituents can receive emergency medical care in a timely manner,” said City Council member Mathieu Eugene (D-Prospect Park Lefferts Gardens, Flatbush, Ditmas Park) 

Joined on the letter to Mayor de Blasio by Council Members Alicka Ampry-Samuel; Inez Barron; Justin Brannan; Robert E. Cornegy, Jr.; Laurie A. Cumbo, Chaim M. Deutsch; Rafael L. Espinal, Jr.; Mathieu Eugene; Brad Lander; Stephen T. Levin; Alan N. Maisel; Carlos Menchaca; Antonio Reynoso; Mark Treyger; Jumaane D. Williams, and Kalman Yeger.

Kavanagh Joins Anti-Gun Violence Fight

Brian Kavanagh

State Senator Brian Kavanagh (D-Northern Brooklyn, Lower Manhattan), Chair of American State Legislators for Gun Violence Prevention, declared his solidarity with the students of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School yesterday in their gun violence prevention activism.

Last Wednesday, 17 high schoolers, teachers, and coaches were shot and killed at Parkland High School after 19-year-old Nikolas Cruz opened fire on the students in Florida. Cruz was armed with an AR-15 rifle that he had legally purchased, according to authorities.Since the shooting, surviving students have taken to boldly calling on state legislators to implement gun safety policy. Earlier this week, student Emma Gonzalez, demanded that President Donald Trump along with Florida lawmakers reform the state’s and federal gun laws.

On Tuesday, students from the school marched on the Florida state capital in Tallahassee to push gun reform and urge legislators to pass sweeping anti-gun reforms immediately. Additionally, students across the nation plan on walking out of schools on March 24 as part of the March of Our Lives event, organized by students from the Parkland Shooting who aim to empower other students in calling for stricter gun control legislation.

“The students’ courageous activism during a time of immense grief is incredibly inspiring, and I want them to know that state legislators across the country share their sense of urgency. While some in Congress have fought valiantly for our federal government to respond to these horrors, the President and majorities in both houses of Congress have valued gun industry profits and false rhetoric about constitutional rights over people’s lives. This is unacceptable, and it must end,” said Kavanagh.

“We want these courageous students to know that state lawmakers hear you, we support you, and we will stand with you, we also know that strong state laws can make our communities safer. That includes background checks on all gun buyers, extreme risk protection orders that keep guns out of the hands of people likely to harm themselves or others, and community intervention programs. We’ve enacted these and other gun violence prevention laws in many states, and we will continue to do so until every American is protected,” added Kavanagh.

Persaud Hosts Direct Care Workshop   

State Sen. Roxanne Persaud

Senator Roxanne J. Persaud (D-Canarsie, East New York, Brownsville, Mill Basin, Sheepshead Bay, Bergen Beach, Marine Park, Flatlands, Mill Island, Georgetown, Ocean Hill, Starrett City) in Partnership with NY Caring Majority held a workshop entitled “The Care Crisis in New York” last weekend.

The event was held during the annual NYS Association of Black and Puerto Rican Legislators 47th Annual Conference in Albany. The event featured presenters from New York Caring Majority who gave an overview of the challenges faced by direct care workers and presented concrete solutions for the way forward.

Direct care workers are  also known as personal care assistants, caregivers, home health or personal care aides and are people who  give assistance to people who are sick, injured, mentally or physically disabled, or the elderly and fragile. Currently, the field is facing wage insecurity as lawmakers push for workers to make a “living wage.” The lack of state funding for these workers has left a shortage of staff and proper care or patients.

“Family members are fighting hard to pay for loved ones. Home care workers are struggling to make ends meet. People with disabilities, including children, the elderly, and other vulnerable citizens are experiencing a lower quality of life and increased hardship. At the same time, funding to support the most vulnerable population is diminishing. The Care Crisis in New York State needs to be addressed now- our loved ones deserve optimum care and should not be stressed on a daily basis,” said Persaud.

“This crisis has strong implication for the constituents I serve, both those in need of care and those who provide the care. We cannot remain silent; we cannot stop until we find a real and lasting solution to the care crisis in our state,” added Persaud.

Hikind Decries “Holocaust Denial Law’

NY State Assemblyman Dov Hikind

Assembly member Dov Hikind (D-Brooklyn) says it’s time for Jews to cease visiting Poland, this week, in the wake of new Holocaust legislation in Poland.

Earlier this month, the Polish government approved a new law making it illegal to assign responsibility to Poles or to Poland for the crimes of the Holocaust and the second World War, according to reports. The new policy also makes terms such as “Polish death camp,” forbidden, although the law stipulates that such restrictions only apply when they are not factual. The law also prescribes prison terms of up to three years for anyone who states that the Polish state was, “responsible or complicit in the Nazi crimes committed by the Third German Reich.”

Hikind has completely come out against the new measure calling Poland an unsafe country for Jews to visit. This week, Poland’s Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki told Israeli Media that the Holocaust had “Jewish perpetrators” too.

“Poland’s Prime Minister continues to add insult to injury. It’s bad enough that their grandparents murdered innocent men, women and children. Bad enough that three-quarters of a century later they have passed a shameful law meant to deny their complicity in these crimes. Now the Prime Minister of Poland wants to blame the victims. This is shameful, unconscionable behavior that can only lead to more tragedies,” said Hikind, whose grandparents were murdered in Auschwitz.

“I was personally planning to go to Poland to visit the camps where my family was held, but I can no longer visit Poland in good conscience, as I have before,” said Hikind. “I don’t think any of us should. Unlike Germany, which has taken responsibility for what it did during the Holocaust, Poland is in a state of dangerous denial. Until an apology has been issued, I don’t consider Poland a fit place for Jews,” added Hikind.

Jeffries, Thomas Jefferson Democratic Club Celebrate Black History Month

Congressman Hakeem Jeffries
Congresswoman Yvette Clarke

The Thomas Jefferson Democratic Club will celebrate Black History Month with special guest speaker Congressman Hakeem Jeffries (D-Central Brooklyn, Coney Island, Queens) this week.

The event will also include remarks from Congresswoman Yvette Clarke (D-Brooklyn, Queens, Lower Manhattan) who will speak about many of the pressing issues facing the country and the world.  

The event is slated for 8 p.m., Thursday, February 22, at 77 Conklin Avenue in Canarsie.

Golden Offers Free Flu Shots

State Sen. Marty Golden

State Senator Martin J. Golden (R-C-I, Bay Ridge, Dyker Heights, Marine Park, Gerritsen Beach) in partnership with Coney Island Hospital is offering free flu shots again this year.

Each year, Golden offers opportunities to his constituents during the Winter season, to protect themselves and others from the flu, in an effort to improve and protect public health in the community.

The event is slated for 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., Friday, March 2, at Senator Golden’s District office, at 7408 5th Avenue in Bay Ridge.  If interested, please call 718.238.6044 to make an appointment.