Brooklyn Lawmakers On The Move Sept. 21, 2018

News Site Brooklyn

Deutsch, Weinstein, Byford Visit Newly Installed SBS B44 Bus Stop

City Councilman Chaim Deutsch
Assemblywoman Helene Weinstein

City Councilman Chaim Deutsch (D-Sheepshead Bay, Manhattan Beach, Brighton Beach, Homecrest, Midwood), Assemblymember Helene Weinstein (D-Sheepshead Bay, Flatlands) and MTA President Andy Byford joined up yesterday with local civic leaders and advocates at the newly installed SBS B44 bus stop at Nostrand Avenue and Avenue R.

Deutsch, Weinstein and advocates have been persisting for the installation of the bus stop for several years. They also greeted excited transit riders enjoying the newfound transportation option.

“There’s a new sheriff in town with MTA President Andy Byford. In his short time with the MTA, he’s already been the first transit official to visit our district and respond directly to the community’s needs. This new SBS B44 bus stop is a huge gain for commuters, particularly local seniors and people with disabilities. Since the SBS was installed on Nostrand Avenue five years ago, we’ve been asking for a stop at Avenue R, and I’m grateful to Mr. Byford and his team, as well as Governor Cuomo, for making it happen,” said Deutsch.

“I am overjoyed that the MTA has heard our pleas and will be placing a Select Bus Service Stop at Avenue R and Nostrand Avenue. I thank MTA President, Andy Byford, for responding to the needs of our Madison neighborhood commuters and elderly constituents,” said Weinstein.

Lander, Menchaca Laud De Blasio, DOE Plan & Lauch Of Middle School Diversity Program

City Council Member Brad Lander
City Councilman Carlos Menchaca

City Council Members Brad Lander (D-Park Slope, Windsor Terrace, Kensington) and Carlos Menchaca (D-Sunset Park, Red Hook) yesterday lauded Mayor Bill de Blasio and Schools Chancellor Richard A. Carranza‘s announcement of the next steps in the City’s school diversity plan – approving a diversity plan to increase middle school diversity in Brooklyn’s District 15.

The plan in District 15 was devised after a year-long community-driven process and proposal. De Blasio and Carranza also launched a $2 million school diversity grant program for other school districts and communities across the City to develop their own community-driven diversity plans.

“We believe that our schools can reflect our whole city and we are proud to support and invest in the future of New Yorkers for generations to come. This isn’t going to be one size fits all. This is a ripe moment and this community built a powerful grassroots plan. Now, we have to execute and deliver on it to show parents across the city this approach can work,” said de Blasio.

“The District 15 middle-school integration plan is a real step forward for our students, and for inclusive democracy in our city. We can’t teach our kids that they all have equal potential, or that the future of our city depends on working together across lines of race and class, when we don’t put it into practice for our middle-school students,” said Lander.

“The current D15 admissions process presents itself as a system of choice and meritocracy, but it functions as a system for hoarding privilege. That’s why we’ve been working closely with parents, students, and educators for the past 5 years to push for change. Thank you to the District 15 Diversity Plan Working Group, to everyone who took part and helped to organize it, and to Mayor de Blasio and Chancellor Carranza for approving it. Integration is not zero-sum. I genuinely believe that this plan will be better for all students, and that a less segregated, less divided city will be better for all of us,” he added.

“This plan was built from the ground up. It is the result of more than a year of community input from every corner of District 15. Engaging parents and students together has given us a roadmap to ensure every middle school in the district is a fully-funded, high-quality school,” said Menchaca. “I commend Mayor Bill de Blasio and Chancellor Carranza for listening to the people and approving this plan. However, we have to make sure that as we implement it, we continue the dialogue with the parents and stakeholders that got us here, and that we stay laser-focused on providing a more equitable distribution of resources to every school.”

