Brooklyn Lawmakers On The Move April 9, 2018

News Site Brooklyn

BP Adams Reacts To Lawsuit Settlement In NYPD Muslim Surveillance

Brooklyn Borough President Eric L. Adams

Brooklyn Borough President Eric L. Adams reacted to the recently announced settlement in the case of the New York Police Department’s (NYPD) surveillance of Muslims last week.

The settlement, announced Thursday, involved a lengthy federal lawsuit — Hassan v. City of New York — filed on behalf of American Muslims in New Jersey who charged the NYPD launched a campaign of surveillance after the Sept. 11, 2001 terror attacks that included spying on grade schools, restaurants and other sites, according to reports.  In the settlement, the NYPD did not admit it violated the law or engaged in misconduct. But it did agree to “not conduct investigations in which race, religion or ethnicity is a substantial or motivating factor,” according to an NYPD statement.

Additionally, as part of the end to the lengthy case, the NYPD will create new training materials and policies for the NYPD’s Intelligence Bureau aimed at improving surveillance techniques. Filed in federal court in New Jersey in 2012, the lawsuit was the first to challenge the NYPD’s practice of surveillance in the Muslim community.

“Four years ago, an amicus brief was filed to the Third Circuit of the United States Court of Appeals on behalf of myself, then-Salt Lake City Chief of Police Chris Burbank, and 100 Blacks in Law Enforcement Who Care in support of the appellants in Hassan v. City of New York. I’m pleased that there has been a settlement in this case, including the development of new policies and training materials for the NYPD Intelligence Bureau with input from the Muslim community,” said Adams.  

“As we noted in the brief, our Muslim neighbors are indispensable partners with law enforcement. We are the safest big city in America, and we will be even safer and more just working in partnership,” added Adams.

Colton Denounces Kings Highway “Bus Only” Lane Proposal 

Assembly Member William Colton

Assembly member William Colton (D-Bensonhurst, Bath Beach) will denounce the city’s new plan for B82 Select Bus Service in Bensonhurst today.

Last month, the city revealed plans to institute a “bus-only” lane on the Kings Highway commercial strip including removing more than 100 parking spots on the already highly congested commercial corridor in favor of a select bus service lane (SBS).

The controversial plan has many local elected officials and residents expressing opposition to the plan they believe has the potential to hurt local businesses.

“The B82 SBS plan is another example of how the DOT and the MTA are hurting working families.The impact of fewer parking spaces and bus stops will be detrimental to the small businesses along Kings Highway and the residents who depend on them,” said Colton.

The event is slated for 11 a.m., today, April 9, at the intersection of Kings Highway and West 6th Street in Bensonhurst.

Lander, Carroll Host Traffic Safety Meeting

City Council Member Brad Lander
Assembly Member Robert Carroll

City Council member Brad Lander (D-Park Slope, Windsor Terrace, Kensington, Gowanus) and Assembly member Robert Carroll (D-Park Slope, Windsor Terrace, Kensington) will host a traffic safety meeting today.

The meeting will address potential safety measures that should be taken at the intersection of Church Avenue and Ocean Parkway in Kensington. The intersection has been the location of multiple traffic fatalities including last month in which  Faustino Garcia was struck and killed by a truck turning onto the expressway.

Following Garcia’s death, the local lawmakers wrote a letter to NYC Department of Transportation (DOT) Chair Polly Trottenberg and NYS Transportation Commissioner Cathy Calhoun, calling on them to quickly conduct a comprehensive review of the intersection and work together to implement changes. The intersection is under joint jurisdiction, since the Prospect Expressway is a State highway, but Ocean Parkway and Church Avenue are City roads.

Lander is currently reviewing three proposals for changes at the intersection including fencing off the north-side of the crossing for pedestrian safety against cars, creating an expanded pedestrian-only crossing interval and building a pedestrian bridge. The intersection was the site of the death of Ngozi Agbim who was was killed by a hit-and-run driver in 2013.

“I hope you will join us for this important conversation, to call for a real plan — some serious and coordinated combination of engineering changes, signal-timing, and enforcement — so that we don’t have to mourn the loss of life at this intersection again,” said Lander.

