Jeffries, Clarke To Unveil Bill Honoring Shirley Chisholm
U.S. Representatives Hakeem Jeffries (D-Fort Greene, Clinton Hill, Bed-Stuy, Brownsville, East New York, Canarsie, Mill Basin, Coney Island, and South Ozone Park and Howard Beach in Queens) and Yvette D. Clarke (D-Crown Heights, Flatbush, East Flatbush, Park Slope, Midwood, Sheepshead Bay, Brownsville), along with other elected officials and community leaders, will announce today legislation in honor of the 50th anniversary of the election of the legendary trailblazer Shirley Chisholm.
On November 5, 1968, the people of Brooklyn elected Shirley Chisholm to the United States House of Representatives, making her the first black woman to serve in Congress in the country’s history.
She went on to represent the residents of the 12th congressional district for seven terms. During her 14 distinguished years in office, Rep. Chisholm emerged as a national champion for social justice, children and women’s empowerment. She also sought the Democratic nomination for President in 1972, where her campaign as an unbought and unbossed catalyst for change inspired people throughout America.
The event is slated for 1 p.m., today, Nov. 5, at the Shirley A. Chisholm State Office Building, at 55 Hanson Place, in Fort Greene.
Cumbo, Williams To Condemn Racist Vandalism On Black Solidarity Day
Majority Leader Laurie A. Cumbo (D-Fort Greene, Clinton Hill, Crown Heights) and City Council member Jumaane Williams (D-Flatbush, East Flatbush, Midwood) will be joined by a coalition of elected officials and community leaders today to respond to the racist vandalism discovered at the African burial ground monument in Lower Manhattan last week.
Last Thursday, a racial slur was discovered on the historical monument that suggested African-americans should be killed, according to the initial reports. The New York police (NYPD) said the monument was defaced with the word “kill” followed by a racial slur written in black marker, according to the New York Times. The words have since been erased.
The monument marks a burial ground containing an estimated 15,000 skeletal remains of colonial African-Americans from New York City including the remains of free and enslaved Africans from the 17th and 18th centuries. The African Burial Ground Monument is considered a sacred site for the country’s African-American population and was established in 2009.
Black Solidarity Day (Blackout Day) is an African American holiday that was founded in 1969 by Dr. Carlos E Russell. The concept of “Blackout Day” derives from Douglas Turner Ward’s play, “Day of Absence.” The day is base on the extreme social, political, and economic consequences that would occur if all Black people were to disappear and leave all occupations for one day. In the early years of its observance, the holiday was a means of unifying many of the New York City Communities to show their economic power, with school closings and cultural events, now its purpose is for African diasporic people to exercise a 24- hour moratorium from shopping, school and participating in commercial activity in order to reflect and plan for the future.
“This is a very difficult time for so many, but we must continue to come together to call out hateful acts and stand in solidarity with one another as we work together to build a safer and stronger city,” said Cumbo.
The event is slated for 12-noon, today, Nov. 5, at 290 Broadway in Lower Manhattan.
BK Lawmakers React To Vandalism At Synagogue
Congress member Yvette D. Clarke (D-Crown Heights, Flatbush, East Flatbush, Park Slope, Midwood, Sheepshead Bay, Brownsville) City Council member Stephen Levin (D-Williamsburg, Vinegar Hill, Brooklyn Heights, Carroll Gardens, Boerum Hill, Cobble Hill, DUMBO), Majority Leader Laurie Cumbo (D-Fort Greene, Clinton Hill, Crown Heights) and Assembly members Walter T. Mosley (D-Fort Greene, Clinton Hill, Prospect Heights, Crown Heights) and Nicole Malliotakis (R,C,I,Ref- South Brooklyn/Staten Island) denounced the recent vandalism of the Union Temple and hate-based attacks in Brooklyn last week.
Last Thursday, James Polite, 26, wrote hateful messages, including “Jews better be ready” and “Hitler,” in black marker on the walls inside the Union Temple of Brooklyn in Prospect Heights, cops said. According to amNY, another epithet called for the death of Jews and used a hateful historic comparison to vermin. Late Friday night, the NYPD said Polite, of Brooklyn, had been arrested and charged with criminal mischief as a hate crime and making graffiti.
“An attack on Union Temple is an attack on all of Brooklyn. This latest hate crime, comes just days after the atrocity at Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. I stand shoulder to shoulder with my Jewish brethren on this day and renew my call to law enforcement to ensure that Jewish communities across the country are protected,” said Clarke.
“We cannot and will not be silent. We must condemn these attacks to the greatest extent possible. In the words of the Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr., “In the End, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends.” That is why we as a community, as friends, must come together to deny hate a safe refuge anywhere and everywhere,” read a joint statement from Cumbo and Levin.
“I was shocked to see reports this morning that anti-Semitic graffiti was found on Union Temple. I am disheartened to see this kind of hate being spread here in Brooklyn. This institution is a pillar in our community, it is a meeting place for all people. I will be working with my colleagues in government, local community stakeholders, and city officials to ensure that residents can freely express their religious beliefs without persecution or prejudice,” said Mosley.
