Deutsch Pushes For Veteran Access To City Services
City Councilman Chaim Deutsch (D-Sheepshead Bay, Manhattan Beach, Brighton Beach, Homecrest, Midwood), chair of the council’s Veterans Committee, convened a hearing on Monday to give veterans, advocates, and the Department of Veteran’s Services (DVS) the opportunity to speak about veteran access to City services.
The hearing focused on Intro 1118, Deutsch’s bill to require DVS to report on the number of employees serving in each title within the agency and describe the services provided by each of the titled employees. According to Intro 1118, DVS would also be required to report the number of veterans who have received services from the agency and how veterans and their families first learned about those services.
“The City offers resources and aid through the Department of Veteran’s Services, but without data, it’s difficult to know how many of our City’s 210,000 veterans are actually accessing these services. Intro 1118 will help us to collect this information, as well as outline clearly what DVS is doing to engage and assist with the veteran community.”
While acknowledging recent improvements in information-sharing between DVS and the city council, Deutsch noted that there are questions concerning logistics and numbers in several areas that still need to be addressed. He emphasized the importance of transparency with regard to DVS data, acknowledging that there are many non-profit providers that could be more helpful if they have official data about the needs and service gaps for veterans in New York City.
Nadler Decries Trump Threat To Remove Birthright Citizenship
U.S. Rep. Jerrold Nadler (Borough Park, Kensington, parts of Bay Ridge, Bensonhurst, Dyker Heights, Red Hook, Sunset Park, Midwood, Western Manhattan), Ranking Member of the House Judiciary Committee, yesterday took President Trump to task for his expected executive order removing birthright citizenship for individuals born on U.S. soil.
“Donald Trump’s divisive and xenophobic comments are not new or surprising – they are the desperate act of a desperate man who is constantly seeking to divide and distract us. In this case, however, his statements reveal a president who believes he is not just above the law, but above the U.S. Constitution,” said Nadler.
“The 14th Amendment is clear that persons born in the United States are U.S. citizens. And yet, President Trump feels compelled to single-handedly change what has been universally understood about the law since the Amendment was adopted in 1868. All Americans should be disturbed by Trump’s assertion that he can unilaterally change the Constitution at will to suit his purposes—whether it be the 14th Amendment, the 1st, or the 2nd. This represents an assault on our Democracy, and we cannot stand idly by and allow the President to disregard fundamental pillars of the Constitution,” he added.
Espinal Introduces Legislation to Codify Consent in Nightlife
City Council Member Rafael Espinal (D-Bushwick, East New York) yesterday introduced three bills that will strengthen safe spaces and codify consent in nightlife establishments.
This package of bills requires staff at nightlife venues to receive bystander training as a part of their initial hiring process. By giving staff the proper tools to identify and respond to sexual harassment between patrons, it enables the venue to become a safer space for people to enjoy themselves. It also sets out rules for a sign that venues will have to post outlining a zero-tolerance policy when it comes to sexual harassment and assault, and directing people to additional resources. The Office of Nightlife at the Mayor’s Office of Media and Entertainment will also be required to post resources on its website, and assist businesses with providing bystander training.
“Consent isn’t just sexy – it’s mandatory,” said Espinal. “That’s the message we hope to send to all New Yorkers, including those who participate in our city’s vibrant nightlife scene. Unfortunately, harassment is so common at some nightlife venues that many women see it as part of the experience of going out. That is unacceptable, and our city should be taking the lead on educating people about consent. Partnering with nightlife institutions, we can build on the achievements of #MeToo and create a city where everyone feels safe and respected.”
Additionally, Espinal has partnered with Anya Sapozhnikova and Kae Burke, the owners and co-founders of House of Yes, a popular Brooklyn nightlife venue, to launch an awareness campaign about consent. This past weekend, they published a website with information and resources on consent, and put up posters in prominent nightlife venues throughout the city.
Colton’s Trick Or Treat Question Regarding Kings Highway “N” Line Subway Station
Assemblyman William Colton (D–Gravesend, Bensonhurst, Bath Beach, Dyker Heights) today will question if the MTA’s alleged repairs on “N” line station at Kings Highway (Highlawn Avenue side) that was scheduled for completion this month is a “Trick or Treat” for straphangers.
“After visiting the station today October 26, 2018, I observed a disturbing view on the Manhattan bound platform. The cloth tarp that was attached to the ceiling to prevent water from leaking became a bathtub for pigeons and a puddle to walk through for commuters. Ceiling and walls are cracked and peeling. There is mold all over. It was reported by the MTA that they will be repainting the platforms and fixing crumbling concrete in the final phase of a nearly $396 million modernization project covering 7 stations including the Kings Highway/Highlawn Avenue side which will take about a year,” said Colton.
“Millions of taxpayers’ dollars have been spent on this project which was supposed to modernize the station. What concerns me is that the repairs are not even one year old yet and the condition of new leaks, mold and cracking plaster are already back,” he added.
Colton noted that while the MTA is scheduled to be ending their repairs this month, he is wondering if the MTA is playing a Halloween “Trick or Treat” on subway riders.
As such, he is inviting the press and the public to view the results of the multi-million dollar MTA project at 10 a.m., today, Oct. 31 at the “N” line subway station at Kings Highway and West 7th Street in Gravesend.