Brooklyn Lawmakers On The Move April 2, 2018

News Site Brooklyn

De Blasio Files Legal Brief Against Trump Travel Ban

Mayor Bill de Blasio

Mayor Bill de Blasio alongside the U.S. Conference of Mayors  announced the filing of a friend-of-the-court (amicus) brief opposing President Donald Trump against his travel ban last week.

Last Friday, De Blasio, Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti, Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney and Boston Mayor Martin Walsh announced the Cities of Chicago, New York City, Los Angeles, Philadelphia, Boston, 44 other cities filed the amicus with the U.S. Supreme Court in opposition of Trump’s attempt to restrict travel into the country.

The brief supports the State of Hawaii, individuals, and an immigrant rights group who are challenging the Trump administration’s latest effort to restrict travel from several majority-Muslim nations, this time issued by proclamation instead of by executive order.

On September 24, Trump issued a proclamation placing new travel restrictions on immigration by all or certain people from eight countries – Chad, Iran, Libya, North Korea, Somalia, Syria, Venezuela, and Yemen. Six of these eight countries are Muslim-majority countries. This action followed two failed attempts by Trump in 2017 to restrict immigration from six or seven majority-Muslim countries, including five that are still on the list. Judges in both Maryland and Hawaii have enjoined the latest attempt, and the U.S. Justice Department has appealed in an attempt to reverse the injunction.

“Trump’s travel ban is a racist abdication of American values. Here in New York City, we have shown how embracing immigrant communities makes us stronger and safer. We are proud to link arms with cities and municipalities across the nation and stand firm against the travel ban,” said de Blasio.

City Councilman Carlos Menchaca

“I stand in support of our Muslim brothers and sisters. Trump’s attempts to discriminate them based on their religion and country of origin is shameful. In New York City, we believe diversity is what makes our country a vibrant and unique place. We will defend our American values. We won’t allow the federal government to corrupt the very essence of our beliefs,” said City Council member Carlos Menchaca (D-Sunset Park, Red Hook).  

BP Adams Offers Series of Free Overdose Prevention Trainings

Brooklyn Borough President Eric L. Adams

Brooklyn Borough President Eric L. Adams will hold a series of free overdose prevention trainings to teach Brooklynites how to save lives with naloxone this month.

Adams will hold a series of free overdose prevention trainings across the borough amid the nationwide opioid crisis. Attendees will be trained on how to recognize and reverse an overdose and restore breathing using the lifesaving medication naloxone, learning how to become a certified opioid overdose responder, while receiving a free overdose rescue kit with naloxone.

According to data compiled by the New York City Office of the Chief Medical Examiner (OCME) and the DOHMH Bureau of Vital Statistics, in 2016, there were 297 overdose deaths in Brooklyn, the second-highest total of the five boroughs; Bay Ridge, Bensonhurst, Bushwick, East New York, and Williamsburg were the most severely impacted neighborhoods.  

Additional statistical analysis compiled by OCME and DOHMH in 2016 found that Brooklyn residents aged 55 to 64 years had the highest rate of overdose death among all age groups. Rates of overdose were highest among white Brooklynites — nearly double the figure for black residents, although the rate of overdose death among black Brooklynites increased by more than 50 percent last year in comparison to 2015 figures. In all cases, heroin was the most common drug involved in these deaths, constituting 55 percent of all fatalities.

“Opioid addiction and misuse are a worsening public health crisis that requires action from all of us,” said Borough President Adams. “This public information campaign and training series is a critical step forward in the fight against overdoses as it will empower Brooklynites with the skills needed to administer lifesaving naloxone to prevent needless deaths. Everyone should know the availability and effectiveness of this treatment as we wage battle against this deadly epidemic.”

Anyone interested in attending one of Borough President Adams’ free overdose prevention trainings is asked to RSVP by calling (718) 802-4299 or visiting

Nadler Urges USDA To Label Kosher, Halal Food In Schools

Congressman Jerrold Nadler

Congressman Jerrold Nadler (D-Western Brooklyn, Western Manhattan) alongside Congresswoman Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) urged the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to issue food codes for kosher and halal foods to be used in the National School Lunch Program (NSLP) last week.

The National School Lunch Program is a federal meal program that provides low-cost or free lunches to school children. Schools receive funding to spend on government food for the program, however, they cannot use the entirety of their NSLP funds for kosher and halal foods because the USDA does not currently have a coding system to properly identify these foods.

Earlier last week, Nadler and Gillibrand wrote a joint letter to USDA Secretary Sonny Perdue asking for the changes in the program.

According to the federal lawmakers, more than 50,000 students require access to kosher and halal meals through school lunches. Additionally, many Jewish students rely on NSLP to provide them with appropriate meals while at school. In New York City alone, more than 180,000 Jewish children are living in poor or near-poor households. By creating a coding system for kosher and halal foods, schools will be able to easily identify what foods they can purchase to provide students with nutritious and culturally appropriate meals.

“Children in thousands of communities across our nation rely on nutritious meals provided through the National School Lunch Program. This program has proven to be a vital source of nutrition to support young minds and bodies for learning. To ensure that every child in every community has access to the food they need, we request you provide a plan and definitive timeline to issue kosher and halal food codes for the National School Lunch Program (NSLP) ordering system,” Nadler and Gillibrand wrote to Secretary Perdue.

CM Williams Sends Condolences To Flatbush Shooting Victims’ Family

City Councilmember Jumaane Williams

City Council Member Jumaane D. Williams (D-Flatbush, East Flatbush, Midwood) sent his condolences to the family of the man shot on Flatbush Avenue over the weekend.

According to initial reports, a 28-year-old Brooklyn man was fatally shot early Saturday after a memorial wrapped up for another gun violence victim, cops and relatives said.Nate Cummings was blasted in the neck and chest on Flatbush Ave. near Ditmas Ave. in Ditmas Park about 3:20 a.m., cops said.

Cummings was shot a few doors away from the Rose Fantasy Restaurant, where a memorial had been held earlier that night for a man recently shot to death in Queens. Medics rushed Cummings to Kings County Hospital but he could not be saved. There were no immediate arrests.

“My prayers for peace and comfort go to the family of the man who was senselessly murdered this morning in Flatbush, in my district. While there remains much unknown about this shooting, what is known is that this act of violence serves only to impart tragedy, to inflict pain, to end a life and to destroy many others in its wake,” said Williams.

Harris Secures State Funding To Improve Housing

Assembly Member Pamela Harris

Assembly member Pamela Harris (D-Coney Island, Bay Ridge, Dyker Heights) announced last week that she helped pass the 2018-19 state budget, including securing funding to improve housing.

As part of the final state budget, Harris helped secure $250 million for the New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) to make much-needed repairs, including replacing and updating heating equipment that had left 80 percent of NYCHA residents without heat between Oct. 1 and Jan. 22.

The state budget also allocates funding for Naturally Occurring Retirement Communities (NORCs) and Neighborhood Naturally Occurring Retirement Communities (NNORCs), which help keep seniors in their homes and neighborhoods. This funding also provides critical support services to seniors, helping them remain independent and decreasing the need for hospital and nursing home care, noted Harris.

“For too long, NYCHA residents have had to live in dismal conditions. The state budget makes a significant investment in NYCHA repairs because our families’ health and safety shouldn’t be at risk when they open their front door, but the funding is just a start,” said Harris.