Brooklyn Lawmakers On The Move April 18, 2018

News Site Brooklyn

BP Adams Mourns Loss of Former First Lady Barbara Bush

Brooklyn Borough President Eric L. Adams

Brooklyn Borough President Eric L. Adams mourned the loss of former First Lady Barbara Bush yesterday.

Mrs. Bush served as the country’s first lady from 1989 to 1993. She passed away shortly after deciding to forgo further medical treatments for her failing health including congestive heart failure and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. She was 92 years old, according to USA Today.

Mrs. Bush is one of only two first ladies in the history of the country who is also the mother of a president. Abigail Adams, the wife of John Adams, a founding father of the nation and its second president, was the mother of John Quincy Adams, the sixth U.S. president.

“Brooklyn mourns the passing of Barbara Bush, a native New Yorker who served our nation with dignity and grace as its former First Lady. Her commitment to civil rights and combating illiteracy shined a light on some of our society’s greatest barriers to opportunity,” said Adams.

“My condolences go out to her entire family, including her husband President George H.W. Bush and their six children, fourteen grandchildren, and seven great-grandchildren,” added Adams.

Treyger To Hold Joint Educational, Finance and Land Use Meeting

City Councilman Mark Treyger

City Council member Mark Treyger (D-Coney Island, Bensonhurst, Gravesend) will lead a joint hearing between the Committees on Education, Finance and Land Use today to review the City’s 2018 report, Planning to Learn: The School Building Challenge.

The report, released last month, is a detailed analysis of the space challenges faced by New York City’s public school system and a comprehensive set of recommendations to address the ongoing and severe overcrowding that exists in New York City’s public schools.

According to the the watchdog group, Class Size Matter, 43% of city schools were overcrowded last year according to DOE data and about 575,000 students (over 50%) were enrolled in overcrowded schools.

The report calls for greater accountability in the school planning process, and provides recommendations that can help expedite new school construction in order to alleviate overcrowding including advocating for the Schools Construction Authority (SCA) to receive Design-Build authorization from New York State.

The hearing is slated for 10 a.m., today, April 18, at City Hall in Lower Manhattan.

CM Williams To Talk Politics At BK Children’s Museum

City Councilmember Jumaane Williams

Council Member Jumaane D. Williams (D-Flatbush, East Flatbush, Midwood) will speak about his political activism and time in public office to students at the Brooklyn Children’s Museum today.

Williams will specifically address his recent arrest while protesting the detention and deportation of Ravi Ragbir. Williams will then donate some items from his protest for display at a future museum exhibit.

Additionally, as part of another project by the students entitled Power, Williams will also discuss growing up in Brooklyn and his time in public life.

Williams is in his second term as the Council member for the 45th District of the New York City Council. The district includes Canarsie, East Flatbush, Flatbush, Flatlands, Marine Park and Midwood in Brooklyn. He also currently serves as Deputy Leader of the New York City Council, and chair of the Committee on Housing and Buildings. He is a running mate for Cynthia Nixon in the 2018 gubernatorial election.

The event is slated for 5:30 p.m., today, April 18, at the Brooklyn Children’s Museum, at 145 Brooklyn Avenue in Crown Heights.

Deutsch Demands More Dollars To Clean Up City

City Councilman Chaim Deutsch

Councilman Chaim Deutsch (D-Sheepshead Bay, Manhattan Beach, Brighton Beach, Homecrest) is urging the administration to provide additional funding for equipment and manpower to the Department of Sanitation.

Deutsch is requesting funds to funds to close a gap in service affecting all New York City residents who experience skipped sanitation collections after holiday and inclement weather suspensions.

Current DSNY policy dictates that in each sanitation district, only 70% of trash be picked up on the day following a suspension. This leaves 30% of missed trash and 100% of missed recycling uncollected. Because recycling is already only picked up once a week, residents are forced to store two or more weeks’ worth of recycling in their homes – particularly when there are two holidays in a row. Deutsch to correct this and allow for a 100% collection of trash and recycling on the days following a suspension.

Additionally, Deutsch wants to see corner wastebasket collections on commercial strips increased to seven days a week, citywide. 

“Our quality of life suffers when trash is not collected in a timely manner. The fact is, the men and women of the Sanitation Department are incredibly hard-working, and they are doing the best job they can with the resources they have,” said Deutsch.

