Brooklyn Lawmakers On The Move March 23, 2018

News Site Brooklyn

Adams Backs Council Resolution To Remove Processed Meats From School Meals

Brooklyn Borough President Eric L. Adams

Brooklyn Borough President Eric L. Adams and Council Member Fernando Cabrera (D-Bronx) yesterday introduced a groundbreaking City Council resolution that calling on the Department of Education (DOE) to ban processed meats from being served within the city’s public schools.

In 2015, the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), the cancer agency of the World Health Organization (WHO), classified processed meat as a Group 1 carcinogen, which indicates substantive scientific evidence that processed meats such as bacon, ham, hot dogs, sausages, and some deli meats can increase risk of a variety of diseases including diabetes, multiple cancers, and respiratory illnesses. 

Resolution 238 notes that the DOE serves around 950,000 meals to students daily, including offerings containing processed meats. Both Adams and Cabrera adopted plant-based diets due to underlying health issues caused by consumption of processed meats including heart disease and diabetes, respectively. They both emphasized the importance of removing dangerous, processed meats from the public school system to protect the long-term health of children in every corner of the city.

“We cannot continue feeding our children substances that are scientifically proven to increase their chances of cancer later in life,” said Adams. “Hot dogs and ham sandwiches are in the same class of substances as cigarettes. We know that we would never give our children cigarettes to smoke, so there’s absolutely no reason why we should continue poisoning our children’s health with processed meats.”

Among the other prime sponsors of the resolution was City Council Members Justin Brannan (D-Bay Ridge, Dyker Heights, Bath Beach, Bensonhurst), who is also a vegetarian.

“How can we continue to serve food to our children that we know is unhealthy?” said Brannan. “Processed meats are known to cause a wide range of problems. Let’s follow the science here and get our kids started on the right nutritional path that hopefully they will follow the rest of their lives. This resolution is a step in the right direction in correcting our nation’s public health crisis.”

Clarke Hosts Women’s Empowerment Event

Congresswoman Yvette Clarke

U.S. Rep. Yvette D. Clarke (D-Crown Heights, Flatbush, East Flatbush, Prospect Lefferts Gardens, Brownsville, Midwood, Sheepshead Bay) and radio personality Angela Yee, in conjunction with the Congressional Caucus on Black Women and Girls, will host a women’s empowerment event at Medgar Evers College on Monday.

Dubbed the “I.Am.An.Overcomer,” focuses on black women and girls’ empowerment and will provide coping strategies to those seeking to live in their wholeness. Black women’s voices have long been excluded from discussions about various forms of trauma. From physical and emotional abuse, to gun violence, and more, black women often suffer in silence – leaving them with few options to find justice and healing.

The Congressional Caucus on Black Women and Girls focuses on developing public policy that reduces disparities experienced by black women. In addition, the Caucus works to eliminate barriers to success for black women and girls. This event will feature successful black women who have overcome major odds and risen to a notable level of achievement.

The event is slated for 6 p.m., Monday, March 26 at Medgar Evers College, 1650 Bedford Avenue, 1st floor, Founder’s Auditorium in Crown Heights.

Golden Takes Action Against Drug Dealers Accountable For Overdose Deaths

State Sen. Marty Golden

State Sen. Martin J. Golden (R-Bay Ridge, Dyker Heights, Marine Park, Gerritsen Beach) yesterday announced that the senate has passed “Laree’s Law” to strengthen enforcement and combat growing drug abuse.

The bill, S2761, which Golden cosponsored, would allow law enforcement officials to charge a drug dealer with homicide if a death results from the sale of heroin or an opiate controlled substance.

“New York State continues to be a leader in increasing drug prevention and education efforts, making treatment more accessible in every community, and ensuring strong support services for those in recovery. However, we need to tackle the heroin epidemic from all sides and that includes properly punishing the big business dealers that are bringing this poison into our communities,” said Golden. “They will continue to prey on our most vulnerable until there is a punishment that properly fits the crime.”

