Brooklyn Lawmakers On The Move July 16, 2018

News Site Brooklyn

BP Adams To Announce $10 Million Lawsuit Against Kushner Companies

Brooklyn Borough President Eric L. Adams

Brooklyn Borough President Eric L. Adams alongside Housing Rights Initiative (HRI) will announce a $10 million, 19-plaintiff lawsuit against the Kushner Companies regarding tenant harassment practices today.

The lawsuit has been filed by the Law Offices of Jack Lester in Kings County Supreme Court, based on a comprehensive investigation by HRI that has found that Kushner Companies appears to have employed a deliberate campaign to systematically harass rent-stabilized tenants in a 338-unit building out of their apartments using illegal, destructive, and dangerous construction practices.

According to an independent lab analysis, families, including children and babies, were exposed to highly toxic and cancer-causing substances, including, but not limited to, the lung carcinogen crystalline silica and lead. This is the third lawsuit that has resulted from non-profit HRI’s investigation in Kushner Companies.

At the event, Adams will speak to the hundreds of harassment claims that have been brought to his office and will outline his vision for a real-time, technology-driven approach to combating this destabilizing force on the city’s affordable housing crisis.

The event is slated for 1 p.m., today, July 16 at Kings County Supreme Court, at 360 Adams Street in Columbus Park in Downtown Brooklyn.

Clake Urges Trump Administration To Extend, Redesignate TPS For Somalia

Congresswoman Yvette Clarke

Congresswoman Yvette D. Clarke (D-Crown Heights, Flatbush, Park Slope, Brownsville, Midwood, Sheepshead Bay) is demanding that the Trump Administration redesignate and extend Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for Somalia for eighteen months.

Last week, alongside Rep. Keith Ellison (D-MN), and Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-WA), Clarke led 83 members of Congress in sending a letter to Secretary of Homeland Security Kirstjen Nielsen and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo urging them to reconsider the immigration decision.

Nielsen has until July 19th to decide whether to extend or terminate TPS for Somalia, with the program currently set to expire on September 17, 2018. TPS provides temporary lawful status to foreign nationals in the United States from countries experiencing armed conflict, natural disaster, or other extraordinary circumstances that prevent their safe return. Armed conflict and targeted attacks on civilians still cause massive loss of life in Somalia, while famine and flood have caused widespread hunger, displacement, and contagious disease.

“After decades of instability, violence tragically continues to destabilize Somalia. Al-Shabaab’s frequent attacks against military and civilians terrorizes the lives of Somalis throughout the country. This has led to 1.5 million people being internally displaced and nearly one million refugees in the nearby region,” said Clarke.

“Sadly, the number of internally displaced people has only increased since the last TPS designation and drought conditions remain. For these reasons, it is imperative to re-designate Somalia for another 18 months of Temporary Protected Status in order to protect the lives of the 500 Somalis currently in the United States benefiting from this program,” added Clarke.

Reynoso, Levin To Call For Passage of Waste Equity Bill

City Councilman Antonio Reynoso
City Councilman Stephen Levin

City Council members Antonio Reynoso (D-Williamsburg, Greenpoint, Bushwick)  and Stephen Levin (D-Brooklyn Heights, DUMBO, Williamsburg, Boerum Hill) will call for the passage of Intro 157, the Waste Equity Bill this week.

The bill would reduce solid waste transfer stations in certain overburdened community districts in New York City. The measure aims to cap the amount of waste handled by overburdened communities, specifically communities of color that tend to handle a disproportionate amount of the City’s waste. The legislation is in its third iteration, being first introduced almost five years ago.

Additionally, advocates hope the bill would address health and environmental justice issues in some of the city’s poorest neighborhoods including dangerous truck traffic, elevated air pollution and hazardous environmental impacts.

The event is slated for 1 p.m., Wednesday, July 18, on the Steps of City Hall in Lower Manhattan.

Clarke, Velázquez Demand ICE Release Couple Detained While Visiting Family in U.S. Military

Congresswoman Yvette Clarke
Congresswoman Nydia Velazquez

Congress members Yvette D. Clarke (D-Crown Heights, Flatbush, Park Slope, Brownsville, Midwood, Sheepshead Bay) and Nydia M. Velázquez (D-Brooklyn, Queens, Lower Manhattan) are demanding the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agency release a couple recently detained while visiting family at a U.S. military base.

The couple, Margarito Silva and Concepción Barrios, was detained on the fourth of July holiday while visiting their son-in-law, a sergeant in the U.S. Army at Fort Drum army base. The longtime Brooklyn residents, intended to celebrate the holiday with their daughter and son-in-law and presented municipal IDs to the guards. However, they were detained by ICE agents instead and are currently being held in custody in Buffalo, New York.

In a letter to ICE officials, the lawmakers push for the couple’s release citing the pair’s medical issues and a spotless criminal background.

“Continued arrest is likely to impose significant medical hardship on the couple—your agents have had to store medication and receive specially prepared meals from the family. It is our view that the family has not received enough assurances that such practices will continue, or that appropriate accommodations will be provided consistently if the family exercises their available legal options while under ICE detention,” read the letter.

“The arrest of the family raises significant concerns, particularly given the health considerations of the individual detainees and the family relationship to the soldier whom they were there to visit. Neither Ms. Barrios nor Mr. Silva have a criminal record and pose no immediate threat to our community or to national security,” continued the letter.