There’s no reason why in New York City, there should be piles of garbage sitting on curbs for days in a row after a holiday. It is absolutely essential that this administration steps up to provide the funds needed to keep our streets clean and improve the standard of living in our City,” added Deutsch.

PA James Calls for Legalization of Marijuana in New York

Public Advocate Letitia James

Public Advocate Letitia James called for the legalization of marijuana for adult recreational use in New York yesterday.

On Tuesday, James called on city officials to push for legislation decriminalizing the use cannabis. The Public Advocate is hoping the potential revenue from the legalization of marijuana be reinvested in educational and support programs in the communities that have been historically burdened by the prohibition and prosecution of marijuana use, and that they be included in future business opportunities.

According to a report from the Drug Policy Alliance, despite similar rates of marijuana consumption across racial and ethnic groups, Blacks and Latinos made up 80 percent of the nearly 23,000 people arrested for marijuana in New York in 2016. In comparison, in the nine states that have legalized adult recreational use, arrests have plummeted by about 94 percent.

Despite efforts to decriminalize marijuana possession, arrests associated with marijuana continue to occur in New York with great frequency and disproportionately impact communities of color.

“We can no longer ignore the shortfalls of our current laws on marijuana. Legalizing marijuana will make our justice system fairer and deliver a significant boost to our economy. Under the broken status quo, individuals’ lives, disportionately young people of color, have been ruined because of outdated and shortsighted marijuana prohibition and it’s past time we right this wrong,” said James.

Mosley, Caucus Legislators Support Release of Herman Bell

Assemblyman Walter Mosley

Assembly member Walter T. Mosley (D-Clinton Hill, Fort Greene, Crown Heights), along with the members of the New York State Black, Puerto Rican, Hispanic, and Asian Legislative Caucus are supporting the recent decision by the New York State Parole Board to release Herman Bell.

On Tuesday, the group of fifty-three legislators voiced their support for the decision that in recent weeks has sparked backlash for Bell’s history as a convicted cop killer. Herman Bell is one of the three men convicted in the 1971 murder of two New York City police officers.Officers Joseph Piagentini and Waverly Jones were lured to a Harlem housing project by a bogus 911 call on May 21, 1971 where they were ambushed, shot and killed. Officer Jones died instantly from a gunshot to the head. Officer Piagentini, who begged for his life, was shot 22 times by the suspects and died on his way to the hospital.

Bell, Anthony Bottom and Albert Washington were convicted of the two murders and sentenced to 25 years to life in prison in 1979.  Bottom has a parole hearing set for June, while Washington died in prison. This was the seventh time since 2004 that Bell had pleaded for parole.

“The Members of the Caucus are aware of the egregious nature of Bell’s crimes—for which he was convicted, sentenced and served over 40 years. We understand and share the feelings of the families of the brave officers; their loss is a void that can never be filled.Our position is not in disregard of their justified grief and even anger; but in our accepted process for dealing with members of our society who have committed crimes, we believe in a corrections system that is not just punitive but rehabilitative,” read a joint statement from the Caucus.

“Mr. Bell, in seven appearances before the parole board, has met their standards for release. The diligence and wisdom of the board must be respected. We lend our voices in support of the Board of Parole work, and call on our colleagues in government and advocacy to constructively work together towards a fair and equitable justice system,” concluded the statement.

Ortiz Introduces The Cleaning Product Right To Know Act

Assembly Member Feliz Ortiz

Assembly member Felix W. Ortiz (D-Sunset Park, Red Hook) introduced yesterday legislation to require that known hazardous chemicals in cleaning products sold in New York State be listed on product labels and online.

Unlike retail cosmetics or packaged food, no federal requirements exist for disclosing ingredients in cleaning products. This bill raises the disclosure information for cleaning product ingredients sold in the state. Additionally, the new measure will allow consumers and shoppers to compare products side by side in stores to be informed about chemical content and decide which one is the better purchase, just like they do with food and cosmetics now.

Chemicals found in cleaning products have shown to cause cancer, birth defects, asthma and other serious health conditions.

“Consumers and parents with children suffering from asthma and allergies will be able to know in advance whether cleaning products have ingredients that could make health conditions worse.  Domestic workers and custodians exposed to cleaning products at work will be able to purchase safer alternatives,” said Ortiz.

“More importantly cancer survivors who must avoid certain chemicals will know if they are contained in cleaning products.  Cleaning product manufacturers must be held to the highest transparency, especially when it comes to the health and welfare of our families,” added Ortiz.