Treyger Secures Innovative Rooftop Greenhouse For Gravesend School
City Council Member Mark Treyger (D-Coney Island, Bensonhurst, Gravesend) announced yesterday that he has helped secure an innovative new multipurpose rooftop greenhouse/outdoor garden project for Gravesend elementary school P.S. 97.
The new greenhouse will be completed in conjunction with a previously announced school building extension designed to relieve overcrowding. The project is part of a joint effort by Treyger and P.S. 97 to provide more resources for STEM/STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Math) educational programs while increasing accessibility to and raising awareness about proper nutrition, sustainability, and 21st century workforce skill sets.
The greenhouse and garden will also serve as classrooms, allowing teachers to utilize the space for full science classes, and the school will offer workshops for students and their families to learn how to garden or cook healthy meals with the use of fruits and vegetables. The area will also be made available for students to use as a reading space. The space will also be equipped with innovative hydroponic equipment and environmental controls for students to learn about sustainability and biodiversity.
“This new green space provided by Councilman Treyger will allow further educational development in the biological sciences, knowledge in healthy eating, and awareness of the importance of sustainability. These skills are growing ever more relevant as we face issues like climate change and global warming. We need to cultivate our children to be responsible leaders with appreciation for the environment,” said Assembly member William Colton (D-Bath Beach, Bensonhurst).
“This project will help the dedicated educators at P.S. 97 connect their students with 21st century skill sets and enhance science, STEM, and STEAM programs. Students and their families will also be able to learn all about having a green thumb and learning to cook nutritious and delicious meals,” said Treyger.
Mosley Honors MLK Jr. On 50th Anniversary of Assassination
Assembly member Walter T. Mosley (D-Fort Greene, Clinton Hill, Crown Heights) took the time to honor the life and work of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. on the 50th Anniversary of his assassination yesterday.
Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated in Memphis, Tennessee, on April 4, 1968 at the Lorraine Motel by James Earl Ray. King was only 39 at the time of his death and was killed by a single gunshot wound to the neck, he was rushed to St. Joseph’s Hospital, where he was later pronounced dead. The iconic Civil Rights leader was in Memphis at the time to support the city’s striking sanitation workers who were protesting their work and wage standards. Ray would go on to plead guilty after an international manhunt and was sentenced to 99 years in prison.
“April 4th marks fifty years since the assassination of Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and gives us all a chance to reflect on how we have kept his dream alive. Have we worked to create a world where people of all races have the same opportunities and outcomes? Have we fought for the poorest and marginalized in our society? Have we ensured that people can make a living wage no matter what job they do?”, said Mosley.
Unfortunately, many of our country’s laws still disproportionately affect people of color, and the mass incarceration of black and brown people has only increased since 1968. We are still seeing black children gunned down in the streets, and undocumented immigrants who remain to live in fear.Not only are African Americans facing more hate crimes than ever before, but Jewish Americans, Muslim Americans, transgender Americans, and Americans of all races, are more vulnerable to hatred than they were in previous years.
Today, we should stop and reflect on Dr. King’s vision for the future and what actions we can take to move towards that. Above all else, we must remember that “injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere,” added Mosley.
Espinal Reacts to Mayor’s Announcement on E-bikes
City Council member Rafael Espinal (D-Bushwick, East New York) reacted to Mayor Bill de Blasio’s announcement yesterday clarifying e-bike usage across the city.
On Tuesday, the Mayor alongside NYC Department of Transportation Commissioner Polly Trottenberg announced that DOT will begin the rule-making process to clarify that pedal-assist bicycles are legal to operate in New York City. The new rule will recognize that pedal-assist bicycles are permissible, whereas throttle e-bikes, capable of travel at speeds over 20 MPH, cannot be legally operated on City streets under State law.
The goal of the new policy aims to create better options for cycling delivery workers and commuters, especially during the L Train’s planned closure set for April of next year. The city also noted the health benefits of cycling, citing a European study.
However, in the wake of the announcement, Espinal joined by some of his colleagues in the City Council called on the city to create a throttle to pedal assist conversion fund to aid in compliance of the new policy. According to advocates, the majority of e-bike users are vulnerable, low-wage, immigrant delivery workers that already face workplace challenges. Additionally, the group want there to be a process of identifying e-bikes that have been converted from throttle to avoid stopping those riders unjustly.
“I am glad the Mayor has heard our concerns and is taking this positive step forward. This is a big win for the e-bike community, especially delivery workers, who rely on e-bikes to make a living. There is still more work to be done in Albany to ensure the laws are clearly defined to protect all e-vehicle riders and in the city to support those who want to transition from throttle e-bikes to pedal assist bicycles,” said Espinal, Chair of the Committee on Consumer Affairs and Business Licensing.
Hamilton To Announce Legislation Recognizing 400 Years of African-American History
State Senator Jesse Hamilton (D-Central Brooklyn) will announce legislation supporting African-American History this week.
On Thursday, Hamilton will reveal a new bill aimed at creating a commission focused on the 400th anniversary of the arrival of Africans to North American shores.
The proposed 400 Years of African-American History Commission would be responsible for highlighting contributions of Africans, African-Americans, and the African diaspora since their 1619 arrival through planning programming to foster learning and engagement for all people; encouraging community-based partners, educational, cultural, and civic institutions to participate in the recognition of the significance of 400 years of contributions; and supporting public awareness of the continuous contributions from 1619 to the present day.
The announcement will be followed by a roundtable on Diversity & Inclusion in Cultural Institutions that will include culture sector workers, artists, advocates, educators, and academics. The roundtable will open the ongoing dialogue with community cultural institutions, including the Brooklyn Museum, as to advancing solutions to the challenges underrepresented communities face in the cultural sector.
The event is slated for 3:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m., Thursday, April 5, at the Weeksville Heritage Center, at 159 Buffalo Avenue in Crown Heights.