The event is slated for 7:30 p.m., today, April 9, at P.S. 130 Upper School, at 713 Caton Avenue in Kensington.

Fed Lawmakers Host #StandUpBrooklyn Town Hall

Congresswoman Nydia Velazquez
Congresswoman Yvette Clarke
Congressman Hakeem Jeffries

Congress members Nydia Velazquez (D-Brooklyn, Queens, LES), Yvette D. Clarke (D-Crown Heights, Prospect Lefferts Gardens, Flatbush, East Flatbush, Ditmas Park, Park Slope, Midwood, Sheepshead Bay, Brownsville)  and Hakeem Jeffries (D-central Brooklyn, Coney Island, Eastern Queens) will host a Stand Up Brooklyn Town Hall today in preparation for the upcoming 2018 Elections.

#StandUpBrooklyn will inform Brooklyn residents on details of the upcoming midterm elections, steps they can take in participating in the process, and how to organize their Brooklyn neighbors to vote.  Speakers will also discuss 2018’s political landscape and articulate approaches New Yorkers can take in regards to the Trump Administration’s policies.

The event will also promote voter registration and voter mobilization, as New York State’s electoral turnout in the 2016 Presidential Election was just 57%.  The event will also help New Yorkers find ways to get involved in other races throughout the state and country.

The event is slated for 6:30 p.m., today, April 9, at St. Francis College – Genovesi Center (4th Floor), at 180 Remsen Street in Downtown Brooklyn. 

Cymbrowitz Applauds Funding To NYCHA In State Budget

Assemblyman Steven Cymbrowitz

Assemblyman Steven Cymbrowitz (D-Sheepshead Bay, Manhattan Beach, Brighton Beach), Chair of the Housing Committee, applauded funding aimed at improving housing for New York residents as part of the recently passed State Budget.

The SFY 2018-19 budget provides $250 million for NYCHA to make capital repairs, including replacing and updating heating equipment as well as weatherization and other critical maintenance projects. The budget will also allow NYCHA to use the design-build procurement process, which will expedite boiler replacements and other construction and repair projects by consolidating both the design and construction of a project into a single contract.

The budget also continues the state’s affordable and homeless housing and services initiative championed in 2017 by Cymbrowitz during his first year as Housing Committee Chair. The funding will continue to support the creation or maintenance of the program’s 100,000 units of affordable housing and 6,000 units of supportive housing. The spending plan also includes the establishment of a program in New York City for families and individuals who are homeless or at risk of homelessness. Under the program, individuals and families would be offered a rental supplement up to 100 percent of the fair market rent for up to four years.

“As we speak of heating systems and buildings, we must remember the most important part of the conversation – the nearly 400,000 residents that call these developments home,These people are the fabric of the city and its workforce, and without them New York would not be what it is today,” said Cymbrowitz.

“Now, we must demand that all levels of government step up to make sure these housing units remain forever affordable and meet the needs of their occupants. Every New Yorker deserves a safe and decent place to live. But this budget demonstrates that we are making significant progress in creating and preserving affordable housing opportunities and enhancing the quality of life for all New Yorkers,” added Cymbrowitz.

Donovan Applauds Latest Russia Sanctions

Congressman Dan Donovan

Congressman Dan Donovan (R-South Brooklyn, Staten Island) applauded President Donald Trump’s latest round of sanctions on Russia.

On Friday, the Trump Administration announced new sanctions on seven Russian oligarchs and 17 top government officials including a dozen Russian companies owned by the oligarchs. According to reports, Senior Trump administration officials are casting the penalties as part of a concerted and ongoing effort by the US to push back President Vladimir Putin’s government.

The newest round of sanctions come less than a month after, the Trump Administration  penalized two-dozen Russian individuals and entities for U.S. cyberattacks and meddling in the 2016 presidential election.

“The Trump Administration continues to ramp up pressure on Russia for its bad behavior, and it’s exactly the right strategy. Today’s sanctions hold accountable those who seek to undermine our nation and Western democracies. By isolating Russia and targeting its oligarchs, we make clear that America won’t tolerate their destabilizing actions,” said Donovan.