Currently, a person who provides an illicit drug that results in the death of a user can typically only be charged with the criminal sale of a controlled substance. As a result, those involved in the illicit drug trade can escape prosecution for the death they caused. Laree’s Law is named in honor of Laree Farrell Lincoln, an Albany County teenager who died of a heroin overdose in 2013 and whose mother, Patty Farrell, has been a strong advocate for holding drug dealers accountable for the true cost of their crimes. 

This legislation is intended to target mid- to high-level drug dealers who profit from heroin sales, but does not punish co-users by providing a defense for those who bought and used the opiate with the deceased. New York State’s “Good Samaritan Law,” also shields individuals from charges related to an overdose if they attempt to help the individual and report the incident in a timely manner. 

Laree’s Law is part of the Senate’s ongoing commitment to combat the heroin and opioid epidemic. In the Senate’s budget resolution passed last week, record funding of $265 million was included and will continue to be a priority in ongoing budget negotiations to help improve prevention, treatment, recovery and education services across the state. 

The bill has been sent to the Assembly.

Brannan Says Bury Dyker Heights Overhead Power Lines 

City Council Member Justin Brannan

City Councilman Justin Brannan (D-Bay Ridge, Dyker Heights, Bath Beach, Bensonhurst) yesterday called for all overhead power lines in Dyker Heights to be moved underground.

The call to bury the power lines came amid a Brannan pledge to support infrastructure improvements across the district and to work with local merchant groups and community leaders who have also been calling for this effort for a long time.

“The heavy snow yesterday should serve as a reminder that we need to take action to protect our power lines. It’s now over five years since Superstorm Sandy and city infrastructure is still lacking, leaving us vulnerable to powerful storms,” said Brannan.

“Moving the power lines underground is a common sense move that will save us time and energy and limit the potential for trees and powerful winds from knocking out power. Additionally, downed wires are a safety risk for residents and emergency responders. It’s time we get serious about preparing our neighborhood for major storms,” he added.

Espinal Introduces Right to Disconnect for Private Employees

City Councilman Rafael Espinal Jr.

City Council Member Rafael Espinal Jr. (D-Bushwick, East New York) introduces legislation to protect workers from being required to perform unpaid work after work-hours.

Dubbed “The Right to Disconnect” Act, Intro No. 726, the measure would make it illegal for any employer to require an employee to access work-related electronic communications outside of usual work hours. The legislation covers private employers who have 10 or more employees and would require the employer create a policy notifying workers of their rights.

The Department of Consumer Affairs will be responsible for enforcing the law, having the authority to investigate complaints and issue fines. Similar laws have been instituted in France, Germany, Italy and the Philippines. New York City would be the first to require this right and protection from retaliation in the United States. The legislation would not prohibit employers or employees from communicating, or doing work at their will. Rather, it would prevent such work after-hours as a requirement, in addition to preventing retaliation for opting not to answer communications while off-the-clock.

 “After leaving the office, many of us are glued to our phones refreshing our Instagram feeds, but often times we are also keeping up with our work and bosses. While technology has increased access to people and ideas, it’s also made it possible for employees to be on-call 24/7. We need to establish clear boundaries for employees so they can maintain a healthy work-life balance and live without fear of retaliation for not answering work communications after work hours. The right to disconnect has proven effective in other countries and it is time NYC take this protective step to protect worker’s rights,” said Espinal.

Cymbrowitz Thanks Maimonides’ Jaffe Stroke Center for Saving His Life

Assemblyman Steven Cymbrowitz

Thirteen years after his own successful recovery from a stroke, Assemblyman Steven Cymbrowitz (D-Sheepshead Bay, Manhattan Beach, Brighton Beach) today will present an Assembly Proclamation to Maimonides Medical Center’s Jaffe Stroke Center to recognize the facility’s work in saving thousands of stroke patients each year.

Cymbrowitz suffered a stroke on March 5, 2005 and widely credits the state-of-the-art care he received at Maimonides with saving his life.

Maimonides’ President & CEO Kenneth Gibbs; Dr. Steven Rudolph, Director of Stroke Medicine; and Interventional Neuroradiologists Dr. Erez Nossek and Dr. Razvan Buciuc will be among those accepting the resolution. 

The proclamation event is slated for 1 p.m. today, March 23 at Maimonides Medical Center, 4802 Tenth Avenue in Borough Park.