“Hate crimes against our Jewish neighbors account for half of all hate crimes in New York and as New Yorkers, we all have an obligation to speak out. These senseless acts – whether horrific violence or hateful speech intended to intimidate others – have no place in the United States and certainly do not belong here in New York City where we all have historically come together despite our many diverse backgrounds. All New Yorkers and all Americans need to see past political party, race, religion and other differences to unite and forcefully denounce these divisive acts that do nothing but tarnish our community and incite more violence,” said Malliotakis.
Nadler, House Democrats Demand Answers on Trump Border Deployment
House Judiciary Committee Ranking Member Jerrold Nadler (D-Western Brooklyn, Manhattan’s West Side), House Armed Services Ranking Member Adam Smith (D-WA), House Homeland Security Committee Ranking Member Bennie G. Thompson (D-MS), House Oversight & Government Reform Committee Ranking Member Elijah E. Cummings (D-MD), and 104 other House Democrats sent a letter calling on Defense Secretary Mattis to provide answers about his deployment of 5,200 additional U.S. troops to the U.S.-Mexico border last week.
In the letter, sent last Thursday, the group demanded answers to questions including how much the deployment will cost, how long the deployment will last, and what the rules of engagement will be.
Recently, Mattis vouched for Trump’s decision to the additional troops to the southern border to contend with the caravan of migrants that started in Honduras and now is at an estimated 5,000 individuals including children, who aim to reach the United States in the coming days.
“The United States can maintain a secure border and the rule of law while still upholding our country’s values to protect those fleeing persecution and violence. The use of military personnel, however, will not help us meet this challenge and only exacerbates the potential to unnecessarily escalate the situation. This effort is nothing short of a militarization of the southern border to score political points and stoke misleading fears among Americans regarding immigrants. In addition, this decision negatively impacts the readiness of our military personnel who could be training to increase their effectiveness in line with their assigned missions and expertise.
This latest announcement follows a series of actions the President has taken this year to use the military to support his failed immigration policies. Earlier this year, National Guard troops were deployed to the southern border at a cost of $103 million, with no evidence to date of the necessity or effectiveness of their deployment. Furthermore, the Department of Defense (DOD) supported requests from the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to shelter as many as 20,000 unaccompanied migrant children and 12,000 family members. Lastly, DOD internally approved $7.5 million for advanced planning for a 37-mile border barrier at the Barry M. Goldwater Range that could cost as much as $450 million. Instead of working in a bipartisan manner to make comprehensive, common-sense, and humane reforms to our immigration system, the President continues to turn to politically-motivated fear mongering and uses DOD resources and personnel as means to drive his troubling anti-immigration agenda.
The President has exploited the caravan of people traveling to the U.S. to seek asylum for his own political gain, and he continues to politicize and militarize this humanitarian crisis as these men, women, and children are fleeing violence and persecution in an unstable part of the world. This is another example of the President using fear-mongering tactics over a humanitarian issue. This use of military personnel and resources for functions outside of core mission areas warrants additional Congressional oversight.
Given this disparate approach, we request an update to answer the following questions:
What is the duration of the recent deployment to the southern border for the personnel deployed and to be deployed?
How many personnel will come from each component of the military i.e. active duty, National Guard and Reserve?
What rules of engagement will troops be under with regard to individuals in the caravan or any other individuals approaching or coming across the southern border?
Have any troops been instructed or trained on how to interact or engage in any way with individuals in the caravan? If so, what is the nature of the expected interaction and what training have these troops received for these interactions?
How much will this deployment cost the American taxpayer?
With all of these pressing concerns in mind, we request a briefing and written response to answer the questions above, and we request an overview of the current strategy. We look forward to your response and thank you for your attention on this matter,” read the letter.
Dilan, Levin Denounce Anti-Semitic Arson Attacks In Williamsburg
State Senator Martin Malave Dilan (D-Bushwick, Williamsburg, Greenpoint, Cypress Hills, City-Line, East New York, Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brownsville) and City Council member Stephen Levin (D-Williamsburg, Vinegar Hill, Brooklyn Heights, Carroll Gardens, Boerum Hill, Cobble Hill, DUMBO, and parts of Bedford-Stuyvesant, Clinton Hill, Greenpoint, Downtown Brooklyn, Gowanus, Park Slope) denounced the recent series of fires in South Brooklyn last week.
Last Friday, the New York Police Department’s (NYPD) 90th Precinct received reports of fires at seven different locations including at local yeshivas and synagogues in the predominantly Hasidic community. Last week, the police had a man in custody in response to the fires but have not released his identity, and as of Friday evening he has not been charged. Police said the case is still under investigation by the Arson and Explosive Squad, according to initial reports.
The incident comes in the wake of a spike of hate crimes across the borough including vandalism at a Prospect Heights temple, and a set of violent attacks against Jewish community members in recent weeks. The fires also come less than a week after the worst attack on Jewish people in U.S. history, where 11 people were massacred at a Pittsburgh synagogue.
“We condemn these anti-semitic attacks and I thank the NYPD and FDNY for their prompt response to these life-threatening incidents. Tragically, it would seem these types of attacks are becoming all too common. Words and speech are as real as any weapon, and I again call on the current administration to unequivocally denounce every and all hate groups. We need to do everything in our power to deny hate safe harbor, whether in Pittsburgh, Charleston, or here in Williamsburg,” read a joint statement from Levin and Dilan.