Brooklyn Lawmakers On The Move Aug. 14, 2018

News Site Brooklyn

Espinal Launches Customer Feedback Website For Spectrum Services

City Councilman Rafael Espinal Jr.

City Councilman Rafael Espinal (D-Bushwick, East New York), Chairman of the Committee on Consumer Affairs and Business Licensing, announced the launch of a website yesterday that seeks feedback from the city’s cable customers, particularly those receiving service from Spectrum.

The website is and comes in the wake of a historic move by the state’s Public Service Commission (PSC) to expel Spectrum from the state for failing to fulfill its responsibilities to New York customers. The cable provider, which is owned by Charter communications, has 60 days to come up with a plan for selling its Spectrum cable internet, television and telephone business to new ownership, according to the commission’s decision.

The decision was made last month after the company had already been hit with $2 million in fines by the PSC, and by a New York State lawsuit charging that the company falsely advertised higher Internet speeds to customers.

“After reviewing the findings of state regulators, and especially after the Public Service Commission’s extraordinary move to kick Spectrum out of New York State entirely, it is critical that we make an effort to understand how New York City customers are being negatively impacted by this greedy and irresponsible corporation,” said Espinal.

“We’ve been hearing for months now about Spectrum’s unscrupulous practices toward its customers, regulators and employees, and I’m proud to take the lead on investigating its impacts here in New York City. We need a full accounting of what is happening to customers so we can determine whether or not this kind of company should continue to have the opportunity to do business here,” added Espinal.

Donovan Lauds Trump Signing of National Defense Act

Congressman Dan Donovan

Congressman Dan Donovan (R-South Brooklyn, Staten Island) applauded President Donald Trump’s signing of his bill, the FY 2019 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), into law yesterday.

The legislation, which Donovan voted to pass earlier this summer, rebuilds the military and provides troops with the resources they need to protect the homeland.

This year’s $717 billion defense authorization act is an attempt to follow through on White House and Pentagon strategy documents that shift U.S. focus away from counter-terrorism to the strategic threats posed by China and Russia, according to initial reports.

“This bill helps restore our military readiness by equipping our brave women and men in uniform with the resources necessary to protect our homeland, providing troops with a well-deserved pay raise, strengthening cyber defenses, and making critical investments in military capabilities and technologies to address new and evolving threats,” said Donovan.

“We can never truly repay our service members for their sacrifices, but with today’s action our nation makes certain that they have the tools and resources needed to do their jobs. I will continue to make our troops and veterans a top priority,” added Donovan.

Reynoso Applauds Legislation Aimed At Mandating Composting by City Agencies

City Councilman Antonio Reynoso
Public Advocate Letitia James

City Council member Antonio Reynoso (D-Williamsburg-Bushwick), Chair of the Committee on Sanitation and Solid Waste Management, applauded legislation introduced last week mandating composting by City agencies.

The bill, introduced by Public Advocate Letitia James, mandates the separation of organic waste for composting at City agency buildings serviced by the Department of Sanitation (DSNY). James is hoping the legislation steps up the City’s fight against climate change.

Organic material is waste from plants and animals and represents a majority of the City’s waste stream. If it winds up at landfills, it becomes a major producer of potent greenhouse gases. These gases in turn act like a blanket, absorbing infrared radiation and preventing it from escaping into outer space. The net effect is the gradual heating of Earth’s atmosphere and surface, increasing the effects of global warming.

Unlike the City’s mandatory residential metal, glass, plastic, and paper recycling program, the organics collection program is still voluntary, resulting in low participation and high costs for the City. This bill will enhance the existing residential composting program by increasing efficiency and more fully utilizing existing waste collection infrastructure.

“New York City’s organics program plays a crucial role in reaching our City’s Zero Waste Goals. Public Advocate Letitia James’ proposal for mandatory organics recycling in New York City-owned administrative buildings, CUNY and Health + Hospitals facilities will help to bolster the system that we already have,” said Reynoso.