Williams Statement On One Year Anniversary Of Hurricane Maria

Jumaane Williams
City Councilman Jumaane Williams

City Council Member Jumaane D. Williams (D-Flatbush, East Flatbush, Midwood), Deputy Leader, yesterday released the following statement on the one year anniversary of Hurricane Maria striking Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

Today marks one year since Hurricane Maria struck Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands, tragically taking the lives of many and the livelihoods of many more. My prayers for peace and comfort go to the families of those lost, and those still struggling after a woefully inadequate response from our federal government. There is no avoiding this truth- we failed Puerto Rico and its people. We must correct that failure and ensure that it is not repeated, in aid after disasters, preparation before, and, through pro-climate actions, prevention of such wreckage. Had this devastation occurred on the mainland, it is undeniable that the response would have been entirely different, and that contrast should be disturbing to us all.

“Much of the conversation on Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands has been framed around the incompetence and malevolence of Donald Trump, who neglected the victims of this storm, attacked their leadership, and recently has engaged in a despicable lie about those lost in order to assuage his ego. This is horrifying and unforgivable- but the suffering of the Puerto Rican people, and our need to alleviate it, is not about Donald Trump.

“Supporting our fellow Americans is not an act of defiance but an act of decency. The inhumanity of the President does not supersede the humanity of those devastated by Hurricane Maria one year ago, many of whom are still dealing with that devastation today. They are not political props, they are people. One year later, we must continue to offer our support in all ways necessary and push for the equity of voice and attention that Puerto Rico deserves.”

Espinal, Reynoso To Unveil Bushwick Community Plan To Neighborhood Residents & Stakeholders

City Councilman Rafael Espinal Jr.
City Councilman Antonio Reynoso

City Council Members Rafael Espinal Jr. (D-Bushwick, East New York) and Antonio Reynoso (D-Williamsburg, Bushwick) along with the Bushwick Community Plan Steering Committee and and Community Boad 4  will unveil their preliminary rezoning plan for Bushwick at a town hall meeting a week from tomorrow.

The plan comes after CB 4 contacting the offices of Reynoso and Espinal in 2013 with concerns regarding out of context development and to request that a potential rezoning of the area be studied. In response, a formal planning process was initiated. This was a community-driven process; residents illuminated problems with the neighborhoods current zoning and made recommendations for how future development could better meet neighborhood needs. The resulting plan is one that is inclusive, comprehensive, and reflective of residents’ concerns and desires.

The town hall will serve as an opportunity for the BCP Steering Committee, Community Board 4, and Espinal and Reynoso to continue to inform the community about the plan’s contents before it is submitted to the city for immediate review.

The town hall is slated for 11 a.m., Saturday, September 29 at the Academy of Urban Planning, 400 Irving Avenue in Bushwick.

Gonzalez Hosts Begin Again Event to Clear Summons Warrants, Erase Low-Level Marijuana Convictions and Warrants

Brooklyn District Attorney Eric Gonzalez

Brooklyn District Attorney Eric Gonzalez, in partnership with the Office of Court Administration, The Legal Aid Society and Brooklyn Defender Services, will host its sixth Begin Again event today and tomorrow.

Individuals with outstanding summons warrants who show up for the event will have their warrants vacated and summonses dismissed, and, for the first time, those who were convicted for a low-level marijuana possession offense will be given free legal representation and an opportunity to file a motion to erase that past conviction.

“Outstanding summons warrants and low-level marijuana convictions hold people back in a myriad of ways and do little to enhance public safety. By giving folks the opportunity to erase these convictions and warrants from their record, we allow them to move on with their lives while fostering community trust in the criminal justice system. I encourage anyone who may be eligible for relief to come down to Lenox Road Baptist Church to take advantage of this life-changing opportunity,” said Gonzalez.

Begin Again is slated for between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. today Friday, Sept. 21 and tomorrow, Saturday, September 22 at Lenox Hill Baptist Church, 1356 Nostrand Avenue in East Flatbush.

More information about the event is available at