Brooklyn Lawmakers On The Move Nov. 15, 2018

News Site Brooklyn

PA James Reacts To Rejection of NYCHA Consent Decree

Public Advocate Letitia James

Public Advocate Letitia James reacted to the news yesterday that a federal judge rejected the agreement to bring in an independent monitor to oversee the New York City Public Housing Authority (NYCHA).

On Wednesday, Manhattan Federal Judge William Pauley declined to sign off on a consent decree reached in June between Mayor Bill de Blasio, the authority and the federal prosecutors whose in-depth investigation revealed years of lies about NYCHA’s failures to provide habitable apartments to its 400,000 residents, according to the NY Daily News.

The agreement reached in June included imposing a strong federal Monitor and requiring the City, among other things, to provide $1.2 billion of additional capital funding to NYCHA over the next five years, and $200 million every year thereafter until the problems facing the authority were fixed and no longer needed oversight.

While Pauley rejected the agreement as written, he did not preclude an amended version. He ordered all sides to file a joint status report with the court by Dec. 14 explaining how they wish to go forward and updating the court on whether NYCHA is now in compliance with the decree.

“It is no secret that the conditions at NYCHA buildings throughout New York City are unacceptable. NYCHA tenants deserve better, period. The agreement that was reached between NYCHA, the City, and the federal government did not provide for meaningful community input and did not require specific measures to ensure that the very serious problems would be addressed with sufficient oversight and accountability,” said James.

“It is imperative that our communities be treated better. That begins with a resolution that will truly bring immediate and lasting improvements to NYCHA housing,” added James.

Menchaca, Velazquez Hold Town Hall on Public Charge

City Councilman Carlos Menchaca
Congresswoman Nydia Velazquez

City Council member Carlos Menchaca (D-Sunset Park, Red Hook) and Congresswoman Nydia Velazquez (D-Brooklyn, Queens Lower Manhattan) will hold a community Town Hall on the Public Charge Rule today.

This past Sept. the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) released a notice of proposed rulemaking that could dramatically impact immigrants, temporary visa holders and U.S. employers.

The “public charge rule” is a policy designed to reduce the number of people who are eligible for green cards and other visas, by redefining what makes them dependent on government benefits (or likely to be in the future).

Congress long ago established that the U.S. government can deny a green card to anyone who “is likely at any time to become a public charge” but without defining what “public charge” means.

Since 1999, immigration officers have adopted the guiding principle that a public charge is someone “primarily dependent on the government for subsistence,” as demonstrated by either (a) using public cash assistance for income maintenance or (b) institutionalization for long-term care at government expense, according to initial reports.

The event is slated for 6:30 p.m., today, Nov. 15, at Our Lady of Perpetual Help, at 526 59th Street in Sunset Park.

Cornegy To Host Town Hall Following Spate of Home Foreclosures Through City Program

City Councilman Robert Cornegy Jr

New York City Housing and Buildings Committee Chairman Robert E. Cornegy, Jr.,(D-Bedford-Stuyvesant, Northern Crown Heights) will host a town hall event regarding the NYC Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD)’s controversial Third Party Transfer (TPT) program today.

The town hall event will feature an informational panel, including representatives from several stakeholders in the TPT program. They include the City’s Department of Housing Preservation and Development that oversees the program, three organizations who receive properties through the program – Neighborhood Restore HDFC, the Urban Homesteading Assistance Board (UHAB), and IMPACCT Brooklyn, as well as the Center for NYC Neighborhoods, an organization that promotes affordable homeownership in New York City through policy advocacy and programming

Attendees will also be able to submit questions for the panel in writing.

In addition, attendees will be able to receive on-site assistance with everything from outstanding municipal arrears, tax liens, water bills, foreclosure prevention assistance, resolving building violations, and more from the following agencies and organizations who will be tabling:

–          NYC Department of Housing Preservation & Development (HPD)
–          New York City Department of Finance (DOF)
–          NYC Department of Environmental Protection (DEP)
–          NYC Buildings (DOB)
–          NYC Office of Administrative Trails and Hearings (OATH)
–          Center for NYC Neighborhoods (CNYC)
–          Neighborhood Restore HDFC
–          Neighborhood Housing Services of New York City (NHS)
–          The Parodneck Foundation
–          IMPACCT Brooklyn
–          Bridge Street Development Corporation
–          Brooklyn Neighborhood Services CDC
–          Brooklyn Legal Services

“The recent mass foreclosure of more than 70 properties by the City through its Third Party Transfer program, primarily in communities of color, has caused a great deal of unrest and confusion amongst homeowners throughout the City,” said Cornegy.

“I am pulling together this event to help people learn more about a program that very few people understand and to connect homeowners with the assistance they need to avoid getting swept up in its net,” added Cornegy.

The event is slated for 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m, Thursday, Nov. 15, at Brooklyn Law School, at 250 Joralemon Street in Downtown Brooklyn.

BK Lawmakers Rally To #FixTheSubway

Assemblyman Walter Mosley
Assemblywoman Latrice Walker
Jo Anne Simon
Assemblymember Jo Anne Simon
Assembly Member Feliz Ortiz

Assembly members Walter T. Mosley (D-Fort Greene, Clinton Hill, Crown Heights), Latrice Walker (D-Brownsville), Jo Anne Simon (D-Brooklyn Heights, Downtown Brooklyn, Cobble Hill, Carroll Gardens, Gowanus, Park Slope, Boerum Hill, DUMBO) and Felix Ortiz (D-Sunset Park, Red Hook) rallied together alongside transportation advocates yesterday in favor of a comprehensive transit funding plan to fix the struggling subway system.

On Wednesday, the #FixTheSubway Coalition joined forces to rally in support of congestion pricing and against the prospective transit fare hike. The group is demanding there be no fare hike and instead place responsibility for a transit funding plan on Governor Andrew Cuomo and the state legislature, the sole officials with the power to raise the money needed to fix the subway.

This past summer, Transit officials announced fare and toll increases of 4 percent for 2019 and 2021, according to initial reports.

Congestion pricing, which would charge Manhattan drivers to raise money for transit, would bring in over a billion dollars annually, primarily from higher income commuters than the average transit rider. The proposed charge would raise $1.5 billion annually  — the amount the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) agrees must be raised to fix the system — and reduce congestion by 20%, a boon for now beleaguered bus riders as well.

“The last thing that is needed from the MTA right now is a fare hike on commuters who barely get the service they pay for now. I will continue the fight in Albany to ensure that the subway system is fixed with funding that doesn’t reach into the pockets of hard working commuters,” said Mosley.

“It’s paradoxical to increase fares while the subway service is still decreasing. New Yorkers rely on the subway system to be reliable, well-timed and efficient. We have been singing the same tune about our prehistoric subway system for forever. It’s time for serious change,” said Walker.

“The MTA needs multiple dedicated sustainable sources of funding, it can’t rely on squeezing its customers more and more. The way to get our transit system into a state of good repair will require congestion pricing and a real commitment from both the city and the state to fund desperately needed improvements,” said Simon.

“The D and R trains, which run right through Sunset Park, are in need of repair. Over 23 weekday mornings in August, each line was delayed by signal problems 11 times and mechanical problems five times. It’s no wonder. Our signals rely on 1930s technology. Many of our subway cars come from 1960s and 1970s. It’s long past time to modernize them. We need to step up this year and fund the work with fair funding like congestion pricing as part of our solution,” said Ortiz.