CM Williams To Appear In Court On Immigration Protest Arrest
City Council member Jumaane D. Williams (D-Flatbush, East Flatbush, Midwood) will appear in court today after having previously pleaded ‘not guilty’ to charges stemming from his arrest during an immigration protest earlier this year.
In January, Williams was arrested on charges of obstructing an emergency medical vehicle stemming from the protest of the detention and imminent deportation of immigrant rights activist Ravi Ragbir. In March, Williams appeared before a judge alongside sixteen other protesters who were arrested with the Council Member for their roles in the protest, who all later accepted an ACD (Adjournment in Contemplation of Dismissal) in the courtroom, while informing the court of their intention to continue to protest actions they find unjust.
The arrest and detention of Ragbir was later ruled unconstitutional by Judge Kathleen Forrest, who compared ICE’s actions to “regimes we revile as unjust; regimes where those who have long lived in a country may be taken without notice…and sent away.” Ragbir currently continues his fight to stay in the United States.
“My legal process will take place out in the open, a right that is often denied to immigrants who face immoral deportations. ICE operates in darkness. It is my hope that my case will shed light on ICE practices, the plight of immigrants who are being targeted by the Trump administration, and how we can be a sanctuary city and state. As voices across the city have risen to defend and support Ravi, we should not criminalize actions of protest taken in his defense,” said Williams.
The event is slated for 9:30 a.m., today, May 8, at New York County Criminal Court, at 100 Centre Street in Manhattan.
Treyger Calls For Increased School Admission Process Transparency
City Council member Mark Treyger (D-Coney Island, Bensonhurst, Gravesend) sent a letter to New York City Schools Chancellor Richard Carranza yesterday calling on the Department of Education (DOE) to increase transparency for the city’s schools’ admissions processes.
Treyger, a former teacher, was appointed Chair of the Education Committee earlier this year by newly elected Speaker Corey Johnson and has since been taking education officials to task on their plans for improving the educational system across all five boroughs.
In the letter sent on Monday, Treyger highlights school segregation and the role school admissions play in keeping diversity low in certain school districts. Treyger goes on to cite a recent report by the New York Post, claiming the Center School in Manhattan has an “opaque admissions process” that includes student interviews regarding parents’ occupations.
“New York City’s schools are profoundly segregated by race, as well as by English Language Learners (ELLs), students living below the poverty line, and students with disabilities. What’s especially concerning is that there is no publicized process for admissions in certain schools. This is simply unacceptable,” said Treyger.
“There needs to be transparency regarding this school’s admissions process, and I’m asking the DOE for clarification. Please elaborate publicly on the Center School’s admissions process and policy. School segregation hurts our entire city. We need to ensure that all students have the same education opportunities, and that starts by making sure that our schools have transparent application processes, and are open to all who meet the school’s criteria for admission,” added Treyger.
Espinal Holds Town Hall On Future of Urban Ag & Local Food Production
City Council member Rafael Espinal (D-Bushwick, East New York, Cypress Hills) will hosts a Town Hall on the future of urban agriculture and local food production today.
The event will focus on educating local residents on the positive impacts of urban agriculture including increasing access to healthy food, providing jobs and cultivating spaces for community gathering. According to Espinal, nearly 1 of 5 Brooklyn residents are food insecure, or lack access to healthy, affordable food options.
A coalition of elected officials, advocates, practitioners, and educators launched a campaign earlier this year to work with the City of New York to expand the urban agriculture industry and increase access to urban farming.
The event is slated for 6 p.m., today, May 8, at Brooklyn Borough Hall, at 209 Joralemon Street in Downtown Brooklyn.
AM Williams Hands Out Free Compost For Tree Planting
Assembly member Jaime Williams (D-Canarsie, Georgetown, Mill Basin, Marine Park, Gerritsen Beach) alongside the Department of Sanitation provided over 12,000 pounds of natural un-sifted compost to local residents over the weekend.
At the event, Brooklynites from all over received pounds of compost to be used as a natural additive to their own soil for flower beds, community gardens and vegetable gardens. Additionally, the event provided educational awareness about the importance of protecting and cultivating the local environment.
“It’s essential we do all we can here in New York to preserve our environment and protect our children’s future. We only have one planet, and we have responsibility to protect it,” said Williams.
“Reduce, reuse, recycle. That should be our mantra if we’re going to be serious about preserving our planet. The products we have in our homes should not only be safe for our families, but should also be sustainable. Clean air and water should never be a luxury or privilege reserved only for those who are lucky or can afford it and the DSNY’ s initiative of offering free compost only further these imperative ideals,” added Williams.